Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dhow Sailing, Zanzibar

Well hello there, for the second time this year! Sounds strange?! Yeah, to me too! I don't know if saying 'we better get used to it' is a bit far-fetched at this moment though :P But for as long as it lasts... hope you enjoy it!

I don't participate as often as I used to in the forum's swaps/tags/round robins, but sometimes I do end up catching a good spot, and that is how I ended up getting my first ever written and stamped card from Zanzibar! (I don't get new countries that often any longer, but when I do, it sure is a gem! ;-)

The card shows a dhow sailing (in the Indian Ocean, I guess) - word of the day: dhow - generic name of a number of traditional sailing vessels with one or more masts with lateen sails used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean region. Historians are divided as to whether the dhow was invented by Arabs or Indians. (It is not like historians could ever agree on anything....)
They are primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, fresh water or merchandise.

Now, if to anyone this stamp saying Tanzania comes as a disappointment, it shouldn't, since Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania and even though it has its own Government, postage stamps are a different issue. If you do have a read about Zanzibar's history of postage stamps though, it does get a bit confusing, being that it used Indian stamps in the 19th century and then later it fell into the hands of the British Empire. So the bottom line, in this year and this century, I couldn't have possibly received a Zanzibar card with a Zanzibar stamp, but the cool thing is that even on the Tanzanian stamps, they do show some Zanzibar-related things, so that counts :D

This stamp is from a set of 4 Tourism stamps issued in 2010, showing Zanzibar attractions - here you can see the Red Colobus Monkey.

Thanks a million to Olia for this card! It is actually really cool to be able to visit a country like Zanzibar :)

Montana, USA

Next is a card from one of the people from my list of 'responsible for keeping my mailbox entertained, whether I am on a hiatus or not'.

At first glance, one may not be fully aware about what this 'enough said' entitles - one could think Montana struggles with some electricity issues, but at second glance, that would mean half of the US does as well - though now with all the Trump's policies, who knows...

But what the author of this card actually wanted to point out was the population density in Montana - at 630 miles wide and 255 miles high, Montana is the 4th largest state but the 44th least populated one, having only seven people per square mile.... yep, enough said, you guys live in tranquility.

lot of cool stamps here. First the older ones. A unique set combining four stamps in a block that contains one overall design. (I am not sure what the exact philatelic term would be for this, it is not se-tenant). This issue commemorates the 100th Anniversary of National Parks and it shows the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, an area that contains some of the earliest sites of English colonial settlement. Issued in 1972.

The forever stamps are from 2017. The se-tennat hockey ones were issued by USPS and is a joint issue with Canada, celebrating the history of ice-hockey. The stamp on the right portrays a modern hockey player, skating on a pond in present day, wearing a modern uniform and contemporary equipment, while the left one shows a vintage player, representing the game's past, against a snowy background, wearing a vintage garb and old-fashioned equipment.

And last we have two definitive grape stamps issued in 2017, for additional postage. Hmm, too many things revolving around grapes lately, and the product thereof...

Thanks a bunch to Bryon for this one! :)))

Severn Valley Railway, England

A lovely train card sent by dear Anu.

The West Country Class No. 34027 `Taw Valley` was built in Brighton in 1945 and here it can be seen crossing the magnificent Victoria Bridge over the River Severn in the UK.

Anu always uses fantastic stamps! First we have two of the Theater stamps (built during the Shakespearean era) issued in 1995 in a set of 5 - here we have the Hope from 1613 and the Globe from 1614 (the rebuilt version, after being destroyed in a fire in 1613).
The train stamp is from a set of five British Pub Signs, issued in 1995 - this stamp shows 'The Station' by Andrew Davidson. And last of course, you have her Majesty, the Queen.

Thanks a lot lot Anu!

Johor Strait Lighthouse, Singapore

Last for today is this beautiful Singaporean lighthouse, which I realized I have twice in my collection.

The first one was sent by Valentina from the Postcrossing meeting in Singapore held in July that year. Out of ll the names, I could only recognize that Lee Hock Peng and sybones attended as well.
The other card arrived as an official last year.

There are only 6 operating lighthouses in Singapore today, and this is one of them. The Johor strait is an international strait between Singapore and mainland Malaysia. Unfortunately google didnt prove very useful regarding this one, except that the lighthouse is Located at the end of a jetty at the Raffles Marina in Tuas, just west of the Second Link Expressway bridge over the strait and that there is a white flash every 10 seconds, and that it has a 12 m round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The navigation light is mounted atop the lantern.

Very useful google, indeed..

The stamps from Valentina's card show two from the Vanishing Trades series - first is one from 2014, showing a cage maker, while the other one is from 2013, showing a lantern maker (such crafts and trades have been vanishing from Macedonia as well...)

