zaterdag 28 februari 2015

Out: to the United Kingdom

Similar to the country where the receiver of this card is living, The Netherlands are considered a monarchy. However, the government / parliament mainly acts independent of the king (I don't know if this is similar to the U.K.?).

At school I learned that governments are located in the capitals of the concerning countries. A funny fact about the Netherlands is, that this isn't fact in our country. Amsterdam is our capital, but the government is in the city of Den Haag (The Hague). The postcard below shows a part of the city of The Hague with the buildings of the Dutch ministries.
Fortunately there happened to be one stamp left on a five-stamps sheet, which was dedicated to this city (see above). On the sheet you can see these buildings, too. The stamp itself shows a part of the Ridderzaal, and a stork: the bird of this city, once chosen because they might bring luck. On the Coat of Arms of The Hague the stork is holding an unfortunate black eel in his/her beak.

zondag 22 februari 2015

Sunday stamps: Lunar New Year, Year of the Sheep / Goat

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is the Lunar New Year, and also sheep en goats, as last Thursday the Year of the Sheep / Goat has started.

Only a few Chinese New Year's stamps have reached my mailbox, and I posted them previously among many other-themed stamps: the Year of the Pig and of the Dog, and the Year of the Dragon.
By the way, having been born in the Year of the Dragon, I always love stamps and postcards on Dragons :-) .
So I jumped a hole into the air (Dutch expression of happiness) when Finnbadger sent me this great Dragon, accompanied by some other American Chinese New Year's stamps:

And from Australia I received this older stamp, honouring the Year of the Tiger:

Concerning the present Year of the Sheep/Goat, fortunately also a beautiful Canadian New Year stamp came into my mailbox recently. In real it is even more beautiful for it's golden details. Anyway, I love to share it with you:

The complete stamp sheet you can see on Violet Sky's Sunday Stamps blog, and be sure to check the links under her blog so you can find more beautiful Lunar New Year and Sheep/Goat stamps!

Concerning the 'Chinese Year of', first I was a bit confused: Sheep? Goat? But my Chinese colleague told me that the Chinese character is similar for both animals. And I realized that in our (Dutch) language we have similar words for animals which other people will distinguish clearly. For instance the Dutch 'kangeroe' means both 'kangaroo' and 'wallaby', while an Australian guy told me that these are complete different animals, and when he told me so, I saw the difference indeed is clear.

An older Dutch sheep stamp (from the gulden/guilder era) is this one:

maandag 2 februari 2015

In: from the United Kingdom

Mail related cards and stamps always make my day. This maximum card showing mail transport (and see also the fine postmark and illustration on the stamp!) was sent by John from the UK, and definitely did do so.

An other day this envelope arrived, with even more postal things: a Pillar box,

And more pillar boxes:

And even pillar boxes on the stamps!

And finally (chronologically seen not finally, as I received it two months before the mail showed above) I'd like to share you this happy mailbox postcard:

Great 'food for postal lovers', isn't it?!

Thank you very much, John!

zondag 1 februari 2015

Sunday stamps: Water

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is 'Water'.
We need water on one hand, and we can be afraid of water on the other hand.

The stamp on top reminds me of drinking water, so 'needed' water, although it must be the river Donau (Danube) inbetween Budapest. I happened to have received this beautiful Hungarian stamp yesterday, thanks to Micu from Mail a Smile!
The sheet is so big that the bottom part was folded to the back side of the envelope.

The following Dutch stamps are result of one of the dangers of water. They have been issued because of the major finishing of the construction of the Delta Works, a series of construction projects (dams, sluices, locks, dykes, levees, storm surge barriers) in the southwest of the Netherlands, to protect a large area around the Rhine-Maas-Schelde delta from the sea. This construction started because of the disasterous North Sea flood which caused many deaths in the Dutch province of Zeeland, and also in Belgium and the United Kingdom, in the year 1953. It occured in the night of 31 January to 1 February 1953, so today exactly 62 years ago.