zondag 25 oktober 2015

Sunday Stamps: commemorating a battle or disaster

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is 'commemorating a battle or disaster'.

Personally I consider each battle, each war, a disaster. After so many decades, centuries, millennia, many people still invent the disastrous wheel of 'fight-against-them' and still didn't learn that 'them' and 'we' always is 'us', 'humans', 'world citizens', having a lot more in common than differences.

Searching my stamps collection, I couldn't find stamps which commemorate a single battle. So let me first share with you this postcard instead, showing the result of the four battles that have taken place here.
My dear ones had taken this postcard home for me. Last Thursday they happened to visit Ieper in Belgium, while I had to stay home and go to work. The postcards (I got more) and their stories increased my attention to WW1.

This postcard shows a painting by the Australian born artist William Longstaff. He painted it in 1927, after attending the unveiling of the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper. This memorial records the names of nearly 55,000 of the missing of the Ypres Salient. At first sight it looks like a common painting of a memorial and its surroundings. But if you look close, do you see the ghost soldiers, too?!

An other postcard shows an other kind of devastation by war. The beautiful Lakenhalle in Ieper (Ypres Cloth Hall) was virtually destroyed by artillery during this First World War:

The picture has been made by one of the brothers Antony of Antony d'Ypres.
Fortunately the building has been reconstructed, between 1933 and 1967, to its prewar condition.

Back to stamps, as the theme is Sunday Stamps! And forward to the Second World War, and north to the Netherlands.

The battles which took place in the Netherlands in WWII have been relatively short, from 10 to 14 May 1940 in the greater part of the country, and until 17 May in the province Zeeland.
The battles are commemorated, especially in this '75 years after' year. However, as far as I know there haven't been issued Dutch commemorating stamps on these battles.

However several interesting stamps have been issued on various themes concerning WWII.
Of which I only have the following four:

This one on "verzet" (resistance):

And on the "geallieerden" (allies):

Operation Market Garden, in September 1944:

Operations Manna and Chowhound, end of April and first week of May 1945, in which food was dropped into the still occupied western part of the Netherlands, where the Dutch famine took a lot of victims:

Back to WWI, southward to Ieper, Belgium.
Ieper was the place where in 1915 the Canadian army physician and poet John McCrae wrote his poem 'In Flanders Fields'. The museum here is named after this poem, and the Poppies became an important symbol of this sad war. You can see a stamp in honour of the poppy on Eva's blog post of today.

For anyone who is curious to know where this museum is: it is located in the reconstructed Lakenhalle, the fore-mentioned Cloth Hall:

See more stamps on battles and disasters at today's Sunday Stamps and the links under the posts.

In: from Hong Kong

World Post Day is celebrated each year on 9 October, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1874 in Bern. In 1969 the day was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress, which was held in Tokyo in that year.

As far as I know in the Netherlands there haven't been issued stamps to celebrate World Post Day. In my collection I have none, and on the internet I only found one stamp and a postmark on the UPU (which is 'Wereldpostvereniging' in Dutch).
A yearly stamp on the 'Day of the postage stamp' is issued on a later date in October (like this 2014 stamp, on 17 October, or the 2015 stamp on 16 October).

In contrary, other countries pay more attention to World Post Day. I was very happy to receive a postcard from Natalie from Hong Kong. The back side showed these beautiful stamps, cancelled by a suitable postmark:

The stamps came on a beautiful postcard as well, showing a fine watercolour painting by Shen Ping.

Thank you very much, Natalie!

zaterdag 24 oktober 2015

In: from Morocco

Traffic signs and things like that always fascinate me. So I was very pleased to receive this great postcard from Morocco, sent by Eva.

Not only a very original postcard and a beauty for the eye, but this postcard contains also an easy way to exercise some characters from the Arab alphabet (for the non-Arab speakers: don't forget to read from right to left).

On the back there was a new (to me) stamp, showing a sea animal:

Tiny (only 18 x 24 millimetres!) and beautiful. This one must be from a great serie of sea animals, as Eva had sent me two other stamps, too:

(The mail these two have been sticked to, I will post soon in the animals mail art blog).

zaterdag 17 oktober 2015

Sunday Stamps: Flags

This Sunday Stamps' theme is 'Maps or Flags'.

Although I have some nice map stamps, today I chose for the flags. Because, how coincidental, I happened to have joined a 'flag stamp' chain-something recently, and a week ago my own card returned, provided with three more flag stamps!

