Thursday 30 June 2011

Rockaway Beach

"Rockaway Beach, Missouri on Lake Taneycomo"
"Generations of vacationers have slipped away to Rockaway Beach on the waterfront of cool Lake Taneycomo, one of the best trout fishing waters in the world. Rockaway has a wide range of resorts, shops, stores; and is only minutes away from Shepherd of the Hills Homestead and Theatre, Silver Dollar City, and music shows galore"
 I don't think I can add much to the description above from the back of the card. well apart from the fact that this little town only consists of 577 people but swells to 3000 in the seasonal months. Founded in 1917 it is in the northern part of the Ozark Mountains, one of its slogans is "The Ozarks Best Kept Secret". legend has it that Al Capone once stayed here.

The dense green forest surrounds the lake and disappears into the distance on this card, when it first arrived I thought was a river. I was not completely wrong for Lake Taneycome is one of six a man made reservoirs on the White River.

My sender, David, says there are many lakes in Missouri. I would imagine these would be great places to go on a summers day in this  landlocked state.

The card came with three stamps.
This year's Lunar New Year stamp which I remember got a very mixed response from the blogosphere, summed up as "what the heck is that ".  Well it is two kumquats, supposedly lucky fruits.  Its only link to the Year of the Rabbit is the paper cut  rabbit designed by Clarence Lee and the Chinese calligraphy in grass style by Lau Bun which says Rabbit.  I like those two little elements.

 Next the useful 10c American Clock stamp which I often receive to make up the postage and the 2010 Mother Teresa stamp issued on her birthday of 26th August when, if she had lived, would have been a 100.  This happy portrait is by the artist Thomas Blackshear II.  

Thank you David for this lakeside view, I like cards with State names. 

Monday 27 June 2011

Short Track

I like the lighting on this card;  the last race of the day and a cup to be won?   Two riders competing in short track racing on mountain bikes.  This is a speed event taking place on a ¾ mile track. It is exciting to watch and apparently to compete in, I wouldn't know my cycling is much more sedate

My sender, Sasha, says she loves bicycles I would imagine Russia has a lot of open country to enjoy from a saddle. The card came with two contrasting stamps, the
one on the right with a different type of track on its wheels, looks as though the tank is about to roll out of the stamp.  This  is one of the "Weapons of Victory - Tanks" set  issued in 2010 to commemorate the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.  The vehicle is one of the Soviet Cavalry tanks, the BT-7M (BT means bystrokhadny tank or fast tank). Its nickname was Betka after the initials, these were lightly armoured but very mobile tanks.

The Palace on the left is the  Aleksandrovsky Palace, one of a set issued in June 2010 to celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Foundation of Tsarskoye Selo, now know as Pushkin. A town on the outskirts of St Petersburg which has two palaces, this is the lesser known so not as visited. Built by Giacomo Quarenghi on order of Catherine the Great for her favourite godson Alexander (later Tzar Alexander I).  Its interesting short history and for what is happening to it now see the St Petersburg site  here  The stamp is from an attractive miniature sheet
with the writer and poet Alexander Pushkin's statue featured in the middle. 

Thank you Sasha for both the interesting stamps and card

Sunday 26 June 2011


Sunday Stamps' theme this week is Summertime.  Our hostess suggests her favourite, butterflies, one of my favourite creatures as well. What promises summer more than the first sighting of a butterfly? This stamp from Romania possibly capturers that moment of wonder and joy that they bring into our life. I rather like caterpillars as well but I didn't have any stamps of those so here are some butterflies from Hungary, the
first the Swallowtail (Papilio Machaon), one of the largest butterfly families in the world.  I like how this set shows lepidoptera at different angles on their plant of choice
and that it includes a moth, the stubby antennae one of their distinctive features. The one shown is the Tiger Moth (Arctia Hebe). Moths come in colours just as vivid as butterflies but unless you have access to a moth trap, not often seem. The next of course is the easily recognised male  Blue Butterfly (Lysandra Hylas). Some females of this species are not blue but brown but with a scattering of blue scales.  Lastly
comes the Purple Emperor (Apatura Ilia), the male is sometimes known in my country as "His Majesty" and looks spectacular in sunlight.  Lastly the Scarce Copper (Lycaena Virgaureae) found in Central Europe on flower rich meadows.

