Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29th - Leap Day

Hello again, it's February 29th , a Leap Day. I best get this update in so as to make use of the extra day this month and this year. It doesn't come by that often. Here we go. Just before I get to the postcards, welcome to four new readers and followers of this blog. Their online names are as varied as where they come from. Obsessed hails from Dubai, U.A.E., Kat is from Belgium, doyee_g comes from Glasgow, U.K. , and Viva Chile is from Santiago, Chile. Sure, I'll be in Santiago for 2 days and 2 nights next week. Once again, welcome and come back often.
On to the cards . It's my usual compliment of 5 cards, and they come from Finland, Netherlands, Canada, Indonesia and United Kingdom.

Number 1 -- I guess this one is quite self explanatory. Two Finns from from an earlier time , standing around after a hard day skiing. How do I know they are Finns ? I don't really, but the card came from Finland, so . . . Pirkko used a number of interesting shaped stamps. The 2 on the left are from 2008. The other long strange shaped stamp is 1 of 5 in a souvenir sheet of 5 Wishing stamps. There was a time when if you saw or received a unusual shaped stamp, you knew it was from the nation of Tonga. Not any longer it seems.

Here's card # 2-- It's from Geeske, a Postcrosser in The Netherlands. The card shows a KLM House. Since 1952 KLM Houses were presents to travelers flying in Business and Royal Class. They have been presented over many years now and as such have become collector items. So far there is 91 different houses available. These houses are in fact bottles with a cork and a seal on top. Depending on the routing of your flight, they were sometimes filled with liquor and sometimes empty. A couple of nice current stamps were used including the one on far right with a design similar to the house on the card's front. The other large stamp shows a lockheed F-104G Starfighter. A nice stamp for those of us who collect aviation stamps.

Card 3 is a card I have wanted to add to my collection for 4 or 5 years. Finally it arrived. It is the Watson Lake Sign Post Forest card. Located in Watson Lake, Yukon, at Mile 635 on the Alaska Highway. The sign forest was started in 1942 by an American soldier with one post and three signs. Since then travellers from around the world have added other signs, increasing the number to over 40,000. My card didn't come from Watson Lake , but from the Village of Breton, Alberta, the result of a private swap with Ian, a Postcrosser up that way. Ian used much more than the normal postage rate within Canada. He used a total of $1.75 when $0.61 would have been enough. Ducks and butterflies from 2011 were used.

Card # 4 comes from Jakarta, Indonesia. This is a picture of Moseom Fatahillah Square, with old Batavia City Hall. This one is from David who is traveling in that part of the world. The 2 stamps are part of a sheet of 8 , a 2011 Joint Issue with Malaysia.

Now the last card. It gives us a look at Edinburgh, sometimes called Athens of the North. It's a view of Edinburgh Castle from the Dugald Stewart Monument , atop Calton Hill. Jean Pierre writes that the city is one of the most beautiful cities of the UK. Well I've never been so I can't say. Been to Glasgow ,though, but not sure it would rank with Edinburgh. Jean Pierre used a Machin definitive and a Roald Dahl Fantastic Mr Fox stamp.

That's it for this Leap day, I'm all Leaped out. Thanks to Jean Pierre, David, Ian, Geeske and Pirkko for their cards. It takes cards to do this so thanks again. These were nice cards with nice stamps. A new month starts tomorrow but I know it's going to be a month with just a few updates here. More on that later. Take care.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sao Paulo Post Office, Isabella Rosselini, Munich Airport, Neiwan Theatre, and Slezske Muesum

Yes, I'm here with a Friday update. I have my usual compliment of 5 cards for this time. It was no problem getting 5 cards as this past week has been flush with postcards. From Monday the 20th through to today, I have received 19 postcards. A banner week , no doubt ! To think it was just a week or so ago I was complaining about the lack of cards . Now on to the cards at hand. Today's entries come from Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Taiwan and Czech Republic. Let's take them in that order.

First up Brazil- On this card we can see a corner view of the Central Post Office in Sao Paulo. The card indicates it was built in 1922 but for some reason I had difficulty finding any more information about the building. Cinthia used a 2011 Central Railway Station stamp showing the classical architecture of the building.

The card from The Netherlands is next. It's a 1993 picture of actress and model Isabella Rossellini taken by Anton Corbijn. He is also known for the U2 cover photo of "The Joshua Tree". Rossellini is the daughter of two legends, Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini. Perhaps her most memorable acting was in the 1986 movie Blue Velvet.

