Cheshire, Great Britain

After the Lake District I drove to Cheshire to visit a very dear friend. We first met up at Tatton Park in Knutsford (yes that is the name of the town, I didn’t want to believe it either). After getting lost about three times I finally found the spot we wanted to meet at. This started of a long weekend of british wildlife, so great. I really started to appreciate european wildlife again. Tatton Park encompasses about 1000 acres which is roamed freely by herds of deer. You can also visit the old Mansion, but we only walked around for a bit before it got dark. It was beautiful and we saw a lot of deer. Both red dear and fallow dear. Just look at all those antlers, super impressive. I have never seen fallow deer and to show of how much of a geek I am, my first though as we saw the stag was that it looks like Harry Potters Patronus. They have such a light colouration and are really beautiful. At the moment it is rutting season and we actually got to see this one big male with it’s herd of females chasing of another male. It was the first time I heard this bellowing sound they make and it was so impressive. We were really careful when we walked past the herd as they were on both sides of the trail and we didn’t want to spook them. Of course then other people came with a dog, but it was fine. I guess they are used to people around.

On the next day we went one a long walk/hike (I think it was about 7km) in the area around Beeston Castle. Again since November is the beginning of the winter season the castle ruins were closed but we could see them the whole time during the walk. My friend had a walking guide book and we were following this one route, constantly looking out for different markers and points were we had to make a turn. The signs for the paths were pretty well but as we walked along the canal and then crossed several fields we had to look very closely in some spots to get the turns right. We saw quite a few different birds, lot of moorhens along the canal and later on some Pheasants.

Cheshire is a beautiful area that I probably would never have thought to travel to if I had not had someone to visit there. All the little towns and village were so beautiful as well and it really is not far away from Manchester Airport so it is easy to get there.

Happy mail days

I received some lovely mail in the last week or so. First of there are these two lovely letters from the USA. Getting letters from these two ladies always puts a smile on my face. Well getting letters or postcards from any of my penpals usually makes the day better so you know what I mean 🙂

Aside from these two letters there were also two postcards. One that my parents send from their trip last weekend and then my first postcrossing card after all these months of inactivity. The postcards have been arriving so quickly at the moment, it’s awesome. Though I do expect that to slow down as december is coming around. The postcrossing card is from Greece and it’s the first time that I received a card from there through the site so that is exciting.

Lastly I ordered some new stamps a few days ago and they already arrived today. I’m really impressed as I just got the email that the order was sent yesterday. So these include the Europa 2016 stamps from Germany, some more lighthouses, a new stamps from the microworlds series and stamps showing Sanssouci palace. As always I also got a few more of the flowers to be able to mix up stamps to get the right postage I need. I’m excited to use these soon 🙂 I actually wrote a letter earlier, just need to figure out how much postage it needs since it turned out a bit bigger and heavier than usual.

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Book subscribtion boxes

Have any of you ever tried any subscription boxes? I’ve first heard about book subscription boxes (or any subscription boxes for that matter) several month ago through some book blogs and I’ve been intrigued from the beginning. But there are a lot of different boxes and most of them ship from the US so shipping is very expansive. But I love books and I love different fandom stuff (especially if it is related to Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Jane Austen or Disney), so yes these boxes have me really intrigued. At some point in August I saw that two boxes announcing the themes for their boxes and finally decided to try them out. The first box I bought was the’My Bookish Crate’ and the other one the ‘LitCube’ box. Since I didn’t get back until a bit over a week ago of course I had to wait a bit longer to unpack and see if I liked them. And since this is kind of snailmail I figured I share them with you, in case you have ever thought about getting a subscription box. Just to warn you know, this is a bit of a long post.

So lets start, first the ‘My Bookish Crate’ box. The theme that month was Harry Potter and they had the different houses available. At that moment in time I had not done the house sorting on Pottermore (yes I know I’m a nerd but I’m okay with that) so I ordered the Gryffindor box. Later when I did the house sorting I found out I’m actually a Hufflepuff which I am pretty happy with as well 🙂 This was what I found in the box: a Hogwarts Letter (yay I finally have mine), a tote bag, a mystery funko which was Draco, a Gryffindor bookmark, a print with the great Hermione quote, a bookish candle which smells quite nice and of course the book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Everything that can be used has already been used and everything that can be displayed has found its place 🙂 And yes I have read the book and loved it! I was really happy with everything and even though I haven’t ordered another box from them, if there comes another theme I like and I have money I might order it again.