This set of stamps was designed by Vertel Jozsef (1922-1993) a prolific designer of Hungarian stamps on a variety of subjects  from 1949 to 1993. He produced about 200 designs both for his own country and others. This issue of 1959 would not be his last on the subject of butterflies.

An entry for Sunday Stamps hosted by Viridian's Postcard

Saturday 25 June 2011

Cart Lane

 Post Box LA11 102 - "Beech Court, Cart Lane "
I've just started an occasional amble along the Cumbria Coastal Way, a 182 mile route from Silverdale on Morecambe Bay to the Solway Firth which divides Scotland from England. The rail line hugs the coast at this point which makes it a great resource for linear walks.  I suspect I am going to pass a lot of postboxes on this route which takes one through many coastal villages. So here I'll start with the the point we were leaving Grange Over Sands.  The guide says
Post Box LA11 102 - "Beech Court, Cart Lane "
"Go along the railside path.then the road, which bends into Cart Lane, and continue with the railway, near your left... "

Wednesday 22 June 2011


 "Mariinskyi Palace (18th c) former Russian's Tzars' residence, today - the palace is for solemn receptions of the Heads of States. "

This winter scene is almost like a stage set.  So pretty, is would be wonderful to to arrive on a troika, bells jingling and the horses breath rising in the wintery sunshine. The baroque design is one of the many palaces designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli. 

The site was chosen by the Empress Elizabeth and the palace was built between the years 1747-55.  Sadly it never seems to have been actually lived in for any amount of time, it was inhabited sporadically by the royal family, then housed a ministry, the national guard and a museum. Today, as it says on the card, it is used for official reception.  It is rumoured that the president of Ukraine is considering using as his official residence.

Originally the palace was set in a large park with orangery and orchards, I don't know if they are still there for the building was damaged and looted in World War II, being rebuilt in 1949.  As may be noticed my card was damaged by pesky postal machinery, I seem to be having a spate of these at the moment.

My sender, Antonina, tells me in contrast to the card it is summertime in Kiev, but her city is beautiful in any season, as can be seen on the card.

The card came with
the little inkwell and quill, an nice symbol for letter writers and Postcrossers. This is one of the 7th Definitive Issue of Ukraine whose theme I think are household objects. They seem to withdraw and add to this issue since 2008.  The set was designed by Kateryna Shtanko who has done some other pretty stamps for Ukraine post, or to give them their proper name, Ukrpostita.

Thank you Antonina for the beautiful card.

Monday 20 June 2011


Snoopy and Woodstock being flying aces. I think Woodstock might have a slight advantage here. Charles Shutltz's Peanut cartoons are one of my favourites, the cartoon strip appeared for 50 years and at its peak ran in 75 countries and 2,600 newspapers. As he is no longer with us no more will appear but the ones we have will never loose their charm.  How about a word from Snoopy:

"I spend a lot of my time lying here on the doghouse. That's because the round-headed kid and his friends spend a lot of their days in school. I often wonder what they do there all day "

Peanuts international appeal is confirmed with this postcard for it came from Germany with

one of this year's "World Heritage Sites of UNESCO".  I think this set may be a joint issue with Japan because they both have Japanese writing on them and the other one of this set features a Japanese temple in Nara.  The one I received features the town of Regensburg in Bavaria which "has unique Romanesque and Gothic buildings representing an authentic image of a single European trading city of the Middle Ages".  The building that dominates this stamp is the Cathedral of St Peter surrounded by medieval buildings.

Thank you Klaus for this fun postcard.

Sunday 19 June 2011

Cobb & Co

A horse and coach galloping across the outback issued in 1955 is a celebration of the company Cobb and Co, carrier of mail and gold in Australia for 75 years. Established in 1853 by four Americans who imported Concord coaches from their home country, the name comes from one of those founders, Freeman Cobb.  Eventually the coaches were built in Australia, the company grew by travelling faster than their competitors. The horses were changed at every station, 30 kilometres apart, and could travel at 12 kilometres an hour.  At its peak there were 30,000 horses travelling 45,000 kilometres a week.

