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 all...as 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 price...so 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 is...is 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


Friday, June 10, 2016

Year of the Monkey, Canada

I've mentioned before that I was born in the Year of the Monkey, so for that occasion, here comes another issue from this year, this time from Canada.


Some countries seem to have something really particular about their designs where just from one glance, you can kinda guess which country it was issued by - Canada is one of those.

Thanks a million to Bryon for another cover with stamps ahead of their time since again we have a 2015 cancellation :D I wonder when exactly did the clerk cancelling these, noticed the mistake =)



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Tornjak, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hello Sunday Stampers and all you regular/random followers. Another one of my favourite subjects is on the agenda today and that is canines, i.e dogs. Again pretty much a difficult decision to make on which stamps to show, but well, I decided to introduce you a breed that may not be well-known in other countries.

I wanted to start this post with this story about one of the stray dogs in my neighbourhood, but the whole thing is really saddening me so in the end I decided to go without it and just stick to the stamps.

This set of four stamps was issued by the Croatian Post of Mostar (which is one of the three postal administrations of Bosnia and Herzegovina - if you find that confusing, you are not the only one), featuring the Tornjak dog which is a mountain sheep dog native to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.



Tornjaks are large and powerful dogs, with well proportioned, almost square-bodied features and agile movements. The dog's bones are not light, but nevertheless not heavy nor coarse. They have a long and thick double coat with a thick undercoat. The bodies of these dogs are strong and well built, with harmonious and dignified movements. The dogs have long and thick hair and this adequately protects them against poor weather conditions. The dogs typically possess shaggy tails, kept high like a flag. Tornjaks have a clear, self-confident, serious and calm disposition.

A typical adult Tornjak is very calm, peaceful, at first sight an indifferent animal, but when the situation demands it, it is a vigilant and very alert watchdog. The character is equal to the temperament; they are not nervous nor aggressive. In general, they are very tough, not too demanding, sturdy dogs. With their human family they are very emotional. When living in a pack they are highly social animals and there isn't any fighting between the pack members. Towards strangers or other animals, as a rule, Tornjak is not overly aggressive. But when the situation calls upon it, Tornjak is quite decisive and it can without any consideration attack even much stronger rivals. Shepherds used to say that a Tornjak who guards the flock is a fair match to two wolves, and a couple will confront and chase away a bear without any undue respect. In these situations Tornjaks are very tenacious.

For me, it is just another perfect dog for cuddling.

They can be either solid colored or parti-colored, usually the color white predominates.
The four stamps here issued in 22 February 2007, show both the brown and the black dog, and also the heads of both of these respectively.

Well Ive said this before but would like to point it out again - I love all dogs no matter their status, build, colour - but I always always prefer the stray, homeless animals that can be adopted than the ones for which one needs to pay money to have it and that are like for show off.
I used to have a rough-collie (better known as Lassie), but it was a gift :)

for more of these most humble and adorable creatures, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Lighthouses, Ukraine

Wohoo! Today's Sunday Stamps edition is related to one of my all-time favourite subjects and that is lighthouses!! I'm in love with lighthouses! There is something so special about them, something so mystical and magical. And they hide so many stories at the rough seas...
So I can say that I surely have a lot of lighthouse-related stamps which kinda made it a bit difficult to make my choice today, but I think you won't be disappointed with these two amazing sheets of stamps coming from Ukraine.




The first one was issued in 2009 and contains 6 different Ukrainian lighthouses, from left to right you can see:
- the Kyz-Aulskyi lighthouse - located on the point of the Cape, South-East of Yakovenkove and helps guide ship(s) to the entrance of the Kerch Strait. The Lighthouse is in the diamond shaped peninsula of Crimea and is one of the Black Sea Lighthouse(s) in Ukraine. It is 28 metres tall and has a white, red, or green colour scheme (depending on the direction) with a flash of every 6 seconds.

- the Luparevskiy Lighthouse - located on the East coast, the south side of Luparevo. This Lighthouse is the second range for vessels bound upstream (North) in the estuary. The Lighthouse is in the Mykolaiv Area of Ukraine. It is 10 metres tall and has a white red colour scheme of continuous flash.

- the Yaltinskiy Lighthouse - located at the end of the Yalta breakwater, which extends South-Westward parallel to the shoreline. The Lighthouse is one of the best-known Lighthouse(s) in Crimea. The Lighthouse is in the diamond shaped peninsula of Crimea and is one of the Yalta Lighthouse(s) in Ukraine. It is 12 metres tall and has a red light colour scheme of 3 seconds on/4.5 seconds off.

- the Vorontsov Lighthouse is a famous red-and-white, 27.2 metre landmark (with a scheme of 3 flashes every 12 seconds) in the Black Sea port of Odessa, Ukraine. It is named after Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, one of the governors-general of the Odessa region. The Lighthouse is accessible only by boat.

- the Sarych Lighthouse - located at the Southernmost point of the Crimean peninsula as well as Ukraine and South-East of Sevastopol. It is 15 metres tall and has a white light colour scheme of 3 seconds on/3 seconds off.

- the Berdyansk Nizhniy Lighthouse - located at the end of a long, hook-shaped spit South of Berdyansk. The Ukrainian coast features four long sand spits projecting to the South. The Lighthouse is in the area of Sea of Azov, connected to the rest of the Black Sea by a very narrow Kerch Strait. The Lighthouse is accessible by boat. It is 22 metres tall and has a white colour scheme of 4.5 seconds on/3 seconds off.

Each of the stamps from this issue has a face value of 1.50 UAH.



The second sheet was issued in 2010 and again consists of 6 stamps (with a slight face value difference - there are 3 stamps of 1.50 UAH and 3 stamps of 2 UAH). And another difference is that I couldn't find nearly as much information as for the previous one.
Anyways, the lighthouses featured are as follows:

- the Sanzhyisky lighthouse - located North-East of the mouth of the Dnister and South-West of Odessa. The Sanzhiiskyi is one of the South Coast Lighthouse in Ukraine. Its height is 19 metres with a green colour scheme of two flashes every 15 seconds.

- the Tendrivskiy lighthouse

- the Tarkhankut lighthouse - located in Crimea at the Tarkhankut Cape 5 km southwest of the resort village of Olenivka. Its height is about 40 metres. The construction of the Tarkhankut lighthouse and its twin tower on the Khersones peninsula started in 1816 to ensure safe sailing in the area.

