Friday, September 19, 2014


Some vintage postcards from Scotland. 
The first one is probably from  the 1930's 
and the bottom one was mailed in 1910, but the message is illegible.

perhaps these tartan clad highlanders are doing a happy dance?!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I am

There are three of these signs in different locations in Amsterdam 
(I wanted to get a t-shirt with this printed on it, but in the end, I waited too long and couldn't find my preferred colour in my size.)
this smaller sign was outside the Hermitage Museum. I believe it gets moved to 'playfully' appear at various places around the city.
and this one, behind all the happy sunflowers, greets you at the airport.

 I had to get up awfully early to get a photo of the big one outside the Rijksmuseum 
and even at 6:45 am there were tourists wandering about!!
usually, there are  people sitting and/or climbing on all the letters

something for signs,signs

Monday, September 15, 2014

a room with a view

I spent a week in Amsterdam.
this was my hotel. the arched window on the top was my room
this is a better shot of the whole hotel that I ripped off the internet because the trees obscured my photo. it was way more charming than anything a big Marriott could offer.

I was quite pleased with my room. It was a large single with a small wet room as a shower/toilet. Apart from the nuisance of 80% of the floor getting wet whenever I had a shower, I rather liked the simplicity of the design and not having to get into a bathtub or claustrophobic cubicle.
It also had those cool windows that opened fully, unencumbered by screens. The headboard of the (lovely and generous 3/4 size and not a standard twin) bed, however, got in the way of my flinging them open in a dramatic fashion. Probably just as well, really - I'd likely have cracked my skull open on it as they were never shut (it was far too warm in that room!)
The best part of the room though, was the view.
Here was my first photo taken within minutes of arriving. 
Love the rainbow!
and over to the left..... the Rijksmuseum!
and, because you know I love to take the same view in varying lights... 
here it is again. (yes, I leaned out that window every day and took a shot of the rooftops)
I miss having someone making up my bed every day for me.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

road trip

These Road Trip Australia stamps were issued in 2012.         I would love to get the whole series, but as I've gotten few postcards from Australia, my hopes are fading.    The stamps were designed by Gavin Ryan and "take a lighthearted approach to travelling through remarkable landmark attractions: Port Arthur, the Great Barrier Reef, Margaret River, Alice Springs, and Phillip Island. "    
I also still harbour a desire to own one of these VW buses from the 1960's. Perhaps not so much with all the flower power decals on it, though.

Friday, September 12, 2014


A highlight of of my trip to Scotland last month was seeing the HUGE Kelpies, a steel installation located at The Helix between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Kelpies are mythical creatures that live in the water, the most famous of which is Nessie.
They are individually known as Duke and Baron after the two Clydesdales that were the life models for the sculptures. 
A second postcard shows the unfinished Kelpies. You can go inside the one with his head down (Duke). They each weigh 300 tonnes and are 30 metres high. Each one of their 990 steel panels is unique.
One regret was that it started raining during the tour - really raining, hard - so I didn't get enough photos. The other was that we didn't stay late enough to see them lit up at night. But, I wasn't the driver and an hour past dusk would have been far too long a wait.

The following link shows a time lapse video of the construction process
The Kelpies 


Friday, August 22, 2014

come fly away

Not that it was ever an option, 
but I do regret that I never had the opportunity (or money) to fly on the Concorde. I did manage to see and hear it fly overhead at noon as it left Heathrow.
I have been on a BOAC, back in the days when air travel was still an event that one dressed up for. 
Today, I will be wearing my warmest clothes that won't fit into my small suitcase (because getting a blanket and pillow is no longer a certainty)

Ideally, I'd prefer to travel in the Tardis, except I might end up in some strange land and century, but it would be an adventure. (maybe instead of going to the 50th anniversary party, I might actually be transported back to the wedding. that would be cool.) 
And the New Doctor lands on Saturday!! (yes, I'm so excited. not sure if jet lag will allow me to stay awake to watch, but I've been assured that I will be able to see the 'catch up' if sleep overtakes me. and I've been warned that no one else in my family is interested! how can that be??)
See you again in about 3 weeks.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

grave post - Erlme

I stopped off to wander through the Clifford Cemetery, but the mosquitos at dusk made it a short visit.

The name and current date on this stone as well as the bear and rooster stone made me pause. 

FISHER, Erlme Anne – passed away quietly at Listowel Memorial Hospital on Saturday April 19, 2014 at the age of 78. Erlme was a member of Atwood Presbyterian Church and the Women’s Missionary Society. 

The Alex Dixon Stewart listed on the stone was her brother who died in infancy. Today would have been her 79th birthday.

It would seem she also had a truly unique name. According to the only baby name website that recognized Erlme, there is one other person, in Michigan, who currently has this name.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

a touch of blue

 A trial safety measure was implemented in Southampton just days before I
arrived. It was fun to watch the reaction of visitors and locals as they came upon the shocking sight of the blue painted corners of High and Grosvenor Sts. Apparently it has had some mixed reviews.
High Street is very wide and has angled parking which makes it difficult to see traffic while standing at the curb waiting to cross. One person suggested that a crosswalk might have been less unsightly, but drivers still would have had trouble seeing anyone beyond some of these vehicles. These are called bump outs and are meant to slow traffic and give pedestrians better access to cross the street. Each bump out is 10' out onto the road at its widest point.

When I took these pictures it was late on a quiet Sunday afternoon. This is also the less busy end, down by the cenotaph and the lake with the B&Bs lining the street. At this corner is a restaurant, a bank, the post office and a pub.

We also had something similar (though not nearly as bumped out) in my town, but I had no idea what the reasoning was behind the new paint and when I checked to confirm what I remembered as being green, I see it has disappeared.
I'll be interested to see if this is still in place next summer when the experiment is over. At best, maybe the blue will have lost some of it's brightness after the winter wind and snow.

sharing with signs,signs

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a quiet time

One of the oddities of being outside a major urban area, is the lack of wildlife. It was almost startling how few birds and animals were around. You see many more varieties in the city than at the cottage, which is not exactly what you expect.

there were some very noisy blue jays
and this hungry robin

and a hungry bunny

and quite a few gulls on the windy beach
as well as many crows and vultures

but I sortof missed the raccoons, of which Toronto has about 2 million

I did see a deer on the side of the road, actually he was standing in the oncoming lane of the two lane highway and fortunately, for him and us, he bolted back into the forest.

Friday, August 8, 2014

a tiny Jumbo

It's a tiny postcard, measuring only 3½" by 1½"

but it's JUMBO! 
and I've been looking for a vintage Jumbo postcard for ages.

this is larger than the real card!
the reverse side shows the embossing
greatly enlarged

My postcard dealer from the stamp show put him aside to show me because it was a miniature. I was so excited. My first miniature and my first Jumbo (of any era).

Wikipedia lists Jumbo's occupation as 'zoo and circus attraction'. He was born in Sudan and after his mother was killed by hunters, he ended up in captivity and was shuttled between various zoos until PT Barnum bought him and he lived the next few years being the star attraction of the "Greatest Show on Earth". The world mourned when the 12' Jumbo was hit by a freight train in St Thomas, Ontario in 1885.

Reports vary on the nature of his death and what happened afterwards, but apparently Jumbo's skeleton was donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The elephant's heart was sold to Cornell University. His hide was stuffed and traveled with Barnum's circus for a number of years. In 1889, Barnum donated the stuffed Jumbo to Tufts University, where it was displayed until destroyed by a fire in 1975. Jumbo's tail, which survived the fire, is kept in the University archives. The great elephant's ashes are kept in a 14-ounce Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter jar in the office of the Tufts athletic director.