With love from Perpignan (2016)

with love from France

Hello H & S, I have just spent a week cycling up various mountains near Perpignan and so I’m now fit and well. 4 of us stayed in my friend Alwyn’s house here, as we do every year, eating and drinking our way through massive amounts of food and wine. It’s like a skiing trip but with mountain bikes instead. Love Jon x

Sounds like a great trip! I love the illustration on the front of the card so typical of early 20th century advertising – this one promoting the superiority of a particular bike.

The stamp is the latest (controversial) version of Marianne.

Another card from Jon, who has also rediscovered the joy of postcard writing ūüôā

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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!

With love from Antibes (1983)

with-love-from-antibes

Sun 29/5/83 Dear Hilary, Hi! The journey by coach wasn’t too bad & we arrived with beautiful weather at about 3.30pm yesterday. The site & facilities are very nice & clean & the caravan is ideal. Right now we’re sitting on our little grass patch with table & chairs. The beach is just across the rd & the sea looks beautiful. On Wed 1/6 we’re going to St. Tropez & Port Grimaud. We also hope to visit Monte Carlo some time. Hope you and your family are all well. Lots of love, Wendy xx¬†Hope you had a lovely time in Cyprus. BYE xx

Clearly postmarked ‘ANTIBES 15H 31-5 1983′ this card was written promptly on arrival to ensure that it would reach the UK before the travellers returned home. ¬†Despite only arriving ‘yesterday’ Wendy has plenty to say about her surroundings and the weather, both of which she is obviously enjoying. ¬†I suspect her travelling companion is her boyfriend at the time.

The stamp is a 1 franc 60 centime Marianne Liberté de Gandon engraved by Pierre Gandon.

This is another card from Wendy; I’m still trying to recall a surname for her, so at the moment we’ve not reconnected ūüė¶

With love from Val d’Is√®re (1991)

with-love-from-val-disere

Dear Hilary & Simon, sorry you are not here, skiing and resort are absolutely 1st class, Only bad part so far was a 9 hour coach transfer. chalet idea is really good, food excellent. Andy & Kevin both wish you could have made it, but who knows, next year? Hope things are under control with you. Take care, love John.

Another card from Val d’Is√®re¬†and John, together with Kevin and Andy, is obviously enjoying the resort. ¬†The text here indicates that we should have been with them on the trip.

The card is postmarked 1991 and carries the 1989 Marianne de Briat definitive stamp.

John is my brother; we learnt to ski as children in the 1970’s with our forward thinking parents, who took us on several package trips to Austria, when ‘winter sports’ holidays were something of a novelty. ¬†Simon and I were due to be on this trip to Val d’Is√®re, but the UK was in the midst of a recession at the time and our bank manager, more or less, forbade us to go. ¬†We should have ignored him and gone anyway; the end result was the same!¬†

with love from Chamonix, France (2010)

with-love-from-chamonix

Great snow; off piste most of the time but not much sunshine; good hotel on the main street of Chamonix. Jim came for three nights – he’s going to start his kids (3) off next year. ¬†Give Kev my best wishes! I’m not surprised that your dog won’t run – it’s too fat! Love to you all Jon xxx

The French like photographing their ski resorts at night, don’t they? ¬†This time it’s Chamonix, which also featured a few weeks ago here.

Despite obviously being written in France, the card was posted in the UK as it is postmarked ‘DORSET & W HANTS 8.30pm 23 FEB 2000’ and carries a 26p first class stamp.

In 1992 we went skiing with¬†Andy and Kev; Jon was staying in the same chalet; we all skied together, exchanged addresses and have been skiing together most years since then. We don’t see much of each other between ski trips, although on this occasion Jon must have recently visited us in order to note our slightly overweight dog!

 

with love from Avignon, France (1988)

avignon

Weds 17 Aug 88 – Avignon “Ch√®res Amies Bonjour d’Avignon!” That’s about as far as I can go after 2 bottles of Vin du Pays de Vauduse! We’re having a lovely holiday and enjoying the many faces of France (especially those with corks in the top!) James has been excellent, he loves travelling, thank Goodness, and seems to grow larger by the hour. Arrived here via Cherbourg, the Loire Valley, the C√©vannes Mts & th plateau of Vauduse. Tomorrow we move camp to the Med. coast nr. St Tropez (Le Lavandou). The weather has been first class: Temps in the high 80s and a good cooling breeze. We must try to see you both soon, before James grows up too much more. Hope Si has recovered his fitness Love to you both. Take care now. All our love, Gra, Sheila + James xxx

Loads of information in this status update Рa veritable tour of France! The image on the front features the famous Avignon bridge together with the words of the even more famous song.

The card is postmarked ‘CAVALIERE 15H 19-8-1988’ so although written in Avignon, it was, in fact, posted a couple of days and some 200km later when they arrived at the Mediterranean. The stamp is a 2 franc Marianne¬†definitive.

Here’s Gra again, this time with Sheila and baby James. Sadly, shortly after this Gra became estranged from Sheila and the baby. We continued to see Gra, but have now lost touch…

with love from Chamonix, France (2016)

With love from Chamonix

To Mum, It’s my birthday. I’m sat in a pizza place with Jake. It rained today so we slept and ate a lot of nutella. Tomorrow we are getting up early to go up to the Aguille du Midi to do a famous/classic climb called Cosmique’s Ar√™te, which finishes by climbing over the fence onto the veranda of the Aguille du Midi. for your blog. Love Storm√© xxx

The poster style design on this card really appeals to me, I love the paring down of information and use of colour blocks.  Chamonix is, of course, a world famous centre for skiing and mountaineering and was the venue of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924. Stormé is obviously taking the opportunity to explore as much as she can.

Postmark dated 04-07-16 the card also carries the 2013 Marianne stamp.

Stormé is my daughter, she embraces life and has travelled extensively; a keen skier and mountaineer, who loves a challenge.  Despite having a summer birthday it generally rains for her; so the weather comment is no surprise!  Stormé loves chocolate in any form. She is caring and beautiful;  I love her unconditionally and I am very proud of her.