Cathy Kelly on romance
Roses: white or red?
"I love white roses, I don't know why. I love the idea of a white garden – Vita Sackville-West had this fabulous white garden full of white flowers. I'd have white roses over red roses any day."
Most memorable St Valentine's Day
"I was 12 years old and I'd just started secondary school. I thought that this meant my life would change and that I'd suddenly become wildly attractive to boys. This was before I discovered bleach and self-confidence. Everyone else got millions of Valentine's Day cards and I got none.
"Everyone else was showing me theirs and I felt like such a failure – and it didn't get any better at 13 or even at 14."
"I used to go to my granny's in the West in the summer, and one year there was this young fella over from London. After a few meetings, we decided we were in love and that we had to kiss.
"I was about 11 and I thought afterwards, 'That was disgusting'. My abiding memory of that experience is 'Ugh'!"
"God, I remember being desperately in love with this guy in our gang. I was about 12 or 13 at the time and he didn't even know I existed.
"He was fabulous, but he never looked at me. I had brown, pudding-bowl hair which didn't really work. I was also a bit of a tomboy and to boys I looked like a boy."
"I was going out with a guy when I was about 14. This was my first proper boyfriend.
"I was about 5ft high and he was about 6ft 3in. We went out for about three months – then he dumped me.
"When I told them what had happened, my friends advised me to tell everyone I dumped him because I was too stupid to realise that was how you did it; it was my first heartbreak and I kept trying to work out what had gone wrong."
Most romantic moment
"This was when John and I got married. It was just lovely. We married in the registry office in Wicklow and had dinner in Powerscourt House.
"There's a lovely picture of me, John and the kids, and to me that's perfection."