Monday, December 9, 2019

Cook Islands

Not sure what has been my longest hiatus on the blog, but these almost-eight-months might win the trophy.

Where has that time passed?
Well, it's been one really strange year, and when I look back, so much has happened, both good and bad, that in the blink of an eye, without properly realizing it, 2020 is at its doorstep.

Not that I havent been busy with mail... my mailbox has been welcoming postcards from all over, and I have even been more active in sending compared to the last few years... but it is this blog that has paid the price cos seems that I am not that multitasking as women in general are thought to be.

It has come to the point that I haven't even managed to brag about a new country to my collection and it already arrived during the summer... so after all the silence, here is a beauty coming from the Cook Islands - it is so cold here and so polluted that I would trade for a scenery like this without thinking twice...

Way back, during my junior postcrossing years, I did receive a card from the Cook Islands, but it was blank (sent in an envelope with some other cards from the USA I think...), and just now I noticed that I had never ever posted it... cos yeah, what is the thrill about a blank piece of cardboard, when at the end of the day, is something I could have printed myself... I should look for that blank card and send it to someone who collects blank cards, now that I am properly covered with Cook Islands and can tick it off my list...

The card says to show two beautiful little islands in the middle of Aitutaki's pristine lagoon. This view of Rapota is from Motu Rakau, where TV series Survivor and Shipwreck were both filmed (don't know about you, but I have watched neither...)

Two beautiful stamps from a set of 6 issued this year, from the Suwarrow Atoll National Park series.

Thanks to Azzi for this gem in my collection!

Isla de Tabarca, Spain

I don't know if blogger had been messing with the platform, but I just cannot seem to properly adjust the size of images... they either look too small or too big as if there is no in-between which used to seem just right... or maybe it is just me and remembering things the wrong way, heh..

Beautiful view of the small Tabarca island sent by Eva earlier this year.

It is the smallest permanently inhabited islet in Spain and seems that I've been quite nearby during my visit of Alicante (it is actually considered as part of the city) ... just a short ferry trip away...

A beatiful train wagon stamp on the left from 2018, commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Last Travelling Post Office (that is actually a sad occasion...)
The King Felipe VI stamps are from 2016.

Thank you so much Eva for thinking of me!

Jal Mahal, India

When going through my cards and trying to make a choice of what to post today, more often than not I was like, oh have I really received this, this year?? At times it feels like it is something from ages ago... or it might be cos this year has been as it has been and I have some distorted sense of time....

I dont know about you, but whenever I see this card I read Taj Mahal :D And actually back when I swapped for it, I was ready to argue, but this is not Taj Mahal,  and I have more than enough view cards from there anyway! Good that I took a better look before I spoke (cos something looked odd about the Taj Mahal) and I spared myself the embarrassment, haha...

Jal Mahal (which is said to mean Water Palace) is a palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city, and the way it is secluded in the middle of the lake is what makes it so appealing to me and maybe even more beautiful than Taj Mahal and for sure less touristy.

the big stamp on the right is from 2018 from a set of 3, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the First Flag Hoisting at Port Blair. The Yoga definitive next to it was issued in 2016, while on the left side, that guy in black and white is from a set of 16 definitives issued in 2016, showing Makers of India and this one is Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, who was an Indian nationalist, teacher, and an independence activist

Thanks to Thomas for this card.

Fountain of Youth, USA

Ok, one more card for today. I don't wanna push myself too far after all this idling :)))

The card shows the Statue of Juan Ponce de Leon, discoverer of Florida and its first Spanish governor from 1513 to 1521, was dedicated on April 3, 1950, the 437th anniversary of his landing in 1513.
Quite a strange number for an anniversary...
As for the effects of the water drank, I cannot vouch, sorry :)

two stamps from that beautiful sheet of stamps featuring the Southern Florida Wetland, issued in 2006.
Another small birdy on the left, from a set of two issued in 1988, showing the grosbeak (the other one shows an owl), and a flag stamp from 1976, featuring the state of Florida (quite convenient, both this one and the Wetlands stamps, related to the card :))

Thanks to Bryon for this card, who is one of the few that regardless of my absence from the blog, feeds my mailbox quite regularly :)

Yeah, that would be all folks for now... might squeeze in another update before the end of the year, or maybe can never predict what turn life will take...

Stay well!

Monday, April 22, 2019


Another slow day at the office calls for what? A blog update, of course! Well I planned to do it over a week ago, but then somehow the office days werent that slow anymore, so this most important office job had to be postponed. Terrible, I know!

But the time has come... and if you remember, on several occasions previously i had posts dedicated to some of my postcards' fairies so for this time my choice was Chris. And funny thing, it is probably for a reason the previous attempt was postponed, since in the meantime I got this card, which would have been a pity not to be included!
I knew that Chris had paid a visit here, and I was secretly hoping I card was sent my way, and voilà! A new country in my postcards' collection! Directly from Niue!! 

What is special about Chris's cards (well most of them)  is that they are unique, since he designs them and prints them himself, so unless he has sent you a card, this is not something you will find at stores :)

Even though the name of the country is something I am familiar with, I actually barely know anything about it.
Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. The terrain of the island has two noticeable levels. The higher level is made up of a limestone cliff running along the coast, with a plateau in the centre of the island reaching approximately 60 metres high above sea level.
The lower level is a coastal terrace which slopes down and meets the sea in small cliffs

The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia.

Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand; and New Zealand conducts most diplomatic relations—though not all—on its behalf. Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, and Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand.

Total number of inhabitants is estimated at around 1600. Probably my neighbourhood has more people than this. It is kinda scary to even imagine, living all your life within these confinements.
(I know there are places with way less inhabitants, and funny thing, I often wish I could get away far from everything and everyone with no people around - but I would endure that better than just being stuck with the same people on such a small space, all the time).

Lovely stamps and very interesting cancellations from Niue's capital, Alofi.

The bottom one, next to the address is from a set of four issued in 2001, represeting the Coconut Crab (it is found on islands across the Indian Ocean, and parts of the Pacific Ocean ).
The others are from a set of 6 Tourism stamps issued in 2009.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, England

Next is a lovely train card (which whenever I look at, I think it is somewhere in Germany, dont know why)

Damems on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway is the smallest standard gauge station in the UK.
Locomotive 43924, a '4F Class' from 1920, was the first in the UK to be restored to working order, after rescue from a scrapyard.
Well done! Who would put this into a scrapyard? Tsk tsk tsk!! 

Number of lovely stamps of course, and i just figured out that by trying to remove the address I had also ruined that last stamp but Im not gonna be waiting to go home and rescan it, cos then this update will surely not happen...
Ill start with the non-queen stamp (not sure if Ill pinpoint the right Queen ones).
The top right stamp is from a set of 5 Christmas stamps issued in 1983. It is so lovely and I never would have guessed it is a Christmas one!
The stamp below it was issued one year earlier, and is from a set of four commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Death of Charles Darwin.
That ruined one is also from 1982, from a set of 5 stamps representing British Mariners. This one shows Lord Nelson (and it is 24p, face value).

As for the Queen - I gave up on here... I really cannot distinguish among all those shades of purple and blue and brown... I wish they would start putting the year on the stamps, would make things so easier.

Tristan da Cunha

Now, an update related to Chris, wouldn't be just without a Tristan da Cunha card.

Chris is the first, and for the time being only person who has sent me cards from this most remote island in the world, and thanks to him I actually have several written and stamped postcards from here. He is actually a former Tristan UK Government Representative and our encounter was pretty much accidental, and one of the few reasons why I still believe FB may be useful, despite my overall antagonism towards it. 

On this particular card, you can see:

Top - St. Mary's school with the 1961 volcano in the background
Bottom left - Calshot Harbour
Second from left - The Welcome sign
Third from left - The Settlement "Edinburgh of the Seven Seas."
Bottom right - Administrators House with Tristan Longboats on the left 

Lovely stamps again - unlike me, Chris is one of the people who almost always get some super cool stamps on cards when travelling.
Three of these are from the Early Mail Ships series, for which I have written more here.
The one just above the address is from a set of 4 issued in 2016, commemorating The 200th Anniversary of the British Garrison, while the last stamp, at the very bottom is from a set of 12 issued in 2010, representing nature conversation.
ps. the very left one is not a stamp, just a vignette (I assume...)


Believe it or not, I still havent visited the Bulgarian coastline, but that's why Chris has, and sent me this postcard along :))

The top picture shows a glimpse of the town of Pomorie, a seaside resort in southeastern Bulgaria on the Black Sea Coast.
The bottom left shows the Eurasian hoopoe bird, while for example the third one, one of the beautiful Bulgarian srain stamps, which Im proud to say, I stocked myself up with during my last trip there just recently. About the efficiency of the Bulgarian mail, in another post :)

Two stamps from the set of four mushrooms issued in 2014.

Santon Station, Isle of Man

Well, one more card in this update since, a post about Chris wouldnt be a post about Chris without an Isle of Man card.

I can say that like 90% of my IoM cards are thanks to Chris. And magically he often manages to find ones with trains too :)

This one shows the Santon railway station which is a request stop near Newtown in the parish of Santon; it forms part of the sole remaining line of the Isle of Man Railway which once encompassed over 46 miles of network and retains its original station building.
The halt sometimes plays host to Santa's Grotto each December as part of the railway's Santa Trains service although between 2010 and 2013 it was not utilised for this purpose.

and look at these stamps!!
Gonna require some work to cover them all but that's the purpose of this blog, isn't it? :)

Starting from top left first is a ship from a set of 6 issued in 1980, commemorating the 150th Anniversary of "Isle of Man Steam Packet Company". Next to it is one from a set of 4 issued in 1974, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Sir Winston Churchill. The third one in the row is from a set of four issued in 1981 for The Royal British lLegion Diamond Jubilee, 1921-1981.

The bottom row starts with a stamp issued in 1978 in a set of 5 representing buildings and this one shows the Tower of Refuge. Next to it is one from a set of two issued in 1975, under the title New Values and the last one is from 1978 from a set of four stamps commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

So, I believe that would be all for today. What a productive day, my oh my :D

A huge huge thank you to Chris for all these cards, and the bunch of others still not uploaded, and a huge thank you also to his wife Julie, who always participates in the sending of cards and signing them as well!

To all who celebrated Easter yesterday, Happy Easter! To all who will celebrate it next weekend, Happy Easter as well!

Till next time...