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Discovering a new life in Costa Almeria

Having made the decision that full time work really is bad for your health,my husband convinced me that we should get 2 puppies and retire early. What I hadn't anticipated was that retirement would see us in Almeria, in southern Spain. This is our story from making the decision to move to our life here. For more posts read the full blog at What I hadn't realised was that I wasn't ready to retire so after 2 years we are back in the UK. However, when I am finally ready to retire - Spain is still in the mix.

A letter from 40 years ago!
17 April 2009 @ 17:33

A couple of weeks ago I had a phone call from one of my cousins to say my Uncle Eric had passed away. Last week I received a text from her to say that while they had been sorting through some of his things they had come across a letter that my Mum had written to my Grandma. As children in the 60's we had lived in Sheffield whilst our Grandma was in Middlesborough, we had no phone in the house and only went though to visit a few times a year, so letter writing was key to keeping in touch.

My Mum died in 1969, so I knew this letter had to be 40 years old, and had been kept in he family all this time. Beverley said she would post it on to me and it arrived today.

The first thing I checked was the post mark - 24th June 1969. It was then very obvious why this letter had survived so long. It was the last letter my Mum wrote before she died in July 1969. Grandma had kept this letter because it was the last one she would ever receive from her daughter. I know Grandma replied to it because she had once told me that when she received a letter she kept it on one side until she replied and then once she had written a reply she would tear the envelope from the top down a bit, and that way she knew whether she had replied or not.

So many memories were already coming back to me and I hadn't opened the letter yet.

It was a typical family letter, news about what me and my brothers were doing, other family news, a comment that my other Grandparents had just gone back after a visit from Scotland and that she had been grateful for their help with the laundry as she had been feeling unwell.

She asked if they had been to the caravan, which brought back memories of Redcar, trips to the caravan site by the river - and earwigs, yuch!

And a final comment thanking her for my birthday money, 10/- (10 shillings) which (apparently) I had put together with money from my other Grandparents and bought a pair of Scholl sandals. I was 11, I remember this well as my Mum didn't want me to get them as she felt they were unsuitable footwear, not sensible shoes. Her comments to Grandma were as follows:

Jacqueline has bought herself some Scholl's, that's those things they call exercise sandals that are just held on over the toes. I didn't want her to get them but she said everybody had them so I said oh, alright then. But she walks as if she is crippled in order to keep them on her feet. Mad I call it.

What wonderful memories brought about from a simple family letter, a snapshot of family life. A real treasure for me to keep.

Like 0


dt_pesca said:
17 April 2009 @ 16:39

Wonderful to read your blog and a priceless find. Those memories are yours alone and it makes me smile the insignificance it was for your mum to put pen to papaer all those years ago has brought so much pleasure 40 years later. I am afraid with email and texts our own children may never have the luck of finding such treasure.

Thanks for sharing the experience. I hope to find an old letter now from my sadly passed mum.

FibbyUK said:
17 April 2009 @ 19:20

What a lovely story!
Nothing more I can say..............

More said:
17 April 2009 @ 19:30

Oh Jacqui, what a moment you must've had when you got that treasure of a letter.

Mu own mum died 15 years ago & dad soon after & I 'inherited' keepsakes of mums like a receipt for when she & dad spent a couple of nights away, when they were engaged, in Dunoon. It read 'receipt for two single rooms' & the price & date. I guess that may have been to prove to my gran that they hadn't booked a double !

Lynn said:
19 April 2009 @ 12:11

What a smashing thing to be able to keep. We should all write more letters. I know emails are quicker but they wont be there to look back on in years to come.
I also have a letter my maternal Grandad wrote to my Mum during the war when she was only a small child. I never new my Grandparents but, through the letter I feel a bit closer to one of them.

Irene&Alan said:
21 April 2009 @ 08:04

What a lovely story!

When my beloved Dad died we had the task of sorting out his things and the most valuable thing we found was a photograph. This photograph was of my son's football team when he was about 7. Dad used to go and see my son play as often as he could and what he'd done was put a slip of paper on the back of the frame, written the dates and result and the number of goals my son had scored.
I saved this picture but when my son had a son of his own (about ten years after Dad died) I gave it to him. He cried unashamedly and treasures that photo.
I guess the moral of these stories is: keep the junk as it becomes priceless eventually!!!

Hevs said:
21 April 2009 @ 09:51

Hi I agree what a nice story the simplest things are price less. People just dont write letters any more it is oh so easy to pick the phone up. Its a shame


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