With love from Bath (2016)

with-love-from-bath

Hello from Bath! Just to say I’m thinking of you enjoying your Christmas in front of a roaring fire at home. I always stop and gaze at the weir when I walk past, as I love the shape and the water, right in the middle of the city. Love to all Jon x

A great little seasonal update, with a reminder to take time to enjoy the beauty that is around  us. There’s no date or post mark on this, but it arrived at the end of December and carries the 2016 first class Christmas Stamp.

The writing on the back describes Pulteney Bridge, featured on the front, as one of three bridges in the world lined by shops on both sides.  The other two being in Italy, Ponte Vecchio and Ponte di Rialto.

Another message from Jon, this time addressed only to me, which makes me smile – Jon knew that the artistic sentiment would be lost on Simon, so he didn’t bother to include him!  We’ll be catching up with Jon on our annual ski trip in a few weeks time 🙂

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with love from Minori, Italy (1990)

Wigh love from Italy

Dear Hilary & Simon A note to say ‘thanks very much indeed’ for the lovely Portmerrion cookery book & towels you sent us & card with best wishes. We really had a lovely day. We are now enjoying a really relaxing holiday on the Amalfi coast. It is very picturesque along the whole coast. (Off to Pompeii tomorrow). Congratulations on your news! I will be in touch on our return – we must get together Janet & Richard

Italy again! Towards the south of the western coast this time.  A great status update which includes a description of the area, a bit of news and some good wishes.

The card is postmarked ‘MINORI’ and carries a 600 lira stamp featuring the beautiful Castello Scaligero-Sirmione from the 1980 definitive series of castles and strongholds.

There is no date on the card, and the postmark date is barely legible, but the clues in the text suggest it was posted around 25.05.90

Here’s Janet again; she had just married Richard, hence our gift.  We had just made public the fact that we were expecting our first child, hence her congratulations 🙂  Janet is still married to Richard; and Janet and I continue to be in regular communication.

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 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 Venice (1977)

With love from Venice 1977

Dear Hilary, Thanks for the letter, I will write as soon as we get home. As you’ve probably noticed we’re in Venice. So far we’ve seen St. Marks Square (and avoided the very low flying pigeons!) sailed up the grand canal and got lost in the back streets. Next week we are going to Pompei, Vesuvius and Herculaneum. We are staying at a very modern hotel with a swimming pool! love to everyone Jackie xx p.s. There’s loads of tall, dark, handsome Italian boys!

Post marked ‘SIENA 14 LUG 1977’ (14th July 1977) this card was obviously posted once they’d moved on from Venice. It carries stamps to the value of 130 Lire, the currency of Italy prior to the Euro.

From the text it sounds as though Jackie is having a thoroughly exciting time; showing particular enthusiasm for the ‘modern hotel’ WITH swimming pool! Being teenage girls our interest in boys was significant – mention of the ‘loads’ of eye candy in Italy would, no doubt, have made me quite jealous at the time 😉

I have lost touch with Jackie and, despite various internet searches, as yet I have been unable to reconnect with her.