Wednesday 18 August 2010

La Post

How could I resist posting this map cover sent with our ferry tickets.  I hope to see lots more of  of these in the next couple of weeks, in between twirling the postcard holders of course.  I return here, hopefully with some pretty postcards, in the first week of September.

Monday 16 August 2010


A local saying is "The Scheldt river owes its existence to God, and Antwerp owes it existence to the Scheldt river".  Antwerp is the second largest harbour in Europe despite being about 60km from the North Sea because the river is so large that sea going vessels can sail into the vast port area.

Mary sent this card in 2004 when her husband was working in Brussels and they stayed here and visited "the lovely old city which had great food and beer", it was "easy and cheap to get around" and also "visited the diamond centre" for her birthday present.  I think I will have to try that one. 

I have only visited Antwerp by accident.  We were travelling back to catch a ferry from Holland and hit the ring road round Antwerp and the navigator, OK it was me, got confused by the exit letters so ended up driving into the city.  Now those views on the postcard look so calm and traffic free however not in reality. Despite the fact we were just looking for the sign for 'out' I found the narrow cobbled streets with small cafes and bicycles swooping over the road rather intriguing and the whole city was evocative of its trading past with people in exotic dress and the buzz of city life, including cars honking their horns at us as we slowed down. Eventually we found our way out, the driver with his foot down and over the lanes of traffic.  We will return at some time but I think by train.

What did we miss from this postcard, well all of it. The horse drawn carriages going past the Guild-houses, the trams in front of the 14th century Cathedral of Our Lady, the tallest building in Antwerp and home to four of Rubens paintings (he is buried in Antwerp in St James church), the zoo founded in 1843 and one of the oldest in the world.  Although I would not have visited the zoo as I prefer animals to be in the wild however they do have a reputation for conservation and research.

The card was sent with the 2004 definitive stamp of Albert II
Beautifully clear postmark, nice to see we are not the only country to have rather boring royal stamps.    

Saturday 14 August 2010

Post Box #4 Askew Walk, Kirkby in Furness (LA17 87)

Post box in the row of cottages in  Kirkby in Furness, Cumbria  It is much younger than the building it is part of, it is an marked ER so was put in sometime from 1952 onwards.  I don't think the house will notice much inside for these are good thick walls, as may be judged by the setting of the door.  Other amenities on this road include the two village pubs, one at each end.

The village of Kirkby is an agglomeration of 6 hamlets but given the name because the Furness Railway line station, built in the 19th Century, and running up the far north west coast of England, used that hamlets name.   There are postboxes in all 6 places.

Gemma at Greyscale Territory is the hostess of Weekend Mailbox, join in by posting anything connected with mail.

Friday 13 August 2010


In the spring of 1940 the German army swept across Europe and by the end of June resistance had ceased. Only Britain stood in the way of Hitler's domination of the continent. On the 13th August 1940 the Luftwaffe started operation Eagle Day bombing the coast, docks, attempting to take out the radar and on to bomb London.

The events of 1940 have been commemorated by a set of stamps in 2010 called 'Britain Alone' portraying the home front.  This particular maximum card shows brother and sister evacuees, and the stamp, a group of children about to board the train. All with their luggage labels bearing their details and a small pieces of luggage.  Operation Pied Piper took place in 1939 when 3 million children were evacuated from the towns and cities at risk of bombing and moved to rural areas. In addition Mothers with small children under 5, pregnant women and some disabled were evacuated. It must have been a logistical nightmare and things did not always go smoothly, but everybody eventually muddled through. Later some children went back home but there was a further evacuation after the fall of France and the Blitz in September 1940.  One can only imagine what it would be like as a small child to be sent away to a strange place, away from family and friends and the evacuees had both good and bad experiences.  The lucky ones like someone I knew who was evacuated to village of Keswick in the north of the beautiful Lake District remembered the time with affection and used to go back and visit her 'war family'.  Last year a 70th anniversary reunion took place at St Paul's Cathedral and a brief articles about this and their experiences is here

The image that always stays in my memory is seeing films of platforms filled with labelled small children heading off into the unknown with all their possessions in a small bag.  Perhaps to board a train like this
Although it is carrying armaments in this instance, all transport was co-opted for the war effort.

Beth of The Best Hearts Are Crunchy is our hostess of  Postcard Friendship Friday.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Moscow Kremlin

A wonderful card of the iconic Cupolas of the Kremlin glittering in the sunshine.  On the left is the Cathedral of Basil the Blessed with its cupcake swirls and on the right the Spassakaya tower topped with a star.

The Kremlin which means citadel or castle was built between the 14th and 17th century and has been a political, ceremonial and religious centre for many centuries.  I visited many years ago but would love to visit again, there is so much to see.

It came appropriately with two 10р Moscow Kremlin stamps on the back, so here are the cupolas from a different angle and a black and white outline on the card itself. A triple Kremlin.

The 1 rouble stamps are of the of the Astrakhan Kremlin, part of the definitive stamps issued in 2009, the little hare is one of the  August 2008 definitives. 

