With love from Minehead (1986)

with love from Minehead

23.6.86 Had an easy journey here & weather varied. Sun & mist but warm. We are close to Exmoor & with a good pair of boots would love to walk up there. Sad but I think those days are past. Hope your Lake District holiday was a success. We return on Sat. Love Auntie Vi

Auntie Vi is in her favourite county of Somerset and coming to terms with the fact that she isn’t able to do as much as she once could. The Lake District holiday to which she refers was our honeymoon earlier in the year 🙂

The card is postmarked ‘MINEHEAD 23 JUN 1986’ and carries a 17p stamp which was part of a set issued in 1986 featuring medieval life, and commemorating the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book.

(Great) Auntie Vi was a widow for much of her later life; she overcame her grief and regained her spirit and independence – an example to us all. 

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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 Vancouver (c1983)

With love from Vancouver Island

Dear Hilary, Well here we are in beautiful B.C. We’ve been here a week and it’s great. We took a bus out here and it was awful. So far it’s been hot in the day and a bit chilly at night. We’re on Vancouver Island right now. We’ve been to a few lakes which are cool but nice. Lots of mountains and trees. My pack is too heavy again. It’s easy getting rides here. We’re off to Jasper and Banff soon. Talk to you soon, love Craig

There is no date on this card and the postmark is not legible. However, the wood stove heritage stamp was issued in April 1983.

The picture on the front is of North Vancouver Island. There is no clue as to who his companion is, but from the descriptive status update Craig sounds happy to be travelling again.

Back in the day Craig and I hitch hiked from Toronto to Los Angles (with very heavy packs, hence the references above). The story of that trip is probably a whole other blog! Since his death, I am the sole custodian of those memories…

 

with love from Porlock Weir (1987)

With love from Porlock Weir

Taking a week away in Dunster with such lovely surroundings. Our flat is very satisfactory and well furnished & situated next to a large house & garden, of which we have the use. Taking things quietly & exploring the village My love to you from Auntie Vi

A classic status update from my great aunt. The postmark date is Minehead 5 Oct 1987.   The 13p stamp was the cost of sending a postcard second class in 1987 (this is approximately 34p in 2015).

We were still being reminded to ‘Be properly addressed’ and to ‘POSTCODE IT’ – this is some thirteen years after it became mandatory; by this time most people in the UK seemed to have got the idea!

Porlock Weir is still a popular spot for visitors, it is about 10 miles from Dunster. The yellow dragon in the top left hand corner of the picture is the logo of Somerset County Council.

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice the name change – I’d got married.

Auntie Vi was married to Uncle Wilf who was Grandad‘s brother. They did not have children, hence no grandchildren; they were great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them when I was a young child. We were out one day, us in our car, with Wilf and Vi following behind; there was a crash, Wilf died. With a child’s eye view, the horror was lost on me – he was my Grandad’s brother, therefore ‘old’. I saw Auntie Vi more regularly, she holidayed with us and livened up our birthday parties, but she lived as a widow (seeing me grow up, get married, have my own children) for at least another 20 years. How sad that she was denied spending that time with Wilf. 

with love from Toronto (1984)

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Dear Hilary, Well you’re right, I don’t care too much for these silly christmas traditions but I do have a sense of humor. So I found the tackiest christmas card I could find and here it is.  I’m really busy at work these days but it’s not too late yet.  I’ve spent all my hard earned dollars on a huge set of speakers (4 feet x 3 feet x 2 feet) which are moving in this week.  I just hope they wont get us evicted!  Merry Christmas to you, Simon, Mom & Pop and the rest of the gang, love Craig

Although this card is sent from Toronto the 3D image is of Florida’s flamingos.  It is apparently part of a 3D collector series.

The postmark date is 18 Dec 1984

Craig was my first love; he came over to the UK to study for a year.  He went back to Canada, I went to Norway.  We wrote long letters to each other.  I went to Canada, we had some adventures.  He was younger than me; I wanted happy ever after; he wasn’t ready; I moved on.  We stayed in touch intermittently for several years.  Then one day his mum phoned to tell me that he had died (tears are pricking as I write this), he did not reach 30.  No old, bald paunch for him – forever young and forever in my heart.