Sunday, September 21, 2014

Kingston, Norfolk Island

Sunday morning...hmm, well ok, it is almost noon actually...but with this chilly cloudy weather it still feels like morning...not that I mind though...I love it this way...as long as it doesn't rain when I have errands to do outside the house...

well despite having some work to do, I just dont feel like it at ALL...i mean AT ALL!! But I dont feel like just wasting time either...so there always comes a back up solution...plus, it's been a while since I did an update...so here we are =)

Before I actually get down to it, if anyone's interested in my postman-saga...he did come the Monday before the last one...so that makes it like almost two weeks ago...early in the morning...both me and my mum 'greeted' him...in far from a 'heartwarming welcoming' manner..words-attack...blah blah blah from both of us...while he just stood there with this innocent and apologetic kind of attitude...that after like a minute of our 'lecturing rant' we both started feeling sorry for him and actually kinda regretted we started arguing in the first place...yep, that's the kind of man he is....which of course, doesnt free him of his guilt...but he makes you start thinking like 'ok, at least he does come from time to time and brings the mail, let's not make a big drama out of this'...yep, I hate myself for that, but I just couldnt help it...and of course, he hasnt come ever since, but at this point, I just cant really bother about it...the only thing i wonder is if it's just me having this problem, or the rest of the neighbours as well...and I dont think i'll find out cos the parametres of the experiment aren't really comparable here...he doesn't have to bring piles of postcards and letters to others...

He brought bunch of mail...that surely didn't just appear overnight, but he's been keeping it God knows where, since there was nothing at the PO either...gahh, he is really driving me insane you know..and it is just frustrating that there is obviously nothing I can do about it but just sit and wait...

well, what spares him the big trouble is that he brought a brand new country for my collection...written and stamped! Norfolk Island!! Oh yeah baby :D :D :D




Thanks a whole lot to Azzi for having hosted yet another cool group and for still not getting tired of me intruding those groups =) but yeah, I get greedy at opportunities like this...and I think most of the collectors would anyways =)
And frankly, I didnt really believe I would get the chance to receive a card from here...but I guess karma does like me sometimes...I thank her for that...and I promise I will return with a lot of good deeds as well.
Anyways....the card shows an aerial view over Kingston, NI's capital. To make a small clarification...Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia and is part of the Commonwealth of Australia but enjoys a large degree of self-governance (and has its own stamps too :D). Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories

I've learned that Kingston is actually in the centre of the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List as one of the group of eleven Australian Convict Sites.. Why the name convict sites you may ask? Because it constitutes an outstanding and large-scale example of the forced migration of convicts, who were condemned to transportation to distant colonies of the British Empire.

and last, but not least...it is a LOVELY LOVELY view card!!


and GORGEOUS GORGEOUS stamps as well!! From a set of 6 Coastline stamps issued in 2013.
On the left stamp is Anson Bay, while on the right one is Bumboras.

Thanks soo soo so much again Azzi!

Los Gigantes, Spain

A great card I received as a surprise from Veronica, showing the town of Los Gigantes (or "The Giants" in English) on the island of Tenerife.



The main feature are the giant rock formations, Acantilados de Los Gigantes, that rise from the sea to a height of 500-800 metres after which the town has been named.

looks like a nice typical resort town to me. Wouldnt mind spending a holiday here one day...




you know the guy on the blue stamp, dont you? Juan Carlos, King of Spain from 1975 to 2014. The other stamp says "I need Spain"....hahahaa...well, I don't know if I need it, but I certainly love the country...issued in 2013

Strokkur, Iceland

The magnificent Iceland!! And a stunning card received from Alvin's trip there! Awesome surprise from him as always!!!




This is Strokkur - the junior geyser that erupts approximately every 5-6 minutes. The area surrounding Strokkur is rich with many smaller bubbling hot springs as well as the great Geyser. Geothermal activity in the area has increased since an earthquake shook the south of Iceland in the summer of 2000.

The glimpse of the sun in the background just adds to the spectacularity of the view! Love it!



Alvin apologizes for the ugly stamp...but actually I think it is not a bad one at all...plus definitely nicer than the usual stamps I stumble upon when I go on trips...issued in 2012 in a set of 2 stamps from the EUROPA series of "Visit Iceland"...well, I really hope I will one day...I really do!

Thank you so much Alvin!!