This card travelled for 22 days and 1,606 miles (2,585km).  
Thank you Irina

Monday 9 August 2010


A wonderful skyline sunset. The confluence of the Allegheny and Monogahela river meet here to form the Ohio River.  The card has a description which probably says it all.
"The Pittsburgh evening skyline is a sight to behold for both tourists and locals alike. Seen here, the Golden Triangle and its waterway periphery glow in the Pittsburgh evening sky. While tourists awe in the evening downtown scenery, locals maintain a sense of pride in their thriving city"  
My sender tells me that "The Point, where you see the fountain is a great summer escape in my city. Sometimes there are free concerts out there"  How wonderful on a summers evening by the river.

One of Pittsburgh's nicknames is Steel City and appropriately it is twinned with Sheffield in the UK, both cities grew prosperous on steel and with the decline in that industry have had to diversify, Pittsburgh into amongst other things high technology and health care, both have reinvented themselves.

The card came with a nice selection of stamps
 I will start at the bottom so I can go 'clockwise':-) 
  • The is the dial of the Banjo clock first made in 1805 by Simon Willard in Massachusetts who has a whole museum devoted to him here.  
  • Next is one of the set of photographs by Sally Anderson-Bruce of adopted shelter pets at New Milford, Connecticut, the stamps were issued in March of this year.  Was there something special about March for our Post Office also issued a set of stamps of the animal rescue centre, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, on their 150th Anniversary.  Not as cute as this US dog but the publicity photographs of the original dogs and cats with the stamps were better than the stamps themselves.  See here 
  • Last, but not least, one of this year's 'Cowboys of the Silver Screen' illustrated by Robert Rodriguez.  Tom Mix (1880-1940) was a big star in the 1920s and this stamp shows him with his trademark oversized Stetson.  He made over 400 films (I don't know how many survive), and did his own stunts.  Tom Mix is a name all film fans will know but maybe not have seen, but even if you do not like silent films he is worth watching for his amazing horse riding skills alone, possibly on his famous steed Tony the Horse.

Thank you Bonnie Jeanne for this evening view. 


Saturday 7 August 2010

Postal Service China

Here are stamps issued by the Nationalist Government of China in 1947 called "Progression of the Postal Service".  They issued a number of commemorative stamps in this year but this set show a mobile post office and a postal kiosk. I don't know if the scan is large enough (click to enlarge) but I do like the pointing hand on the pole by the kiosk.   How wonderful to drive a postal van in the rural areas of China but possibly not in 1947 when the country was in the middle of a civil war, within two years the Peoples Republic of China was born.

Gemma of Greyscale Territory Weekend Postbox meme, go visit or participate enter with anything related to post.

Friday 6 August 2010

Trotting in Malta

The card says on the back "Horse racing, a popular weekend sport between October and May".  I believe the races are usually held on a Sunday. I do like the man with his race card and pencil behind his ear, a familiar sight  in any race course in the world.

Although Malta does have a few flat racing events its main sporting interest are these trotting races. The top Maltese horse racing driver  for 2009 was Charles Camilleri, and he is not resting for the summer because he will be competing in the 5th leg of the Prix de la Mediterranee in France this Friday. Malta is lying third in the competition at the moment. The cup is contested between the countries of France, Malta, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Russia and Algeria.

Beth at The Best Hearts are Crunchy is our hostess for Postal Friendship Friday


Monday 2 August 2010

Rice Terraces, Philippines

Doesn't this look deliciously damp, the rice terraces are irrigated by mountain streams and springs. The people in the front are well wrapped up despite the sandals which I imagine are just the right footwear for paddling amongst the rice. These 2,000 year old terraces were carved into the rugged terrain of the Cordillera mountains by the indigenous people of Ifugao. In recent times some have been abandoned because of earthquake damage in 1990 and the El Nino triggered drought when giant earthworms undermined some of the terraces. This particular rice is low yield so some farmers have moved to lower ground and high yield crop to make more money.  Despite this there are still many of these beautiful structures still in existence and they were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

On the reverse of the card

it gives more information and, as can be seen,  my sender has drawn some beautiful roses so I have his greeting from the 7,107 islands of the Philippines and pictures.

The stamps are the new 2010 definitives featuring marine biodiversity. From left to right we have
  • Yellow Seahorse - the largest of the seahorses, sometimes kept in aquariums but usually on their own because they are rather slow and methodical eaters so there would be no food left for them if kept with other species of fish
  • Giant Clam - sometimes known as the crocus clam and considered beautiful because they come in different and sometimes mixed colours, the upper mantle tissues can also vary in stripes, spots, waves etc.
  • Lionfish - There are 22 different species of this beautiful predatory and poisonous fish.  It is part of the natural ecosystem in Asia but I remember seeing a program about how it  has become an invasive species in the Caribbean where it appeared in about 2004 from, it is thought, from being washed out of marine aquariums in the USA after storms.  It has no natural enemies in the Atlantic so it is busy eating its way through the coral inhabitants of the Caribbean.  
 The Philippines islands is one side of the Coral Triangle, so called because of the abundance of coral life which their new definitives embody. Here is a satellite map of the location of Banaue and the sea surrounding the island.

View Larger Map

This card travelled for 11 days and 6,966 miles (11,210Km). 
Thank you Redlan