Posts Tagged ‘2009’

Postcard number: 014
Bought in: South, South Korea
Sent to: Elisabeth in Spain
Written: 28 February 2010
Sent: 1 March 2010

Front of postcard 014: Seoul Tower

Back of postcard 014: Seoul Tower

Text says:

28 February 2010, London UK

Dear Elisabeth,

As 2002 began, I was in South Korea, teaching English at a six week language camp for Korean school children; sleeping on raised heated platforms; existing on a diet of rice, tomato sauce, kimchi and red-bean ice-creams.  It was my first time in a non-English speaking country and an experience I’ll never forget!  Last year, on our way home to New Zealand and Australia, my husband and I stopped off in Korea for a couple of days.  This time I stayed in a hotel near Incheon Airport and caught one of the super fast and sophisticated commuter trains daily into Seoul.  Seoul’s a fascinating mix of the old and new, office blocks and palaces, people in army and school uniforms, department stores and markets which seemed to sell almost everything (including lots of cute stationery sets and stickers).  From the top of Seoul Tower, shown on this postcard, the city seemed to stretch out to the horizon and the distant mountains.  New Zealand seemed very small and green after a view like that! 

Wishing you all the very best,


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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: 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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Postcard number: 007
Bought in: Melbourne, Australia
Sent to: Patricia in Poland
Written and sent: 15 February 2010

Front of postcard 007: The Edge, Melbourne

Back of postcard 007: The Edge, Melbourne

Text says:

15 February 2010, London UK

Dear Patricia,

My husband is Australian, and in 2004-2005, before life and a love of travelling took us to other parts of the world, we lived together in Melbourne for about 10 months.  Melbourne’s a wonderfully vibrant city with its arts festivals and big sporting events (AFL games, Australian Open tennis and so on), its trams and its shopping.  Like any city, it’s also constantly changing – and those changes seem so much bigger when they occur during a period of absence. Apparently the construction of the Eureka Tower began in 2002, but I only really became aware of it when we returned to Melbourne on holiday last year.  My parents were visiting from New Zealand and together with them, we took the elevator up to the observation deck for a spectacular view over the city, river and sea.  Mum and I also had a go on ‘The Edge’ which is shown on this postcard.  It’s a glass box which propels you three metres out the side of the building, allowing you to look straight down at the city streets, cars and tiny people below  It wasn’t really all that scary, but of course, Mum and I put on our most terrified faces for all the photos and for the benefit of Dad and my husband who were watching from inside.  One day I’ll probably live in Australia, perhaps in Melbourne, again.  I wonder what will have changed by then…

Best wishes,

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Postcard number: 004
Bought at: The Globe, London, United Kingdom
Sent to: Vania in Australia
Written: 11 February 2010
Sent: 12 February 2010

Front of postcard 004: The Globe, London

Back of postcard 004: The Globe, London

Text says:

11 February 2010, London UK

Dear Vania,

Greetings from London!  This postcard comes from the gift shop of the reconstructed Globe Theatre, on the south bank of the Thames.  I’m not sure about you, but when I was in high school, back in New Zealand, we studied a whole lot of Shakespeare – a different play every year.  And, being a bit of a drama geek, I didn’t really mind that, but it’s probably fair to say that much of it went over my head.  Going to a performance at the Globe is different though, perhaps because of the open-air atmosphere and the proximity to the actors.  I went to the production of “Merry Wives of Winsor” shown on this postcard, not knowing anything about the plot and yet managed to pick it up within the first couple of scenes.  Last year, my husband and I went to every show at the Globe, including “Romeo and Juliet”, “Troilus and Cressida”, “Comedy of Errors” and several modern plays, and dragged quite a few of our English friends along as well. We usually get the £5 ‘groundling’ tickets which means we have to stand for the whole performance – the quality of the acting usually more than makes up for the aching feet.  Booking for the 2010 season opens soon – can’t wait!

All the best,

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Postcard number: 003
Bought in: Granchester, United Kingdom
Sent to: Elina in Finland
Written: 10 February 2010
Sent: 11 February 2010

Front of postcard 003: The Orchard, Granchester

Back of postcard 003: The Orchard, Granchester

Text says:

10 February 2010, London UK

Dear Elina,

This postcard comes from The Orchard in Granchester, which is a short walk along the river from Cambridge.  Poet Rupert Brooke once lodged there, and it was also a place visited by novelists E.M. Foster and Viginia Woolf and other intellectuals of the day.  Today, the Orchard staff still serve tea and scones to the tourists, who sit in deck chairs between the trees.  I’ve been to The Orchard twice – once in 2007, and again last year.  This postcard comes from the second trip.  I was reading Jill Dawson’s “The Great Lover” at the time, a heavily fictionalised account of Brooke’s time as a lodger at The Orchard and his relationship with oe of the servant girls.  It’s said to have been inspired by an old photograph similar to this one.  Incidentally I grew up on an orchard in New Zealand – and though most of the trees have been pulled out now, they still feature in many of my own stories.

Wishing you all the best,

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