Sunday 27 December 2020

January Holidays

1963: New Year (Design - Eva Zombory)
Its a Happy New Year from Hungary with all the good luck symbols, horseshoe, four leaf clover, mistletoe and holly berries.  The first holiday of the year, sometimes spent recovering from a hangover or for the hardy a New Year swim in the sea.
1979: Design - Fritz Wegner)
I think only one Sunday Stamper may have this as an official holiday for it is Epiphany on the 6th January and the arrival of the Three Kings.  The artist, Fritz Wegner, was known for the rich detail in his illustrations and he hasn't held back with this one
1984: Australia Day (Design - Jon Quinn)

Lastly we reach the 26th January and Australia Day.  This is Cook's Cottage which was built in 1755 in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, England and shipped to Australia in 1934 by Sir Russell Grimwalde.  It was the home of the navigator Captain Cook's parents.  Inside it is furnished with items from the 18th Century.  The village of Great Ayton has an obelisk where the cottage once stood.


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Other Holidays - taken at  See It On A Postcard

Thursday 24 December 2020

Christmas Holiday

Looks like Inge Löök's old ladies are going to spend their Christmas holidays by the beach under the bright light of a lighthouse in a cozy igloo.  They will want for nothing as they have brought everything with them, even an accordion for a singalong.  This scene made me wonder whether there were beaches in Lapland from which the old ladies could run into the water.  The answer is yes and they are recommended for their refreshing water and lack of crowds, one beach by the Ivalojoki river is very popular and one might also be joined by reindeer swimming across to join in the fun.  Here are the 'Best 8 Beaches in Lapland'.

Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas


Sunday 20 December 2020

Christmas Story


2009: Christmas (Design - Mike Heine)

All is peaceful under a star which

wise men followed from afar.
1997: Christmas (Design - Jan Lenica)
To see a boy child by prophesy described
2011: Joy to the World (Design - Andrew Perro)
with an angel by his side
2000: Christmas (Design - P Lynch)
A journey taken all in haste
1989: Christmas (Ruben's Madonna of the Basket)

the holy family blessed with grace.

1969 - Design - Fritz Weger

Don't forget the shepherds three, sending greetings from GB.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday Stamps II theme - Religious Christmas - See It On A Postcard

Sunday 13 December 2020

Winter Solstice

Under a starry Arctic sky the northern lights
2008: Merry Christmas (Design - Linda Riber Sørensen; Typography - Dorit Olsen)

swirl over a cluster of houses. The artist Linda Riber says she "pictured a small village where the heat from the small windows of wooden houses stream out into the freezing snow and a public Christmas tree is outside. Everybody is inside, the food will be served any minute.

Two reindeer wander close by the village. I imagine that these are some of Santa Claus's reindeer".
2020:Europa -Ancient Postal Routes (Design - Klaus Welp)
Santa Claus has hitched up his reindeer and is circling the globe with his parcels.
2019: Winter Wonder (Design - Virpi Pekkala)
The northern lights swirl over the pole and a snowman and arctic hares.
Two  elves, a dog and cat sing outside
Meanwhile an elf family stride across the snow in their bathrobes going to the sauna across a twilit snowy landscape, the father with a lantern and mother with a towel while an elf boy holds a birch whisk.The Christmas sauna is a Finnish tradition.
1997: Christmas Crackers (Design - John Gorham)

Time to pull a Christmas cracker.

2019: Snowflake (Design Paula Salviander)

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Secular Christmas - light up the dark days at  See It On A Postcard.

Sunday 6 December 2020

Red Is The Colour


2010: Visual Illusions (Artist - Youri Messen-Jaschin)

Gravity waves or a wormhole?  Adjust your vision now.  This is one of the Op Art works of Youri Messen-Jaschin  which give the illusion of movement. Mesmerizing.  The full stamp set can be seen here

1986: Childrens Fund - Toys (Design - Ernest Witzig)

Unfortunately I cannot pump this spinning top handle to make it spin into a blur of colour.

