Monday, March 31, 2014

The Last of March

Today is indeed the last of March, so there's just enough time left to squeeze in one more update before April blows in. Today's cards are another of what I like to call a mishmash. They are from all over and cover many topics.
First up is a card from Kampala, Uganda.  The front of the card says "A city of Sunrise and Sunset". I guess you can take your pick on this one. Which is it ?

David used a nice triangle stamp commemorating Sikh Centenary Celebrations in Uganda.

Many countries have issued triangle stamps over the years. Countries like Afghanistan, Austria, Bhutan, Chad and Cuba, and that's just the abc's of the world. Even the United States has triangles in their stamp inventory. The first triangle stamps I remember were issued by Czechoslovakia decades ago and I hated them. They were cheap looking and it seemed nobody wanted them , including me. Now if they had been from Cape of Good Hope , they would have found a home in my collection, for sure. Enough about triangles.

Next card. This one is from Finland - the land of ( too ) short summers . That's what the sender Pauliina wrote anyway. The cutie on Pauliina's card is Betty Boop. Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer. She made her first appearance on August 9, 1930 in the cartoon Dizzy Dishes.

Pauliina used a new 2014 Easter stamp.

Here is the latest addition to my Aircraft on Postcards Collection. A large jet at Vantaa Airport.  Helsinki Airport or Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is the main international airport of the Helsinki metropolitan region and the whole of Finland.

Sini used a new 2014 stamps, issued 17th March in fact. It is 1 of 2 stamps commemorating the iconic Finnish ferry Finnjet. It operated between Helsinki and Travemunde, Germany  from 1977 until 2008. I have already received 3 copies of this stamp on postcards, and no copy of the other stamp in the set. Both have the same value, just luck of the draw I guess.

My next card is from France and features a poster for the movie The Quiet Man.   The Quiet Man is a 1952 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by John Ford. It stars John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond and Victor McLaglen.
The film is notable for Winton Hoch's  lush photography of the Irish countryside and a long, climactic, semi-comic fist fight. The film won the Academy Award  for Best Director for John Ford, his fourth, and for Best Cinematography.


Vincent used a 2010 stamp highlighting "Jazz in Marciac ", a jazz festival held in Marciac , a small town of 1,300 in Gers, France  since 1978.

Here's a cute little guy, showing up on this card from Germany. My Lovely Teena, who usually glances through my cards when they arrive, thinks cards with people on them are the very best. This little guy is really cute, so I guess I can understand where Teena is coming from.

Jacqueline used a 2013 stamp of the Fehmarn Sound Bridge.  It connects the German island of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea with the German mainland. 

The sixth card for this time comes from Switzerland. According to Merlin, a Swiss postcrosser, the old time photo shows the Italian port of Locarno, in Switzerland, and a riverboat named Italia. Sorry about the scan on this one, looks like some of the ship is missing.

Merlin used a self- adhesive Christmas stamp, 1 of 4 in this set from 2013. It's a little hard to see due to the heavy cancellation. 

I think 6 cards is enough for today. Still have a little bit of the mishmash left, but I'll show that next time. Thanks going out this time to David, Pauliina, Sini, Vincent, Jacqueline and Merlin for their cards. 
Take care and be sure to come back soon.   

Saturday, March 29, 2014

EARTH Hour, Kenya, My 2000th Postcrossing Card, and More

Hello again. Well, it's still winter here in Alberta, regardless of what the calendar says. It has snowed non-stop for the past 3 days and today it's just a cloudy grey day.   Temp is around  -6C.

My first card today comes from Belgium. It shows the European Parliament's Visitor's Centre.

Johan used a new  Earth Hour stamp and was able to secure a First Day of Issue cancellation in Brussels. I received this card about a week ago but kept it until today, when Earth Hour is celebrated. Since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour has become a movement mobilising people on environmental priorities across the world.  Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet,  encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. Earth Hour  2014 is scheduled for Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. during participants' local time.

  African wildlife is the subject of this next card that arrived from Kenya. You can see a giraffe , a couple of monkeys and an assortment of cats. 

David used a couple of stamps from the set of 100 marking the 100th Anniversary of Kenyan Independence.

My 2000th card from my 8 years of participation in  PostCrossing is next. It took 2939 days of PostCrossing to receive the 2000th card. That's pretty darn good I think. Alina sent this lovely young lady from Germany. She's looking quite relaxed there on that boat. 

Alina used a couple of the everyday flower definitives along with a new 2014 stamp. It commemorates the 1250 years since Lorsch Abbey was opened in 764 AD.  It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.  

