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


Sunday 1 November 2020

Three Cheers for Key Workers


1958: National Health (Design - Gerald M Trottier)

The perfect message for the times we are living through - "Health Guards the Nation". A shared endeavor and so was the stamp between Trottier, the designer, the portrait and picture engraved by Yves Baril and the lettering by John Marsh.  The nurse was the first living person to be portrayed on a Canadian stamp, alas I do not know her name, the essential but unknown front line worker. 

1965: Nursing Publicity Issue
Another nurse but this time with a patient and in happier times without PPE.  Oberschan, the village on the postmark, has no hospital but does have a ski station and might be a pleasant place in the Swiss mountains to hunker down for however many years the pandemic lasts.  The edifice is Wartau Castle.
1974: Centenary of Universal Postal Union

Rain, shine and pandemic the post never stopped and flowed through my letterbox, hurray for postal workers.

1986: Europa - Protection of Nature and Environment (Design Ole Knappe; Engraver Arne Kühlmann)

Another essential service out in all weathers whose personnel kept going, the refuse collector.

2020: Morocco United Against Covid19


Sunday Stamps II theme this week is - front line workers -  at See It On A Postcard