Thursday, September 30, 2010

I've Returned From Away

Well, I'm back as the title of this update says. Back from where one might ask. Newfoundland, my home province in Canada. I flew to Newfoundland, on Canada's east coast, visited family , experienced Hurricane Igor , and flew back. But not before I purchased and posted a few postcards. Igor was a category 1 hurricane when it struck Newfoundland. With roads washed away, trees blown down, power outages and houses flooded , I think I can safely say I'm glad it wasn't a category 2, 3, 4, or 5.
Now on to postcards. While away, I received 17 postcards. We will be looking at my usual complement of 5 cards this time.

Today's first card is from T.A.A.F. or the Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands , located in the southern Indian Ocean. It is postmarked at Alfred Faure, the capital of Crozet Island. Alfred Faure is a permanent French scientific station on Crozet. Depending on the season , there are between 15 and 60 personnel working at the station. The card is from Johan who writes the blog Johan Postcards at . The card shows the Marion Dufresne , a supply ship that visits Alfred Faure a few times a year , delivering supplies and rotating crews of scientists. The stamp is a 2008 commemorative featuring the Marion Dufresne.

The next card is also from a so called exotic place, French Polynesia. Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, it is made up of a number of Polynesian islands, the most famous of which is Tahiti. The card shows Le Moana Bora Bora hotel. Not a bad spot to be as winter gets closer. The card is from Jean Pierre, a regular contributor of cards to this blog. It is postmarked in Vaitape on Bora Bora island. The postmark also reads Iles sous Le Vent or the Leeward Islands which are located in the western part of the Society Islands. The stamps on the card are both from 2010.

Now a card which to me is a great card. Picturing a number of airplanes and the airline KLM, it will certainly be another addition to my airlines/aircraft on postcard collection. It shows Schipol Airport in Amsterdam, one of Europe's largest and most modern airports. The card is from Leslie who was in Amsterdam for a PostCrossing meeting. Leslie signed the card along with 10 PostCrossers who attended the meeting. Leslie , thanks for the great card, don't worry about the stamp. ( which I'm not showing )

If I ended this update here, it would be a good one, but let's go on.

My next card is from Iceland, another exotic location, I think. Let's face it , how often do you get mail from Iceland ? The card shows an area of Reykjavik and claims to be Europe's most unpolluted city. David , who lives in Dublin, Ireland sent this card along. David used 2 new stamps issued this year. The one on the right is from a set of 2 featuring children's books. The one on the left is from a set of 3 featuring volcanoes. These stamps , issued on July 22 , each has a piece of history encapsulated on them. Each stamp includes volcanic ash from the eruption of Ryjafjallajokull earlier this year. The ash is silk-screen printed onto the stamps. Iceland Post describes the ash as very fine grained trachyandesite ash of 3 microns that fell on April 167. Iceland Post also says the ash is 60 percent silica content and came from a dept of about four and a half miles. Quite an interesting set of stamps.

The final card for this update is from Newfoundland, Canada. I don't highlight many Canadian postcards, but every now and then one shows up. This one comes from the small town of Dildo, a town renowned for its unique name. The town is located 60 km west of the capital of St. John's. I think Dildo fits well in a group of 11 or 12 places in France, Austria, Australia, Shetland Islands and the American states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania that may be mostly known for their unique names. I leave it to my readers to decide what these places might be. IT would be great to have a postcard mailed from each of them, though.The card shows a number of Puffins, (Fratercula Arctica ) and they can be found in the North Atlantic Ocean. They breed in large colonies on rocky cliffs and off shore islands. This card is actually a prepaid card and can be mailed to anywhere in the world . It comes imprinted with a Canadian Flag stamp. The sender saw fit to add a domestic Canadian stamp from 2010 honouring and celebrating the 100 years of the Canadian Navy. It is 1 of 2 in a set.

Thanks to Johan, Jean Pierre, Leslie and David for these great postcards. That is my update for today. I should be back again tomorrow with a few other cards that arrived while I was away.
take care.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


As I have mentioned in the last few updates, cards are still few and far between. One postcard arrived yesterday, and no postcards today. Scarce is not the word. Yesterday's card is from Mayotte. I've written about Mayotte before, the where and why, so I won't go there this time. However , according to Eric Contesse of Blog timbre de ma philatelic, Mayotte will have a different status in 2011 and will become the 101st French Department. As a result, it should therefore no longer issue its own stamps. So , anyone out there who still needs a card or cover from Mayotte, you better get cracking.
Now , on to the card I received yesterday. I really can't write much about it. It appears to be a wicker basket with something laid across it. Perhaps someone knows what. The card is from Jean Pierre who refers to Mayotte as "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean ". Thank you Jean Pierre.
There are 2 great stamps on this card. The one on the left is a 2010 Bird of Prey stamp. Again, according to Eric , it is an engraved stamp and Mayotte's first since they restarted their stamp program back in 1997.
The stamp on the right , was also issued this year and shows some sort of sculpture.