One of the world's great planes is shown on my next card. The Boeing 737, this one in Lufthansa livery. 
This B737 with registration D-ABCE has quite a history.  It was on 13 October 1977 that the aircraft was hijacked  by 4 militants who called themselves Commando Martyr Halime. On October 18, the aircraft was stormed by the West German  counter-terrorism group GSG 9 in Mogadishu, Somalia and all 86 passengers rescued.The hijacking took place over 6 days and involved landings in Rome, Larnaca, Bahrain, Dubai, Aden and finally Mogadishu. There were a total of 4 fatalities, Captain Jurgen Schumann was murdered by a hijacker in Aden and later 3 of the 4 hijackers were killed in Mogadishu. 

This is another card from Johan in Belgium. Again he used a current 2014 stamp and had it cancelled on the First day of Issue. The stamp commemorates International Women's Day, March 10th. 

My last card for today. Another of David's cards , this one from Malawi.  It shows a local market scene in the shade of overhanging trees. Malawi - The Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi has claimed to be 'The Warm Heart of Africa' for decades now. These marketing slogans can sometimes be stretching the truth, but in Malawi's case, this is a title that it well and truly continues to deserve. The Malawians greet all visitors with a beaming smile, and with a genuine, disarming warmth. They will go out of their way to be friendly and helpful to anyone who has done them the honour of visiting their country.

David used 4 copies of the 2012 stamp highlighting PMTCT - Preventing Mother To Child Transmission of HIV. 

There we have it - short and sweet. Another update in the book. Hope you enjoyed this one. I enjoyed bringing it to you. One more thing - This past week was a great week for me. I received 45 postcards in the mailbox. On Wednesday I found 19 cards there and thought that was great, then on Friday 20 cards were in the box. What can I say, I can only hope this coming week is as good. Take care , be sure to turn your lights out for an hour tonight.    

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Penny, Bwindi, Nairobi and Gasadalur

Hello again, I'm back with a short update today. It's still winter here with cold temperatures, flurries and lots of snow on the ground. Spring, I don't think it's happening here this year, think maybe we'll  go straight from winter to summer. Of course the good thing about winter is that it's a great time to concentrate on postcards. 
So let's get to some.

I know many of you collectors have heard about the Penny Post, any postal system in which you could send a normal letter for one penny. Penny Posts operated in London, Edinburgh, and throughout the British Empire, even Buffalo, N.Y and Baltimore, Maryland in the U.S. Well my first card today is not about the Penny Post , but the Penny Post Office. It comes from  Penny , B.C. Canada. It is a card showing the Penny Post Office in winter. .  Penny is a community  located between  Longworth and Dome Creek on the north bank of the Fraser River in central British Columbia, Canada. It was established as a station on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway in 1914. Penny Post Office opened 1 February 1916 with Nels Pederson as postmaster. Penny was the last  community in Canada that still relied on the railroad for postal service. Sadly, like all good things, it has come to an end. The Penny Post Office was closed by Canada post on Dec. 30, 2013.

Luckily my postcard was postmarked on the last day of service at Penny Post Office. This is thanks to Angie , a Postcrosser who lives in nearby Prince George, ( nearby is like a100 km or so ) . We swapped a couple of other cards which I will show when they arrive. The stamp is a Queen Elizabeth definitive issued last year.

The next 2 cards are both from David's recent trip to east Africa. The first one is from  Kabale, a city in Western Uganda. It is a convenient base for tourists traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds (such as hornbills and turacos). It is perhaps most notable for the 340 Bwindi gorillas, half the world's population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

David used a Bird definitive from a set of 14 issued in 1992, along with 2 triangle shaped stamps from a 2013 set of 4. They commemorate the 100th anniversary of Sikhism in Uganda.

 David's second card is from Nairobi, Kenya. It shows some of the high buildings in the city, including the Kenyatta International Conference Centre ( bottom center ). The airline person in me likes the  " Fly Kenya Airways The Pride of Africa "sign on the building in upper right. 

David used 2 stamps from a set of 100 marking the 50th Anniversary of Independence for Kenya. The left stamp shows the lowering of the Union Jack and the right stamp shows the hoisting of the Kenyan flag on Mt. Kenya.

The last card today is from Torshavn, the capital and largest town of the Faroe Islands, Denmark.  This beautiful card shows the Falls at Gasadalur . In 2007 Gasadalur had a population of 17, a small place indeed. In 2012 it climbed to 18. The village has been in danger of depopulation since it is hard to reach, to solve the problem in 2004 a tunnel  through the mountains was made so the village could connect to the main road network of Vágar island.

This card comes compliments of Jia Yi Wang of China who was on holiday in the Faroe Islands.
The Butterfly stamp is 1 of 4 in a set issued in 2010. Take a look at the clear cancellation , don't you think every postcard deserves this treatment ?

