Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas To One and All
Once again as Christmas Day is just about upon us, I want to take this opportunity to wish all my fellow postcard, cover and stamp bloggers, along with all my readers a very Merry Christmas. My Christmas wishes for all of you are again summed up in the 3 Christmas stamps issued by Canada Post in 2007. Hope , Joy, and Peace. What more could we ask for ?

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year , Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee , Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo ,Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo, Mele Kalikimaka me Ka Hou'öli Makahiki Hou.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

German Cards from Macedonia

Let's just say there are 17 days left for entering The Contest. See rules in the Dec 3rd update.

Now moving on to a couple of postcards. I received 2 postcards from Ana. She has a wonderful blog called My World of Postcards at . Ana was recently in Germany and picked up these cards for me. The first one is of a Christmas time market along the Pegnitz River. The card shows a couple of Christmas trees, a nativity scene and a large snowflake , so it's quite appropriate at this time of the year.

The second card , Ana picked up at the airport. Not quite sure if it was indeed Frankfurt Airport, but let's assume it was. The card is a nice and welcome addition to my Aircraft on Postcards sub collection. It shows the A380 Airbus taking off. It's just a great card and the closest I'll get to an A380 for a while.

Ana used a number of stamps (Macedonia Stamps ) as she mailed the cards when she got back home. But that's just fine as I am always increasing my Macedonia collection , thanks to Ana.
The stamp on the left is from this year 2009 , showing a lobster. The middle stamp , issued 1996, from a set of 2 , features children's drawings. The stamp on the right, issued in 2006, commemorates 100 years of Grand Prix racing.

Thanks Ana for all this.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Three Cards To End The Week

Poland, Taiwan and Philippines

The card from Poland shows Poznanski's Palace . According to Kamila , who sent this card, it is one of the most famous building in Lodz. It is now an art gallery and museum. Kamila used two stamps, including the 2001 stamp , on the left, from a set of 2 featuring farms. The stamp on the right, from 2005 featuring architecture of churches, temples and synagogues.

Today's card from Taiwan, ROC is from James, who lives in Taipei. He is a frequent reader of this blog and just sent the card to wish me a Happy New Year and to also wish me a lot of fortune, good health and peace. That sounds good to me. Thanks James. James used a combination of postage on this card. It included pre- stamped postage on the card itself, some form of ATM stamp and 2 regular postage stamps.

The last card for today and for the week is from The Philippines. It is the result of a private swap with Redlan. The card pictures the 2000 year old Banaue Rice Terraces. They were carved into the mountains by Ifugao's indigenous people. These terraces are the main tourist attraction in the area and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Redlan used two stamps issued in 2009. The small stamp on the left shows Pheepoy, the mascot of the Philippine Postal Corporation ( PhilPost). The stamp on the right commemorates Corazon C. Aquino ( 1933-2009)
who served as the 11th President of The Philippines.

That 's the new for today. Don't forget the contest , just 20 days left to enter. Rules are in the update for December 3rd. Hope you can enter.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just a Bunch of Postcards

The mail is here for today and the week, so I guess it's time for an update. But first things first. My contest. You have just 21 days remaining to get your entry or entries in. See my update for Thursday, December 3rd for all the rules. Hope you can enter.

Today's first card is from Amherst, Virginia, USA and was sent by a Postcrosser named Kristen. Her card shows the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mountains stretches 600 miles from Georgia northeast to Pennsylvania. The vast forests in the mountains catch great amounts of rainfall and then return some to the atmosphere., in a process called transpiration, helping create the famous blue haze. These mountains are totally different from the Rockies in my area. Kristen used the 2007 Harriet Beecher Stowe definitive, which I have already shown in a previous update. Thanks Kristen.

Now for a card from Japan. It shows the rock garden of Ryoan-ji Temple in Kyoto. This Zen Temple was built in 1450 and added to as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 1994. The rock garden is a symbol of Ryoan-ji and means the beauty of the silent. Thanks to Miho , another Postcrosser for this card. The larger stamp on the right is from 2009 and is 1 of a set of 4 issued to celebrate folklore and Takayama festivals. The smaller stamps are from a set of 3 definitives issued in 1997 showing flowers and insects.

