Archive for March, 2010

Postcard number: 030
Bought at: Miramare Castle, Italy
Sent to: Christina in Singapore
Written and sent: 27 March 2010

Front of postcard 030: Miramare Castle, Italy

Back of postcard 030: Miramare Castle, Italy

Text says:

27 March 2010, London UK

Dear Christina,

Postcard #30 of the Postcardia project was bought in August 2008 at Miramare Castle in Northern Italy. I’d flown into Trieste airport on earlier in the day, and met up with one of my dear friends and penpals, her husband and her sister. On the drive back to her hometown, we stopped here at the castle and wandered through its lavishly decorated rooms and landscaped gardens. This would’ve been such an amazing place to live! I loved the location, looking out over the Adriatic Sea. These days it’s a tourist attraction, with a cafe where we chatted and caught up over ice creams and iced tea. This is one of those places I wouldn’t have discovered without friends from that country, and I felt very grateful both for their company and the chance to explore such a beautiful and historically significant place.

I hope all is well over there in Singapore.

Best wishes,


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Postcard number: 029
Bought in: Clumber Park, United Kingdom
Sent to: Shivanee in Trindad and Tobago
Written and sent: 26 March 2010

Front of postcard 029: Clumber Park

Back of postcard 029: Clumber Park

Text says:

26 March 2010, London UK

Dear Shivanee,

Good morning from Great Britain! I brought this postcard on the way home from our recent trip to Northern England. We set out from Newcastle in the morning and stopped in the spa town of Harrogate for tea (and coffee and hot chocolate) and scones at Betty’s tearooms. The tearooms seemed very popular with people queuing to get in. Both ‘high tea’ and queuing seem particular British traditions. We had to book a couple of months in advance to be able to have high tea at the Ritz hotel last year.

Anyway, this postcard comes from our second stop: Clumber Park, a National Trust property near Sherwood Forest. My friends and I ate sandwiches(and I’m sure I remember more tea being consumed), bought postcards and plants from the giftshop, and walked down to the huge man-made lake, enjoying the company and the beginnings of Spring and the greenness and space of the country, and the beginnings of Spring, before getting back in the car and continuing our return to everyday life in the city of London.

Best wishes,

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From Gosia

Early this morning, the postman knocked on our door to deliver my Society of Author’s magazine, a package of Easter treats from my parents in New Zealand and this brightly coloured postcard from Gosia showing views of some of the cities in Poland.  What a wonderful start to my weekend!

Front of postcard from Gosia in Poland

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Postcard number: 028
Bought in: Dublin, Ireland
Sent to: Amrita in Slovenia
Written: 20 March 2010
Sent: 21 March 2010

Front of postcard 028: Book of Kells, Dublin, Ireland

Back of postcard 028: Book of Kells, Dublin, Ireland

Text says:

20 March 2010, London UK

Dear Amrita,

When I tell people I’ve been to Dublin, they often ask if I’ve visited the Guinness Factory (I have).  But for me, the most fascinating aspect of my brief visit to the Irish capital in 2008 was discovering its literature and its history.  I walked past the General Post Office which featured in my high school history textbooks about the 1916 Easter Rising.  I visited Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells shown on this postcard, along with a number of other old manuscripts and an exhibition on how they were made.  I also spent a morning in the Dublin Writer’s Museum, where I was surprised to discover just how many famous writers had made Dublin their home:  James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw and so on…  I couldn’t resist stopping at the Museum bookshop on the way out and buying a collection of Irish short stories.

I don’t think I could ever have too many books and I love that they seem so much cheaper in this part of the world than they did in New Zealand.

Best wishes,

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Postcard number: 027
Bought in: Carlisle, United Kingdom
Sent to: Paulina in Poland
Written and sent: 20 March 2010

Front of postcard 027: Hadrian's Wall, United Kingdom

Back of postcard 027: Hadrian's Wall, United Kingdom

Text says:

20 March 2010, London UK

Dear Paulina,

Last weekend, for our first holiday of 2010, we headed up north to Cumbria with a couple of my friends from work.  Earlier in the year, we’d found out about an event called ‘Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall’: on Saturday 13 March the route of Hadrian’s Wall was to be lit up by hundreds of volunteers with gas flames.  My friends applied to be volunteers and, although the didn’t get a place, we decided that this ‘line of light’ would be worth seeing anyway.

The wall originally stretched from the Tyne to the Cumbrian coast so there were plenty of potential viewing points.  After a bit of exploring, we chose a spot where we could stand on the remains of the wall and look out to Gisland.  As dusk began to fall, we saw the first lights appear on the horizon and, not long afterwards, we cheered as the nearest team of volunteers lit their own beacon.

You can see a helicopter view of the lights at www.illuminatinghadrianswall.com.  My friends, husband and I were waving at that helicopter.

All the best,

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Postcard number: 026
Bought in: Menton, France
Sent to: Jellie in The Netherlands
Written: 19 March 2010
Sent: 20 March 2010

Front of postcard 026: Menton, France

Back of postcard 026: Menton, France

Text says:

19 March 2010, London UK

Dear Jellie,


Right, that’s about the limit to my knowledge of the French language but I’ve still enjoyed several trips to the country across the Channel over the past three years.  This postcard comes from our honeymoon tour of Europe in late 2006.  We spent a couple of days in Southern France, taking in Nice, Monaco and Menton.  I added Menton to the itinerary because the iconic New Zealand short-story writer, Katherine Mansfield lived there in the 1920s – and other New Zealand writers continue to use her ‘Villa Isola Bella’ today.

In a moment of literary geekiness (of which I have many) I got my husband to take a picture of me outside the house.  I’m not much of a beach person (unless there’s a storm and crashing waves), but I’m sure I could get used to writing in some French cafe, drinking overpriced coffee and overlooking the Ligurian Sea!  It seems especially tempting during the cold winter months here in London.

Best wishes,

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From Barbara

Here’s another postcard which arrived this week, with musical notes and thoughts of Spring from Barbara, my epal in Germany.   After taking pictures of these postcards I’m putting them up on the pin-board in my kitchen so I can see all the lovely images as I go about the usual household chores.

Front of a postcard from Barbara in Germany

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