The snow this week has caused not a bit of havoc, but for many of us the real consternation is that Valentine's Day is just around the corner and with it the pressure to produce the perfectly-judged gift.
Everywhere you look, the world is filled with hearts, flowers and sickly sweet hues of pink and red, just urging you to declare your undying love to Mr or Ms Right. But how best to do so?
Our email boxes have been filled with sweet nothing-related ideas for weeks now, some with seriously spurious links to either romance or technology.
Years ago a simple card and an "I Love You" might have sufficed. But in today's somewhat more materialistic world, the gift you give is seen as a statement of your relationship.
Flowers, cuddly toys, cufflinks and red roses are failsafes, but if your other half is anything like us at PCA Towers, technology and gadgetry is the key to their heart. Given our obsession with all things tech-related, we've put together a guide to the best tech gifts available to ensure that you'll end up in your lover's good book, or indeed woo the person of your dreams.
Capture your precious moments
A digital compact camera is a great gift for your sweetheart, since it means he or she will be able to snaps pictures of the two of you until her heart's content. The £99 Nikon L19 is a great 9Mp digital compact camera that will easily fit in a handbag or pocket. Pictures can be previewed on the camera's 2.7in display and with a 3.6x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom, your beloved will be able to capture those romantic landscapes on your romantic weekend away (hint, hint).
The camera's Smile Mode only takes a picture when the subject is smiling, while Blink Warning warns users if a subject has their eyes closed. Best of all, as well as silver, it also comes in a bubblegum pink colour, ideal for ladies who love their pink gadgets.
iPod Nano 4th generation
A splash of colour goes along way when it comes to gadgets. That's why we love the 4th generation iPod Nano.
It comes in a choice of eight colours - more than Apple offers for any of its other iPods. As well as the bright pink, there's also a green, blue and vibrant purple to choose from.
The latest nano resembles the long, thin and slightly curved styling of the first version of Apple's digital audio player. Its tall screen makes widescreen video clips viewable - turn it on its side and the nano's accelerometer will recognise the change in orientation and flip the display accordingly.
Another cute feature is 'shake-to-shuffle' feature - a new take on shuffle mode and one that we also admired on another desirable piece of musical gadgetry, Sony's Walkman 980 phone.
Available in 8GB or 16GB capacities (more than enough space for every boy band ballad ever produced), the iPod Nano 4G is priced from £109.
A way with words
If you're buying a gift for an iPod or iPhone owner, you could do worse than express your romantic side by giving them a book of romantic verse. iSkin, which makes covers for iPods, is offering a free romantic Audible book with any purchase. Browse the online store at iSkin.com.
Gear4 IceBox Mirror iPod Nano Case
Combining cool gadgetry with practicality, gear4's IceBox Mirror allows your beloved to check they're looking their absolute best while keeping their treasured iPod nano in pristine condition. The mirrored protective case allows the player's clickwheel and controls to shine through, so music playback can be controlled easily.
Available in pink, silver or gold, the Gear4 IceBox Mirror iPod Nano case costs £14.99.
Minibot Pink Meletta USB flash drive
We love this cute Japanese-inspired design on this USB flash drive - It'll certainly brighten any office with the Manga-style cartoon characters. Available in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities, the Pink Meletta USB 2.0 drive works with both PCs and Mac and measures 60x35mm. The USB drives are available from Mimico. Prices start at £17 for the 1GB version, rising to £40 for the 8GB model.
Sultry satnav voices
Would an afternoon with Kylie Minogue or Claudia Schiffer make the perfect present for the man in your life? As long as he doesn't mind listening to his dream celebrity order him about, he'll probably be delighted to unwrap a TomTom satnav preloaded with an instantly recognisable sultry female voice. Alternative celebrity voices include Brad Pitt and Sean Connery. The four voice add-ons can be installed by hooking up the satnav to a PC and logging on to the TomTom Home web portal.
If you're struggling with which TomTom device to choose, we recommend the TomTom GO x40 LIVE satnav. Traffic information is updated every three minutes, using a built-in SIM card. This also offers drivers access to a real-time fuel price search and safety alerts that warn users where speed cameras are.