The next card is from Reykjavik, Iceland. It's good to get another card from Iceland. Of the 1188 cards I have received so far, very few are from Iceland. This one shows an aerial view of Reykjavik looking west to the Snaefellnes glacier. Hallgrimskirkja is in the foreground. Looking at this card, the first thing that stands out is the lack of any really tall buildings. The Hallgrimskirja is a Lutheran parish church and at 244 ft is the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. It took 38 years to build , having been started in 1945 and was completed in 1986. The design is said to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland's landscape. This card is from a Postcrosser who goes by the username of Little-Shrimp. She used a nice stamp from a 2009 set of 2 featuring shepherds. An interesting note about the postmark. Little-Shrimp works in a post office and more than likely, postmarked this card herself. Working in a post office and handstamping postcards and letters, now that's my kind of job. Thanks Little-Shrimp, you'll be hearing from me soon.

Well I think that will do it for today. I may get another update in latter in the weekend. Take care.
As always , your comments are always welcome.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New Country # 230 Sao Tome and Principe

Hello, before I get going on new postcards, just a friendly reminder of my postcard contest. You only have 24 days left to enter. All rules are in my Dec 03, 2009 update. Take a look, maybe you will want to enter.

Let's start off with something really great. Adding a new country to my collection is always good. Sao Tome and Principe , number 230 is now officially part of the collection. I received, not 1 but 2 cards from Sao Tome yesterday. Sao Tome and Principe is a Portuguese speaking island nation off the western coast of Africa. It is the second smallest African country in terms of Population, with just 163,000 persons. Its capital and largest city is Sao Tome. The first card from Sao Tome and Principe shows the National Museum of History and Art, and it is located in the Fortaleza de Sao Sebastiao. The second card Shows Lagoa Azul, a pristine , unspoilt greenfield located about 12 km northwest of Sao Tome city. Both cards are from Idrissa, working there for an international organization. The stamp used on both cards is the same. It is a 2006 Europa stamp from a set of 4. This one shows Pope John Paul II. A more interesting stamp , at least for me, from the same set would have been one showing the Concorde SuperSonic Aircraft. But I'm very happy with what I received. Thanks Idrissa. And as Ana , of My World of Postcards, wrote in her last update about a card she had received from Eritrea, " you don't get Eritrea cards every day",
well, let me say , you don't get Sao Tome and Principe cards every day, either. You can check out Ana's blog at . She's one of the best.

Now that another country has been removed from my country list, just 37 places remain. But they sure are getting harder. Have a look at the list, located over to the left. If there is any way that you can help, you have my thanks for sure.

Another card received yesterday is from Germany. It is from Postcrosser Hannah. It is a Christmas postcard, wishing me Merry Christmas. Well, Merry Christmas to you too, Hannah. Hannah's card shows some lovely star shaped cookies with frosting. Hannah used 2 stamps , an art stamp from 2008 and a definitive flower stamp.

That's all for this time. Take care .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Three Cards and a Cover

I have 3 cards and a cover for today's update. But, first things first. There are just 31 days left for you to enter the 1 St GemsWorldPostcards Worst and Ugliest Postcards Contest. If you haven't heard about it yet, all the rules are in my update for Thursday Dec 3, 2009. Have a look and get your entry or entries in. Great prizes await.

Now on to postcards and such. My first card for today is from Philippines. It shows some participants in the Dinagyang Festival, in Iloilo City. This is a three day event held every fourth week of January in celebrating Santo Nino, with outrageous costumes and dances. The card is from a Postcrosser in the Philippines. Unfortunately a postage meter was used for postage, so there is no stamp to show. Too bad. We collectors frown upon that.
But it is a nice card, just the same.

The next card is from Wasilla, Alaska and was postmarked in Anchorage.It shows the Northern Lights all aglow above a barn in Alaska's Matanuska Valley. Aaron, another Postcrosser sent this card along. He used 3 of the 2009 Simpson stamps, of which I no longer offer comments.

The last card for today is from France and shows a view of France which I never saw before. It shows cabins built on Bird Island in the Bassin D'Arachon.The cabins are built on poles and at high tide the water rises to the top of the poles. They are located in a very popular tourist destination on the French Coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Bird Island is a haven for migratory birds, hence it's name. Of course, this is another Postcrossing card. The stamp is a 2009 stamp commemorating Hansi, 1873-1961. Hansi is the pseudonym of the Alsatian artist Jean Jacques Waltz. .

