Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pope John Paul II

This post was inspired by Hawwa's Palais des Papes stamp from last week's Sunday Stamps.

I have always been drawn into the amiable countenance of Pope John Paul II. I won't comment about him as pope cause I am not an avid follower of the Holy See. But will say and I believe he's one truly amazing person. He's got a great bio: being chosen as the first non-Italian pope in more than four hundred years in the Roman Catholic faith, second longest serving pope in history, and one of the most traveled world leaders -- having visited 129 countries as a pope. 

Pastoral Visit of Pope John Paul II to Poland, released 2 June 2004

Pope John Paul II's real name is Karol Józef Wojtyla. He was born on 18 May 1920 in Wadowice, Poland. He finished his religious studies in a secret seminary in Krakow after World War II. He continued his studies in Rome. Then returned to Poland to serve.

Traces of Karol Wojtyla, released 18 May 2010
Church of St. Peter the Apostle in Wadowice
and the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice

He became pope in 1978. He was a charismatic religious leader but also had his critics. He survived an assassination in 1981 in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City. He was more loved when he forgave his assassin. He died on 2 April 2005 at his Vatican residence from an illness. Three million people came to mourn and say good bye during his funeral.

He was beatified on 1 May 2011. To read more about Pope John Paul II, here's a link for a Uncle Wiki's article about him. 

Have a great week ahead everyone. I've been sick, my wallet got stolen and my laptop crashed so I'm not in very good spirits lately. But I'm grateful my laptop was revived, I didn't lose a lot of important files, and I can post for Sunday Stamps before June ends. I will go on hiatus for a month to prepare for the final assessment of my clinical residency at the end of July. 

Au revoir,

The First Training

FI-1481431, Sender: Konkajo
Sent: 15 July 2012, Sent from Jarvenpaa, Finland
Received: 10 August 2012, Traveled 8,922 km in  26 days

It's Sunday, so this is really a very late post for Beth's Postcard Friendship Friday. However, I don't want to lose the chance to share this postcard for June since I've promised to keep romance as a theme for the entire month.

My laptop didn't want to boot. It was a long and tedious (and scary) process getting it backed up and working. So it's now working again, thank heavens! 

And I'm glad I still have one day of June for the roll of PFF and GHT. I have this vintage card that I've been planning to post since the start of the month, but I decided it's best as a month-ender. Plus I delayed posting cause I really can't find information about it. I can't figure out the information at the back of the card:

It might be hard reading the words; they're written vertically. Konkajo wrote, "The first training" with the rest of his message. I am not sure if that's a translation for one of the Finnish words or it refers to the young girl and boy sharing a kiss...

I didn't want to rotate the image cause I also want to share the beautiful stamp that came with the card. This one is for  Clytie's Guest Heart Thursday.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Castle stamps

The Tower of London, viewed from the River Thames with the Union Jack.
I was frustrated that I can't find information about this stamp on the Royal Mail website. Apparently, this was issued by the Universal Mail United Kingdom, the postal service in the UK aimed at the tourist market. This stamp was part of the Historic Royal Palaces Booklet issued in June 2011.

Palacio Episcopal de Astorga
It was designed by the Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí, one of his three works outside Catalonia. 
The palace is now a museum of religious art, called Museo de los Caminos.
The stamp was released on 17 July 2012.

Two castle overlooking the Werra valley.
The two castles are the Ludwig stone castle in Hesse and the ruins of Hanstein in Thuringia.
The view of the two castles is symbolic of overcoming the division of Germany. 
The stamp was issue on 3 February 2011.


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

A postcard I sent to myself ;-)
Sent: 29 May 2012, Sent from Slough, United Kingdom
Received: 19 June 2012, Traveled 10782.5 km in 22 days
His Royal Highness Prince William the Duke of Cambridge and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is another beautiful royal couple. To continue my love and romance theme for the month of June, let me share an excerpt from the prayer they made for their wedding back in 2011:

In the busyness of each day, keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

I hope their story will continue to blossom and be as wonderful as that of their grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Loving through death

Sl-77760, Sender: Leonardo
Sent: 20 May 2013, Sent from Ljubljana, Slovenia
Received: 30 May 2013, Traveled 10,069 km in 10 days

What it's like to be a human --

It's dying without love
It's loving through death.

- FunnyAnna Kamieńska


Friday, June 14, 2013

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip

A postcard I sent to myself ;-)
Sent: 3 June 2012, Sent from London Heathrow Airport
Received: 20 June 2012, Traveled 10,748 km in 17 days

The theme for my Postcard Friendship Friday post today is a continuation from last week, on love and romance. (Actually, I think I'm sticking to this theme for the whole month.)