1977: Events -  Vevey Vintage Festival emblem
although too much wine can make the world spin. The Vevey Wine Festival in Switzerland only happens every 20 years and is so unique it was awarded  UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage status in 2016.  We have all just missed it as this three week bacchanalia happened last year. 😞. 
1986: 50th Anniversary of Swiss Winter Relief (Design - Adolf Flückiger)

It is snowing in Switzerland.  Our weather forecasters have been excitedly trailing for a week that the first snow in the UK is going to arrive soon and it has,  although not in my little corner of England but I can see it on the hills. Unless I strap on my hiking boots

2015: Christmas (Design - Bea Würgler)
I won't be  building snowmen yet but this globe would give me 'snow' all year round..

2015: Greetings Stamps (Design - Julia Reichle and Martina Pelosi)
The ladybirds will be oblivious to the weather as they will be hibernating in their chosen hidey-holes, they gather together by species.  I discovered that the collective noun is a 'loveliness of ladybirds'.  Keep on snoozing in your loveliness.  The ladybird is said to bring good luck.

1968: Northern Bullfinch

 Meanwhile the bullfinch will be busy feeding on winter seeds.

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is the - Red -  for more splashes of colour go to See It On A Postcard

Sunday 29 November 2020

Castles and Towers


2017: Europa - Castles (Designer - Antonio Ciuffrido)

This tiny republic is known for its hill top castles and mountain views but the choice of the Towers of San Marino for the Europa theme of Castles probably did not need much thinking about because of their significance (they appear on the county's flag).  The stamp shows the first tower, named Guita, which is the major and most ancient of the three dating back to the 11th Century.  Apparently if one goes sightseeing to Guita then one takes the narrow passage Passo della Streghe (Passage of the Witches) to 

2017: Europa - Castles (Designer - Antonio Ciuffrida)

the Second Tower, Cesta, which is located on the highest summit of the three peaks of Monte Titano (Mount Titan) which overlooks the city of San Marino. Since 1956 it has housed the Museum of Ancient Arms but its selling point I think will be the view from the top of Adriatic Rimini, Ravenna and Ancona and of course the Apennine mountains.  The smallest tower, Montale, did not feature on the stamps.  I could not decide if these stamps are of summer or autumn but there is no doubt about the next stamp

its winter.  This is the only castle in Åland so an obvious, and rather beautiful, choice for  Åland Post.
2017: Europa - Castles (Photographer Niclas Nordlund)

This is Kastelholm which was built as a defensive fortress in the 1300s but its glory days were in the 1500s when it was developed into a castle.  Gustav I of Sweden liked it so much he spent several months there during the hunting season.  Following a fire in 1745 it fell into ruins for 120 years but went through an extensive restoration from 1982-2001 and is now a tourist attraction.

A full value FDC with a another wintry view on the back.
2009: 'Smilers': Castles of England

Back on home ground for me here.  The medieval Warwick Castle is situated on a meander of the River Avon and I have been here, but only to picnic on a grassy knoll outside on a very hot summer's day, breaking a journey back home from a holiday in Suffolk, which coincidentally is the location of Orford Castle on the other stamp.  I've been to Orford Castle (famous for its polygonal shape) at least on two occasions over the years, once inside and up to the top to enjoy the views and once while doing a circular walk of Orford Ness, my photo shows the polygon shape clearer I suggest.

I'll finish with a revisit to Kastelholm which I liked so much I also have a postcard, yes I binged on this winter view. The photographer says he had a "two hour wait at Slottsundet Bay - the clouds cleared and the currents subsided for a few seconds leaving the bay bright as a mirror, I succeeded shooting the photo I had planned."  Taken on 4 January 2016

Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Towers/Castles/Fortresses - See It On A Postcard

Sunday 22 November 2020

Under the Waves


2010: Life on the Coast (Design - Norbert Tamas; Engraver - Piotr Naszarkowski)

Under the sea on the west coast of Sweden off the coast of Lysekil is the world's largest wave power park with hundreds of 8-10 metre caissons anchored to the bottom to transfer energy from the buoys bobbing up and down in the water.