- the Pavlovskiy Front lighthouse, located in Crimea, station established 1863. Active; focal plane 65 m; continuous red light. 17 m octagonal stone tower, painted white with a red vertical stripe on the range line. This light replaced the original lighthouse, which had a focal plane of 22 m. Located about 500 m from the waterfront in Arsyncevo, about 6 km south of Kerch city.

- the Illichivskyi lighthouse -located in a small town called formerly Illichivsk, nowadays Chornomorsk, located south of Odessa on the Black Sea.

- the Khersoneskyi lighthouse - station established 1816. Active; focal plane 34 m; white light, 3 s on, 3 s off, 3 s on, 3 s off, 3 s on, 6 s off, 3 s on, 3 s off, 6 s on, 3 s off, 6 s on, 18 s off. 36 m round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. This historic lighthouse stands on the southwest corner of the Crimean peninsula. The original lighthouse was a conical stone tower. It was replaced in 1929 by a lighthouse built from the same plans as the Tarkhankut Light. Almost completely destroyed during World War II, it was replaced by a wood tripod tower until a copy of the 1929 lighthouse could be built. The tower is greatly endangered by rising sea level, and a stone berm and semicircular sea wall have been built to protect it. The unusual flash pattern, the Morse code "SW" for Sevastopol', is a traditional welcome-home for Russian sailors. Located at the tip of the peninsula about 15 km west of Sevastopol'.

So that would be my contribution for today. Can hardly wait (and be jealous of!) other people's collections of lighthouse stamps :) You can see them at today's Sunday Stamps episode.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Cats, Croatia

You know I adore cats (well, animals in general, but cats have a pretty special place in my heart). Some of you know i used to have two of them, but unfortunately, both of them died within a year and a half, and today it's been one year since the second one broke my heart...so I dedicate this post to my adorable fur-balls that unfortunately are no longer with me.

The Croatian post for several years has been issuing stamps under the title Children's world, with different animals being the subject each year, and in 2012 it was cats, so here I have the FDC and the sheetlet from this issue.


I find this issue super-cute, along with the dogs and the rabbits one (I'm not gonna comment the latest one with the fish though :D)
There are four stamps in this set, each one representing a different type of cat (I must point out that I prefer stray cats to those special breeds' ones, though in the end I do love all of them - however, I'd never pay for a cat or a dog but would always rescue one from the shelter or the street  - both of my cats were rescued that way).



Anyways, I better stick to the stamps - as I said, there are four different cats shown, in particular, starting from the left, first comes the domestic cat and from all cat breeds domestic cat is the most wide-spread population in the world. Mostly, they are very resourceful, very quick and limber and extraordinary devoted to their owners and the space they inhabit. (ok, not as devoted as dogs I must say - they would sell their soul to someone else for food :D)

It is presumed that there are between 600 and 700 million domestic cats on our planet and they are also among the most favoured pets. From the historic point of view, domestic cat (Felis silvestris, forma catus) has lived close to people for more than 3500 years, and has developed by domesticating the African wild cat. Domestic cat can have diverse coloured eyes and fur, as well as diverse tail and hair lengths. Its head is most often in harmony with the size of its body which is balanced and muscled, while it varies in size. Through numerous mutations from domestic cats there developed long-haired, no-haired or no-tail cats that further developed into different today known cat breeds. It is well known that many peoples throughout history celebrated cat as sacred animal, especially Egyptians, Chinese and some Muslim peoples. However, if we observe cats through different historic and geographic periods, we can notice that they have not always had the fortune to be celebrated and glorified as special beings connected to Gods. Thus, in Middle Ages cats were massively killed in Europe because they were brought in connection with Satan and considered the incarnation of evil. Still, those times are behind us and the cat has regained its position next to man as a pet and useful domestic animal.



The next stamp shows a Ragdoll cat - it derives its name from the fact that it fully relaxes - like a rag doll - when it is taken in hands. The cat’s gentle temperament and nature also contribute to the name. This species was bred in the 1960-ties in USA, by combining the non-purebred white Persian cat and the holly Birman cat. It was recognised for the first time in 1965 in USA, where it became very favoured. It was imported into Great Britain in 1969 from the breeding house Baker. In 1975 Mr. Dayton founded an international association of fanciers of ragdoll cats, and already in 1985 that cat could be found also in Germany and France. Since then the interest for that peculiar cat breed has been constantly rising so that in 1992 it was also recognised by FIFé. The breed Ragdoll inherited from the Persian cat its strongly built body and calm character as well as an excellent accommodation to living in flats. From the holy Birman it inherited the “pointed” marks on its head, legs and tail.

The third stamp shows the Persian cat - they originate from the province of Khorasan in Persia and the most beautiful feature is its long hair, equally greyish on the whole body with the exception of darker hair on the back and head.
The colour is somewhat lighter on the chest and belly. The hair is shiny, soft and silky and on some places curly while the tail is very long and covered in hair 12 to 15 cm long. Persian cats are exceptionally tame and thus the Portuguese transported them from Persia into India.
It is believed that such cats had been transported from the East to the West by the Vikings, crusaders, tradesmen and seafarers. It is also known that cats were kept also on ships that sailed towards America in order to catch mice and rats; some of those cats were also long-haired. Later, from those cats new and different long-hair breeds.
To have a long-haired cat became the matter of prestige at the majority of courts and among the nobility in whole Europe. Apart from being imported, the long-hair cats also started to be bred and sold.

