Monday, September 30, 2019

Cersei Lannister, Victoria and French Polynesia

BLOG #  1421

Hello again. Since my update last week, Winter has arrived in Alberta. Yes I know it's only the end of September, I guess someone should tell Mother Nature. Here in Airdrie we had a snowy weekend, and now have about 10 cm of snow on the ground. Strangely the more south one goes the more snow that fell. Down near Waterton Lakes National Park, near the U.S. border 60-90 cm of the white stuff  .  Unbelievable !  Now I need a holiday. That leads to my first card of the day.

Tahiti, French Polynesia. Sounds like a place I'd love to be right now instead of looking out on all this snow. My card is compliments of Jenny, a Postcrosser living in Papeete. Sounds like a tough life. Jenny's card is a look at one of the wild white sandy beaches  of Tahiti .

Jenny used 2 stamps on her card. The stamp on the left was issued in 2018 and is 1 of 3 in a set of Flora & Fauna of French Polynesia. The right stamp from 2018 shows Taputapuatea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I'm sure many readers know that I've collected stamps for many , many years. Over the years I've concentrated on various topics and countries. One of my favourites has , for many years,  been French Polynesia. The stamps are always interesting and beautiful, I have assembled a great collection of French Polynesia. About the only thing that could make it better, would be me in Tahiti purchasing a few prime issues .

The Empress Hotel in beautiful Victoria , Canada is the focus of my next card. My lovely Teena and I visited Victoria a few weeks ago and of course Teena saw fit to send me a card, as always. We have stayed in The Empress before but not this trip. This time it was a 114 year old Bed & Breakfast called the Beaconsfield Inn. And no, that's not Teena and I in the carriage.

Teena used a stamp from the Sweet Canada series of 5, issued in April of this year. This stamp set showcases 5 of Canada's traditional desserts. On Teena's card is the Nanaimo Bar, a a no-bake dessert named after the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo Bar is a crumb crust of chocolatey coconut topped with a rich, creamy custard covered with a layer of chocolate.

The card received a nice postmark showing Fisgard Lighthouse, built in 1860 , the first lighthouse on Canada's west coast.

Getting back to the Nanaimo Bar for a second - they are quite tasty, however My Lovely Teena has perfected a better version and makes them quite often. Strangely,  she calls them "Glenn's Cookies " . Maybe they'll be on a stamp some years down the road.

Now here's a card showing a stamp from the Game of Thrones set issued by England's Royal Mail. This one pictures Cersei Lannister. Cersei was my favourite character on Games of Thrones. Although a tad evil, alright more than just a tad, I was hoping she would end up on the Iron Throne. Instead she met her doom and Bran the Broken was the ultimate throne winner. I'll always remember Cersei say to Ned Stark " When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground. " She certainly found this out.

Peggy & Neville sent this card and used 3 stamps. On the left is just one more of the long running Machin definitives. The middle stamp, 1 of 6 from 2007 commemorating the Queen's Diamond Wedding Anniversary. The right stamp is from a 2009 set of 4 showcasing U.K Royal Mail Boxes.

Too bad they received the ugly pen cancel. Just another case of the Great Stamp Defacer striking again.

I think I'll call it a day here. Today I have to thank Jenny, Peggy & Neville and My Lovely Teena for cards. See you again soon.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A Total Mismash of Cards

BLOG # 1420

It seems like I have neglected this blog a little, it's been a while since I've last been here. But let me just say, the cards haven't stopped coming. I have quite the bundle waiting to make their debut here on GemsWorldPostcards. I also have eight or nine cards that have arrived from my trip to Newfoundland that are on my desk, too . I have to make time and room for these soon.

Let's start today with a Moose from Belarus. The moose is the largest and heaviest species in the deer family.  Where I come from, Newfoundland, four moose were introduced in 1904 and and have produced over 150,000 descendants, with a population of 120,000 still resident on the island.  Today, moose are so numerous that they pose a hazard to drivers. When you hit moose with your car, it's not a pretty sight.

Marina used a stamp from 2014. It showcased the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk. Russia was the eventual winner.

My next card shows an Oil on Canvas called " Tea in the Studio " . It is located in the Royal Academy of Arts in London. It was painted by English sculptor and painter Arthur George Walker in 1932. Perhaps his best known work is the beautiful statue of Florence Nightingale in Waterloo Place, London.

Paddy used a couple of stamps from a set of 8 issued in 2019 called Curious Customs. The left stamp celebrates the World Gurning Championships , held in Egremont, England. Gurning means to make a strange facial expression. One has to put ones head through a horse collar and make the most funny, snarly and distorted face possible. The right stamp highlights the Up Helly Aa festival in Lerwick, Scotland. It involves a series of marches, culminating in a torch-lit parade and the burning of a galley.

