Friday, May 25, 2012

Buying stamps in Canada

I am writing this post from Ottawa, Canada, where I have spent a week for a business trip. We had a very busy week, but hopefully today we finished earlier than the other days so that I had some time to enjoy the nice (and warm) weather and to do some shopping. I decided to try to buy some stamps and to share this experience with you as I did when I was in Australia.

My hotel and the place where we had the workshop are located in Kanata, a city located in the suburb of Ottawa. As I did not want to go too far, I asked one of my Canadian colleague where I could find a post office. At first he hesitated and asked me “a post office to do what?”. Amused by his reaction I answered that I wanted to buy some stamps to send letters to France. Then he indicated to me a place located near where we were. I understood from his indication that this was a sort of drugstore where I could find what I was looking for.

So I started walking along a large road wondering if I was really in the good direction.

After spending almost 10 minutes to cross the road (!), I realized that the place was on the other side and that I had crossed for nothing… So I crossed again the road and I arrived at the famous drugstore.

Hopefully a Canada Post logo and a colorful mailbox indicated that indeed, I would find what I wanted.

Inside the place, there was a Canada Post desk where I was welcomed by a smiling lady. When I asked her for stamps, she took time to show me all what she had. She had mainly stamps in booklets but she had a very large choice, which was a very nice surprise for me in such a shop which is not really a post office.

Among the booklets she proposed to me, I selected first the following one (as I don’t have my scanner with me… the picture I’m showing here are coming from Canada Post website).

The booklet contains the two self-adhesive stamps issued on the 1st of March 2012. This is the seventh issue of the beloved flower series. The stamps picture daylilies (Hemerocallis) that are very nice flowers that take their name from the fact that they only last one day!

Here is the second booklet that I bought.

It contains the stamp that is part of the set issued on the 23rd of February 2012 in the Art series. The full set contains three stamps that picture works from Joe Fafard a Canadian artist well known for creating art inspired by prairie farms and small towns.  I really like the stamps of this set so I don’t resist to the pleasure to share them with you.
The first one is the one of the booklet. Its face value corresponds to the rate of a letter from Canada to rest of the world. It pictures Capillery, a horse sculpture.

The second one is for the letter inside Canada. It pictures “Smoothly she shifted” a cow sculpture that I really like and that will well fit into my cow stamp collection!

The third one, the stamp for letter from Canada to USA, shows “Dear Vincent” a sculpture picturing Vincent Van Gogh.

A very nice set, don’t you think so?

I also bought a booklet of the Titanic stamp issued on the 5th of April.

I also bought a funny shopping bag illustrated with the 1953 definitive stamp picturing a polar bear. Here are the bag and the original stamp.

So as you can see, this was a very nice experience, much better than what I experienced in UK or in Australia. I was very pleased when I came back to my hotel. I also took this opportunity to send some letters to myself. I will show them to you when they come!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Postcard from India: I need help for identification

I recently received this pre-stamped postcard from India and I could not find information about it except that it was issued in 2011. I need some help from my Indian readers to get so data about it. Is it a meghdoot card? Is there any information around the issue of this card? Any other cards issued at the same time with other frog pictures? Any information will be welcome! Thanks a lot.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Happy Birthday Mister Carter

A short post today as I’m very busy these days. I had a busy weekend with the election of the new president and some other stuff. But today is a special day so I wanted to have this post anyway.

Today is the 9th of May. This is my birthday (I was born on the 9th of May 1966) but this is also the 138th anniversary of the birth of a man that fascinated me during my youth: Howard Carter.
Howard Carter was born on the 9th of May 1874 in London. He was an archaeologist and Egyptologist and is known mainly for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.
When I was younger, I wanted to become an archaeologist myself and in my dreams I was the new Howard Carter. And at this time I was not even aware we were born on the same day. I’m proud to share this with him!
To illustrate this short post I tried to find stamps picturing Howard Carter but I could not find any. Does anybody know if he ever appeared on a stamp?

As an illustration I selected the three following stamps that are part of the large set of thirty stamps issued by Egypt in 2004 issued to discover the Treasures of Egypt in stamps. I selected the stamps that relate to Tutankhamun: the first one pictures the mortuary mask, the second one the Canopic jars that were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb and the last one pictures the cartouche of the Pharaoh. 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Stamps to be issued by French post in May

I'm back from a short and very busy trip to Shanghai. A lot happened to me during this trip (for instance Air France succeeded in losting my luggage on the way to Shanghai!) and I had no time to deal with stamps while there. It is a pitty... Anyway, I'm back and tired with the jet lag...

As this is the 1st of May, a day off in France and in a lot of countries, this is time for me to give you a view of the stamps planned to be issued in May by the French postal administration. Here is a picture of the page for May in the calendar.

As you see, a lot of issues are planned (there will be even more in June): seven different issues.

The first one, planned for the 4th of May,  is a joint issue between France and Hong Kong containing four stamps: two stamps picture works of French artists and the two other picture works of artists from Hong Kong. French post will also sell a presentation pack containing both sets: the one from France and the one from Hong Kong.

On the 14th of May several issues at the same time:
- a joint issue between France and Vatican containing one stamp commemorating the 600th anniversary of Joan of Arc. Again for this issue, French post will see a presentation pack containing both stamps, the one issued by Vatican and the one issued by France
- a stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the "Pacific 231 K 8", the last steam engine that was used in France
- a nice souvenir sheet with four stamps celebrating the 100Th anniversary of the creation of the LPO a league for the protection of birds. A nice iteam for birds stamp collectors!
- a souvenir sheet with one stamp commemorating the 300th anniversary of the battle of Denain that was fought on the 24th of July 1712 as part of the War of the Spanish Succession.

On the 20th of May will be issued a large stamp,  the Europa stamp picturing various famous places in France including the Eiffel tower. 

On the 26th of May a single stamp will be issued picturing Suscinio castle located in Morbihan, in the west of France.

The calendar page also mentions a souvenir sheet issued for the Red Cross but without date and without picture, so I don't know if the issue is confirmed. I will keep you informed.