Saturday, January 29, 2011

Duke and Duchess from Luxembourg

Thanks a lot Arturo for my first cover from Luxembourg! :)  It was sent on the very last day of 2010 with special cancellation: Utilisez nos timbres de Noël (Use our Christmas stamps).  

The €0,50 stamp, issued on March 16, 2010, commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the Accession to the Throne of H.R.H. Grand Duke Heir Apparent Henri.

The €1,00 stamp marks the 25th Anniversary of the Death of H.R.H. Grand Duchess Charlotte (1896-1985).

Yellowhammer - Bruant jaune

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bicentenary of The Great Post Road in Indonesia

On September 27, 2008, the POS Indonesia issued a set of 4 postage stamps and a miniatures sheet to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Great Post Road.  Thank you very much Nella for sending this cover with 1 of the 4 stamps! :D

Nella also joined this nice postcard of the "Tanah Lot Temple" in Bali, western Indonesia.  "Tanah Lot" means "Land in the Sea" in Balinese language and is located in Tabanan, about 20km from Denpasar, the capital city of Bali.  The temple sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide.  At the base of the temple, poisonous snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best Wishes from Monaco

A special thank you to David for this very beautiful cover from Monte Carlo with this superb machine cancellation for the festive season: Meilleurs Voeux (Best Wishes).

The 0,58€ stamp was issued on October 4, 2010 for Christmas with the designer, Elena Zaika, representing Christmas with festivity and children in mind: the distribution of presents by Father Christmas on his reindeer.

André MEHU. "Locmaria, Groix"

The 2nd stamp, issued on January 29, 2009 and with denomination 0,87€, commemorates the centenary of the channel crossing by Louis Blériot.  Pioneering pilot in French aviation, Louis Blériot did not hesitate to rise to the challenge, laid down by the Daily Mail, to cross the English Channel.  So on July 25, 1909, he took off from the village of Les Barraques near Calais to reach Dover in 37 minutes aboard the Blériot XI that he designed himself in association with Raymond Saunier.  This exploit brought him the sum of 25,000 gold francs.  The stamp portrays Louis Blériot and his aircraft above the English Channel.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi & Mother Teresa from India

Thanks to Niraj who, with this cover, allows me to talk about Mahatma Gandhi  (Re1) and Mother Theresa (Rs20), two prominent figures of the last century.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 - 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement.  He pioneered the resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly based on total nonviolence.  This concept  helped India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Mother Teresa (26 August 1910 -5 September 1997), born Agnes Gonhxa Bojaxhiu, was a Catholic nun of Albanian origin and Indian citizenship, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta in 1950.  For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphans and dying.  She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Rhatna, in 1980 for her humanitarian work.  Following her death, she was beatified by the Pope John Paul II and given the title Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Postcard from Xiamen

Xiamen (厦门) is a coastal city in southeastern China.  It is located in the Fujian Province and is famous for being an ancestral home to overseas Chinese.  Xiamen became one of China's earliest Special Economic Zones and has a population of 2.5 million.   This postcard, sent on December 31, 2010, illustrates a map of the city.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cover from Jimei University

The Jimei University (集美大学) is a public university located in Xiamen, Fujian.  Founded in October 1994, the university was the result of combing 5 institutes and colleges in the Jimei Schools Village.  I had the chance to receive a cover of this University sent from Xiamen (厦门) on December 31, 2010. :)

The sable (Martes zibellina), a species of marten, and the saiga (Saiga tatarica) are illustrated on the 2,60元 and 5.40元 respectively.

The 1.20元 shows a Beijing opera performer.  The Peking opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics.

Two beautiful stamps on the verso also.  They both portray scenery of China.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sea Turtles from Indonesia

In order to help preserving sea turtles, the POS Indonesia issued a set of 4 postage stamps on November 24th, 2010 depicting 4 different species. 

Turtle is a species of ancient heritage. They have been inhabiting the earth from the Triassic age , which was in the range of approximately 220 million years ago. Turtles have managed to survive past the age where dinosaurs did not successfully adapt and survive themselves. Now, the turtle is again experiencing severe challenges in the era of modern humans.

Being home to 6 of 7 species of sea turtles in the world, Indonesia plays an important role in the conservation of this protected species. The number of turtles has drastically reduced, thus threatening the species on the verge of extinction.

The extinction of sea turtles is caused by human activities that are not environmentally friendly such as coastal development destroying the place where turtles lay their eggs, turtles hunting, eggs stealing, accidental capture (by-catch) by shrimp and tuna fishermen and disposal of garbage on the beach and sea.  A very slow turtle reproduction system is  unable to keep up the rate of drastic population decline. 

Thank you very much Irene for this lovely cover sent from Malang on the first day of issue! :D  The illustration on the cover is very picturesque...

Thank you also for this very nice mint block!

1/4 - Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)
2/4 - Green turtle (Chelonia myaas)
3/4 - Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
4/4 - Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

Monday, January 10, 2011

My First Cover from India


Thank you very much Col for this very nice cover sent from Bangalore on December 30 last.  The stamps are really awesome, especially the New Year one.  :)

Again, the Office of Exchange notified they received this mail with tape...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My First Cover from Liechtenstein

A special thanks to Vural for sending this awesome cover from Vaduz, the capital city of the Principality of Liechtenstein, a European country of about 35,000 inhabitants.  The cover was sent on December 15, 2010 and arrived 2 days ago (the cancellation is just perfect!) :) 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Traditional Games

The MPL issued a set of 4 postage stamps on December 7, 2006 on the theme "Traditional games".

Rs5 - Sapsiwaye
This is an age-old game which originates from China but not well known to the present generation.  The game became extremely popular among boys because of its highly challenging nature.  In fact, juggling the sapsiwaye, which is now made of a bundle of elastic bands tied together in the form of a daisy, with one foot and as many times as possible without letting it fall is quite difficult.

Rs10 - Marbles
The game of marbles dates as far back as the time of Romans.  The ones played with in Mauritius are commonly called as 'canettes' and are mostly made of glass.  The object of the marble game is to roll, throw, drop or knuckle marbles against an opponent's marbles, often to knock them out of a prescribed area and so win them.

Rs15 - Hopscotch
Hopscotch, commonly known as 'La Marelle' in Mauritius, which is in fact its French name, is a wonderful hopping game that can be played on a bare patch of ground or on a floor.  It is  a game based on the idea of not treading on lines.  There are many variations of diagrams but the French and Chinese styles are the 2 commonly used in Mauritius.  Chalk or masking tape is used to draw a hopscotch pattern on the floor and each player has a marker such as stone, beanbag, bottle cap, shell, button and so on.

Rs25 - Kite Flying
Kites are usually made of paper affixed to one or more spar of wood or similar material and are steered using a length of twine attached.  For the Mauritian traditional kites, flat bamboo sticks were used to make the frames and muslin paper to cover them.  For those who could not afford to buy muslin paper, old newspaper was used instead.  They also needed a long tail.

The FDC depicts a hopscotch diagram and marbles.

Friday, January 7, 2011

40th Anniversary of Sonelgaz in Algeria

I'm proud to show you my first cover from Algeria (a FDC in fact!) sent on November 11 from Imama.  Un grand merci à Omar! :D

The 15 dinar stamp, which shows the logo designed to mark this anniversary, was issued on July 28th, 2009 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Sonelgaz (Société Nationale de l'Electricité et du Gaz): a state-owned utility in charge of electricity and gas distribution in Algeria.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Grand Bay PO

This is a cover sent from Grand Bay with the first date stamp for 2011 (4 JA 11).  It took only 2 days to reach my address; the MPL is improving!  Got some photos of the post office for you too...


Since it was the 1st day of the year, the post office was unfortunately closed... :(

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Postcard from London

A new postcard from the UK! :)  This one features the famous Tower Bridge in London, over the River Thames.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mail from the Mauritius Post

Letter from the Mauritius Post with GPO date stamp (21 December 2010 - Counter 9) received on December 23.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


The MPL issued a set of 4 postage stamps on June 5th, 2006 on the theme "Ecology" to mark the Environment Day.

Rs2 - Biological Control/ Locust Predation 1973
Red locusts (Nomadacris septemfasciata), were periodically destroying food crops on the island.  After an unsuccessful attempt by the French Authorities in 1759, another flock of Indian mynah was released from Mr. Modave's premises in the Plaine Wilhems.  The birds came to be locally known as "Martins" after the Captain of the vessel La Gracieuse which brought the birds from Pondichery.

Rs8 - Fish Repopulation/ Artificial Reefs 1980
Artificial reefs have been created for centuries by fishermen intent on increasing their catch.  The Mauritius Marine Conservation Society, the Mauritian Scuba Diving Association and the National Coast Guard with the help of the Mauritius Marine Authority have created artificial reefs by sinking 14 vessels around Mauritius since 1980, in depth of 12 to 73 metres of water.  Many local fishermen know the location of those artificial reefs and fish on these sites.

Rs10 - Erosion Control/ Terraces in Rodrigues 1958
During the mid 20th century, in Rodrigues, the Agricultural Department developed the concept of terraced areas, to fight erosion and to make arable land available to a maximum number of families. They were plots of land which were tie-ridged to allow for contour planting of foodcrops and fodder.

Rs25 - First Captive Breeding of Giant Tortoises
The giant tortoises were once present all over the world.  In the mid 19th century, due to inconsiderate killing, only 2 species remained alive, namely the Geochelone gigantea in Aldabra atoll and the other in the Galapagos.  When British scientists learned the atoll was to be commercially exploited, they wrote to the Governor of Mauritius eargerly pressing him to acclimate the tortoises in Mauritius and the Seychelles, as they feared for their future.  The Governor replied favorably and in 1881 the first tortoises were successfully transferred to Pamplemousses Garden and in the Seychelles.  It was the first instance of a successful breeding programme to save an endangered species.  Today the Aldabra tortoise is no longer in danger (150,000 spread all throughout the world) and its native island is part of the world heritage.

The FDC shows the Environment Protection Act - 2002 and the envelope is made of recyclable paper.