Sunday 28 August 2011


We travel the world on the web, discovering places we may never have the opportunity to visit, although one always lives in hope. I noticed yesterday that I had a new location on my visitor flags, the island of Reunion.  The present population of the island is 800,000, how intriguing that one of them ended up on my blog.    I wondered if I had any Reunion stamps and I did, but not may, here are three of them.  The first two are definitives from 1907 showing a map of the island (which lies in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar). 
And this one is from the 1933 definitive series showing the Cascade Salazie, known as the bridal veil because of the effect as it flows down the hillside.  Thanks to wikipedia I find that the greatest rainfall over 24 hours ever recorded in the world was on this island, 73 inches, which happened in 1952. The Cascade must have been quite a sight on that day.

What a pity I do not have any of the early aerial stamps for Reunion was the birthplace of the pioneer aviator Roland Garros.  It looks a beautiful place

An entry to Sunday Stamps

Saturday 27 August 2011

Skelwith Bridge

Royal Mail postboxes are painted every three years and the turn of this one outside the Skelwith Bridge Hotel in the Lake District has come. They always looked intensely red and glossy when first painted. But this one is unusual because
 Post Box Number LA22 171
it has had its crown and cypher painted gold. Normally this embellishment is just painted the same colour as the post box and only painted gold when the postbox is historically significant. I have no idea what this ones claim to fame is, maybe it was one of the first George VI boxes to be installed (they used up the George the V boxes first so it was not until 1937 that the ones with his number on appeared).  Whatever the reason  it looks very striking.

Friday 26 August 2011

Josselin, Brittany

A view of Josselin and its castle form the River Oust which at this point forms part of the Nantes to Brest Canal.  The working barges lay by the side and the woman in the bottom corner is involved in some sort of occupation; I wonder what. The postcard was sent in 1903 before the divided back so our sender writes kisses on this side
and sends to Madame Finot-Carquet on the other. The definitive stamp, designed by Paul-Joseph Blanc shows a winged women carrying the scales of justice who is looking in the mirror of truth and has two nice cancels, one as it leaves Josselin and other when it arrives at its destination - Verdun.
A card where Josselin's medieval château takes centre stage. This view from the canal gives a fairy tale aspect, although this is a castle that was built to be impregnable. The town of Josselin is designated a "little city of character" and is a popular tourist destination for its pretty half-timbered houses and other attractions which
  this card celebrates with its picture cancellation.  The card was sent in July 1979 when our sender is enjoying a holiday. The stamp of course is one of the many Marianne depictions, this one designed by Piere Gandon and taken from David painting in the Louvre of the Sabine women.

Sunday 21 August 2011

The Happiness Tree

This weeks Sunday Stamps theme included, "unusual shape", there is no doubt the 'go to' country must be Finland, always inventive with shapes and themes.  I was spoilt for choice but as I have just received these two this week from Eeva I share them here .  They are from a miniature sheet called 'The Happiness Tree', the stamps hang from the tree:
The sheet was issued in May  for Spring and Summer celebrations such as  invitations, congratulations or summer greetings. A perfect way to celebrate a summer birthday. The graphic artist is Päivi Unenge who has also illustrated children's books and postcards.

I have posted the next two before
 but I couldn't resist repeating them for I have never seen the shape of the one on the right, the Friendship Bird, ever before.  The cupid is from the Drops of Happiness set.  I wonder what new shapes Posti will delight stamp lovers with in the future?

An entry to Viridian Postcard's' Sunday Stamps

Thursday 18 August 2011

Double Mucha

A postcard from the Czech Republic of Mucha's  famous Champagne Ruinart poster.  Alfons Maria Mucha (1860-1939) was born in the Moravia region, part of Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic.  I have always associated him with fin de siècle Paris and his wonderful Art Nouveau posters, but just looking briefly into his life I discover how wrong this impression was. He tried to deny his work was art nouveau and said his style was actually Czech art becoming frustrated that he was always associated with his commercial art. Returning to Prague in the 20th Century he produced many murals around the city.  My sender, Dajna, says that the art nouveau style makes some parts of Prague even more charming.

With Czechoslavakia's independence after World War 1 Mucha designed many postage stamps and banknotes for his country so how lovely that Dajna sent this card with

one of the stamps issued in May 2010 to celebrate Mucha's 150th birth anniversary.  This one is the actress Sarah Bernhardt 'Gismonda' poster. He had a 6 year contract from Bernhardt where he produced many other theatre posters for her.

