zondag 27 maart 2016

Sunday Stamps: Spring, Easter

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Easter or Spring'.

To me the two are related: Easter is the celebration of the awakaning of nature after winter and the new life.

In our country crocuses are one of the first clear signs of this wake-up, this new life. Even though they not have been native in the Netherlands until 1560, nowadays bunches of crocuses pop up in the parks and lawns. Well, before crocuses snowdrops are marking the end of winter already, be it that snowdrops are seen less often.

Recently PostNL issued stamp sheets by the Dutch illustrator Janneke Brinkman-Salentijn. On one of the sheets I spotted this yellow crocus:

This stamp I used for my postcard to John in the UK, writing on the back that the yellow crocus is less common than the white and lilac ones. But since I posted the postcard I'm seeing yellow crocuses almost everywhere!

After crocuses, usually narcissus, daffodils, appear. Also these already are appearing in real now.

The Belarus Post issued this fine stamp, showing this typical spring flower:

Besides spring flora, there also is some spring fauna, which (coincidentally?) also is associated with Easter celebrations.
Among them the rabbit, here on stamps from Belarus:

And baby chicks, here a chick with its mom and dad on a beautiful stamp from Indonesia:

Stamps showing lambs I couldn't find so far. Instead I found three easter stamps, received thanks to postcrossing in the past years:

From Poland this Easter Bunny, with all well-known spring/easter items in it:

A more beautiful image, showing this stamp on the first day cover, you can see at Ana's blog post of today.

The following Easter stamp is from Ukraine. The text, 'Христос воскрес' (if I can read it well enough and as far as I can decipher thanks to translate.google), in Dutch would mean 'Vrolijk Paasfeest', 'Happy Easter', however the Ukrainan meaning literally is 'Christ resurrected'.
The fact that the largest image is an egg shaped figure might make the circle round for Easter being not only a Christian celebration but also a celebration of new life from even ancient times.

Eggs are not only used in Easter traditions. Painted eggs are also part of the Persian New Year celebrations, Now Ruz, which started a week ago, exactly at the start of spring.
The following stamp I alas don't own myself, but this picture I found on the internet, showing beautifully painted eggs:

Finally a basket with unpainted eggs, which hopefully will be hatched to have young chicks come out.
Also this stamp is from Poland. Google.translate told me that 'Wilkanoc' means Easter in Polish:

See more Spring and Easter stamps on today's Sunday Stamps blog post and via the links mentioned under that post.

zaterdag 26 maart 2016

In: from the USA

Exactly in time for this celebration of spring and new life I received this matching postcard.
Happy Easter!
And thank you very much, Shel!

vrijdag 25 maart 2016

In: from Spain

Some years ago Eva sent me a postcard made out of a colouring pencils package, and a year later she surprised me with a new package 'card', which contained pencils!

Similar to Eva I love colouring materials. I have a lot of colouring pencils and felt pens at home (too much, I'm afraid..). Despite of that I love to visit art supply shops, where I have to force myself not to buy them.
When walking in the street and seeing a usable pencil on the ground I have to pick it up and take it with me.

So also the packages I love to see, and it won't surprise you that I was very happy when I opened my mailbox today to find this beautiful postcard, made out of an Alpino felt tip pens package!

The back of this card is a delight, too. First Eva's message, not only because of what she wrote (about this package, among others) but also she added great little drawings to it. As the message is personal I of course will keep it offline. The stamps are great, too, these paintings by painter Goyo Domínguez:

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

In: from the United Kingdom

This extraordinary house postcard I received from John.
It has been completed circa 1610 and is named 'Little Moreton Hall'. How large this National Trust site is, you can see the beautiful pictures by John, on his blog post of 3rd of March.

zondag 20 maart 2016

Sunday Stamps: Green

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Green'.

