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From the Archive: December 2007 Review
I wasn't sure there would be a review this time, as there seemed to be not much to report, but a few items have turned up just in time. To start with, there was in October a very attractive set of six stamps from the Channel Island of Alderney whose postal matters are administered by neighbouring Guernsey depicting some of Rudyard Kipling's well-known 'Just So' stories. The name is said to derive from the fact that he wrote them to read to his young daughter, and she liked them to be read in a certain way 'just so'. But the Kiplings apparently had no connection with Alderney. Anyway, 'The Cat that Walked by Himself' is one of the six; there is also a miniature sheet (MS) with the same six stamps and a background that looks like an African landscape.
From mainland Great Britain comes another in the ever-growing series of 'Smilers' sheets; this one is for Christmas and has 20 of the 'angel' stamps that are this year's Christmas offering. The background on the sheet is a winter scene in a town, with a group of carol singers singing in front of a large Christmas tree and with a tabby cat sitting on the wall next to them. The sheet is a large one and only the lower right-hand part is shown.
Any stamp from the war-torn country of Iraq has to be something of an event, and an attractive stamp and MS have surfaced from 2006 picturing Iraqi folklore in art. The stamp (left) includes a small cat, which is the very first time one has appeared from this country. I have no reason to think these are other than genuine issues. Peru has never before given us a 'dedicated' cats set either, although there was a small feline on a 1965 stamp. That has now been remedied, and a fine set of four 'breed' cats made an appearance recently (I don't know the issue date yet). It shows an Angora, a Persian, a Bengal and a Siamese: aristocrats of the cat world (right).
Also recent are two more 'dedicated' cats sets, one from the West African state of Ghana, and one from the Pacific island nation of Micronesia. Both consist of four stamps and an MS; we picture the Micronesian MS of a blue silver-shaded Tiffany (right), and a fluffy Chartreux from the Ghana set (left).
Serbia issued a set of children's drawings in 2006 that formed part of the 'Joy of Europe' series, produced in the past under the Yugoslavia name. There are two stamps and two attached labels, one of which shows a multicoloured cat. Thanks to Bridget for finding these.
Part of the fun of collecting lies in discovering things one didn't previously know about, and I came across two such items at a stamp fair in November; they have no date on them. One is a 'citypost' stamp from the Netherlands (left); the other is the sweet little Persian kitten pictured and is apparently from East Timor (right) or the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, to give it its official title. It is the world's newest country, having come into being in May 2002 after Indonesia relinquished control of the eastern part of the island of Timor. I imagine both these two stamps come from sets, but I have at present no further information about either.
Finally, last time we pictured enlargements of a number of small cats hidden away on the 2006 'Mooi Nederland' sheetlets from the Netherlands; one more has been found, this time on the Vlieland sheet, and is even better hidden than the others! Thanks to Antonio for managing to discover this one.
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Our featured feline Chico (see head of the page) belonged to a lady in the Swiss village of Chesières who lived near the ground-floor office where I worked in the mid-1980s. Every so often he liked to pass by, spend a little time with us and check we were doing everything properly.
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