Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

This young man would be nearly a hundred years old today - I wonder if he's still alive? The card was sent in April 1917

Friday, March 21, 2008


A corner of the middle ages. This is another little village I’d like to visit some time. The card was sent in 1925. I haven’t been able to find a recent picture of this street, I hope that it is still there.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Princesse Alice

A few days ago we received a lot of 1000 cards from an auction house. They were really special and we’re rather pleased with them. If you read the post about the auction catalogue (a different auction to come), you will know that some of the pictures are of Prince Albert 1st of Monaco. The card above was also taken on his yacht "Princesse Alice". I think it’s a very interesting coincidence.

Here you see the launching of a weather kite for the exploration of the atmosphere. I’m not really sure but I think that the man standing on the left reaching up to the kite is the Prince.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The sparrow charmer

This man was charming the birds out of the sky in the Tuileries, a Paris park, as early as 1868. I don’t know the date of this card, sometime at the beginning of the 20th century. Later in his life he started to go blind. When I wanted to find out more about him I discovered that he was a popular figure and captured the imagination and admiration of many passers by.

He reminded me of the lady who owned the house I rented when I first left home. She was well into her 80s and always busy. One afternoon I went into the garden we shared to hang out some washing and she was on her hands and knees trying to weed the vegetable patch. She was having a difficult time because she was surrounded by birds, sparrows; thrushes, blackbirds, they all got in her way as they tried to pick up the insects and grubs she disturbed by working. She had to keep brushing them away, but they just kept coming back. She too was a very special person.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Something different

For once I’m breaking my rules and not showing you a postcard. We received a catalogue
last week for an auction too far away for us to attend. This is the back cover. Two of the lots consist of photographs from the archives of the photographer and journalist Mr. Chusseau-Flaviens, he specialised in royalty.

First is The grand Duchess Irina Alexandrovna, then The Tzarevitch and The Grand Duchess Marie Nicolainna. Then there are two pictures of The Prince of Monaco; Prince Albert 1st, one in his laboratory on his yacht “Princess Alice and the other with his famous collection at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The German Emperor Guillaume III is at the keel of his yacht. The last is the most interesting; An operation is being performed by the professor Jonesco. The patient , anaesthetized, has his stomach open and is looking at the photographer while smoking a cigarette. (To calm his nerves perhaps?)

(My spellings are taken from the French, I’m afraid, as usual click on the image to see in more detail)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

More tea?

Another place for us to go for tea. The gardens of Restaurant Fouqueux in a town called Saint-Avertin. My eye was immediately drawn to the ladies dress. Didn’t a friend of Madame Monet have one like it? – Perhaps not….

You really do need to click on this card to appreciate it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Helping one another

It’s strange how things tie in together.

I noticed this card from the First World War yesterday and what touched me about it was that two women are helping a German soldier who has probably collapsed. On examining the card with a magnifying glass the soldiers don’t look to be in a good state and aren’t marching very well. They were probably exhausted and even shocked by the mess that the town of Amiens was in because of them.

During the evening, I watched the film ‘The Pianist” on TV which is the story of the Polish pianist; Wladyslaw Szpilman . How he escaped from being sent to the death camps and hid from the Germans during the Second World War. The card and the film both demonstrate for me the compassion of people willing to help one another despite being on ‘different sides’.