zondag 25 mei 2014

Sunday stamps: Men in space

This Sunday Stamps' theme is "stamp commemorating a person or event worth remembering".

There's one event which goes back to one of my very first memories. I was four-and-half years old, and as usual I had gone to bed to sleep in time. However, that night my mother took me out of bed. What would happen?
The whole family (that is, the four of us) was gathered around our old, then brand new, black-and-white t.v.
I don't remember the programm exactly, but the memory gaps have been filled by the images I've seen later in life.

It was 1969, and it was Neil Armstrong who said (while doing it) "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind".

Twenty-five years later this stamp was issued in the Netherlands, to commemorate this amazing event. The text you see is the Dutch translation of Neil Armstrong's words.

There have been many more in space. For instance the famous dog Laika, who was the first animal who went in orbit around the Earth. There is a stamp commemorating this unfortunate pioneer, which has been issued in 1959 in Romania. You can see that stamp here.

More lucky space journeys than the one Laika was submitted to, have been made by 'our' (read: Dutch) astronauts. In the Netherlands there only have been two of them, so far. They never stepped on the moon, but they did interesting research in space, and showed magnicifent pictures of our world to all of us. A world which, viewed from space, looks very small...

The first Dutch astronaut was Wubbo Ockels. Sadly he passed away, exactly one week ago.
As far as I know there haven't been issued stamps about him. But I was happy to see him connected to a stamp: I found this picture, of Wubbo Ockels presenting the stamp you see above, in 1994.

The other Dutch Astronaut is André Kuipers. He has been travelling in space twice. The most recent journey has been between December 2011 and July 2012, for which the Dutch Post issued this stamp sheet:

Also André Kuipers is a very sympathetic person, and I think he is both fond of laughing and fond of sharing knowledge.
In his online photoalbum he shares amazing pictures with all of us. You can find his photostream here.
My favourite picture, which has been in many newspapers, too, is the one in which he plays with weightlessness: you can see a bubble of air in a drop of water. I think this beautiful photo worth a stamp, too :-)

zondag 18 mei 2014

Sunday stamps: Telephones

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is 'Anything you wish'.
It was hard to think of one theme, because there are so many beautiful stamps and so many themes to choose.
First I thought of musical instruments, always a favourite theme, and Hawwa inspired me by this blog post (it's this year's theme for Europe!) and by sending beautiful Spanish stamps showing string instruments, like these ones.

But then I thought that 'Musical instruments' might have been, or will be one day, a theme for Viridian's Sunday Stamps already. As have been/will be themes like 'Postage stamps on stamps', 'Mailboxes' and other popular themes for snail mail lovers like us.
So it would be good to choose something else. Finally I found it:


These three stamps have been issued in 1994 'for the elderly':

The present main Dutch telephone company ('KPN') used to be part of one national government-owned enterprise, which also included the Mail company: PTT (Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie: mail, telegraph and telephone).
In 1989 the PTT became independent of the government, and the name changed into KPN (Koninklijke PTT Nederland: Royal PTT Netherlands), including PTT Post and PTT Telecom as main companies.
The state was the only owner until KPN went to the stock market in 1994. In 1998 there was a dissociation: the mail went on in a company named TPG, later TNT, now PostNL, and the telephone branch as KPN.
These stamps have been issued for the aforementioned milestones in 1989 and in 1994:

Here you can see a complete Telephone:

And how times have been changing! Nowadays most telephones have lost their 'line'.
This stamp, issued as part of a 10-pieces stamp sheet for the 100th anniversary of the Dutch Open Air Museum, is titled 'youngsters with a smartphone':

zaterdag 17 mei 2014

In: from the United Kingdom

John sent me this interesting card of a bridge. Not just a common bridge (although this type of bridge can be found all over England), but a Pack Horse Bridge.

On his weblog posting of yesterday, you can see some more bridges from the UK.

He also made me happy by sticking beautiful stamps on the postcard, showing the Noble Chafer (funny that the word 'chafer' sounds a little like the Dutch word for beetle: 'kever') and the Stag Beetle.

Thank you very much, John!

In: from Japan

As a 'thank you' for my two attempts to send a Postcrossing card (both finally arrived, fortunately), Asuka surprised me with a beautiful envelope. Which not only contained two postcards - one blank to send forward, and one filled with stickers, nice drawings and a kind message - but also three works of fabric art: needlework / crochet flowers, created by Asuka's aunt.

I love this dragon and Postgirl, drawn by Asuka:

The dancer is practicing Genjo-Raku.

The manga drawing has been created by Reiko Shimizu.

Thank you very much, arigato, Asuka!

maandag 12 mei 2014

In: from the USA

Bijzonder werk door de kunstenaar Brian Moss. De titel vind ik erg leuk: 'Zwemmen met Guppies'. We hadden vroeger thuis guppies. Ik vond het leuke visjes. Al kwam ik nooit op het idee om er ook mee te gaan zwemmen.
Ontvangen van PostMuse uit Amerika.

Amazing art work by Brian Moss. I like the title: 'Swimming with Guppies'. We used to have guppies at home. However I never though of swimming with these cute little fish.
Sent by PostMuse from the USA - thank you very much!

In: from the United Kingdom

Altijd leuk om post-gerelateerde kaarten te krijgen! Deze ontving ik van Laura uit Engeland.
Voorzien van een fraaie postzegel, een uit de serie over werkende paarden.

Always nice to get mail related postcards! This one I received from Laura from the United Kingdom, and has a nice postage stamp, one out of the serie of working horses.
Thank you very much, Laura!

In: from Spain

Sitges is een plaats, 30 à 35 km ten zuid-westen van Barcelona. Hierboven een schoenwinkel, onder zie je een mooie foto vanaf het strand. Ontvangen van Eva.

Sitges is a town, 30-35 kms southwest of Barcelona. Above you can see a shoe shop, below a beautiful view from the beach. Received from Eva from Spain.

'Jeugdfilatelie' is het thema van deze kleurrijke postzegel.

'Youth philately' is the theme of this colourful postage stamp.

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!