30 January 2020

Gandhi & Squirrels

Spain, 2019

The first postage stamp featuring Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was released only on on 15 August 1948, a year after India attained independence. Since then, he has been honoured by over 100 countries by issuing postage stamps.

The first nation other than India to release Gandhi postage stamp was the USA on 26 January 1961. It was followed by Congo in 1967. During Gandhi’s birth centenary in 1969, more than 40 countries released postage stamps on the same day.

The year 2019 marked the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), and it is difficult to find a postal administration which did not release a commemorative stamp. You name it: Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Slovenia, Myanmar, Egypt, the United Nations... The list is really long!

I have got, so far, two of those: from France and from Spain.

France, 2019

They arrived a week apart, on letters from Catherine (France) and Imma (PC). Coincidentally... Both accompanied by squirrels! (??).

29 January 2020

Need an Occasion to Write?

Do you know LetterMo? It is a letter writing challenge with two parts:
  • In February, mail an item every day. Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, a newspaper cutting. or a fabric swatch.
  • Write back to everyone who writes to you.

I have never done the challenge (although I usually finish February and I have sent 20 or 30 items anyway!). But I like a lot they list of occasions to write. Some prompts are very appealing!

(Click here to load a full page size PDF)

28 January 2020

UK's Curious Customs Stamps (3)

Up Helly Aa
Location: Lerwick, Shetland
Timing/Date: Last Tuesday in January
BackgroundUp Helly Aa is a famous fire festival which is now more than 100 years old.
As part of the festival, people in dress parade through the town whilst carrying blazing torches including the Guizer Squad who wear full Viking attire.
A full size wooden longship (which has been crafted over the preceding year) is pulled through the streets and is later ceremonially burned as part of the traditional festivities.
Other stamps of the Special Customs series:
- World Gurning Championships
- Same Sky Burning the Clocks

27 January 2020

Can It Be Duller?

These are the kind of labels that you get at the post office in Spain. Even if you ask for stamps, in some post offices they don't have any (or they say so). They put those on envelopes, little parcels and even postcards (Obviously, there is no room...).

As for the rates, this picture can be confusing, because these letters were sent in different years (19 Dec, 2019 / 3 Jan. 2020). The weight of both is the same (less than 20 grammes), but the small one is non-standard.

So the rate (within Spain) would be:

  • 2019: standard 0,60 € / non-standard 0,70
  • 2020: standard 0,65 € / non-standard 0,75 €

26 January 2020

Sunday Stamps | Chinese New Year

The theme of today's Sunday Stamps is Chinese New Year. The only Lunar New Year stamps I have got so far have come from the USA.

There is some gold foil on the stamp, but my picture doesn't show it well (See Finnbadger's picture!).

Bryon sent me some information about how this stamp was designed (click to enlarge):

And I can also show the following ones from past years (but recently received): Year of the Dog from Canada and Year of the Pig from Hungary..

25 January 2020

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

Received: A postcard I got from Bryon (the USA) for the Chinese New Year.

Sent: I made this scribble quickly on the back of a postcard, in order to illustrate the new year wishes sent to a couple of friends.

23 January 2020

Old Sign

Old sign indicating a post office, photographed in the old town of Tortosa. I wonder how long it will still be there...

21 January 2020

Museums of the World

Brugge, Belgium

Victoria and Albert Museum*
London, the UK

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York, the USA
Interior view of skylight, 1943, by Frank Lloyd Wright

Civic Museum “G. Fattori” Livorno, Italy
Ritratto di Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1882
By Vittorio Corcos

* Do you think they allow you swim in the fountain?!?

Postcards sent by Laura (the UK & Belgium), Phillip (the USA) and Bruno (PC).

19 January 2020

Sunday Stamps | Farming

The chosen theme in today's Sunday Stamps is Rural, Countryside.

This stamps were issued by Australian post on 26 June 2012 with the title Farming.  Actually, there were a forth stamp featuring oranges that you know I wouldn't mind to get...

18 January 2020

Women Alphabet | 3

The Grimké Sisters, Activists

Sarah Moore Grimké, 1792–1873
Angelina Emily Grimké, 1805–1879

Nellie Bly, Journalist, 1864-1922

Carol Burnett, Actor, Born 1933

Lucy Parsons, Activist, 1853-1942
Odetta Holmes, Singer, 1930-2008
The following ones arrived with the Christmas mail; hence the colours:
Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice,  born 1954
Patti Smith, Artist, born 1946

Kate Bornstein, Transgender Activist, born 1948
Isadora Duncan, Dancer, 1877-1927

Postcards sent by Phillip (the USA).


Women Alphabet | 1 (A, E, M, Q, T, U)
Women Alphabet | 2 (B, D, F, J)

17 January 2020


A semi-postal stamp or semipostal stamp, also known as a charity stamp, is a postage stamp issued to raise money for a particular purpose (such as a charitable cause) and sold at a premium over the postal value.

This one was issued by USPS on 2 December 2019, in order to raise funds to help treat those impacted by Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The green plant sprouting from the ground symbolizes the PTSD healing process, growth and hope (More information).

I received last week a postcard with one of those stamps (above), and then another one with two of those:

And, this week... an envelope with three of those semi-postals!

The last one, containing a beautiful New Year card. It is still January!
And now let us welcome the new year
full of things that have never been.
Reiner Maria Rilke

16 January 2020

Sorry, te laat

By Jan Tankink
It is hard to think of a snail that needs a traffic light in order not to walk too fast... :)

Card sent by Heleen (the Netherlands).

14 January 2020

Botanical Gardens on Postcards

Cambridge University Botanic Garden
The Main Walk in the early morning

Denver Botanic Gardens
Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center
Monet Pool Water Garden
Welcome Garden & Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory

Royal Horticultural Society
Tulip cultivar:Watercolour on vellum
by an anonymous Italian artist
17th or early 18th century

Postcards sent by Laura (the UK) and Peter (the USA).

13 January 2020

Happy 2020

I have got a couple of works from Philippe (France) to celebrate the final of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Of course... they arrived in the wrong order!

I have been told that you can say Happy New Year whenever you want as long as it is still January... And the postal services know that!

Postcard sent by Bryon (the USA). Postmarked on 24 December 2019, and arrived on 9 January.

12 January 2020

Sunday Stamps | A Lot of Flags

For today's theme in Sunday Stamps, Flags: Stamps with a lot of flags!

United Kingdom, 9 May 1979. The First Direct Election of the European Parliament (See the 4-stamps set.)

Bosnia & Herzegovina, 30 November 2005. The 50th Anniversary of the First EUROPA Stamps.

This was the whole set:

P.R. China, 22 October 2016. The 80th Anniversary of the Red Army Victory.

It was issued as a 3-stamps set:

10 January 2020

08 January 2020

Snowing Bear

Letter sent to Laura (the UK).

(From an original drawing by Les Chosettes)

05 January 2020

The Magi Are Arriving Tonight!

And they will bring presents... I hope!

This wonderful collaged envelope was sent by John (the UK).

03 January 2020

Evening Light

Evening light on the Lawley near Church Stretton, Shropshire

Although the screen does not do justice to their beauty, pictures taken in the evening light have something special, don't you think so?

Evening view of Minsk
Picture by Евгений Отцецкий

Ses Salines, Eivissa

Postcards sent by Alan (the UK), Julia (Belarus) and Lluïsa (PC).