The other stamp is from 2017 from a set of 6 stamps called 'Morning of Singapore'. Well mornings usually relate to rush hours and chaos - this one seems to be rather calm so I guess it relates to one during the weekends :)))

Thanks to Valentina and deezee for this card, and to everyone signing it at the PC meeting, and thanks to you for dropping by.
Till next time...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Happy New Year 2018 and Welcome Back Here :)

*cough cough cough* (clears throat)

Well, hello hello hello out there! Oh yeah, look who's finally back! :D
You still can't believe it right? Me neither! What I esp. cannot believe is that it has been more than a year since I've done a real postcards-related post here - all those yada dada's don't count to the actual contribution to this blog, but frankly, I didn't expect that the whole Photobucket issue would end up being so demotivating in the end. But truth is, it was, cos the entire starting-things-from-scratch was so tedious, that I just never really got down to it. All the time I kinda secretly hoped that maybe Photobucket would get back to its senses and at LEAST let us unfortunate users use the photos that were already there, prior to their nonsensical decision - but of course, that day still hasn't arrived and obviously, it never will, so I just have to get over it and maybe, just maybe, one day, be able to repair the damage they had done.
But in the meantime, I guess it is time to continue this blog's sole purpose cos despite the dreadful silence here, there are still people out there who still check this place from time to time, and hope for something new. And here I would like to send special regards to my two regular bots in the form of william charles and linda clark - seems that a day doesn't go by without me getting a notification that one of you has visited one of my two blogs - you really seem to be dedicated to whatever you are doing ;-D

And lets get down to some actual business right now, with this super cute surprise that arrived in my mailbox today.

It just seems like the perfect card for this so-called 'grand entrance', plus it is holidays related, so looks perfect.
It is not signed, but based on the cancellation, I can assume who sent it to me ❤

And I just wanna wish you all Happy Holidays and a fab  year ahead. Hope life gives you health, love and lots of lovely surprises in your mailbox :)
Thank you for all the awesome cards you sent me last year - finding those surprises in my mailbox can often cheer me up even on a very shitty day, so keep them coming! :*

Fort Lauderdale, USA

Glenn has been on one of his cruises lately, and as always, never fails to send me a card from wherever he is, regularly feeding my hungry mailbox.

This card is from Ft. Lauderdale, which if I got it right, was the embarking point, but seems it has arrived like, the last...  cos just the other day i received one from the Bahamas, saying it was the last stop - but then taking a look at the cancellations something doesnt make sense so I'm a bit confused,  but alas, what matters is that they have arrived :)

Ft. Lauderdale always associates me to my best friend from primary school who moved there back then. To the rest of the world it is this popular tourist destination with plenty of sunshine, lovely beaches at the Atlantic Ocean shores.
It is named after a series of forts built by the United States during the Second Seminole War. The forts took their name from Major William Lauderdale (1782–1838), younger brother of Lieutenant Colonel James Lauderdale. William Lauderdale was the commander of the detachment of soldiers who built the first fort. However, development of the city did not begin until 50 years after the forts were abandoned at the end of the conflict.
Three forts named "Fort Lauderdale" were constructed: the first was at the fork of the New River, the second was at Tarpon Bend on the New River between the present-day Colee Hammock and Rio Vista neighborhoods, and the third was near the site of the Bahia Mar Marina.

being disproportionate in size, the cancellations kinda overshadow the stamps and this is the thing that kinda got me confused - when I checked Glenn's blog, it said that he was already back from his cruise at the end of November, but the cancellation here says 04 December, so who knows what has happened.
The stamps are from a series of four Forever stamps issued in 2016, called, Sonbirds in the Snow. Featured on these three are, from left to right: the golden-crowned kinglet (or Regulus satrapa), the cedar waxwing (or Bombycilla cedrorum), and the red-breasted nuthatch (or Sitta canadensis).

Thanks a lot lot Glenn for this, and all the other surprises sent my way!!


My dear Agi always somehow managed to stumble upon cards with trains or bicycles and decides to surprise my mailbox! And I was delighted to see that heh, what a coincidence, she has decided to blew dust off her blog as well :D

A few weeks before New Year's I bought new lights for my bicycle. The previous ones were steady-yellow lights, but the new ones are both in colour plus they are flashing, so it is a kind of a totally new attraction on the gloomy streets of Skopje (winters here are always gloomy, aka pollution goes through the roof and despite being a recurring issue year after year, it still persists, the Government keeps buying time until like spring time, when the pollution levels drop down and then everything is just swept under the carpet until next winter and then this vicious circle continues. Believe it or not Skopje was on the top of the list of most polluted cities in the world with cities in India and China trotting behind us. I wish more people rode bicycles, but then again, the Government doesn't really care to improve the conditions nor stimulate the people for that. So who knows, maybe we, the bike-Nazis are the crazy ones...

Agi used this super cool set of Astrophysics stamps issued in 2017! The stamp on the left shows gravitational waves, while the one on the right shows the GAIA Satelite.

Hvala ti puno Aginice! :* <3

Melaka, Malaysia

Just one more card for today - I don't wanna overwor my rustiness :P

I have been rarely doing swaps for a long while now, partly because I somehow find this whole swap thing has become too demanding and more like a business than something done for pleasure, plus cos of financial reasons too. But sometimes you just spot a card and you know you have to go for it, which was the case with this one.
Sent by Bernard from Malaysia, who says he used to take this train from Ipoh to Singapore, where the journey lasted for almost 8 hours, but now with the new flight services, it takes like an hour. Yep, the planes have ruined it all :D
However, taking the price into consideration too, I'd always prefer a cozy train ride to a flight (trains in Macedonia are exempted from this).

The stamp is from a set of 4, World Post Day stamps issued in 2017. The postcrossing community there even organized a Postcrossing Meeting for the World Post Day.

Thanks a lot to Bernard for this card, and to you all for dropping by.

Till next time ;)