Munich Airport is is featured on this next card. It's a night shot of a couple of aircraft and the control tower. Frequent contributor David sent this along, he's on his way to Indonesia. He used a couple of the flower definitives along with a 2012 stamp, 1 of 2 in a set of Landscapes.

A shop in Neiwan Theatre is shown on this Taiwan card. Built in 1950 Neiwan Theatre was the only entertainment center in Hsinchu at the time. Here's the stamp on the card, but I wasn't able to locate any information about it.

The final card for today is from Czech Republic. It's a picture of Slezske Museum. It is the oldest ( founded in 1814 ) and 3rd largest institution of its kind in the Czech Republic. Now here is the stamp on this card . I've shown it a couple times before and yet every time I see it , I think Algeria and not the Czech Republic.

That's it for this time. Enjoy your postcards and stamps. Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Daytona, Mailboxes, Pikes Peak, A Mailbox, and a Cow Deep in Thought

Here I am with this week's first postcards. Cards are from Sweden, Italy, Netherlands and two from the U.S. So let's get right to it.
Here is one of the U.S. cards. On it we can see Daytona International Speedway, home of The Great American Race, the Daytona 500. Loud, fast cars and big crowds. This is a timely card as the 54th annual Daytona 500 will be held on February 26th , in just a few days. My money's on Danica Patrick , if for no other reason than she's the best looking of all the drivers, even in a jump suit. I have always wanted to attend a race, and if I have my way, I'll opt for The Indy 500, no offence to Daytona. Now, back to the card and the stamps. The $1.00 stamp on the left was originally issued in 2003. The one shown here is a reissue dated 2008, having been issued on 03 October 2008. The stamp on the right, the American Toleware, stamp was issued in 2007.

Well my collection of postbox/mailbox postcards is certainly growing. I have 2 for today. Here is the first one , a card showing 14 brightly coloured boxes. Sabine sent this card along from the Netherlands. The stamp is a very common one that I have shown on a number of occasions , but not again today.

The 3rd card for this time comes from Colorado Springs, CO, USA. Elaynne who lives in Colorado Springs sent the card and it gives us a look at Pikes Peak. This is a mountain of the Rocky Mountains , 16 km west of the city. Rising well above the city of Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak is designated a National Historic Landmark. The stamps include a Silver Coffeepot 2007 definitive , 1 of 4 Disney stamps from 2007 and 1 of 20 in a 2007 set of Super Heroes. This one shows The Thing. Remember the 1882 movie The Thing and now we also have the 2011 The Thing. I don't think the Things in the movies are Super Heroes, though.

Who's up for another Post Box card ? That is besides me . Get ready. I'm not sure where this postbox would be located, but I'd don't think it's Italy, where this card came from . Anyone out there know ? Leave a comment if you do. The card came with a nice , clean, new Italian stamp issue. Issued on 13 January of this year, it commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Giulio Onesti, a former I.O.C. member, and Commissioner of the Olympic Committee.

One more card to go. The thinking cow. I don't know who he is or what he's thinking about. He may be some local cartoon character in Sweden, where the card was sent from, I really don't know. What can I say- a cow sitting on a bench , day dreaming ! Who knew they could sit up , not me.
Julie used a nice stamp here. It is 1 of 2 in a new 2012 Visit Sweden issue.That's it for this time, thanks to all who sent the cards. Will try and get another update in on Friday. Take care.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Ship, A Horse, A Flag and A Plane

Good weekend to you. It's actually a long weekend here in Alberta. Monday is Family Day . The third Monday in February has been celebrated as Family Day here, since 1990. It's not a Canadian national holiday, so mail delivery on Monday, I'm not really sure, I can only hope.
The words in the title today don't really have much in common with each other , except they are what's on today's postcards.

A Ship - let's have a look at this card from Finland. It the Suomen Joutsen, a three-mast, steel hull ship. Built in St. Nazaire, France in 1902 she plied the waters between the Atlantic and the Pacific. In 1930 she was bought by the Finnish Government , serving as a Finnish Navy training ship. Then from 1956-1991 she served as a stationary Seaman's School. In 1991 the Suomen Joutsen was again purchased by the City of Turku as a museum. FYI, although nothing to do with this ship, Turku is the hometown of Miikka Kiprusoff , the great goaltender for the Calgary Flames off the National Hockey League. Here's the stamp. It 1 of 4 issued January 23, 2012 to celebrate Helsinki, the 2012 World Design Capital.

