with love from Paris (1984)

With love from Paris 1984

OK, Hillary – made it to Paris ! Beauty, eh ? wish I had a chance to see you.  Please call if you get to L.A. John O  ******HUNTINGTON BEACH CA 92647 (714) *******

A classic shot of the Moulin Rouge – even for 1984 those cars look old! The view is still much the same, but the cars are more modern (and less colourful) and the building on the left has been painted.  The Moulin Rouge was established in 1889

The post mark reads ‘Paris 01 R. du Louvre 18.00 8-9-1984’

The stamp is 3 francs – the currency of France prior to the introduction of the Euro in January 2002

Like the card from Denmark this card is contains a postal address so that we would be able to stay in touch.

The comment ‘wish I had a chance to see you’ reflects the often held American view that Europe is all one country; London and Paris are a stone’s throw from each other and virtually inter-changeable!  Although London and Paris are very close physically, speak to a native of each and you will soon be clearly apprised of the distinct cultural and language differences between the cities!  Not to mention the English Channel (or La Manche) which separates the two countries.

John O was the friend of Chris – they shared a place together just outside Los Angeles. I first met Chris in 1981 as I travelled to Norway on a ferry from the UK; during the journey Chris and I played cards, he was older than me, and took me under his wing; it was a 24 hour journey and my first time away from home; we exchanged addresses – this being well before the era of mobile phones and the internet. When, in 1982, I visited America with the Canadian boyfriend I contacted Chris and we stayed at his and John’s home in California for a week. John had plans to visit Europe some day – which he did in 1984. I have not seen Chris or John since that week in 1982 and have lost touch with both of them.

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