Sunday, March 25, 2018

Formula 1 Legends, Austria

Believe it or not, this post was started for the previous F episode, but I guess I somewhat overestimated myself and didn't finish it in the end, so it has been hanging around half-written in the Drafts section ever since.

So here we are at attempt number 2. Hopefully we won't have to wait for attempt number 3 to have it actually finished :)

And being that this weekend the new F1 season started, I guess this post is kinda on-spot as well now (It wouldn't have been for the previous F) (and not a bad start at all, with Kimi finishing third).

Just have to share with you this video from yesterday's Press Conference... no one else comes close to such reactions and facial expressions like Kimi ;-))))

And back to the stamps now.
I have a few issues from the Austrian Post (issued in different years), commemorating some of the greatest legends that the F1 world has seen (though I must say I am disappointed there is no Kimi here, but I guess you become a legend once you retire from the sport - though the Hamilton stamp from 2009 proves my theory wrong but oh well...)

first is this huuuge mini-sheet (as absurd as that may sound), issued on 07th June 2006, commemorating 8 great F1 drivers.

Talking in-depth about each and every one of them would be way too much (taking into account there are like 12 more people following below), so just the basics

In the sheet above, you can see:

- Jim Clarke - had won 25 Grand Prix victories, and was F1 Championship twice, in 1963 and 1965.
He was killed in a Formula Two motor racing accident in Hockenheim, Germany in 1968. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver.

- Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss - has been described as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship". In a seven-year span between 1955 and 1961 Moss finished as championship runner-up four times and third the other three.

- Alain Prost - A four-time Formula One Drivers' Champion. From 1987 until 2001 Prost held the record for most Grand Prix victories and is considered as one of the greatest F1 drivers ever. Schumacher surpassed Prost's total of 51 victories at the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix. In 1999, Prost received the World Sports Awards of the Century in the motor sport category.

- Bruce McLaren - a New Zealand race-car designer, driver, engineer and inventor, whose name lives on in the McLaren team which has been one of the most successful in Formula One championship history. No championships won. He died in an accident during a test-drive on June 2, 1970.

- Jacky Ickx - a Belgian former racing driver who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans six times, achieved eight wins and 25 podium finishes in Formula One, won the Can-Am Championship in 1979 and is a former winner of the Dakar Rally

- Mario Andretti - an Italian-born American former racing driver, one of the most successful Americans in the history of the sport. He is one of only two drivers to have won races in Formula One, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR (the other being Dan Gurney).

- Jackie Stewart - a British former Formula One racing driver from Scotland. Nicknamed the "Flying Scot", who competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships, and twice finishing as runner-up over those nine seasons. (This got me thinking now, cos I have a postcard with a train which says "Flying Scot" - I wonder if it had anything to do with him actually)

- Jack Brabham - was an Australian racing driver who was Formula One World Champion in 1959, 1960, and 1966. He was a founder of the Brabham racing team and race car constructor that bore his name. In the 1966 Formula One season Brabham became the first – and still the only – man to win the Formula One world championship driving one of his own cars.

Next I have this FDC issued on 29 May 2007, featuring again 8 more drivers.

- Phil Hill - was an American automobile racer and the only American-born driver to win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship. He also scored three wins at each of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 12 Hours of Sebring sports car races.

- Gerhard Berger - an Austrian former Formula One racing driver. He competed in Formula One for 14 seasons, twice finishing 3rd overall in the championship (1988 and 1994), both times driving for Ferrari. He won ten Grands Prix, achieved 48 podiums, 12 poles and 21 fastest laps. With 210 starts he is amongst the most experienced Formula One drivers of all time.

- John Surtees - was an English Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He was a four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion – winning that title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – the Formula One World Champion in 1964, and remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels.

- Graham Hill - was a British racing driver and team owner from England, who was twice Formula One World Champion. He is the only driver ever to win the Triple Crown of Motorsport—the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix.

- Gianclaudio Giuseppe Regazzoni - was a Swiss racing driver. He competed in Formula One races from 1970 to 1980, winning five Grands Prix. His first win was the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in his debut season, driving for Ferrari

- Juan Manuel Fangio - was an Argentine racing car driver. He dominated the first decade of Formula One racing, winning the World Drivers' Championship five times.

- Mika Häkkinen (or the Flying Finn - but there seems to be no train card named after him) - a Finnish former professional racing driver. He was the 1998 and 1999 Formula One World Champion, driving for McLaren and has been ranked among the greatest Formula One drivers in various motorsport polls.
Mika came for a visit in Skopje like over a decade ago, while he was still in the F1 business. It was one of those funny parades when a crowd of people gathers, waiting for their idol to come out and wave at them and then they all fall into trance. Cannot recall why I didn't attend this one, but if nowadays lets say Kimi came for a visit, you bet I would be there in the first row :D

- Emerson Fittipaldi , the last one in this set - a semi-retired Brazilian automobile racing driver who won both the Formula One World Championship and the Indianapolis 500 twice each and the CART championship once

And at last - another minisheet, this one issued on 27 May, 2009. "Only' four stamps here :)

- Wolfgang Alexander Albert Eduard Maximilian Reichsgraf Berghe von Trips - was a German racing driver who can probably take the medal for the longest name ever in the sport!

- James Hunt - was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. If you haven't seen Rush, then I recommend you do so, even if you are not an F1 fan. A beautifully done movie about the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

- Gilles Villeneuve - was a Canadian racing driver. Villeneuve spent six years in Grand Prix racing with Ferrari, winning six races and widespread acclaim for his performances. His son, Jacques Villeneuve, became Formula One world champion in 1997 and, to date, the only Canadian to win the Formula One World Championship.

