Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bicentennial of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), Macedonia

Since today's theme at Viridan's is free to choose, I knew what mine would revolve around to...however, it was not that easy to decide what would be most suitable, since I have no actual stamps related to the event (I dont even know if any such stamps have been issued), so this in a way was closest to what I think would be appropriate...

and the actual event is that September 30 is the International Translation Day...and being a translator by vocation, I did want to commemorate it somehow today. So this FDC issued by the Macedonian postal service seemed to fit into the subject, since translations and books go together...and even though children's literature is really specific and does require loads of skills and knowledge to be conveyed the right way, Id really love to actually have the chance one day and work on the translation of Andersen's works. I enjoyed reading some of his stories when I was little (the Little Mermaid is actually by Andersen, and that Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is actually there since Andersen was Danish).
Some other famous stories by him are for example The Princess and the Pea (boy, I LOVED reading this one over and over again when i was little...i was amused by her sensitivity to something as small as a pea grain), then the Ugly Duckling (yup, another one of my childhood's favourites, which taught me a lot I think)....or The Little Match-girl...probably one of the saddest of his stories...I am the kind of person who so much gets involved into the books she reads, I found this one really traumatic...I mean, a child is reading about another child dying on New Year's you know how shocking it feels to kids? Still, due to the fact Andersen's stories can really touch the reader's heart, is why i love and appreciate his work, and it would be a real challenge to be able to convey that effect into Macedonian. If someone thinks that translator's work is me, it is EVERYTHING but easy...but it is very creative and you get to learn so many new things all the time, and that's why I love, as for the pressure and the insane deadlines and low pays...well, thats a whole different story :)
And while we are already on the subject...for those who may not know...translation and interpreting are two different things...translation is the written production of text, while interpretation is the one which totally fries your brain out, whether it be consecutive or simultaneous (and esp if you need to interpret Italians, that's when you feel like killing someone..). I have nothing against Italians or anything...but boy, they talk sooo fast, that it is just so difficult to follow and keep the train of thought, catch notes and interpret it all afterwards without forgetting what you actually wanted to say...but well, I love that part of my job as well....just yesterday I had to do this pres-conference..with all the media...I was terrified to death (as I always am)...but the moment I put the headphones on and start talking, the fear disappears and I get totally absorbed by the thrill and beauty of interpreting and nothing else seems to matter just gives an enormous satisfaction when done right :)

ok, I blabbered more than usual about myself...but this is like, my day..and I just couldnt help it :)

btw, this FDC was issued to commemorate 200 years since Andersen's birth.

btw2...if anyone has any stamps/cards/anything related to translation/interpreting...PLEASE contact me! Thanks!!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Oh and the golden snuff-box, Belarus

A beautiful Sunday day over here...rather busy though, but I could steal a few minutes and pop-in at Viridian's for her Sunday theme of music, books and literature.
Well, fairy tales are a literature genre, so hence my choice today fell on this beautiful Belrrussian FDC issued on August 24, 2001.

This FDC refers to the fairy tale of "Oh and the golden snuff-box"...if you get confused like me regarding "Oh", that is the name of the wizard (if i can call him so) who gave the snuff-box to this boy and told him that whenever he needed something, he should just open it, and its magical powers will do the job. It all started with the boy asking for food coz he was poor and starved....eventually marrying a princess..well, you know how fairy tales are :)

In case you want to read the whole story (in Belarussian), here is the link
Ox and the Golden Snuff-box

thanks a lot to dear Ana for helping me out on this one :)

and for more books and music, visit Viridian's blog

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hawaiian Missionary Stamps, USA

When last week this Sunday's theme was announced, i didnt plan to participate since I didnt really have something to show..and then last night I was browsing to some of my folders with stamps, and I was thrilled to bits when I came across this one coz I thought, 'hey, this can actually fit this Sunday's theme!!'.