The fourth and the last stamp shows a Siamese cat - the first records and drawings of the Siamese cat date from about 1350 and serve as proof that it is one of the oldest cat breeds. The cat got its name after the country from which it originates - at that time Siam, i.e. today’s Thailand. The cat was respected in the temples of Buddhist priests as well as at the court of the King of Siam. Nature scientist Palles at the beginning of the 19th century, returning from his journeys from central Asia brought a cat with dark legs, tail and nose, while the rest of its body was covered with white hair. He gave it as a present to king’s family. First bred pair of cats, Piu and Miu was given as a gift to the English consul Sir Owengould by the Siamese king. Also the French got as a gift from the Siamese king a pair of cats while the third donated cat pair was transported to the USA in 1890.
More serious breeding of Siamese cats started in 1920, when they had become very popular. The Siamese cat from that time is pretty different from today’s standard. At that time the Siamese cats were sturdier, had squint, narrow eyes and a gene for kinky tail. Today’s standard implies a slim, long and sinewy cat with a very long and slim tail. The legs of a Siamese cat are in harmony with the body: very long and slim, while the paws are small and oval. The tail is long, slim and spindle and the ears are pointed, big, wide at the base, and positioned so that they continue the line of the wedge. The hair fully clings to the body; it is silky, shiny and very short. When we talk about its colour, especially distinctive are the areas of darker hair: the “mask“ on the face and the “marks“ on its ears, legs and tail. The hair of the body is unvaried and lighter in colour and must be in full contrast to the colour of marks. Today “marks“ of different colours are recognised: black, blue, choco, cream, red, violet, cinnamon etc. The most fascinating on these cats are their eyes - they are not too big, they are almond shaped, slightly slanted toward the nose and intensively blue. Their deep, pure and clear blue colour give this interesting cat yet another trait of extreme interest and secrecy.



Monday, May 23, 2016

The 35th Anniversary of the First Space Shuttle Launch, Spain

You probably know that one of the topics I lose my mind for, is space and here comes a whole sheet of this year's Correos commemorative issue for the 35th Anniversary of the launching of Columbia.




On 12 April 1981 the first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched. It orbited the Earth 36 times and returned home two days later. There were two crew members, the astronauts John W. Young as ship commander and Robert L. Crippen as pilot.

This launch marked various milestones in the history of space exploration. Apart from being the first shuttle launch, it was the first flight of its kind to be launched without any prior test flights.

The mission's main objectives were to check that the shuttle was working properly, to climb to the orbital altitude with no problems, to return to Earth and land without having any setbacks. All of these objectives were successfully achieved.

But Columbia's story ended in tragedy on 1 February 2003. After 15 days in orbit, the shuttle was coming back to Earth. During take off, it had been hit by a heavy object that caused serious damage, although this was not apparent at the time. When the ship was re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, the port wing broke off, causing the ship to lose control and break up in the air. The ship's seven crew members lost their lives and all future space missions were immediately cancelled in order to investigate the causes of the accident.

The stamp issued to commemorate the 35th anniversary of its maiden flight is in the shape of the shuttle. It shows the ship against the background of the Earth seen from space, together with the moon. The text reads "35th anniversary of Columbia, the first space shuttle's launch" alongside the NASA logo. It has the appearance of a space orbit and can be read both horizontally and vertically.

Thanks to Herbert for this gift!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Butterflies, Spain

My initial thought of 'i have so many butterflies' stamps' in the end proved terribly wrong but luckily I did find a few things for today's edition of Sunday's Post and eventually the choice fell on this Spanish FDC issued on 1st of April 2010.





I love butterflies! They are just so delicate and beautiful and sometimes with such vibrant and amazing colours....and it when I was a child it was such a challenge to be able to catch one for a few seconds and let it crawl over your hands while you admire its beauty

On this Spanish FDC you can see two different kinds of butterflies, namely the Euphydryas aurinia /The marsh fritillary which is widespread in the Palaearctic region from Ireland in the West to Yakutia in the East, and to North-west China and Mongolia in the South.(the top one on the big image on the FDC and the one on the right stamp), and the Zerynthia rumina / the Spanish Festoon which is a widespread species in Spain and frequents most habitats. (the one at the bottom on the big image and the one on the left stamp).

Btw, I love the Spanish word 'mariposa' compared to the German one for example, 'Schmetterling' - there is just nothing gentle about it :D.

Wanna see more beauties like this? Well just check out today's episode of Sunday Stamps :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The 125th Anniversary of Atatürk's Birthday, Turkey

Well today it would be the 135th anniversary actually, but this are the only stamps I have related to it....plus this is like the first ever Turkish related post here, so inaugurating a new country on the blog too :)






Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey. His surname, Atatürk (meaning "Father of the Turks"), was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament.

He is like one of the most, if not the most, glorified person in Turkey, and probably with a right and with his death Turkey lost something like Yugoslavia probably lost with the death of Tito.
He died young unfortunately at the age of 57 due to illness, but even after his death, he continued doing good things since in his will Atatürk donated all of his possessions to the Republican People's Party, providing that the yearly interest of his funds would be used to look after his sister Makbule and his adopted children, and fund the higher education of the children of İsmet İnönü. The remainder of this yearly interest was willed to the Turkish Language Association and the Turkish Historical Society.


This issue from the 19th May 2006 consists of 10 stamps, while here on the FDC you can see 5 of them, with Atatürk in different situations.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Flora, Macedonia

If there is something I don't lack when it comes to stamps, that is definitely flowers. But then another dilemma came up and that was, which ones to actually choose for today's Sunday Stamps edition.
In the end I decided to go with this set of Macedonian maxi-cards, mainly cos I knew I wouldn't be overlapping with someone else's post ;-)



Actually maxi-cards are not so commonly issued by the Macedonian post and I can consider myself lucky to even have these in the first place. (I don't think these are even available any longer)
This set of flora stamps was issued on 25 September 2003 and consists of four stamps, where you can see two of them above and two below.
The above stamps show the 'Cochicum macedonicum Kosanin' (on the left),  and the 'Viola allchariensis' (g. Beck) on the right



The other two stamps show 'Tulipa mariannae Lindther' (left), and Thymus oehmianus Ronniger & Soska (right).

I am terrible when it comes to plants and flowers and all, so the most I can do is just show the stamps, but I am far from being up to any discussions or analysis when it comes to them.

For more floral beauties, check out today's episode of Sunday Stamps.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weather Wonders, Canada

Last week a fantastic cover landed in my mailbox, featuring the Canadian set of Weather Wonders stamps, issued in 2015.




Each of these stamps illustrates a unique weather phenomenon, where each the credits for each image go to a  different photographer.
As the Canadian Post website had put it, you can revel in the beauty of a double rainbow over Quebec, tremble at the power of a lightning storm in the skies above Manitoba, and gaze through a gorgeous pink-hued fog at Newfoundland's Cape Spear lighthouse, Canada's easternmost point. Shake off the chill of a wintry hoar frost on a snowy Alberta plain, and shiver at the sight of sun dogs shining over Iqaluit in the Canadian Arctic.

