Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sports' Legends, Russia

In 2013, on two occasions, the Russian post issued stamps featuring Sports Legends who have participated in some of the Olympic Games or are anyhow related to them.
I know the world right now is in the midst of a football craze, so even though these are not football stamps, they are related to Russia, where the place of all that history is written these days (Personally, I couldn't care any less about it)

Up to this post, I wasn't familiar with any of these people featured here, so let's see what is it that they had done so that the Russian Post has decided to feature them on stamps.

Klavdiya Sergeyevna Boyarskikh (1939 - 2009),  was a Soviet cross-country skier who competed in the 1960s. In 1964, Boyarskikh won her first Soviet titles during thee Olympic Games held in Innsbruck where she had won the Gold Medal for both the 5km and 10km race as well as the one for the 3 x 5 km Women's Relay Team.

- Vsevolod Mikhailovich Bobrov (1922 –  1979) was a Soviet athlete, who excelled in football, bandy and ice hockey. He is considered one of the best Russians ever in each of those sports. After he quit football in 1953 he turned to ice hockey, which he had taken up when it was started in the Soviet Union in 1946. He was one of the first ice hockey players in the Soviet Union and internationally he participated with the Soviet national team at several World Championships, including their first tournament in 1954, as well as the 1956 Winter Olympics, where the Soviets won the gold medal.

- Tatyana Averin was born on June 25 1950 in Gorky. She was a Soviet athlete (speed skating, an honoured Master of Sports, an Olympic champion in skating (100 m and 3000 m, 1976), the absolute champion of the USSR (1979), as well as the world champion (1978).

- Pierre de Coubertin (1863 - 1937) was a French educator and historian, and founder of the International Olympic Committee, as well as its second President. He is considered the father of the modern Olympic Game.  The Pierre de Coubertin medal (also known as the True Spirit of Sportsmanship medal) is an award given by the International Olympic Committee to athletes that demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship in the Olympic Games.

- Sir Ludwig "Poppa" Guttmann  (1899 –  1980)  was a German-born British neurologist who established the Paralympic Games in England. The Jewish doctor, who had fled Nazi Germany just before the start of the Second World War, is considered to be one of the founding fathers of organised physical activities for people with a disability.
At the 1956 Stoke Mandeville Games, Guttmann was awarded the Sir Thomas Fearnley Cup by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for his meritorious achievement in service to the Olympic movement through the social and human value derived from wheelchair sports.

Nice to see not only athletes, but also people who have in other ways contributed to the development of the Olympic Games.

For more of the S-related posts, you know the drill, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Canadian Recording Artists, Canada

The regular visitors to this blog may have expected to see some Railway stamps today but this train lover has decided for something completely different (partly because it was one of the very few already scanned stuff)

Actually, the main reason I went for this one today is to draw the attention to one of the accepted ways of stamps' cancellation in some countries, which outrages me! I think it is fairly visible that this cover has been crossed with a pen instead the regular way. I don't know who first allowed this and why is it still not sanctioned, but for philatelists this is tragic on many levels.
I received this cover some years ago, but now of course, thanks to the cancellation, I can just guess it was sometime after 30 June 2011, or after the stamps were issued.

Canada presents us with some important Canadians which are not very popular outside its borders, or at least, on this side of the pond. If you ask me to name some famous Canadian Artists, the first one that always comes to mind is Bryan Adams.... alongside with Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Leonard Cohen.... but none of these featured here, so lets get a bit familiar with them now, shall we?

- Ginette Reno, (28 April 1946) - a Canadian author, composer, singer, and actress. She has received nominations for the Genie and Gemini Awards and is a multi-recipient of the Juno Award. She is a gold and platinum selling Canadian musician. She has also starred in some movies, which of course, I haven't watched.
I have just listened to her on YouTube, and wow, what an amazing voice! Not the kind of music on my everyday playlist, but for sure it's good!

- Bruce Douglas Cockburn (May 27, 1945) - a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. His song styles range from folk to jazz-influenced rock and his lyrics cover a broad range of topics that reveal a passion for human rights, environmental issues, politics, and Christianity. He has written more than 300 songs on 33 albums over a career spanning 40 years, of which 22 have received a Canadian gold or platinum certification as of 2018, and he has sold over one million albums in Canada alone.

