Why cards? Well Christmas is on the horizon and anyway I am very fond of them! Luckily I received seventy on my birthday this year which gave me much pleasure. I never throw any away! Those from family and close friends I keep and I cut pictures from others to use for writing notes.
When we bought Hotwells Post Office there was only one card stand displaying cards worth £10. When we sold thirteen years later we had four card stands with hundreds of pounds worth of cards.
I prefer blank cards so that you can write personal messages. However the cards that sold quickly were the ones with the most words. We decided that we would only put out Christmas cards in November, but that didn’t happen. Customers were asking for them in August!
There is a different card culture in France. I’ve never seen a specialist card shop there. You find a small selection at a “Maison de la Presse” usually hidden behind the newspapers, otherwise you have a limited choice in the supermarkets.
The card that you are most likely to receive is one to celebrate your “Jour de Fête” which is your Saints’ Day. We don’t all have one. It won’t surprise you to learn that that there is no St Esmé!
A few people are lucky enough to have two of these special days. Charles for instance, has St. Charles on 4th November, but in France would also get cards on March 2nd as that is the Fête of St Charles le Bon. It gets very complicated. I had a few cards on 20th February as that is St. Aimée’s day and they said that Aimêe meant the same as Esmé, but I think they were just being kind.
If you have ever been into our beautiful church on Frenchay Common you will have seen a card stand in the church room, near the entrance. It was made long ago by Dr Judith Langfield’s father. On my return from France in 2002 I went most weeks with Kath New to help a lady called Jeanne Bayley to make the cards. Now Vanessa Woolcock and I buy them. Every little helps and the profits go to church funds. Our thanks to all of you who buy a card or perhaps donate one or two! I plan to fill the stand soon with Christmas cards in case you would like to buy a few.