Not a big update today, but at least thanks to Jean Pierre , I have one.

Take care.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Douglas DC-8 and an antique car

Today's mail brought two more cards. One is from Canada ( a rarity for this blog ) and one from Belarus. The Canada card , sent from the neighboring province of British Colombia will become part of my airlines on postcards collection. This one shows an Air Canada Douglas DC-8 aircraft.Air Canada operated a passenger service with DC-8's for 23 years from 1960-1983. It also operated cargo service with DC-8 aircraft from 1983-1994. You don't see very many DC-8's flying passengers or cargo around these days. The card is from Laura who writes the blog Stamp Raider at . Laura likes to receive covers dealing with archaeology. Not an easy topic to collect, I would think. I'm glad to receive her postcard, so Laura , thanks very much. The stamps are an old one and a new one. The old one on the left was issued November 3, 1952 and features Sir John Abbott, a Canadian Prime Minister. The larger stamp was issued February 2, 2009 and is 1 of 2 issued for Black History Month. This one features Rosemary Brown. Brown became the first Black woman elected to public office in Canada when she was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the British Colombia legislature in 1972.

The second card is from Belarus. It shows an antique car, but unfortunately I can't tell you anything about it, as there is no translation on the card. It was sent by Misha as a thank you for a card I had sent him. He says this card is a limited edition card with only 300 copies. A number of 2008 stamps along with a very recent 2010 stamp ( the large on on the right ) were used.

That's all I have for today. Thanks for reading. Hopefully the mail will bring something new tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

TITANIC and Winterthur

The last update focused on One Good card. Well, today , I have ANOTHER Good card, along with another card. Make any sense, I hope so. A short time ago, I saw a Titanic card on some other postcard blog. I just thought it was one of those cards, you know, a card that you would love to have in your collection. The owner of the card mentioned who had sent it , so I set out to try for a copy for myself. I contacted the sender, who says on her Postcrossing profile , No Swaps. I so praised up the card to her , she said she couldn't resist me , and agreed to send me a Titanic card in a swap. I am so glad that she agreed to the swap. No more than a week later, the great Titanic card found its way to my mailbox. So, Paola , thanks so much. I love the card. Hopefully, my card to you has arrived , or will have when you arrive back at home. I guess I don't really have to write much about The Titanic, I'm sure everyone knows the story. I'm sure the world was stunned when on April 15th, 1912, the RMS Titanic liner sank after hitting an iceberg off Newfoundland. The disaster claimed over 1500 souls. Paola used a wonderful stamp on this card. It is 1 of 4 in a beautiful 2010 multi-sheet featuring Birds of Prey. I now think that I really don't have enough Ireland stamps in my collection.

The other card today shows a street scene and a fountain In Winterthur, Switzerland. The city is the sixth biggest city in the country. It is just 31 km northeast from Zurich, which is where the sender of the card lives. The stamps used on this card include the following: top left- a 1965 Europa stamp; top right- a 2010 Pro Patria semi-postal from a set of 4 . The lower stamp is also from a 1965 Pro Patria semi-postal set of 5 . This set is a pretty nice looking set, actually.

That's all for today. Like I keep saying, cards are scarce and few and far between.
More next week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Good Card

As I mentioned in yesterday's update, postcards are still few and far between. I received just a single card in today's mail . But as they say- it's a good one. It is an official PostCrossing card from Germany. Tim, who says that he has checked out this blog, sent it along. The postcard is a view of an A380 Airbus, parked in front of Terminal 2 , at Frankfurt Airport. It is an outstanding card and a wonderful addition to my collection. The A380 had its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse, France. Its first commercial flight was SQ380 from Singapore to Sydney on 25 October 2007, operated by Singapore Airlines. The A380 is a double-deck, wide body , 4 engine airliner built by Airbus. As of 25 August 2010, 50 of this type has been built. They cost between 317.2 and 337.5 million U.S. dollars. Airlines operating A380 aircraft include Air France , Emirates, Lufthansa, Qantas and Singapore Airlines.

Tim used 2 stamps from 2009 on his card. The stamp on the right celebrates Bernhard Grzimek and the stamp on the right is 1 of 4 in a Youth issue.

Speaking of the first commercial flight SQ380, I have the honor of owning a First Flight Cover from that historic flight. It is compliments of Michael Dodd of cddstamps of Australia. Michael actually carried the cover on the flight.

Thanks to Tim and also to Michael.

A small update to be sure , but I hope an interesting one for you readers.
Remember , don't be shy about leaving a comment.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two Cards and Other Things

Hello. I have a couple of cards for today along with a couple of other things. First let me say that cards have been a little scarce lately , just 2 postcards since last Thursday. Those are the ones you will see today. Without new cards arriving, it becomes difficult to write a blog about postcards. So with just two cards, I will have a few words about a book and a few about a map.