Even though this is a postcard blog, I do get an occasional cover which I like to show. This one with 6 different , recent stamps from Australia, is from Eddy W. of Newton , SA, Australia. We did a private swap and this was supposed to be a postcard. To be fair, Eddy did send a blank, mint postcard in the cover. The postcard shows a multiview of Adelaide, SA. I like the 1998 International Space Station stamp and the Outback Services stamp of 2001.It would be great to get a postcard from The International Space Station. That would be quite the feat. Eddy also included a number of used stamps including the set of Australian Legends , or at least 7 of 8. I will be missing one of Geoffrey Rush. All in all, not a bad swap, thanks Eddy.

Now as they say, get your cards and letters in, be sure to enter the above mentioned contest. Of course, I don't really know who may be entering , until I actually receive an entry. Will keep you advised. If you want , leave a comment as to your entry.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Finland, Switzerland and a Blizzard

Well, it's a real winter day here in Alberta, today. It's our first real taste of winter . 20 cm snow, high winds , and whiteout conditions all day. The storm started around 8 A.M . and has continued all day . It is still raging as I write this at 8.P.M. Here are a couple of pictures taken this afternoon to give you an idea of what it's like here today. I walked to my mailbox and was lucky enough to receive 2 postcards. Both are official Postcrossing cards. Before I get to those cards , just a reminder, that you only have 35 days to get your entry or entries in for the
1st GemsWorldPostcards Worst and Ugliest Postcards Contest
For info and rules see the update for Thursday Dec 3, 2009.

My first postcard , from Finland , shows a very tranquil scene of a lighthouse. Many postcard collectors collect lighthouse cards. Not very many lighthouses around Alberta. A bit too far from the ocean , I guess. The stamp, from 2003 is from a very nice set of 3 featuring fish.

The other card that arrived today is from Switzerland. It shows a number of buildings, which ones I don't really know and the card doesn't tell me. The stamp was issued in 2007 and is 1 of a beautiful set of 4 featuring birds.

That is all for today. A small update , but it has been a great day inside for stamps and postcards. But tomorrow it's shovel time.
Take care.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bulgaria and London Cards and a CONTEST

Hello again. I have 3 cards for today. They are from Bulgaria, Great Britain and The United States.
First let's talk about the card from Bulgaria. It shows Rila Monastery. The Monastery of Saint Ivan of Rila, also known as Rila Monastery is the largest and most famous Eastern Orthodox monastery in Bulgaria. It is located 117 km south of the capital Sofia, at an elevation of 1,147 m above sea level.The monastery was founded in the 10th century. The Rila Monastery was added to The UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in 1983.
The card is the result of a private swap with Bilyana, a Postcrosser living in Sofia. Bilyana used 3 different stamps on her card including on the left, 1 of a set of 5 , issued 2003, showing gold objects. The large stamp on the top right was issued in 2009 and commemorates space exploration and features Georgi Ivanov. And, finally the stamp on the bottom was issued in 2000 and is 1 of 6 featuring churches, temples, mosques and synagogues. I like the space exploration stamp very much. Thanks Bilyana. I don't really have a lot of Bulgaria stamps , as most were cto, or cancelled to order and never really saw any postal duty. I have now looked back over the last 15 years or so and have found some really nice and attractive stamps. Perhaps it can be a new collecting area for me.

The next car is from London, England. It shows famous Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge was opened 30 June 1894. It is 244 metres in length and its longest span is 61 metres. The card was sent by Dorothy, a Postcrosser from England. She has a blog at . Give it a look and you'll find some wonderful pictures. The stamp, not shown , is just a regular 62p definitive. Thanks Dorothy.

The last card for today is from The United States. It is from a Postcrosser . It is the worst postcard that I have received in over 3 years of collecting. It's only redeeming value is a nice Ponce de Leon stamp. It is a cheap piece of very light cardboard. There is nothing on the card whatsoever, back or front. It is blank and blank. My only word to the sender is that if he is going to continue in Postcrossing, he needs to upgrade his postcards, as most postcrossers like to send a nice card and often go out of their way to send a card that the person receiving their card will enjoy.
Now , what to do with this card. I don't throw out any card, so I guess it stays in my collection, well hidden I will say. I guess I could enter it in a worst or ugliest postcard contest. Even better, why don't I sponsor that contest.

