With love from Spain (c1974)

with love from Spain

22nd Nov Dear Hilary, I’m having a lovely time the weather is good except for the first few days when we were seasick. Today we are going on a tour around an Island called Las Palmas. I hope you are feeling well Love Helen

The SS Australis, pictured on the front, travelled between Britain and Australia & New Zealand, calling at various ports along the way – Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) obviously being one of them.

The postmark date is not clear, but I believe that this must have been sent in 1974, as General Franco (featured on the stamp) died in November 1975

Helen and her family emigrated to New Zealand and this card seems to be from the voyage to their new life on the other side of the world. However, a few years later they returned to the UK. Despite several internet searches, I have not been able to reconnect with Helen.

With love from Pafos, Cyprus (2005)

with love from Paphos

Friday, Dear S,H,T,S,J&G. Just come out of the pool in Bob & Chris’s villa. They have a lovely house and are showing us the sights of Cyprus. Today we went inland & had spectacular views of the countryside. Last night we did quite well in the local quiz – home from home. It’s lovely to relax after our busy schedule – hope all are well. Much love, Mum & Dad

My in-laws are visiting friends who’ve recently moved to Cyprus – they are big quiz fans! Although the card features Pafos (Paphos), it is not clear if this where they are staying.

Interesting to see that the postmark here also reminds us (in English) to use the postcode. The postmark date is 16.05.05 and the stamps are the Refugee Stamp, which continues to be obligatory on all mail, together with a 25 cent stamp from the Jewellery definitive set issued in 2000

An earlier card from Simon’s parents.

With love from The Gambia (1991)

with love from the Gambia

Banjul, the Gambia 31.1.91 Dear Simon, Hilary and Talulah, The wandering nomad has discovered the richness of W. Africa and likes what he sees! This is such a rare place – desperately poor and under developed, yet so welcoming and very pro British from it’s historical background. It’s also VERY HOT! Yesterday I actually played cricket in 90°F heat against the national side…we very obviously lost (in fact the game was almost abandoned because it was so oppressive) I hope you are all safe and well. The war news is pretty dreadful and I am still a little concerned that my ship may yet get called upon. It’s unlikely, thank Goodness. Mandy will probably be in touch soon when details for our wedding firm up. Can’t wait! Take care now. All my love, Gra x

Gra continues to enjoy tours with the Royal Navy, but on this occasion the 1991 Gulf War overshadows events.

There is no postmark on the card, but Gra has helpfully dated it. The stamp is commemorating the artist Raphael, but I cannot find any other information about it – can anyone else help?

By this time Gra is looking forward to his second marriage…

With love from Cornwall (1991)

with love from Cornwall St Anthonys

20.5.91 Here in a lovely hotel for one week. Weather dull but went to lovely St Mawes & found sun. Most enjoyable Trust things are sorting out for you Love Auntie Vi

Another brief update from Auntie Vi, once again featuring the hotel and the weather – those stalwarts of British postcard writing!

Interestingly, Auntie Vi has written a date of 20.5.91 on the card, but the postmark can clearly be seen as ‘NEWQUAY 14 MAY 1991’ – that will remain a mystery…

1991 was a difficult year for us, and many others, as the UK was deep in recession, to which Auntie Vi makes reference in her message.

 

With love from Berlin (2017)

with love from Berlin

Berlin, 30.05.17  Hallo Hilary! This is the Revival postcard from Berlin :)!! 30 years later I’m now able to walk through Brandenburg Gate – it’s still a marvel!! I hope we won’t start building new walls in the future! Love Claudia

A status update from earlier this year, in which Claudia refers to the other card she sent me, 37 years ago 🙂 Berlin is now much more of a tourist destination than it was in the 80’s

Claudia and I continue to exchange news and views 🙂

 

With love from Moscow (1986)

with love from Russia

Dearest Hilary & Simon From Russia with all our love! Just amazing x

Short and sweet in the distinctive handwriting of my mum, with a nod to Ian Fleming 🙂

This was during the time of Mikhail Gorbachev’s presidency and the period of glasnost, just prior to the dismantling of the the Soviet Union.

The card features the famous St Basil’s cathedral in Red Square and carries the 35 kopeck stamp ‘sable in a cedar tree’.

Another card from my parents

 

With love from the Tank Museum (1991)

with-love-from-dorset

Dear Hilary & Simon & Tallulah, Loz & I went to the tank museum while Linda & Ann went to the more intellectual attraction of Kingston Lacy House.  The first launching of the boat was not a success but will provide an entertaining story when we next see you.  Hope your hol went well, our first attempt at UK camping has been surprisingly not too bad.  Love Ann Gordon & Laurie.

Postmarked ‘BOURNEMOUTH – POOLE 8.30pm 22 AUG 1991’ this card carries a 19p stamp and also carries the infamous ‘REMEMBER to use the POSTCODE’ postmark.

Lots of descriptive information is included in this status update, including the tantalising suggestion of a more detailed and hilarious anecdote to follow!

We met Ann & Gordon, in the late eighties, through a mutual acquaintance; we lived in the same area and found that we had much in common.  Since moving away we don’t see them so often, however we do sometimes meet up for a walk and a pub lunch – although less frequently of late…

 

With love from Shanklin (1988)

with-love-from-shanklin

Spending a week with a local Probus Group in Sandown for one week.  Excellent hotel & good service.  Quite warm at the moment & air like wine.  Love Auntie Vi

Postmarked ‘Portsmouth & Isle of Wight 9 MAY 1988’ this is another brief status update from (Great) Auntie Vi.  The important things are mentioned, of course; the weather and the quality of the hotel 🙂

I’ve never heard of Probus and, with the ignorance of youth and the lack of Wickipedia back in the day, I probably never bothered to find out about it in 1988!  Auntie Vi was a professional, intelligent woman and always sought out like minded people.

With love from Berlin (1980)

with-love-from-berlin

Hello Hilary! Here is my postcard from Berlin. It is very nice here although the weather is quite cold. Yesterday evening we went on to the top platform of the sky-scraper which you can see on the card. From there we had a wonderful view over the whole city. But next time I’ll write more Many greetings Claudia

So here’s a card from 1980’s Berlin some 9 years before the wall came down. It carries a 50 pfennig stamp from the castles and palaces series. At the top of this stamp you can see that it was issued by the Federal Post Berlin.

‘sky-scraper’ is a phrase of the era! The building is known as the Europa-Center.

The card is postmarked ‘BERLIN 5.11.80’ and carries a second postmark, the rough translation of which is ‘keep connected with mail’ – a great sentiment!

Claudia is another prolific communicator who is also widely travelled 🙂

With love from Banbury (1980)

with-love-from-banbury

6/10/80 Dear Hilary, Just a quickie from me, while on holiday on the Oxford Canals. It is really good fun. We go to all the pubs en route and have had parties on the barge!! The weather has not been brilliant but we enjoying it so that’s all that matters! Today we are at Banbury. It is a really nice country town. I hope you are getting on OK at college. Bye for now Jan xx

A cheery status update from Janet,  who appears to have enjoyed at least two canal holidays in 1980!  As usual she is making the best of things, despite the inclement British weather.

The card is post marked is ‘BANBURY 1.15pm 7 OCT 1980 OXON’ and also carries the old favourite ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’.

In the UK we all hear about Banbury Cross from a young age thanks to a traditional nursery rhyme – although I suspect few of us have ever visited and some may not even realise the connection!

As I continue this reflection of my life through the postcards I’ve received, I am amazed at just how many messages some people have sent to me – Janet is one of the most prolific correspondents 🙂