Friday, July 15, 2011

Easter Fun

The front of this postcard says Easter Fun. That big long "P" word ends up meaning 'fun'. I am not sure I have typed in a word that long and come up with a word so short. I checked it twice! Well, there you go. My first Finnish card! Such a beautiful language, even if it is full of vowels and long words I am sure I could never say correctly. I cannot quite make out the year on our stamp but I think it says 51 so that's what I'm sticking to, 1951. Herr Hansen had beautiful handwriting even if Herr Hansen didn't have a lot to say. It's always the thought that counts on postcards anyway.

The Penny Post

A note in English. Yay, no translating for once. The Penny Post was organized in 1680 by a merchant named William Dockwra. It allowed you to deliver mail anywhere in London for a penny. He also introduced the practice of postmarking letters to indicate when and where they had been posted. However, the system became so successful that the government took control of the operation in 1682 and absorbed it into the Post Office. And as things do when given to the government, the price went up. So much so, that it eventually could cost you a days wage to send a letter from London to Edinburgh! There was a committee formed, because that's what governments are good at, forming a committee, and it was decided that more mail would be sent if it went back down to a penny. They also decided to make it "prepaid" in the form of an adhesive label, or stamp. The Uniform Penny Post went into effect on January 10, 1840 and 112,000 letters were posted on the first day. Three times more than the same day the previous year. In 1839 there were 76 million letters posted in the United Kingdom. In 1840 after the introduction of the Penny Post there were 168 million and ten years later this had doubled to an incredible 347 million letters.
Our dear paper talks about letter boxes in walls and street corners painted red and how you could put your letter inside and with a twopence or halfpenny stamp, your letter could go as far away as Edinburgh or India. Anywhere within the British Empire. Well, we are looking at sometime before 1947 if India is still a part of the British Empire. Very cute paper and, as always, I have learned something.

Witches and Books

Bookmarks! The first one says Witch Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. They are part of a series of books and get really good reviews on Amazon. I always check reviews on Amazon. I don't swear by them, but I figure hundreds of people can't be that off about whether a book is good or not. Anyway, I thought the picture was so dang cool. I love fantasy and scifi books and movies so this picture caught my attention right away. I've added the series to my 'to read' list. It's long, but I would go crazy without one. The second bookmark says, "In the company of good books you'll never be bored." So true!!!

More Karen Blixen

I hope you will go and find my post about Karen Blixen before you read this post. She led a very interesting life. This is a short article about a bunch of items that were sold at auction in 1965. Two items were letters of Karen Blixen's. One sold for 300 kroner and the other for 275. It really bothers me that I didn't know who she was until I started this blog. I knew Out of Africa and some of her other works, but I didn't know of her, not really. The more I look into her life, her works, etc. the more shocked I am that I didn't know of her. I know there are some of you shaking your head in disgust at this confession. I am a little disgusted myself. Forgive me. Better late than never, yes?

The Doorway

These four photo's were found together in one book. They are really small, about 3 inches by 2 inches. I called this post The Doorway based on the two photo's taken in the same doorway. I cannot tell you how much I love these old, candid pictures. You see so many older pictures where no one is smiling, but the girl in the first photo sitting on the step is absolutely cracking up at something. She looks like that person who is the life of the party, the gal everyone is friends with. I wish I knew what was said right before this shot was taken. Did men always wear some sort of a tie? Every stinking day? The next photo is a bit faded and the edges are very aged. Matron of the family? Photo three finds two young ladies on the ground. People never look warm in old photos. Thick stockings, warm shawls, and wool skirts. No thanks. Photo 4. Doesn't she look happy! Well, I wouldn't either if someone put a bow that size on the back of my head. I actually think she looks pretty darn cute. That style of dress is still in fashion, babydoll is it called. Either way, I like it. Any guesses on the year? 20's, 30's?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Carl Bloch Painting

Another postcard. This one from 1980. The painting is by Carl Bloch and is entitled King Christian IV Visits The Dying Chancellor, Niels Kaas, painted in 1880. Carl Bloch was another one of those Danish artists that makes me melt. You cannot look at this picture, at the details, and not be impressed. Keep your Jackson Pollock and give me a Danish artist any day. Not that I can't appreciate some of the modern art, but seriously, I just can't get behind stacking a bunch of chairs on top of each other, painting them crazy colors, naming it 'descending sorrow' or some nonsense and calling it art! Apologies if this description is anywhere close to an actual piece of "art" out there. But you get my point, right?