with love from Avignon, France (1988)

avignon

Weds 17 Aug 88 – Avignon “Chères Amies Bonjour d’Avignon!” That’s about as far as I can go after 2 bottles of Vin du Pays de Vauduse! We’re having a lovely holiday and enjoying the many faces of France (especially those with corks in the top!) James has been excellent, he loves travelling, thank Goodness, and seems to grow larger by the hour. Arrived here via Cherbourg, the Loire Valley, the Cévannes Mts & th plateau of Vauduse. Tomorrow we move camp to the Med. coast nr. St Tropez (Le Lavandou). The weather has been first class: Temps in the high 80s and a good cooling breeze. We must try to see you both soon, before James grows up too much more. Hope Si has recovered his fitness Love to you both. Take care now. All our love, Gra, Sheila + James xxx

Loads of information in this status update – a veritable tour of France! The image on the front features the famous Avignon bridge together with the words of the even more famous song.

The card is postmarked ‘CAVALIERE 15H 19-8-1988’ so although written in Avignon, it was, in fact, posted a couple of days and some 200km later when they arrived at the Mediterranean. The stamp is a 2 franc Marianne definitive.

Here’s Gra again, this time with Sheila and baby James. Sadly, shortly after this Gra became estranged from Sheila and the baby. We continued to see Gra, but have now lost touch…

with love from Kvaenangsfjell, Norway (1988)

norway

8.7.88 Hey Hilary, Greetings from the Nordkapp in Norway. It’s very beautifull to see the sun at midnight. I am in Norway for 3 weeks and it’s nice to see this country again. I hope you’re well. Take care so long Salutations Christine

The beautiful image on the front of the card is possibly the midnight sun mentioned in the text.

Christine has dated the card, which is helpful as the postmark does not give any indication of date.

The stamp is 3.80 kroner and is one of the definitive set issued in 1988

I met Christine in Norway in 1981; unlike me she has returned on at least one occasion! We continue to exchange news and postcards.

with love from Townsville, Northern Queensland (1988)

townsville

Dear Hilary & Simon, G’day mates! Excellent choice of elective made here I feel. Baking weather mostly, seaview from my bedroom window. Beach 3 mins away – palm trees everywhere and masses to do Aussies have a great attitude – fun first – work much later. Very infectious! We’re planning bush weekend this week. Dying of relaxation. Love Marion xxx Letter soon coming.

Postmarked ‘TOWNSVILLE MAIL CENTRE 4-PM 25 AUG 1988’ this card features ‘a fine example of early North Queensland Architecture’.

Despite it being winter time in Australia, the weather is obviously good and Marion is enjoying full immersion in the Australian way of life.

The 63c stamp is from the Living Together definitive series issued in 1988

Marion was my brother’s girlfriend; she took this extended working trip to Australia as part of her medical degree. They planned to get married, but Marion changed her mind; inevitably we all lost touch. A quick Google search suggests that Marion subsequently emigrated to the Australia that she was so taken with.

with love from Paignton, Devon (1980)

paignton

Hello Hilary! I send you many greetings from Paignton. It’s really nice here. Also the weather is marvellous. The people I stay at are very kind. What I also like a lot is the beautiful landscape here. But the next time I’ll tell more. Yours Claudia

Claudia is enthusiastic about her visit to Paignton from Germany, although we are left wondering what the purpose of the visit is and how long she is staying.

I love the rhyme on the front of the card and the idea of leaving ‘Household chores’ behind!

The postmark  says ‘SOUTH DEVON’ but the rest is obscured, apart from the ’80 in the lower part; however, the ‘marvellous weather’ suggests summer time.  The stamp is a 10½p dull blue definitive.

Claudia and I recently reconnected as a result of this blog and are in touch regularly via email and Whatsapp – often while watching the same sporting event on TV’s in different countries…