 

The theme for the LitCube box was ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and as mentioned before I love Disney and this has always been my favourite one. I always thought if I would be a Disney Princess I would be Belle and I honestly cannot wait for the new movie to come out. Have you seen the new trailer? It’s fantastic!!! But I get distracted. Upon opening the box I found the red box that can be used for different things, a metal bookmark, a necklace with Beast’s rose, a cinnamon pretzel, the book, which was Beauty by Caroline Lee and a signed bookmark by the author. I haven’t read the book yet but it sounds like a nice romance novel. It is a special edition for a box with a few extra chapters in the back about other characters from the series. Not sure how I feel about reading what seems to be the third book in the series first but maybe if I enjoy it I get the other ones as well. Overall I quite liked the box though I expected a bit more. Especially the quality from the necklace could be a bit better in my opinion, I like the idea, but when I opened it the pendant had actually fallen off. It was easy to put back on but I’m not sure how often I will wear it. Not sure how the pretzel fit in the theme (maybe it has a connection to the book) but it was tasty. I really like the metal bookmark and the box is really pretty although I would have preferred the hinges to be on the inside. Overall I did quite enjoy it. I will be getting the November box as well (the theme was Sorting Hat, so not a surprise that I will get it), but since it is not the cheapest box as well I probably won’t get another for a while. I’m very excited to see what’s in the next box though.

 

Lastly I didn’t just order the two book boxes I did buy quite a lot of books online as well as buying three on my travels as well as getting 3 for my birthday. So these should last me for the next few weeks. Still I managed to also borrow 4 more books from the library and bought two other books when I was shopping yesterday… Yes I know I have a problem but I’m fine with that 😀 If you’re interested to see which ones I bought/ordered, here you go. I also bought the mug which I absolutely love and it now holds my book marks. Now that I’m looking at this photo I’m wondering how is it decided if the title is printed from bottom to top or from top to bottom on the spine… is it depending on the publisher or something else…

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I just have one last thing, I’ve been thinking of maybe adding book related posts more to this blog, not really reviews more like little updates of what I’m reading. Let me know if you are interested in reading posts like that.

Stamp Envy: Singapore

A country that always seems to issue some beautiful and colourful stamps as well as a lot of variation within the stamps is Singapore.

All of these colourful stamps were released this year and I honestly don’t know to much about them. Of course the monkey stamps are for the Chinese New Year and I’m not sure but I think I might have mentioned it before, I envy countries that celebrate Chinese New Year. In Germany we don’t have that big of a Chinese/Asian community that it is celebrated (at least as far as I know). The stamps on the top right show some treats from Singapore. I don’t know what they are and have never tried them but most of them look tasty. I also don’t know exactly what occasion the stamps on the bottom right were released for but they are beautiful.

These stamps that came out in 2015 are very quickly described: I love Nature and that’s what they show! All of these are great designs and I especially love the ferns and the garden ones on the bottom right.

These stamps were released in 2014 (though I think the joined issue stamp with Egypt is older). They are all very cultural though showing traditional trade occupations and depicting stories. The designs are great though, especially the Kusu Island ones with the giant turtle.

Postcrossing again

Now that I am back in Germany I can finally use my postcrossing account again. I know that a there are quite a few people that aren’t as happy with postcrossing anymore, mainly because of the variety of countries that you receive postcards from. But I still really enjoy it, maybe because since I started every year I was forced to take a little break varying from 2-6 months when I was in a different country. A couple nights ago I was really motivated to write some postcards so I requested a few addresses. In the end I requested 8 addresses and I was pleasantly surprised that I did not end up with cards going to the same country. I don’t mind if that happens but this was a really fantastic variety of countries with a couple that I’ve never send to before. The cards you see in the photos went to: Luxembourg, Russia, Germany, USA, Belarus, Argentina, China and Finland. Both Luxembourg and Argentina are countries I’ve never send a card to before and I don’t think I send a lot of cards to Finland before.  I am also quite excited about sending these cards because most of them I knew instantly what to write on the back. Do you know that feeling when you read a profile and you just know you have the perfect card and story to write on the back, to me that always happens when I see someone loves Harry Potter cards but I was also happy to send the seal and the Northern Lights card of to a new home. With this batch of postcards I also used up almost all of the stamps I still had so I get to order new ones (YAY :)). I did go to the postoffice but we only have a very small one and they don’t have a lot of variety.

