New Issues 2017: Part Four

A new issue yesterday, so I was in Dublin.

Four stamps depicting Royal Sites of Ireland. All are at National Rate. The four sites shown are Hill of Tara (County Meath), Eamhain Mhacha (County Armagh), Rathcroghan (County Roscommon) and Rock of Cashel (County Tipperary).

These sites are the royal sites of the High King of Ireland (Tara) and Kings of Ulster, Connacht and Munster respectively.

There are actually two other Royal Sites. Dún Ailinee (County Kildare) is the site of the Leinster king and the Hill of Uisneach (County Westmeath) is the ceremonial centre of Ireland. I think they should have been included in the set.

As Eamhain Mhacha is just fifteen miles from my home and just  five miles from my mother’s birthplace, I sent myself a postcard  which will have a “first day” cancellation.


In modern terms, there are four provinces in Ireland but the Gaelic word for “province” is “cúige” which means “one fifth”. The fifth province is “An Mhí” meaning “The Middle” and the area ruled by the High King. It is mostly the area of modern County Meath.

The wisdom of the ancients never ceases to amaze me. Modern technology and satelites identify the actual centre of Ireland as Carnagh, which is just nine miles from the Hill of Uisneach.


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Postmarks: County Cork

A selection of postmarks from County Cork. I have eighty-two from the “Rebel County”.  The fourteen shown on this page are from Kealkill, Lislevane, Ballydehob, Toormore, Blarney, Macroom, Riverstick, Goleen, Newmarket, Buttevant, Durrus, Rathcormac, Kilbehany and Inishannon.

I have several hundred postmarks. It all started accidently from Irish kiloware. The envelopes contain duplicates sorted by county.

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Stamp Fair: 8th April 2017

I was at a Stamp Fair on Saturday.

Apart from “new issues”, I have not bought any Ireland stamps from my Wants List since last October. I will return to the Wants List in about six weeks.

I have two very different hobbies. One…Philately….is about Ireland. The other …Stamp Collecting… is about the World. Philately is expensive. Stamp Collecting is cheap.

Really for too many years, I have been neglecting Stamp Collecting. The consequence is that the number of stamps I have for some countries is much lower than might be expected.

To some extent, some countries are not on the Radar. For example, the African countries, formerly in the French Empire are more collectable in Paris than in London…Trinidad and Tobago attracts more interest in London than Miami….and stamps from Mexico are more more familiar in Miami than in London.

So…Republic of Korea (South Korea) is one of those that has little impact in London, Dublin or Belfast. I have just FIVE stamps from this literate, well-populated and rich country. Of course, it would be very different in the United States as many homes would have seen mail delivered from military personnel in Korea (and likewise Philippines and Taiwan).

Recently, I set up a spreadsheet. It shows the number of stamps I have from each country and the target number for the end of this year.

So on Saturday, I was looking out for cheap stamps from some of those under-represented countries. So I was able to pick up fifteen Korean stamps and that takes me past my “target”. Likewise I have exceeded my “target” for Thailand, Austria and Japan. And I have now identified a source who will help me with other under-represented countries.

Philately and Stamp Collecting are very different hobbies. I intend to enjoy both.

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World Albums Update

I have now printed 200 cover sheets for 200 countries and attached  196 self-adhesive flags.

The flags are for the 193 UN member states plus Palestine, Vatican and Kosovo. I will need to make my own for Northern Cyprus, Taiwan and entities such as United Nations and the ridiculous Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

There are now six complete albums ….three for the so-called European Union, one for Africa, one for Asia and one for Oceania.

Over the weekend, I hope to add four albums ….one for NOrth America, one for Central/South America, one for non-EU Europe  and one for “former countries”.


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“Fun With Flags”

Dr Sheldon Cooper and Amy Farrah-Fowler are not the only nerds who have fun with Flags.

I have been updating information for my World Collection. I have an up to date Flag Sticker book. It contains the flags of all 193 United Nations members plus Vatican and Kosovo which are not members. Oddly it does not include Taiwan, Palestine and Northern Cyprus which are de-facto nations. In the interests of completion, it would be nice to have United Nations itself and even the ridiculous Sovreign Military Order of Malta.

As you can see, I am writing up information on each member nation to be included in my albums. A small flag  “sticker” will be affixed to each page. For comparison, I am also showing an album of 80 bubblegum cards from circa 1960.

There are now so many more countries than in 1960. France, Britain, Netherlands, Spain and other imperial nations were thankfully compelled to give up their overseas colonies because of the post-war de-colonisation process. And of course, USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia have broken up.

I am undecided about whether I should write up pages on 2017 colonies such as Hong Kong, Greenland, Martinique etc. But I hope I finish this project before Easter.

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New Policy on Trading

In my experience most trades and exchanges work out well. Things CAN and DO go wrong ….sending mail around the world is problematic. I am sure I have sent stamps which never reached the destination. And I accept that some stamps sent to me, failed to reach me.

It is an occupational hazard of Trading and Exchanging. Usually I think “no big deal”.

But in recent months, too many trades/exchanges have not worked well. It is just happening too often.

So….I will no longer be trading and exchanging stamps. At least not for the foreseeable future. This is a decision that I have not taken lightly. A good “exchange” is a good method of growing a collection at minimal cost.

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World Targets… 2017

For me, Stamps is really two different hobbies. My collection of Ireland is “philately” and my collection of the World is “just stamp collecting”.

My collection of World stamps is very unbalanced. And although I started collecting stamps around 1960, I only have about 15,000 stamps (this figure does NOT include Ireland).

So I have drawn up a spreadsheet showing the countries of the world…the number of stamps that I have and the target for 31st December 2017.

Recent purchases of cheap kiloware have helped. I am now exceeding the target I set for Japan and Austria. And very close to the target for France and China.

It is a lot of fun adding a lot of very cheap stamps.

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