with love from Paris (1984)

With love from Paris 1984

OK, Hillary – made it to Paris ! Beauty, eh ? wish I had a chance to see you.  Please call if you get to L.A. John O  ******HUNTINGTON BEACH CA 92647 (714) *******

A classic shot of the Moulin Rouge – even for 1984 those cars look old! The view is still much the same, but the cars are more modern (and less colourful) and the building on the left has been painted.  The Moulin Rouge was established in 1889

The post mark reads ‘Paris 01 R. du Louvre 18.00 8-9-1984’

The stamp is 3 francs – the currency of France prior to the introduction of the Euro in January 2002

Like the card from Denmark this card is contains a postal address so that we would be able to stay in touch.

The comment ‘wish I had a chance to see you’ reflects the often held American view that Europe is all one country; London and Paris are a stone’s throw from each other and virtually inter-changeable!  Although London and Paris are very close physically, speak to a native of each and you will soon be clearly apprised of the distinct cultural and language differences between the cities!  Not to mention the English Channel (or La Manche) which separates the two countries.

John O was the friend of Chris – they shared a place together just outside Los Angeles. I first met Chris in 1981 as I travelled to Norway on a ferry from the UK; during the journey Chris and I played cards, he was older than me, and took me under his wing; it was a 24 hour journey and my first time away from home; we exchanged addresses – this being well before the era of mobile phones and the internet. When, in 1982, I visited America with the Canadian boyfriend I contacted Chris and we stayed at his and John’s home in California for a week. John had plans to visit Europe some day – which he did in 1984. I have not seen Chris or John since that week in 1982 and have lost touch with both of them.

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with love from Sandown, Isle of Wight (1982)

with love from Sandown

Dear Hiral – greetings from sunny Sandown & for once my luck is in, it actually is quite hot. Have been doing my first sunbathing of the season this afternoon.  Am going to a glassworks & bird place tomorrow.  Going to see my parents on Thursday for a few days – sorry to miss you.  We’ve nearly finished the decorating!  See you soon – love Anne xx

This is a different Anne from the one previously featured as indicated by the greeting – my nickname from school.  As ever, when holidaying in the UK the weather is of interest – a ‘summer’ holiday can often include several days of rain!  The glass works mentioned was established 10 years earlier and continues to produce beautiful hand blown glass.

The postmark date is Portsmouth & Isle of Wight, 11 Aug 1982 and the stamp is a second class 12½p for a small postcard.

The other postmark says ‘Be properly addressed POSTCODE IT’.  This card does not include the postcode, it was still delivered; it was now eight years after postcodes were supposedly obligatory.

Anne and I were in the same friendship group at senior school, along with Sara, and we all went on to the same 6th form further education college.  I selfishly abandoned my friends, in favour of the Canadian boyfriend, and was lucky that they tolerated and forgave my behaviour.  Anne is clever and articulate; she wrote long, chatty, detailed letters to me in Norway – the writing often spanning several days.  I am still in touch with Anne, via Christmas cards and emails, but we have not met up for some years now.

 

with love from Niagara Falls (1976)

14 from Niagara with love

Dear Hilary, Canada is just terrific and I only wish that you could be here to share it. On Tuesday, 9th, we went to Niagara Falls and went in a boat right up to the base, which was really incredible! I can’t tell you how sorry I am to have stopped writing to you and would be overjoyed to start again. Lots of love Julian x

This post card from the amazing Niagara Falls is post marked ‘Campbellville 16 Aug 1976’

There are two post marks spoiling the picture on the front; one detailing the arrival of the card in the UK ‘Portsmouth & Southsea 21 Aug 1976’ (some five days after leaving Canada) and the other promoting the Portsmouth Navy Days on the Bank Holiday weekend of 28th, 29th & 30th August 1976

The stamp on this card is quite unusual – it is commemorating the Canadian Para Olympics which were held earlier in August 1976 and were the 5th Para Olympics, where amputees and visually impaired athletes competed for the first time.  The only stamp produced by Canada to mark this event was 20 cents and features a mixed-media painting of an archer by Tom Bjarnason.

Julian lived round the corner from the first house I can remember.  Our mums were friends and would often take us to the park. When we moved back to the area the friendship was rekindled. Julian went away to boarding school and we would write to each other regularly. Being fickle teenagers, sometimes we were romantic, other times each of us pursued love interests elsewhere. The wording on this card suggests it was sent to re-ignite romance! I have lost touch with Julian, but our mums are still in touch. I was lucky enough to see Niagara Falls when I was visiting the Canadian boyfriend some years later.

with love from Alicante (1978)

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Dear Hiral, I’m having a fantastic time. (that’s wot I put on all the cards) I’ve met lots of people – German, French & Spanish.  We’re really close to the sea & we’ve got a swimming pool.  The shops are lovely and a lot of stuff is cheaper than in England but Mars bars & English stuff is really expensive.  It’s really hard to sleep at night as it’s so hot, but during the day it’s easy to sleep.  I hope the party was good (Mr. Morris’s one) Have a great holiday Hope to see you soon love Sara.

So by 1978 I had a made a good group of friends at my senior school and had gained the nickname ‘Hiral’ – Hilary>Hiraly>Hiral.  We were studying for our O’ Levels and Mr Morris was the History teacher.  Unlike most of my friends, I had opted for ‘easier’ Art over ‘harder’ History; but Mr Morris was great fun and I joined in any of the extra curricular events that he organised.  The aforementioned party was probably an end of term lunch time affair consisting of Coke, cake and biscuits. Sara appears to have missed the party; her family obviously went for one of the cheaper deals outside of school holidays and took her away towards the end of term – something for which, since 2013, UK parents are now fined.

Globalisation was still evolving and despite the cheaper, colourful clothes and souvenirs we continued to be amazed by the price of British brands abroad.

Sara was in a different class in my ‘new’ junior school, we became friends as we went through senior school.  Sara is a great writer, composer, communicator and very loyal.  Although, we both moved around and away from the area where we were at school, we now only live a couple of miles apart; I am pleased to report that, 30 years on, we maintain our friendship and meet up regularly.