Tag Archives: Stamps

Friday Favourites – Washington State, USA

One of the cards I received this week that really appealed to me is this one from Beachyblonde.

Deception Pass Bridge

According to  the back of the postcard it shows the bridge over Deception Pass at Whidbey Island, Washington State.  I like the subtle colours and how the border & wording have been done on the card – as well, of course – as the bridge picture.

This area is part of the Deception Pass National Park which is the most visited park in Washington State.  Deception Pass itself is a ocean pass between two of the islands in the area. It is very dangerous due to changeable water currents that may result in whirlpools, eddies & standing waves depending on the tidal flow.  So ferries often have to wait until conditions are suitable before entering the Pass.

The bridge goes between Whidbey Island to Pass Island and then Pass Island to Fidalgo Island.  It was built 1934-35 and was declared an Historic Place in 1982.  Now days it costs more to paint the bridge than it originally did to built it!

I also really liked the stamps that Beachyblonde used on this postcard – a cute kitty that reminds us to ‘Adopt a Shelter Cat’ and some lovely purple flowers.

Just HAD to show you this one!

Here is my latest Polar Bear!!! 

This one made me laugh.



It is a private swap from Sue, who wrote on the back that the people in Churchhill, Hudson Bay see the polar bears migrate through their town!  And that IRL polar bears are huge and extremely fierce.  I think the one on her card is not living up to this reputation…….. LOL  (You can’t really tell from the picture, but this card is polar bear shaped.)

I also got another postcard from Canada today – an ‘official’ Postcrossing card from Carole featuring another fierce Arctic animal, and with polar bear stamps!

I need to find out who Martin Frobisher is who features on the 5C  stamp. An early explorer I expect.

Polar Problem

On Saturday I received another polar bear to add to my collection. It came from a private swap with another Postcrosser. She wanted penguins – which I have in plenty – and she had a polar bear that looked very cute.  So the deal was done.

 However there must have been a bad mail day somewhere in Europe when my polar bear was on the way, as he arrived looking like this:

Poor 'stuck' Polar Bear

 What appears to have happened is that the mail has got damp somewhere along the way   (which is completely understandable with the nasty nasty weather in the northern hemisphere recently) – there is also a reverse ‘transfer’  of another address on the back of the postcard, and this turned out to be a Czech stamp attached to poor polar bear’s face.  Our builder (the stamp collector!) suggested a little water on a cotton bud to make the stamp damp again and it might peel off – and then I suddenly remembered that in my stamp collecting days I used to sometimes steam the stamps off things I wanted to keep. So PB and I carefully tried that, and it was a great success!!!  There are just a couple of green smudgy bits where the colour has come out of the stamp, and other than that my polar bear is all better. (Well, he will be if he ever mananges to get out of that  yoga position!!!)

New improved Polar Bear plus the stamp that was stuck.

 The info on the back is in German  and says:   

Spielerisch elernen Eisbarkinder ihre Korperfunktionen. Sie kommen klein wie Maulwurfe in einer Schneehohle zur Welt und mussen schnellwashsen. Ein ausgewachsenes Mannchen kann es auf drei  Meter Lange und 600 Kilo Gewicht bringen.

 Which according to Google translates roughly as: Baby polar bears learn their body functions. They are as small as moles(?) when born in the ice caves and must grown quickly. A male polar bear can be as much as 3 metres long and weigh 600 kilos.

Help with the German anyone?

If someone who speaks German would like to give a better translation I’d appreciate it.

 I actually had a fantastic mail week in the end – after only one card on Tuesday initially, because on Friday I also got SIX postcards! Three cats, a lovely wolf and a curious Football mascot called Buck from various swaps, and a wonderful weird cactus from ErikaJean!!   Some of these postcards may be coming soon to a blog near you.

 (And I don’t think we got any bills this week………. LOL)

Waiting for the Mail

Last week I learnt quite a bit about the US postal system thanks to ErikaJean, so in the interests of cross-cultural relations, here is a little about how the mail system works in New Zealand

Our main mail deliverer is NZPost  (previous called the New Zealand Post Office) – and people still say they are ‘going to the Post Office’  although some do so ‘going to the Post shop’.  Most of our ‘Post shops’  provide a wide range of services – sure they sell stamps and all manner of postal supplies, but you could register your car there, pay all sorts of utilities bills, buy a magazine or a birthday card, register to vote, do your banking and probably a whole bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember at the moment.  

However – NZPost does not have a monopoly, and there are other smaller companies who issue valid stamps and have their own postboxes in some towns.  In the end though –even if you can SEND mail via some other company, NZPost will deliver it to the recipient’s mail box.

When I post my Postcrossing  postcards here are some of the places I could be posting them:

Most of my Postcrossing mail gets kindly posted here by PB at his work.

The one and only Post Office in our small town.

The so-called 'sorting centre.' But actually our mail gets trucked to the city to get sorted now.

My nearest street corner post box.

If I am sending mail to someone in New Zealand  it could get delivered to them by an NZPost person who is walking, cycling, riding a little motor scooter or motor bike, or driving a car or truck.  This would depend on which city or town they lived in, or if it was a rural area.

