with love from Cornwall (1984)

With love from Cornwall

29.5.84 Dear Hilary, Just a quick line from here in Cornwall – we are at the most West place – St Just, just me and mum on holiday for a week. Have got my ‘mock’ finals when I get back to it is ideal for working.  Hope all is well with you. Love to your family, bye for now, lots of love, Ida xxxx

Another card from Cornwall, which is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK.

The post mark is ‘Sennen & Land’s End, Penzance 29 May 1984’ and the stamp is 12½p the 2nd class price for a small postcard.

The illustrated map on the front shows the concentration of shipwrecks off the coast, indicated by the white dots, as well as the lighthouses (black stars) that help to guide vessels around this rocky coastline.  The Cornish Coat of Arms is also depicted with its motto ‘One and All’. A wealth of information for which the artist appears to be unacknowledged!

On the back there is more information about the wrecks, and to this day lives are lost off this savage and unpredictable coastline.

This is another card from from Ida, my friend from early school days. I like maps; postcards depicting maps are great for contextualising a place within its wider surroundings.


with love from Looe, Cornwall (c1984)

With love from Looe, Cornwall

Dear Hilary, Having a super time eating lots of fish & cream teas. Doing lots of walks along Cliff tops its very pretty here. We have seen Dartmoore & Bodmin & Jim had a day shark fishing. We are off today to a place called Lansallos where no cars can get too. So its more walking. Lots of love Gill & Jim

Post marked ‘Plymouth, Cornwall & W. Devon, 3pm 9 Sep’ – the year is illegible but the 17p stamp suggests that it may have been 1984

It is unclear whether they were staying in Devon or Cornwall, as highlights of both counties feature in the narrative. The picture on the front is Looe, Cornwall, which continues to be a very popular tourist destination.  Lansallos beach, mentioned, remains relatively inaccessible today, as do many of the hidden coves around the Cornish coastline.

This is another card from Gill and Jim (Gill is not with Jim now). I am pleased to report that, as a result of this blog, Gill and I finally got together for lunch recently. We worked out that it’s nearly 30 years since we last met up. Time flies, but it was lovely to see each other and we had a great time reminiscing; we’ve vowed not to leave it another 30 years…


with love from Paris (1984)

With love from Paris 1984

OK, Hillary – made it to Paris ! Beauty, eh ? wish I had a chance to see you.  Please call if you get to L.A. John O  ******HUNTINGTON BEACH CA 92647 (714) *******

A classic shot of the Moulin Rouge – even for 1984 those cars look old! The view is still much the same, but the cars are more modern (and less colourful) and the building on the left has been painted.  The Moulin Rouge was established in 1889

The post mark reads ‘Paris 01 R. du Louvre 18.00 8-9-1984’

The stamp is 3 francs – the currency of France prior to the introduction of the Euro in January 2002

Like the card from Denmark this card is contains a postal address so that we would be able to stay in touch.

The comment ‘wish I had a chance to see you’ reflects the often held American view that Europe is all one country; London and Paris are a stone’s throw from each other and virtually inter-changeable!  Although London and Paris are very close physically, speak to a native of each and you will soon be clearly apprised of the distinct cultural and language differences between the cities!  Not to mention the English Channel (or La Manche) which separates the two countries.

John O was the friend of Chris – they shared a place together just outside Los Angeles. I first met Chris in 1981 as I travelled to Norway on a ferry from the UK; during the journey Chris and I played cards, he was older than me, and took me under his wing; it was a 24 hour journey and my first time away from home; we exchanged addresses – this being well before the era of mobile phones and the internet. When, in 1982, I visited America with the Canadian boyfriend I contacted Chris and we stayed at his and John’s home in California for a week. John had plans to visit Europe some day – which he did in 1984. I have not seen Chris or John since that week in 1982 and have lost touch with both of them.

with love from Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca (1985)

Puerto Pollensa 1985

This really is a beautiful island with superb coastlines. Trying to do some sightseeing in the mornings before it gets too hot. The rest of the time we are in the sea. Going to see the caves later this week. Love Jo & John. * Sorry, but I haven’t got your address with me.

Puerto Pollensa still looks very much the same, although 30 years on there are more boats in the harbour and they seem slightly larger! I’m a bit worried about the coach that appears to be hanging over the edge?

My earlier post card from Mallorca was dated 1974, this one is post marked Puerto de Pollensa 9.7.85 and once again the caves feature as a day trip.

Simon and I had just bought our first place together, so I had officially left the family home to where this card was sent, hence the asterisk and apology.

John was my mum’s cousin, and Jo his wife. They sometimes looked after my brother and me when my parents went out.  They taught us to play various card games and excitingly there was always a pot of pennies that were used to make the games more interesting.  We remained close to Jo and John as we grew up.  Sadly, Cousin John died some years ago, but I still see Jo at family events.

with love from Denmark (1983)

from Denmark with love 1983

17.1.83 Dear Hilary!  Here I am back in Denmark before I return to Norway again where I’ve got a job from 1 Feb. in an old people’s home.  Hope you had a good Christmas and came well into the new year.  I celebrated Christmas in the hospital and new year in Scotland together with my boyfriend.  Now I’ve been busy trying to find somewhere to live in Norway and I finally succeeded.  My new address is c/o ********** Oslo 1, so if you suddenly feel like it you are always welcome to write. Take care Rikke x

This card is 33 years old but the design seems very contemporary – good design is timeless, I guess. Obviously the bike and of course the Danish flag immediately indicate where the card is from, and the colours suggest fresh air, seaside and clean living – things that are associated with Denmark.  It really is a great piece of artwork.

The command of English achieved by many non-native speakers always amazes me – look at the use of the apostrophe in ‘old people’s home’ – there are many born and bred with apostrophes who still would not manage that!

Without these small notes (status updates, if you like) we would have lost touch – the reason for sending me the card was to tell me the new address. People travelled and moved around, as they do today, but if you wanted news and to keep friendships alive, the effort required was considerably more than the click of a mouse and a smiley face!

Rikke is very bright – no surprise that she can use the apostrophe! We met when we were both working in Norway; sometimes it was quite a lonely life as an au pair and it was always good to meet new people. Rikke had a Canadian Maple Leaf badge on her bag and I stopped to speak to her, as I assumed she was Canadian (I was still in regular communication with the Canadian boyfriend at the time). We continue to exchange Christmas cards and Rikke and her family have visited us in the UK a couple of times – our children are now ‘Facebook friends’. I have yet to visit Denmark