Postcard Friendship Friday: Mgarr Harbour

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Howdy, PFF friends!
It’s been a while, I know. Sorry for the long absence.

I have some many postcards worthy of posts but I could not find time to post them.
Now that I found a good system to balance my time, here I am again joining the PFF fun!

Here’s a postcard sent from Malta. It was sent through a swap I arranged from a postcard collector on Facebook. He was having a holiday there and offered postcards to those interested. Of course, I grabbed the opportunity.

Mgarr Harbour, Gozo, Malta
Mgarr Harbour, Gozo, Malta

The beautiful Mgarr Harbour is the gateway to Gozo.
According to an online article, Mgarr Harbour is bustling with activity due to the increase in the number of vessels using the facilities there. The harbour has a very scenic view – with verdant hills, cliffs and valleys overlooking the beautiful quay. Warehouses, stores, garages, and fishermen sheds are located right in the port and the broad square-like wharf is located at the foot of the hill.

To this day, Mgarr harbour is still the most important fishing base and provides the best winter shelter for the island’s fishing boats, while the adjacent marina hosts pleasure sea craft throughout he year.

Sunday Stamps 088: Centenary or centennial?

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They both have the same meaning but the former is used in the UK and the latter in the USA. Anyhoo, here’s one of my favourite mini sheets sent to me several years ago from the beautiful city of Talinn.

Celebrating the Centenary of Estonia's National Opera.
Celebrating the Centenary of Estonia’s National Opera.

Issued by Eesti Post in 27 March 2006, the mini sheet features stamps with perforations running to the edge of the sheet. Featured are the drawings of the Estonia theatre and concert building (Armas Lindgren and Wivi Lönn) and what could possibly be the present-day Estonia’s National Opera in the centre, costume designs for Evald Aav’s opera Vikerlased (Vikings) on the left with its musical notes providing the background of the mini sheet, and on the right is Estonian ballerina Helmi Puur in Tchaicovsky’s Swan Lake.Estonia’s National Opera was opened in 1906, first as a professional theatre called Estonia, founded by the directors and actors Paul Pinna and Theodor Altermann. Initially offering mainly drama, the theatre gradually opened its doors to musical productions. The Estonia theatre and concert building was completed in 1913 but was destroyed in an air raid by the Soviets in 1944. It was later reopened in 1947 after the war and, in 1998, was renamed the Estonian National Opera. (Source) The ceiling was painted in the style of Socialist Realism. Now, I’m curious to see what that looks like.

Sunday Stamps 087: Live Healthy stamp from Romania

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Here’s a colourful stamp from Romania from its “Live Healthy” stamp series issued in 2012:

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The Live Healthy stamp series, issued in May 2013, is a reminder of sorts and an invitation to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Shown on the stamps are grapes, tomatoes, peach and garlic.

Aren’t they pretty? Bright reds, yellow, oranges, blacks and whites – my scanner didn’t do justice to the stamp, my apologies.

The vegetables and fruits above have more to offer than their pretty colours – they are loaded with vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy body and mind. So let’s keep it in our minds, think rainbow when it comes to choosing what fruits and veggies to eat 🙂

Mulțumesc, Danut!

Sunday Stamps 086: Seychelles bare-legged scops-owl

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Hello everyone. I’ve been away from Sunday Stamps for a very long time and here I am again joining in the fun! My stamps came from the beautiful islands of Seychelles:

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The Seychelles Scops-Owl (Otus insularis) was featured in the souvenir sheet issued in 2001 in celebration of Birdlife’s World Bird Festival. The complete sheet includes 5 pieces of stamps each with the same value of R3. On the sheet, it shows the logo of Birdlife International as well as well as the logo of the 2001 Birdlife World Bird Festival.

The Seychelles scops-owl is found only in Morne Seychellois National Park. This species also known as bare-legged scops-owl is a rare scops owl species. In 2002, the scops-owl species was listed as critically endangered species by the IUCN. Here’s the souvenir sheet.

