Monday 24 June 2013

Greetings from Gazipaşa

Hey folks! Greetings from Gazipaşa, Turkey.
I find myself here embarking on an adventure much dreamed about: an Indiana Jones-esque escapade digging up an ancient Roman city by the mediterranean coast in modern-day southern Turkey. It is pretty awesome.

I have managed to find a tenuous post link, you will all be happy to know. My first night in Turkey was spent in Antalya, where I visited Hadrian's Gate. And lo and behold, when I bought a stamp to send off my first postcard of the trip, it featured Hadrian's Gate. So here it is:

Now I am in Gazipaşa, a good three hour bus-ride from Antalya, where our dig-house is located. Our dig-house is normally a soccer club's football rooms, which have been transformed into dorms for our purposes. It is a pretty great set-up. Our site that we are digging up is about half an hour from here, and is the Roman city of "Antiochia ad Cragum," or "Antioch on the Cliffs."

The above photo is taken from the entry gates to the Roman city, overlooking the countryside with the Mediterranean sea beyond.  The Roman city is amazing. There is a temple that dates to the end of the 2nd Century AD; the remains of three bath-houses - one major one surrounded by an elaborate mosaic inside the city gates, one smaller bath-house outside the gates, and one down by the sea; there is the remains of the colonnaded street, which would have had shops lining it and a stunning view over the Sea.
Getting a site tour
Inside the outer bath-house
Part of the colonnaded street
A road sign in Latin

The focus of our excavations this season is on what we think is the city Agora, or marketplace. And after two days of glorified gardening - removing a thousand different types of prickle bushes - in order to reveal the ground surface, by Friday we were ready to get into it. I am in a trench with Mary Ann, and we are excavating on top of a mound that may be a temple. I am pretty excited to get into it next week.

Mary Ann and I standing in the middle of our trench pre-excavation
Anyhow, after our first week of work, our hard slog was rewarded with a swim in the "Pirate's Cove."

You can't really beat that, right? 

So, that is my first week in Turkey done... and I am very much looking forward to the second.

Tuesday 11 June 2013

World Stamp Expo Fun Times!


So this blogging game has gotten away from me recently, and as a result there is a bit of catching up to do. About a month ago I was very excited to attend the World Stamp Expo, which was being held in my hometown of Melbourne. The WORLD STAMP EXPO!

The Expo was held at the Royal Exhibition Building, a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed building located in the Carlton Gardens. I dragged my dutiful boyfriend along, who patiently accompanied through the myriad stalls from various postal authorities from around the globe. I also dragged my friend Grant along - but he chose to lie in the sun for a couple of hours in the Gardens instead. Each to their own (but you missed out on some fun, Grant!).

As you could well imagine, I made a few purchases over the course of the day. My little bag was full (and my bank account empty) by the end of it. I got a souvenir minisheet to add to my royal kitsch collection, embossed with the Expo logo on it.  And I just couldn't help myself, also adding to my royal collection I got a Wills and Kate FDC.

Moving away from my tacky fascination with royals, I also indulged my love of maps, and found this amazingly beautiful minisheet from Greenland. What a find!

I also visited Deutsche Post, and purchased this lovely minisheet as it features both a map element and the Antarctic, and I love the Antarctic. The combinations of boats and ice always make for beautiful images. Would you agree?

I also found these awesome Indonesian stamps, which I saw when I visited there last year, but resisted buying at the time due to budgetary constraints.

The stamps depict traditional fabric designs from around Indonesia. They are quite lovely, in my opinion.

Anyhow that is a sample of my many purchases from the World Stamp Expo 2013.  It was a very fun day out for a big stamp nerd like me.

And now this stamp nerd is signing off for the time being. I am about to head to Turkey for six and a half weeks! I am very excited and will be working on a Roman archaeological site on the south coast. It is an absolute dream come true and I can't wait to be archaeologising on the other side of the world. So I will try and post to this blog (probably fairly irregularly) over the coming few weeks, but the posts will be archaeologic rather than philatelic in nature. But watch this space!

Thursday 9 May 2013

Map stamps post!

Hello blog-world! It has been a little while and I have missed you! I have wanted to share this wonderful package that I received from  João in Brazil for ages - but it has taken me a little while to get my act into gear. First of all - let's appreciate the gorgeous envelope.

How cool is it that there is a special postmark that matches the stamps? Crazy cool!! It is sometimes hard to judge scale on these scanned images of stamps, but the animal stamps are lovely big square stamps. My favourite though, are the stamps the ones that refer to bookplates: the ex libris stamps.

Aren't these stamps wonderful?  They feature bookplates AND a world map. Two of my favourite things! Anyhow, if you think the outside of the envelope was cool... wait til you see what is inside!

I think I love little envelopes of stamps more than I love albums of stamps. I love the colours through the glassine paper of the envelopes, I love that the envelopes are mini, and I love that a little envelope of stamps makes you thumb through the stamps so that you can appreciate them in a more tactile way than if you have them stuck in the austere pages of an album.

Of course, traditional philatelists would be horrified at the thought of grubby oily hands on precious stamps, but I just can't resist the temptation of getting a little collection like this, from a little pocket, and spreading it over the table and admiring each individual stamp, picking them up one by one and examining them.

To do that in a blog sense, to spread the stamps from the above little pocket all over the desk and appreciate them one by one, I have scanned a sample for you to enjoy:

Fantastic collection of map stamps, right? And this is only a sample! Thankyou  João! I am still collecting a few little things to send to you in return.

This weekend in Melbourne it is probably the biggest weekend in philately circles for the year/decade... it is the World Stamp Expo 2013! So you know what I am going to be busy doing this weekend!! I will be sure to let you know how it goes.

Monday 22 April 2013

Royal Kitsch Birthday Giveaway Results

Good evening lovely blog-readers.

Just a quick update regarding my recent giveaway. I just used to work out the winner...


(drumroll please)


Thank you to the five wonderful people who entered the competition. I so appreciate your readership and comments!

I will be posting out to Laura the little "Royal Kitsch" pack I have put together, containing five envelopes, some royal stamps for fun crafting and the Prince Charlie and Lady Di stamp set.  I hope you enjoy them Laura!

Sunday 14 April 2013

Life Insurance Lighthouses: Sunday Stamps

So Sunday has rolled around once again and it is back to work tomorrow. But before the weekend is completely done, it is time to participate in Sunday Stamps.

The theme this week is lighthouses, and I have the perfect cover to share.

I remembered this cover after I had already posted about lighthouses the last time, and was annoyed I had left it out. Luckily it now comes in handy for today's Sunday Stamps. The cover comes from my Grandpa Jeff's collection. I am not sure why the New Zealand Government Life Insurance Department were issuing stamps, but I do like their work very much.

The stamps are nice, right?

To see what other lighthouse stamps people have found to share this week, click on the Sunday Stamps link below.

Also, I am running a little giveaway at the moment, so please do check it out and enter! Happy Sunday everyone.

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Thursday 11 April 2013

Bestest Post Eva!

Yesterday I received one of the best bits of post in the mail ever! From my very gorgeous young cousin Lucas. 

Sending post AND now collecting stamps too. What a champ! Thanks Lucas!

Also just a quick reminder I have a giveaway running at the moment. Check it out and enter away!

I have just joined up Bloglovin, lest I lose track of all my favourite blogs when google gets rid of reader... Feel free to join me and follow along! :)

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