With love from Valbonne-Village (2005)

with love from Valbonne

27th of Jan 05 Dear Hillary, Thanks for a long and informative letter with a nice picture of a fantastic family! You manage to do so much and have so much enthusiasm… Next week Eivind and I will visit [son] five days skiing in Verbier. Lots of love and good wishes, from Vibeke  It has been snowing for some days. I only stay 3 days, fortunately.

On the front of the card are scenes of the picturesque Valbonne area, where Vibeke is staying.

The card is postmarked ‘NICE 31 01 05 ALPES MARITIMES’ and carries the Marianne du 14 Juillet stamp.

Another card from Vibeke in response to my earlier letter. This one was sent some 23 years after I left Norway. At the time, I was in full swing with my own family and probably considerably influenced by the experience of living and working within Vibeke’s own enthusiastic, busy and active household!

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With love from Dawson, Canada (2002)

with love from Yukon

June 12/2002  Hello everyone! I know it has been a really long time since I have been in contact, and I hope you are still at this address. All of the children must be getting so mature, as I believe it has been almost 3 years since I left England. Lots is happening, I am ½ way done my university degree in Victoria, B.C, but I am living and working up in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory this summer. The land of the Midnight Sun, I will go to Dawson this weekend, Right now they are having 22 hrs of sunlight. Hope all is well. Love Allison Carr xo

What an interesting status update! But we are left wondering what Allison is doing in Whitehorse and why she is visiting Dawson, which is a good six hour car journey away!

The stamp is a 1.25 value featuring Sculpture from the Traditional Trades definitive set issued in 1999

As a young woman, Allison lived and worked in our town in the late nineties, which was when our children were very small. In a bid to escape, what could be a very hectic domestic environment, Simon and I decided that a regular, weekly date night was a good idea! Allison was recommended to us as a babysitter, and she came once a week for about a year to look after the children while we were out. The children were fascinated by her accent and her world travels. Eventually, she went back to her home country, Canada, to continue her studies. Sadly, she didn’t give us a forwarding address, so we were never able to respond to this card. If anyone out there knows this Allison Carr, then please ask her to get in touch, as I would love to catch up and exchange news with her.

with love from Portofino, Italy (1987)

with love from Portofino

21/9/97 Dear Hilary, Many thanks for your nice letter. Eivind and I have a ‘honeymoon’ to Italy and France, arrived yesterday. It’s very hot and nice. Extremely charming. We play tennis, swim, eat and relax! Just marvellous. Tomorrow we go to La Eze, near Monaco and stay till Thursday evening. In Oslo it’s +2º in the morning and snow in the mountains. It’s a pity you cannot come to Oslo but hopefully later.  We go to Meribel in France for winter holiday end February with all the children.  Much love from Vibeke

It sounds lovely! Interesting comparison of September temperatures in Northern and Southern Europe.

The card carries a damaged 500 lire stamp, issued in 1980, featuring the Castello di Rovereto in Rome, and is postmarked ‘PORTOFINO 22.9.87’

The images on the front of the card show the picturesque harbour of Portofino, which is on the north west coast of Italy.

Vibeke (pronounced ‘Veebecca’) and her family employed me for a year, to live in their Oslo home and help with the housework and children. One of my main tasks was to play with and speak English with the children. The youngest spoke no English when I arrived but was reasonably fluent by the time I left; my Norwegian continues to be virtually non-existent! This card was sent five years after I left Norway, and I’m pleased to say that I am still in regular contact with Vibeke, over 30 years later; as well as with some of the children, who are really only a bit younger than me, and now have their own families 🙂 Despite the best intentions, I have never been back to Norway…