Wednesday, June 26, 2013

50 Years Australia-Thailand Diplomatic Relations


The Kingdom of Thailand started diplomatic and commercial relations with western countries as early as the 17th century. Such relations were formally established between Australia and Thailand when the first Australian Minister arrived in Bangkok on 14 Apr 1952.

Year 2002 mark the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Australia and Thailand. This joint issue between Australia Post and Thailand Post is to celebrate this golden jubilee event.

The stamps feature the following waterlilies from Australia and Thailand :


Found in both countries, waterlilies traditional associations with beauty, enlightenment and renewal make them as fitting symbol to mark this milestone.

TECHNICAL DETAILS - AUSTRALIA STAMP

Date of Issue : 6 Aug 2002
Postmark : Watergardens VIC 3038
Denomination : 45c and AU$1.00
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm
Paper : De La Rue SH8
Printing Process : Lithography

TECHNICAL DETAILS - THAILAND STAMP

Date of Issue : 6 Aug 2002
Postmark : Bangkok
Denomination : 2 x 3 Baht
Stamp Size : 45mm x 27mm

A LIL' NOTE

Above is also the first joint stamp issue between Australia and Thailand.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Undomestic Goddess


A story about Samantha Sweeting, a high-powered lawyer in London, who works all hours, has no home life, and cares only about getting a partnership. Striving on the pressure and adrenalin, she had never made a mistake all the years during her career, until one day when she made a mistake so huge that it would wreck her career.

Unable to face her mistake, she walks right out of the office and gets on the first train she sees where she ends up in the middle of nowhere. She is mistaken for the interviewee housekeeper, and one lie after another, she gets the job.

Disaster ensues as Samantha battles with the kitchen appliances, washing machine, the ironing board etc. She somehow manages to pick up domestic skills while learning about life, love and friendship. It is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.

Did Samantha really make a mistake in the first place? And will her current employers ever find out that they have actually hired a Cambridge-educated lawyer? Will her old life ever catch up with her, and if yes, will she ever want it back?

DETAILS

ISBN-13 : 978-0-552-15314-0
ISBN-10 : 0-55215-314-1
Author : Sophie Kinsella
Publisher : Transworld Publishers
Published : 2006

A LIL' THOUGHT

I have always enjoyed books by Sophie Kinsella - it all started with the shopaholic series.

The Undomestic Goddess is Sophie Kinsella's second stand-alone novel. Entertaining and fun to read. Particularly fun to read the transformation process from an undomestic goddess to a domestic goddess.

Having said that, am a bit disappointed with the decision made by Samantha at the end of the story. Am sure that there are other paths that she can choose.

Or perhaps let's put it this way, the author has it ended in such a way, and how Samantha would move on with her career, we shall let the readers' imagination run wild, how about that?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Year of the Dragon 2000 (Australia)


The fifth sign in the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon is one of China's most complex and multi-tiered symbols. Unlike the dragon of the West, the Chinese dragon is a good-natured and benign creature. The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend, and they come in all shapes and sizes and have a serpentine body plus feet and claws as well as scaly skin.

Those born in the Year of the Dragon are said to be proud and lively with a tremendous amount of self-confidence. They are intelligent, quick to take advantage of opportunities, energetic and hardworking. They however can be impulsive and impatient.

Famous people born in the Year of the Dragon includes Bruce Lee, John Lennon, Mae West, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Martin Luther King, Vladimir Putin and Pele.

Shown above is the domestic prepaid envelope, to be used for one posting only to anywhere within Australia.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 13 Jan 2000
Domestic Prepaid Envelope : 55c
International Prepaid Envelope : AU$1.60
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm

A LIL' NOTE

With a prepaid postage envelope, there's no need to buy any stamp separately as the price of the envelope includes the postage as well as the cost of the envelope itself.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

100 Years Matang Mangroves Perak


Matang Mangroves in Perak is a very productive ecosystem and it supports the food chain of various wildlife comprising fish, crustaceans, birds, small mammals and invertebrates. In addition, migratory birds also make a pit stop at this mangrove to feed.

Besides plants, the mangrove habitat also houses a large number of animals.

There are 28 fishing villages in the vicinity of the Matang Mangroves. Aquaculture farming is also carried out besides fishing. Cockles were first commercially farmed here in 1984.