The first stamp I'd like to share with you I don't own myself. Thanks to the internet I found an image and I am happy to show it today, because it is such a matching stamp!
Today not only is a 'green' themed Sunday Stamps day, but today also is the start of the Persian New Year: Now ruz or Norooz.
For this celebration, people arrange 'haft seen', a tabletop with 7 items which start with the letter 's'. One of the items is Sabzi, which literally means both 'green' and 'vegetable'.
This stamp shows Sabzi: the green sprouts of, for example, wheat or lentils, bound together by a red ribbon.

(I think the tulip is optional, I have never seen it in real/on pictures so far.)

For anyone who is celebrating this New Year: Happy Norooz!

I happened to have joined a chaincard project themed 'green' via Instagram recently.
The postcard started its journey in the Netherlands and after a short stop in Taiwan (ROC), Japan and Italy it returned with these stamps containing the colour green:

Austria issued this stamp for the 20th anniversary of the Alps Adriatic Philately:

Much green you can see in this stamp - one of my favourites - from Japan:

'Green' of course also has to do with environment friendly issues.

These environment friendly themed stamps are from Spain:

The following five are from a 'green' ('groen', environment friendly) ten stamp sheet from the Netherlands:

'Het nieuwe werken, groene winst' means 'the new way of working, green (environmental) profit'. The laptop represents working-at-home, in order to decrease car use and traffic.

Some of the other stamps, of which the one top right says 'groene post, een goed bericht', which mean 'green mail, a good (positive) message':

More about this stamp serie (in Dutch, but I think the non-Dutch speakers will enjoy the pictures, too) on this site and about the design process by Gesina Roters on this site.
Other 'Green' stamps (among them the 'denk groen', 'think green', stamp sheet you can find on this site.

See more stamps on the theme 'Green' on the Sunday Stamps blog and the links under the blog post.

zaterdag 19 maart 2016

Out: to the United Kingdom

This painting by Carl Spitzweg is named 'Der ewiger Hochzeiter' or 'The eternal bridegroom'.

In the back you can see a clock (and I think it a nice and fascinating painting!), that's why I couldn't resist to send this card to John for his clock postcards collection, even though his clock blog is closed now.

On the back I added a stamp which shows a flower who is appearing in real in our country, these days, as a sign of spring: the crocus.

vrijdag 18 maart 2016

In: from the United Kingdom

I was wondering why John had sent me a postcard showing a boat, until I read the description on the back side. It is a Floating Post Office!
The photo was taken in 1934 at the Liverpool Docks (photographer unknown, alas), and now is in the British Postal Museum & Archive.

And I keep on learning thanks to stamps! The postcard was sent one day before Commonwealth Day, an unknown day to me until now. This year the day happened to be on the same date as in 1983 (I learned thanks to wikipedia).

Thank you very much, John!

zondag 13 maart 2016

Sunday Stamps: Health & welfare

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Health and welfare'.

The first stamp concerns health and disease. It was issued in 1978 and I like the cartoonish design, made by the famous (in our country) cartoonist Opland.

The text says 'donornieren redden levens': 'donor kidneys save lives'. Which is a plea for healthy people to register themselves as a donor, because registering does not happen automatically in our country (which is the case in, for example, our neighbouring country Belgium) and there's always shortage of donor organs.

I was pleased to read that Violet combined the themes 'health' and 'welfare' in today's Sunday Stamps. I think they are much related to each other.
'Health' not only is the absence of disease, but also a state of well-being, be it that the old WHO definition of health as complete wellbeing is no longer fit for purpose given the rise of chronic diseases.
That is where 'welfare' comes in!

These three 'ouderenpostzegels' ('elderly stamps') were issued in dedication to the 'welfare of the elderly' theme. A 'telephone circle', connects people and can help in practical things, in checking whether the elder person is o.k. or in need of help, and also can help against loneliness. In future I expect things to go digital, but at this moment for a lot of people contacts via telephone still are contributing to welfare.

See more 'health and welfare' stamps at today's Sunday Stamps!

zaterdag 12 maart 2016

In: from Spain

To my happy surprise shortly after the previous card
Eva treated me to this cup of coffee!

I very much enjoyed this 'cafè tallat' (café cortado), which contained a little milk, so I added a little more milk (no sugar).