Really spectacular set of stamps that come with a 'special' feature, and that is the cancellation :D
Obviously the postal-clerk felt like travelling back in time, so instead of cancelling the cover with the 2016 date, (s)he did it with the 2015 one (hence I was a bit confused at the beginning, wondering if this has indeed travelled for a year or if it was the human factor...). It was the human factor indeed and funny thing is that at this particular date, these stamps weren't even issued until 18 June, that is almost two months later :D :D :D

The big-big-big thank you goes to Bryon for this one :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, Russia

Ok Sunday Stampers, I may be cheating a bit on this one since the map ain't actually ON the stamp itself but on the envelope...but I just couldn't resist posting this one....


You know that in general I find Russian stamps exquisite, and these are no exception.
This set of stamps was issued in 2013, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago (or in English, the Northern Land Archipelago).
It is fascinating that in the 20th century there were still things on this planet of ours that hadn't been discovered. I cannot even imagine that out of nowhere some scientists come today with the announcement that they have found a new piece of land on our planet; with all the technology available and ISS making its rounds over and over again, that is simply - unimaginable!
But it is facinating to read about things like this, esp. when they relate to the Arctic Circle for example =)
Severnaya Zemlya was first noted in 1913 and first charted in 1930–32, making it the last archipelago on Earth to be discovered. It comprises four major islands – October Revolution, Bolshevik, Komsomolets, and Pioneer – and around 70 smaller islands, covering a total area of about 37,000 km2 in the Russian High Arctic. These are uninhabited by humans, with the exception of the Arctic Base.

Regarding the stamps here, the middle one shows Boris Andreyevich Vilkitsky who led the expedition on the ships "Taimyr" and "Vaigach" shown on the other two stamps respectively.


Well, for more maps that are REALLY on stamps, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The 120th Anniversary of the Birth of Goce Delchev

Another person whose death is commemorated today is the Macedonian revolutioner and national hero, Goce Delchev, portrayed on this FDC issued by the Yugoslavian post in 1992, commemorating the 120th Anniversary of his birth. (born on 4 Februry 1872).




He was one of the leaders of what is known today as Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), a paramilitary organization active in Ottoman territories on the Balkans, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.


He is often quoted with his most famous saying,
"I understand the world as a field for cultural competition between the nations."

Had he been alive today, I'm sure he would have felt abhorrent seeing what his country has turned into....

On May 4, 1903, he was killed in the village Banica  - he was only 31 years old.

May he rest in peace....

EUROPA Stamps - Personalities

Today's date is of kinda great significance for this part of the world, cos May 4th is the day when two important people had died, 77 years apart. One of them is shown on this EUROPA FDC, that is Josip Broz Tito, the man who had created a country many people nowadays feel nostalgic about...me as well, even though i was just a child back then, but Yugoslavia was considered like one of the most powerful countries out there, and ever since its break-up things went downhill...for Macedonia at least...the death of Tito signaled the beginning of the end...his funeral was the funeral of Yugoslavia itself....
The FDC was issued just a week before his death...



And May 4th 1980 was the day when in a hospital in Slovenia, his life came to an end. I remember, years afterwards (until the break-up of Yugoslavia), every 4th of May at 15:05, the sirens would resound and everybody would stop doing what they were doing, and stand still for a minute in silence, paying respects.
His funeral was held on 8th May and is considered as one of the biggest funerals ever. People cried as if they were aware that the lives and freedom they had had, would now slowly come to an end...and unfortunately they were right.

May he rest in peace!




Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The 50th Anniversary of Man's First Flight into Space, Bosnia and Herzegovina

On this day, April 12th, 55 years ago, Gagarin did what no one before him had managed to achieve - he became the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth.

Unfortunately, I have no stamps commemorating the 55th anniversary, but I have two FDCs issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary, so here they are...



the first one was issued by Croatian Post Mostar (if you are a bit familiar with postal administration, you are familiar then with the division of the postal administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina)






the second FDC also comes from Bosnia and Herzegovina, but this time from the Bosnia and Herzegovina Postal Administration.

Well, without wanting to sound politically incorrect, I included both of these since they both represent Gagarin and for the time being, these are the only FDCs I have with him :)

Tonight is also Yuri's Night - the World's Space Party celebrated throughout the world...I hope I will attend the one organized here in Skopje, if my allergy symptoms somehow ease until tonight.

Happy World's Space Day everyone! And drink one to Gagarin tonight :)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The 200th anniversary of the birth of Hans Nielsen Hauge, Norway

Hans Nielsen Hauge ((3 April 1771 – 29 March 1824) was a noted Lutheran lay minister who led a Pietism revival in Norway and is also considered to have been influential in the early industrialization of Norway




On 27 April 1971, the Norwegian Post issued two stamps commemorating 200 years since his birth...and today it would have been 245 years exactly...

It is generally agreed that Hans Nielsen Hauge had a profound influence on both secular and religious history in Norway. His message emphasized the type of spirituality he felt originated with Martin Luther. He led charismatic meetings, and his organization became an informal network that in many ways challenged the establishment of the state church. As a result, he and his followers were persecuted in various ways. Hauge was imprisoned on several occasions, spending nine years in prison.


Because Hauge's preaching coincided with the years during which many Norwegians were migrating to America, the Haugean influence on Lutheranism in America has been considerable. The Lutheran Church in America had a Hauge Synod, Eielsen Synod and Lutheran Free Church all indicative of that influence. Hauge is remembered on the liturgical calendar of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on March 29th as one of the Renewers of the Church.

I am not exactly sure how I have acquired this FDC, but it is a nice one to have....I mean, it is from Norway :)

Sunrise at the Martinsloch, Switzerland

Greetings all from this absolutely gloomy day here in Skopje - it was supposed to be sunny but for some reason it's been like this these past two days...

 Anyways, without too much chit-chat, let's get down to today's Sunday Stamps edition on the subject of mountains, for which I have this Swiss cover to show.




The Swiss Post issued this strip of 3 stamps on 8 March 2012, and I am happy to have this cover sent on its first day of issue (million thanks to Sara for that), with a postage value of 100 CHF, named "Sunrise at the Martinsloch", where you can see a truly remarkable phenomenon.

