Sunday, 20 April 2014

Chinese horoscope

In the limited time I have these days, I searched high and low for any signs of the zodiac that I hadn't already posted.  I'm having to show the Year of the Horse stamp from Taiwan but at least this time it's on a different postcard, one that shows all the Chinese signs of the zodiac, running right to left, top to bottom:

We tend to think the signs are allocated to years in Chinese astrology but in fact they are also assigned to months, days and hours.  The year sign is how you appear to others, the month is how you are internally, the day sign is how you really are, and the hour denotes your secret self.

The card shows a paper cut-out silhouette. Chinese paper-cutting has been listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps, run by Viridian. Click on the button to visit and discover more.

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Friday, 18 April 2014

Borobudur Temple

One of the 72 seated Buddha statues which surround the main dome of Borobudur Temple in Indonesia.  The statue is facing the active Merapi volcano which last erupted in March 2014, when this card was sent to me. Merapi can be translated as Mountain of Fire.

The Borobudur Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Roman villa at La Olmeda

In 1968 Javier Cortes Álvarez de Miranda found the remains of a Roman villa on his land in northern Spain.  He excavated it and maintained it for the next 12 years, then handed it over to the Provincial Council of Palencia.

The villa dates from the 1st century and rebuilt in the 4th.  The main hall is in very good condition and the mosaic pictured in part on the card is from that hall. It is thought that the portraits show the owners of the mansion.
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Monday, 14 April 2014


Luxembourg has a population of slightly more than 500,000, with an area of just under 1000 square miles or roughly 2,500 square kilometres. It is one of the smallest nations in Europe, just north of France and between Belgium and Germany.

The couple pictured beside the mapare Grand Duc Jean and Grande-Duchesse Joséphine-Charlotte.  Grand Duc Jean abdicated in favour of his son in 2000 having reigned since 1964.
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Friday, 11 April 2014


An illustration of the city of Hämeenlinna in Finland by Marja Liisa Pitkäranta, 2002.  Marja Liisa Pitkäranta (1941-2003) was a very prolific Finnish artist, known best for considerable production of postcards.  The copyright to all her postcards belongs to the Marja-Liisa Pitkäranta Foundation which provides grants to young people in art education.
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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Monaco port

Virtually the same view but the top card shows the port in Monaco on a card dating from 1937 while the second is dated 1984.  Between them they show the incredible development of the Principality which continues today.
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Monday, 7 April 2014

Lake District

The Lake District in the north west of England has been loved for hundreds of years for its outstanding beauty, not only for the lakes but also mountains, woods, fields, villages, streams and stone walls.  It has recently (2012) been added to UNESCO's tentative World Heritage List.  It is an area which inspired the romantic poets such as Wordsworth, who lived in Cockermouth, and Coleridge, among others. Think "I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vale and hill..."  They celebrated the pastoral over urban life.

Although these maps are far from new, very little will have changed over the years.
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