Thank you Dajna for the beautiful stamp and card

Thursday 11 August 2011


A postcard of the one of the  'Greetings from America' series of stamps started in 2002.  All have this retro design that resemble the large letter postcards of the 1930s and 40s.  Space exploration and beaches, what more could you want. I wonder if the beach portrayed is one that you could have watched the space shuttle take off?  Florida's nickname is The Sunshine State and my sender, Megan, confirms that by saying that it is has been very hot there in the 100s of degrees.

I love state cards and not only does this one portray a stamp but on the back it has the state symbols: a small picture of a mockingbird sat on the orange blossom and then listed - Tree: Sabal Palm, Capital: Tallahassee & Statehood: March 3, 1845.

The card came with
one of this years Herbs stamps. I've had two different herbs, and this is the third. The name of the herbs are written in this lovely calligraphy but no Latin names so I'll add that it is Salvia officinalis. 

Thank you Megan for this evocative postcard

Monday 8 August 2011


Collection of the Royal Museum of Central Africa, Belgium

A display that reminds me of those Victorian naturalist who collected everything. Once fluttering around now these insects remain forever preserved. I have conflicting feelings about this;  one is that they should be left where they were, the other fascination with their variety and that I can see them displayed. 

The postcard was produced for the first series of exhibitions on the RMCA's unique collection. There are both butterflies and moths on the card.  The RMCA was founded in 1898, the collections cover both cultural and natural science from central Africa. The first butterflies and moths were sent to the entomology department in 1900 from the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. The collection has now expanded to include west and east Africa and there are 240,000 butterflies and 230,000 moths, a marvellous scientific resource. The few lepidoptera on this card pale into comparison with that number, I can imagine pulling out drawer upon drawer to see the infinite variety.  The collections are so vast that only 5% are on display at one time.

The card came with
a stamp from the 2007 'Beneficial Insects' series, this one the Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens) and then the 2011 'Baby Animals' stamp of some fluffy Canada Geese.  My sender, Denise, also decorated the card with a beautiful chickadee stamp which I posted for Sunday Stamps yesterday.

Thank you Denise for a plethora of beautiful wings.

Sunday 7 August 2011

My Little Chickadees

This stamp was sent to me from Denise in Canada decorating a postcard, which it did perfectly with stamp and cute border design. One of the 2004 set of John James Audubon wonderful bird paintings. The Canadian postal authority were originally going to photograph from the printed book but the particular black ink used intensified and became muddied so they went back to the original watercolours held by the New York Historical Society (purchased from Audubon's window in 1863) to produce these beautiful stamps.

Audubon painted Canadian birds during two separate journeys north. In 1831 he travelled to the Newfoundland coast before sailing to Europe. In the summer of 1833 he returned to the north shore of the Saint Lawrence and its islands and estuaries, once more to coastal Newfoundland then Labrador, Cape Cod and Nova Scotia.

The Boreal Chickadees live in coniferous woods living mainly in insects and seeds, foraging in flocks as Audubon portrays.  As they live in Canada, Alaska and parts of the US so I have never seen them but can through this stamp and I can travel via the  Xeno Canto site of bird songs and hear them chirp on this sound file:

An entry for Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

My True Love Has My Heart

A card from Lithuania by the illustrator Brigita Budryté.  I can discover nothing about her apart from the the fact she illustrates books. I find the painting both amusing and spooky, and open to many interpretations. Are the fairy folk the couple of love, their hearts joined and playful or have they taken someone's heart and are about to play with it?

The card came with
  a stamp of 2008, one of two celebrating the Olympic Games in Beijing. This is the Yacht 'Laser Radial' class. Small one person dingies, part of the women's single-handed discipline. The silver medal in the 2008 Olympics was won by the only sailor in the Lithuanian team, Gintaré Volungevičiūté. 

Thank you Gabija for this fascinating card

Monday 1 August 2011


 L'ancienne école d'artillerie, la Tour du Connétable et les jardins

Back from holiday, and here is the town I stayed for a week. Not intentionally for I was in the hospital after missing the last four steps of the staircase and breaking my femur. The Bretagne Atlantique hospital put me back together and looked after me wonderfully so I am now back in England and letting time, and exercise do the rest. My partner brought me postcards of the city to show me in hospital and on the 13th July market found a vintage postcard seller and presented me with the cards. Now I'll know what date to revisit the city!

The card is of  "The old artillery school, the Connetable's Tower and the gardens".  The tower is medieval and part of the old city walls. The medieval centre is full of pretty timber framed houses. The city sits on the Gulf of Morbihan, a place of islands, boats and harbours, sheltered from the Atlantic.