Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Riga, Latvia

From left to right, one stamp from a 2019 set of three stamps commemorating the centenary of the Latvian Armed Forces, one stamp from a 2019 pair commemorating the centenary of the University of Latvia, a water lily stamp from 2016 and at the bottom a one cent definitive showing a common daisy.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Sofia, Bulgaria

From the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, a pair of stamps from 2020 featuring caricatures of famous Bulgarians by Bulgarian visual artist Boris Dimovski. On the left is the late Bulgarian film and stage actor Georgi Partsalev. On the right is a self-portrait of Boris Dimovski himself, who died in 2007. Thank You for the cover Pedro!

Friday, August 25, 2023

Autumn Greetings FDC, Japan

Two stamps showing fall scenes, first-day postmarked in central Tokyo on 9 August 2023. The stamps are from a pair of sheets, each with 10 different stamp designs. Some have animals. The FD postmark on the right with an image of a deer is machine stamped. The one on the left with the cute little chipmunk is hand stamped.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Hidaka, Saitama prefecture, Japan

Some older stamps on this cover from Hidaka. From left to right, cherries from Yamagata prefecture from 1999, the 50th anniversary of the Public Welfare Commission from 1967, and the 100th anniversary of the start of the Meiji Era from 1968.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

World of Art FDC, Japan

First-day cover from Osaka with a pair of stamps from Japan Post's fifth "Word of Art" stamp series. On  the left is Torajirō Kojima's "Sleeping Young Model" from 1912 and on the right is Minami Kunzô's "Girl  writing at a garden table" from 1909. The image in the postmark is from Maruyama Ōkyo's "Morning Glory and Puppies" from 1784.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Ivenacker Oaks, Germany FDC

Ivenacker oaks in Northern Germany are some of the oldest trees in Germany. The oldest is just over 1100 years old. They were declared the first National Natural Monument in Germany in 2016.

And here's another one that came a couple days later.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Chinese Idioms

An idiom is a phrase in which the literal meaning is not the same as the figurative meaning. The Chinese language is ripe with idioms with ancient origins. They are known as chengyu and usually  consist of four characters. The stamps on this cover are from the third series of "Stories of Idioms" stamps from China showcasing just a few classic Chinese idioms.

The theme of these stamps all involve respect for hard work and learning. To fully understand Chinese idioms requires an understanding of ancient Chinese culture and language which I do not possess. So all I can really do is google search and translate which does not do them justice. Across the top from left to right: 
  • 铁杵成针 Grind an iron rod into a needle : as long as people work hard, they will be successful
  • 程门立雪 Cheng Men Lixue. Stand in the snow and wait upon master Cheng respectfully: have respect for teachers, teaching and studying
  • 孺子可教 The child is worth teaching
  • 韦编三绝 Wei Bian Sanjue. Leather straps used to bind bamboo strips break three times : Confucius read the "Book of Changes" so many times that the bindings fell apart. And yet he still felt it would take several years to master the magic of the book. Another example of persistence and learning.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Gundam Manhole Cover Postmark, Japan

From the city of Odawara, in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. The postmark commemorates the second anniversary of the installation of a pair of Gundam themed manhole covers in the city : the first Gundam manhole covers in the country. There were two postmarks available: this one showing a RX-78-2 mobile suit gundam (one of the originals in the series) standing in front of Odawara castle, and another featuring a MSM-07 Z'Gok mobile suit (an amphibious suit).

Gundam themed manhole covers are new. but anime inspired manhole covers have been popular in Japan for a while now. There are Pokemon themed covers in cities across the country and finding them, photographing them, getting a card hand-stamped with a stamp from a nearby stamping station, is a hobbyist thing in Japan. An "otaku" thing. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Douglas, Isle of Man

From the capital city of Douglas on the Isle of Man. Artwork on the stamps represents the "three legs of Man". The triskelion has been a symbol of the Isle of Man since the 13th century. The Isle of Man sits in the Irish sea between England and Ireland. Offshore banking. Cats with no tails. It's a British Crown dependency, just like Guernsey and Jersey.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Richmond Hill David Dunlap Observatory, Canada

The 74 inch reflector telescope at the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill Ontario was, for a brief time, the second largest telescope in the world and is still the largest telescope in Canada. The observatory went into service in 1935 and was operated by the University of Toronto until 2008. The City of Richmond Hill maintains the site now, mostly for it's historical significance. Light pollution from  encroaching urban sprawl put an end to scientific research at the observatory a long time ago. Today there are homes within 200m of the telescope.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Gorredijk, Netherlands

A stamp from 2022 that commemorates the 250th birth anniversary of King William I of the Netherlands. Gorredijk is a town in the Dutch province of Friesland in the northern part of the Netherlands.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Japan Letter Writing 2023, FDC

These stamps are from a sheet of ten that show an animal delivering a letter to another animal, and then that animal turning around and delivering it to another animal... and so on. Very cute. 

Friday, August 4, 2023

Saint Pierre et Miquelon

A cover and a postcard I sent myself from the French territory of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The stamp sheet commemorates the 60th anniversary of the French National Order of Merit. The image on the postcard was taken on the north tip of the island of Langlade.

You would think that being only 20km from Newfoundland the people here would have a strong  connection to Canada. But it doesn't work that way. This is very much a French territory. We spent two night just outside the town of Saint Pierre, where most of the 6000 residents of SPM reside. It was more than enough time for us to see everything we wanted to see although most of our site seeing was through dense clouds of fog. But despite the fog, the weather was nice. The seas were quite calm during our ferry crossing. The people were friendly. Our stay was pleasant.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Dildo, Newfoundland. Canada

A postcard from Dildo, Newfoundland. There really isn't much to see in Dildo. It's a pleasant community on a bay about an hour from St John's. However the town's name has brought it much notoriety. The main attractions are the gift shop and the brewery. We tried to get in there for lunch when we visited but every other tourist in the province must have been in Dildo that day. It's was surprisingly busy. High above the town on private land is this sign that has actually made it's way onto the postmark used at the post office.