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…

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with love from Keswick (1979)

Keswick 1979

Dear Hilary, Ged here in Keswick and believe it or not its sunny for a change. Ta for your letter and postcard from up North. As you can see I’m in Keswick still but I go home on the 6th of September to my new house the address of which is 14 …. I’ve got to work till next Thursday so I’ll write a proper letter then from ….. So I’ll be able to tell you all my news then, tarra for now. Gerard xx P.S Don’t think much of the hotel on the other side. P.S.S. Hope you had a nice holiday! xx

Here’s another postcard being used to update an address change.  It’s amazing how often we all did that, back in the day! It is unclear whether Ged is staying in the hotel or working in it – the latter I suspect. Either way he’s obviously not a fan, despite the ‘warm welcome, courtesy and friendliness’ promised in print at the bottom!

Sunshine in Keswick is, of course, worthy of a comment 🙂  My postcard to him was from even further ‘up North’ – our family holiday that year was spent driving and camping round the north coast of Scotland.

Postmarked ‘KESWICK 11.30am 31 AUG 1979 CUMBRIA’, this card was posted exactly 37 years ago today! The other postmark is the old favourite ‘REMEMBER to use the POST CODE!’ which he hasn’t.

The card carries 10p worth of stamps which is approximately 52p today (2016).

This is three years after Ged and I first met and the correspondence was still fairly regular; these were the days long before texts, emails, Whatsapp, Facebook; when there were only 3 channels on UK tv and expensive long distance phone calls were made by special appointment and only with permission of the bill payer (Dad), who was generally sat in the same room listening in! Letter writing was the only option 🙂 

with love from Minori, Italy (1990)

Wigh love from Italy

Dear Hilary & Simon A note to say ‘thanks very much indeed’ for the lovely Portmerrion cookery book & towels you sent us & card with best wishes. We really had a lovely day. We are now enjoying a really relaxing holiday on the Amalfi coast. It is very picturesque along the whole coast. (Off to Pompeii tomorrow). Congratulations on your news! I will be in touch on our return – we must get together Janet & Richard

Italy again! Towards the south of the western coast this time.  A great status update which includes a description of the area, a bit of news and some good wishes.

The card is postmarked ‘MINORI’ and carries a 600 lira stamp featuring the beautiful Castello Scaligero-Sirmione from the 1980 definitive series of castles and strongholds.

There is no date on the card, and the postmark date is barely legible, but the clues in the text suggest it was posted around 25.05.90

Here’s Janet again; she had just married Richard, hence our gift.  We had just made public the fact that we were expecting our first child, hence her congratulations 🙂  Janet is still married to Richard; and Janet and I continue to be in regular communication.