The Martinsloch mountain in the Alps has developed a hole that is 21 meters high and 18 meters wide in the rock of the Grosser Tschingelhorn.
Twice a year - on 13/14 March at 8.53 a.m. and on 30 September/1 October at 9.32 a.m. - the sun briefly shines straight through the Martinsloch just before it is due to rise, illuminating the church tower in Elm, as can be seen on these stamps here.
At set intervals, the moon can also be seen through the Martinsloch.

The site is now designated a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

For more mountain beauties, see what others have chosen today at Sunday Stamps

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lighthouses of India, India

One of the few beautiful covers I received yesterday from India...



this set of two lighthouse stamps was issued by India Post on 23 December 2012, featuring the Alleppey (face value of Rs 20) and the Mahabalipuram lighthouse (face value of Rs 5).

The Alleppey (or the Alappuzha) Lighthouse is situated in the coastal town of Alappuzha, Kerala. It was built in 1862 and is a major tourist attraction. It has been opened to the public since 2007 and visitors are allowed between 15:00h and 16:30h on weekdays. The admission fee is 10 rupees.


The Mahabalipuram lighthouse is located in Tamil Nadu, and has been opened to tourists since 2011. The first light was commissioned in 1887, while it became fully functional in 1904. It has a circular masonry tower made of natural stone. India's oldest lighthouse, built around 640 AD by Pallava king Mahendra Pallava stands next to this modern structure.

Thanks a whole lot to Jinesh for this one!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter, Poland

Hello Sunday Stampers, and everyone else...and Happy Easter to all you celebrating it this weekend (here Easter will be at the end of April)




For today's Spring/Easter theme, I've chosen this FDC from Poland with one of the three Easter stamps that were issued in 2012 (the other two come with a face value of 1.55 and 1.95 Zł.

Personally I prefer such cute Easter bunny stamps to the religious ones.
As for this issue, surprisingly, I couldn't really find some additional information...


For more spring/Easter motives, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Modernisation of Rail Transport, Malaysia

I don't know how come I have never posted anything from Malaysia before, so it is time to change that....



Malaysia issued this set on October 10, 1998, to promote the modernisation of their railway transport.

And there are 3 stamps here for that occasion, where on the first stamp with a face value of RM 1, you can see the KTM Komuter, which is a commuter rail service brand in Malaysia operated by Keretapi Tanah Melayu. It was introduced in 1995 to provide local rail services in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding Klang Valley suburban areas.
Nowadays it is the most profitable passenger service offered by KTM, with approximately 46.957 million passengers per annum.

The middle 50 sen stamp shows the Star LRT - a light rapid transit (LRT) system network in Klang Valley, operated by Rapid Rail, a subsidiary of Prasarana Malaysia. It is the first standard gauge light rail transit network in Malaysia which commenced services in 1996.

The last, 30 sen stamp shows the Putra LRT, which is its former name and is now known as the Kelana Jaya Line. It was opened in 1998. Operated by Rapid Rail as well.


I often wonder how come that even in 2016, our railway transport is not even close to what some countries had decades ago.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ferns, USA

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'green'...and I honestly couldn't get any greener than this...




The USPS issued this set of fern stamps on March 6, 2014.
Ferns are considered a favourite with gardeners and florists and range from tiny moss-like plants to giants as tall as trees. The ferns featured on the stamps are five of the approximately 380 different species found in North America. Here we have five of them, starting from left to right - Painted fern, Goldie's wood Fern, Autumn fern, Soft shield fern, Fortune's holly fern.
I love the nice clear postmarks on this one...thanks a bunch to Bryon for sending this to me :)

And for more of this eyes-soothing colour, check today's edition of Sunday Stamps.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

The 130th Anniversary of the Moldava-Saxony Railway, Czech Republic

Last year my mailbox was delighted to receive this awesome surprise from the kind Radim.
And this is one of the very few FDCs that were actually mailed to me ON the actual date of issue :)







It was issued on 6th of May 2015, to commemorate the 130th Anniversary of the Moldava-Saxony Railway. Designed by A.Absolon who used a 1884 photograph as the basis of his design.

From the website of the Czech post office:

The Moldava Railway, also known as Ore Mountains Railway or Teplice Semmering, is a railway connecting Most and Moldava in the Ore Mountains. It used to connect Moldava with Freiberg in Saxony and although it lost its international significance, it continues to belong to the most beautiful local railways in the Czech Republic.

Between individual stations the train passes through a couple of tunnels and crosses a valley on the third viaduct on the route. Although the times when fast trains from Prague travelled on the railway and continued further from Moldava on their way to Saxony are gone, less traffic does not detract anything from the beauty of this romantic railway. There is no shortage of attractive views on the forty-kilometres-long route.

The railway was built by Prague-Duchcov Railway Company whose main objective was to enable coal exports to the neighboring Saxony. Although the first projects to connect the Most coal basin to Saxony originated as early as the 1860s, the construction was delayed due to financial and technical difficulties. The Most-Hrob section was opened on 15 May 1877; the Hrob-Moldava section had to wait until 6 December 1884. The cross-border connection line to Freiberg in Saxony was opened on 18 May 1885.


(btw, Moldava is a village and municipality in the Czech Republic - and it has nothing to do with Moldova, even though my eyes often keep reading it as such).

Thanks a lot lot to dear Radim for this most awesome FDC with the great First Day postmark too!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

The 100th Anniversary of the Theory of Relativity, Macedonia

On this day, March 14th, 1879, the genius called Albert Einstein was born. Which means that today he would have been 137 years old...if my math is right..



He did a lot of scientific research and work throughout his career, but probably the most famous and maybe most important one is his General theory of relativity, something that Im sure all of you are familiar with...if not, well then please do not ask ME to give you some explanation about it, since, you know, I am a linguist, and things like this are like science fiction to me :) I may comprehend them to a certain extent more or less, but me explaining them...now that is just impossible )

Anyways, just wanted to commemorate Einstein's birthday with this FDC issued by the Macedonian Post on 30 June 2005, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which was published in 1915.
Face value of the stamp is 60 denars, so of course, useless, since for comparison, mailing a postcard is 30 denars, mailing a letter up to 20 grams is 36 denars......

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mental Health, Canada

A post for today's Sunday Stamps regarding the Health and Welfare theme...