A Horse- this card comes from China. It gives us a look at The Running Horse. That's all I got on this one. It would be really good if there was a little more information on the card. I have more on the stamp than the postcard. The stamp is from 1998 , 1 of 4 in a set featuring Dai architecture. The architecture of the Dai region is distinctive, known especially for the Dai-style temples, bamboo bridges and houses. The temples combine the styles of South Asian and Chinese culture and can be shaped like pavilions, thrones, bells, and so on. Bamboo houses are designed based on local conditions. Made entirely of bamboo, the houses have two floors - downstairs for livestock and upstairs for people - a clean, light and well - ventilated design.

A Flag- The National Flag of Finland. It dates from the beginning of the 20th century. The flag features a white background with a blue Nordic cross.
Like most flags there are some dos and don'ts. There are also common rules on how to treat the flag respectfully. The flag must not be dirty or damaged. The flag must never touch the ground. When the flag is washed, it must be dried indoors. A worn-out flag must be disposed of by burning (though not with the intent to disgrace it), or alternatively by cutting it to pieces small enough not to be recognizable as parts of the flag. The flag must not be buried in the ground or the sea (including not throwing it into the garbage). Paivi , a Finnish Postcrosser sent this card and wrote quite eloquently and proudly about her flag. She used a 2008 flower definitive which is readable in Braille.

The Plane- The card is from Taiwan , so I would think the plane is a drawing of a Taiwan fighter jet.
Again the card tells me nothing about what is on the front. So there. The stamp is from 2011, 1 of 5 in a set featuring railways.

There you have it, the latest. Another update in the books. Enjoy the weekend, even if it's not a long one in your area. Take care.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Painting, a Letter Box and a Monument

Hello again, I have 3 cards for today. All are from my participation in Postcrossing and come from The Netherlands, The United kingdom and Germany. Let's have a look at The Netherlands card first.

It is a picture of a painting by Dutch artist J.B. Jongkind and shows an old view of Dordrecht, in 1878. Not a lot to see there way back then but a nice painting just the same. Lieve used a Postcrossing stamp from 2011, 1 of 3 in a set for international mail. I had already received cards with 2 of the 3 , now thanks to Lieve I have received the 3rd , completing the set.

Now if I could only receive the 3 Postcrossing stamps issued for mailing in Europe. Any Dutch readers or Postcrossers want to take this on ? I'll certainly return the favour with a card or two from Canada.

Card 2 for today in from The United kingdom. It's another one for my postbox postcard collection. It shows a 1874 red postbox , in a reproduction of a stamp designed by Silk Pearce, engraved by Czeslaw Slania and issued by Royal Mail on 8 October 2002. Karen used 2 Machin stamps along with a new 2012 stamp . It is from a set of 6 Roald Dahl stamps showing the original Quentin Blake illustrations of Dahl's much loved characters. The one on this stamp is Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

My last card for this time , from Germany, shows Victory Column in Berlin. This major tourist attraction was inaugurated on 2 September 1873. Ernst used 1 of 2 Greeting stamps issued in 2010.

That is today's update. Thanks to Lieve, Karen and Ernst for their cards.
Now I off to the post office to post a few cards and then to my mailbox to , hopefully, pick up a few incoming cards.
Take care, Cheers !

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Well, it's February 14th , Valentine's Day. Hope you are all looking after your Honeys today.
Today's update will be short and sweet. No regular cards today, just two Valentine postcards, two rather old cards , possibly reproductions. They didn't arrive in my mail, they were in a batch of old cards I purchased last summer. They are kinda cute , so here they are.

This first one gives us a look at Cupid, delivering the senders heart to the card's receiver.
I think I should dedicate that one to My Valentine, My Lovely Teena. She has been My Valentine now for 40 Years.

Here's the second Valentine postcard. No commentary needed on this one , just read the little ditty and you'll get the idea.

So there you have it. Nothing too heavy , just a little celebration of today.

You know , I never see themed postcards such as these anywhere around Alberta. I don't know if they even make them anymore. I only see the normal tourist type of cards. What about in your area ? What kind of cards are available there ?

Take care . Enjoy Valentine's Day with your Valentine. I know I will.