So, here we go, this is my contribution to the subject of "he Post, post boxes, postal vans, stamps on stamps, or similar images"

this awesome mini sheet was issued in 2002, commemorating the Hawaiian Missionary stamps. The first Hawaiian Post Office was established in December 1850. Postmaster Henry M. Whitney had stamps printed locally in three denominations. These were the first postage stamps of the Kingdom of Hawaii, issued in 1851, where four stamps of three values - 2¢, 5¢ and 13¢ - comprise the issue, all printed locally by letterpress at the Government Printing Office They came to be known as the "Missionaries" because they were primarily found on the correspondence of missionaries working in the Hawaiian Islands. Only a handful of these stamps have survived to the present day, and so they are amongst the great rarities of philately. It is said that only 28 covers with these stamps are known to exist.

the 2¢ Missionary, first issued October 1, 1851, was intended for payment of the 2¢ foreign mail rate on newspapers but also was used to pay the 2¢ ship fee on letters.

the 5¢ Missionary was first issued October 1, 1851 to pay the Hawaiian postage on foreign mail.

the 13¢ Missionary with "Hawaiian Postage" first issued October 1, 1851 was used to pay the 13¢ combined United States and Hawaiian postage for a single letter bound to an Eastern United States destination.

The other 13¢ Missionary with the "H. I. & U.S. Postage", was first issued by early April, 1852, to eliminate confusion over whether Hawaii's stamp included the United States postage of 8¢.

The most valuable of all Missionary items is a cover sent to New York City bearing the only known use of the 2-cent value on cover, as well as a 5-cent value and two 3-cent US stamps. This is known as the Dawson Cover. It was in a bundle of correspondence shoved into a factory furnace around 1870, but packed so tightly that the fire went out (though one side of the cover bears a scorch mark). The factory was abandoned; 35 years later, a workman cleaning the factory for reuse discovered the stuffed furnace, and knew enough about stamps to save the unusual covers. This cover was acquired by George H. Worthington in 1905, then bought by Alfred H. Caspary around 1917. It has changed hands several more times: in the 1995 Siegel auction it realized a price of US$1.9 million, and was last sold publicly for $2.09 million,making it one of the highest-priced of all philatelic items. The Dawson cover, shown on this Sheet  may be evidence of the validity of the 1850 Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation between the United States and Hawaii as a sovereign nation. Under Article XV.

Thanks a billion to my fairy for this awesome cover which came in sooo handy today :)

For more postal items, visit Viridian's blog...and have a great Sunday! Finally some rain here!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Adopt a Shelter Pet, USA

the moment I read Viridian's theme for this Sunday, I knew what I was going to post! And here it is! Or better say, here they are :)
the theme this week is related to cats, dogs and other pets....and for that, i have this amazing set of 10 FDCs issued by the USPS on April 30 2010, hoping to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets. And I absolutely support that! You dont need to pay money to get a cat or a doesnt have to be some pure-bred puppy or a Siamese cat...a shelter animal is capable to love you just equally, or even more coz you;ve rescued them from the miserable conditions they live in or even death...I dont know how it is in other places, but here, the cats and dogs' shelter is one of the most notorious places where they treat animals far from nice, and most often they euthanize them eventually if no one picks them up...or they dont even wait for someone to pick them is really really sad, so if anyone wants a pet to keep him/her company, please check for a shelter pet will really find yourself a great buddy..
Both my cats are stray cats and I wouldnt for the world change them for some other 'famous' breed with a pedigree

The pets depicted on the stamps were photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce near her home in New Milford, Connecticut. All had been homeless at one time; all but one had been adopted when they were photographed.

the set consists of 5 cat and 5 dog stamps...for some i have info, for some I dont...this one here shows a cute yellow/orange cat, or also known as a Classic red tabby cat...this one is just like my younger cat Foxy...I wonder if it is a mischevious as him :)

look at its is just telling you 'im so lonely, please take me home with you!'

the cat on this tamp is called Willow. It is a gray Maltese cat who was left in a box at the door of a shelter. That's how often stray cats are left...

this one would entertain you all day just has this 'throw me the ball, throw me the ball' look in the eyes :)

a pretty sad face...yet hopeful you're gonna pick it..the kind of cats that wouldnt do acrobatics to catch your attention, but just longs for a home with you...

