Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday Stamps: Post on Post

Sunday Stamps time of the week again! This week's theme calls for entries on the postal services. So herein is the I heart post's post on postal stamps featuring post. Tongue twister, much?

Click for larger image and to read text explaining the historical setting illustrated in the stamps

So this week I thought I would share a presentation pack produced for National Stamp Week in 1980. Unfortunately this particular stamp pack has aged quite badly - the stamps are still beautiful - but the presentation pack itself has suffered from 'foxing'. I am not sure if I am using this term properly, but the pack has developed some brown spots, which is a little bit sad. If anyone has any advice on what I should do about said foxing, I would be very happy to hear it.

Luckily the stamps are still very beautiful. I love that the bright red colour of the post box, the postman's uniform and of the vehicle, really stands out and links the design of the five stamps together so nicely. I also really love that the designer has chosen to use colonial buildings (presumably post offices) as the back drop to the stamps.

Also, as an added extra, I thought I would also show off these nice little stamps which celebrate the Birth of the Post Office. They are overprinted with Norfolk Island, so I thought that would tie-in quite nicely with last week's Sunday Stamps post too.

Check out what other bloggers have chosen to share this week through the following Sunday Stamps link:

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Postcards from Egypt on ANZAC day

I have mentioned Grandma Nellie on this blog quite a lot, because she recently gave me her stamp collection. However, she gave me another gift several years ago, before I travelled to Egypt, which I treasure perhaps even more than the stamps. She gave me two souvenir postcard books her father sent back to his sister from Egypt during World War I, while he was serving in the Australian Light Horse Brigade.

As today is ANZAC day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase these beautiful postcard books. These postcards have been passed down to me because 98 years ago, a young man from rural Victoria went all the way across the world to spend four years of his life apart from his family and friends and the security of his home to fight a distant war.

Grandma Nellie speaks often and warmly of her kind father, 'Pa-sie' (as in Pa, but with an affectionate flourish of an added "sie/sey": I have no idea how to spell that) and so I cherish these little tokens I have from him.

I love that the Port Said book has a thumbnail image and a place to record to whom you sent the corresponding card!
I find the postcard books absolutely the most stunning items of ephemera, and I love the exotic images within the covers, and the texture of the pages, and the fact that there are sheets of fine tissue paper between each card.

These postcards conjure for me a romanticised past: I can't help it, but I see them and imagine men with bushy moustaches in nice white linen suits (and oh golly - I bet one or two wore a pith helmet and a safari suit!) exploring amazing places on the edges of the 'civilised world' -or beyond the British Empire. I love the fictional world I see in these postcard images, and wish that I could travel there.

The stark reality is, of course, that these postcards have come to me after being sent home from a war, and there is nothing romantic, exotic or beautiful about that. But I still love these postcard books, and have had them tucked away for several years, so it is really nice to get them out and truly appreciate them today. Thank you Pasie.

Lest we forget. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sunday Stamps: Norfolk Island Map Stamps

Norfolk Island UPU Centenary Issue 1974, Miniature sheet.

Seeing as the theme for Sunday Stamps this week is unspecified, I thought I would take the opportunity to show off a recent acquisition relating to my favourite theme: maps on stamps.

This stamps in this set from Norfolk Island are Awesome x 2. Not only do they depict maps, they are mini maps! For those of you wondering where Norfolk Island is -the 40c stamp provides the answer.

Norfolk Island is a self-governing territory of Australia, which means that it has an Australian post code, Australian currency and Australian police, but it has its own government and its own postage stamps!

The stamps commemorate the Universal Postal Union Centenary and were issued in 1974. The stamps are quite large and are like stickers, the reverse of which  tells you about Norfolk Island:

I love the topographic detail on the mini-sheet - it almost looks like the island could have come straight out of Tolkien's Middle Earth. The reverse of the mini-sheet, in contrast, looks like it has come straight out of a 1970s tourism brochure. I love it!!

All images are click-able for a better view!

This is an entry into Viridian's Sunday Stamps. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Birthday Post

Last week it was my birthday, and not only did I receive post in my mailbox, I also received post as presents. It was a very lovely day. First of all, my gorgeous housemate Mel gave me a gorgeous little stamp album full of treasures that she picked up at the Camberwell Market. Thanks Mel!

We had fun leafing through and picking out our favourites over breakfast. Mel loved the German "Deutsche Bundespost" page of stamps. I agree that they are quite wonderful - the colours are so vibrant!

The pages of Canadian stamps were my pick of the bunch though. I love how higgeldy-piggeldy they are arranged, but together they just look beautiful. The colours are much more muted than the German stamps - but there is a stamp with a map on it - so the Canadian stamps win the race. There is also a stamp with mountain goats on it, and I can't go past that either.

The stamp album was my first tasty treat of the day. Then, when I arrived home from work, I had post in my mailbox! Yay! And my wonderful friend Sandy, who is living half a world away from me at the moment, sent me a parcel of post.

She found a random collection of postcards from c.1987 at an Edinburgh car boot sale for me! I love them. These two are my favourites:

They are all addressed to a Mr. Andrew Anderson, who apparently was known as "Nan" to his nearest and dearest, but as "Andy" to his boss. He lived on on Annandale Street on the "Top Flat Right" (is that a normal way of addressing something in Edinburgh? It is a bit quaint. I like it.) And in 1988 he had a girlfriend named Sarita. I love this little snapshot of a life.

Can anyone work out who signed this card? 
For my birthday I organised a casual get together at my favourite pub: the Post Office Hotel. I hadn't actually thought about the name until my sister noted that this current obsession I have with post is manifesting itself in all sorts of different ways! Everyone is noticing too - even my work friends made me a beautiful birthday card decorated with post.

