Sunday, 24 February 2013

Sunday Stamps 082: The heavenly bodies on stamps

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Hey, there. I hope you're all enjoying a great Sunday. Today's spent for R and R after yesterday's kite flying trip outside of the city. Needless to say, we had fun yesterday even if the sun was really scorching hot. We spent about three hours under the sun flying kites. And not just any kite - it's a handmade-kite and attached to it is a camera rig. So we're not only flying the kites but also taking aerial photos. My husband's into kite aerial photography and every weekend we devote time to do just that. If you are interested, kindly visit his blog here - Kestrel KAP Cambodia. And please excuse the shameless plug :) 

Now on to the stamp. I found several stamps that fit into this week's theme but I had to choose only one stamp since I'm still feeling a little lazy after yesterday's outdoor activity. I'll make it up next time, promise.

Here it is, a beautiful black and white Europa stamp from Finland: 


The year 2009 was declared as the International Year of Astronomy. The theme year was endorsed by the UN and organised by the International Astronomical Union, with the slogan, The Universe - Yours to Discover. 

So in May of 2009, the Finnish Postal Service issued two Europa stamps, one of which I have above. The pair of stamps depict a fantasy landscape of lakes and different heavenly bodies. The stamp above bears a comet on its left side, accompanied by a lunar eclipse. The large planet shown on the stamp is Saturn.

Below is the pair's souvenir sheet. The other stamp that I don't hav has the Moon in the centre, with the Milky Way on the right side of the stamp.

Imaged nicked off GoogleImages.
 Isn't it gorgeous? Gosh, I want this sheet pronto.
It is amazing to see these heavenly bodies above us. One does not need a very high-tech telescope to do so, just look up to the sky one night and you'll know what I mean. Especially on a starry night, or a moon-lit night, one can't help but wonder about life and the vastness of the universe. It never fails to give me shivers, I kid you not.

But please, Lord. Don't let these heavenly bodies fall on earth.


Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sunday Stamps 081: Year of the Tiger

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In 2010, I received a Year of the Tiger postcard from Taiwan showing a beautiful painting of a tiger, looking sinister.

Year of the Tiger postcard , 2010, from Taiwan.

This is one of my favourite postcards (and the succeeding stamp, too) from Taiwan for I was born in the year of the Tiger.

At the back of the postcard, affixed is a matching tiger stamp issued by the Chunghwa Post of Taiwan in 2010 to welcome the Lunar Year of the Tiger.



The stamp features an image of a tiger gazing ahead which. according to the Chinese astrology, symbolizes farsightedness, optimism, enterprise and luck.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sunday Stamps 080: Embroidered orchids on Singaporean stamp

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Here's a special stamp for orchids lovers all over the world! 
I won a contest at Cherished Moments by SingPost page in Facebook and scored a special and unique stamp in a souvenir sheet. It is special in a sense that it features an embroidered stamp depicting the pigeon orchid. 

The SingPost issued this souvenir sheet in May 2009 along with two other definitives under the Flora and Fauna category.
As you can see, the stamp has three embroidered pigeon orchids fixed on the stamp. According to sources, this white fragrant flowers with yellow "throat" resemble a flying pigeon when viewed on the side. Hence, the name. The printing company must have used special types of machines to do this. I know that this is not the first time embroidered stamps were issued. I think the Swiss was the first to do so in 2000. However, this is the first of its kind in (and very much welcome addition to) my collection. How awesome is that? I mean, unique stamps like this are very much what collectors are after, isn't it?

What's more awesome is that I received this souvenir sheet with details and a personal note from a SingPost executive.

Okorn charan, Singapore Post! Thank you!

I don't know many women who received orchids, instead of roses, on Valentine's Day but I sure would be happy to get one. I think orchids, when chosen and arranged beautifully,  are gorgeous and a unique gift for Valentines. What about you?

