Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Stamp Collecting August 13, 2016

Filed under: Stamp collecting — Janet @ 4:24 pm


Dan the Stamp Man is trying to lure me into a purchase by putting this lovely page of stamps on Facebook.  Aren’t they just beautiful.  I used to collect stamps – a long time ago.  I still have all my albums and boxes full of stamps.  Nothing valuable so far as I know.  Just interesting.  As to my postcard collection – well that’s another story.


Stamp Collecting February 26, 2016

Filed under: Postage stamps,Postal history,Postcards,Stamp collecting — Janet @ 5:11 pm



Norwegian Stamps   Have you ever collected stamps?  So beautiful – each one a work of art, a lesson in history and/or geography, science, etc.



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Stamp Collecting April 17, 2015

Filed under: Norway,Stamp collecting — Janet @ 6:20 pm

Norwegian Stamps  A set of Norwegian stamps I recently ordered on Ebay.   Every so often I go back to a hobby I’ve had for a long long time.  My latest foray was prompted by a discussion in my Norwegian language class.  We were talking about the upcoming celebrations of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution or Norwegian Independence Day.  On 17th May 1814, the Norwegian Constitution was signed at Eidsvoll and Norway became a separate kingdom.  Separate from Denmark and Sweden.  Syttende Mai.         1918812_174808520970_1123504_n   In 1905 Norway became an independent country in its own right.  That set me to wondering, what postage stamps were used in Norway as it transitioned from being a kingdom to being a fully independent country in 1905.   One of the very real practical transitions implicit in the fact of gaining independence.

According to Wikipedia:

The Constitution of Norway was signed at Eidsvoll on May 17 in the year 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent kingdom in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark–Norway‘s devastating defeat in the Napoleonic Wars.

The celebration of this day began spontaneously among students and others from early on. However, Norway was at that time in a union with Sweden (following theConvention of Moss in August 1814) and for some years the King of Sweden and Norway was reluctant to allow the celebrations. For a few years during the 1820s, KingKarl Johan actually banned it, believing that celebrations like this were in fact a kind of protest and disregard — even revolt — against the union.[1] The king’s attitude changed after the Battle of the Square in 1829, an incident which resulted in such a commotion that the king had to allow commemorations on the day. It was, however, not until 1833 that public addresses were held, and official celebration was initiated near the monument of former government minister Christian Krohg, who had spent much of his political life curbing the personal power of the monarch. The address was held by Henrik Wergeland, thoroughly witnessed and accounted for by an informant dispatched by the king himself.

After 1864 the day became more established when the first children’s parade was launched in Christiania, at first consisting only of boys. This initiative was taken byBjørnstjerne Bjørnson, although Wergeland made the first known children’s parade at Eidsvoll around 1820. It was only in 1899 that girls were allowed to join in the parade for the first time.

By historical coincidence, the Second World War ended in Norway nine days before that year’s Constitution Day, on May 8, 1945, when the occupying German forces surrendered. Even if The Liberation Day is an official flag day in Norway, the day is not an official holiday and is not widely celebrated. Instead, a new and broader meaning has been added to the celebration of Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17.[citation needed]

The day focused originally on the Norwegian constitution, but after 1905, the focus has been directed also towards the royal family.



Curious Philatelic Activities June 26, 2011

  a curious book about an eccentric Englishman who enjoyed challenging the postal system

  if you can read the fine print on the back cover of this book, you can find out a bit more about this man W. Reginald Bray (1879-1939).  He really was eccentric.

My philatelic activities are a bit more mundane.  Here are several postcards I found recently.

  I don’t know what breed of dog this is.  For some reason I have a feeling it’s Belgian.  The seller of the card thinks the card dates from 1907 but there is no message or stamp to give any more clues.  It will go  into the album with my other dog postcards.

  “The Return of the Oyster Fishers”, original painting by Francois Nicolas Augustin Feyen-Perrin (1829-1888).  According to the inscription of the card, the painting hangs in the Luxumbourg Gallery in Paris.  Again no message or stamp on the back to give any further clues.

  this is a card of the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio.  I bought this card (for the princely sum of 50 cents) with Oberlin friends in  mind, but they are not postcard collectors so I am quite happy to keep it.  I think that building is just magnificent.


Once Upon A Time …… December 27, 2010

Once upon a time, long long ago, I had a stamp collection.  My interest in stamps ebbed and flowed, only surfacing occasionally after the age of about 10, I suppose.

  my stamp album, which got left behind in the attic of our family home – when my mother sold the house and moved to Hawaii, the album was rescued by my sister Ruth and resided for many years in her barn in New Hampshire.  I remembered the album as being chock-a-block full of stamps.  But in reality – here are 2 sample pages of what I found – no actual stamps on these 2 pages for Norway – just the black and white samples of stamps of the time.


