Sunday, July 31, 2016

Horses, Bulgaria

Good morning on this terribly hot summer morning! Back to another edition of Sunday Stamps, this time on the subject of horses.

This lovely set comes from Bulgaria, issued back in 1991, showing 8 different breeds of horses. I must note down that I am really ignorant when it comes to horse breeds, even though I really love these animals and my heart hurts when I see people using them for all that heavy work....not to mention how they treat them =/

The horses shown here are as follows:

- 0.05 lev - the Przewalski's horse - a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse (Equus ferus) native to the steppes of central Asia. It was named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolay Przhevalsky, who was the first known European to describe the only extant species of wild horse.

- 0.10 lev - Tarpan - also known as Eurasian wild horse, is an extinct subspecies of wild horse. The last individual believed to be of this subspecies died in captivity in Russia in 1909, although some sources claim that it was not a genuine wild horse due to its resemblance to domesticated horses.

- 0.25 lev - Arabian horse - a breed that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

- 0.35 lev - White Arabian horse - many Arabians appear to have a "white" hair coat, but they are not genetically "white". This color is usually created by the natural action of the gray gene, and virtually all white-looking Arabians are actually grays. A specialized colorization seen in some older gray Arabians is the so-called "bloody-shoulder", which is a particular type of "flea-bitten" gray with localized aggregations of pigment on the shoulder.

- 0. 42 lev - Scottish Pony (probably the most adorable looking one) - known as the Highland Pony - one of the largest of the mountain and moorland pony breeds of the British Isles. Its pedigree dates back to the 1880s. It was once a workhorse in the Scottish mainland and islands, but today is used for driving, trekking and general riding. They are very hardy and tough, they rarely require shoeing, and are very economical to keep. They usually don't need rugs, and are generally free from many equine diseases.

- 0.60 lev - a (heavy) draft horse - a large horse bred to be a working animal doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor. There are a number of breeds, with varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.

For more beautiful horses on stamps, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Indonesian Traditional Food, Indonesia

Hello Sunday Stampers, food-lovers, regular and random visitors :)

As you can see, today's Sunday theme is food - yum yum yummie! I personally love food (I think it is a bit obvious if you know me personally :D) and in general I love trying out new foodstuffs, new tastes and long as it is not meat...I am not a real vegetarian, some kind of quasi-vegetarian, but I am really not into meat (which was clearly shown during my last blood test).
Except for the occasional chicken/turkey, or something made of minced meat....meat is a big no-no for me...mainly cos I just dislike its texture...from the bite itself I get this "I'm gonna feel sick" feeling...I have had these situations when I was little, and my parents would try to trick me into eating lamb by telling me it was chicken, but c'mon, you can smell lamb from miles afar :D

Ok, anyways, as for today, I have this set of 8 stamps from 2010 showing traditional Indonesian food.

I haven't tried Indonesian food before. Not so long ago, there was this event organized here, something like an evening of Indonesian Food, and I was really keen on going, until I realized that you had to pay something like 15 euros for it...which for some may not sound much, but for our standards here it is a bit overboard. I can go to a Thai restaurant for example and eat really well for half the in the end I skipped the Indonesian thing.

This here is the seventh issue of "Indonesian Traditional Food" stamp series, that started in 2004. The 2010 series 7 designs. that are:

- 1/7 Sup Lobster Kelapa Muda from West Sulawesi - a West Sulawesi traditional soup which is rich with marine ingredients which gives the soup its rich flavours  (fresh lobster, squid and shrimp enriched with fresh pumpkin and tasty broth soup and fresh young coconut, where you can taste not only the coconut water, but also the pieces of coconut meat.

- 2/7 Gulai Iga Kemba'ang from Bengkulu - Bengkulu is not only famous for its traditional cakes, but also its specific and strong traditional food. Gulai Iga Kemba'ang is one of them. It is a well known traditional cuisine of Bengkulu -beef ribs smeared with thick coconut milk and special seasoning increase the good and strong taste of this food. The roasted coconut increases the taste of the ribs curry.

- 3/7 Ayam Cincane from East Kalimantan - Ayam Cinace is one of the menus often recommended at big events, such as weddings or welcoming guests of honor. Chicken meat is wrapped by a thick chili seasoning and soy sauce and the delicious flavor of Cincane seasonings (onion, garlic, hazelnut, ginger and galangal). The splash of coconut milk increases the taste of Ayam Cincane.

-  4/7 Sate Udang Pentuk Asam Manis (Jambi) -  Known by its curry dishes, jambi comes with a traditional seafood of sweet sour shrimp satay. It is made of shrimp mixed with flour and starch, similar to shrimp meatballs. The good taste of tender shrimp texture and the rich flavors of sour and sweet sauces made of peanuts sauce, broth, and young mango taste increase the freshness of  the satay sauce.

