maandag 20 juli 2015

In: from Spain

'One hour to departure' is the name of this painting by the Polish painter Wiktor Najbor.
The card was sent by Eva from Spain. I am happy that Eva sticked the Spanish Europa 2015 stamp on the back.
Out of all participating countries, and besides the Dutch stamps which of course I already have used for outgoing mail, this is the first Europe 2015 stamp I see in real!

This year's Europe stamp theme is 'Old toys', and I love this wooden train. The stamp even smells after wood!
Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

vrijdag 17 juli 2015

In: from Sri Lanka

When I find new lighthouse and train postcards I always like to send them to Ravindra in Sri Lanka. And Ravindra sends me beautiful Sri Lankan postcards and stamps.
Among them these Sri Lankan elephants, in the Minneriya National Park.

On the back interesting stamps on important matters, and a nice Par Avion (Via Airmail) sticker.

Thank you very much, Ravindra!

woensdag 15 juli 2015

In: from Morocco and Spain

This beautiful coloured Moroccan house I received from Eva.

The also beautiful stamps have been issued for the International Women's day.
And the size of the envelope allowed Eva to add a bookmark, which is very suitable to the stamps, it is from a women's organization:

'Más igualidad' means 'more equality', and 'por dignidad' is 'for dignity'.
And oh, how I love the illustration of origami bird and the coffee maker!

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

zondag 12 juli 2015

Sunday stamps: Sporting events

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is: Sporting events.
Personally spoken, I'm not that much interested in sports, and am hardly watching sporting events on television. The only exceptions are the trainings and matches my kids are attending (I'm getting very enthusiast then), and every now and then sports attract my attention spontaneously in an other way. For instance when it has to do with nice stamps (which pokes up my enthusiasm, too)!

The stamps I want to share with you today are about some - to my opinion - very tough, hard sports.

The Volvo Ocean Race I didn't know until recently, due to this stamp sheet I learned about this sailing event:

The sailors sail around the world in about nine months. Nine months!
In June 2015 they had a pit stop in the Dutch city Den Haag (The Hague). This stamp sheet has been issued for this occasion by the Dutch Post in May 2015.

An other international sporting event which 'touched' the Netherlands for a few days is the famous bicycle race, the Tour de France.
The previous weekend, on 4 July 2015, the Tour started in the Dutch city Utrecht, the cyclists riding individual time trials in the first stage. And exactly one week ago the second stage started, from Utrecht in the center of our country, via the harbour city Rotterdam to Neeltje Jans in the south west of the Netherlands.
The Dutch Post issued a special 'postset' on these two days, existing of three postcards and this stamp sheet:

The Dutch Post has issued a stamp sheet on the Tour de France before. Five years ago, on 4 July 2010, the Tour de France started in Rotterdam, and the Post - then the predecessor of PostNL, TNT Post - issued this stamp sheet, which showed alle stages of the tour in that year, and cyclists!

From summer to winter, from international to a national sporting event, from the south west of the Netherlands to the north east: the Elfstedentocht, the Eleven Cities Tour. It is an ice skating event on natural ice, in the northern province Friesland (Frisia, Fryslân).
The good thing is that it is a real challenge: almost 200 kilometers skating! But the sad thing, at least for the skaters and organizers, is that it depends on the weather if this event will take place.
Every year the Elfstedentocht-fans are hoping for a rigorous winter, for severe frost.
Alas most of the winters in the Netherlands aren't cold enough for a sufficient amount of days. The first Elfstedentocht was in 1909. And the most recent Elfstedentocht was in 1997, so 18 years ago. That was the 15th Elfstedentocht in 106 years!..
On 2 January 2013 the Dutch PostNL issued this stamp sheet, in honour of Reinier Paping, the winner of the harsh (hardest) tour in 1963:

Check Sunday Stamps and the links under that post, to see more stamps on sporting events!

zondag 5 juli 2015

Sunday stamps: post boxes / postal themed

This Sunday Stamps theme is 'post boxes or postal themed'. A very favourite theme for mail lovers, of course!

First I have to confess that it is confusing, for me as a native Dutch speaker, concerning the boxes in which the mail is thrown: which English word means what?! A Dutch 'Postbus' is P.O. Box in English.
The Dutch word 'brievenbus' literally means 'letters can/tin/drum', and is used for both the public boxes for outgoing mail and the private boxes for incoming mail. So I would think the English word for these boxes is 'letter box'...? No way!
I had heard that in English the word for the outgoing-mail-box differs from the one for incoming mail.
Besides that, the names in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and other English-speaking countries may differ as well!

Fortunately John helped me by sending me this great drawing, in which he explained at least the names of these dear boxes in the United Kingdom. Thank you very much, John!

Back to Stamps.
This red pillar box I received from Sri Lanka:

Also the post boxes in the Netherlands have a warm colour. For ages the Dutch post boxes have been red: at the time when the Dutch mail company was part of the national PTT (Post, Telephone, Telegraph), and later when it became TPG Post. Then TNT Post became the owner of the national mail company and the post boxes turned orange.
The present company, PostNL, has kept the boxes orange.

On this stamp sheet from the PTT era you can see red ones:

And this December stamp from 2014, the present PostNL era, shows an orange post box (be it that the shape of this box isn't that common):

I looked up which colour this uncoloured post box in Korea would be, and found out that in real it usually is red, too:

John has sent me several beautiful stamps of English post boxes (and mail carreers!). Among them this one:

About the history of the British (pillar) box, you can read at Joy's The Postal Picture blog. This stamp is on that blog too, together with many more great post box stamps!

Who would think all English post boxes are red? Well, this stamp proves there also are green ones:

Also in other countries the colour of the post boxes differ.
These stamps come from the Nederlandse Antillen, the Dutch Antilles:

The final stamp for me for today shows a green mailbox for incoming mail. An other stamp from this Finnish mailbox serie you can find on the website where we started today: Violet's Sunday Stamps II!