Arlington National Cemetery, USA

The initial idea about this post was quite different...since I thought I had never posted about the Arlington National Cemetery before (even though my gut feeling was telling me otherwise, but the tags on the left were like trying to prove me wrong).
Turns out I really really should trust those gut feelings of mine...cos they just prove to be right...and the reason why i overlooked the Arlington tag here was cos I was looking for it under Washington D.C and not under Virginia as the other Alrington post is...but these cards can be sooo confusing sometimes...cos both that are shown here, bear the name of Washington D.C on the back...tsk tsk tsk...what a mislead!!
Well, frankly I was too lazy to search and scan and upload something else, so here we have two cards of the Arlington National Cemetery...this time under the tag of both Virginia and Washington D.C..but dear USA postcard printing companies, please make up your mind on such issues in the future so to avoid such confusions...thank you very much



US-1766404

Both cards arrived in 2012...the first one as an official...the text on the back reads:

Arlington Mansion and 200 acres of ground immediately surrounding it were designed officially as a military cemetery June 15 1864, by Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton. More than 260,000 people are buried at Arlington Cemetery. Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the Persian Gulf War and Somalia. Pre-Civil War dead were reinterred after 1900.


the three smaller stamps I guess are more than familiar...the bigger one doesn't appear so often on my mail..theYear of the Dragon stamp issued in 2012.





the other one arrived from Swantje for the WOTM lottery...boy, that seems to have been so so long ago!!
Again, from the backside: The Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated on May 15, 1920 (here is that tricky word 'dedicated' again...thanks to Bryon for the prior clarification!))
While many ceremonies are conducted throughout the country, many consider the services at Arlington's Memorial Amphitheater to be the nation's official ceremonies to honor all American service members who serve to keep the United States free.




some more nice stamps! (incl. the American Clock and the Toleware)...Here you can also see the nice Bonsai stamp from the set of 5 Bonsai Tree stamps issued in 2012, with this one showing the Black Pine. The other one is the Neon Celebrate stamp issued in 2011.

so, that would be all for today folks...hope you had a nice summer in general, and you are now ready to embrace the lovely autumn days and their beautiful colours!

Stay well!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Baghdad, Iraq

time for a new update! YAY! well blame it on the rainy Saturday night..and my lack of desire to do anything else...after the latest episode today with my new postman, ive been feeling all down and just soo devastated...well I think I never actually told you the story to begin with...so, yeah, I have a new postman...I knew my old one was about to retire, I just didn't really know when it was going to happen..and it was like a month ago when this new guy came to my door to bring me a small package...took me a while to figure out he was actually a postman...you know, young guy, jeans, t-shirt, tattoos, some old car..quite a bizarre situation, but i was like, ok, no problem, he looks cool...he came the following day again, cos of course, he again had to bring something I had to sign, and that's when I realized that I hadn't received a single card or letter for a long while so this is how the conversation went..., "ermm, aren't there any postcards for me?" to which he gave me this look and said, yeeeeeeees, there aaaareeeee...I was a bit puzzled and told him, "errmm, can you like please BRING them to me?????"
it was odd to me that I had to ask about it in the first place and that I got such a cool answer and that he didn't really bother about it...so he promised to bring them the following day, to which I added that he shouldnt be waiting for a whole pile to gather and bring them all at once..he fulfilled his promise and I thought he learned the lesson...but how naive I was..
Some days later, my mum went to the PO since we hadn't received bills either, and my mum is really zealous in paying those things on time..so, she didn't find the bills (they told her they have been dispatched time ago, so God knows where they were), but she told me there was some pile of mail for me...however, she couldn't get them for me without my ID or anything..the next day, to my utter surprise, I got a call from the PO that there is some mail for me and I should go and pick it up..when I  asked how come the postman cannot bring them, I got this lousy excuse of 'he is a new guy, he doesn't know things, so we are calling people'...I went to get them, got two or three things I have ordered, but when I asked if there are maybe some postcards or letters,  the lady bitched at me with the attitude 'i cannot leave the desk, I have too much work to do, I cannot be wasting time looking for your mail'...so, I wonder, if she cannot bother to look for it, and my postman cannot bother to bring it to me, how on Earth am I supposed to get my mail??!!
So I complained with the manager as well....that was one day before I went to the astro-camp...so of course, after the complaint, the new guy came and craftily, without a notice, left them on our table in the garden...just like that, not in the mailbox, not a ring at the door..so who cares if it starts raining or Kimi starts playing with them..since he loves sleeping on that table, day and night...anyways, that was like already two weeks ago..no sign of him again ever since...went to the PO today...asked for mail, got two packages I have order...no sign of postcards...and I was so devastated, I almost started crying right there at the counter...cos it is simply IMPOSSIBLE that I have no piece of mail for two weeks..IMPOSSIBLE...even at times I wasn't active, I would always get at least a surprise card or something from someone...and now that I kind of got back into swaps and the official site again, she tells me there is nothing for me..I would bet my life on the fact that there IS some mail for me...but hell knows where those pieces of mail are..the lady like denied he could be keeping it with him...but she didnt like seem interested to resolve the issue....and I am deprived of one of the things that really brightens up my days cos of some irresponsible moron out there...yeah, at first it was like funny, now i so much despise this guy, I cannot explain it to you...if this is how it's going to be on the long run, I really dont know what to do since obviously no particular measures can be undertaken, even though I complained several times...and I am just solution-less on this issue =/
Maybe after the complaint today he will come next week..but such, one-time short-term solutions are NOT gonna resolve the issue..
Yeah, sorry for all that yada-dada, but Im really bummed...and today was just like cherry on top =/

So, maybe now I can get down to why you are actually here in the first place...postcards!!
And the ones for today are a bit older, but I think they are more than worth it to be posted...

