With love from Marrakech (2005)

with love from Marrakech

Dear Hilary – we’re having a great time in Marrakesh (5 night break over half term). We’ve explored the city & taken a trip into the Atlas Mountains. The hotel is wonderful, with a lovely pool & garden with tortoises, so the children are happy. Thanks for the b’day card – I do hope all is going to plan for your Dad. Take care – love Anne Tony Isobel & Dora xxx

This sounds wonderful – something for everyone!  Obviously finding the post office was not on their list of things to do, as this card was posted from London on their return 🙂

The postmark date is 08.06.05 and the other postmark is supporting the London 2012 Olympic Bid, which was, of course, successful!

In her message Anne refers to my Dad, who underwent a double heart bypass operation that year, which was quite stressful, but twelve years later he is still going strong 🙂

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with love from Senigallia, Italy (1985)

With love from Italy

30/7/85 Dear Hilary & Simon, Arrived Friday, so far weather wonderful. Hotel is great – plenty to eat and drink. Sea is lovely after initial shock. All we want is weather to continue as it is, we had nearly forgotten there was a sun in England. Hope you are settled in OK Love Bet, Mo, Margaret & Ted

It seems that Italy is a popular holiday destination! This card is from Senigallia on the east/Adriatic coast where the sea is apparently cooler. Bet, Mo, Margaret and Ted are enjoying the sunshine, which has obviously been missing during the English summer.

The card is postmarked ‘SENIGALLIA’ and carries a 400 lira stamp depicting Castello dell Imparatore-Prato from the 1980 definitive series of castles and strongholds.

The arches of the historical building beside the River Misa, featured in the image on the front of the card, are a stark contrast to the popular and crowded seafront beaches.

This was sent just after Simon and I moved into our first flat together, hence the ‘settled in’ reference. We were not married at the time; a cause for great consternation amongst some family members, but this card from Bet, Mo, Margaret and Ted suggests acceptance and support on their part. Bet & Ted are siblings and are first cousins to my mum. Bet was married to Mo (sadly Mo has died), and Ted is married to Margaret (they are both now in their nineties).  Mum continues to have a close relationship with her cousins, seeing them regularly. I see them less, but exchange seasonal cards and swap news via Mum. 

with love from Orta San Giulio, Italy (2009)

With love from Italy

Dear Hilary & Simon, We’re having a happy time in excellent company. The weather is good & the scenery beautiful. The hotel is grand but a bit haphazard & needs a new stair carpet. Hope all’s well with you all. See you soon. Much love to you all Mum & Dad xxxxxx

This card is from the lakes of northern Italy and features the 16th century decorative town hall of Orta San Guilio on Lake Orta. It is not clear from the text whether Mum & Dad are actually staying in Orta San Guilio; although it would appear that the stair carpet may also date from the 16th century 🙂

The clear postmark reads ‘NOVARA CMP poste 03.10.09 – 16 Italiane’ and the stamp is a 0,65 euro from the definitive series ‘Women in Art‘ issued 2002-2004

An earlier card from my parents, this time with the Mum & Dad moniker.  Taking full advantage of their retirement Mum & Dad travelled extensively, and to some extent continue to do so.  Although these days the cost of insurance is often more than the trip cost, so this is a limiting factor for them. 

with love from Cumbria (2015)

With love from Keswick (2015)

Tuesday. Bowness by Bus Dear Hilary, Simon, Tallulah & Gus, Another beautiful day & we’ve come by bus to Bowness. It’s lovely with a busy ‘waterfront’ & we are going back to Ambleside later on a big steamer. Can’t remember when I last went on a steamer – on the Thames I guess. Counting my blessings a lot. Hope all is well with you all. Love A&T xxxx

The picture is of Surprise View, probably the most iconic view of the Lake District and A&T are lucky enough to be enjoying some good weather during their visit to the area.

The card is post marked ‘LANCASHIRE 13 OCT 2015’ and also carries the timely reminder to ‘REMEMBER TO USE THE POSTCODE’ – amazingly this is now four decades after postcodes became mandatory in the UK. Do we really still need reminding?

A&T are my parents, but because the card is to all of us and we all call them different things (mum&dad, A&T, Nan&Grandpa) my Mum has chosen the A&T moniker on this occasion.  As a child I enjoyed many family holidays in Cumbria, and this card brings back happy memories: long summer days, camping, sailing, messing about in streams, climbing mountains… As I mentioned last time, I feel very lucky to have both my own parents still alive and my in-laws, healthy and happily married – in both cases for 58 years! 

with love from Chateaulin, France (1992)

With love from Chateaulin, France 1992

Dear Hilary & Simon, We have come 25 mls up the river to Aulne from Brest to Chateaulin a lovely town – All is well though rather wet. Our wedding at Plougerneau was a shambles! Lots of motoring. Love to you all Mum and Dad

A status update containing a tantalising hint at a much more interesting back story too long to include on the postcard!  There is, however, room for a brief comment on the weather.

The card carries a 2 franc 50 centime stamp and is postmarked ‘CHATEAULIN 18H 24-8-1992 SUD-FINISTERE’.  There is a further postmark promoting the area as a ‘Carrefour Touristique’ or tourist hub and a ‘green holiday resort’. This postmark also includes a map (which could be anywhere) and a picture of the town with its, no doubt famous, bridge. In addition, the postmark mentions the ‘Circuit de l’Aulne’ cycle race as well as ‘Pèche au Saumon’ salmon fishing.  What a wealth of information contained within a space that is 2 inches by 1 inch!

The front of the card is spoiled by the UK postmark which is dated Chard 27th August 1992, presumably the sorting office for mail from France.  The old favourite ‘Be properly addressed’ and ‘POSTCODE IT’ is also there – nearly two decades after postcodes became mandatory!

This ‘Mum and Dad’ are my in-laws, and the card is written by Dad.  Over the years they have enjoyed many holidays in France and have a great number of friends there who they continue to visit regularly. I feel very lucky to have both my in-laws and my own parents still alive, healthy and happily married – in both cases for 58 years!