With love from Brisbane (1988)

with love from Brisbane

Dear H & S, Glad postal strike is over at last. Sue and I have just arrived here after 18 hour bus journey from Townsville. We’ve just been to the koala park and had our photos taken cuddling koalas – how touristy!!  John will be here in a couple of days and by then hopefully I will have found the airport. Falling desperately in love with Australia and travelling – just have to hope John does too.  Lots of love Marion x

This card is postmarked 30 Sept 1988 and it would appear that there had been a postal strike in Australia, which must have been very frustrating (this was before electronic communication was universally accessible).

The stamp is from the set of 29 different cartoons depicting aspects of Australian life, issued in 1988

Marion has travelled to Brisbane, home of World Expo 88

Marion is waiting for my brother to arrive for their road trip. Reading this now, with the benefit of hindsight and life experience, I cannot believe I did not notice that Marion is clearly not ready to settle down to married life. She made the strong decision to cancel the wedding and follow her own path. Heartbreaking as it was at the time, for all of us, it was the right choice for her.

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With love from Singapore (1988)

with love from Singapore

Dear Hilary & Simon, Arrived safely Singapore is very hot & humid but a lovely place. Already planning a return visit. We’re enjoying the luxury of hotel life and Singapore Gin Sling at the Raffles bar then off to O3/D3 [?] later tonight. Been all around on  a couple of tours and spent this pm in the hotel pool Its really hell out here. Keep well & happy much love Marion xxx

A hectic status update but Marion does not say how long she is staying and there is no clue to the identity of her travelling companion/s.

Despite a google search I’ve no idea what O3 (or is it D3?) is, or was – can anyone else shed any light?

In 1964 the Merlion image (featured in the picture) was designed for use by the Singapore Tourism Board.

The card is postmarked ‘SINGAPORE 17 AUG 88’ and carries stamps from the 1985 definitive Insect series.

The timing suggests that this message was sent when en route to Australia. I liked Marion, but I do not feel that it is my place to reconnect with her.

With love from London (1981)

with love from London

22-X-81 [Sailboard enthusiasts ‘en-masse’] Dear Guess, message received from krautland today. Hope “operation Clean-Up” is going ok – years supply of rubber yellow gloves will be parachuted in on specified date.  Am “checking out” pictured hideaway for possible ‘Leftie’ infiltrators or anti-royal ‘Moles’. DAM

DAM obviously had a supply of these cards, as the same picture also features here and although it shows Romsey, this message is postmarked ‘LONDON 22 OCT 1981’ the same day that it was written.

The 18p stamp depicts fishermen hauling in a trawl net and not windsurfers as DAM suggests! The stamp is from a commemorative set issued in 1981

I had been in Norway a few months by this time, working as children’s nanny, hence the reference to rubber gloves 🙂

I believe that DAM is still in Australia, but I continue to avoid reconnecting…

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 Daytona Beach, Florida (1992)

with love from Daytona Beach

Hi, How’s it going? Got down south for Spring Break with all the other millions of students. It’s pretty happening though and the weather isn’t bad! I hope you are all alright and hopefully see you in the summer. Regards Rob.

Is this ‘The World’s Most Famous Beach’, as is suggested in the description on the back? What about Bondi in Australia?  Maybe in 1992 Daytona was the most famous! Either way, Rob certainly seems quite impressed with it all.

The postmark is sharply legible, ‘DAYTONA BEACH FL 32120 PM 13 MAR 1992’ and the stamp is 40 cents featuring Claire Chennault, part of the Great Americans Series of stamps which were issued between 1980 and 1999.

Rob is my cousin, the only one my mother’s side. He spent several years working, studying and travelling abroad before finally settling on the other side of the world. I cannot recall if we saw him in the summer of ’92 as mentioned in his message; I believe the last time we met was in ’93 at a family wedding. We keep in touch via email, and, excitingly, this summer (2016) Rob and his family are visiting the UK; they plan to stay with us for a few days 🙂 

 

with love from Hong Kong (1987)

with love from Hong Kong

10.10.87 Dear Hilary & Simon, Here I am at last, I can hardly believe it Hong Kong is very exciting & the shopping is out of this world!!  I am trying to pack in as much sightseeing as time will allow, there is a lot to see & I am snapping photos madly. I leave for Perth to see Linda tomorrow.  Janet xx

Postmarked ‘HONG KONG 1pm 12 OCT 1987’ this card carries a HK$1.70 stamp featuring Queen Elizabeth II, who continued to be head of state until the territory was returned to China in 1997

There is a good deal of excitement in the text as Janet tries to make the most of her time before catching her onward flight to Australia.

 

Here’s another one from Janet, my friend from infant school.  Linda is Janet’s sister, who is quite a bit older than us.  I remember her emigrating to Australia as a ‘Ten Pound (£) Pom‘, which must have been in the very early seventies, but at 8 or 9 years old I had no idea what it meant!  I later understood that she had gone to Australia very cheaply and that it would be a long time before she saw her family again.  This was possibly the second time that Janet went out to visit Linda.  On her first trip she was a young teenager (minor) and I recall her telling me all about how the cabin crew looked after her and chaperoned her through the airport process.  Janet and I now communicate regularly via email 🙂