- Robbie Robertson, (July 5, 1943), - a Canadian musician, songwriter, film composer, producer, actor, and author, best known for his work as lead guitarist and primary songwriter for The Band, and for his career as a solo recording artist. His work with The Band was instrumental in creating the Americana music genre.
He is also known for his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese, which began with the rockumentary film The Last Waltz (1978), and continued through a number of dramatic films, including Raging Bull (1980) and Casino (1995). He has worked on many other soundtracks for film and television - well I am well known as a movie lover who totally cannot remember movie titles, actors, directors, songwriters... no wonder I had no idea about him as being part of some of the movies I have watched

-the last stamp is reserved for two sisters, Kate McGarrigle (February 6, 1946 – January 18, 2010) and Anna McGarrigle (born December 4, 1944) - a duo of Canadian singer-songwriters from Quebec, who performed until Kate's death on January 18, 2010.
Their songs have been covered by a variety of artists including Nana Mouskouri, Linda Ronstadt, Billy Bragg, Cyndi Lauper, Pet Shop Boys and others. which had led to the McGarrigles getting their first recording contract in 1974. They created ten albums from 1975 through 2008.

so that would be my contribution for today's R letter, some recording artists (where you also have Reno and Robbie Robertson :))

For more R-related stamps, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps! 

ps. Thank you Bryon for this cover - turned out into a nice music lesson of the day :)

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Just a single item in the mailbox today, but the one of the kind which you feel like immediately sharing. Plus I did say I would try to post more frequently and not only on Sundays, so I am seriously working towards achieving that goal on the long run :)

I first opted for a postcard, but turned out postcards were not an easy find in Sudan (not surprised), so I did agree on a cover, cos after all, it is Sudan, not a country where you have the chance to get mail from every day. So while Sudan may still be missing in my postcards' collection, it certainly ain't missing in my stamps' blog, so me is happy :D

I am especially glad since on of the stamps featured is China-related, issued in 2009 in a set of 3 stamps, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with China. At first I thought it was a joint issue, but then I couldn't find such stamps being issued in the Chinese side.

The other stamp is also from a set of 3, issue in 2010, celebrating the National Unity (the Potency in Solidarity)

Quite a funny thing. I just learned that Sudan is also known as North Sudan since South Sudan's independence. Ha!

Those familiar with the latest political issues here, will know why the mention......

Monday, June 11, 2018

Modern Lighthouses, China

I can't say I have frequent visits from the postman these days, and for certain not as I used to have some years ago. But he surely does bring joy to my mailbox when he comes, and today was such a day, so a great start of the week I can say. And I so much LOVE this cover, that I just had to share it with you right away, no way I would be waiting for the next L for this one... and I do have a lot of lighthouses in stock for sure, so it certainly won't be my ace up the sleeve...

 Now, I rarely take part in swapping stamps nowadays, which is mainly due to the fact that as years go by, Macedonian stamps are sticking to these ridiculous overpriced useless face values, while the images on stamps are becoming worse and worse (do you know that the last set of EUROPA stamps is almost 9 euros??!). It has become all about ripping people off and nothing about actually promotin the country cos obviously, that is the last thing on their mind...

So as I was saying, cos of a number of reasons I don't take part in stamps swapping, but an exception is made from time to time, like this time when I found a soulmate, who wanted to swap whole set covers, and on top of that, had this lighthouse set on offer. So how do you ignore such a thing? Well, you don't.

This fantastic set was issued on 28 October 2016, and showcases five different modern lighthouses which have been built in the last couple of years as part of China’s claim to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. All five of the lighthouses shown below are in the Spratly Islands which are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia (If true, this is utterly ridiculous, but I cannot say I would be surprised...)