For this I've chosen this great Canadian cover sent by Bryon few years ago, with this amazing semi-postal-stamps sheet issued on September 6th, 2011 for the Mental Health series - did you know that Canada issued these from 2008 till 2011, with a 10¢ surcharge that went to the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health to be used for mental-health research and patient support? The main reason they started it was to eliminate the misconceptions associated with mental illness and establishing the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health.
According to me it is a great initiative since often Mental Health is like a taboo and mental illness is something people feel ashamed of and just keep that hidden from the others... but it is just as important as the physical health...and those two just have to go together for one's own well-being.

Another interesting thing regarding this issue is that for the first time in history Canada Post invited Canadians to submit designs for a stamp, and also tasked the public to participate in the design selection process through the social media.

Out of more than 300 stamp-design entries, this was the most voted one with over 286,000 online votes..."The Puzzle" by Miriane Majeau - for this design Miriane has said that "Dealing with mental health issues can be like putting a puzzle together. As the puzzle comes together, as you find the right pieces and connect them in the right way, something beautiful and whole is revealed.”

N.B
A semi-postal stamp is also known as a charity stamp, and that is a postage stamp issued to raise money for a particular purpose (such as a charitable cause) and sold at a premium over the postal value.

ps. that other (neglected) stamp was also issued in 2011  for the International Year of Chemistry

thanks a whole bunch to Bryon for this one! :)

and for more stamps on health and welfare, check out today's edition of Sunday Stamps


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

75 Years since the Birth of Gagarin, Macedonia

If it wasn't for his tragic death, today Gagarin would have been celebrating his 82nd birthday...but unfortunately he only managed to get to his 34th one.....




This FDC was issued on 2 February 2009 by the Macedonian Post Office, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Gagarin's birth....with a face value of the stamp of 50 MKD - one of the numerous stamps with simply useless values, since they are just too high to be used on either a postcard or regular letter up to 20 grams. And that is such a pity cos I am sure that many people would love to see this stamp on the mail I send, but unfortunately the Macedonian postal authorities didn't really care about it.

Anyways, just wanted to commemorate this day, won't go into Gagarin stories...you all know about him and his achievements and importance :)
It just kinda surprised me that there was no google-doodle about Gagarin today....


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Because it is women's day =)

You may know that I am really not into such holidays, when there is so much fuss about it that one day of the year, like Valentine's Day for example....so much attention is being paid to it that if you don't really commemorate it with your loved one or give him/her a gift, it is as if you don't care or whatever...same here...I believe that you should show love and care to people throughout the year, not just on this day...and I also dislike it cos on such days I am kinda EXPECTED to do something, while personally I prefer surprises and buying for example flowers for my mum when she least expects it....but my mum even though she knows how I feel about such holidays, one year got really offended cos I didn't wish her Happy Mother's/Women's day...it is a kinda lost battle...

Well, today many companies give special treatment to the female employees, like taking them to restaurants, buying them gifts, letting them leave work early...even though some of those companies for the rest of the 364/365 days of the year they may treat them like crap and exploit them and all...so it is really hypocritical...



Anyways, I just thought I'd share this cover with you (which inside had one of the most amazing things ever...I wonder if the sender recalls what it was :)).
Even though these stamps were not issued to something that is related to women, I still thought I'd share it, first of all cos of the flowers....and one always kinda thinks of flowers when it comes to this day...quite a stereotype...
This set of flowers was issued on 3 April 2013, to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the naming of Florida - so see, nothing really related to women, unless you want to consider Florida as a female, since it ends in 'A'  :)

These stamps celebrate the state’s floral abundance.
During the Easter season of 1513, Spanish explorers first visited the state we now know as Florida. They named the land “La Florida” for Pascua Florida (“Feast of the Flowers”), Spain’s Easter celebration, and for the verdant display of vegetation that they could see from their ship.
The four se-tenant stamps contain a cascade of blossoms that evokes the feeling of a tropical garden. Each stamp shows a particular variety of flower: red and pink hibiscus; yellow cannas; morning glories in white, red, and shades of purple; and white and purple passionflowers.

Now on this cover there are also four other stamps which commemorate four great figures from the early days of football, each with the postage value of 37cents: Walter Camp (1859-1925), Ernie Nevers (1903-1976), Red Grange (1903-1991), and Bronko Nagurski (1908-1990). All four players are enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. The photographs that appear on these stamps have been colorized for the stamp art.

You may wonder what the hell they would have to do with women's day, esp. football players?? Well, nothing really, but then again, men and women just do go together now, don't day ;-)

Or to put it in other words (and a lesson on the importance of the use of commas):

- A woman, without her man, is nothing.
or
- A woman, without her, man is nothing.



=)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Heroines of Indian Cinema, India

For today's theme on women for Sunday Stamps, I decided to showcase these not so famous ones from India...and for this I chose this cover with a set of commemorative stamps showing legendary heroines of the Indian Cinema...I must admit that the number of Indian/Hindi films is really scarce and this part of the world cinema has been somewhat neglected from my side - I should really do something to change this (and I am not talking here about those Indian soap-operas they used to show here on TV, I am talking about about real great movies here).



First we have Devika Rani, born in 1908 - an actress in Indian films who was active during the 1930s and 1940s. She was widely acknowledged as the first lady of Indian cinema and had a successful film career that spanned 10 years whose persona and roles in films were often considered socially unconventional. Her awards include the Padmashri (1958), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1970) and the Soviet Land Nehru Award (1990). She died in 1994.


The middle stamp shows Leela Naidu - born in 1940, died in 2009 (and she had died on my birthday! =/)
She starred in a small number of Hindi and English films, including Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (1963), based on the real-life Nanavati case, and The Householder, Merchant Ivory Productions' first film. She was Femina Miss India in 1954, and was featured in the Vogue along with Maharani Gayatri Devi in the list of 'World's Ten Most Beautiful Women', a list she was continuously listed from the 1950s to the 1960s in prominent fashion magazines worldwide. She is remembered for her stunning classical beauty and subtle acting style.


The third stamp in the first row shows Kommareddy Savitri (1934 - 1981) - she was an Indian film actress, director and producer. She appeared in Telugu as well as Tamil, Kannada and Hindi language films. In 1960, she received the Rashtrapati Award for her performance in the Telugu film Chivaraku Migiledi.


The bottom row starts with Kanan Devi (1916 - 1992) - an Indian actress and singer. She was among the early singing stars of Indian cinema, and is credited popularly as the first star of Bengali cinema. Her singing style, usually in rapid tempo, was used instrumentally in some of the biggest hits of New Theatres, Kolkata.


