Contrary to the information given, I was able to get a set of the "House of Windsor" stamps by asking a work colleague to buy some when they visited another post office. However feelings were still running high so I made a visit to the Royal Mail Opinion Forum, an online feedback facility operated by the Royal Mail, to offer my thoughts on improving the quality of service. Whilst there I checked out a few other threads and came across a comment that suggested that to use the Machin definitive stamps upside down was an insult to the Queen and therefore an act of treason. Although we have abolished the death penalty in the UK, High Treason is still a just cause for the abolition to be revoked. I felt an urgent need to explore this, just in case I become distracted when franking letters and inadvertantly sign my own death warrant! Fact or myth?
I have a couple of postcards in my collection which portray "The Language of Stamps". This is a proposal that the placement of stamps on a postal item can be used to convey amorous messages to the recipient. These cards portray a stamp image which clearly shows the monarch upturned on their head with a caption "I am not free" - not, "off with your head". I did a few google searches to find out more and discovered ( on a football supporters site) the comment "...placing a postage stamp that bears a picture of the monarch upside down indicates treason and carries a life sentence..." So, at least the death sentence has been commuted. I must get legal advice.
Today we have our first really heavy snowfall of the season. As I write this blog, the snow has stopped falling but there are a several inches of fluffy white stuff on the ground. Some airports have been closed and cars have been abandoned at the side of the road - the traditional British response to snowy weather. Last year when we had persistent heavy snow, I went three days without a delivery of mail - fingers crossed that the temperature rises tomorrow. By some strange (if not "spooky") coincidence, as the snow began to fall this morning, I received a beautiful postcard from Japan depicting a woman walking in the snow. It is titled "Kunisada: Evening Snow" from the series of eight scenes of Edo. Having had to make a short trip to the shops in the snow, I can appreciate and sympathise with the woman in the illustration.
Another little project I started a short while ago, obtaining postmarks from non UK countries, has met with more success. I have now received a cover from the USA with a pictorial postmark commemorating a pioneering airmail flight. I had sent a self addressed cover to the postmaster at Wilmington N.C. requesting the illustrated handstamp. Not only did the postmaster oblige, and apply a clear merk, but the envelope was sent under seperate protective cover provided and paid for by the Wilmington Philatelic Society. Three cheers for them!