Recently I arranged a swap with Hasnan from Iraq, and that reminded me that I received this one like four years ago...so it is about time to post it and make room for some new Iraqi cards coming ;-)



Duh, I hate it when there is absolutely no explanation on the back of the card about what's really shown here, and how am I supposed to figure it all out, hmm?
Now my, khm khm, great, khm khm, research skills, have come up with disastrous results...but let's see...in the middle, you can see the Baghdad TV Tower, previously known as the International Saddam Tower)..the top right picture shows the Al-Mustansiriya University established in 1963....aaaaaand, geez people, that's all I know about this card! Awful!!
Any readers from Iraq here? Or someone who maybe has the same card and succeeded in figuring out what all these pictures represent? Or anyone with better googling skills than mine? If yes, to any of the above questions, please leave a comment with the answers...it may be late to incorporate those in the post, but I'd really like to learn more about what we have here...thank you in advance!



a stamp from a set of 3 issued in 2008 called One Nation

heh, cannot believe that it's been actually more than 4 years since I've received this card...time flies...

Lofoten, Norway

ahh Norway, I've missed you on this blog...to make it up, I have four gorgeous Norwegian cards for today, coming from somewhere in Lofoten...and all four have arrived as surprises from dear Sissel!
Again, we have some older cards here...but before I get down to those beauties, I'd like to share a song I accidentally came across few months ago...and which was the first step in discovering this fantastic band called Beach House...the song was of course called "Norway", which is what drew my attention to it, besides the interesting vocals...so here it is for you to take a listen if you want to...



did you notice that the person singing is actually a lady??! Personally I realized that only when I read online about the band's biography...i was all, 'you gotta be kidding me'!! but then, that's what adds even more beauty to this band...cos it feels so unique and specific...and I just love it! Such tranquil and relaxing music...so thanks to Norway, I have this new band occupying my last.fm playlists...

and now, finally down to the cards...damn, I seem to be doing so much rambling today....


Gosh...this view makes my heart weep...it is soo breathtakingly stunning that it hurts!!
It shows the Henningsvær fishing village in the Lofoten archipelago...received in 2011...Im sure it is still as beautiful as when this photo was taken




stamp is from the set of 2 EUROPA stamps issued in 2011 on the subject of Forests.


received in 2010....

...and I find this one a bit funny...cos this is a village simply called Å ..yep, you read it right "Å"...why would you name a village like that? but I guess it does have something unique in it...located at the tip of Lofoten and until the 1990s, it was mainly a small fishing village specializing in stockfish, but since then tourism has taken over as the main economic activity....Sissel asked me here if Im tired of Lofoten yet...hah, even though this question was asked exactly four years ago, my answer is still one big NO NO NO :D



first there are two definitives...the first one probably issued in 1997, and the second one, probably in 2001...the last stamp is from a set of two issued in 2010, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Norwegian University of Technology and Science


From the Arctic Norway series...


this is a glimpse of the Hamnøy village...another small and beautiful Norwegian fishing village




the stamp was issued in 2010, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Norwegian Press Association - Freedom of Speech. Norwegians are really doing great regarding Freedom of Speech...Macedonia on the other hand is terrible, simply terrible in that regard...and that really pisses me off =/


and another stunningly beautiful image...


the card shows Reine...and wanna guess?? yes, another fishing village :D
The largest weekly magazine in Norway (Allers) selected Reine as the most beautiful village in Norway in the late 1970s

With the exception of Henningsvær, which is located on the Austvågøya island, the other three places are all located on the Moskenesøya island.



some great older stamps! first one is from a set of 4 millenium stamps issued in 1999. Then we have three beautiful Folk dancing stamps issued in 1976. Next is a stamp issued in the distant 1955 in a set of two, representing the Coronation of King Haakon VII (1905). The last one was issued in 1982, representing the 25th Anniversary of the Reign of King Olav V.

Sissel, sending you many many many hugs! Though no hugs would be enough for all the gorgeous stuff you have ever sent me!

Argentina

a nice Argentinian map card...even though the map doesn't really come into perspective here...the images somewhat 'distract' the attention...but still, I love it! And it is like my one and only map card from Argentina so far!




as for the images...well ok, I can guess the 'tango', and 'Patagonia'...and the Iguazú Falls...and those colourful houses could probably be from Buenos Aires, though im not 100% sure.
Well, much much better guessing here compared to the Iraqi card...




three nice stamps...the first two were issued in 2008...the tree stamp commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Forestry in Argentina, while the other one is from a set of 6 stamps representing tourist attractions...on this one you can see Ushuaia. Oh boy now I remembered..I am waiting for a card from Ushuaia...my first one from there...and I was soo much looking forward to it...but now I start wondering if that human being that calls himself a postman, will ever bring it to me... the last stamp was issued in 2009, in a set of two stamps, representing the International Stamp Exhibition ITALIA 2009 - Rome, italy - though on the stamp you can see the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires...so Im a bit confused, but oh well...it's not like it's the first time..