With love from Epcot Center (1991)

with-love-from-epcot

To Hilary, Simon & Tallulah. We are having a great holiday, the weather is really hot, which makes a change! We have been busy visiting Disney World, Epcot, Sea World & the Kennedy Space Centre. Today we have been to Universal Studios & tonight we are going to a show with as much food & drink as you want! See you soon love Joanne & Nick

Phew! I’m exhausted just reading all this! Joanne & Nick are packing in the attractions during their stay.

Postmarked ‘ORLANDO 02 JUL 1991’ the card carries a 40 cent airmail stamp featuring William T. Piper. Another postmark featuring National Flag Day, which occurs each year on June 14, reminds us to ‘Pause For The Pledge‘ (this is partly obscured).

I have known Joanne nearly all my life; she is a bit younger than me and I remember her being born.  Our families enjoyed regular weekend visits to each other’s homes as well as many camping and caravaning trips together around the UK.  Her dad, John, was my dad’s best man and vice versa; our families have been friends for three generations now – it remains to be seen whether our off-spring will have the same commitment and stamina!

With love from Romsey (1982)

with-love-from-romsey

Dear Guess, A picture taken by the bloody Argies whilst on a strafing raid against Romsey. Our Home-guard shot him down with ground-to-air oaths & curses & then forced the pilot to capitulate by the internationally dreaded “Romsey-Torture” which involves prawn-cocktail crisps stuffed up his rear & then being force to quick-march whilst carrying a union jack. Cracked up under the strain, you know DAM

Postmarked ‘SOUTHAMPTON 24th May 1982’ this card features a completely fictional narrative based on the Falklands Conflict which was taking place at the time.

The stamp is 19½p equivalent to 48p in 2016

The card was sent to me in Norway where I did not get to hear much British news; this message probably did little to further my understanding of the events taking place in the South Atlantic.

Another of DAM‘s black and white cards featuring Romsey and the surrounding area, together with more of his imaginative reflections.  I received many of these random notes from him during this period and they still make me smile, although I have no idea why he often addressed me by my surname!

with love from Berlin (1988)

with-love-from-berlin

Dear Hilary & Simon, Just travelled through E. Germany where there are only state entrepreneurs.  Wouldn’t bother with setting up a r’ment office here.  Been to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, now in Munich.  Big sking trip organised for March 6th, 1 week in Switzerland, all in Everything (apart from beer) £306 Let me know soon if interested Love Andy

Written just before the events leading up to the reunification of Germany in 1990, the prevailing state run enterprises and lack of a privatised, competitive economy in East Germany still intrigued many visitors from the West, including the entrepreneurial Andy.

As well as giving us a brief status update, the other purpose of the card is to provide details of the forthcoming ski trip, which is how I am able to date the card even though Andy has not provided the date and the postmark is only partly visible.

The 60 pfennig stamp indicates the card was posted in West Germany.  It’s a definitive commemorating 1000 years of Meersburg.

As you can see from the pencil notes on the card, I had a subsequent conversation with Andy about the ski trip and we all went to Les Crosets, Switzerland in March 1989 🙂

with love from Rio de Janeiro (2016)

with-love-from-rio

Hiya! So Rio has been amazing. I am very excited to have some time off to explore properly, we are definitely going up this monument for the standard Rio photo! I have seen both the gymnastics & judo so far which is already more than I was expecting & both had incredible atmosphere! I can’t quite get over the fact that I am here after our convo 4 years ago! Love you both Tallulah x

A recent card, with a blurred postmark – although the Olympic Rings are just visible on the lower edge of the postmark.

I love the red, 1 riyal stamp with its illustration of a manicurist! More information on this definitive series here.

The picture on the front has to be one of the most famous and iconic views in the world.

Another one from my daughter, Tallulah, who continues to enjoy her job and is seeing some amazing places in the process. During London 2012 the we were lucky enough to be at Dornay Lake and then the Olympic park on Super Saturday but Tallulah was working away, so missed all the excitement. She was quite disappointed and vowed that she would be in Rio for the subsequent games – amazingly work took her there – hence her final comment above 🙂 

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…

 

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 Costa del Sol, Spain (1983)

Costa del Sol Spain 1983

14.10.83 Dear Hilary, Having a super time here in Spain. Weather has been great since we arrived – over 85° every day. Enjoying the cheap food & drink. We met up with another couple but they went back today. We’ve got another week, before it’s back to the grind. Best wishes Janet xx

Algarrobo features on the front of the card – the town is possibly more picturesque than the photo suggests!  There is no postmark, but Janet has helpfully included the date, October 1983

As ever when Brits travel to sunnier climes, the fascination with the temperature prevails and value for money when eating and drinking is an added bonus!

The two 13 peseta stamps feature King Juan Carlos I and are from the 1976-84 definitive series.

Another, earlier one from Janet who I have known for around 45 years!