With love from Oslo (1982)

with-love-from-oslo

Thurs, 1st July ’82 Dear Hilary, writing to you on the fiord cruise, but it’s pouring with rain! Mind you it’s almost over & it has been dry. Thanks ever so much for your phone call, great to hear you & I hope you’re still keeping the good work up & smiling! Fantastic to be with family, they’re thoroughly enjoying themselves Unfortunately, though, just as they were leaving home the dog became very ill, worse than ever before! It’s something to do with her womb, most probably have to have an opperation. I just pray she’ll be O.K. & I’ve asked Anne if her dad can do something.  I’ll write again soon, but meanwhile take care lots of love, Wendy xxxx P.S I’ve got you card of midnight sun & also an ‘OSLOVE’ sticker

Lots going on here. Wendy’s enjoying a cruise up the fiords, but the dog is poorly and I’m about to receive an ‘OSLOVE‘ sticker!?

Featuring the Studenterlunden Park in Oslo and postmarked Oslo, the card was presumably posted after Wendy had returned from the cruise.

The two stamps are from the definitive series issued between 1977-1983 which illustrate traditional and historic buildings.

Another card from Wendy,  we were both still in Norway, but I had temporarily relocated, with my employers, to their summer holiday home and Wendy addressed the card to me there.  It is not clear whether Wendy was on the cruise with her own family or with the family that she worked for; I suspect it is the former, as she does sound very pleased to be with them.  We were both coming to the end of our contracts and Anne had already left to start her nursing training.  I cannot recall whether I saw Wendy again before leaving Norway, I certainly never received the ‘OSLOVE’ sticker! Although, we exchanged postcards for a few years, I have lost touch with Wendy and have not yet managed to reconnect with her.

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 Brand, Austria (1984)

With love from Brand Austria 1984

Mon. 23rd Jan ’84 Dear Hilary, Hi! The hotel is really beautiful, as well as the food. We are literally surrounded by mts, and there is loads of snow. David and I practiced downhill just behind the hotel yesterday and today we took 2 chairlifts up to the top. The slope we took was supposed to be easy but they were steep enough for me. However my skiing is improving – with David’s patient teaching. The cross country also looks good and I’m really looking forward in having a go again. Hope you are all well. Lots of love Wendy

Post marked 24 Jan 84 from Brand bei Bludenz, this status update gives a vivid description of the holiday that Wendy is taking with her boyfriend, David.

The stamp is 4 Austrian Schillings, which was the Austrian currency prior to their adoption of the Euro in 2002

Wendy was from North Wales and proud of it; hence the address specifically identifies England, Great Britain. ‘Great Britain’ is less usual now – these days most people seem to opt for ‘United Kingdom’.

Wendy was also a mother’s help in Oslo, becoming firm friends with Anne and me, as we shared the experience of being away from home for the first time. We also all learned cross country skiing together and spent our days off touring through the cross country trails around Oslo. I continued to correspond with Wendy once we returned to the UK, but I do not recall meeting with her again and we eventually lost touch.