 

Lake District, Great Britain

At the beginning of November I left Iceland but decided to make a little to stop in Britain on the way. Mostly to visit a friend but as she was working during the week I went on a little 2-day trip to the Lake District as well. Suffice it to say 2 days is not nearly enough for this beautiful area. But it was a fulfillment of a childhood dream. I’ve wanted to visit the Lake District since I first saw Peter Rabbit on VHS visiting a friend. Her Dad was british so they had all the Beatrix Potter stories on video and even though my English was limited I fell in love with the stories. If you don’t know the stories, look them up they are beautiful children’s stories. At the beginning of each little movie we would see Beatrix Potter in a beautiful landscapes in the Lake Districts where she’s painting, but it starts raining so she walks back to her quaint little cottage. There she starts writing her stories in letters. It’s just beautiful. I believe there were different beginnings for the different stories but the one from Peter Rabbit is the one I remember best as it’s my favourite.

But back to my adventures. I stayed in Ambleside a town at the northern tip of Lake Windemere. It took a little bit to get used to the very windy, narrow streets and when I arrived I had a hard time finding my hostel as it was already dark. The next day made up for it though.

After a walk around Ambleside I made my way to Hill Top Cottage where Beatrix Potter used to live. Sadly because they were already on a Winter Shedule, the Cottage was closed but I could walk around the garden and visit the shop. (I bought quite a few things in the shop). It was as beautiful as I imagined and I just have to visit again in summer so I can actually go in the cottage as well.

Since that didn’t take all day I went on a few walks that start from Ambleside. First I went to Stock Ghyll Force. The path to this waterfall led through a forrest that had gorgeous fall foliage. Afterwards I wanted to do another walk called the Loughridge Tarn but I’m pretty sure I took a wrong turn somewhere as there weren’t a lot of signs and I only had a photo copy map from the hostel. I didn’t mind though because I did end up on top of a hill were I had a beautiful view of Lake Windemere and Ambleside.

On my second day I was not as lucky with the weather, it was quite gray and rainy. Nevertheless I drove to Grasmere I walked around there for a couple of hours. I saw Dove Cottage where William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived for several years. Now I have to admit that I haven’t read any of his poetry since I don’t usually read poetry. It was still nice to see the area and I also walked around the lake.

After Grasmere I drove to Bowness-on-Windemere but to be honest the weather was still quite rainy and it was so touristy that I did not stay long before driving to Cheshire to meet up with my friend.

Stamp Envy: Australia

Now we come to another country that has the most amazing selection of Wildlife stamps that I was fortunate to spend a bit of time. I will order them more by theme than by year because most of them are just wildlife. Australia is an amazing country and I thoroughly enjoy how the culture and life is represented in the stamps

Bush Babies

Just look at all the adorable australian animals as babies. I just love these stamps so much. They were released in 2011 and 2013 and as far as I know they were the only stamps to this topic.

 

Wildlife/Nature

Here we have a lot of other animal or nature stamps. I do enjoy that they also feature the less cuddly ones in the ‘Things that Sting’ stamps. There are of course a lot of other nature themed stamps form Australia but I do like these ones a lot.

 

Australian Culture

The following stamps are all kind of showing australian culture. I love the Road Trip Australia stamps, they are just so colourful. I am not sure when they were released but I think it was at some point around 2013/2014. I actually didn’t see the Aussie Alphabet stamps until I was looking up stamps from Australia but just take a look at them. They are amazing and fantastic illustrations.  Boats and Lighthouses are also always amazing on stamps. And you can’t go to Australia without at least reading about the song ‘Walzing Mathilda’. I haven’t heard the other songs before but again just look at the beautiful stamps. The colours are fantastic. These stamps came out in 2014.

Maxicards

Australia is also one of the country that I thing has maxicards for every new stamp release which is amazing in my opinion. I love the aesthetics of Maxicards and just enjoy seeing them.