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Dear Julie

Found by Becca in Madison, South Dakota

I found this greeting card in a secondhand copy of the book Poirot Loses a Client. I wonder if these ladies stayed friends.

The translator I used is probably not accurate, and the handwriting’s quite hard to read, so this is the best translation I could piece out (it’s written in Danish):

Dear Julie,

I’m (???) currently and have been for the last 14 days. They have probably so busy at home or working, and so waiting is better than to go for control. I hope to get a fairly full strength painting team at school again in January. I wish you a merry Christmas.

From, Bek.


  1. Hiplainsdrifter_HPD says:

    on August 27, 2012 at 12:06 pm
    If it’s a commercial painter then (???) = drunk.

  2. Peter Ravn Rasmussen says:

    on December 11, 2012 at 2:06 pm
    I believe I can help a bit with this.

    The text is:

    “Kære Julie,
    Jeg er Dekupør for Tiden og har været det de sidste 14 Dage.
    De har nemlig saa travlt herhjemme paa Værkstedet, og saa er det jo bedre end at gaa til Kontrol.
    Jeg haaber at faa et nogenlunde fuldtalligt Malerhold paa Skolen igen til januar.
    Jeg ønsker dig en god Jul.

    Which translates as:
    “Dear Julie,
    I’m working with intarsia at the moment, and for the last 14 days. They’re so busy here at the workshop, and it’s better than *** ((See note)).
    I hope to have a more or less complete painting class at the school in January.
    I wish you a merry Christmas.

    *** is “at gaa til Kontrol”, which has multiple possible meanings, depending on context. Literally, it means “going for control” — but it can also mean checking other people’s work, or going for a medical checkup. This being the period of the German occupation of Denmark, it can also mean having to report to the police regularly (because one is under close observation).

    I’m willing to bet that it means a medical checkup, however.

    The source of the letter is most probably the noted Danish intarsia-worker and cabinetmaker, Uffe Lomholt Bek (born 1880). The house he built on the island of Fyn, Denmark, is still the site of the company he founded in 1910, Intarsia (

    The addressee of the letter, “Julie”, does not appear to be a member of his immediate family (his first and second wives were named Karen and Else, and none of his children are named Julie).