LATER today I am going to meet my friend's new baby for the first time.

What more spectacular a Valentine's Day gift could be asked for than a squeeze of a squidgy mass of fresh life? None I can think of.

This is one of the real delights of this stage in life. Generous friends keep producing these unique little humans, all of them interesting and fun and funny in their own ways and all with tiny little specs of your friends in their faces and mannerisms.

It's often baffling, how they do it. I lounge on the sofa of an evening, an eye on Netflix, an eye on Twitter, a pot of tea if I'm feeling energetic. My friends, meanwhile, create an entire new person - not just in their leisure time but during office hours as well.

I don't have the energy for the growing phase yet I still get to play with these remarkable little people. Generous, as I say.

It's not really fashionable to be a fan of Valentine's Day but I love it. You're supposed to scorn the event as a corporate ploy to part gullible fools from their money. Hallmark, the enemy of the people, eh? That family-owned business that also own Crayola, that dreadful company that brought hours of colour to occupy your childhood weekends.

Others say you shouldn't need one day to show love to the one you love, you should do it ever day of the year.

My bet is that those who warble on that tune never lift a finger to show love.

But listen, Valentine's Day isn't just about romantic love. At least, it shouldn't be. It's a day to focus on all the loves - eros, yes, but agape, pragma, storge.

Love seems to be missing from so many social interactions, from the failure to offer a seat on the bus to someone who looks like they need it more to snapping at the barista because the queue in your regular coffee shop is long.

As increasing numbers of psychological studies have shown that love and gratitude is a way of increasing wellbeing while lowering stress and depression, keeping a gratitude diary has become a recommended daily task.

Of course, as with every possible element of living, gratitude diaries have become a fashion - a way of companies commercialising our attempts to improve our lives and lower our worries.

You don't need a written diary to pause to think about the small things in life. To do so is an act of love and care also.

I love to cycle home in the middle of the night by myself when the air is clear and there's no one around, just the whirr and rumble of the tyres as they make different noises over different road textures.

I take immense pleasure in a loose leaf cup of tea.

When the world outside is vast and frightening and burning, the tiny things help to centre and ground. The shape and mystery of an egg. No, come back. Honestly, have you ever held an egg in your palm and considered its miracle?

Such fragile strength in its smooth ovoid form, such beauty in its perfection. Inside, two scientifically diverse yet delicious forms.

Egg whites able to form whipped, light foam. Yolks that emulsifies into oozing wobbles when whipped.

My earliest memories of my grandfather centre on him holding my hand and leading me downstairs to the kitchen table for a boiled egg mashed in a cup with soldiers, delicious perfection, a simple meal that takes me straight back to a part of childhood that was safe and nurturing.

Don't we all have small talismans that spark off memories of love? Maybe not all yet we should, which brings us back to treating people with love and care.

Christmas is supposed to be a time of such reflection but it never works out that way, what with endless sprints round the shops for presents, attempts at homemade mince pies and the eight social functions you're obliged to attend but can't be fussed with, introspection goes up the chimney.

Valentine's Day is, then, the next calendar stop in pausing to think about love, how we show it and who we should show it too.

Demonstrations of love are, silly as it sounds, the reason I am addicted to Call The Midwife. They are all just so darned sweet to one another. Nurse Franklin might have lost the plot over an unravelling hemline in one of her bonkers couture outfits sent by her godmother in Portofino. Nurse Crane might be glowering because someone was late switching on the autoclave.

But ultimately they are just aspirational in their care, consideration and patience for each other, their patients and the wider Poplar community. If only we could transfer some Nonnatus House goodness to parliament we'd be living in a far stronger society.

The Independent Care Review last week echoed calls that have been made by care experienced young people and charities for years - that love should be part of the care system.

The review, frustratingly, demurred from defining what love means and how love should be supplied to a system of economics, where care is paid for and adult professionals make decisions about young people.

Love, though, is a catch all term. Do I love the young people who come in front of me at children's hearings? I couldn't possibly be expected to, we have just met.

But do I treat them with compassion, respect and care? I hope so, it's what I aim for.

These are the practical, implementable offshoots of love. There is love in the idea of making - or trying to make - lives better.

Could we encourage love in politics?

Can we encourage love in workplaces?

Love in community spaces and public transport.

Not roses or squiffy-eyed teddy bears or repackaged-for-February cheap chocolates (unless you really love these things).

Just the upsides of love, a way of making the world a better place to grow in for this wee baby I'll be holding today.