Sunday, October 21, 2007

Nice to be in Nice

Two cards of Nice, where I’d very much like to be this morning as it’s cold here. The Promenade des Anglais and the Quai des Etats-Unis (United States) are the places to walk, showing off your ‘hat’ and smart clothes.

Several years ago we had a student who came to the house for English lessons, he was retired and used to be head of the toy department in Galeries Lafayette in Nice. He talked sometimes of the rich and famous customers who would come to buy toys for their children and grandchildren. One of these was Princess Grace who he told us insisted on standing in the queue to be served, just like everyone else. He also saw David Niven sometimes and he was every bit the English gentleman as you would imagine.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Auntie Elsie and Rosie

I received this card in the post this morning, it was from my sister – a lovely surprise! ‘Auntie Elsie’ sent it to her naughty niece, Rosie in 1922, she wrote:

“ I am right down ashamed of you if this is the way you are carrying on”

I phoned my sister up later and we wondered what Rosie could have done to deserve such harsh words from her aunt who continued in the very next sentence;

“ Glad you are having nice weather”.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Bern and Mary Plain

If you've come here via Google looking for information on Mary Plain please take time to read the comments. Quite a lot of history and information about Gwynedd Rae has accumulated there.

January 2016:
CJB very kindly sent photographs of Gwynedd Rae and has allowed me to include them here (see below)!

These two cards are a little out of keeping with my usual choice. They are of the Café-Restaurant Zytglogge in Bern around 1947. Rob chose them and gave them to me to prepare, asking me “Where on earth is Bern?” I know where Bern is. Bern is a very special place to me although I’ve never been there. There used to be bear pits in Bern and a very special bear called Mary Plain lived there until one day the Owl Man took her in his car to live with the Fur Coat Lady. If you know Mary Plain you will know what a svisit is. Mary Plain was written by Gwynedd Rae, the book I read came from my grandmother’s house and I loved it dearly. My mother leant it to someone and we never got it back. The books are out of print today and you have to be very rich, like the Fur Coat Lady, to buy a copy.

I’ve spent a very enjoyable morning looking up Mary Plain thanks to those cards. A question for Peter: Was Mary Plain Swiss? I haven’t been able to find much out about Gwynedd Rae.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Amongst the cards that Rob gave me to prepare for ebay this morning was this one. I was surprised by the ‘village’ appearance as today Monaco looks like this.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I’d love to be able to dress up and wear a hat like this one. I wonder if it was heavy? Ladies in 1909 would be looking at this kind of creation in the shops and wondering what excuse they could give their husbands for buying yet another hat. The inscription on the back is actually dated 1915, I wonder where the card got to for six years?