One of the distinctive features of the Cobb coaches was when they operated after nightfall their lights formed a triangular shape of lamps at either side of the coach and a large central light, visible for many miles across the country. This must have looked an amazing sight as the lights travelled at speed in the dark. So much so that it inspired the poet Henry Lawson to write his evocative poem "The Lights of Cobb and Co"  ('Through stringy bark and blue gum and box and pine we go -,// A hundred miles shall see tonight the lights of Cobb and Co")

Carrying of gold from the gold fields could mean that the drivers faced bushrangers wishing to relieve them of their cargo.  This is how I know of Cobb and Co because as a child I watched the series of 'Whiplash' set in the Australian outback,  and loosely based on the life of Freeman Cob who was played by Peter Graves (later to star in Mission Impossible), fighting the baddies with his whip.  In real life Cobb returned to America to become a Massachusetts senator, later moving to South Africa to initiate a coaching system to serve the Kimberley diamond mines.  In my mind of course he is still riding the outback, whip in hand, the mail must get through....

An entry for Sunday Stamps hosted by Viridian's Postcards

Saturday 18 June 2011


Postbox LA27 75 at Marshside, Kirkby in Furness

 Take a walk down to Marshside post a card or two, then 
 sit and enjoy the sunshine. 

The village of Kirkby in Furness is more like a collection of hamlets and Marshside is one of them.  The name reflecting its location by the Duddon Estuary.

Friday 17 June 2011

By the Seaside

Central Pier Head, Morecambe

Opened on March 25th, 1869 the pavilion on this pier's nickname was the 'Taj Mahal of the North'.  The Lancaster Guardian, in 1908, documents that 

the  "variety and excellence of the bill of fare' " to entertain the pier's patrons. From Rousby's electrical review entitled Paris and London – Le Entente Cordiale incorporating a version of the Eiffel Tower adorned with hundreds of coloured lights; to a 'charming and agreeable musical turn' by Coverdale and Huxley's Bijou Juveniles singing popular melodies. Then there was the high wire tumbling act The Three Lloyds. The Guardian reports that their tumbling 'is done with neatness and precision.'  Burke, Andrus and Frisco brought 'spectacular absurdity' while comedian and clog dancer T.W. Royal and comedian Sam Shipley had the audience roaring with laughter. Last but not least, the newspaper reports that the 'pretty ballroom is filled nightly by the votaries of dancing.'

And as can be seen by the sign at the end of the pier of "dancing free", this was the place to be.   Perhaps our sender saw the show for the card was sent on the 27 July 1908.
"Dear Sister, The weather is lovely send Annie and Fred by the next train. Your F.....? "

Perhaps our sender was watching this boat about to set sail while waiting for Annie and Fred
Going for a Sail. Morecambe

Take your choice whether to send this as a post card or printed matter, but take care, with one of those option only five words can be used.  I have never sent a post card with so few words, but if that was all available what would the words be?  If it was 1933 you could have written  "come quickly, pavilion on fire" because that is when it was destroyed, people came from miles around to watch.  The pier was later rebuilt and dancing was once again taking place at the end of the pier but at the end of the century it fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1992.

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

Monday 13 June 2011


What says the Greek islands more than this card. The island of Samos lies just off the coast of Turkey. It is a mountainous but fertile island, the poet Byron immortalised it in 'The Isles of Greece' with  "Fill high the cup of Samarian wine "  Its other claim of fame is as the birthplace of Pythagoras, and the small town on the south coast of the island was renamed Pithagorio in 1955 to celebrate his birthplace.  I don't know where this photo is but think it is the capital, and main port, of Vathi because it is also sometimes referred to as Samos.

Sunday 12 June 2011


Its Sunday Stamps time again. Se-tenant is our quest this week, the French translates as joined together, so perhaps we should all join together in a Sunday Stamps gymnastics. Are you ready?
Time to limber up with some gentle exercise
And swing those arms for a grand crescendo.  And now........relax.

