With love from Valbonne-Village (2005)

with love from Valbonne

27th of Jan 05 Dear Hillary, Thanks for a long and informative letter with a nice picture of a fantastic family! You manage to do so much and have so much enthusiasm… Next week Eivind and I will visit [son] five days skiing in Verbier. Lots of love and good wishes, from Vibeke  It has been snowing for some days. I only stay 3 days, fortunately.

On the front of the card are scenes of the picturesque Valbonne area, where Vibeke is staying.

The card is postmarked ‘NICE 31 01 05 ALPES MARITIMES’ and carries the Marianne du 14 Juillet stamp.

Another card from Vibeke in response to my earlier letter. This one was sent some 23 years after I left Norway. At the time, I was in full swing with my own family and probably considerably influenced by the experience of living and working within Vibeke’s own enthusiastic, busy and active household!

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With love from Antibes (1983)

with-love-from-antibes

Sun 29/5/83 Dear Hilary, Hi! The journey by coach wasn’t too bad & we arrived with beautiful weather at about 3.30pm yesterday. The site & facilities are very nice & clean & the caravan is ideal. Right now we’re sitting on our little grass patch with table & chairs. The beach is just across the rd & the sea looks beautiful. On Wed 1/6 we’re going to St. Tropez & Port Grimaud. We also hope to visit Monte Carlo some time. Hope you and your family are all well. Lots of love, Wendy xx Hope you had a lovely time in Cyprus. BYE xx

Clearly postmarked ‘ANTIBES 15H 31-5 1983′ this card was written promptly on arrival to ensure that it would reach the UK before the travellers returned home.  Despite only arriving ‘yesterday’ Wendy has plenty to say about her surroundings and the weather, both of which she is obviously enjoying.  I suspect her travelling companion is her boyfriend at the time.

The stamp is a 1 franc 60 centime Marianne Liberté de Gandon engraved by Pierre Gandon.

This is another card from Wendy; I’m still trying to recall a surname for her, so at the moment we’ve not reconnected 😦

With love from Val d’Isère (1991)

with-love-from-val-disere

Dear Hilary & Simon, sorry you are not here, skiing and resort are absolutely 1st class, Only bad part so far was a 9 hour coach transfer. chalet idea is really good, food excellent. Andy & Kevin both wish you could have made it, but who knows, next year? Hope things are under control with you. Take care, love John.

Another card from Val d’Isère and John, together with Kevin and Andy, is obviously enjoying the resort.  The text here indicates that we should have been with them on the trip.

The card is postmarked 1991 and carries the 1989 Marianne de Briat definitive stamp.

John is my brother; we learnt to ski as children in the 1970’s with our forward thinking parents, who took us on several package trips to Austria, when ‘winter sports’ holidays were something of a novelty.  Simon and I were due to be on this trip to Val d’Isère, but the UK was in the midst of a recession at the time and our bank manager, more or less, forbade us to go.  We should have ignored him and gone anyway; the end result was the same! 

with love from Chamonix, France (2010)

with-love-from-chamonix

Great snow; off piste most of the time but not much sunshine; good hotel on the main street of Chamonix. Jim came for three nights – he’s going to start his kids (3) off next year.  Give Kev my best wishes! I’m not surprised that your dog won’t run – it’s too fat! Love to you all Jon xxx

The French like photographing their ski resorts at night, don’t they?  This time it’s Chamonix, which also featured a few weeks ago here.

Despite obviously being written in France, the card was posted in the UK as it is postmarked ‘DORSET & W HANTS 8.30pm 23 FEB 2000’ and carries a 26p first class stamp.

In 1992 we went skiing with Andy and Kev; Jon was staying in the same chalet; we all skied together, exchanged addresses and have been skiing together most years since then. We don’t see much of each other between ski trips, although on this occasion Jon must have recently visited us in order to note our slightly overweight dog!

 

with love from Chamonix, France (2016)

With love from Chamonix

To Mum, It’s my birthday. I’m sat in a pizza place with Jake. It rained today so we slept and ate a lot of nutella. Tomorrow we are getting up early to go up to the Aguille du Midi to do a famous/classic climb called Cosmique’s Arête, which finishes by climbing over the fence onto the veranda of the Aguille du Midi. for your blog. Love Stormé xxx

The poster style design on this card really appeals to me, I love the paring down of information and use of colour blocks.  Chamonix is, of course, a world famous centre for skiing and mountaineering and was the venue of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924. Stormé is obviously taking the opportunity to explore as much as she can.

Postmark dated 04-07-16 the card also carries the 2013 Marianne stamp.

Stormé is my daughter, she embraces life and has travelled extensively; a keen skier and mountaineer, who loves a challenge.  Despite having a summer birthday it generally rains for her; so the weather comment is no surprise!  Stormé loves chocolate in any form. She is caring and beautiful;  I love her unconditionally and I am very proud of her.

 

with love from Greece (circa 2002)

With love from Greece

Best wishes from Greece. We’re enjoying sun and water every day. The landscapes are beautifull, the life is easy. We don’t need to worry about the weather because it’s always warm, so that we’re tanking energy for the next winter. Amicalement, Hervé & Family

A cheerful status update from French friends who are obviously making the most of the sunshine.

The post mark is very feint on this one; ‘ATHENS AIRPORT’ is just about legible, but unfortunately there are no clues as to the exact date or where else in Greece Hervé and Family might have visited.

The stamp is part of the definitive set celebrating Greek dancers, issued in 2002

Typical of many Greek Islands, the picture on the front features white buildings, blue roofs and sunny skies, but the printing on the reverse offers no indication of the exact location.

Many years ago, my in-laws arranged a French exchange for my husband in what transpired to be a futile bid to help him pass his O Level French exam.  Hervé, however, spoke reasonable English, and this enabled the friendship to flourish; although these days, I am the one that maintains it.  As young marrieds we stayed with Hervé and his wife in France and we continue to exchange news and greetings at Christmas.

with love from Morzine, France (2016)

With love from Morzine

To Mum + Dad + Jas. Hope you guys are okay, season is passing by pretty quick. Love you all, See you soon Gus x

Post marked 24-02-16, the card carries a 20g stamp, which, as usual, features the symbolic Marianne. This particular Marianne design sparked considerable controversy when it was issued in 2013.

Morzine, featured on the front, is a very popular ski destination, particularly from the UK, as it is only an hour’s drive from Geneva airport.

The message is brief (I’ve seen longer Twitter posts!) and covers the important points.

Gus is our son, who spent the winter in Morzine improving his skiing. Obviously, during that time we were in regular electronic contact, hence the brevity of his message, but it was still exciting to receive this card, which required considerably more thought, time and effort to despatch than a text! We are very proud of Gus 🙂