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It reaches a length between 19-22 cm. The wings are about 17cm. Its plumage is rufous brown and exhibits  black shaft streaks. The long grey legs are unfeathered – hence the nickname bare-legged scops-owl.  The eyes are large and golden yellow. The ear tufts are very small. Its call which sounds like a rasping “whaugh” with various “tok tok” notes can be heard from a far distance and in particular in the darkness. Its diet consists of geckos, tree frogs and insects (e.g. locusts).

Additional info and photo of the souvenir sheet from this site and about the scops-owl here.

Postcard Friendship Friday 087: Angkor Wat and a pond of lotus flowers

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I’ve been away from Postcard Friendship Friday (again) and from the Internet in general. Here I am trying to make another comeback. I hope friends at PFF will fill still find their way to my blog. I recently received a swap request and the swapper was very specific about the postcard she wanted. She saw this from someone’s site and asked me to if I could find a copy.

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Of course, I can find this one! I even helped a friend who was looking for an electric ukulele for his son’s music talent show in school. I have this knack for finding things. The photo above is of the world-famous Angkor Wat. It’s one of my favourite views of the temple. It was probably photographed during the height of the rainy season when the ponds in front of the temple are filled with water and lotuses grow in no time. However, I do think this is photo-shopped because the pond there is not as large as this one. But still it is a nice postcard.

Anyhoo, this one’s already on its way… so watch out for it, friend 🙂

Just an update.

I’m still here, alive and kicking!
As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, changes were to happen this year. First, we acquired a lease for another apartment somewhere southeast of the city, close to the banks of the Mekong. We didn’t actually move there to live but we planned it as a – sort of – weekend rest-house.

Second, I got a new job and a full-time one. It’s something that I want to do for a long time to keep me from moping around the house. My skills are put to use again and I feel productive and useful to society. Besides, I could use extra moolah for shopping since my nephews and nieces have been hinting for some cool halloween party stuff for they saw while browsing at dept 56 halloween. But I don’t think their Grandma (my mum) is too happy about them asking me frequently, hihihi. But most importantly, I now have some moolah to continue collecting and swapping postcards with you again! Win-win, isn’t it?

Speaking of swaps, I decided to accept some offers but to selected ones. This week, I’m sending these to the Netherlands in exchange for San Marino and Vatican City postcards:

A lesser-known temple in Angkor Wat.
A lesser-known temple in Angkor Wat.
A self-made maxicard. But I'm sending a postcard without the stamp.
A self-made maxicard. But I’m sending a postcard without the stamp.

The swapper is going for a holiday in these places – and I could not really resist initiating the swap – as I have no postcards from San Marino yet (I have only one from the Vatican City).

Midweek Mail: Surprises!

I knew there’s always a good reason to drop by the Post Office and check my mailbox. Call it intuition, yeah, could be. But what happened is that I had a good feeling about going to the Post Office last Friday. Since it wasn’t in our scheduled errands, my husband was a bit irked that I asked him to drive a little further, to the Post Office. Unscheduled trips like this annoy my husband since we had to make a detour to the Post Office which is out of the way of the spare parts shop area where we were headed for a single piece of eye bolt that’s missing in his tool box. Turned out my instinct was right. Two postcards came unexpectedly from two good friends and the parcel from Turkey arrived! Happy head here.
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These contain beautiful yarns from Turkey. A friend and I share this purchase. You won't believe how much we bought these for...  :)
These contain beautiful yarns from Turkey. A friend and I share this purchase. You won’t believe how much we bought these for…  🙂

Postcard Friendship Friday 085: The footbridge of Saint Servatius

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I’ve been missing Postcard Friendship Friday for — how many consecutive weeks now? I can’t remember. Sorry, friends. Feeling a bit lethargic in this sizzling hot weather.

Yes, it is summertime again here and, as expected, we are experiencing frequent power cuts daily, including evenings. The supply of electricity is not enough to keep up to the demands of the city. Last night, while we were having dinner, the power went out again, hence, the candle-dinner, lol. Throughout our dinner, our conversation ended with a decision to find aa rechargeable batteries in the shops, and purchase them, for our torches and other emergency light sources. So, a bit late again but here is my PFF entry. It came all the way from the Netherlands sent by fellow Postcrosser, Stasele.