We are also celebrating the Chinese New Year here in Cambodia, so Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone! May the Year of the Water Snake bring out the best in each of us.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Postcard Friendship Friday 084: Jeepney, the King of the Philippine Roads


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I was out cycling the other day with a friend when we passed by the Post Office. Of course, you know me, I would never ever let a chance to check my mailbox pass at every chance I get. Since we do not have any softride bike rack, my friend agreed to wait outside the building while I go check my mail. 

I wasn't disappointed! I had lots and among them... this postcard from my dear, Sam, from the Philippines! 

The Philippine Jeepney. They were once the King of the Philippine Roads.
The iconic jeepneys arethe most common mode of transportation and offers cheapest fares throughout the 7,000-plus islands of the Philippines. Jeepneys have no aircon and they are constantly packed with passengers.

The moment you get out of the Philippine airports you will be greeted by this colourful vehicles. They are like moving artworks because of the flashy paintings and decors that are guaranteed head-turners.

I should say this, that no trip to the Philippines would be complete without a jeepney ride.

Here's an interesting article about the Philippine jeepney.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday Stamps 079: Cool insects

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This week's theme is insects. Or bugs. Some people love to hate them.  I don't.  So what did I find from my collection this week? Here goes:

From a postcard from Qatar (sent by Rodel) here's one of the beautifully printed insect stamps from Qatar.

The migratory locust is one of the 20 insects printed on Qatari stamps in 1998.
The migratory locusts are found in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia and it is a major agricultural pest in many countries. The subspecies in Australia, Locusta migratoria migratorioides, is also found in Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea. 

Bee-hawk moth is one of the stamps depicted in the 2008 set issue of the Austrian Post advocating for environmental protection.

Bee-hawk moths are day-flyers and are said to be similar in appearance to  bumblebees. Their wings are transparent and have a rusty, brown border.  What a beauty, isn't it? They are found in North Africa, Europe, and Central and Eastern Asia.

I love these insects. But there are creepy-crawlies that I run away from. And these are the mean-looking  mosquitoes, beetles, ants, and spiders, with fangs as sharp as single edge razor blades that give me nightmares sometimes. 

Okay, enough of me. Let's see your kind of bugs or insects this week :)

Friday, 1 February 2013

Postcard Friendship Friday 083: Cambodia's King-Father Sihanouk

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Today is the first day of the four-day funeral ceremony of the King-Father Norodom Sihanouk. It began with a funeral procession this morning that took the King-Father's body from the Royal Palace, where it was lying in state for three months now, to the cremation site in front of the National Museum. Thousands of mourners attended the procession and the whole capital was noticeably in a sombre mood.

For this week's Postcard Friendship Friday, I am sharing with you an iconic landmark in Phnom Penh. This is where I first attended a ceremony where the then-King Norodom Sihanouk attended. 

This is the Vimean Eikareach, or the Independence Monument, an obra of Mr. Van Molyvann who is Cambodia's most influential modern architect. Built in 1958 to commemorate those who died during the wars and Cambodia's independence from France.
The Vimean Eikarech monument is located right smack in the city centre, on the intersection of Norodom and Sihanouk Boulevards. It's a reddish-brown monument that's in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, a style or design that is seen in the temples of Angkor and other historical sites. There is a pedestal in the middle where a ceremonial flame is lit by a royal or high official during important occasions. From afar, it looks like an electric fireplace especially when lit at night. Also, take note of the tuktuk (left) and the moto-dop (right) in the foreground. They are two of the common modes of transportation here in the Kingdom.

Too bad I did not really saw then-King Norodom up close because I was very far from the monument :( Since there are no postcards showing the King-Father, let me share with you a stamp issued in his honour.

Rest in peace Your Majesty King-Father. You will  be missed.
For those following the funeral ceremony of the King-Father, his body lies in state at the cremation site just a block away from the Royal Palace.  The body is scheduled to be cremated on Monday, February 4.


 
Images by Freepik