The lighthouses shown here are:

- Huáyáng Jiāo / Cuarteron Reef
- Chigua Reef / Johnson Sout
- Zhubi Jiao / Subi Reef
- Yongshu Reef / Fiery Cross
- Meiji Reef / Mischief Reef

It really makes me wonder if a disputed zone becomes more 'yours' just cos you issue stamps about it :D

Nevertheless, the stamps are just fantastic!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Penguins, Umm al Qiwain

I know I said that for this round of the alphabet I will (try) not to go with the easiest solution - countries, but I feel kinda lazy today (tell me something new) and just can't put those brain cells into extra thinking, so I'm just gonna cheat on my own 'resolution' this time :))

And I really could have used these Penguins last week, but then they didn't even cross my mind, so here they come in handy for the letter Q.

This set of 6 Penguin stamps was issued in 1972 in Umm al Qiwain, which is one of the seven sovereign Emirates in the UAE and is the least populous one. It issued its own stamps from 1964 to 1972.
The first post office in Umm al-Qiwain was opened in 1963 by the British Postal Agencies in Eastern Arabia. The Agencies were set up in 1948 to provide postal services to several countries in the region. Mail was processed via Dubai using the stamps issued for the Trucial States until 1964, the year in which Umm al-Qiwain also issued its first stamps (when it was a British Protectorate). After joining the United Arab Emirates in 1971, Umm al-Qaiwain continued to issue stamps until the issues of Umm al-Qaiwain were replaced by those of the United Arab Emirates in 1973.

Interesting to see that a country like this would issue something totally unrelated to it like Penguins, that live in climates so opposite than the one in the Emirates

Here you can see:

- the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica (shown on the first, fourth and sixth stamp).

- The long-tailed gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), shown on the third stamp

- The macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), a species of penguin found from the subantarctic to the Antarctic Peninsula and one of six species of crested penguin (shown on the second stamp)

- The Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti) (also termed Peruvian penguin, or patranca) - a South American penguin that breeds in coastal Chile and Peru and was named after the cold water current it swims in, which is itself named after Alexander von Humboldt, an explorer. The species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. (it is shown on the fifth stamp).

yeah, sorry for the total disorder in the scanning of stamps...

so before you go on with your daily activities, check the rest of the Q-entries for today, an interesting letter nevertheless :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Trains in Sabah, Malaysia

A great cover from Malaysia, a whole-set-of-stamps (if we don't take into account the souvenir sheet), the kind I ultimately like the most.

On 28th December 2015, POS Malaysia issued a set of 3 stamps and one souvenir sheet featuring different trains across Sabah, one of the states of Malaysia.

The history of the trains in Sabah had begun with the British North Borneo Chartered Company in 1896, known as the North Borneo Railway. It was originally intended primarily for the transport of tobacco from the interior to the coast for export. The first line built was a 32km track, from Bukau river north to Beaufort and south to the port of Weston. that had eventually been extended several times.

The Railway Network had been almost entirely destroyed during the Second World War after which a number of ambitious projects had been put into force in order to restore and improve the network and its services.

Trains in Sabah nowadays use diesel locomotives such as the Diesel Multiple Units (DMU), the Railbus, and the Hitachi Diesel Hydraulic Locomotive, all of which are featured on the stamps above.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Portuguese-Brazilian Stamp Exhibition "Lubrapex 80", Brazil

Hello all! Very hot Sunday today here, and if this should be taken as a premonition about the actual summer temperatures, then I guess I should start thinking of moving elsewhere for the summer.

But in the meantime lets do another edition of Sunday Stamps, and today it is the letter P on the agenda, where I again have some birds to show. Last time it was owls, now we have parrots.

This set of 4 stamps was issued in 1980 for the Portuguese-Brazilian Stamp Exhibition "Lubrapex 80".
Lubrapex is is a stamp exhibition in which only postal operators and collectors from Brazil and Portugal participate. Since 1992, Portuguese speaking countries and territories have also been taking part.
It is the oldest Bilateral Philatelic Exhibition in the world, having been conceived by Brazilian diplomat and philatelist João Paulo do Rio Branco, in order to promote the strengthening of friendly relations between postal operators and collectors from the countries involved.
Held for the first time in 1966, at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, the Lubrapex exhibitions have been held alternately by the Designated Postal Operators from Portugal and from Brazil.

the four cute parrots we have here are:

- The vinaceous-breasted amazon (Amazona vinacea) which can be found in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and plantations. It is threatened by habitat loss.

