Tuesday, 3 December 2013

To the end of November

1120 – From Damien in France.   Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707), is considered one of the greatest military engineers of all time. In his life he was responsible for the fortification of over 160 places in France.  Mostly during the reign of Louis XIV, Vauban built fortresses around the borders of France to protect her from invasion (mostly by the British and the Spanish).   

1121 – La Boule de Fort, from Damien, shows a game that is part of the Angevin heritage. Some trace its origin to the Loire boatmen who played in the holds of their curved barges. Others say that it was born using former ball bearings from windmills.

1122 – also from Damien. 

1123 – the French porcelain industry began in Limoges at the end of the 18th century.  Sadly the demand for porcelain is declining and the industry is in recession.

1124 – From Damien, this chateau saw the death of Richard the Lionheart in 1199, an event which is thought to have changed the course of European history.

1125 – Susanne, my friend in Germany, has known about my desire to have a Rosina Wachtmeister card and has been kind enough to search one out for me.  Not an easy task since they are out of print. 

When it landed on the mat I was so delighted.  Thank you ever so much, Susanne.  If you want to know more about Rosina Wachtmeister she has appeared on my Rambles blog a couple of times.

Susanne is having trouble commenting on this blog. I'm not sure why but if anyone else is having trouble they can e-mail me at scriptorsenex at gmail dot com and I'll post the comment for them. 

1126 – From Irène in France, a postcrossing card (FR-333859).

Le Lavandou is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.  It derives its name either from the flower lavender (lavanda in Provençal) that is prevalent in the area, or more prosaicly from the local form of the Occitan name for lavoir, lavandor (for lavador, a public place for washing clothes).

The (then) village is where the famous popular song A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square was written in the summer of 1939. The words were by Eric Maschwitz and the music by Manning Sherwin, with its title ‘stolen’ from a story by Michael Arlen. The song had its first performance in a local bar, where the melody was played on piano by Manning Sherwin with the help of the resident saxophonist. Maschwitz sang the words while holding a glass of wine, but nobody seemed impressed.

In September 2000, the mayor passed an unusual bye-law making it illegal to die in the town. The mayor described his own bye-law as "absurd ... to counter an absurd situation"; the "absurd situation" was that with the town's cemetery already full, a court in Nice had denied permission for a new cemetery because it would mar the beauty of the selected site.

1127 – From EJ in the Netherlands. 

As always EJ’s card included some interesting stamps 

I recall the stamp on the left from my stamp collecting days as it was one of the first I saw that was not rectangular.

1128 – This delightful card from Renate in Austria only took two days to get to me.  That’s quicker than second class internal mail.  It is by English-born Canadian Impressionist Laura Muntz Lyall (1860-1930) and entitled ‘An interesting story’. 

1129 – A card from Danielle from Nebraska.  It was Danielle who introduced me to postcrossing.  Norman Rockwell’s ‘A Time for Greatness’ appeared in the July 14th 1964 issue of ‘Look’.  There is no one of my generation who does not recall where they were when the news of Kennedy’s assassination hit them in November of that year.   

My first 2013 Christmas stamp!

1130 - Heidi from Norway sent me this postcrossing card (NO-84815) from my 'Favourites' wall'.

I love maps like this that show for what the various parts of an area are noted.

1131 – Susanne from Germany sent this ‘Good Morning Mr Postman’ picture from around 1900.

Not only did it arrive in this lovely envelope but inside were four post-box stamps.

1132 – A postcrossing card from Mojca from Slovenia (SI-87348).  It shows an old map of Slovenia’s third biggest city, Celja.

A lovely Slovenian stamp.

1133 – The family’s first Christmas card – from Sini in Finland. 

The picture is by Mauri Tapio Kunnas (born February 11, 1950), a Finnish cartoonist and children's author.  Kunnas matriculated in 1969 and graduated from the University of Art and Design in Helsinkii as a graphic designer in 1975. He has worked as a political cartoonist in many Finnish newspapers. He is currently living in Espoo with his wife Tarja, children Jenna (1983) and Noora (1987) and their cat.  Kunnas is most famous for his numerous children's books, featuring anthropomorphic animals. His most famous children's book series is called Koiramäki (Dog Hill), set in historical Finland, featuring anthropomorphic dogs.

The church on the hill in this picture is St. Olaf's Church, a late medieval fieldstone church in Tyrvää, Sastamala, Finland.  It was built around 1510–1516 and burned down by a pyromaniac in 1997.  The church was rebuilt by local people and the interior paintings were created by painters Kuutti Lavonen and Osmo Rauhala.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year  (or ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New for Nothing’ as my first attempt at translation came up with!)


  1. I haven't any problem to left comments. My only problem is to say "this one is wonderful", because you receive so many wonderful postcards and stamps...!

  2. I like the colours in that cat-card... My favourite among these is the Finnish Christmas card, though!


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