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!

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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 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 Morzine, France (2016)

With love from Morzine

To Mum + Dad + Jas. Hope you guys are okay, season is passing by pretty quick. Love you all, See you soon Gus x

Post marked 24-02-16, the card carries a 20g stamp, which, as usual, features the symbolic Marianne. This particular Marianne design sparked considerable controversy when it was issued in 2013.

Morzine, featured on the front, is a very popular ski destination, particularly from the UK, as it is only an hour’s drive from Geneva airport.

The message is brief (I’ve seen longer Twitter posts!) and covers the important points.

Gus is our son, who spent the winter in Morzine improving his skiing. Obviously, during that time we were in regular electronic contact, hence the brevity of his message, but it was still exciting to receive this card, which required considerably more thought, time and effort to despatch than a text! We are very proud of Gus 🙂 

 

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 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.