with love from Caernarfon, Wales (1981)

With love from Snowdon

5th/10/81 Dear Hilary, Enjoying the rest here away from it all. The weather has been very kind to us. We arrived in glorious sunshine (usually raining in wales all the time!!) We hope to visit Caenarfon tomorrow. Its supposed to be quite large. I hope you are enjoying yourself Lots of luv Janet xx

Here’s another one from Janet, having her second week in Wales that year!

The card was written on 5th October and she obviously did visit Caenarfon the next day, as the post mark reads ‘Caenarfon 6 OCT 1981 Gwynedd’. She’s put plenty of stamps on it to ensure safe arrival to me in Norway.

The other post mark somewhat bizarrely reads ‘Today’s POST OFFICE in business to serve you’ – an admirable sentiment at the time, but one which seems ironic today as much of the POST OFFICE is privatised!

The cartoon on the front illustrates the famous mountain train which runs from Llanberis to the top of Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon).


Janet and I have known each other for over 40 years… 

with love from La Côte Bleue, France (2015)

With love from La Cote Bleue

Dear Hilary It’s not Grece, but almost! I am for 1 week South of France, nearby Marseilles and it’s very beautiful. A place to see. And you’re reight it’s fun to recieve post card. I like it too!!! Have a nice summer. Bises Christine

France again and a hand written, physical status update postcard from this month!

The post mark date is 03-08-15

The stamp carries the detail 20g which helpfully indicates the weight of mail for which it is valid.

La Côte Bleue is to the west of Marseilles, so named because of the particular blue of the sea in the area. The picture shows one of the several viaducts carrying the rail tracks, which run for 32km offering spectacular views of the coast and all its narrow, steep walled inlets, or ‘calanques’ as they are known.

Swiss Christine has been inspired by this blog to send me another postcard to add to the collection -it’s good to hear from her again and to know that we have been exchanging news for 34 years!  

with love from France (1981)

With love from Paris

16/9/81  Dear Hilary, just a quick card to explain the lack of correspondance in reply to your last letter. As you can see Vanessa and I are in France and we are now working on a vineyard near Orange in the Rhône Valley. The last few weeks in England and the first week here have been hectic with no time to write letters. However, I hope Norway is proving a Hunky Dory place to live, and the kids are settling down, with a bit of luck we can meet at xmas. I shall write a letter soon, love Andrew

Post marked ’84 Bollene Vaucluse 17H30 16-9-1981′ which is in southern France some distance from the Sacré-Coeur featured on the front – it is unclear whether the card was bought in Paris or locally in Bollène.

A mini update, where more news is promised, from a friend who was working and travelling his way round Europe.


Andrew was also in my maths class at sixth form; an articulate contributor to any group discussion, maths related or otherwise, he was smart and held firm political opinions. Andrew wrote many letters and cards to me with details of his travels which I relished and appreciated during my time in Norway. We subsequently lost touch, but did reconnect, via the wonder of social media, a few years ago; didn’t quite get to the point of a face to face meeting though!


with love from Les Deux Alpes, France (1989)

With love from les deux alpes

Les Deux Alpes  Dear Hilary + Simon, I hope you’re keeping well. I’m fine (accept for some minor bruises). The snow is excellent and the sun’s very hot. Today we skied at 3500 metres and could see Mont Blanc. See you again soon Robert x

Post marked ’38 Les Deux Alpes Isere 16H 22-3-1989′ and ‘Les 2 Alpes Dauphiné.Isère France 1650-3600m Ete-Hiver’ which reminds us that the Alps can be enjoyed in both Summer and Winter.

Another 80’s status update from France – go high enough anywhere in the Alps on a clear day and you’re pretty much guaranteed a view of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe.

The cartoons on the front ring as true in 2015 as they did 25 years ago – in the big resorts there are still long queues at the lifts, the wide open pistes are still crowded and the ploughs still give little consideration to anything in their way.

We met Robert on an earlier ski trip and, as was customary at the time, exchanged postal addresses with a view to possibly meeting up on subsequent holidays.  I do not recall skiing with Robert again and we are no longer in touch.