The middle stamp shows Meena Kumari (1932 - 1972 - oh, now she had died young....but there seems to be a reason for that) - she was an Indian film actress and poet. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema.
During a career spanning 30 years from her childhood to her death, she starred in more than ninety films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today. She is regarded as one of the geatest Hindi movie actresses of all time.
Kumari gained a reputation for playing grief-stricken and tragic roles, and her performances have been praised and reminisced throughout the years. Like one of her best-known roles, Chhoti Bahu, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), Kumari became addicted to alcohol. Her life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships, an ensuing deteriorating health, and her death from liver cirrhosis in 1972. Kumari is often cited by media and literary sources as "The Tragedy Queen", both for her frequent portrayal of sorrowful and dramatic roles in her films and her real-life story.


The last stamp shows Nutan Behl (1936 - 1991) - an Indian actress who had appeared n more than 70 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades. Regarded as one of the finest female actors in the history of Hindi cinema, Nutan was noted for playing unconventional parts, and her performances often received praise and accolades.
She holds the record of five wins of the Best Actress Award at Filmfare, which was held only by her for over 30 years until it was matched by her niece Kajol in 2011; on the overall she is the most-awarded actress in the female acting categories at Filmfare, with six awards alongside Jaya Bachchan. In 1974, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

n.B: Filmfare is one of the oldest film events in India an is presented annually by The Times Group to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Hindi language film industry of India.

this set was issued on 13 February 2011.

Thanks a bunch to dear Sauj for sending it to me!

For more women beauties and accomplishments check today's edition of Sunday Stamps.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Year of the Monkey, USA

Today I found this monkey hiding in my mailbox...seems it had run away from its US hosts and decided to seek for a shelter in Macedonia....maybe it was too cold in Seattle, I don't know...and you know how I feel for animals, so of course, had no heart to send it back where it came from and decided to keep it.... =)





I do not really collect the Lunar stamp issues...but some countries do have some awesome ones (Serbia for example...), and frankly, I am particularly glad to have this one, since I am a monkey actually :D
Well, that's what the Lunar horoscope says...if you take a look at the traits though I can't say I really fit into that description...just partially...but I won't reveal which of those features are typical for me..you shouldn't get to know my weaknesses so easily... :P

People born in the year of a particular animal sign are said to share characteristics with that animal. Individuals born during the Year of the Monkey are said to be clever, wise, and honest. With their keen intellect and sociability, they can easily adapt to new situations.

this last statement couldn't have been more wrong...if there is one word that is NOT used in the same sentence with me, that is sociability...you may find it hard to believe it, but Im quite anti-social...I seriously dread social gatherings and events....and funny thing, being also a Leo, I should be like the Queen of social events and the centre of attention and blah blah....but I am like the total opposite ....so don't trust horoscopes...do your best to really get to know people instead :)


Date of Issue: 05 February 2016
It is a Forever stamp.

And thanks a bunch to Bryon for this new pet in my home :)))

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak - Mother of the Nation, UAE

Usually with stamps I can tell what they are about based on the image or the text...with this one I was just lost based on both...the image itself kinda resembled either some flower or crown..but since the text is in Arabic, I couldn't get anything from that - this is one of those languages where I cannot even type it into google translate and see what I get...



Turns out this issue had something to do with Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi (is like a logo or something)...and of course I have never heard about her...till now. She is the third wife of the founder and the first president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the late emir (ruler) of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. She is firstly called mother of sheikhs and then mother of the UAE or nation.


She is one of the women rights supporters in the country and has also done campaigns for girls' education and supports adult literacy and provision of free public education to girls.


In 1997, five different organizations of the United Nations, UNICEF, WHO, UNIFEM, UNFP and UNFPA, awarded Sheikha Fatima for her significant efforts for women's rights and the UNIFEM stated "she is the champion of women's rights". She was also awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order by the then Tunisian president Zine el Abidine ben Ali in 2009 for her contributions to raise the status of Arab women. Much more significantly she was given by the UNESCO the Marie Curie Medal for her efforts in education, literacy and women's rights, being the third international and the first Arab recipient of the award.

WOW! So many achievements and shame on me, had no idea who she was =/

Now it made me wonder if maybe I should have saved this for the subject on 'women'....but I think I have some other nice choices for that one...from a country not far away from this one, so you'll have to stay tuned :)

Date of Issue 24 July 2011
Width 40.0 mm
Height 40.0 mm
Denomination 1.00 AED
Perforations 13.5 by 13.5

Check out what's happening at Sunday Stamps for more unusual things

Sunday Stamps

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

International Polar Year 2007-2008, USA

Recently I posted this Alaska card with the Northern Lights, which reminded me I had this great cover, from the same sender, who is always firing missiles from ambush...




...and one sunny summer day, my mailbox was hit with this stunning cover with this International Polar Year sheet issued by the USPS on February 21, 2007, in Fairbanks, Alaska (kinda logical).

Continuing the tradition of international cooperation that began with the first International Polar Year (IPY) in 1882-1883, scientists from around the world initiated a new era in polar research by participating in IPY 2007-2008. Working across many disciplines, the scientists had conducted field observations, research, and analysis to build upon current knowledge and increase our understanding of the roles that both polar regions play in global processes.

The photograph of the Aurora Borealis, or "northern lights," was made by Fred Hirschmann of Wasilla, Alaska.
The photograph of the Aurora Australis, a phenomenon of the southern polar region, was made by Per-Andre Hoffmann of Stuttgart, Germany.

note: The $1.68, International Polar Year 2007-2008 souvenir sheet may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually.
Well, I agree on that decision - this issue looks much better when used as a whole sheet instead individual stamps :)

and a huge thank you to Mr. B.D ;-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Railway Tourism of Taiwan

I received this amazing FDC recently as a 'thank you' from a very kind Taiwanese girl, and it made me realize that I have not posted anything Taiwanese here so far...I don't know why, but well, time to change that....and I think it's been a long while since I've dedicated an entire post to trains only, so I'll dare to do so now :))





To promote the rail tours, Chunghwa Post has selected three TRA tourist trains and tours - namely the Summer Formosa Cruise-Style Steam Engine Train - Yuli to Taitung, the Cruise-Style Trains on the South Link Line and the Evolution No.1001 - Jiji Line - for a set of three stamps.