I am a fan of this royal couple: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh. I won't write lengthy and colorful praises anymore of their 65 years of marriage; that's already everywhere in print and in the net. I'm sharing the postcard because I've been reading news about Prince Philip being sick. That makes me ponder deep on the sorrow it brings to Queen Elizabeth. I know, it's completely none of my business... But I bet that sorrow is more than all the sorrows she's encountered all these years of being a monarch combined altogether...even though she's also in her senior years now herself.

I was stranger to this fear. Falling in love with my bestfriend, thinking ahead, and imagining losing him -- it's one of the worst thoughts in the world! Again, I know, I shouldn't worry about this. We're young, just starting in a romantic relationship... But you know sometimes, you just can't help it. Can you imagine your life without that very special person who's always been at your side; your constant strength and guide? I can't. Well, we argue, we fight, and we have our misunderstandings too. But the feeling remains the same, he's one person I can't ever imagine living without.

Ok. Erase those dim thoughts. Back into the happy and inspiring emotions whenever we think of romance and love. In my admiration of this couple, let me share here excerpts from the speeches they made on their 50th wedding anniversary:

The main lesson we've learned is that tolerance is the one central ingredient of any happy marriage. It might not be so important when things are going well but it is absolutely vital when things get difficult.
 - Prince Philip, 1997

He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater that he would ever claim or we shall ever know.
- Queen Elizabeth, 1997

I won't be a queen like her but I've learned that regardless of social status, everyone have to struggle and  make sacrifices like anybody else. I hope that all couples I know and would come to know, will learn the same tolerance similar to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. And that every man and woman who pledged their love, may always be the strength and guide of each other, specially when troubles challenge their relationship.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Heart Mailbox

Touchnote Postcard, Sender: Roberta
Sent: 9 September 2012, Sent from Faenza, Italy

Rainy season is here. Too bad, that's exactly the same as saying, flood season is here! Just today, my usual 45 minutes commute from the hospital to my apartment became 2 hours. Half of the trip, I was wet with flood water.

Moving on, since I started collecting postcards 2 years ago, I've always feared for my postcards and other stuff from the mail will get wet during rainy season. The postman puts them in the slit of my apartment door. Whenever someone opens the door, the postcards and other stuff (letter, etc.) falls on her head. I like it that way actually, like a shower of postcards. But during rainy season, it's not a very nice idea because sometimes they fly outside the door. And when they fall on wet surface...that's gonna be extremely sad.

It's not possible for me to have my own mailbox though. For some reasons I wish not to discuss. But if I can, it would be something similar to this card Roberta sent me. She said that this wood mailbox is from Trentino Alto Adige in South Tyrol.

Linking with Clytie @ Random Hearts. I wish all of you a better Thursday than mine.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Antibes at the French Riviera

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: My twin, Wan

The beau sent this postcard from when he was studying in Antibes. I'm not sure if it was in 2010 or 2011 (we were still not a couple back then). But I think, it was 2010 because at the back of the postcard, he was talking about a postcard with the Eiffel Tower. But this postcard never arrived. He said it might had been stolen in transit since it was in a beautiful pink envelope. It really made me sad thinking about a lost Eiffel Tower postcard because it should have been my first from France. Thankfully, last year, he was back to Paris and sent me another one. :)

Antibes boasts one of the beautiful sea side resorts in the French Riviera. It was founded during the 5th century BC by Greeks. It was called Antipolis, or the city across. It saw destructions and renewals through ages. In mid- 19th century, it became popular to wealthy Europeans as vacation spot with its beautiful beaches and rich cultural heritage.

I always imagine myself touring Antibes: visiting museums by day, the Musee Picasso is first on my list, finding a treasure at the antique show, boarding a colorful boat in a procession on the sea for the Festival of Saint Peter, climbing up the hill to Garoupe Lighthouse to enjoy the best view of the region, getting lost at the Explora Park, and soothing my senses with wine and jazz music at the end of each day.

It's a nice coincidence that this postcard I got features a similar view to that one posted by Mr. Wiki. The caption Bord de mer à Antibes means sea in Antibes.

I am linking up with Paulita for the first time at the An Accidental Blog for the Dreaming of France meme. Check out her page to discover other wonderful things bloggers who dream about France are sharing this week by clicking the Eiffel Tower below. I am also sharing it for Sally's Blue Monday, accessible through the blue bird meme.



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Round stamps plus more!

Working on the premise that usual shape for stamps is either square or rectangle,
I am sharing these two round stamps for the unusually -shaped stamps theme for Sunday Stamps.

The first stamp is from Portugal for the 2010 Campenato do Mundo de Futebol.
It was released on 31 May 2010.

The second stamp is an aromatic stamp from Russia
It's part of the series called the Gifts of Nature issued on 27 August 2003.
Other fruits on the series are pear, melon, wild strawberry, and apple.

On this second set, the first stamp is a cross with rounded edges from Finland.
It's from the theme Flora (Trees), with a birch bud printed on it.
It was issued 24 January 2011.

