Friday, 30 May 2014

Hansel And Gretel, Germany

A fairy tale on stamps...Hansel and Gretel by Grimm Brothers (or so I thought, but it seems to be only recorded by them!) is one of the stories that marked my childhood. Very nice recent issue by German post.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

EUROPA 2012 - Russia

Wonderfully welcoming Russian FDC, thank you Runa :)
The last of the five 'missing' ones!

EUROPA 2012 - Czech Republic

Highly recognisable dancing house in Prague featured in CZ issue, thank you Radim :)

EUROPA 2012 - The Netherlands

Holland from Paul, thank you :)

EUROPA 2012 - Estonia

'Postal Trinity' achieved with great stamps, cancellation and fdc/envelope - as always thank you Heidi :)

EUROPA 2012 - Switzerland

Before I update with all the wonderful 2014 EUROPA covers I have been receiving lately...its only right to present the missing 2012 issues for some chronological order. (I havent swapped at all in 2013...happy to be back on track:))
The Swiss decided to make it funny for the 'visit...' theme, thanks Sara :)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Little Prince

It took me a while to post this because in my research I got immersed in the life story of  a French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose death/disappearance haven't been fully explained to this day. This FDC showing his most famous literary hero The Little Prince was issued in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic event when Saint-Exupéry went on his ninth reconnaissance mission (being a war pilot) only to disappear without a trace. In May 2000 the partial remains of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning were found, spread over thousands of square metres of the seabed off the coast of Marseille, near to where the bracelet with his name was previously found.

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems... But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me... You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”
All of the novella's simple but elegant watercolour illustrations, which were integral to the story, were painted by Saint-Exupéry. What a mind, what a talent...

Discover more historical lessons clicking on this link:


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Turks And Caicos Islands

This sheet has been purchased rather than received via regular much as it would be wonderful to get it, I am still waiting for a postcard from this elusive territory..!
This weeks Sunday Stamps is about anything we wish, which inspires me to show something that normally doesn't fit into any of the standard themes (though this one might under archaeology or native peoples?) and here is one of my favourites.
The Lucayans  were the original inhabitants of the Bahamas archipelago before the arrival of Europeans; they were the first inhabitants of the Americas encountered by Christopher Columbus. The Spanish started seizing Lucayans as slaves within a few years of Columbus's arrival, and they had all been removed from the Bahamas by 1520. Another tragic story of colonization...
This set was issued in 1974 and shows the practical objects like a stool, an axe and wooden bowls. It would appear that the object on the last stamp is also a stool, even though it looks like a toy :)
I am sure lots of great entries this week can be seen on Viridian's blog!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Beauty Of Orchids, Czech Republic

Now I have posted this some days ago, but today's theme for Sunday Stamps is flowers and I have no other cover to show here on this topic...and quite honestly, I think this one deserves some more attention ;)
This souvenir sheet on orchids was issued in 2012, when the Czech Orchid Society ("Ceská orchidejárská spolecnost") celebrated its 125. anniversary. Altogether 18 species are shown, but let me point out the four that adorn the actual stamps:
*10 Kc a Dendrobium peguanum is shown which can be found in Nepal, India and Myanmar. She was named after the town Pegu in Myanmar.
*14 Kc you can see a Coryanthes feildingii, whose biotopes are the wet forests from Mexico to Brazil.
*18 Kc two different orchids are shown. On the one hand there is a Cattleya aclandiae which can be found only in Brazil, the other a Cattleya maxima with her large blossoms (maxima) whose biotopes are in Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Amazonia.
*20 Kc we even see three species of Paphiopedilum - the Paphiopedilum charlesworthii from Myanmar, Thailand and SW-China; the very hirsute or scrubby (hirsutissimum) looking Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum grows in NE-India and Myanmar. The glorious (insigne) Paphiopedilum insigne is native in NE-India.
Now let me enlarge for a better view:

Friday, 9 May 2014

Giuseppe Verdi, Israel

This stamp issued in 2013 celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birthday. Thanks to Sauj and friends :)

Year Of The Horse, China

This is actually a lot more than a YOTH cover, including an additional horse stamp and a fantastic sheet, but I haven't been able to recognise what it represents. Just wonderful, thank you Chao :)

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Slovenian Fruits

Yummy two covers, including some of my favourite fruits: figs and jujubes/red dates. The other two are actually quite exotic to me, I don't think I've ever tasted the loquat, and service tree fruits I've only heard of from my elders. Thank you Mateja for splendid stamps :)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Yugoslavian Stamps

As the theme for this week's Sunday Stamps #169 is  stamps from Russia or other former communist countries, reaching into my former homeland's stamp collection seemed a logical choice. And to start with, a set that immediately associates with the theme with its burning red stars: issued in 1964 for a communist congress.

Two examples of stamps issued for the children's week (dečja nedelja) each year, would have been apt for last week's theme as well :)

I have acquired some Yugoslavian stamps on my own but I was also lucky to inherit an album with lots of wonderful sets of mostly used stamps - here is a collection of national costumes, they are actually parts of different sets issued over the years. I have singled out a Croatian example for the set issued in 1961, which I believe is showing the national costumes of Jamnica in the capital region. I just love those 'head covers'! (in search of a better word)
More stamps on the theme can be found via this link:

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Croatia To Niger And Back

I will feel free to say this is a curious story, well at least for me it was :) My friend was travelling through Africa and I have sent him a few letters to Post Restante addresses during that time. He's never received one sent to Niger - if judging from the stamp/cancellation on the back of the envelope, it travelled for a little less than five months. And then surprise surprise, I got it back after approximately TWO years! (with the donkey stamps, yay ;))

Official From Finland

On official postcrossing web-site I received an envelope with two photos inside - I don't feel thats what postcrossing is about, but on the bright side I got a cover with one of four stamps issued on Sámi culture in 2012 :)