Postcards from the past: Frankfurt

Given I am about to get on a plane, I have been reminiscing about the lost art of postcard writing. Here’s a postcard from the past that I found from Dad, on one of his many business trips. He affectionately called me “number one” because I am the eldest child in the family. I can’t quite read the date stamp, but given the address on the card, and the fact that he has scribbled out Ferny Hills and written over it McDowall, it must be 1982.  I know this because we moved from Ferny Hills to McDowall at the end of 1981 and I started year 2 at McDowall State School in 1982.

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postcardfromdad3 years

Click on postcard to enlarge.

“Hello Number One, It is freezing cold here in Frankfurt Germany. You can see your breath when you talk. What a strange place to go to when Brisbane is so lovely and warm this time of the year. I will have to come home to thaw- See you Sunday Love Dad”

1982- I'm the one in the front row with blonde hair in pigtails and red ribbons.

1982- I’m the one in the front row with blonde hair in pigtails and red ribbons.

Nine years later, I would be on a plane to Frankfurt, and the beginning of my three month high school exchange in Essen, Germany. I often wonder if these postcards made an imprint in my mind, and how many of the places that he travelled I have also been to. How many postcards are there left? Does my sister have any? Did he write a separate postcard for mum as well? Should I make an effort to find them at mum’s? Is there any point? Always so many questions.

On December 29th it will be the third anniversary dad’s death. He may no longer be physically here, but there are always traces of his love. He is not forgotten xx

Postcards from the past (Dad)

Today, I was looking through an old photo album when I came across this postcard.

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I thought perhaps, it was a postcard of the plane that I took to the United Kingdom on my first backpacking trip in 1996, as often I collect souvenirs and postcards to fill holes in the blanks where I could not take a photo. I turned it over and found this.

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Hello dad. This is my postcard back to you.

You wrote me this card when I was in grade four, I was eight years old, about to turn nine.  That’s the same age as my son Angus is right now. You were thirty five when you wrote this postcard. It’s hard to believe that at the time you wrote this card, half of your life had already gone. You just didn’t know it.

It’s funny to think that we live in a world where sending postcards has become irrelevant. A world where we have lost the art of simple letter writing. I remember now that you always sent us postcards on your business trips. Sometimes you’d beat them home, but that didn’t matter to us. We loved the simple fact that although we could not see you, you were still thinking of us. I’ve learnt now, by having my own children that a parent never stops thinking about their kids.

There are so many things left to ask you. I’m turning 40 in a few weeks, and although I’ve had three years to adjust to the concept of you not being here anymore, and I’m not afraid of death; I still don’t ever want there to be a day when the only thing that my children have left of me is a memory. So thank you dad of thirty five. Thank you for taking the time to write me a postcard.

love

Katische xxooxx

Postcard from the Past: Canterbury

 

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This postcard was sent to me in an envelope, so technically that’s cheating. But it was accompanied with photos, so, I’ll allow it. 🙂 To accompany down this memory lane, you’ll need to understand that at the end of 1999, I left Australia to live on a working holiday visa in London. I was chasing the dot com bubble, and as I was bored out of my brains working for a consulting firm. I didn’t want to be consulting on internet stuff, I wanted to be working for a internet start up. And so, I landed in London, and started working for a seed funded wireless start up.

My job didn’t last long, six months to be precise, and then we were bought out by an American company. I was paid as a contractor, so no, I did not become an instant millionaire over night. It was fun however, but also rather stressful at the end of it because our two founders were fighting. So when my friend Vanessa invited me to Whitstable to celebrate her 25th birthday, I jumped at the opportunity to get out of London for the weekend. Vanessa and Susie were friends that I was in boarding school with at high school. I lived in Holland Park in a flat of my own, and Susie lived in more iconic Aussie areas like Wimbledon. Another friend Cath, and her now husband Leo travelled for the weekend.

Whitstable is a small beach town, with a population of 30,000 people, eight kilometres north of Canterbury. Canterbury is on the North Coast of Kent in South East England, and it takes about one and a half hours to travel there from London.

 

Whitstable is famous for its oysters and the annual oyster festival. Apparently, oysters have been collected there since Roman times. It’s also more recently famous for the local pub the Old Neptune and its’ role in the movie “Venus” which starred Peter O’Toole. We had a great weekend, and as you can tell from the photos, it was a little cool, despite being spring.

Old Neptune

What mattered for us was that the sun was shining, we were experiencing a new location, and we had great company and a reason to celebrate! Places are nothing without the people you share the memories with.

The Old Neptune

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Pink hats? Ahh that was the weekend before, at the Trooping the Colour, and the reference to family; mum, dad and my uncle Laurie came to visit and we travelled to the Cotswolds and Ireland together- but those memories will have to wait for another blog.

 

Postcards from the past

It’s a universal truth- everyone loves to get mail. Real mail. Not bills, or advertising, but good old fashioned mail; where a friend writes you a letter or a postcard. Sadly, these days “snail mail” as we’ve come to call it, is rare. I was revisiting an old photo album this morning and amongst the photos of my travels in Italy was this postcard.

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I looked at what was written in the notes beside it

“It didn’t look like this- there were no flowers and the sky was grey. There were also people all over the steps”.  

(Clearly I was a frustrated photographer even back then)

So I turned it over, thinking that it was a postcard that I had bought to show me the potential of what the Spanish Steps looked like. At the time I was backpacking with my friend Stephanie. There is no photo in the album of the Spanish Steps, however Steph did take a photo of me at the Fountain of Truth.

Fountain of Truth

The Fountain of Truth, Rome, 1996: aged 20.

 

I was wrong. I didn’t buy the postcard at all, and it had nothing to do with my holiday.

(Click on the images to enlarge).

postcardsfromthepastkoel
I’m delighted to have found that the postcard is from one of my favourite people on the planet. I think she could send me a letter at 92 and I’d know instantly that it is her writing.

Koel is one of two people that I have always loved getting letters and postcards from. Why, because they make me laugh and I can hear their voices reading the postcard out loud to me. I can visualise their faces and their smiles, and I happen to think they are good writers. The other person is Rani, and I always secretly hoped she’d grow up to be a writer. Maybe she will…

So thanks Koel! Your postcard took me back in time to not only my travels in Europe, but the memories of our friendship.

I look forward to sharing other postcards from my past with you next Thursday.

Until then, tell me have you kept any postcards from your past? You could upload a picture of them in the comments below.