#085: Piha to Italy

Postcard number: 85
Bought in: Piha, New Zealand
Sent to: Giulia in Italy
Written: 8 October 2017
Sent: 8 October 2017

Postcard #085: Piha to Italy (front)

Postcard #085: Piha to Italy (back)

Text says:

8 October 2017, Geelong

Dear Giulia,

It’s been a while since I sent a postcard – life and a very new baby seem to have got in the way of this project over the past few months. However I’ve been tidying my desk today while my little boy sleeps, and I came across this postcard of Piha Beach which needed a new home.

Piha is not far from where I grew up, and is one of my favourite places in the world. I’ve got a painting of Lion Rock (which is shown on this postcard) on my kitchen wall here in Australia. It’s a great place for taking photos too, with its black sand, surf beach and dramatic skies. One day I hope to climb Lion Rock with my children, just as I did when I was a child myself.

With best wishes and apologies for the delay in sending this card,


Postcard number: 84
Bought in: Manchester, USA
Sent to: Nila in the UK
Written: 21 April 2017
Sent: 22 April 2017

084_manchester_to_uk_front copy


Text says: 

21 April 2017, Geelong

Dear Nila,

I must have bought this postcard in 2002 or 2003, when I was working on a ski field in Vermont, USA. I lived in Manchester for a while, in a house that the ski resort had rented for its employees, with two Argentinians who were both called Maria. I remember it being cold, but beautiful; snow up to our knees in the front yard, ice on the pavements, streetlamps shining in the evenings. It says above that the photo on this postcard was taken from the Equinox Hotel. I used to use the phones in the stunning lobby of Equinox Hotel to call New Zealand and Canada, feeling very out of place.

I spent my first white Christmas in Manchester, and I remember the lights on the trees around town and making snow angels in the yard. I remember it being strange that, with the time difference, I was celebrating almost a day later than my family in New Zealand. I wrote in my travel journal how I saw the second ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie at Manchester cinema with my new friends from the ski school, and felt a long way from the scenery of home depicted in the film.

Such a mixture of emotions here, but living away from home for that ski season definitely inspired me to travel and work overseas again later!


Postcard number: 83
Bought at: Warwick Castle, UK
Sent to: Candice in the USA
Written: 20 April 2017
Sent: 21 April 2017



Text says:

20 April, 2017, Geelong Australia

Dear Candice,

This postcard from a family weekend away in 2013, when we were living in the UK. We’d attended a friend’s wedding the day before, I was pregnant with my son, and we had a day left with the hired car to drive further North and explore somewhere new. I’d been reading Philippa Gregory’s novels about the Wars of the Roses, and so Warwick Castle was at the top of my list.

To be honest, I hadn’t done a lot of research and I was only expecting castle ruins, so I was blown away by what we found there. Not only was the castle itself beautiful, there were also birds of prey on show, jousting tournaments, a working trebuchet, peacocks wandering around the grounds and lots of different towers full of exhibits to explore. Our two-year-old daughter very much enjoyed dressing up as a princess and I could have definitely spent more than a day at the castle, taking in all the history of the place. But for now, since I knew the date of the wedding, I’ve managed to find the photos I took that day and will spend this evening just remembering the experience…

All the best,

Postcard number: 82
Bought in: Corowa, Australia
Sent to: Flave in India
Written: 17 April 2017
Sent: 18 April 2017



Text says:

 17 April 2017, Geelong

Dear Flave,

Greetings from Australia. My family and I have just this evening returned from our Easter weekend holiday in Corowa, a town near the border of two Australian states: New South Wales and Victoria. We stayed at a campsite near the Murray River, which you can see on this postcard. The weather was brilliant during the days, but got down to around 5 degrees overnight and I was so cold, even in a sleeping bag.

We filled our long weekend with markets, wineries, watching the Australian Billycart Championships, Easter egg hunts, golf (for my husband), walks along the river (for me), playgrounds and miniature train rides (for the children), toasting marshmallows on the campfire, setting up and packing up tents, and a long drive home today. It was lovely to have some time away with my family, but I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own warm and comfortable bed tonight!

Wishing you all the very best,

Postcard number: 81
Bought in: The Grampians, Australia
Sent to: Lauren in the USA
Written: 7 April 2017
Sent: 7 April 2017

#081: The Grampians to the USA (front)

#081: The Grampians to the USA (back)

Text says:

7 April 2017

Dear Lauren,

Greetings from Geelong, Australia! This postcard is an Australian one, but I bought it the first time I lived here, back in 2004. At that time, I had only just recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne, and started dating the man who would eventually become my husband. The Grampians trip was our first Australian holiday together. I remember staying in a B&B and feeling rather grown up, and the space and the dryness of the Australian landscape. We went for a walk up the mountains, sat on rocks like the ones you can see on this postcard here, and looked out into the distance. I also remember the wild kangaroos, and that there was a bakery that claimed to sell the best Vanilla Slice in Victoria.

I’ve just looked on Google Maps, and the Grampians are only a two-and-a-half hour drive from where we currently live in Geelong. It’s now definitely on my list as a family holiday spot in the years to come.

Wishing you all the best,

#80: Geelong to Croatia

Postcard number: 80
Bought in: Geelong, Australia
Sent to: Antonella in Croatia
Written: 11 January 2017
Sent: 13 January 2017



Text says:

11 January 2017, Geelong

Dear Antonella,

Happy New Year to you! After two weeks in New Zealand, my family and I are back in Geelong, where we currently live. It’s the school holidays and we’re planning to do a lot of local exploring over the next few weeks. On the agenda is a trip to the waterfront (shown on this postcard), where there’s a carousel, weekend markets, an outdoor swimming pool and playground. Not far from the ‘shark fin statues’ (the artwork is actually called North), is the National Wool Museum where my kids like watching the giant carpet loom, and which will have the London Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year display starting soon.

We also might venture out to the You Yangs (the mountains in the distance on this postcard), and walk some of the tracks. Our favourite so far is the Big Rock trail – which, as the name suggests, has a big rock you can climb up onto at the end of it, with great views over the surrounding area. There are also several BBQs throughout the You Yangs Regional Park, where we can cook sausages for our picnics… though between the wind and rain in Winter and the heat and flies in Summer, it never seems an ideal time to eat outside!

Today, we walked along the river and the kids practised their Frisbee throwing in Barwon Valley Park. Despite the fact that postcard stamps are more expensive here, it’s good to be home.


Postcard number: 79
Bought in: Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand
Sent to: Noel in the USA
Written: 7 January 2017
Sent: 8 January 2017



Text says:

7 January 2017, Auckland

Dear Noel,

I found this postcard in a box of brochures and souvenirs from my choir tour to USA and Canada in 1998. I guess I must have taken it with me on that trip, to show my host families where I was from. Back then, it was fairly clear cut. I was from West Auckland. Now, having lived in America, Korea, the UK, and Australia as well, now I am married to an Australian and have British citizenship, the whole ‘home’ thing is a little less certain.

I’m back in West Auckland this week, with my children, staying at my parents’ house. We’ve been to Te Henga, with its black sand hills; we saw the sun going down on New Year’s Eve looking out over the Waitakere Ranges. This place will always be special. But also this week, as I’ve gone through all the boxes that we had packed away, as I’ve discovered and reread my old journals and travel diaries, as I’ve sent out postcards, it’s like I’ve been living in all those other places again too.

In some ways it might be easier to have just one place to call home, but I’m so glad to have the memories of all the cities and people and adventures….