30 April 2017

Royal Letter

Letter sent by Alan (the UK). 

Concerning the stamps, the miniature sheet was issued on 4 August 2000 to commemorate Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's 100th Birthday. It features four 27p stamps that each portray a member of the Royal line: Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Wales, Prince William and the Queen Mother.

I am happy that Royal Mail did not succeed in ruine the stamps 100%, even if they tried, with those awful blue felt-tip pen scratches!

Post added to Sunday Stamps-II, the theme today being Queens and Kings.

#AtoZChallenge | Z is for Zebra & Zarah

I guess that some people have chosen this word for the latest day of the #AtoZChallenge... but still I wanted to upload this nice zebra that Bryon (the USA) sent! (You knew already its cousin the quail, don't you?)


This postcard shows Buddhist Monks passing the Royal Palace in Phnom Pen, Cambodia. This is not the first postcard I have got from that country: back in 2009 and 2010 I swapped some postcards with Zarah.

This one was sent by Ana, though. Ana is from Macedonia, currently living in China, and travelling a lot. So you never know where her next postcard is arriving from: Malaysia, Greece... It can be even the house you were born in (That I call a real mail adventure!)

Actually, this postcard was signed by two people: Ana and... Zarah! I did not know that they were friends! Later, they sent me a picture of them together in front of the post office.

Don't you think sometimes that the world is small? 

28 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | Y is for Yeast & Yarn

This postcard seems a comercial one, but it was handmade by John (the UK), using a coaster. Isn't it a nice illustration for a brewery?

Sent by Laura (the UK), this postcard shows some colourful pub signs in Ireland. It arrived just before the  A to Z Challenge started, when I was struggling with the letter Y.

I found more wonderful names for pubs in my mailbox a week later:

Some interesting names of pubs and beers on the multiples postcards. The creative names of Irish (and English...) pubs amazes me. Which name is your favourite?


The slogan of this one, sent by Heleen (the Netherlands) makes me think of the challenge itself. Plus, it relates to another beloved hobby of mine. Plus, it arrived with a perfectly matching stamp on the back. Plus... nothing prevents you to from knitting on a pub!

#AtoZChallenge | X is for Xangô

Xangô is an orisha, a kind of god from the African Yoruba. It is also the title of a beautiful song that the sender knows. And a music store in Utretcht (the Netherlands), named after Xango "the fighter lover, drum player and dancer who loves music" (as it is written on the back). 

So this was another free postcard, sent by Heleen (the Netherlands) especially for the challenge (as the Q-postcards were). You can see that clearly written on the cover (that, by the way, confused a bit the postal workers):

This was a completely new word for me. Also it was eatery, suggested by a fellow a-to-zer. I guess that, especially for non-English native speakers, a collateral effect of the A to Z Challenge is the learning of vocabulary. Have you discovered any word this month?

27 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | W is for Windmills

Postcard sent by Heleen, showing De Zaanse Schans (The Netherlands). Most people associate windmills with the Netherlands, but of course you can find them anywhere in the world. I have gathered a small collection of windmills on postcards and stamps, and I still don't know why I love them so much.

A bonus stamps, from the Postcrossing series. Do you know Postcrossing? (If not, I need to warn you: it is highly addictive!)

26 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | V is for Vintage

75 To Margarita in Paris, November 1903:
"Manolo passed his exams very well and today it is
Aberto's turn. A tender kiss, your Mamilla"

Dearest Margarita: An Edwardian Love Story in Postcards is both a book and a box containing a collection of 100 postcards. It tells the story of a forbidden love affair between Margarita Johnson (a wealthy young Cuban girl, born in 1880) and Charles Lumb. They were forced by circumstances to conduct their romance in secret, across continents. I have received some postcards of this collection, from Laura (the UK).
At the time of this love affair, 1900-1906, a craze for postcards was sweeping through Europe. It became the fashion to send and receive cards from friends -in most places there were three postal services a day. The law at the time prevented the sender from writing a message on the address side, so phrases were inserted around the picture side of the card. Cards were often kept in elaborate personalised albums and this was where Margarita kept hers. Over the six-year period the cards came in from family, friends and Charles, who wrote from America, England and Europe - wherever he was on his travels.

92 Bathers at Dieppe. 'Anticipating the pleasure of the coming
month. Yours ever, C.' June 1905

54 Napoleon, a card from Raul von Schroeder,
July 1903.

Can you imagine that someone, in the future, would do that with your love story?