Drum Roll Please *************************

Announcing the 1st Ever GemsWorldPostcards Worst and Ugliest Postcards Contest

Contest Rules:

1- Contest runs until Jan 8th, 2010
2- Open to all postcard lovers and collectors around the world.
3-Contest has 2 categories : 1 - the Worst postcard you ever received and 2 - the Ugliest postcard you ever received.
4-Two prizes will be awarded , one for each category
5- Prizes for each category are five ( 5) unused, unwritten , mint postcards, from 5 different countries of the winners choice, from a list of countries supplied by GemWorldPostcards.
6- Enter as often as you wish, but all entries must be sent separately, and your entry must indicate whether it is ugly or just the worst.
7- You may enter the worst postcard category, or the ugliest postcard category, or both.
8- All entries must be mailed to GemsWorldPostcards, 955 Windsong Drive S.W., Airdrie, AB. Canada, T4B 0N5
9- All entries must be a physical postcard, either an ugly one or simply the worst , ever received.
10- No scans or copies permitted
11- All entries become the property of GemsWorldPostcards and will not be returned
12- All entries must include the senders name, address and email address
13- Winners will be selected by GemsWorldPostcards on Jan 10th, 2010 and notified by email. Winners name and their winning entries will be announced on GemsWorldPostcards after the contest ends.
14- All non-winning entries will also be scanned and shown on GemsWorldPostcards

That is a lot of rules. I hope all readers of this blog will enter if they have an ugly postcard or one they deem to be the worst ever received.I know what one I would like to enter, but since it's my contest , I will have to hold off.
A note to Postcrosser forum members. Since I do not partake of the forum, please feel free to mention this contest to other forum members , and to any other postcard bloggers that you have contact with. The more entries received , the more fun there will be.

I guess that is about it for today. I hope you can partake in this contest. Remember , it's just for fun.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Total Solar Eclipse , Cherbourg 1900 and Russia

Here we go again , with update # 2 for December.
First up is a card from Finland, showing a total solar eclipse, that was observed on July 22, 1990. The card is from Simo, a Postcrosser in Turku, who was not quite 9 years old at the time. The stamp on the card shows the Aurora Borealis and was issued in 2009, as part of a beautiful set of 3.

Now for a card from France. It shows a scene of Cherbourg in 1900. Another card from another Postcrosser . The stamp is of Nice, from a 2009 Tourism set of 8. A very nice set indeed.

The final card for today is from Russia. It shows the State Historical Museum of Russia. What can I say, but another Postcrossing card. I seem to have received a number of cards from Russia lately. An interesting assortment of stamps from 2002 and 2009 along with a B rate preprint on the card. The 2009 stamp on the left is quite attractive .

Thant's all for today. Take care.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Starting Anew in December

Hi readers. Well, I'm hoping to do much better in December than I have the last couple of months. I really can't do much worse. I have a number of great excuses for the low number of blog updates, but after the fact , they all seem quite trivial. So onward and upward for December.
First things first- the monthly report for November. During November I received a total of 28 postcards, of which 21 were official Postcrossing cards. I mailed off 31 cards and 24 of them were official Postcrossing cards. I added 1 new country to my collection, and that was Zimbabwe. Of course with that amount of activity, my blog should have had more than 4 updates. Excuses, Excuses.

The first postcard today is from Russia. It is from a Postcrosser named Lena. The card shows Ivankovskoe reservoir. The reservoir is 113 km long with a maximum depth of 19 meters. Lena used a total of 3 stamps, 2 from 2003 and 1 from 2009.

The next card is from Las Vegas , U.S.A. It shows a number of hotel casinos on the famous strip. Some day I'm going to make it there, at least for a weekend. The card is from Pauline, a Postcrosser who lives in Vegas. Pauline used 2 of the Simpson stamps, Bart and Marj. I have no more comment on these stamps.

Now for another aircraft on postcard card. It is from Kris of the postcardkris.blogspot blog fame from Fairbanks , Alaska. Kris has sent me a number of aircraft on postcards cards. He knows how much I enjoy them. This one shows a Fokker FVII, a popular aircraft from the 1920s. It is from an original painting by John Batchelor. Kris used a 2007 Harriet Beecher Stowe stamp , one of 2 famous women stamps issued in 2007.

The last card today is from Turkey. It shows a number of views of Istanbul and Turkey. The card says that Istanbul is the largest and most beautiful city in Turkey. I can't argue with that. The stamp is from a set of 10 definitives issued in 2009.

That's it for cards today. More tomorrow for sure. Have to get December off to a great start.

Just a note to say that I have made a few wonderful contacts in Burundi , Sao Tome and Principe and also The Gambia. I am expecting cards from these wonderful countries in the next couple of weeks. Good things to look forward to. Cheers. As always, your comments are quite welcome.