This stamp issue is to commemorate Matang Mangroves 100 years celebration in 2004.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 4 Oct 2004
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 2 x 30 sen and 2 x RM1
Stamp Size : 30mm x 40mm
Paper : Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography

A LIL' NOTE

When an area in the mangrove contains less than 90% of natural seedlings, replanting would be carried out.

The 2 most commonly planted species in this mangrove are :


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Year of the Rabbit 1999 (Australia)


The fourth sign in the Chinese zodiac, the Rabbit was traditionally believed to live in the moon, where it mixed the jade elixir, also known as the elixir of immortality, with a pestle and mortar. The Rabbit is hence a symbol of longevity.

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are considered to have a tranquil and generous character, and a youthful and imaginative outlook. They are also soft spoken and welcoming, being fond of peaceful love life.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 14 Jan 1999
Postmark : Christmas Island WA 6798
Denomination : 2 x 45c
Stamp Size : 37.5mm x 26mm

A LIL' NOTE

Rabbit years over the last century are 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Year of the Rabbit 2011 (Hong Kong)


The Rabbit is the fourth sign in the 12-year Chinese zodiac. In traditional Chinese culture, the Rabbit is a symbol of agility, kind and quick-witted.

Four different breeds of cuddly rabbits are being featured in this quadruple set of stamp issue. Five-colour printing is used to capture the gradation of light and shade, thus highlighting the rabbits against a background of silver foliage.

The above issue is the 3rd zodiac series released by Hongkong Post, with the 1st and 2nd series issued in 1975 and 1987 respectively.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 22 Jan 2011
Denomination : HK$1.40, HK$2.40, HK$3.00 and HK$5.00
Stamp Size : 28mm x 45mm
Paper : Paper with Security Fibres
Printing Process : Lithography

A LIL' NOTE

Famous people born in the Year of the Rabbit includes Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, David Beckham, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, Maria Sharapova and Jet Li.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Why Be Cat

Something light to start the weekend - 6 reasons one should consider being a cat, in particular as someone's pet cat, I would say ...


Have a great weekend! And it's definitely weekend everyday for our lovely fuzzy, as they do not need to work :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Year of the Ox 2009 (Australia)

Miniature Sheet
Zodiac Stamps

The second sign in the Chinese zodiac, the Ox was cheated out of first position in the zodiac race when the Rat, being cunning in nature, secretly rode on the Ox's back, jumped off the Ox and reached the riverbank first.

The miniature sheet in this issue depicts Laozi, a prominent thinker in ancient China, who served as a keeper of archival records at the court during the Zhou dynasty. Witnessing the decline of Zhou, Laozi departed to the wilderness on his faithful ox. Upon reaching the border he was asked to put his teachings and knowledge into writing. In the company of his ox, Laozi wrote Daode Jing, the most important book in Taoism.

As usual, included in the issue is a set of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 8 Jan 2009
Postmark : Christmas Island WA 6798
Denomination : 55c and AU$1.65
Zodiac Stamps Denomination : 4 x 10c, 4 x 20c and 4 x 25c
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm
Paper : Tullis Russell
Printing Process : Lithography

A LIL' NOTE

Being the most important book in Taoism, Daode Jing is one of the most translated works in world literature.

Laozi's influence on Chinese culture is reflected in philosophic thought, literature, calligraphy, painting, music and other cultural traditions.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Year of the Ox 2009 (Thailand)


The Ox is the second sign in the 12-year Chinese zodiac. It is highly respected in traditional Chinese society as it helps plough and harvest the land, and it signifies prosperity through fortitude and hard work.

Those born in the Year of the Ox are considered to be patient, loyal, tender and a caring companion. They are endowed with kindness, honesty and a good heart. They are thus charismatic, well liked and dependable.

The stamp features a native Thai design of the ox with golden stars constellation.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 2 Jan 2009
Postmark : Bangkok
Denomination : 3 Baht
Stamp Size : 28mm x 28mm
Printing Process : Lithography, Multi-colour

A LIL' NOTE

Ox years over the last century are 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009.

Famous people born in the Year of the Ox includes Princess Diana, Charlie Chaplin and Napoleon.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Digital Fortress


A cyber-thriller which revolves around the quest for an unbreakable encryption algorithm, and the extent on how some individuals go about in acquiring it.

