Dear Hilary! I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a lucky New Year 1980. I’m always totally stressed before Christmas, so I send you only this card with the hope that we can continue our correspondence also 1980. Anyway have a nice holiday, many Christmas presents and perhaps a party at Christmas Eve. Yours Claudia
This card features another Christmas Greeting from Germany – the cards are very similar and sent just a year apart. The German text roughly translates as ‘A merry Christmas and a happy new Year’.
The postmark is clearly visible and is dated ‘FALLINGBOSTEL 21.12.79’ There is another postmark promoting the town of Fallingbostel with its Kneipp Spa and Luftkurort.
Schloss Rheydt, featured on the 60 pfennig stamp, is a Renaissance palace in Rheydt, Mönchengladbach. The stamp is part of the definitive series issued in 1977 featuring strongholds and castles.
Another card from Claudia who was not ‘stressed’ at all when I met her in London on Sunday! Having not communicated for some 20 years we have now managed to meet up In Real Life twice within the space of twelve months! Happy Days 🙂
Dear Hilary & Simon, Just travelled through E. Germany where there are only state entrepreneurs. Wouldn’t bother with setting up a r’ment office here. Been to Amsterdam, Hamburg, Berlin, now in Munich. Big sking trip organised for March 6th, 1 week in Switzerland, all in Everything (apart from beer) £306 Let me know soon if interested Love Andy
Written just before the events leading up to the reunification of Germany in 1990, the prevailing state run enterprises and lack of a privatised, competitive economy in East Germany still intrigued many visitors from the West, including the entrepreneurial Andy.
As well as giving us a brief status update, the other purpose of the card is to provide details of the forthcoming ski trip, which is how I am able to date the card even though Andy has not provided the date and the postmark is only partly visible.
The 60 pfennig stamp indicates the card was posted in West Germany. It’s a definitive commemorating 1000 years of Meersburg.
As you can see from the pencil notes on the card, I had a subsequent conversation with Andy about the ski trip and we all went to Les Crosets, Switzerland in March 1989 🙂
Dear Hiral, Back in the USSR…! Having a wonderful time, though the schedule is exhausting. We’re being real tourists, sightseeing relentlessly. We have started exploring on our own though, braving the soviet tram & metro systems. We even went to a Russian film last night – screamingly boring, but an interesting experience! We also found the woolly mammoths in Zoo Museum – amazing! Lots of love Anne x
Another card from Anne featuring my nickname from school which endured for several years. ‘Back in the USSR’ refers to an organised college trip we took there in 1980 – it is also a world famous song by The Beatles.
The postmark is Leningrad but the date is not clear. Leningrad reverted back to St Petersburg in 1991
The stamp is large, glorious and of the time, commemorating something that occurred in 1980
The buildings featured are beautiful, I think the top one is the Hermitage – can anyone else identify them? Or translate the descriptions? My Russian is quite limited.
I’m pleased to report that as a result of this blog Anne, Sara and I all met up recently in London. We spent time enjoying Tate Modern, had a meal, some drinks and a great wander down memory lane. Many great (and small) things are forgotten and lost without a trace – they can only be resurrected by reminiscing with those who shared the same experience.
Dear Auntie Hilary, Uncle Simon, Tallulah, Stormé, Jasmin and Gus, It is highly unlikely that this will reach everyone at the same time, but hopefully it will get round to everyone at some point. A very hearty (written in Thai) from Thailand! It’s currently the school holidays so I’ve been travelling around Thailand and am currently writing this from the rather beautiful Koh Tao, where I have spent the past couple of weeks learning to freedive. Freediving is basically just holding your breath and swimming downwards as far as you can. It’s very relaxing and good fun, but sadly I injured my middle ear and had to stop diving while it healed. I booked a trapeze lesson to occupy myself in the meantime, but bashed my toe open within the hour. Does this get me into the ‘weird sports club’? I’m sure Nan will be thrilled. I would also like to say a really huge thanks for the lovely parcels you’ve been sending. They’re really touching to receive and absolutely help when I’m missing food from home. It really means a lot to have such thoughtful (and experienced) family. I look forward to seeing you all soon, maybe even in one place! Lots of love from Alexander
Postmarked 24 04 15 Kanchanaburi this is a fabulously detailed status update from Koh Tao.
Alexander is my nephew – on his gap year, teaching in Thailand for a year. His older cousins (my children) have all travelled and worked abroad. A year is a long time to be away from family, friends and familiar treats, so I make sure I send regular parcels filled with Cadbury’s dairy milk, Cadbury’s mini rolls and Fox’s party rings. I was very pleased to receive this card a couple of weeks ago – we are not FB friends – the descriptive and detailed status update confirms that he is making the most of his time and enjoying new experiences. Alexander is academic and articulate with a gift for languages and I am a proud Auntie.