Saturday, 21 October 2017

Germany: Fix and Foxi

Fix and Foxi are the protagonists of one of Germany's most famous, popular and successful comics. They were created by Rolf Kauka in 1953 and their stories were published in weekly comics until 1994. In the comic's heyday it was published with a circulation up to 400000 per week and allegedly a total of over 750 million comic books were sold internationally. In 2000, 2005 and 2010 the series was relaunched and in 2000 they also appeared in a TV series. Apart from the foxes Fix and Foxi other main characters of the series include the wolf Lupo, his grandma Eusebia and Fix and Foxi's uncle Fax.

To commemorate Stamp Day and the 100th birthday of Rolf Kauka a special stamp showing Fix and Foxi was issued on 7th September 2017. For the issue the German Post also issued a set of three Fix and Foxi postcards. I bought this set and got the three cards cancelled with different special postmarks. The two cards with First Day Special Postmarks from Berlin and Bonn arrived a few weeks ago. The third card with a special postmark from Wittenberg just arrived on Wednesday, as I sent it later to the postmarking unit than the other two cards.

Earlier this year the Wilhelm Busch Museum in Hanover organised a special exhibition about Rolf Kauka and Fix and Foxi. I visited it and bought two more cards for my collection.

On Wednesday I also got a cover with the Fix and Foxi stamp and a special postmark from Königslutter, which shows Lupo.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Germany: Brake Castle in Lemgo

On Tuesday I got two postcards: one from Germany and one from France.

The card from Germany shows Brake Castle in Lemgo. Brake Castle was first mentioned in 1306 and from 1587 onwards it was renovated in the Renaissance style. Since 1986 it houses the Weserrenaissance Museum.

100th birthday of Heinz Sielmann (issued 08-06-2017)

Thank You very much Marcel!

France: Dunkirk

On Tuesday I got two postcards: one from France and one from Germany.

The card from France shows various views of Dunkirk. Dunkirk is the northernmost city in France and the World's northernmost Francophone city. It is especially known for the Battle of Dunkirk during World War II.

EUROMED - Trees of the Mediterranean (issued 11-07-2017)
with a special postmark from the philatelic shop in Dunkirk

Thank You very much William!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Germany: Theses Doors in Wittenberg

On Monday I got a postcard from Germany.

It shows the Theses Doors at the Castle Church in Wittenberg, where Martin Luther allegedly posted his Ninety-five Theses in 1517. The Theses Doors are massive commemorative bronze doors, which were mounted onto the jambs where the original wooden ones had been located before they were destroyed. The Theses Doors were inaugurated in 1858. The Ninety-five Theses are inscribed in their original Latin form on the doors.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation a group of Postcrossers organises a series of Meet-ups at important places in Martin Luther's life. The third of four was held on Saturday in Wittenberg.

The card was signed during the Meet-up.
Saxon Switzerland (issued 02-06-2016)

Thank You very much Thomas!

cover from France

On Monday I got not only a postcard but also a cover from France.

With a nice stamp:
Marianne 0,01€, 0,05€ and 0,10€
Hello Maestro (issued 25-09-2017)
with a special postmark from the philatelic shop in Dunkirk

Inside was a souvenir sheet about castles from Jersey (issued 02-03-2017).

Thank You very much William!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Germany: Hamm Station

On Saturday I got a postcard from Germany.

It shows the Hamm Station. The Hamm Station was opened in 1847 by the Cologne-Minden Railway Company and is today an important railway hub in the eastern Ruhr Area. The station building is a good example of the style of the Historism.

Lily of the Valley (issued 06-05-2010)

Thank You very much Marcel!

cover from Belarus

On Saturday I got not only a postcard but also a cover from Belarus.

The cover is prepaid and was added with four stamps:
Wild Animals (from set of five) (issued 10-12-2014)
National Emblem (two from set of twelve) (issued 06-07-2016)

Inside were three written and stamped postcards.

The first card shows the Marc Chagall House Museum in Vitebsk. The Marc Chagall House Museum was opened in 1997 in the house where Marc Chagall spent his childhood.

National Emblem (from set of twelve) (issued 06-07-2016)
with a special Postcrossing postmark from Vitebsk

The second card shows a Great Snipe. The Great Snipe is a small wader, breeding in marshes and wet meadows with short vegetation in north-eastern Europe. It is a migratory bird and winters in Africa. The European breeding population is in steep decline.

