Archive for February, 2010

Postcard number: 013
Bought at: Stonehenge, United Kingdom
Sent to: Jenny in Germany
Written: 25 February 2010
Sent: 26 February 2010

Front of postcard 013: Stonehenge, UK

Back of postcard 013: Stonehenge, UK

Text says:

25 February 2010, London UK

Dear Jenny,

My husband and I visited Salisbury and Stonehenge in early 2007.  It was our first trip out of London since arriving int he UK in November of the previous year, and we were surprised to discover how green and uncrowded other parts of England were!  We really enjoyed our trip to Stonehenge and the audio tour which explained the history of the area.  What this postcard doesn’t show is that the monument was flanked on two sides by motorways and that barrier ropes prevented you from approaching the stones.  Still, looking at this photo of the sun setting between the pillars, it’s not hard to understand why so many people over the centuries have though there was something magical about this spot. As we left we registered for English Heritage cards – ready to explore other sites of historical significance across the English countryside.

Wishing you all the very best,


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From Elina

This lovely postcard arrived through my door yesterday from Elina in Finland.  The picture on the front is by Finnish illustrator Virpi Pekkala.  On the back, in beautiful handwriting, Elina’s written a story about meeting Virpi and getting her signature on a birthday card for Elina’s mother

Front of postcard from Elina in Finland

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Postcard number: 012
Bought in: Zaanse Schans, Holland
Sent to: Lindsay in America
Written and sent: 23 February 2010

Front of postcard 012: Zaanse Schans, Holland

Back of postcard 012: Zaanse Schans, Holland

Text says:

23 February 2010, London UK

Dear Lindsay,

Over the 2008 Easter holidays, my husband and I joined an organised tour travelling from Londn to Belgium and the Netherlands.  It was four days of catching ferries (and missing ferries), long bus trips, fruit-flavoured beer and waffles with chocolate sauce, sleeping on a barge in Amsterdam habour, wandering along the canals, queuing for the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, tulip fields, snow and the place shown on this postcard, Zaanse Schans.  Zaanse Schans is a Dutch village, kept ‘traditional’ for the tourists, where we found plenty of windmills and cheeses, and a workshop with clogs of all sizes and colours lining the walls. It was so cold that day that we spent quite a bit of time in the restaurant, sharing a super-large pancake and waiting for the warm tour bus to return!

Best wishes,

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Postcard number: 011
Bought in: New York, USA
Sent to: Barbara in Germany
Written: 21 February 2010
Sent: 22 February 2010

 Front of postcard 011: New York, USA

Back of postcard 011: New York, USA

Text says:

21 February 2010, London UK

Dear Barbara,

New York, New York.  The place of the song; the setting of the news and the movies and so many of the teenage novels I read growing up in New Zealand.  I first visited New York in 2002, on my way to a season working on a ski field in Vermont.  I was 21 and travelling alone.  I remember being overwhelmed by the vastness of it: the huge buildings, the huge Central Park, the huge empty space and outpouring of grief at Ground Zero – even the hostel dorm where I slept had something like 40 beds!  Last year we went back to New York for my husband’s 30th birthday.  We met his parents there, and went to a show on Broadway, to Radio City Music Hall, the US Open tennis, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Statue of Liberty, and the September 11 memorial.  We wandered the numbered streets for hours and cycled through Central Park.  I rediscovered my taste for bagels with cream cheese.  And yet it didn’t seem quite as big or impressive as it had been in 2002.  Perhaps that’s what living in London for three years does – makes you so much more used to big city life.  And while New York does hold special memories, I’m happy living on this side of the Atlantic for now…

Best wishes,

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Postcard number: 010
Bought in: Totleigh Barton, Devon, United Kingdom
Sent to: Michelle in America
Written and sent: 20 February 2010

Front of postcard 010: Totleigh Barton, Devon

Back of postcard 010: Totleigh Barton, Devon

Text says:

20 February 2010, London UK

Dear Michelle,

This postcard shows the manor house in Totleigh Barton, Devon, where I spen a wonderful week at the end of last year working on my current novel.  I never thought I needed a ‘retreat’, a thatched roof or an upstairs library with views over the countryside to write – but combined with some wonderful cooking, the company of other writers and no mobile phone/internet access, it made for a very productive writing environment.  I finished the first draft of my novel there, and left with all sorts of good intentions about getting the second draft done over the Christmas break.  Sadly (if predictably) London life has got in the way of that goal.  However, today I’m attending my fist writing group session of 2010.  It’ll be my turn to submit a piece next month, and I’m hoping that a deadline will work just as well as a country manor in getting me writing fiction again.

All the best,

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Postcard number: 009
Bought in: Castle Coch, Wales, United Kingdom
Sent to: Kim in Germany
Written: 18 February 2010
Sent: 19 February 2010

Front of postcard 009: Castle Coch, Wales

Back of postcard 009: Castle Coch, Wales

Text says:

18 February 2010, London UK

Dear Kim,

Here’s a landscape for you featuring Castle Coch, which is located near the village of Tongwynlias in Wales. Tongwynlias is a relatively short bike ride from central Cardiff, but – for me at least – pushing the bike up the hill to the castle itself felt like a much longer journey! Castle Coch, with its mots and turrets, is every inch what I think a castle should look like… but in reality no kings or princesses every lived there. It fact, it was built in the late 1800s by Lord Bute who wanted to realise his own fantasy ideals of a castle. I think we were there in the weekend because I remember families of school-age boys were being taught medieval fighting techniques with rubber swords in the courtyard. Castle Coch was as far out of Cardiff as we travelled during our short visit in 2007, but one day I’d like to visit some of the more rural and coastal areas of Wales, as I’ve heard people describe it as a lot like New Zealand (where I grew up). Strange to travel half way around the world and what to see somewhere which looks like home… perhaps… but sometimes I do.

All the best,

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Postcard number: 008
Bought in: Riomaggiore, Italy
Sent to: Carla in New Zealand
Written and sent: 16 February 2010

Front of postcard 008: Riomaggiore, Italy


Back of postcard 008: Riomaggiore, Italy

 Text says:

16 February 2010, London UK

Dear Carla,

Greetings and good morning to you from the other end of the earth!  This postcard is from one of my all-time favourite destinations: the village of Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre, Italy.  We’ve been there twice now (once on our honeymoon trip through Europe in 2006, and again with my family in 2008).  On both visits we’ve enjoyed staying in apartments above the sloping streets, hiking and catching the train between the five villages, swimming and kayaking, the views, the sunsets, eating pesto pizza, gelato, fresh pasta and seafood, and practising our very basic Italian (I got about as far as being able to buy five stamps from the post office!).  While it perhaps doesn’t have the impressive art and history that I’ve loved in other Italian towns, it’s a real escape from the city and city life, and a place which I don’t think I’d mind returning to again and again.  Do you have a place like that?

All the best,

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