-The red-tailed amazon (Amazona brasiliensis), also known as the red-tailed parrot, a species endemic to coastal regions in the south-east Brazilian states of São Paulo and Paraná. The bird has been threatened by habitat loss and capture for the wild bird trade, and is a symbol of the efforts to conserve one of the Earth's most biologically diverse ecosystems.

- The red-spectacled amazon (Amazona pretrei) is almost the same as the vinaceous-breasted amazon with regards to its habitats, origins, threats, etc.

- The brown-backed parrotlet (Touit melanonotus) also known as the black-backed parrotlet, the black-eared parrotlet, and Wied's parrotlet, is a small green parrot found in south-eastern Brazil from Bahia to southern São Paulo. It has a dark brown mantle and back, brown ear coverts, and red outer tail with back tips. They frequent humid forest from 500–1,000 m  (occasionally down to sea level), and are mostly found in small flocks of 3–20 birds.

So that would be all for today. If you are curious to see what others have come up with, visit today's Sunday Stamp edition. 

Btw, those on blogger - I don't know if you have been experiencing the same problem lately, but as of last week, I do not receive email notifications regarding blog comments anymore. When I googled it, I realized that many others have been affected by it since last Sunday or so, and it is thought that this may have something to do with the latest EU Data Protection Regulation. I really have no idea, but lately my inbox has literally been flooded with all those Privacy Emails and I certainly haven't bothered to go through them all. So I may have missed something in there, who  knows, and now due to my ignorance, am doomed to be left notification-less :P

Friday, June 1, 2018

Children's World, Croatia

For a while now I've been posting here on Sundays only (if I post in the first place, that is). I've been trying to break that bad habit for a while now, but by the time I decide to do it, another Sunday comes... and it all starts all over again.
So having posted on my postcards blog after over a month, why not pay some respects to this one as well :))

So here is something I treated myself with a while ago (during my last trip to Zagreb). I rarely buy stamps lately, mainly cos of financial reasons, but there are some that are just irresistible, and so is this set of cat stamps issued by the Croatian Post on 22nd February this year.

I treated myself both with the sheet of mint stamps and the FDC (plus used two of these to mail myself a card from there, which right now I cannot confirm if it arrived at all or not.... that is how forgetful I have become)

The set contains four adorable cats:

- the Russian Blue, which loves to sleep in the sun and playing with the rays of sunlight. His thick coat is short and easy to groom. There is almost no shedding, so it is enough to comb the Russian Blue’s coat once a week. The breed comes from Archangel in Northern Russia and the thick short coat reveals that the Russian Blue is used to cold climate.

- The Maine Coon, which is a natural breed native to Maine. The climate there is damp and harsh, so unlike other cat breeds, Maine Coons have a heavy water-resistant medium-long fur, with tufted ears, paws and cheeks, reminding of the lynx.

- The Himalayan Cat - this is not a natural breed, but a man-made one developed through selective breeding and crossing several breeds to help avoid genetic diseases and to see how distinctive features will be inherited after breed crossinge. The word Himalayan is not connected with the Himalayas, but with the cat’s distinctive look.

- The Sacred Cat of Burma (with the hat on, it looks nothing but sacred :D) - this is like the most mystical breed and how they came to be is actually unknown. Legend says that in the Buddhist temple of Lao-Tsun in Indochina lived a white cat called Sinnom and that one day robbers came to kill the priest who was feeding the cat. The cat jumped on his master and his coat became the same colour as that of the skin of the goddess to whom the temple was dedicated. The robbers got scared and fled and all the cats there have acquired this striking appearance.

Now that we are at it, I don't know how many of you know that actually another furball has become a family member last year. Came in my backyard, abandoned by its mum when it was still teeny tiny. One look was enough to know this kitten was going nowhere :)) And been brightening up my days and nights ever since. So I proudly present you Her Majesty, the Little Bullet (yeah, you read that name right)

Yeah, I want to believe she loves me too :) I think she kinda resembles the Maine Coon....

Hmm, I guess I should make use of some of the dozens of cat cards I have that have not been posted yet :)

Enjoy your weekend! Prrrrr!!