If you could see the blue arrow pointing to a very tiny building at the end of the bridge, Stasele said  it is a postcards and souvenir shop where she bought this card 🙂 Thank you, Stasele.

It shows a panoramic view of the Meuse River and the footbridge of Sint Servaasbrug (Saint Servatius). It is a beautiful 13th century arched footbridge that links Maastricht’s Binnenstad district on the west bank of the Meuse to the Wyck district on the east bank. It was built after the original bridge built by the Romans collapsed due to heavy weight from a large procession killing 400 people.

Stasele wrote at the back of the postcard that the Meuse River is their equivalent of the Mekong River. She also said that she crosses this bridge, on her bicycle, every day to work and that the bridge is only open to pedestrians and cyclists. It must be nice to be able to cycle to work and cross the bridge without any other four-wheel vehicles. I like cycling myself but with the recent increase in the number of vehicles and the increase in road accidents, I decided not to, for safety reasons. There’s just too much idiots driving around Phnom Penh these days.

Stasele and I met here in Phnom Penh in December of last year while she and her family were in Phnom Penh for the Cambodia-leg of their Asian holiday.

P.S. Interested in Maastricht Food 101?  Here’s a great postcard showing assorted Maastricht bread intended to tourists and probably expat residents. Also from Stasele.

Sunday Stamps 079: Cool insects

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This week’s theme is insects. Or bugs. Some people love to hate them.  I don’t.  So what did I find from my collection this week? Here goes:

From a postcard from Qatar (sent by Rodel) here’s one of the beautifully printed insect stamps from Qatar.

The migratory locust is one of the 20 insects printed on Qatari stamps in 1998.
The migratory locust is one of the 20 insects printed on Qatari stamps in 1998.

The migratory locusts are found in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia and it is a major agricultural pest in many countries. The subspecies in Australia, Locusta migratoria migratorioides, is also found in Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.

Bee-hawk moth is one of the stamps depicted in the 2008 set issue of the Austrian Post advocating for environmental protection.
Bee-hawk moth is one of the stamps depicted in the 2008 set issue of the Austrian Post advocating for environmental protection.

Bee-hawk moths are day-flyers and are said to be similar in appearance to  bumblebees. Their wings are transparent and have a rusty, brown border.  What a beauty, isn’t it? They are found in North Africa, Europe, and Central and Eastern Asia.

I love these insects. But there are creepy-crawlies that I run away from. And these are the mean-looking  mosquitoes, beetles, ants, and spiders, with fangs as sharp as single edge razor blades that give me the shivers. Okay, enough of me. Let’s see your kind of bugs or insects this week 🙂

Postcard Friendship Friday 082: Maastricht Food 101 for Foreigners

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Happy New Year, dear friends. It’s 2013 already, can you believe it? A new year is upon us again. I want to thank my friends who I met via Postcrossing and private exchanges for the friendship that goes beyond postcard/stamp swap, and to my dear readers who come (again and again) and leave comments. I may not reply to each comment but I do value the kind of interaction that goes on here.

I can’t wait to see what 2013 has to offer! So I’m reeling myself back in Postcard Friendship Friday again. I purposedly stayed away from the Internet over the holidays as well as from postcard and swap exchanges to take a breather, at least even for only a few days. For this week’s meme, I am sharing a special postcard from Maastricht, the Netherlands:

The Bakery: The Language of Maastricht for Foreigners. Sent by Stasele Postmarked 12-12-12.
The Bakery: The Language of Maastricht for Foreigners.
Sent by Stasele
Postmarked 12-12-12.

This was sent by Postcrosser Stasele via private exchange. The postcard showing one of my favourite themes, food, bore the special 12-12-12 postmark, and arrived several days after meeting her – here in Phnom Penh – in person! I think she also received my postcard when she returned from her trip.

I have to say that meeting her was one of the highlights of the holidays for me. We met in a quaint coffee shop down at the riverside and spent hours chatting. It felt like I was talking to an old friend that I hadn’t seen for a long time. I guess when you have a common interest, like postcards and snail mail for examples, awkward moments are minimised, if not totally diminished. She and her family were on a holiday trip and it was very nice of her to take time off to meet up with me.  I have Postcrossing to thank for, for introducing me to a new friend 🙂