The hexagon stamp is from a set of 6, souvenir stamp called Bees of Taiwan.
Shown here is the Apis cerana or the eastern honey bee.
It was issued 12 July 2012.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Furry affections

I read in Beth's blog on Monday that June is the month of romance and love.

As such, let me share some postcards showing furry affections from my collection.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: Diana
Sent: December 2011, Sent from Germany

I love how the mommy bear looks serene and content here, feeling her baby caressing her side.

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sender: My twin, Wan
Sent: 5 May 2013, Sent from Bali, Indonesia
Received: 31 May 2013, Traveled 2,651.63 km in 36 days

Bali is not far from Manila, and a month has passed, I was so sad, I thought this postcard was already lost in the mail. The beau told me he posted a card for me before leaving Bali. 

Then on Wednesday, I was so tired from giving a presentation and facilitating a discussion at a technical working group meeting. When I got home, this was one of the postcards out from the bunch on top of my study table. Yippeee!!! It wasn't lost at all.

The candid shot of the mommy monkey taking care of its young is heartwarming. More so, was the message written at the back of this card :)

NL-931574, Sender: Kitty
Sent: 14 Dec 2011, Sent from Ymuiden, The Netherlands
Received: 16 Jan 2012, Traveled 10,408 km in 33 days

Another heartwarming postcard. It's nice to see baby pandas playing and huddling close to each other. It makes me miss childhood -- being able to play in the grass and the natural affections shared with each other when you're young and innocent about the world.

Speaking of natural affections, let me mention natural kindness and goodness here.

I am so grateful for all the nice words and advice after my previous Postcard Friendship Friday post. The comments I got were really helpful and I'm gaining a better perspective about things in my life now. The comments made me realize a few things. My wait for the Bali postcard was helpful, too. I guess I'm being very impatient and worrying too much sometimes. I need to learn how to slow down a bit and appreciate the blessings I have at the moment. In terms of discontent and some uncomfortable circumstances right now, they will get better in time. Some things I wish and pray for, aren't happening just yet cause as the cliché goes:

Good things come to those who wait (and who keep a healthy attitude and who doesn't stop working hard while waiting), and that: There's a right time for everything.

Happy Postcard Friendship everyone and wish you all a relaxing weekend!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Life was a box of chocolates.

US-2204290, Sender: Carochan
Sent: 29 April 2013, Sent from Marrero, LA
Received: 23 May 2013, Traveled 14,066 km in 24 days

Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.
- Forest Gump's mum

Check out Random Heart's blog by clicking the meme below
for more posts with adorable hearts.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Doors of Fredericia

DK-20698, Sender: Rita
Sent: 24 March 2012, Sent from Kolding, Denmark
Received: 3 April 2012, Traveled 9,961 km in 10 days

Rita wrote that these card shows some of the special doors in Fredericia. I tried to research about them but to my dismay. I found a nice quotation about doors though, that is very appropriate to what I'm going through right now.

There's difference between fear and paralysis. And I've learned that I don't have to "grow up" to be open to opportunity, to be willing to step through doors without being pushed. I just have to be brave. I just have to be slightly braver than I am scared. 
- Victoria Schwab

I continue getting helpful comments from my readers and blog visitors to my post last Friday. Know that I am sincerely grateful from the bottom of my heart for all your nice words and advice. I've started to put into action some of the recommendations in the comments and like I said on my post yesterday, I'm starting to smile and feel better now. :)

Life offers a lot of opportunities. The worst that a person can be is to be hopeless, as there's always a door that you can open. And whatever the circumstances you find inside, you always have a skill or a talent to make the most of them. If all things fail after you've given it your best shot, remember that a door is meant for two things: entrance and exit. You can always exit through that door and open another door until you finally find what you're looking for.

So...which door? I guess we can start from that blue and white one on the upper left corner of the card? ;-)

I'm sharing this with Sally's Blue Monday. Check out her page for more blues!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

June, the month of roses.

Whence comes this mist of sweet perfume of fragrant blooming roses
That fills the air at early dawn and after daylight closes,
When through the day the song bird sings and in the night reposes?
Tis June, the fairest month of all, bright June, the month of roses.
- Elva May Root

It's a new month, not just a new day. 

If that does not make sense, kindly refer to my previous post. May I warn you though that it is a melancholic post, so read with caution...

I am very grateful to the comments I received on that post. The comments gave me hope and inspiration. Like the roses with their pretty red blooms in June, as mentioned in the verses, I feel like the fire in me is starting to have a warmer and bigger glow. And I write this post with a smile.

I am sharing this rose with Viridian's Sunday Stamps and I'm happy that the theme today is anything you wish. It's perfect timing, I can post anything I want -- which is this rose for the start of June, the month of roses.

And since she's asking for suggestions for future themes, I would like to suggest Disney characters, UNESCO WHS, universities, and musical instruments. Pardon me though Viridian, if one or more of these themes I cam up with has/have been rolled out before.