This was the front side of my card:

No flag to be seen! But on the back I've put one, so the card was ready to send:

* before it's long journey *

After 6 or 7 weeks of traveling, the card returned home this way:

* after traveling via Estonia, Finland and Malaysia back to the Netherlands *

So, flags from four countries, united in one postcard!

Meanwhile two of the three other cards (from the other participants) arrived at my place. Which I passed on to the next receiver. Before sending out I scanned the back sides so you can enjoy them, too!

This was the first card I received:

The card arrived from Malaysia. Besides the flag image, there is an other interesting thing on this stamp: the postage rate (#60 Sen) has been printed in Braille!

The second card is from Estonia:

With the complete Estonian flag on the front side:

See more stamps on the 'flags and maps' theme at today's blog post, and via the links mentioned, at Sunday Stamps!

maandag 5 oktober 2015

Sunday Stamps: scenery

This Sunday Stamps' theme is 'Scenery'.
When I think of 'scenery' I think of beautiful natural panoramic views. Ay... my first thought was that I wouldn't find any Dutch scenery stamp at all... Because in our country there's hardly 'real' nature left. Everywhere you can see some signs of urbanization, highways, industry, etcetera. And the agricultural land is cultivated, so I didn't consider it original nature either.

However, triggered by Eva's post for Sunday Stamps, showing Dutch stamps, I realized that meadows cause a 'scenery' which is said to be typically Dutch.
Searching my stamps, there appeared to be even more stamps which might be suitable for this Sunday's theme. Mainly in a stamp sheet serie, which started in 2005, named 'Mooi Nederland' ('Beautiful Netherlands').

The first to show has been issued in 2005 and shows the surroundings of Nederland, a village in the east of our country:

The place name sign 'Nederland' has been stolen several times, which you can see on the pictures of the 'postzegelblog' ('stamps blog') post.
The missing stamps in this blog post haven't been stolen, I simply have used them for my outgoing mail. Just in time scanned the rest of the stamp sheet!..

Other 'Mooi Nederland' stamp sheets showing some scenery are, among others, the following ones:

This one has been issued in 2008 for the city of Amersfoort. This city is located in the center of the Netherlands, and is surrounded by beautiful woods on the south part, and meadows (and highways and industry) on the other parts:

The scenery, in this stamp defined by a profile portrait of the Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan, shows part of the 'Heiligenbergbeek', by whose creek the water of the canals of Amersfoort keeps on being freshened.

These - issued in 2007 - stamp sheets proof there's a lot of water in many Dutch sceneries.
The stamps themselves show urban views, but the rest of the stamp sheets show some more Dutch scenery, surrounding Edam (in the north west province Noord-Holland):

And surrounding Leerdam (in the south west province Zuid-Holland):

Well, when thinking of these cities, almost no Dutch person will think of nature or scenery, they will think of the products these cities are famous for: Edam for its cheese, and Leerdam for its glass industry...

Going back in time, the 'gulden' era, scenic stamps have been issued, too. I gathered them in one scan (please click picture to enlarge).
The four stamps on the left show parks. One of them is a protected nature area called Weerribben, and happens to be close to the village named Nederland.
The two stamps on the right show two other, totally different types of Dutch scenery: heather, which turns purple so beautifully in August, and dunes, famous for not only protecting our country from the sea but also for their typical dune flora and fauna.

And in the middle there's a scenic view painted by the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, accompanied by one of his quotes. Food for thought, considering my search for natural scenery: 'want men ziet de natuur door zijn eigen temperament', which means: 'because one sees nature through his own temper'.

See more - beautiful! - sceneries on stamps at, and via, Violet's Sunday Stamps!

zaterdag 3 oktober 2015

In: from Switzerland and Spain

Here's an other postman: the 'Basler Standesläufer'. The statue, probably made around the year 1500, is located in the courtyard of the City Hall of the Swiss city of Basel.
The story about this messenger, courier, is rather sad. This figure pictured is generally associated with the Basel messenger, who, during the Battle of Saint Jakob an der Birs on the 26th of August 1444, delivered the terrible news to the Council of Basel about the approach of the dreaded Armagnacs.
After delivering the courier is said to have collapsed and died of exhaustion...
By the way, a similar thing happened about 2000 years before this occasion.

Sent from Spain by Eva. Thank you very much, Eva!