 So ends another postcard update. Thanks go out to Angie, David and Wang for the cards. Thanks for reading, leave a comment if you want. Cheers. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Springtime In Alberta

Yes, the calendar tells me it's spring today, the t.v people say it's spring, but how come the weather department doesn't know ? We are experiencing an Alberta Clipper today,  with snow , blowing snow and reduced visibilities all over. The temperature is - 3 and with the wind , it feels like -12. The next days won't be much better, with temperatures between -9 and -17 with flurries. So I ask - where is spring ?

Anyway it's on to postcards. My first card comes from Pinegowrie, a suburb of the City of Johannesburg, South Africa. The card shows Union Buildings in Pretoria. They are the official seat of the SA government and house the office of the President. The Union Buildings  are built at the highest point of South Africa's capital city, Pretoria. They were designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1908, building began in 1909 and was completed in 1913.  In 1994 the buildings were the scene of much jubilation as they played host to the inauguration of former President Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected President, and heralded the beginning of a new era in South Africa's history.

 The Union Buildings were 100 years old in 2013 and as such were the subject of 2 M/sheets of stamps containing a total of 20 different stamps. Bruce used 2 of the 20 on his card. The longer one on the right is a view very similar to the picture on the postcard.

Today's second card comes from Sumy, Ukraine. Sumy is a city on the Psel River in Ukraine.  As of 2004, the city's population was 283,700.  Sumy is located in the northeast part of Ukraine, well away from Crimea , but quite near the border with Russia. Nina's card shows an old Russian steam locomotive.

 Nina's stamps include definitives from 2012 showing Trees and Fruits, along with a stamp issued for EURO 2012 Football.

An A380 Airbus is shown at Frankfurt Airport on this next card.  The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body, four-engine jet airliner manufactured by Airbus. It is the world's largest passenger airliner.
The A380 made its first flight on 27 April 2005 and entered commercial service in October 2007 with Singapore Airlines. As of February 2014 Airbus has received 324 firm orders and delivered 124 aircraft. Emirates has the most A380s on firm order with 140 as of January 2014. The first aircraft, MSN003, (registered as 9V-SKA) was delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15 October 2007 and entered service on 25 October 2007 with flight number SQ380 between Singapore and Sydney . Passengers bought seats in a charity online auction paying between $560 and $100,380.

Emirates was the second airline to receive the A380 and commenced services between Dubai  and New York in August 2008. Qantas  followed on 19 September 2008, starting flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles in October 2008. By the end of 2008, 890,000 passengers had flown on 2,200 flights totalling 21,000 hours. In February 2009, the one millionth passenger was flown with Singapore Airlines and by May of that year 1,500,000 passengers had flown on 4,200 flights totalling 41,000 hours.Air France received its first A380 in October 2009. Lufthansa received its first A380 in May 2010. By July 2010, the 31 A380s then in service had transported 6 million passengers on 17,000 flights totalling over 156,000 hours between 20 international destinations.
Airbus delivered the 100th A380 on 14 March 2013 to Malaysia Airlines.

 I am happy to say that I have in my collection an A380 First Flight cover that was flown on that first commercial A380 flight, SQ380 / 25 Oct 2007 from Singapore to Sydney. It is compliments of Mr Michael Dodd who carried it on that historic flight.  Michael operates cddstamps and you can find his site here .   Now here's that cover.

Chrissy used a flower definitive and a stamp commemorating the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin. It was issued in 2013 and is 1 of 2 in the set.

Who said " You're deth-picable! " ? If you said Daffy Duck, you're correct and he is the subject of my next card. The card is actually a reproduction of the 1999 U.S. Daffy Duck stamp.

Kim from new Jersey used a number of stamps on this one. The card is a prestamped postcard with the 1999 Daffy Duck stamp printed on it. Kim also used the Wood Duck stamp, the Frederick Douglas 1995 stamp and a Circus stamp.

That is the update for this time. Thanks  going out to Bruce, Nina, Chrissy, Kim and to Michael. Be sure to check out Michael's stamps and covers . I'm sure you'll find something you like.  

Thanks for dropping by. Do come again. Now I'm going out and enjoy spring - shovel the snow that's fallen in the walk and driveway.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Great Wall, Edinburgh Of the Seven Seas and More

Hello again. Anyone who read the last installment of this blog will remember I mentioned how many cards on average I receive per day. Well this past week kind of blows that idea up. For this current 5 day week , Mon-Fri, I have received 2 postcards. You know the expression "the cheque is in the mail " , well I'm sure in my case "the postcards are in the mail ".  

So let's get to the postcards I do have. The first is from China and shows the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China . This section is  the most visited section of the Great Wall, approximately 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Beijing city . The portion of the wall running through the site was built in 1504 during the Ming Dynasty . The highest point of Badaling is Beibalou  approximately 1,015 metres (3,330 ft) above sea level.