This is a set of stamps called "Gymnastics by Radio" issued in 1952.  Radio gymnastics had been introduced in China the previous year to develop mass physical fitness so I suppose the stamps were issued to reinforced the message.
Students and faculty at a middle school in Shanghai do radio exercises in this photo of Dec 1, 1951.

The radio program was not kept up in later years due to social change in China, however times changed again as Beijing resumed the daily broadcasts in August 2010 in a fitness campaign for all. Tune in at 10 am or 2pm and throw some shapes.  This middle school started to use the exercises in 2002:

 I suppose we would call this aerobics today rather than gymnastics

An entry to Sunday Stamps hosted by Viridian Postcards here

Wednesday 8 June 2011


Hidalgo Government Palace, Guadalajara
Painted by José Clements Orozco between 1936-1939 in the Government Palace, this portrait of Miguel Hidalgo, who initiated the independence of Mexico and in this same building abolished slavery in 1810.

Two influential people in one card, Hidalgo, who fought for Mexican freedom and, Orozo, one of the leaders of the Mexican Muralists.  Orozo was a politically committed artist and his bold murals established the Mexican Mural Renaissance. His art can be seen in both Mexico and the USA. My sender, Ramón, says the Orozo is one of the greatest muralists in Mexico's history and he thinks this mural is amazing.  I'm trying to imagine what it must look like full size, I've seen a photograph in its location and it looks huge.

The card came with
a postage label. which I am not keen on, prefering stamps, but I think it is interesting for two reasons.  One, I like the pigeon logo by Gonzalo Tassier, first used in June 2009, which replaced the head of an eagle symbol of the Correos de Mexico.  The computerised system in Mexico is called the "Sistema Integral de Operatión" (SIO), the history and a few pictures of post offices here.

The other reason is that as can be seen the label was affixed on 18 November 2010, then it must have nestled down into a postage bag until the postal weight exchange between Mexico and the UK took place when it was stamped with the date 24 March 2011 as it left Guadalajara. It plopped through my letter box having taken 222 days from when Ramón posted it, but worth the wait.

Thank you Ramón, an amazingly dramatic card.

Monday 6 June 2011

Golden Mermaid

A mermaid combing her long golden tresses while the full moon and sea birds and fish surround her. But what is the significance of the watch?  In European legends, like fairies, mermaids have an uncertain temperament, and are known for enchanting humans.  This card however, despite its appearance, comes from China where the legends are different, mermaids are more a force of nature, their tears can turn in priceless pearls.

My sender, Lìwén, has an unusual surname because it consists of two words whereas most surnames in China are only one word. I had not noticed that about Chinese surnames before.  Like me she finds it interesting. 

The card came with three stamps:
two of the beautiful Formosan Blue Magpie which is sometimes referred to as the "long tailed mountain lady", in contrast to the long tailed sea lady of the postcard.   The Blue Magpies must look stunning perched in the trees. This stamp was issued in 2002 as was the other stamp
from the set of "Protecting the Common Homeland of Mankind", this one called "Air Conservation".  Always good to breathe clean air and indeed Earth is our only homeland. 

Thank you Lìwén for the pretty card and stamps   

Sunday 5 June 2011


Every year the member countries of PostEurop vote to choose the subject to appear on the Europa stamps.  UNESCO declared 2011 to be the International Year of the Forest and the subject for this year's Europa stamp is themed to tie in.  I have been squealing, ooh pretty stamps, as each one has appeared on the Europa Stamps blog here.  Now that they have all been issued then there is a vote for the favourite on the Post Europ's site. The results to be announced later in the year. 

Thanks to my Postcrossing friend, Eeva, I have the Finnish stamps. They are for second class postage and show Lake Mustalampi in the Nuuksio National Park through the four seasons.  Designed by Klaus Welp his idea was that you could use the appropriate stamp for the season. I love how not only is each stamp a reflection they also reflect each other, the reverse number, class of postage and the Europa symbol on the Autumn/Winter one.

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps, this week it is "anything you like".

Saturday 4 June 2011

Bardsea Box

Postbox Number LA12 97

Postbox on Park View in the village of Bardsea. A scattering of houses, two pubs, a church and a post office sitting on a hill overlooking Morecambe Bay.