A short time ago, this card arrived from the Netherlands. It shows a KLM Douglas DC-3 Dakota. KLM received their first DC-3 in 1936. A total of 607 civilian DC-3s were built, but when you add in military and other versions, the total balloons to 16,079. This particular KLM DC-3 is now in the air museum at Lelystad, Netherlands.
On a personal note my first flight was on a DC-3 , CF-RTY of Eastern Provincial Airways fame, which was built in 1945. 

Gemma used an International Windmill stamp from 2014 on her card. Nice round postmark from Zwolle , though.

Here's a card from Portugal.  It gives us a look at the Estrela Basilica in Lisbon. It was consecrated in November of 1789. 

Josep & Assumpta used a self-adhesive  stamp from 2018, 1 of 4 in a Traditional Sweets set. 

Be sure to check out their great postcard blog called " Letters and Postcards from all over " .

Is this next card a " Sign of the Times " ? Everyone on the beach taking the same picture, trying for that perfect sunset. Life was never so complicated or so simple. Long gone are the days of "real cameras " , film and flash bulbs. I think it's safe to say that my grandkids don't know what flash bulbs and film are. So many things have disappeared from use in the last 25-30 years. Leave a comment listing something you remember using , but is no longer in use. 

The stamp was issued in 2018 and commemorates the 1000th Anniversary of St. Peter's Cathedral in Worms. 

This next card arrived from Pori, a city of 85,000 located on the west coast of Finland. The city dates from 1558.  Kristina's card shows a small marina and a somewhat older bridge in Pori. 

Kristina used 2 Bird related stamps on this card. On the left is 1 of 4 in a set issued in 2017. On the right , from 2013, 1 of 6 Angry Birds.

Purple flowers, blooming lavender is the subject of this next card. The card is from Germany so I will assume this particular field is located there. Lavender is often used in traditional medicine and cosmetics, however there is no high quality clinical evidence that lavender has any effects on disease or improves health. 

A Postcrosser called Gabi sent this card. She used 4 of the Flower definitives often received on German cards. The other stamp is from a set of 2 issued in 2001 featuring Endangered Animals. 

So ends another update. Thanks for cards today go out to Kristina, Gabi, Josep & Assumpta, Gemma, Marina and Paddy. 
I have lots of cards on hand , so it shouldn't be too long before I'm back here again. 
Don't forget that comment about things you once used but are obsolete today. Thanks , Cheers. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Serbia, Bridges, Motorbikes, and More

BLOG # 1419

Hello to all. Time for a few more postcards.

My first card today is a look at Belgrade at night. The city is the capital of Serbia and also its largest city. Jean Pierre's card shows the view on the Sava River and an old part of Belgrade with the lighted Cathedral Church of St. Michael the Archangel.

Jean Pierre used a nice Aviation themed stamp along with one other. On the left is a stamp issued in 2017 celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Serbian National Airline - Air Serbia formerly Jat Airways.  On the right is a 2006 stamp showing the Serbian Flag and Coat of Arms.

Speaking of Jat Airways, one of their DC10-30 aircraft is the subject of today's second card. Registered as YU-AMB it is photographed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris in July of 1996.  This aircraft entered service in 1979 and flew for 27.3 years. It was finally scraped in 2005.

This one arrived with the same Aviation themed stamp as the previous card.

Its a lighthouse next. Point Moore Lighthouse  in Geraldton, Western Australia.    This light stands 34 metres high and was the first all steel tower built on mainland Australia. Point Moore was lit for the first time on 19 March 1878 and has been in continuous operation since. 

Yuan used a stamp from 2018 showing the skyline of Melbourne. It is 1 of 3 in a set showcasing Beautiful Cities.

                                                                                                              Always great to get a superb postmark.

Here now are two cards sent by Dominique, the first from Galway City, Ireland and the second from Carcassonne, France.

Galway is a harbour city on the west coast of Ireland. It will be the European Capital of Culture in 2020 , along with Rijeka, Croatia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dominique used 2 Definitives from the 2018 History of Ireland set.     


Dominique's French card is a look at La Cite, the medieval citadel in Carcassonne with all its watchtowers and double-walled fortifications. It was put on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1997.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The stamp used here is from 2016 and celebrates Georges Charpak, French Physicist and Nobel Prize winner in 1992.

