with love from Saint-Palais-Sur-Mer, France (1988)

with love from Saint Palais sur Mer

Having a great time, very hot here, sea not quite rough enough but did surfing yesterday. John has just replaced his rubber dinghy that he wrecked yesterday. The site is lovely, quiet, clean & very convenient & plenty of room (unusual for French sites). We are eating outside all the time, barbecuing & drinking every evening – very relaxing after the activity at home. Love J P R & C

The last sentence says it all – we can picture the evening sun on the caravan site and practically smell the barbecue as we read!

Postmarked ’17 LES MATHES 16h 45 28-7-1988 CHARENTES MARITIME’ the card features a view of Le Pont du Diable au Platin, which is a popular natural feature of Saint-Palais-Sur-Mer on the Atlantic coast of France.

The stamp is 2 franc 20c featuring the famous Liberté de Gandon engraving which appeared on French stamps between 1982 and 1990

This is another card from J,P,R & C.  John, once again features, as a middle aged man who has ‘wrecked’ his rubber dinghy in the surf!  This comes as no surprise to me – during the 70’s our family and theirs spent many happy holidays in Cornwall; a big feature of these holidays was John and my Dad endlessly pushing us children over the surf in a rubber dinghy and, inevitably, us squealing with laughter as we were tipped out.  

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…

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! 

with love from Val d’Isère, France (1986)

With love from Val d'Isere

Dear Simon & Hiliary, Having a wonderful holiday & I’m just about managing to stay on my feet and ski. Weather apart from today has been glorious hot sunshine. Many thanks for the invitation see you end of April. Peter

This card is not actually addressed to me; however as I am included in the text (albeit incorrectly spelt) it has remained in my collection. The invitation mentioned refers to our wedding – 30 years ago 🙂

Post marked ’73 Val d’Isère Savoie 15H 15 21-3-1986′ and ‘Val d’Isère HIVER-ETE Ski, tennis, montagne, loisirs et detente’ promoting the leisure and relaxation that can be enjoyed in the area during winter and summer.

Val d’Isère is one of the most popular ski resorts in the French Alps and Peter’s upbeat status suggests that he certainly enjoyed his visit!

Peter and Simon became friends as graduate trainees working for the same firm. They subsequently lived in the same shared house. I spent quite a lot of time at the house as I was going out with Simon, and so I got to know Peter too. We are still in touch with Peter – he called me back in November for a catch up and we’ll all be getting together again soon 🙂  

 

with love from Lille (1983)

With love from Lille

Dear Hiral, having a lovely time. Eating lots of French fattening stuff, but not speaking much French (have lost my voice almost completely which doesn’t help!) See you soon. Love Anne xxx

The card features L’église St Maurice in Lille, which, on the reverse of the card, is described as the capital of the north [of France].

It’s Postmarked ’22h 4-12 1983′ and carries a 2 franc Liberté de Gandon stamp which was issued in 1983.

See how, as she’s in France, Anne has used the French form of address – M’elle, short for Madamoiselle or ‘Miss’ – that’s a nice touch!

The message gives little away – why was she there in December? Who, if anyone, was she with?

Anne and I chose different routes after college; she continued on to university while I travelled and worked abroad, but we always stayed in touch via letters or cards and continue to do so 🙂

 

with love from Paris (1981)

With love from Paris

Tuesday  Dear Hilary, Yesterday we went on a boat trip down the Seine which showed many of the famous sights. Later we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and then onto Les Invalides. Today we went to Versailles to see the palace, we’re having a great time and the weather couldn’t be better. See you soon Sue + Chris

Post marked ‘Paris 21H 7-7-1981 Gare St Lazare’ and carrying a 1 franc 20 centime stamp, this is another 1981 card featuring the Sacré-Coeur  together with its funiculars.

There is plenty being updated here – Paris and the weather combining to offer the proverbial ‘great time’.

 

Sue is a very popular name amongst my peers and I was at school with several – unfortunately I cannot be sure which Sue has written, and the accompanying Chris is a confusion… I have lost touch with this Sue!