-  5/7 Lempah Kuning (Bangka Belitung) - Refreshing is the perfect word to describe the taste of Lempah Kuning that is similar to fish soup or tekwan that are popular in the Sumatera region. The soup is made of mackerel fish with turmeric, chili. The texture of mackerel fish soup makes the food more delicious without making its taste fishy. Young pineapple or mango are added to this fish soup to make it more refreshing.

- 6/7 Asam Padeh Baung (Riau) - this dish has the image of a both spicy and sour taste. It is a side dish usually served with white rice while it is still warm.

- 7/7 Lapis Palaro (North Maluku) - this is a specialty dish from Maluku Islands: LAPIS PALARO or A FRIED BEEF IN RICH SAUCE, is made from Maluku's distinctive spices like clove & nutmeg and it represents the real character of the only region on earth which was once called "The Spice Island".

don't know about you but this post made me hungry :D The pasta-leftovers from yesterday should do the job :)

For more delicacies, check out today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The 100th Anniversary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Australian Antarctic Territory

Hello to all the Sunday Stampers out there, to all interested in stamps, to all interested in science and well, to just anyone who has ended up here for one reason or another :).

For today we are talking about science on Sunday Stamps and here comes my contribution to it - 3 FDCs from the Australian Antarctic Territory commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (they are indeed issued by the Australian Post but for that AAT branch).

This was an Australasian scientific team that explored part of Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. It was led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson (the guy on the stamp at the very right on the above FDC), who was knighted for his achievements in leading the expedition.
In 1910 he began to plan an expedition to chart the 3,200 km-long coastline of Antarctica to the south of Australia. The Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science approved of his plans and contributed substantial funds for the expedition.
Accomplishments were made in geology, glaciology and terrestrial biology, unlike both of Ernest Shackleton's following expeditions which produced very little science. In a celebration of the achievements of Mawson and his men, a centenary scientific voyage, retracing the route of the original expedition, departed from Australasia in late 2013 and became stuck on 24 December 2013.
The team selected for the expedition came primarily from universities in Australia and New Zealand (there were also three British and one Swiss).

A fun fact: In order to maintain morale over the prolonged period of isolation Archibald McLean (Australian bacteriologist known for his role as chief doctor during this expedition) hit upon the idea of publishing their own newspaper to keep the confined men entertained. Expedition members contributed poetry, short fiction, and literary criticism as well as scientific articles and accounts of their daily activities. The result was the Adelie Blizzard which had five issues between April and October in 1913. They were never officially published for the general public until almost 100 years had passed when a facsimile edition was produced.

With regards to these issues, the first and the third FDC were issued on 18 February 2014, while the middle one was issued on 10 September 2013 - why is this I really have no idea. They've all been designed by Andrew Hogg though.

For more science from around the world, check out today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Soda Fountain Favorites, USA

wasn't really planning on posting something here today...but then the postman came this morning (took me by surprise I must say since I really dont take part in any exchanges or so..even my official account has been set to inactive..). Anyways, as I said, the postman came, dropped a few things, and sabotaged my plan of being lazy :D

Few weeks ago the USPS issued this set of stamps that got me drooling all over at the very first glance! These could be like one of the most mouth-watering and most scrumptious stamps I've ever seen, like ever!! (might be cos I also have a soft spot for everything coffee/ice-cream related).

I tried to refrain from putting these as a cover photo on the blog so that I don't give myself out, but seems that I am too transparent sometimes, so some people are like mind-readers and know what I have laid my eyes on :))))

The stamps were issued on 30 June and this is what the USPS have to say about the set:

- The U.S. Postal Service celebrates soda fountain favorites the cold, sweet treats beloved by people of all ages. The act of savoring cool, fizzy confections is a national pastime that dates back generations. (not the healthiest one, I must add....)

 Each of the 20 self-adhesive Soda Fountain Favorites stamps showcases one of these five illustrations: a doublescoop ice cream cone, an egg cream, a banana split, a root beer float, and a hot fudge sundae.

By the late 1800s, Americans had long since begun drinking carbonated beverages for their pleasant taste, rather than their supposed health benefits. Soda jerks, the skilled operators of the nation's bustling soda fountains, offered a wide variety of syrups to flavor their product. The ice cream soda's precise origin is not clear, but by the turn of the 20th century it had become a fountain staple. The rise of refrigeration helped establishments produce, serve, and store frozen confections, whose popularity surged. By the 1960s, the number of soda fountains had dramatically decreased, but today soda fountain culture lives on in homes, restaurants, and ice cream parlors across America.