     My next card is from Portland, OR, USA - quite near, only 1267 km to the west. It's a look at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on the Willmette River .  McCall was an American politician, journalist and Governor of Oregon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              David used 2 recent Forever stamps from earlier this year. They are 2 from a set of 16 celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the TV Series Sesame Street. Shown are Mr Snuffaluffagus and Zoe.

These are not my favourite topics for stamps but I'm sure they would be very popular with young people entering Stamp Collecting , if any are.

David has a great postcard blog and you can find it right here .

I have just 2 more cards for this time, so hang in there.
Here's a card form Saigon, Vietnam and what do you see ? Motorbikes, motorbikes and more motorbikes. The traffic in Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon  seems to have a mind of its own and can be a real nightmare for visitors. I know , it sure was when we visited there a few years ago. Ho Chi Minh City has a population of just over 8.4 million people and has 7.43 million motorbikes. We won't even mention the 5 million motorbikes just up the road in Hanoi. It's just madness !

      Jobbo used a number of the 2019 Vietnamese Silk Paintings set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     And the last card is : from Serbia. It's a great look at the five Sava bridges in Belgrade at the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jean Pierre used 3 stamps on this card, 2 of which we have looked at already.  The other one , the middle stamp was issued in a set of 4 in 2016. They celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Serbian Monasteries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Nice postmarks again.

That's it for this time. Thanks for the cards going out to Jean Pierre, Jobbo, Dominique, David, and Euan. Hope you enjoyed seeing these great cards and stamp. That's what it's all about. Take care.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September is it ?

I guess I have lots of time for an update now. I was supposed to be flying to Toronto on Saturday and on to Ft Lauderdale today for a short cruise to The Bahamas. That's not happening of course with Hurricane Dorian making his way north from the Caribbean. Almost all cruises in the Caribbean are now affected with longer sailings, shorter sailing or more at sea days. Ours is now two days shorter than when we booked , so we decided to cancel and will pick something up a little later, certainly after hurricane season.  Good Luck to The Bahamas, now that Dorian is a Cat 5 Hurricane . Better batter down the hatches.

So now it's on to postcards.

First up is a map card from Andorra, It's also a history lesson on the country. There's lots to learn on the front.

   This card is from Josep & Assumpta and they used two stamps issued by La Poste of France for Andorra. On the left is a Coat of Arms stamp issued in 2016. On the right , from 2018, a stamp issued for the 10th World Congress on Snow and Winter Tourism.

You can find your way to their postcard blog by clicking on  this .

Today's second card arrive from Belgium. It shows a picturesque view of Bruges - one of the city's canals and one of it's many bridges. Bruges is famous for its lace, one of the most luxurious in the world.

Johan used a stamp that was issued on June 17th of this year. He also got a First Day of Issue cancellation in the shape of a star. The stamp is 1 of 5 in a minisheet  Showing Geometry in Nature ( Star Shapes ) .

Johan's postcard blog can be found here .

Now it's a card from the Algarve in Portugal. A very nice looking ocean / beach scene.

This is another card from Johan. This time he used 2 stamps from 2 different sets from different years. On the left is 1 of 4 , from 2017, showing views of North Portugal such as the University of Coimbra as shown here. The other stamp was issued in 2016, 1 of 5  showing Bridges and Engineering Structures.

Next is a card from Cyprus, just my second from there, after all these years. Cyprus is the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. It measures 240 km long and 100 km wide. The country has one of the mildest climates in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. It has very mild winters and warm to hot summers.
Ana's card shows a village street in the Troodos region.

Ana used two stamps . The main stamp, the one on the right is from 2015 and shows Boats of the Mediterrean. The other stamp , from 2017, is a Refugee Tax Fund stamp. All mail dispatched out of Cyprus must carry the Refugee Fund Stamp.

Workers returning home after a hard work day is the subject of this card from Sri Lanka. Some even get to ride the elephant home.

Ravindra used the 2 Christmas stamps from 2013 on his card.

Ravindra has a couple of postcard and stamp blogs. Here is one dedicated to Lighthouses  .

An Apsara dancer at Angkor , the city that houses Angkor Wat,  is the focus of the card below. Apsara dance is a form of classical Cambodian ballet. Apsaras are beautiful female creatures that visit Earth from heaven to entertain both gods and kings with their enchanting dance.

Jean Pierre used 2018 stamp showing   Sambor Prei Kuk Temple , a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017.

 Well, that's my update for this time. Thanks as always for great postcards going out to Jean Pierre, Ravindra, Ana, Johan and Josep & Assumpta. Can't do this postcard stuff without people like you. Thanks again. Be back soon .