These are the 2 pages for Norway.  Evidently I didn’t have any stamps from Norway.  But in my middle years when I became interested in stamps again and my good old red stamp album had been moved from the attic to the barn, I had a penpal who lived in Norway.  So I am sure I have some Norwegian stamps which would fit very nicely on to these blank pages.  When we lived in Fiji in the ’70’s we belonged to a stamp collecting club – a philatelic circle if you will.  And we also built up a fair collection of Irish philatelic material – and stamps as well from when we lived in St. Lucia in the Carribbean.  So we do have lots of stamps to fill the pages of this album – if we ever get around to it.

The reason I picked on Norway to show the blank pages in my old album is that we have had a rather Scandinavian/Norwegian Christmas with several lovely services in the Ballard First Lutheran Church.  Rather a change from Taney Church of Ireland in Dublin.  There were many similarities though so I wasn’t completely lost.  And the display of Norwegian Dale of Norway, Norskwear type sweaters was most eye-catching.  I was even given a lovely cardigan for Christmas.   

But I chose to wear an earlier Scandinavian type garment – a sleeveless sweater designed and knit by Joyce Forsyth who has her studio in the Cornmarket in Edinburgh.   



  view from the balcony – where a small group of women (of which I was one) sang carols to start the Christmas Eve service

But to return to the stamp theme – the following is an old postcard from my collection.  The card is postmarked Bergen 21 VI 04 – the day of the solstice 1904

         Note the stamp

This is hardly a winter scene but it will have to do.  Bergen, 1904.  The street is so wide.  I don’t remember any street this wide in Bergen but I was only there briefly in 1959.


The Big Red Album April 10, 2008

Filed under: Autobiography,Stamp collecting — Janet @ 5:15 pm


I’ve been writing a lot about old postcards and trying to find cards related to the fibre arts.  Collecting stamps is a related activity to collecting postcards.  In my childhood, collecting stamps was one of my hobbies – a hobby that in time went on the back burner.  In due course I went away to college, entered the working world, went back to college etc.  As the years passed I scarcely thought about my former passion for stamp collecting.  When the family home was sold I was far away and unable to attend the final clearance of the memorabilia stored away there.  However, there were 2 items of memorabilia that I decided I really cared about – a scrapbook – mainly  of newspaper clippings, and my big red stamp album.  I was assured that one of my sisters had rescued these items and that they were stored in her barn.   The years went by.  Each time I visited in New Hampshire, I searched the barn looking for those 2 items.  The search for the scrapbook proved fruitless or maybe I did find it and decided I didn’t care about those newspaper clippings anymore.  But I did eventually find the red stamp album.  This album dates from the 1940’s and I remembered it as being chock-a-block full of stamps.  Memory is a funny thing.  It was hardly full, by any means.  But I found it and I am very happy to have it. 

In her blog Chronic Knitting Syndrome, Helen writes of listening to music that she enjoyed 20-30 years ago.  Listening to it again, she can recall events in her life when those tunes were first popular.  Now 20-30 years on, she is listening to the same music but listening in a different way and paying less attention to the words but being reminding of events in her life when the tunes were first popular. 

In a round-about way I am trying to say something similar about my stamp album.  I suppose I initially collected stamps because the countries depicted by the stamps were far away and exotic.  Now I find myself living in one of those far away exotic countries.  In fact, I have lived here for almost 40 years – and in many other far away exotic places.  The Irish stamps in my stamp album are filed under the Irish Free State, as Eire was known at the time the album was printed.  Little did I know what the future held – I was only 10 years old and pasting Irish Free State stamps into a big red album. 

Now I am 60 decades further on and looking at my stamp album again.  The Album does not have near as many stamps as it held in my memory – memory plays tricks.  But the Album is precious nonetheless.  And I have a big bumper box of stamps tucked away in one of our cupboards – I’m sure I can find some more stamps to paste into this neglected, long-lost, refound, and treasured album.  And hopefully one or more of my grandchildren will be attracted to this hobby – when stamped letters arrive in the post, I tear out the corner and put the stamp aside in hope.  Who knows how those grandchildren will feel in 50 years time when they find the stamps that their grandmother saved for them.

Meanwhile, knitting continues.  One pair of socks almost completed (only the ends to sew in).  A 2nd pair started.  I have been wearing a pair of my handknit socks to protect my sore toes – joy of joy, today the toe doctor admired my socks!!!  Just the thing for anyone having toe or bunion surgery!