On the backside is the special Postcrossing postmark from Vitebsk.
National Emblem (from set of twelve) (issued 06-07-2016)
with a special postmark about the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk

The third card shows a Hawfinch. The Hawfinch is a bird in the finch family. It breeds in woodland and parkland with large trees across Europe and temperate Asia.

On the backside is the special Postcrossing postmark from Vitebsk.
Wild Animals (from set of five) (issued 10-06-2008)
with a special postmark about the Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk

Thank You very much Elena!

The United Kingdom and World War I

On Saturday I got my stamp orders from Croatia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. Among the British stamps I ordered is this year's set of six stamps about the Centenary of World War I (issued 31-07-2017).

The first stamp shows the artwork Shattered Poppy by John Ross. For this artwork John Ross froze freshly cut poppies and broke the brittle petals with a metal rod. 

The second stamp shows a stanza of Dead Man’s Dump by Isaac Rosenberg. Isaac Rosenberg was a British painter and poet. He arrived at the Western Front in the summer of 1916.

Dead Man’s Dump

The plunging limbers over the shattered track 
Racketed with their rusty freight, 
Stuck out like many crowns of thorns, 
And the rusty stakes like sceptres old 
To stay the flood of brutish men 
Upon our brothers dear. 

The wheels lurched over sprawled dead 
But pained them not, though their bones crunched, 
Their shut mouths made no moan. 
They lie there huddled, friend and foeman, 
Man born of man, and born of woman, 
And shells go crying over them 
From night till night and now. 

Earth has waited for them, 
All the time of their growth 
Fretting for their decay: 
Now she has them at last! 
In the strength of their strength 
Suspended—stopped and held. 

What fierce imaginings their dark souls lit? 
Earth! have they gone into you! 
Somewhere they must have gone, 
And flung on your hard back 
Is their soul’s sack 
Emptied of God-ancestralled essences. 
Who hurled them out? Who hurled? 

None saw their spirits’ shadow shake the grass, 
Or stood aside for the half used life to pass 
Out of those doomed nostrils and the doomed mouth, 
When the swift iron burning bee 
Drained the wild honey of their youth. 

What of us who, flung on the shrieking pyre, 
Walk, our usual thoughts untouched, 
Our lucky limbs as on ichor fed, 
Immortal seeming ever? 
Perhaps when the flames beat loud on us, 
A fear may choke in our veins 
And the startled blood may stop. 

The air is loud with death, 
The dark air spurts with fire, 
The explosions ceaseless are. 
Timelessly now, some minutes past, 
Those dead strode time with vigorous life, 
Till the shrapnel called ‘An end!’ 
But not to all. In bleeding pangs 
Some borne on stretchers dreamed of home, 
Dear things, war-blotted from their hearts. 

Maniac Earth! howling and flying, your bowel 
Seared by the jagged fire, the iron love, 
The impetuous storm of savage love. 
Dark Earth! dark Heavens! swinging in chemic smoke, 
What dead are born when you kiss each soundless soul 
With lightning and thunder from your mined heart, 
Which man’s self dug, and his blind fingers loosed? 

A man’s brains splattered on 
A stretcher-bearer’s face; 
His shook shoulders slipped their load, 
But when they bent to look again 
The drowning soul was sunk too deep 
For human tenderness. 

They left this dead with the older dead, 
Stretched at the cross roads. 

Burnt black by strange decay 
Their sinister faces lie, 
The lid over each eye, 
The grass and coloured clay 
More motion have than they, 
Joined to the great sunk silences. 

Here is one not long dead; 
His dark hearing caught our far wheels, 
And the choked soul stretched weak hands 
To reach the living word the far wheels said, 
The blood-dazed intelligence beating for light, 
Crying through the suspense of the far torturing wheels 
Swift for the end to break 
Or the wheels to break, 
Cried as the tide of the world broke over his sight. 

Will they come? Will they ever come? 
Even as the mixed hoofs of the mules, 
The quivering-bellied mules, 
And the rushing wheels all mixed 
With his tortured upturned sight. 
So we crashed round the bend, 
We heard his weak scream, 
We heard his very last sound, 
And our wheels grazed his dead face.

