with love from Quebec, Canada (c1985)

With love from Quebec

Dear Hilary, You can see it, I am in Canada.  I’ll stay here only for 3 weeks. It is a very beautiful country and automns colors are very beautiful People are very nice. I hope to have news from you very soon. Bonnes salutations et grosses bises Christine.  ***Coppet (VD) Suisse.

There is no date on this card and no legible postmark, but the 68 cent Spinning Wheel Heritage Stamp was issued in 1985.

The pictures on the front are of The Montmorency Waterfall, The Château Frontenac, The Saint-Jean Gate and The City Hall of Quebec.

Quebec City is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec.

I met Christine when I first arrived in Norway and she was coming to the end of her time there. We exchanged addresses and stayed in touch, she has included a contact update at the end of this card. Christine comes from the French speaking region of Switzerland. We continue to exchange cards and emails in faltering French (me) / English (her), and have managed to meet up several times over the years, in both the UK and Switzerland.

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with love from Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca (1985)

Puerto Pollensa 1985

This really is a beautiful island with superb coastlines. Trying to do some sightseeing in the mornings before it gets too hot. The rest of the time we are in the sea. Going to see the caves later this week. Love Jo & John. * Sorry, but I haven’t got your address with me.

Puerto Pollensa still looks very much the same, although 30 years on there are more boats in the harbour and they seem slightly larger! I’m a bit worried about the coach that appears to be hanging over the edge?

My earlier post card from Mallorca was dated 1974, this one is post marked Puerto de Pollensa 9.7.85 and once again the caves feature as a day trip.

Simon and I had just bought our first place together, so I had officially left the family home to where this card was sent, hence the asterisk and apology.

John was my mum’s cousin, and Jo his wife. They sometimes looked after my brother and me when my parents went out.  They taught us to play various card games and excitingly there was always a pot of pennies that were used to make the games more interesting.  We remained close to Jo and John as we grew up.  Sadly, Cousin John died some years ago, but I still see Jo at family events.

with love from Denmark (1983)

from Denmark with love 1983

17.1.83 Dear Hilary!  Here I am back in Denmark before I return to Norway again where I’ve got a job from 1 Feb. in an old people’s home.  Hope you had a good Christmas and came well into the new year.  I celebrated Christmas in the hospital and new year in Scotland together with my boyfriend.  Now I’ve been busy trying to find somewhere to live in Norway and I finally succeeded.  My new address is c/o ********** Oslo 1, so if you suddenly feel like it you are always welcome to write. Take care Rikke x

This card is 33 years old but the design seems very contemporary – good design is timeless, I guess. Obviously the bike and of course the Danish flag immediately indicate where the card is from, and the colours suggest fresh air, seaside and clean living – things that are associated with Denmark.  It really is a great piece of artwork.

The command of English achieved by many non-native speakers always amazes me – look at the use of the apostrophe in ‘old people’s home’ – there are many born and bred with apostrophes who still would not manage that!

Without these small notes (status updates, if you like) we would have lost touch – the reason for sending me the card was to tell me the new address. People travelled and moved around, as they do today, but if you wanted news and to keep friendships alive, the effort required was considerably more than the click of a mouse and a smiley face!

Rikke is very bright – no surprise that she can use the apostrophe! We met when we were both working in Norway; sometimes it was quite a lonely life as an au pair and it was always good to meet new people. Rikke had a Canadian Maple Leaf badge on her bag and I stopped to speak to her, as I assumed she was Canadian (I was still in regular communication with the Canadian boyfriend at the time). We continue to exchange Christmas cards and Rikke and her family have visited us in the UK a couple of times – our children are now ‘Facebook friends’. I have yet to visit Denmark

with love from The Marina, Ramsgate (1982)

With love from Ramsgate

Dear Hilary, Hope the journey home wasn’t too slow and that your keeping well.  With mum at the moment.  She is well and pleased to have me for the week.  Looking for a portable T.V. for her at the moment.  Having a lazy time and the weather is still very good.  See you soon love to family Love Gill xxx

A classic view of the Kent harbour town of Ramsgate, which still looks much the same today.

The postmark date is 4 Aug 1982. The other postmark is advising us to ‘Catch the sun in THANET Broadstairs Margate Ramsgate’ – popular seaside destinations, depending on your point of view.

I first met Gill in 1977 at a ‘street party’ organised by the families in my road to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 11.  Gill was a young friend of our neighbours’ who regularly came to stay with them, and as we were the same age we struck up a friendship – both staying conscientiously in touch via letter.  This card was sent just after I had seen her in London, where I had visited her on my return from Norway.  Living in her father’s flat in London and having a full time job in London she seemed to me to be the height of sophistication – I was still trying to decide what to do with my life.  Gill has been a loyal correspondent and we are still in touch, via cards, email and the odd phone call,  although it is now many years since we actually met up.

with love from Toronto (1984)

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Dear Hilary, Well you’re right, I don’t care too much for these silly christmas traditions but I do have a sense of humor. So I found the tackiest christmas card I could find and here it is.  I’m really busy at work these days but it’s not too late yet.  I’ve spent all my hard earned dollars on a huge set of speakers (4 feet x 3 feet x 2 feet) which are moving in this week.  I just hope they wont get us evicted!  Merry Christmas to you, Simon, Mom & Pop and the rest of the gang, love Craig

Although this card is sent from Toronto the 3D image is of Florida’s flamingos.  It is apparently part of a 3D collector series.

The postmark date is 18 Dec 1984

Craig was my first love; he came over to the UK to study for a year.  He went back to Canada, I went to Norway.  We wrote long letters to each other.  I went to Canada, we had some adventures.  He was younger than me; I wanted happy ever after; he wasn’t ready; I moved on.  We stayed in touch intermittently for several years.  Then one day his mum phoned to tell me that he had died (tears are pricking as I write this), he did not reach 30.  No old, bald paunch for him – forever young and forever in my heart.

with love from Fallingbostel (1980)

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Dear Hilary, Thank you very much for your letter and the photograph.  I’m very busy now before Christmas and so I send you only this card.  I hope you excuse it.  So I wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year ! Yours Claudia

A lovely Northern European illustration sending good wishes for Christmas and New Year.

The postmark date is 22.12.80 so it probably arrived after Christmas.

Claudia and I became ‘pen pals’ when we were at senior school.  I would write to her in German and she wrote in English.  Claudia’s English was far superior to my German, so eventually we just communicated in English.  She was a conscientious correspondent often writing lengthy letters about her life.  We met for the first time when I was in Norway and she planned her inter-rail trip to include Oslo.  Then in the mid nineties (after 20 years of exchanging news) Claudia went quiet, no letters, cards, Christmas cards – nothing.  I tried to contact her parents by letter and more recently have searched social media sites without success.

with love from Teignmouth (1972)

Dear Hilary, Having a lovely time, I have just been to my uncles farm And seen all his horses And we went to the beach a few times and went in the sea Love Helen

This is one of the oldest postcards that I have – the postmark date is August 1972

The other postmark is asking us all to ‘Remember to use the post code’.

The stamp cost 3p (first class) which is approximately 37p in 2014

The view of the railway along the coast remains unchanged (although it was devastated by the storms in early 2014) however the trains have been updated slightly.

I have lost touch with Helen.