- Bernie Ecclestone - the guy whose face used to pop out in every single F1 Broadcast - the former chief executive of the Formula One Group, which manages Formula One and controls the commercial rights to the sport.

So no wonder this couldn't be done in one go But at least attention has been given to those who deserve it, or at least to those I have on these Austrian stamps.

If you wanna take a break from all these people, check out the other entries for today's Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Hello World! Or at least that teeny tiny part of it that cares about reading this.

It is a vowel letter day, which I decided to dedicated to Elephants as Endangered species portrayed on these two FDC's.

The first one comes from Gabon, where in 1988 a set of 4 stamps was issued, featuring the African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) which is the smallest of the three extant species of elephant, but still one of the largest living terrestrial animals. From an estimated population size of over 2 million prior to the colonization of Africa, the population in 2015 is estimated to be about 100,000 forest elephants, mostly living in the forests of Gabon. Due to a slower birth rate, the forest elephant takes longer to recover from poaching, which caused its population to fall by 65% from 2002 to 2014. It is estimated that the forest elephant could become extinct within ten years.

So even though back then in 1988 this animal was considered an endangered species, seems that 40 years later, nothing has been done about it.

The second FDC comes from Uganda, where in 1983 a set of 4 stamps was issued, this time representing the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) which is much larger in height and weight than the forest elephant, while the forest elephant has rounder ears and a trunk that tends to be more hairy. The bush elephant has few predators besides humans and while considered to be the most numerous of the three extant elephant species, its population continues to decline due to poaching for ivory and destruction of habitat.

It is said that ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study that provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher.

Seriously, nothing can be more evil than a human being. Idiots!

Well I hope others have some more positive stories for today. So go ahead and check out today's Sunday Stamps issue.... and enjoy your Sunday or what is left of it :)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dogs on Stamps

Hello all from a beautiful springy Sunday!

Unfortunately, I had to miss the previous edition of Sunday Stamps (which most probably would have seen a bunch of cats featured here), but here I am back for the letter D, which kinda logically would feature a bunch of dogs :)) If I was about to list the subjects I have mostly featured on stamps, both dogs and cats would rank rather high.

So here today I would like to present you a small part of my dogs stamps' collection, consisting of stamps only, and excluding anything like covers, FDCs or maxicards - I will leave those for another occasion.

First is a set of 6 Bulgarian stamps issued in 1991, featuring 6 drawings of small breeds of domestic dogs:

- the Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is a dog acknowledged for its importance to Japanese nobility;
- the Chihuahua, which the smallest breed of dog and is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico;
- the Pinscher a small breed of dog originating from Germany;
- the The Yorkshire Terrier, a small dog breed of terrier type, developed during the 19th century in Yorkshire, England, to catch rats in clothing mills;
- if I'm not mistaken, this should be a Chinese crested dog
- the Pug, a breed of dog with physically distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail.

Next is the Croatian edition of Children's world stamps issued in 2013, and I am kinda surprised that I haven't posted this one here yet.
Four different cuties here:

- the Bichon Frise - a small breed of dog of the bichon type which is a member of the Non-sporting Group of dog breeds in the United States, and a member of the Toy Dog Group in the United Kingdom. A very cute puppy, very likable and sociable. Extremely adaptable, cheerful and animated, bichon has gained many admirers since it appeared in the beginning of 70-ies of the last century as a relatively unknown breed.
- the Golden Retriever - a large-sized breed of dog bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties, and were named 'retriever' because of their ability to retrieve shot game undamaged
- the German Shepherd - a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany.
- and another cute Yorkshire Terrier

while we are at it, my favourite reference to Golden Retriever up to this day is this one :D

Next is a sheet of 3 North Korean stamps issued in 1977 but unfortunately I couldn't figure out the dog breeds, except that they all should be some kind of domestic dogs. If anyone has some more information, please let me know.

Six lovely stamps from Portugal, dating back to 1981, issued for the 50th Anniversary of the Dog Breeding Union.

- the Portuguese Pointer (15.00) - a breed of dog developed as a gun dog. It is one of several pointing breeds and is mainly used in red-legged partridge hunting;
- the Serra de Aires (8.50) - a medium-sized breed of dog of the herding dog type, and is one of the indigenous regional dogs of Portugal.
- the Portuguese Water Dog (7.00), or cão de água, originally from the Portuguese region of the Algarve, from where the breed expanded to all around Portugal's coast, where they were taught to herd fish into fishermen's nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as couriers from ship to ship, or ship to shore;
- the Serra de Estrella (33.50), or the Estrela Mountain Dog - a large breed of dog which has been used for centuries in the Estrela Mountains of Portugal to guard herds and homesteads;
- the Castro Laboreiro (25.50), the Portuguese Cattle Dog or Portuguese Watch Dog, is a dog breed of the livestock guardian dog type, originating from Castro Laboreiro in the northern mountains of Portugal;
- the Portuguese Podengo (22.00) - an ancient multi-sensory hound (sight and scent) breed of dog from Portugal.

and the last part of today's post is dedicated to these four adorable dogs on stamps from Romania, issued in 2012.

- the Carpathian Shepherd Dog (Ciobănesc Românesc Carpatin) - a breed of large sheep dogs that originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania;
- the Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog (ciobănesc românesc mioritic),  a large breed of livestock guardian dogs that also originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania;
- the short-haired dachshund - a short-legged, long-bodied, hound-type dog breed.
- and here we also have another Golden Retriever

Speaking of dogs, I love them all, but I have a soft spot for stray dogs, while when it comes to dog breeds, it is the Rough Collie which is in my heart, since I literally grew up with one, called Ares, and later even had one of my own, called Eddie.This is one of my favourite pictures with Ares, dating back from 1985 or 1986.

well, no more rambling from me today. It is time to check what the others have come up with for today at Sunday Stamps.