Soda fountains are not really popular here in Macedonia, but the carbonated unhealthy beverages certainly are. I used to drink a lot of these back in high-school for example (and for some reason I always prefer Sprite to Coke...). I stopped drinking them long time ago after I realized that they don't really quench my thirst, but on the whole contrary make me actually both thirsty and hungry and mess up with my digestion. I occasionally may take a sip of Coke or Bitter Lemon (like twice a year), and that's it...however, I cannot say I am that disciplined when it comes to the ice-cream and other sweet stuff :)

Thanks a lot to Bryon for this delicious surprise (feels like a payback for all the chocolate-smudged cards...:P)

Have a sweet weekend ahead everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Railways of Greece, Greece

Recently Dimitris was very kind to give me these two fabulous FDCs, and being that (as I've recently realized) I haven't posted any Greek stamps before, I think that this is like the perfect way for that first post :)

Throughout their history, the railways have fundamentally changed the way people communicate, contributing decisively to the development and modernization of Greek society, significantly assisting the national war effort, vigorously promoting the country's economic growth, and becoming a source of inspiration for intellectual creators and artists.

A leading role in this effort was played by steam locomotives, which in their century-long history in Greece proved equal to the challenge of smoothly transporting the trains throughout the network. Of the dozens of steam locomotive series used in Greece, four are now pictured on stamps as a small tribute to the country's rich railway history.

They are:
- the American G401-420, the first powerful steam locomotives in Greece;
- the Austrian La901-940, which played a leading role in the struggles of the Second World War;
- the French Z501-517, which tirelessly traversed the Peloponnese for decades;
- and the German 40-45, the most powerful steam locomotives on the Thessaly network.

(original text written by Giorgos Handrinos, Association of Friends of the Railway)

The stamps were issued on 30 March 2015. Some websites say they are commemoratives, some say they are definitives...go figure...

Thanks a million to Dimitris for such a contribution to my collection!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Olympic Games - Moscow 1980, USSR

Here I am back to Sunday Stamps after being absent for a while (will spare you the excuses..)

And I am back for the subject of Red...and I think I have quite a lot of red here....though I am not quite sure what particular shade of red this this what you call crimson or I am speaking nonsense? I am seriously terrible and a bit illiterate when it comes to shades of colours and I find it really fascinating how some people can distinguish among dozens of different shades of red, blue, orange.....

Anyways, for this red topic, I have this commemorative FDC issued by the USSR in 1976 for the (then) upcoming Summer Olympic Games that were gonna be held in Moscow in 1980.
The only two cities to bid for the 1980 Summer Olympics were Moscow and Los Angeles. The choice between them was made on 23 October 1974 in the 75th IOC Session in Vienna, Austria.
However, they didn't go without some drama since were disrupted by another, even larger, boycott led by the United States in protest at the 1979 Soviet war in Afghanistan. The Soviet invasion spurred Jimmy Carter to issue an ultimatum on January 20, 1980 that the US would boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan within one month.65 countries and regions invited did not take part in the 1980 Olympics. Many of these followed the United States' boycott initiative, while others cited economic reasons for not coming.

Many of the boycotting nations participated instead in the Liberty Bell Classic (also known as the "Olympic Boycott Games") in Philadelphia.

It is really unbelievable how politics interferes everywhere, literally everywhere...and I hate it!!  But when did the Governments care about that anyways...

On this FDC you can see the Kremlin in Moscow,  the cultural and political centre of the former USSR. Nowadays it is still the main cultural and political centre of Russia.
I bought it at the collectors' market in Alicante, Spain during my visit few months ago.

That would be my contribution for today. For more shades of red, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Views of our Planets, USA

After some weeks of silence, here I am back again with this amazing cover featuring one of the latest fantastic sets issued by USPS, showing the planets in our Solar System. I have had these for quite a while now as a cover picture on this blog, and someone (read Bryon), interpreted that as "Ana wants these" - well I don't say that wasn't right, but I will refrain from changing that cover picture and post my other hidden desires out there :D

Anyways, I think this post comes right on time to celebrate one of the latest NASA's achievements, that is Juno the spacescraft arrived at Jupiter 5 years after its launching and is now orbiting the biggest planet on our Solar System! Amazing, no?
If you feel like it, you can read more about it here at Juno's website.

As for the stamps, I must say I kinda miss Pluto in such context.., poor thing =/

Well, with or without Pluto, I am simply delighted to have this set in my collection! Thanks so much Bryon!! :)

Issue Date: May 31, 2016