with love from Ibiza (1984)

with love from Ibiza

Dear Hilary, Despite missing our flight and all the sun tan peeling I’m having a great time out here with the lads. The temperature never gets below the 90’s so I’m having to drink a lot to avoid complete dehydration. The pubs sell draught Guinness and there’s millions of Irish out here so it’s like home from home and the d****s remind me of the locals in Bradford. Love Gerard x

Ever the party island this card emphasises ‘The Sun of Ibiza’ with an eye catching topless sun worshipper supported by a rather incongruous donkey.  On closer inspection this is obviously a photo montage (pre Photoshop) as the various bits of sand, sea and sky do not match up!

Although there is no date or visible postmark, the 16 peseta stamp is, in 1984, commemorating 25 years of CEPT Europa (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administration).  The bridge design, common to stamps for all CEPT countries, was created by the French engraver Jacky Larrivière.

Another from the summer romancer – Gerard is still enjoying trips ‘with the lads’ and still sending me postcards some eight years after we met as teenagers on holiday! My own discomfort has forced me to asterisk a less than complimentary description of the locals on the island and the people of Bradford. These once commonplace terms are now unacceptable. Despite various social media searches I am still unable to reconnect with Gerard.

with love from Brand, Austria (1984)

With love from Brand Austria 1984

Mon. 23rd Jan ’84 Dear Hilary, Hi! The hotel is really beautiful, as well as the food. We are literally surrounded by mts, and there is loads of snow. David and I practiced downhill just behind the hotel yesterday and today we took 2 chairlifts up to the top. The slope we took was supposed to be easy but they were steep enough for me. However my skiing is improving – with David’s patient teaching. The cross country also looks good and I’m really looking forward in having a go again. Hope you are all well. Lots of love Wendy

Post marked 24 Jan 84 from Brand bei Bludenz, this status update gives a vivid description of the holiday that Wendy is taking with her boyfriend, David.

The stamp is 4 Austrian Schillings, which was the Austrian currency prior to their adoption of the Euro in 2002

Wendy was from North Wales and proud of it; hence the address specifically identifies England, Great Britain. ‘Great Britain’ is less usual now – these days most people seem to opt for ‘United Kingdom’.

Wendy was also a mother’s help in Oslo, becoming firm friends with Anne and me, as we shared the experience of being away from home for the first time. We also all learned cross country skiing together and spent our days off touring through the cross country trails around Oslo. I continued to correspond with Wendy once we returned to the UK, but I do not recall meeting with her again and we eventually lost touch.


with love from Cannes, France (1981)

With love from Cannes 1981

Dear Hilary, At present I’m sitting on the beach at Cannes. oggling “Sorry Sight seeing”. Weather is so hot. I’m also as brown as you were after your topless and bottomless hols. Off to the rich mans land of Monta-Carlo tomorrow. Hope to see you at xmas Love Martyn

Post marked ‘Cagnes sur Mer Alpes Mmes 5-8-1981’ (Mmes is an abbreviation of Maritimes), with a 1 Franc 20 centimes stamp.

Cagnes sur Mer is about 22km (15 miles) from Cannes on the French Riviera.

A simple update from a teenage boy more interested in the bodies on the beach than the history of the area!

I cannot recall Martyn, but the content suggests that we were friends at 6th form college. Topless and bottomless refers to a recent trip I’d made with the Canadian boyfriend, when we’d visited the naturist beach at Studland, Dorset. This card would have been gratefully received just after my arrival in Norway, when news from friends and home was such a treat.


with love from St Malo, France (1985)

with love from St Malo

Hi Hilary, OK so you beat me to Xmas so I’m pipping you to the post at Easter. I’m staying with some friends in Brittany – a real break. The cuisine is delicious. I had some nasty exams before hols, the results I get when I return – urgh! Sorry I didn’t write sooner. Don’t eat too many Easter eggs. I’m off to see a bicycle race this p.m. lots of love Mandy x

Of course she’s seeing a bicycle race – it’s France!

A newsy update from St Malo which looks much the same today, although I’m pretty sure the colour of the sea has been enhanced; St Malo is on the other side of the English Channel (or La Manche) and I’ve never seen it that shade of blue!

Sadly, I cannot remember my connection with or how I knew Mandy, despite the fact that we were apparently in quite regular correspondence…