Bruce used a 2004 Bird definitive , 1 of 2 in the set.


Edinburg Of the Seven Seas, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean. How is that for an address?
Tristan da Cunha  is the most remote  inhabited archipelago in the world, lying 2,816 kilometres (1,750 mi) from the nearest land, South Africa, and 3,360 kilometres (2,088 mi) from South America. Tristan da Cunha is part of the British overseas territory of  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.  This includes Saint Helena 2,430 kilometres (1,510 mi) to its north and equatorial Ascension Island  some 3,730 kilometres (2,318 mi) to the north of Tristan. The island has a permanent population of 275 (2009 figures).

The capital, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is regarded as the most remote permanent settlement on Earth, being 1,350 miles (2173 kilometres) from the nearest human settlement, on Saint Helena.

This card is from the Tristan Post & Tourism Department. They used a stamp from 2013 showing some residents returning home in 1963. 2013 is the 50th anniversary of that Homecoming.  The 1961 eruption of Queen Mary's Peak forced the evacuation of the entire population to England.

You know , Tristan da Cunha is on my list. I have a small list of places that I would really love to see before it's all over. Strangely  they are all islands - Tristan, St. Helena, Pitcairn, and Easter Island . A guy can dream, can't  he ?  Of course, there are other places but none seem so exotic or remote as these four. The Falklands were on that list, but I was lucky enough to get there and I loved every minute.

Stand back , we're coming in, is what these gals could be saying. I do like the swimming caps though. I'm sure they will make a comeback.

Marijam from the Netherlands used a couple of Animal stamps, from 2013.

. I think I'll leave it at that today. Thanks for the cards going out to Bruce, Marijam and Tristan Tourism. See you all again soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Eight Years of Postcards

The title of this update suggests an anniversary of sorts. It's not today though. Two days ago, on March 9th, marked 8 years of collecting postcards and 8 years of membership in Postcrossing. That's 8 years or 2922 days. In that time I have received a total of 3416 postcards, through Postcrossing and other means. That's a little over 1 per day. Of course some days  I receive more than one , and some days I receive less than one - like none. Yesterday would be an example of a none day.
Today I have a few Postcrossing cards and one non-Postcrossing card to have a look at. Let's start with the non-Postcrossing one. It comes from Bujumbura, Burundi. I mean how often do you receive mail from Burundi , or for that matter , how often do you even say the words - Bujumbura, Burundi ? If you're like me, not too damn often. However , when you have a postcard friend like David, there is always a chance of receiving a card from some exotic place like Burundi. David's card shows a couple of local fishing boats on the beach.

The stamp on this one is from a souvenir sheet of 4 issued in 2012, celebrating Royal Drummers and Dancers.

My next card comes from a Postcrosser named Ramesh in India. Ramesh works for India Post , so I guess he sees lots of cards coming and going. His card is of the new Indian Navy Ship Vikramaditya, an aircraft carrier. She was commissioned in 2013 in Severodvinsh, Russia. The ship has been named in honour of Vikramaditya, the legendary 1st century  BC emperor of Ujjan, India. The aircraft carrier is 284 metres long and 60 metres high and weighs 40,000 tommes. It can carry 24 fighter jets and 10 helicopters, along with a crew of 2,000.

Ramesh used 2 very recent stamps . Both were issued in 2013. The one on the right commemorates the Times of India and the other celebrates Eklavya, a character from a Hindu Epic.

Here's a card from Argentina. It's a card celebrating The Dakar Rally, part of which now takes place in Argentina. From 1978-2007 the rally was known as the Paris-Dakar Rally and was run between Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal. In 2008 the rally was cancelled due to security concerns. The 2009 Dakar Rally  was run in South America ( Argentina and Chile ) .  It has been held in South America each year since 2009. Despite its "rally" name, it is an off-road endurance race, properly called a "rally raid ".

Mariana used a couple of commemoratives and a definitive to move his card along. The top stamp was issued in 2012 to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Tucuman. The middle stamp commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the City of Villa Carlos Paz in 2012. The bottom stamp is a Ceramics definitive from 2008.

The skyline of Warsaw, Poland is featured on this next card. It comes from a Postcrosser who calls himself AAZ.

Aaz used  a couple of Dog stamps from 2006 and another stamp from 2002. The dog stamps are from a set of 5 issued for the World Dog Show , held in Poznan in 2006. The stamp on the left is 1 of 3 in a City Folklore set of 3.

I'm going to call it a day there. Thanks for postcards going out to David, Ramesh, Mariana and AAZ. Thanks for dropping by, please do so often. Later.