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 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 🙂

With love from Val d’Isère (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’Isère 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’Isère, 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 Berlin (1988)

with-love-from-berlin

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 🙂

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 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 Arête, which finishes by climbing over the fence onto the veranda of the Aguille du Midi. for your blog. Love Stormé 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.

 

with love from Thailand (c1995)

With love from Thailand

Dear Simon & Hilary, We are in our third village – we have spent the last 3 days trekking through the Hilltribes of Northern Thailand – it has been quite an experience – spectacular setting but fairly rough – no facilities – have had my bath in the river the last three nights! Back to Chaing Rai + Chang Mai to-morrow then a few days of luxury on a small Island – Ko Somel in South Thai  See you on the slopes Kev

The stamp and postmark have been the victim of bluetac, I think.  So no clue as to the date this was posted. Also Kev’s travelling companion(s) are not named, so no timeline clues there, either.  I am therefore estimating this to be from 1995.

The trip sounds great – Kev’s obviously looking forward to better plumbing later on 🙂

‘Ko Somel’ could be either Koh Samui or Koh Samet both of which offer luxury beach front accommodation.

We got to know Kev 30 years ago, through Simon’s friend Andy. The four of us subsequently enjoyed several ski trips together – hence the reference to the ‘slopes’. We still ski with Kev (and his family) each year and always appreciate Kev’s wit and wicked banter 🙂