When the United States NSA (National Security Agency), the most powerful intelligence organisation on earth's invincible code-breaking machine encounters an unbreakable encryption algorithm, it calls for its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, to intervene in order to break the code.

The NSA find themselves in a race to intercept and destroy this algorithm, known as Digital Fortress, before it can be released to the world, hence rendering NSA's spying efforts useless. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher finds herself fighting not only for her country, but for her life as well as the life of the man she loves.

DETAILS

ISBN-13 : 978-0-552-16125-1
ISBN-10 : 0-55216-125-X
Author : Dan Brown
Publisher : Transworld Paperbacks
Published : 2009

A LIL' THOUGHT

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Truly engaging, I literally didn't put it down until I was done. If you enjoy cyber-thriller, this is not to be missed.

Besides the story itself, the other thing that I really like is the how the prologue is linked to the epilogue.

Quoted from the prologue - "It is said that in death, all things become clear."

Quoted from the epilogue - "They say in death, all things become clear."

Huh? Well, you just need to read to find out more :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Year of the Rat 2008 (Australia)

Miniature Sheet
Zodiac Stamps

The Rat, the first sign in the 12-year Chinese zodiac, symbolises good luck and wealth.

Intelligent and cunning in nature, realising that it could not be the first across the river in the zodiac race, the crafty Rat secretly rode on the Ox's back, and upon reaching the opposite of the riverbank, the Rat jumped off the Ox to take the first place.

Those born in the Year of the Rat are said to make ideal writers, critics, detectives, artists, musicians, lawyers, politicians or psychiatrists.

Included in the issue is also a set of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 8 Jan 2008
Postmark : Christmas Island WA 6798
Denomination : 50c and AU$1.45
Zodiac Stamps Denomination : 4 x 10c, 4 x 15c and 4 x 25c
Stamp Size : 26mm x 37.5mm
Paper : Tullis Russell, with Gold Foiling on Stamps
Printing Process : Lithography

A LIL' NOTE

Zodiac stamps, i.e. stamps featuring the zodiac animal of the year, is one of those stamps issued by various countries each year. For example, Hongkong Post and Thailand Post also issue zodiac stamps each year.

Click here to view the stamps issued by Hongkong Post for the Year of the Rat in 2008.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Year of the Rat 2008 (Hong Kong)


Each Chinese lunar year is named after an animal, running in 12-year cycles. The Rat is the first animal in the cycle.

In traditional Chinese culture, the Rat is a symbol of intelligence and agility, hence those born in the Year of the Rat are considered to be sharp-witted. Cheerful and amiable, they are able to make friends easily.

The above issue is the 3rd zodiac series released by Hongkong Post, with the 1st and 2nd series issued in 1972 and 1996 respectively.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 26 Jan 2008
Postmark : Hong Kong
Denomination : HK$1.40, HK$2.40, HK$3.00 and HK$5.00
Stamp Size : 28mm x 45mm
Paper : Paper with Security Fibres
Printing Process : Lithography

A LIL' NOTE

Famous people born in the Year of the Rat includes Shakespeare, Mozart, Churchill, Washington and Truman Capote.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Golden Jubilee of the Reign of HRH Sultan of Kedah


The Kedah Malay Sultanate is the oldest Sultanate in Malaysia. Its origin can be traced to almost 900 years, with 28 Sultans have ruled so far.

His Royal Highness Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, the current Sultan of Kedah, was installed officially as the 28th Ruler of the State of Kedah in 1959.

Year 2008 marks the Golden Jubilee of the reign of His Royal Highness Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah. This stamp issue is to commemorate this Golden Jubilee celebration.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Date of Issue : 15 Jul 2008
Postmark : Alor Setar
Denomination : 30 sen, 50 sen and RM1
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm
Paper : SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography

A LIL' NOTE

HRH Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah is also the 14th and current Yang di-Pertuan Agong (i.e. the King) of Malaysia. His Royal Highness is the first ruler to hold this position twice, as he was also the 5th Yang di-Pertuan Agong from 1970 to 1975.

Have chosen to share above stamp issue today to coincide with the birthday of Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Daulat Tuanku!