 

with love from France (1981)

With love from Paris

16/9/81  Dear Hilary, just a quick card to explain the lack of correspondance in reply to your last letter. As you can see Vanessa and I are in France and we are now working on a vineyard near Orange in the Rhône Valley. The last few weeks in England and the first week here have been hectic with no time to write letters. However, I hope Norway is proving a Hunky Dory place to live, and the kids are settling down, with a bit of luck we can meet at xmas. I shall write a letter soon, love Andrew

Post marked ’84 Bollene Vaucluse 17H30 16-9-1981′ which is in southern France some distance from the Sacré-Coeur featured on the front – it is unclear whether the card was bought in Paris or locally in Bollène.

A mini update, where more news is promised, from a friend who was working and travelling his way round Europe.

 

Andrew was also in my maths class at sixth form; an articulate contributor to any group discussion, maths related or otherwise, he was smart and held firm political opinions. Andrew wrote many letters and cards to me with details of his travels which I relished and appreciated during my time in Norway. We subsequently lost touch, but did reconnect, via the wonder of social media, a few years ago; didn’t quite get to the point of a face to face meeting though!

 

with love from Les Deux Alpes, France (1989)

With love from les deux alpes

Les Deux Alpes  Dear Hilary + Simon, I hope you’re keeping well. I’m fine (accept for some minor bruises). The snow is excellent and the sun’s very hot. Today we skied at 3500 metres and could see Mont Blanc. See you again soon Robert x

Post marked ’38 Les Deux Alpes Isere 16H 22-3-1989′ and ‘Les 2 Alpes Dauphiné.Isère France 1650-3600m Ete-Hiver’ which reminds us that the Alps can be enjoyed in both Summer and Winter.

Another 80’s status update from France – go high enough anywhere in the Alps on a clear day and you’re pretty much guaranteed a view of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe.

The cartoons on the front ring as true in 2015 as they did 25 years ago – in the big resorts there are still long queues at the lifts, the wide open pistes are still crowded and the ploughs still give little consideration to anything in their way.

We met Robert on an earlier ski trip and, as was customary at the time, exchanged postal addresses with a view to possibly meeting up on subsequent holidays.  I do not recall skiing with Robert again and we are no longer in touch.  

 

with love from Cannes, France (1981)

With love from Cannes 1981

Dear Hilary, At present I’m sitting on the beach at Cannes. oggling “Sorry Sight seeing”. Weather is so hot. I’m also as brown as you were after your topless and bottomless hols. Off to the rich mans land of Monta-Carlo tomorrow. Hope to see you at xmas Love Martyn

Post marked ‘Cagnes sur Mer Alpes Mmes 5-8-1981’ (Mmes is an abbreviation of Maritimes), with a 1 Franc 20 centimes stamp.

Cagnes sur Mer is about 22km (15 miles) from Cannes on the French Riviera.

A simple update from a teenage boy more interested in the bodies on the beach than the history of the area!

I cannot recall Martyn, but the content suggests that we were friends at 6th form college. Topless and bottomless refers to a recent trip I’d made with the Canadian boyfriend, when we’d visited the naturist beach at Studland, Dorset. This card would have been gratefully received just after my arrival in Norway, when news from friends and home was such a treat.

 

with love from St Malo, France (1985)

with love from St Malo

Hi Hilary, OK so you beat me to Xmas so I’m pipping you to the post at Easter. I’m staying with some friends in Brittany – a real break. The cuisine is delicious. I had some nasty exams before hols, the results I get when I return – urgh! Sorry I didn’t write sooner. Don’t eat too many Easter eggs. I’m off to see a bicycle race this p.m. lots of love Mandy x

Of course she’s seeing a bicycle race – it’s France!

A newsy update from St Malo which looks much the same today, although I’m pretty sure the colour of the sea has been enhanced; St Malo is on the other side of the English Channel (or La Manche) and I’ve never seen it that shade of blue!

Sadly, I cannot remember my connection with or how I knew Mandy, despite the fact that we were apparently in quite regular correspondence…