SAS Pen Cam
There's no doubt that Bond's millions of gadgets are one of his greatest appeals, that and the ladies of course. While you can't to turn your boyfriend into Daniel Craig, we have got a gadget that will make him feel as though he's a member of MI5 - the SAS PenCam available from Boysstuff.
There's a tiny camera hidden inside the £75 pen, so while your other half is writing, he can also be recording what's going on around him. Up to 15 hours of clips can be recorded on the pen's 2GB memory and a bundled USB cable lets him connect the device to the PC so he can store his video footage.
Sony Vaio P series mini laptop
If your other half is on-the-go a lot, a stylish mini laptop is bound to go down well, not least because you'll be able to receive soppy emails while they're travelling the world. Sony's ultra-desirable Vaio P Series is available in a choice of four different colours including red, black and green and is the fashion-conscious alternative to the Eee PC. However, with an £849 price tag, it's not exactly wallet friendly. Then again, you can't put a price on love, or style.
The 20mm-thin Vaio weighs just 638g and has an 8in X-Black 1,600x768 widescreen LCD display. It has an XrossMediaBar menu powers that springs into action just a few seconds after you press the Instant-on button. It's the same menu found in the PSP and on Sony Bravia TVs. This feature offers quick access to the web, IM and music playback, without having to wait for Windows Vista to load. Avaiable via Sony Style.
If your sweetheart's got a laptop or netbook already, a small optical mouse designed for use with the device is another handy gift. Laptop mice are smaller than usual, ensuring they can easily fit in a laptop bag. Sweex has introduced a new range a coloured laptop mice that have a 70cm retractable cable, ensuring they take up minimal space when being stowed.
There are 11 colours in the range, so while the man in your life may not favour pink, he may want a bright blue or green, which makes a nice change from the usual silver or black. The cable features a USB port which simply plugs into a laptop and allows the mouse to be used instantly. It also features a scroll wheel. Priced at £13.99, the Optical mouse is available from Sweex.
Cards with a difference
High-street card retailers have hundreds of Valentines Day cards that will be sure to be able to purvey your message of love or lust, but personalisation goes along way. While you could try websites such as Moonpig.com that allow you to add your loved one's name and in some cases image to a card, we much prefer Touchnote.com.
This fairly new service is simple and easy-to-use and results in a high-quality print of a digital photograph, which thanks to its unique design, will stand up. Simply upload a digital image of your choice and then tweak the design of the card, by using speech or action bubbles as well as text. You can even choose whether to have the Touchnote delivered straight to your crush, or posted to you first, which allows you to write a message inside (rather than have one printed inside). It's cheap too, with prices from just £1.99 and for those who are environmentally conscious it's printed on 75 percent recycled paper.
Displaying your digital photos
When it comes to digital photos, no doubt like most of us, you'll have loads stored on your PC - where they've been transferred from your PC - but how many times do you actually sit there and flick through them all, reminiscing about the good times with your partner? Hardly ever. Of course, you could use a digital photo printing service such as Photobox to print out some snaps and frame them.
However, we think a digital photo frame is a much nicer answer. You can transfer your digital pictures to the frame, by USB cable (although many also support memory cards so you can eject it from your digital camera and slot it straight into the frame) and you can choose between having one images displayed, or a slideshow which rotates the images on display every few seconds. In some cases, you can even set the slideshow to music, ensuring your song can be playing while images of you lovebirds flash up.
The £60 Hannspree SD8073 8in digital photo frame goes one better: it lets you view images and videos as well as listen to MP3s. Even better it comes with a navy and burgundy surround, which can be changed depending on your mood, or the décor of the house.
There's nothing more romantic than watching old video clips of you and your loved one, whether it's your wedding video, the first holiday you took or clips of memorable nights out together. However, re-watching them can cause problems, because you may stowed your VCR in the loft to make way for a DVD player.
Nostalgia fans can rescue the day and make a truly romantic gesture by digitising all those old videotapes and saving it for posterity. Roxio's £39.99 Easy VHS to DVD video digitising kit includes hardware that at one end has a USB port to connect to a PC, while the other end connects to a VCR. The kit usually comes bundled with software that then records the footage played by the VCR into a digital format, which can then be stored on the PC or burnt to DVD. Some kits even allow you to edit the video clips yourself.
For tips on getting started see our How to digitise analogue video feature.