Also this postcard had this cool coloured stamp, postmarked by Correos in a different way than the previous cancellation.

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

donderdag 10 maart 2016

In: from Spain

I think it is clear that I love post offices!
Alas in the Netherlands the 'real' post offices have disappeared, the former post office buildings have gotten new. non-postal destinations and postal things nowadays happen in post agencies in regular shops.

To be short, I was pleasantly surprised that in other places in Europe post offices still exist and still are used the way post offices should be used. For instance this beautiful post office in València, the Corrue at the Plaça de l'Ajuntament.
Thank you very much Eva, I am happy to add this postcard to my 'post offices' collection!

By the way, this postage stamp is new to me. I was surprised by the pink crowns. Usually I don't like pink nor crowns that much, but this combination I think cool :).
And do you notice the postal addition? We used to draw moustaches and glasses on our former queens' stamps (really, we did in our teens and it's not forbidden in our country!). So I love the way Correos cancelled this stamp: it looks as they added glasses, or at least a monocle, before the king's eye!?!

In: from the USA

This postcard from FinnBadger is very special. Not only because of the beautiful design, by Charley Harper, showing a Loon (Diver; 'Duiker' in Dutch), one of my favourite water birds, but also by the postage stamp: it is the new round US stamp and it is the first time for me to see it in real; I love the moon!

FinnBadger chose a perfect combination: the stamp and the picture both show the moon (and the title of Harper's illustration is 'Clair de Loon' which of course reminds us of Debussy's beautiful song).

And third, last but not least: did you notice the postmarks?

Yes, the stamp has been cancelled twice, and even the Harper faux postage got a cancellation mark, on a very special date: leap day!
It doesn't happen often that February counts 29 days, and mail rarely is postmarked this date.
Thank you very much, FinnBadger!

By the way, some more '29 February' postmarks you can find in this IUOMA group.

woensdag 9 maart 2016

In: from Morocco

One of the many advantages of snail mail is that it brings you so much knowledge! Not only via postage stamps, but for instance also this postcard has me learn new things about ancient times.
The city where I grew up, Nijmegen, had been founded by the Romans circa 2000 years ago. So already since my childhood we became familiar with Roman things (e.g. during school trips we saw Roman objects in the former Museum Kam, nowadays these are in the Valkhof museum). And - also thanks to the Asterix albums :-) - I knew that the Romans have been travelling to the other side of the Mediterranean Sea. But new to me, is that the Romans also have been living in present-day Morocco.
Thanks to this postcard, sent by Eva, I learned that they have been living in the area Chellah / Sala Colonia, south of present-day Rabat.
Here you can find ruins of Roman buildings, and also of later - in medieval times - constructed buildings. This card shows two views of Chellah necropolis, and the picture bottom right shows Rabat.

And can you see the storks on top of the tower? Eva wrote that there are about 75 stork nests in this area. Amazing, I think.

On the back side this round stamp, with a matching postmark:

Thank you very much, Eva!

In: from the Falkland Islands

I love birds as you might know, so I was very happy that Alvin sent me this card from his holidays place, accompanied by such a wonderful and matching stamp!

The back side of the card says which kind of penguin you can see:
Rockhopper, Gentoo penguin, Snares Crested (rare on the Falklands);
King penguin chick, Magellanic penguin, King penguin;
Macaroni penguin, King penguin, Magellanic penguin chick;
Gentoo penguin, Rockhopper, Macaroni penguin.

Thank you very much, hartstikke bedankt, Alvin!

maandag 7 maart 2016

In: from Sri Lanka

It's always a pleasure to send train and lighthouse postcards and cars and lighthouses on stamps to Ravindra in Sri Lanka. And also a pleasure to receive the beautiful views of his country in return.

And of sea life in the ocean around Sri Lanka (do you spot Dory?!):

The postcards arrived with beautiful stamps on the back:

In the past year we exchanged much more postcards, among them these also:

Thank you very much, Ravindra!