Swedish Post decided to use the 2010 Norden theme of  'Life on the Coast' to show the year round industries along the west coast, home to communities that survive partly on small scale fishing that is not harmful to the environment.  The stamps feature a mussel from a mussel farm and Alf Gustafsson on the deck of his boat, Emilie, pulling in the days catch of Norway lobsters.  Alf is from Fjällbacka where Ingrid Bergman spent her summer holidays (the main square is named after her).  It also has a high murder rate despite having only a population of 1000, although these only happen in the books of Camilla Lackberg.
Another coastal town this time in Kent on this FDC, Fisherman's Beach, Hythe with its two Martello Towers, remnants from the Napoleonic Wars.
2014: Sustainable Fish (Design - Kate Stephens; Artist - David Miller)
The stamp idea was to highlight which fish are sustainable and which are threatened in UK waters. The designer wanted to show them in a story of their environment
and designer and artist worked to create very precise representations, even down to the number of scales.
2005: Norwegian Marine Life II (Design - Enzo |Finger)
Of course there is a lot more that fish in the fabulous underwater world.  Here are Orca and sea anemone, this one is the strawberry anemone
2004: Norwegian Marine Life I (Design - Enzo Finger)

A helmet jellyfish (periphylla periphylla) found in the dark depths of up to 7000 m (23,000 ft), the Atlantic Wolffish, those teeth are needed for the molluscs and crustaceans it eats (it does not eat fish), and  the Atlantic Bobtail squid

2007: Norwegian Marine Life VI


Lastly is a squat lobster (Galathea strigosa) identified by the blue stripes across its body


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - Under the Sea - swim over for what lies beneath to See It On A Postcard

Sunday 15 November 2020

Winter Warmers

2011: Patterned (Design - Else Friis; Engraver - Martin Mörck)

Some snazzy socks or as the artist says 'a parade of socks'.  The day here is wild and windy with a high tide running so maybe time to put on some cosy socks but not cold enough

Patterned (Design - Else Friis; Engravers - Martin Mörck and Lars Sjööblom)

for any of these items as. it is still quite warm for the time of year.  The stamps depict both traditional and modern knitting.  The stars in the background of the socks design are a modern pattern but the other stamp backgrounds are traditional designs.  Some patterns can be traced back hundreds of years to specific parts of Sweden.  The illustrator, Else Friis, says she is a knitter so she must have enjoyed this project.  Originally she was a costume designer, training at the Croydon College of Art and Design in London and attaining her degree in 1981.  In the 1980s she was involved in the scenography of different Swedish TV programs as a set designer and then worked as a graphic designer with Swedish Post for a decade.  Today she is a freelance designer.  She says "The motifs are designed as tiny stages where a small piece of history is explained in every picture."


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - 'Your Choice' - choose See It On A Postcard

Sunday 8 November 2020


2006: Victoria Cross (Design; Atelier Works)
To almost continue from last week's Sunday Stamps theme here is the ultimate front line worker, Captain Noel Chavasse, a doctor in the Royal Army Medical Corp.  He won his first VC  rescuing men in no mans land on the Western Front in 1916 under sniper and shell fire and was wounded by shrapnel. He performed similar heroics in 1917 at Passchendaele but died of his wounds and was posthumously awarded his second VC. One of only three people to be awarded twice our highest medal for valour and the only one in WW1.
2015: Centenary of World War 1 - Battle Fronts (Design - CASCO)

The slaughter of the first world war took place across the globe and 'conflicts ranged from wars of movement in the deserts to nullifying trench stalemate on the Western Front'.  The Isle of Man chose six fronts to commemorate the war. The stamps show the Home Front. Women painting tank and Palestine - Turkish guns at Harcira 1917

The Western Front -The main street of Nesle, The Somme 1917
The Eastern Front: Australians marching through Eastern Europe and Gallipoli - British battery at work 1916

Italy - Austrians in a glacier, Marmolada, Tyrol 1916

Booklet Cover Italian Front - Gloucestershire Regiment marching through Piave 1916


Sunday Stamps II theme for Remembrance Sunday is - Military  - See it On A Postcard