Hello internet! Long time no see. Every now and then, in my day job, I get caught up on a project that requires way too much commitment, and steals all of the little moments I normally use to jot down my philatelic fancies. And then, I took a holiday. Back now. Hi!
Particular apologies to the wonderful Suzanne at ArtStamped, who was kind enough to write a lovely thing about me on her blog back in June, just in time for me to disappear for a few months. She deserves, and will get, a whole Punk entry of her own in good time, but in the meantime, help me make this up to her by going and following her gorgeous work on Instagram or the normal internet.
Even when I go quiet on this blog, I still pop up causing occasional mischief on Twitter, so if you’re a Twittererer, I hope we’re hooked up.
As per usual after any absence, I return with a page full of drafts that will be fleshed out and placed before your eyes over coming months. In the meantime, let’s feast our eyes on this year’s Europa issues, some of which I have scattered throughout this page.
Europa is philatelic Eurovision. Lots of European countries issue stamps on a shared theme, and then people vote for their favourite. This year’s theme, tapping into the international obsession with Game of Thrones, is ‘castles’.
I know: castles, right? Should be easy. You can’t go anywhere in Europe without someone slapping you in the face with a castle. And yet, it proved a challenge for more than one country.
Finland’s Posti, for example, only just released a whole set of stamps with old castles on. What to do? Well, showing typical Finnish inventiveness and a healthy appreciation for Nordic cliché, designer Anssi Kähärä opted for a snow castle. And, credit where it’s due, he couldn’t find a photo he liked, so he built his own.
Belgium could, at first glance, be accused of taking the mickey with this effort. But the Belgians aren’t stupid. Instead of featuring one castle and making all the other castles’ princes and princesses angry, they featured a sand castle incorporating elements of several Belgian castles. Presto! That’s how you avert a war. Break open the chocolate.
But spare a thought for poor Greenland, whose post office website achingly laments, “The nature of our country is magnificent, but we have no castles.” Luckily, they have ice that looks like castles. They don’t even have to build it – it just comes that way! Stick that in your sauna and sweat it up, Finland.
For more on Europa stamps past and present, blogger Euroswiss does a top job of keeping track of Europa issues here.
© Philatelic product images remain the copyright of issuing postal administrations and successor authorities