Taiwan’s railways are fascinating and charming, and taking a vacation by rail has become quite popular in recent years. To promote rail tours, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) has launched vintage steam engine trains, cruise-style trains that “wait for the passengers,” and themed trains. Chunghwa Post has selected three tourist trains and tours for a set of three stamps. The designs follow:
- 1.Summer Formosa Cruise-Style Steam Engine Train—Yuli to Taitung (NT$5): TRA formally launched the Summer Formosa steam engine tourist train in 2012 to celebrate establishing a sister-train relationship with a steam-engine train in Japan. In recent years, in coordination with the summer peak season, TRA launched an itinerary between Yuli and Taitung, making stops at the famous tourist attractions along the way, allowing passengers to take in all the natural beauty and culture of Hualien and Taitung.
- 2.Cruise-Style Trains—South Link Line (NT$10): This cruise-style train, modeled on ocean cruises, makes stops at several stations with special local colour. Passengers get off the train for sightseeing and then get back on the train and head for the next destination. A prominent feature of the South Link Line is the abundance of bridges and tunnels. The majority of the line is built where the sea meets the mountains, allowing passengers to enjoy the spectacular mountain and ocean vistas of Taiwan’s southeast coast.
-3.The Evolution No. 1001—Jiji Line (NT$15): This train was formerly known as DSC1001 and served as the TRA director-general’s official train. It was mainly used as a temporary command center on TRA’s branch lines during natural disasters and major accidents. With the growth of tourism, TRA has employed artists to convert the train into a sci-fi-themed train with the story line that it has been taken over by alien train buffs in search of a home. It runs on the tourism-heavy Jiji Line, which features abundant cultural resources and beautiful and diverse ecology and scenery.


Curious to know how much would a ticket cost....I tried to do a search, but the returned results pointed out to something insanely cheap, so Im not really sure I did the right thing there :)


* Date of Issue: 25 November 2015
* Paper used: Phosphorescent stamp paper
* Dimension of stamps: 60 × 30 (mm)
* Perforation: 13 × 13 1/2

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sea Guernsey 3, Guernsey

Sunday Stamps calls for sunsets and sunrises....and I think this is the best I could have come up
with...you can spot them on few of the stamps featured below...I believe =)





this is an FDC coming from Guernsey, issued for the SEPAC 2011, for the final Sea Guernsey series (this is Sea Guernsey 3..(the two previous series were issued in 2005 and 2009 I think).

For this final Sea Guernsey series, there is some beautiful scenery which can be found on the island's rich and varied coastline; each depicting a real place which can be enjoyed by those living in, or visiting, Guernsey.



 For many, St Peter Port is the most attractive destination in the Channel Islands, particularly when arriving by sea. Those fortunate enough to arrive on the island by yacht or power boat may use Victoria Marina (36p) which lies within the harbour at St Peter Port.

With the sky lit up beautifully, L'Ancresse Bay (45p) is one of the biggest - and some would say most stunning - bays on Guernsey. Located on the north of the island, the water is perfect for windsurfing, surfing, sailing, sea kayaking and even fishing.

Bearing the SEPAC inscription is the image of Bordeaux Harbour (52p), a small fishing port which is a popular haunt with fishermen and divers found in the north east of Guernsey. In the foreground is the cobble-like slipway, which enables boats to move to and from the water.

Guernsey's south coast features many breathtaking bays, such as the one depicted on the 58p stamp, which has been captured at sunset. One of the best known bays is Moulin Huet, a rugged, stunning bay which was a favourite of the French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Close to St Peter Port is the attractive Salerie Harbour (65p), which is named after the practice of salting fish and has retained much of its charm. As the image depicts, framing the harbour is a number of Heritage listed period houses that typify the area.

Beautifully captured, Petit Port (70p) is certainly one of the most spectacular of the south coast beaches. It enjoys plenty of sunshine and features deep, pure sand. Close to the Jerbourg Monument, Petit Port lies at the bottom of cliffs and can only be reached by a climb down of over 270 steps.

(information taken from the Guernsey Stamps' website)

Date of Issue 28 September 2011 (heh, my ex-bf's birthday...funny how such small details can trigger memories...)

for more beautiful sunrises and sunsets check out the link below



and have a great Sunday! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

St. Valentine's Day

Since the day kinda calls for it, let's post something related to St. Valentine's today...not because I am actually fond of it...on the whole contrary I hate it how commercialized this holiday has become and the whole fuss created around it (in general I absolutely dislike such days)..and then on the other hand, it is a Catholic holiday but people over here are like celebrating it too cos it makes them feel important (and Christmas is still celebrated on January 7th.....)
But despite my overall despise related to this day, the stamps issued to commemorate it are nice and I think they are worth posting....there is another Christian saint related to this day, St. Trifun, the protector of the viticulture and the horticulture and today is the day when the first vines are being pruned...but of course, no stamps related to it, so I have to stick to St. Valentines for that, despite my feelings towards it (Maybe I am being hypocritical here, I don't know =))






Anyways, I wanted to present you two different issues here...one coming from Finland (the FDC above), issued for St. Valentines on February 3rd 1998 (the sheet was designed by Marleena Ansio). To me it is just adorable! I love it!! And there are some words/phrases in Finnish, that I absolutely don't understand =)



The other issue comes from France, and it comes on a cover, sent by Eric. It was issued on January 23, 2015 and designed by  Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (and therefore here we have the Castelbajac heart). It should be noted that Castelbajac is actually a fashion designer, designer, author and costume designer  and from what I have read, a very famous one, but me has never heard of him until now :)

The set consists of two different stamps (on this FDC you can see one of them), where you can see two stylized faces in profile, touching their respective nose, reminding an Eskimo kiss, hence the French pun "exquis mots".

On the necks of the two characters, the sketched hands recall the wings of the "dove of peace" by Picasso.
Castelbajac has created these stamps using the flagship colors that symbolize his work and universe : blue, yellow and red.





If you take a look at the bottom left corner, you will see Castelbajac's signature, his initials JCC with a crown on top...pretty neat :)

I don't know how eligible my post is for today's Sunday Stamps since it is all about the colour red, but I'll give it a try...I hope I won't be kicked out =)

For more red stuff, click on the link below!

Sunday Stamps