25 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | U is for Ugly & University

This is one of Heleen's works of art, turned into a postcard. Of course I don't think this is ugly! But, when I looked up for blobfish in the Wikipedia, I read this:
In September 2013 the blobfish was voted the "World's Ugliest Animal", based on photographs of decompressed specimens, and adopted as the mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, in an initiative "dedicated to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature’s more aesthetically challenged children".
Well, it doesn't seem so ugly here. And it is nice when it meets a... err... tapir diver?

The back of the postcard is worth looking at, even with a personalised (real!) stamp with the same drawing:


And for the serious part of the post (if someone needs any), a postcard sent by John, showing the University of York (the UK). Derwent College from Heslington Hall gardens. 

Most people remember that they wrote a lot of letters/postcards when they were at University (and most of them stopped after that... Why?). Did/Do you send this kind of postcards?

24 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | T is for Typewriters

'On the contrary, the computer doesn't cause me any problem at all'
Postcard sent by Heleen (the Netherlands)

From time to time, even here, I read people complaining that they don't receive but bills in the mailbox. They miss analogical things, like postcards and letters. Do you miss typewriters... sometimes?

Postcard sent by Laura (the UK)

Lettera 32 portable
Marcello Nizzoll Olivetti, 1963
Postcard sent by Bryon (the USA)

Postcard sent by Heleen (the Netherlands)

(The regular readers of this blog had already seen these postcards, except the first one... But I like to see all the typewriters together!)

23 April 2017

Books & Roses

Painting by the Canadian artist Janet Hill

Postcard sent by Heleen (the Netherlands) for St George's 2016.  It arrived a bit late, so I never posted it. It can do for this year, can't it?

April 23rd is Saint George's Day, and in my country we celebrate the Books and Roses Festival. You are still on time to buy a book and/or a rose for someone you love!

22 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | S is for Superlambanana

The Superlambanana & Mersey Ferry on a postcard sent by John (the UK).

Superlambanana is a bright yellow sculpture located in Liverpool (the UK), Weighing almost eight tons and standing at 17 feet tall, it is intended to be a cross between a banana and a lamb and was designed by Japanese artist Taro Chiezo. In 2008, as part of Liverpool's year-long position as European Capital of Culture, 125 individually designed miniature replicas were created.

I wonder... What do the Superlambananas eat?

21 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | R is for Relics

Postcard sent by Bruno, showing the Relics Chapel of the Royal Monastery of the Incarnation (Real Monasterio de la Encarnación) in Madrid, Spain. 

I like to receive postcards from such original places! The sender wrote that the number of the relics of saints there, and the containers, were amazing. Would you like to visit this creepy place?

20 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | Q is for Quail, Quidditch & Quibbler

Today I introduce you Quinnlyn the Quail, on a postcard sent by Bryon (the USA) especially for the challenge. With a beautiful postmark as a bonus!

There are even two games with the letter Q on the back. The last question (Can you spot the hidden letter in Quinnilyn the Quail?) isn't intended for adult recipients. But I let the first to you:

Are you:
  • Quirky
  • Quiet
  • Quick
  • Quotable
  • Quaint
  • Queen-like?
(My option is the last one, of course!)


I know: Quail, Quiditch and Quibbler have nothing to do. But I started the #AtoZChallenge asking for help with some letters. Help arrived by mail... and reorganised some posts. 

Envelope sent by Phillip (the USA), with an illustration of the poster of the 422nd Quidditch World Cup. [Update: it also appears in the Q-post of Phillip's blog, envelope100. His challenge is dedicated to mail art.]

It included, among others, a postcard with the same design (that I coloured and re-sent):

Another about The Quibbler. (For non-Harry Potter fans: The Quibbler is a wizarding tabloid, considered rubbish by some people, that publishes odd articles, including conspiracy theories and discussions of imaginary creatures.)

And perfectly matching stamps:

19 April 2017

#AtoZChallenge | P is for Paradise

Because the paradise must be a kind of library...

Rijsmuseum Library
Heleen (the Netherlands) sent me all these reading people in a row. All the paintings, and the library, are located in the Rijksmuseum (that I absolutely need to visit!).

What books do you think these people are reading?

Portrait of Alida Christina Assink, 1833 
Jan Adam Kruseman

Old Woan Reading, c. 1631 
Gerard Dou

An Old Woman Reading,
Probably the Prophetess Hannah
, 1631 
Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn

The Wardens of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild
(Known as The Syndics), 1662

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn