Sunday, 28 February 2016

Oddities - Sunday Stamps II

Recently I was given an old album in which were two stamps (both the same) from a country whose stamps I had never seen before.

The odd shape would catch anyone's attention and the fact that Sierra Leone is the 'Land of Iron and Diamonds' was also new to me.

Sierra Leone -17 December 1965
The stamp is in the shape of the kola nut. The nut from the kola tree is a source of caffeine used in beverages and is the source of the word 'cola'.

I thought that my second 'oddity' had been over printed; it appears to show part of Italy too despite the stamp being from - 

Switzerland - 12 September 1968
It comes from a 'Celebrations' theme and the event concerned appears to be the 25th anniversary of land planning (Landesplanung). I'm guessing there was cooperation between the two countries even although WWII was still in progress in 1943 - Italy surrendered to the Allies on October 13 that year.

For other oddities cross over to Sunday-Stamps-II-63.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Bird of the Week

I intend to post some bird  photos each week - ideally one taken specially for the 'series'.

Here is one of my favourite birds.

Singing his heart out on a frosty morning.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunset - Sunday Stamps II

I have only one sunset to show and that's on the largest of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

USA - Hagatna Bay - 1 June 2007
It features a photo by Michael S Yamashita. Hagatna is the capital of Guam.

The only other stamp in my collection that carries a sun does not really meet the theme this week, but nevertheless I will include it.

Hungary - 9 May 1963
This and the other 11 in the set appear to be space related but actually they commemorated the Conference of Postal Ministers of Socialist Countries.

As you can see the centre 'stamp' represents Shqiperia, aka Albania.

To see the sun rise or set elsewhere please visit Sunday-Stamps-II-62.

As a last minute idea I could not resist adding a stamp from the 'Land of the Rising Sun.'

Japan - 9 October 2014

Friday, 19 February 2016

Holiday Dogs - Sepia Saturday

I meet many dogs in our village. This is a Lhasa Apso named 

He gives me my first link to our prompt for this week.

Billie Holiday with a dog
One dog which always has a place in our heart belonged to my wife's sister but resided with her mother in the 1950s. He has appeared on my Sepia posts before, but deserves another outing.

Now when we go on holiday we always get involved with dogs - and they regard it as a holiday too. These two we didn't know but they loved a Cornish beach.

Paddling on Crantock beach
My daughter's dogs in Michigan always look on it as a holiday when we are there. One of them was always content to practise his favourite sport alone.

Cody fishing for frogs
Buster however was always impatient when we took him out in Caranton Woods in Cornwall.

Come on you two. Keep up!
The dog park near my daughter's home was a place her dogs always loved. It meant that they could dive in and climb out up a ramp.

Cody, Scout, Lily and Gem after a swim off the jetty
Of course there was also the ever present tennis ball to play with, if Cody didn't wander off to look for a treat by sitting down at somebody's holiday picnic spread.

Scout was named after the girl in Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' even although he is a boy. 

It seems appropriate somehow to finish this post with him on the day that the death of Harper Lee is announced.

Scout - at rest
RIP Harper Lee.

To check how others have interpreted the prompt this week stroll over to the links at Sepia-Saturday-318.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cold - Thematic Photography

Well we have had some snow at last, but not deep enough to be measured and it was gone within 12 hours.

Yesterday morning  was very cold and we had an unusual sight in the garden. in fact something we had never seen before.

Bird bath with a upward icicle

9-10 inches long
With nothing but ice inside

It can't have been formed from drips from the tree on the left that is over 4 feet away.

Our leaning 'tower' of ice survived for nearly eight hours, slowly melting away.

Carmi's request for us to post something cold at Thematic-photographic-366. couldn't have been better timed.

And we have been left wondering how our icicle came about.

Next day the Weather Eye column in the Times explained how ice spikes like ours are formed.

Basically its created by the expansion of ice, by about 8%, when it freezes. A sheet of ice on a pool like a bird bath spreads from the sides towards the centre, until only a small hole is left on the frozen surface.

Ice starting to form below the hole can push water up, forming a hollow spike of ice, rather like a straw. As more water is pushed up the 'straw', it freezes round the rim at the top - and so the spike grows longer. Eventually the whole tube of water freezes, leaving the pinnacle of ice standing up like a spike.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Colour Red - Sunday Stamps II

Finding a stamp that was red without another shade or colour proved more difficult than I thought.

These two are the best I could come up with.

Spain - 24 March 1963
This was one of a set of stamps showing stamps by Jose de Ribera and depicts St John the Bapist.

My GB stamp this week was one of a set commemorating the London 2010 Festival of Stamps and the Centenary of the Accession of King George V.

Great Britain - 6 May 2010
Oh and the Gibbons' catalogue calls the colour 'rosine'.

For other shades of red just visit the links at Violet's Sunday-Stamps-ii-61.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Fore! - Sepia Saturday

When I started at St Andrews University in 1955 I had never played golf.

It was also the first time that I had seen the Royal & Ancient, fifty years after this photograph was dated.

R&A Clubhouse 1905
It may not have a foursome like those in our prompt but I will leave you to judge which ones are more appropriately dressed.

In my time at St Andrews, and a point that I regret, I never played there. Of course time on putting greens did not count,

Not a time to get the yips
especially when your opponent is your girl friend at the time.

It was 20+ years later that she became a golfing widow.
I was over 50 when, while working in Stavanger, I took up golf seriously - there is no other way to play it.

Over the years in between I suppose we played a few round of crazy golf but it was the 1990s, back in England, that I achieved a measure of success with the CEGB Canute Golfing Society and on Teesside at Billingham Golf Club.

A modest haul of trophies
Since then I've played in a number of countries including Scotland (of course - but not St Andrews), Denmark and the USA.

I never managed to beat my son-in-law.

Winter golf - Steven drives off at Oxford Hills, Michigan
And at the 13th it's my turn on this par 3 with a creek and a steep bank in front of the green.

Bobble hat and gloves - not shorts weather at all
I have struggled to beat my daughter, even on the Mountain Flowers Par 3 at the Homestead, Michigan's freshwater resort on Lake Michigan.

Rachel by the side of a Mountain Flowers green
Some holes on this course were quite a challenge.

The green may be only 190yds away but it's still a daunting drive.
On all courses however you will come across the posers.

One is a bronze!
Water is often a hazard to be avoided like this lake at Mulberry Hills, Michigan.

And in recent winters may make it necessary to close the course.

Flooding at Billingham golf course
If you hit a ball into water sometimes you may need a helping hand.

Or mouth
But the best water(ing) hole of all is always the one like this.

Approaching the 19th hole at Mulberry Hills
To see how others have succeeded with golf or other shots, visit the links at Sepia-Saturday-317

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Illustrations - Sunday Stamps II

Charles Dickens was born today in 1812. Three years ago I posted a set of stamps which commemorated the centenary of his death in 1870.

Here they are again.

Great Britain
If you know your Dickens you will recognise the books from the illustrations.

  • Mr Pickwick and Sam by Hablot Knight Brown (aka Phiz). The stamp shows part of the illustration of Mr Pickwick and Sam Weller in the attorney's office. (Novel - The Pickwick Papers)
  • Mr & Mrs Micawber, again by Phiz, part of an illustration entitled 'Micawbers reunited'. (Novel - David Copperfield)
  • David Copperfield and Betsy Trotwood (Phiz)
  • Oliver Twist by George Cruikshank in the illustration 'Oliver asks for more'.

As my daughter is an attorney in the States I decided I should include a Law and Order stamp.

United States - 1968
I thought immediately that this had to be an illustration by Norman Rockwell as it was so similar to a stamp shown before by another participant in Sunday Stamps.

USA - 1963
Norman Rockwell left school at 15. He served in WWI and by the 1920s was a leading Post cover illustrator. He is probably best known for his 300+ covers for the Saturday Evening Post depicting people doing common things. His 1943 Four Freedoms paintings have also appeared on US stamps.

However the Law and Order stamp was not Rockwell but by Edward Vebell, a fencer and illustrator. He had a long run as Readers Digest's most popular illustrator.

In 2010 the Norman Rockwell Museum put on an exhibition of Vebell's work so there is a link between the two.

For other illustrations/illustrators just visit the links at Sunday-Stamps-II-60.