Sunday, 14 September 2014

Automobiles and Motor Transport - Sunday Stamps

This should have been an easy theme if I had not shown most of my car stamps before. I've had to go back to the 'Celebrate the Century' stamps from the USA.

USA - 1900s Model T Ford
And from the 1950s the way to see a film.

USA - Drive-in Movies, 1950s
I've bent the theme a bit with stamps from Germany and Canada - well there is at least one car on them.

Germany - Each Time Safety, 5 June 1973
This was from a safety series issued over several years and shows a child playing with a car approaching.

My Canadian stamps just has a street scene with an automobile or two.

Meanwhile on my wish list is a set from 13 January 2009 on British Classic Designs (both stamps are scanned from a catalogue.)

Great Britain
So far these have not turned up on my favourite market stall.

For other automobiles and forms of motor transport check out the links at Sunday-stamps-187.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Bath Time - Sepia Saturday

This week's prompt made me think of the ways things used to be.

The house where I was born was made of stone but lacked certain facilities.

My boyhood home - High Street, Ketton, Rutland
Beyond the back of the house to the back of the drive were the outhouses with big double doors used as garages for the cars of the next door landlord’s spinster daughters. – 
Between the garages and the house were two smaller outhouses - one for Dad’s tools and where the dog had its kennel, and one for coal, the fuel that provided heating and hot water in the house. Behind the coal house was the only toilet. No plumbing or drainage; it was equipped with a big wooden seat, and beneath the hole, an open bucket emptied once a week. 
Behind that unmentionable place, down one step to a stone flag floor was the wash house, in which Dad kept his bike and with a bench against one wall at which to work. However in pride of place was the large coal-fired copper in which the weekly washing was boiled up and which provided, at the end of a week, a large tin bath full of water for a proper wash. 

Tin bath like ours
Not round and small like that on the outside wall of the prompt.

If it was exceptionally cold, as a luxury, I was sometimes allowed to fill the bath in front of the hot black-leaded range in the kitchen. I've no photos to show you other that these of baths in use.

Little boy taking a bath in a tub
(By Simple insomnia - CC BY 2.0)
Miner getting washed at home.
In "The Road from Wigan Pier," George Orwell wrote about miners and the use of pithead baths: -

"It is almost impossible for them to wash all over in their home homes. Every drop of water  has got to be heated up, and in a tiny living room which contains, apart from a kitchen range, a quantity of furniture, a wife, some children and probably a dog, there is simply not room to have a proper bath.Even with a basin one is bound to splash the furniture."

At the time some people believed that miners would not use the pithead baths and some even said that there was no point in given baths to miners as they would only keep coal in them!

However round wash tubs like these have been put to many uses.

Wash Tub (Malalla Museum)
(CC BY-NC 2.0)
It's not only children that get a bath in them.

Molly gets a bath
(By Guny - CC BY 2.0)
I'm not sure who Molly is but apparently the dog is called Cosmo - he/she had  run around in the woods and got muddy.

But a much more relaxed dog appeared on a Facebook page this week. My daughter's Golden Retriever would never have submitted to this indignity.

Now I'm off to relax - not in a bath, but under under a shower.
Suggest you take a look at what our prompt has inspired other Sepians to post at Sepia-Saturday-245.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Summer (and signs of Autumn)

There have been hordes of butterflies in our garden this year with Peacocks, Red Admirals and Tortoiseshells in abundance. However a smaller species has been around a lot as well.

Speckled Wood butterfly on a Euonymus
(Emerald 'N Gold) leaf
Those black 'eyes' on its wings seem to be watching you.

I walk by things every day without using my eyes. A garden by the roadside always has a magnificent show of dahlias which I have neglected to photograph until today when some are past their best.

Roadside Dahlias
That photo does not do justice to the beauty of individual blooms ( I do not know the names of each variety.)

I have watched corn grow throughout the year but never managed to see it being harvested.

Just stubble and a single pile of straw bales
The farmers certainly get on quickly as most of this field has been ploughed and rolled. Today sowing for next year's crop was in progress.

Seed drill at work
The tractor behind the bush was pulling a roller to break down another ploughed section of the same field.

If farmers are starting on autumn tasks others have a move to warmer climes in mind.

Preparing to fly south
Here's something we tend to take for granted.

Fuchsia bush at the top of our drive
We really should look closer as we walk past.

Fuchsia flowers
Obviously summer isn't quite over yet.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Jewelry - Sunday Stamps

A search for cultural items and especially jewelry took me to the stamps of four countries although you will see a similarity between two of the items shown.

On 23 August 2011 Great Britain issued a  set of eight stamps about the Crown Jewels. So far I have only the first of these.

Great Britain - The Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross

The stamp from Germany issued in 1976 has a Celtic connection and shows a neck ring or torc.

Germany - Silver Neck Ring found at Trichtingen in 1928
This insignia of a Celtic Prince is made of silver and gold, with copper making up the rest around an iron core.