this is Buddy, a golden retriever who was purchased from a pet shop, then given up due to health problems. Well, if they had given him up coz they simply couldnt afford to pay for the medical expenses, i guess it is ok, coz that way someone who could actually take care of him would take him. But if they gave him up just coz he wasnt perfect, now that;s gonna make me mad. Just some days ago, believe it or not, there was this story here how these parents had given up their child and placed it for adoption, just coz it had some health problems (related to the heart if I recall correctly). I just dont know what to say...

   dont you think this is the type of cat who'd curl around your feet in winter and will keep you warm?

this adorable fellow is Trevor, a yellow Labrador retriever found abandoned at a new home construction site

Peaches, a gray, white and tan shorthaired cat who was born under a porch and had to be trapped to be rescued.

and this happy adorable face is Teddy, a wire haired Jack Russell Terrier who was given up when she had puppies.

so if one day you feel like adding an extra furry member to your family...dont buy, adopt one!

and thanks a million to the good fairy for sending me this ;-))))

nowadays, many animals can be seen as I wonder what the others have come up with :)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rock in Portugal, Portugal

It was not easy to choose today what to post for Viridian's theme of 'art, music, dance'...I mean, it offers you really endless opportunities, and you just dont know what to pick among all those great stamps (esp. the ones I have related to art...but I decided to leave art for some other more-in-the-artistic-mood time). My choice today fell on this Portuguese cover, with a set of 6 stamps dedicated to Portuguese rock...come on, how many of you are actually familiar with the Portuguese music and the Portuguese rock artists? :) (the question does not refer to Portuguese readers...that wont be a fair competition :)))

Anyways, this is a good way for a foreigner to google a bit about the Portuguese artists depicted on these stamps and give a try to some of their music .
The first stamp (top left) shows the cover of the "Ar de Rock",  released in 1980. It is the debut album of Rui Veloso, a Portuguese rock and blues singer and musician, born in 1957. Ok, i dont know what's the definition of rock to Portuguese, but on the overall, this album seems to be too mellow and more like blues/swing/samba/rumba, than rock :) Maybe the "Donzela Diesel" song feels more rocky...funny, the songs in general sound like the Eurovision type of music.
The next stamp shows the cover of the "Herois do Mar" album, released by Herois do Mar, a former Portuguese band formed in 1981 and disbanded in 1990. Cool synth-pop kind of album. Reminds me of the early DM days :)
The third stamp shows the "Psicopatria" cover by the band GNR. Boy, this one gave me trouble in figuring it out. It is a Portuguese band founded in 1981. Liked the album! Might be my favourite among all these :). The sound is just the kind of rock my ears love listening to!

At the bottom, we start with the cover of the "À Flor da Pele" album, released in 1981 by the band UHF, formed in 1978. Sounds rockish...Geraldine is a cool song! There is one called "Modelo Fotográfico", and for some reason at first i thought it may have some resemblance to the Kraftwerk's "Das Model"...dont know why..but anyways, they are absolutely different.
In the middle is the cover of the album called "88". released, of course in 1988, by the Portuguese band Xutos e Pontapés, formed in 1978 and in 2004 the band was awarded a state decoration by Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, for 25 years of career achievements in the music industry. It is not a bad album actually. The Doçuras song is very nice, calm and relaxing. "Prisao em Si" is very nice too.
On the last stamp you can see the cover of the "Woflheart", which is the first full-length album by the band Moonspell, where most of the tracks are actually in English. And there is a drastic difference btw this one and the very first album...this one reminds me of the first Anathema albums when they were into the death/doom metal....though I prefer their latter, ambient/art rock albums.
Out of this, Lua d'Inverno is a beautiful instrumental! Trebaruna is good too. But the others...well, just too harsh for my taste :)
And maybe these stamps should be called "Music in Portugal" instead of  'rock' coz maybe just half of this sounds like real kind of rock music :)

It was nice to have something totally different on my playlist...too bad I dont understand Portuguese though :)

For some more cultural stuff, visit Viridian's blog...and of course, have a lovely Sunday :)