Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Verdun Ball shares his thoughts on love and marriage

n The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret. But each couple has to find their own way of being together.

n True love isn’t something that your mind can understand. Follow your heart. It knows the right answer.

n To love someone is to allow them to be themselves.

n A wedding is about making a lifetime commitment and a promise. The origin of this word dates back to the old German ‘wathjam’ meaning a promise.

n Our word Bridegroom comes from the old word ‘brydguma’ meaning ‘bride’s man’.  In the 16th century this changed to bridegroom, based on the addition of the word ‘groom’ – a man or a male servant.

n Bride comes from another dated word ‘byrd’. It’s also related to the old German word ‘braut’ and the Dutch ‘bruid’.

n Did you know that the best day for writing a love letter is Friday?  This is because Friday is the day belonging to Venus, the Goddess of Love.

n It’s a good sign if your hand trembles when writing a love letter, as it means the recipient loves you too.

n When you receive a love letter you should look carefully at the envelope. If the flap has fallen open, or the stamp isn’t the correct value, then all isn’t well.

n Strange as it may seem, to test the other’s love, you should set fire to a love letter!

n There is cause for concern if the letter burns with a tall, bright flame; if it gutters and burns blue, then sadly the relationship is doomed.

n But for any reason you want to destroy a love letter, it’s best to tear it up, rather than burn it.

n And, curiously, you should never propose by letter. This will greatly reduce the chances of a happy marriage.

Read Verdun every week in Ireland’s Own