Monday, February 13, 2012

United Arab Emirates

Here I am again, back at the blog. Not a lot of cards for this time though. I received just 2 cards in today's mail and both are from the United Arab Emirates - one from Sharjah and one from Ajman.
First a little history of the Emirates. The U.A.E. is located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a federation of seven emirates. They are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. They entered into their federation in 1971.

The first card is from Sharjah, showing a number of views of the city. Tall buildings, sand, water and warm temperatures. The stamps are interesting, at least one of them. Let's first have a look at the other one. The large stamp on the right was issued in 2006 and is 1 of 6 in a set showing Women's Traditional Jewellery. The other stamp is actually an old Sharjah & Dependences Airmal stamp from 1964. Sharjah's dependencies included Dhiba, Khor Fakkan and Kalba. The stamp shows Kalba Castle and is 1 in a set of 6. Even more interesting is the fact that it is overprinted "KHOR FAKKAN ". Khor Fakkan is a town located along the Gulf of Oman on the east side of the Emirates. Khor Fakkan belongs to the emirate of Sharjah but is geographically surrounded by the emirate of Fujairah.

Now here's the second card of today. It is from tiny Ajman, the smallest of the seven emirates. On this card you can see the Ajman Fort and Museum. The museum was opened in 1981 in a beautiful old eighteenth century fort that served as the Ruler's Palace until 1970. Housed in the museum is a collection of artifacts, manuscripts, old weapons and reconstructions of traditional life. And the stamps- the stamp on the left is from a set of 7 Bird definitives. The one on the right is again from that 2006 Jewellery set of 6.

Thanks go out to Jean Pierre for both of these cards.

A further word about the stamps , from the stamp collector in me. I have collected stamps for more than 40 years. Never collected the stamps of the seven emirates before they joined together in 1971. Their stamps were referred to and still are referred to as Sand Dunes. The only copies one might see were CTO or cancelled to order, not my cup of tea. Most of the time you couldn't give them away. These places are almost totally blank in my albums and that's fine, but now to get a stamp from Sharajah & Dependencies , postally used after 48 years , on a postcard is fine, too. I welcome it to my collection. So there you have it.

A short update today, but a good one if I say so myself. Take care, enjoy your postcards, and stamps and again, thanks Jean Pierre.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ski-Plane , Buzz Lightyear, University of Cape Town, and a Big Guy from Sri Lanka

As mentioned in my last update, postcards were scarcer than hen's teeth this past week. However I did manage to get four for this update. They arrived from Russia, USA, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Now without further ado , here they are.

First up is a card of my favourite topic- airplanes or aviation. It's a small , older ski-equipped passenger plane operating somewhere in Russia. I have seen this postcard a few times in other postcard blogs and hoped to sometime receive a copy myself. Now, thanks to Sergey and Natali , that day has arrived. They used a nice selection of fairly recent Russian stamps. The far left stamp was issued in 2009 and is 1 of 4 in a m/s honouring author N.W. Gogol. The large stamp in the center is from a souvenir sheet of 4 , celebrating 150 years of the Russian Bank, issued in 2010. The stamp on the right was issued in 2007 and is 1 of 2 in a set of Chistjakov paintings.

Here's a neat card that I'm sure my little grandson Evan will love. It shows an image from Toy Story 2. Front and center we see Buzz Lightyear. Buzz is a Space ranger famous for his catchphrase "To Infinity .... and Beyond. " This is a second card from Terry in San Francisco who used 2 more Pixar animation stamps from 2011. They are from a set of 5 and now my set is complete.

On to Cape Town and The University of Cape Town. UCT is South Africa's oldest and most famous learning institution. The school was founded in 1829 as South African College. The card comes compliments of Bruce who has often sent cards my way. He used a 2010 definitive , 1 of 27 in a set featuring Handicrafts.

Now for one of the Big guys in Yala National Park, Sri lanka. Yala is the most visited national park in the country. The elephant herd of Yala contains 300-350 individuals. The park is very important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephant. Ravindra used a 2009 stamp from a set of 2 featuring Madu Ganga Ramsar Wetland. He has a number of postcard blogs here , here and here . Give him a look, send him a card even.

That's about all for this time. Hopefully the mailbox will be a litter fuller with postcards next week. Thanks to all who sent these cards - Sergey & Natali, Terry, Bruce and Ravindra.