Typically in a suburban area we all have a mailbox to receive our mail at our gate or the end of our driveway.  If we live in a multistory apartment building or a housing estate of some kind – or there are just several homes up a really long drive way – all the mail boxes will be together in the foyer or at the road end of the driveway/entrance.  The average suburban postie will ride a bicycle around their delivery route, though in a hilly town or city they may walk – particularly if their route includes lots of stairs. This website tell a little bit about the task and hours our posties work:  New Zealand Careers.  The picture below is from that website.

Bicycle postie

 However an urban/suburban postie will not drive a vehicle. In a semi-rural or lifestyle block area with more distance between each mail box the postie might ride a motor scooter or a motor bike. In build-up areas like businesses in town or city centres the postie will also walk and generally push a little trolley or have a mail bag over their shoulder, and may deliver the mail into the hands of the receptionist or similar.  But us regular people have to walk out to our front gate or down our driveway to get our mail out of our mail box.  

In a completely rural area the postie will drive and your mail box must be located in such a way that he or she can get to it without getting out of their vehicle.  There are special rural mailboxes that have a little flag on the side that can be raised and lowered, so if you have out-going mail the postie will know to stop. However your Kiwi farmer is often a creative and ingenious fellow, so rural mail boxes can be made out of almost anything that you can find laying around on a farm – any kind of container or barrel or can will do, so long as it’s watertight and the mail fits in it!!!

Rural delivery van - could also be a large car or a small truck

 Not everyone will be able to have their mail box (regular or creative!) outside their farm gate though, as the posties only go down certain roads. So often in a rural area you will see a collection of mail boxes at a road intersection or at the start of a no exit road.  

Rural mail boxes from davidwallphoto.com

I also just discovered today that rural posties ought to be able to sell you stamps on the spot, and should know all the postal rates so that they can do that. However – I don’t think our urban posties have to be able to do that – well, not that I can find out on-line anyway!!!  And if you live in a really remote area your mail may get delivered in a more unique way. Check out this  article for delivery by boat!

Also, not everyone gets their mail delivered to their home, business or farm. In all of these situations it is possible to get a ‘Post Office box’ at your local post shop or postal agency.  

Post Boxes

These New Zealand Post Office boxes are from a group at Flickr dedicated to different mail boxes!  Check it out: Post, Letter & Mail Boxes

 And as for me, I wait for my postie to cycle past  as I can see the road from my ‘office/craft room’ window, and race outside to check this postbox:

Annie's mail box. Is it your letter or postcard in there today!?

Sun, Sand & Surf

I’m not too much of a tropical island girl – I think I’ve mentioned before that the cruise I would want to do would be Alaska, but I thought we all needed to see a bit of sunshine and blue sky, so here is a Postcrossing card from Indonesia.

Bali is the southernmost big island of Indonesia. It’s the most southern place which has a distinctly Asian flora and fauna. This is mostly due to the fact that during Pleistocene when sea levels were lower it was linked to Java & Sumatra and they to the Asian mainland, so animals & plants had the chance to migrate. Bali was however separated from Australia to the south by a very deep strait that was never dry.

This postcard comes from the Postcrosser Ullee who is from the main city of Denpasar. Denpasar is the provincial capital of Bali, but the nearby city of Kuta is the main tourist area, and of course Nusa Beach is the place to go, if you are into that kind of thing.  Tourism is Bali’s main money earner and around 80% of the island’s income is made from tourism. Bali is the wealthiest of all the provinces of Indonesia – in a great part thanks to the tourists, no doubt.  The tourist trade supports a large number of artisans and craftspeople of all kinds in areas such as stone & wood carving, fabric arts and clothing, jewelry making, painting & silverwares

Ullee didn’t write too much on her card, but she has the most fantastic handwriting and as you can see has drawn cute little pictures as well. She has also used very beautiful stamps – including a sort of Christmassy looking one, though I’m sure that Christmas is not a big feature of Balinese life as a bit over 90% of the population follow Balinese Hinduism, which in itself is a change from the predominant Muslim faith of most of Indonesia.  

So, leave the snow and rain behind for a few moments and  enjoy a little visit to the sunny sands of Bali!!

Tropical Beach

Ulle's Message

Polar Pals

Just a quick post to show you a postcard I recieved today from DotDotPC at Postcrossing. This postcard took 16 days to travel 16,984 Kms (10,553 Miles) from Finland.  Of course this one went in my favourites – as would the other postcard I recieved today from ErikaJean !!!! (Erika’s postcard will feature in a longer post soon.)

Polar Pals

DotDot also choose a very appropriate stamp. And it’s a round stamp – we have round stamps in New Zealand, but this is the first I have seen from another country. On the stamp it says “Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers.” A sentiment I could not agree with more!

Round Stamp from Finland

From France

This is my first Postcrossing card from France, although Rebecca the sender, is as German student currently studying in France. She sounds like a real language scholar!  The picture is perhaps from the small town of Septemes-les-Vallons, which is in Provence in the south of France. It seems to be just slightly north of Marseille  which is a major coastal city and the second most populated city in France.

The postcard is square which is rather unique, and has an interesting stamp of the Eiffel Tower .


On Rebecca’s postcard she tells me that ‘Guten Tag’ is the formal way to say hello in German, and Nouvelle-Zelande is French for New Zealand.