The third stamp shows Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm. The two friends Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm travelled to Belgium shortly after the beginning of World War I, where they joined a small ambulance corps. They later established a front-line first-aid post at Pervyse in Belgium. In 1917 they were awarded the Military Medal.

The fourth stamp shows the painting Dry Docked for Scaling and Painting by Edward Wadsworth. Edward Wadsworth was invalided in 1917. From then on he was engaged to design dazzle camouflage patterns for British ships, which were intended to confuse attacking German submarines.

The fifth stamp shows the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium. The Tyne Cot Cemetery was established in 1917 and is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the World. There are 11976 war graves of World War I. The cemetery is surrounded by the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, a long stone wall with the names of missing soldiers written on it.

The last stamp shows Private Lemuel Thomas Rees’s life-saving Bible. Lemuel Thomas Rees was conscripted in 1917. During the Battle of Passchendaele an exploding German shell landed close by and although Rees was hit, he was saved by a small Bible that he kept in his breast pocket. He had to spend four months in a field hospital. Then he was send back home, but as he suffered terrible nightmares, he returned to the front. There he was wounded in a gas attack and died on 13th November 1918.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

cover from Germany

On Friday I got a cover from Germany.

Chocolate Cosmos (issued 03-12-2015)
with a special postmark about the 150th anniversary of the finishing of the Railway between Berlin and Königsberg

Sunday, 15 October 2017

My Cards from Belgium

When I was in Belgium two weeks ago I sent myself five postcards. The first two arrived last Thursday. The third one arrived last Saturday and the fourth card on Monday. The last card finally arrived on Thursday, one week later than the first one. Of the five cards three card were bended, while two were not cancelled. Only one card arrived undamaged and cancelled, the last one.

The card that arrived last Saturday shows the Belgian Comic Strip Center. The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a museum about Belgian comics. The museum is housed in a building designed by Victor Horta and was opened in 1989. It is among the most popular museums in Brussels.

With related stamps:
Lucky Luke - Friend and Enemy (two from set of ten) (issued 13-04-2015)

The card that arrived on Monday shows Manneken Pis. Manneken Pis is the most famous landmark of Brussels. It is a small bronze sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into a fountain's basin and was erected in 1619. For various occasions the statue is dressed in costumes.

Lucky Luke - Friend and Enemy (two from set of ten) (issued 13-04-2015)

The card that arrived on Thursday shows the Grand Place. The Grand Place is the main square of Belgium's capital and was an important political and commercial centre. Due to its homogeneous buildings it is considered to be the most beautiful square in Europe. It is also a popular tourist destination. The Grand Place is since 1985 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Lucky Luke - Friend and Enemy (two from set of ten) (issued 13-04-2015)

Estonia: Estonian Maritime Museum

On Thursday I got a postcard from Estonia.

It shows the Estonian Maritime Museum. The Estonian Maritime Museum was opened in 1935 and focuses on the history of ships and navigation in Estonia. It is housed in the Fat Margaret tower of Tallinn's medieval city fortification. 

EUROPA (from set of two) (issued 08-05-2017)

Thank You very much Marcel!

Friday, 13 October 2017

Republic of Ireland: New Irish Postcrossing Stamp

On Wednesday I got two postcards: one from Ireland and one from Italy.

The card from Ireland was printed for the new Irish Postcrossing stamp.

The card was signed during a Postcrossing Meet-up.
With the new stamp:
Postcrossing (issued 05-10-2017)
with First Day Special Postmark

Thank You very much Amit!

Italy: Verona

On Wednesday I got two postcards: one from Italy and one from Ireland.

The card from Italy shows various views of Verona. Verona is a city in the Italian region of Veneto. It is the setting of three plays by William Shakespeare including Romeo and Juliet. The City of Verona is since 2000 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Basilica Pontificia di San Nicola in Bari (issued 15-09-2017)
with an unclear postmark about World Post Day

Thank You very much Giulia!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Japan: Miho Museum

On Tuesday I got four postcards: one from Japan, one from Germany, one from China and one from Finland.

The card from Japan shows the Miho Museum. The Miho Museum was opened in 1997. It exhibits Mihoko Koyama's private collection of Asian and Western antiques and is housed in a building designed by I. M. Pei. 

Definitives (from set of twelve) (issued 2015)
Rilakkuma (from set of twenty) (issued 26-07-2017)

Thank You very much Keiko!