I suppose you would expect a Celtic connection for an Irish stamp.

Ireland - Jewelry bracelet
Finally from the USA a silver and turquoise necklace on a stamp issued on February 8, 2011.

USA - Navajo Jewelry
Artist Lou Nolan painted this detail  of the necklace from a photograph. The sand-cast blossom is set with polished blue turquoise nuggets. The necklace itself is believer to have been made somewhere in the 1940s or 1950s.

To view other cultural items/jewelry on stamps just follow the links at Viridian's Sunday-Stamps-186.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Monkeying Around - Sepia Saturday

As you get older your memory plays tricks with you; it did with me when I saw this week's prompt.

Back in my wartime childhood it wasn't an organ grinder that turned up at our door, rather...

An itinerant knife grinder
çakçi - by a Greek artist c1809)
Mind you our visitor's equipment was more up to date and there wasn't a monkey. His sharpening stone was pedal driven rather like the one below.

Child watching knife grinder at work
(Relief on Buchanan House, St Jame's Square by Newbury Abbot Trent, sculptor (1885-1963) - By Weglinde, Gordon Lawson, 260311 CC BY-SA 3.0)

I understand that an organ grinder is an itinerant street musician who earns a living by playing a hand organ or hurdy-gurdy. This confuses me further as I thought a hurdy-gurdy was a stringed instrument. Perhaps Mike will help us out because if we follow Churchill's advice we should never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.

Street organs come in all shapes and sizes from those carried on the organ grinder's back to barrel organs the size of a small piano pushed on a set of wheels - often with a monkey on top.

Edward Williams Clay - Organ grinder with monkey
(Ink and watercolour illustration - satirical cartoon, Paris c1828)
Organ grinder's monkey licking a juice bottle top
(By Thomas Quine - January 2006 - CC BY 2.0)
It seems to have been common for the monkey to be on a lead or attached by a chain to the organ.

Buchanan House has another relief to confirm this is this case.

Organ grinder
(Relief on Buchanan House, St Jame's Square by Newbury Abbot Trent, sculptor (1885-1963) - By Weglinde, Gordon Lawson, 290311 CC BY-SA 3.0)

For some reason or another I have associated barrel organs and their monkeys with local fairs. But in the late 1950s neither made it to this photo.

Pat and Bob at Stamford Fair
It was only a few years after this that we were attached by an unbroken chain. 

Organ grinder with monkey on chain
(1892 - Library of Congress)
However we did manage to find some monkeys of our own,

Two monkeys (or four?)
Nearly fifty years on I was pleased to find that monkey men are still around, not that I have seen any of late.

Organ grinder at local Harvest Festival
( 20 Oct 2007 - by Kathy, from a small town in SW PA, USA = CC BY 2.0)
But enough monkeying around it's time to see what other monkey tricks you can find at Sepia-Saturday-244.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Vegetation - Thematic Photography

When I saw this vegetation theme my first thoughts were of what grows in my garden.

However when I saw the North Yorkshire Moors on our way to Whitby yesterday I knew I had to show sometime a bit wilder.

Less than 20yds from the main road from Teesside you could find yourself up to your neck in in a bracken bank.

Bracken with hedge bindweed (belibine) flowers
I wish now that I had some close-ups of the flowers of the bindweed which. in gardens, is regarded as a pest.

More bracken and a single plant of Indian balsam (pink)
The Indian balsam is another invasive species.

But the view that I found best included the plant that gives the open moor its purple colour at this time of year.

Purple heather
Ferns with heather in the background
Although there was vegetation visible at the top of the cliffs below Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey (viewed from afar)
it was this shot that got to me.

Birds of a feather (a week too late)
They would be more interested in fish than vegetation.

Don't let that stop you however, checking out the vegetation on view at Carmi's Thematic-photographic-308.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Reptiles - Sunday Stamps

Viridian's reptile theme proved harder than I thought and I have had to show some stamps for a second time.

This one from Australia was included before with several other wildlife stamps so deserves an outing on its own.

Saltwater Crocodile - Australia
You can read about crocodylus porosos here. . The stamp was issued in 1994.

The marine iguana on the next stamp was part of a 2009 set to commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin.

Marine Iguana - Great Britain
And as Viridian also allowed amphibians this week I thought the common frog from from the Europa Pond Life series deserved to be seen.

Common Frog - Great Britain 2001
One of my daughter's dogs spends a lot of time trying to catch Rana clamitans (the American Green Frog) - I wonder whether she would be interested in a common frog from Britain.

The European Green Lizard (Lagarto verde; scientific name lacerta viridis) appears on a stamp issued in 1974.

European Green Lizard - Spain
To my surprise I did not find a stamp showing a snake of any kind. To see whether anyone else, has try the links at Sunday-Stamps-185 where there is another green lizard on view.