Friday, January 20, 2017

Sunrise/Sunset – Postcard for the Weekend

17-001 Bryn Cader Faner and Snowdon

Bryn Cader Faner and Snowdon (Wales)
From John in England, January 2017

I have been up on Mt Snowdon in the past (way back in the 1970s), but I don’t think we visited this bronze age cairn.

A bit of googling informs me that the cairn is thought to date back to the Bronze Age, around 4000 years ago. Originally there may have been about 30 pillars; but not only was the cairn probably disturbed by treasure-seekers in the 19th century – but on top of that, between the 1st and 2nd world wars, some of the stones were removed by the British army, and the rest used for target practice!

The name Bryn Cader Faner probably means 'the hill of the chair/throne with the flag'. Because of its appearance, it has also been called the Welsh Crown of Thorns.

Weekend Linky Party:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

About Snail Mail

CIMG0371

… Mail trucks taking a holiday rest (Sunday after Epiphany) …

A few years ago when going through my dad’s study, I found a lot of stamps that were still good for use. Not knowing what to do with them, I decided to join Postcrossing and send them out into the World; which is what they were made for in the first place.

By now I have used up most of the leftover stamps of higher value, so I’ve started buying some new ones again as well. Because if I use only old low value stamps on the international cards, that leaves no room to actually write anything!

Last year, our international postage rate was SEK 13,00 (2x the domestic postage). However, when flickering through the latest newsletter from PostNord (the Swedish postal service) around New Year, I noticed that one of the new stamps to be issued in January had the eyebrow-raising value of SEK 19:50 - i.e. 3x the domestic postage (and equaling ~ $2,13 or £1,73). On closer investigation, I found that this is actually our new minimum international postage rate from 1st January.

This is not something that seems to have been noted at all by our newspapers or TV, though. Even when googling it now, besides on PostNord’s own website, I only find it mentioned on philatelist sites.

As upset as I am about the sneaky postage increase, I have to say I quite like the stamp. (I have a Dala horse just like that on top of one of my bookcases too.) Here it is for those of you who won’t be getting one on an actual card because no one can afford to send it to you:

2017-018 

(PS to my regular snail mail correspondents: Don’t worry.
You’ll still be hearing from me now and then…)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Home Office Makeover

‘Santa Per’ (my brother) came visiting this week, bringing Big Parcels from Ikea. He also spent one afternoon and the next morning assembling all the bits and pieces into nice new study/home office furniture for me; and when he left, he took all the old retired things away with him. (Almost. I’m still here…)

2017 study makover2
Bottom left: Before
Middle: After

Have to say the result feels like a major face-lift, even though ‘only’ three pieces of furniture were replaced. The new desk + two new chests of drawers are blackish brown on top but with white drawers; thus colour matching (more or less) my old bookcases (three tall dark brown ones + a lower white one next to the desk). Just as I hoped, this brought a more coherent look to the room, without making me feel I need to replace the bookcases as well (they still do their job well enough).

The new desk is a little bigger than the old one, and the drawer units also give me a few more drawers compared to before, making it easier to organize stuff. (Or at least hide it!) 

Bildresultat för office clipart free

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Postcard for the Weekend - 'Transportation, other'

This bus arrived very timely from the Netherlands this week, meeting the theme set for Postcards for the Weekend: 'Transportation, other' 


Weekend Linky Party:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Shepherd’s Crown (Audiobook review)

The Shepherd's Crown | Terry Pratchett The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld Novels) by [Pratchett, Terry]

The Shepherd's Crown
by Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld, Book 41
Audiobook - 7 hrs and 49 mins
Narrated By Stephen Briggs

The Shepherd’s Crown is Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, published after his death, but written more or less parallel with the last one published before he died – Raising Steam, which I also briefly reviewed a couple of months back: here.

The Shepherd’s Crown makes some references to that book(and the Discworld having entered the age of railways and machines); but it belongs in the “Witches” subseries of the Discworld books, and is the fifth one to feature the young witch Tiffany Aching.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) suffered from Alzheimer’s disease in his last years. To me there is really nothing in this novel to indicate memory problems, or his leaving this novel not fully finished. (It is explained in an afterword that Pratchett had the whole storyline worked out in his script; but had he lived to completely finish it himself, it is likely that he would have filled in some parts with more detail.) What I do believe I sense is an awareness in the author of life drawing to a close; and of a wish to tidy things up and leave everything in good order.

The novel starts out with the witch Granny Weatherwax doing just that: tidying things up, and making sure that her acknowledged position as head witch is passed on to the right person. And after she has passed away, the young witch Tiffany, even though she has proved her powers before, finds herself confronted with rather overwhelming challenges: How on earth shall she be able to cope with the tasks she has already, and step into Granny’s boots as well? Especially when on top of all, she has to deal with another confrontation with the Fairies trying to break through into the world of humans once again…

While it is rather sad that this is the last novel in the series (Pratchett’s daughter has said that there will be no more), I think it is really a very worthy ending – and I’m glad it was published.

If you want to know more about the Discworld, the Wikipedia article provides a lot of information, including a complete Bibliography which is very helpful whether you want to read the books in the order they were written, or according to subseries.  


 

 

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