The first card today is from The United States. Ten year old Rebecca , a young Postcrosser living in New Jersey sent this postcard along. Rebecca lives just 45 minutes from New York , so it's just natural, for her to have sent a New York postcard. Rebecca's card shows the Empire State Building , towering over the midtown skyline at night. The 102 story Empire State Building , in midtown Manhattan was completed in 1931. The main structure is 381 meters and with the superstructures on top it rises to 443 meters. This skyscraper is the 3rd tallest building in the U.S. and the 15th tallest in the world. Rebecca used 2 copies of the 2009 Liberty Bell First Class Forever stamp.Today's second card comes to us from Hong Kong. It's another night scene . This one shows us the Lee Theatre Plaza in Causeway Bay. This is one of the major shopping districts in Hong Kong. This is an area with an extremely high density of buildings. I think that with all those bright lights shown on the card , Billy Idol's song , I Wear My Sunglasses At Night , certainly comes to mind. The card is from Akira, another PostCrosser. She used a definitive stamp from a 2006 set of 16 bird stamps.Now what's this about a book ? Well, David from Dublin, Ireland told me about a book called Inviting The World At Home by Rolf Weijburg. The book is a survey of the world's postal links to the Netherlands. But, for a postcard collector, especially one attempting to collect a stamped postcard from every country of the world, this book is a wonderful read .
I couldn't find a copy of the book anywhere in Canada or even North America, but was lucky enough to find a copy in Belgium. I put in an order and a week later my book arrived.
Once I cracked the cover, I was hardly able to put it down. I loved it and am now reading it for a second time. In addition to postcards from all the usual places, you'll find cards from places you never even knew existed. It's a really good read. Mr Weijburg put 30 years into his survey and 400 postcards later, we postcard collectors can be thankful for his dedication and hard work. I'm glad I found a copy of this book and highly recommend it to all my fellow postcard collectors.

My final topic is the afore mentioned map. I have a world map on my office wall.This map is a visual record of where many of my postcards come from. Every time I receive a card from a new country or some otherwise strange place , a pin goes in the map. As you can see, I have cards from many places, but Africa could certainly use a few more.

Well, that's about it for this time. I know this was not my usual update, but like I said, it takes postcards to do this. I hope I haven't lost too many of my readers.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Namibia, France, Latvia , Switzerland and the Faroe Islands

The title of this update tells you where today's cards come from. So without further ado let's get to them.
Namibia is up first. The card shows a Quiver tree forest in Southern Namibia. Quiver trees or Kokerboom is a species of aloe found in Namibia and South Africa. This card was sent by Dave and Lizzy van B travelling in the area. They used a very nice round 2010 stamp from a FIFA World Cup multi sheet with 9 different stamps.
Card # 2 is from France and was sent by a Postcrosser living in Fontainebleau. Located 55 kms from Paris, the chateau was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981. Frederique used 2 stamps from a 2010 booklet of 12 featuring Roman Art.
The next card comes to us from Latvia. This beach scene is on the Baltic sea. Silvia who sent this card says most beaches in Latvia are sandy but this rocky one seems to have caught the photographer's eye. Silvia used a 2005 stamp from a set of 2 featuring coat of arms and a 2010 bird stamp , also from a set of 2.
The Matterhorn is shown on the next card from Switzerland. This is a mountain in the Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It's summit is at 4,478 metres. Pamela who lives in Bulle sent this card and she of course is a PostCrosser. Pamela says that Switzerland is the land of cheese and chocolate. Those aren't the first things that come to my mind when I think of Switzerland, but I guess they are quite high on the list. Again a bird stamp was used on this card. It was issued in 2007 and is 1 of a set of 4.
Today's final card is from The Faroe Islands. It was sent by John at the Faroe Islands Tourist Board. It is a very tranquil picture of a dory floating on the sea. Reminds me of many places around my home province of Newfoundland on Canada's east coast. John used 3 stamps from the 1990s on this very large postcard. I actually cropped it when I scanned it. The stamp on the left was issued in 1995 and is 1 of 2 Europa stamps issued for Peace and Freedom. The stamp in the middle is a landscapes issue from 1996. The stamp on the right is from a 1998 booklet of 10 stamps celebrating Nes Church.

Oh, I almost forgot, it's now September, so that must mean it's time for my August postcard report. I'm sure this is of little interest to most everyone else, but it's now a regular feature here on the blog. So here goes. During August I received a total of 50 postcards. This is the largest number for a month since April of 2009, August was certainly a banner month. Of this 50, 29 were from PostCrossers. I mailed out 27 cards during the month and all but 2 were to PostCrossers. Finally, I increased my country total by 3 new countries or stamp issuing entities , making it now a grand total of 241. August was indeed a good month.