So, whether it be because I am greedy after enjoying birthday post, or because I am becoming an obsessive, the latest addition to this blog is that I am moving back from the virtual into the real world and I have gained myself a mailing address.   You can contact I heart post at:

PO BOX 4102

Write to me and tell me about why you love David Bowie, what your superstitions are, your Mum's lasagne recipe or about the book you just read. You could even write to me about the weather. I don't mind. I just heart post, so I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from you. You would make a girl's day.

And to all the lovely people who made my day by sending me messages and post on my birthday: thanks a bunch. I heart you even more than I heart post.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Sunday Stamps: The Man from Snowy River

This week on Sunday Stamps, the theme is 'poetry'. In order to play along, I have chosen a series of stamps inspired by a film inspired by a poem.

There was movement at the station...

The Man from Snowy River, by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson was turned into a classic Australian film in 1982, starring a young and very lovely Sigrid Thornton. I only came across these stamps for the first time two weeks ago, and being a fan of the movie, I was an instant fan of the stamps and I purchased them immediately. I am so glad Sunday Stamps has given me an excuse to share them. To get in the spirit, here is a tasty reminder of the film:

I love this film, and revisiting the trailer makes me very nostalgic! It is so cheesy! So 80s!

"that terrible descent"
The stamps were not in fact released until 1987, right before the Man from Snowy River II was released. So the stamps may not really be officially linked to the film, and that is just my own connection upon seeing the stamps and thinking "film" not "poem"; but to me the images on the stamps look like painted stills from the first movie.  The middle stamp of the strip of five, labelled "that terrible descent" represents the film's most famous and breath-taking scene, taken straight from the poem itself.
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough
       and broken ground,
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and
At the bottom of that terrible descent.
The poem 'The Man From Snowy River' was first published in the Bulletin in April 1890. Banjo Paterson is perhaps our nation's most famous poet and is responsible for turning tales of the Australian bush into folklore.  And while I clearly have a greater love for the film over the poem, I do respect the man's work. After all, he also penned our unofficial national anthem 'Waltzing Matilda', which, by-the-by, also features on a set of stamps:

Waltzing Matilda issued in 1980

I was watching a doco on tv the other night, and learned that from a billabong in outback Queensland, near where Banjo supposedly wrote his famous poem 'Waltzing Matilda', there is a big paleontological site. And Banjo Paterson now has his own dinosaur: the Australovenator wintonensis is lovingly nicknamed 'Banjo' by paleontologists.

Although featuring on a stamp (or stamps, in Banjo's case) would be pretty amazing, I have to say having a dinosaur named after you totally takes the cake.

You can read the full text of the Man from Snowy River, from the 1919 edition of the book  below. Enjoy! Meanwhile, I have a sudden urge to go and watch a cheesy 80s period drama...

Hope you enjoyed this edition of Sunday Stamps. Check out the stamps and poems other bloggers have chosen through the link below:

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

I heart Australian Antarctic Territory stamps

Within my stamp collection my stamps from the Australian Antarctic Territory are particularly treasured. This is why I have used some of the AAT stamps for the background image of this blog (notice what I did there.. AAT: that is the stamp-nerd acronym for Australian Antarctic Territory) . This week I thought I would properly share with you the stamps that so tantalisingly peek out around the edges of my blog.

$1 - Parahelion "Mock Sun".
(I have never heard the word Parahelion before, but I like it. I will try to drop it into everyday conversation soon.)

I generally love AAT stamps because they feature beautiful icy landscapes and cute penguins. But this particular set is about my favourite set of stamps EVER. I just love the fluoro orange that features on them.

Doesn't this helicopter look like it has come straight off a James Bond set?
I love the romanticism of Antarctica - the deserts of ice rather than sand that are so inhibiting yet exhilarating. A frontier if ever there was one. I have always wanted to travel there. And this set of 1966 stamps makes me want to go there even more.

I bought an incomplete set at the end of last year from "Rusty's" in Rosedale while there on a fieldtrip for work. Rusty told me that the higher value stamps were harder to come by. I loved them immediately so I bought the incomplete set. But thanks once again to Grandma Nellie's collection, I now have the full set. Not only that, but Grandma had kept the original packaging.

The series of stamps is highlighting Australian scientific research in Antarctica and the brochure that goes with the stamps tells me that:

  • Antarctica was first circumnavigated by James Cook in 1772-5
  • The first Australian Expedition was that of Mawson in 1911-14
  • Australian scientists on Antarctica are involved in meteorology, cosmic rays (! More James Bond?), auroral displays, seismology, biology and geomagnetism. I don't know what geomagnetism is, but it sounds sexy.
Not only that, but the brochure gives a proper definition of what  a parahelion is:
"an antarctic mirage seen when microscopic ice crystals in the air reflect back the real sun and ghostly counterparts of it, ranged round the horizon and connected by bands of light."
I think I just found another reason to want to go to Antarctica.

As it turns out, when you used to buy philatelic material from the Australian Post Office in the 60s, not only did you get a brochure telling you all these cool facts - you also received a gorgeous little greeting card to match the stamp issue. And, oh how I am loving the ephemera! And on that note, just to prove once and for all that my collection is getting a little out of hand, last week I bought the following book - just because the illustrations were cool and it kind of matched my stamp collection:
1960 edition. This is the back cover - but I just love the orange snow-vehicle.
So. AAT stamps. Absolutely my favourite. Thanks for letting me show them off.

1c - Aurora and Camera Dome; 2c Banding Penguins.