There is still something about a train journey which holds nostalgic memories for many people. Although many train services have disappeared for compelling political or economic, reasons largely due to the emergence of air transportation over longer distances, still others have adapted and survived to become listed as well known tourist services for a variety of reasons.
Angels, the messengers of God, have become an integral part of the Christmas story, because an angel was sent to tell Mary of her chosen role in the birth of baby Jesus. Nearly all world postal administrations have featured angels in Christmas stamp and stationery issues, some more than once.
Chess is the oldest of all games of pure mental skill – those in which the element of chance does not enter. Further, no game has been as influential in cultural history as chess. I was surprised that the ATA Topical Association chess check list comprised four full pages and featured stamps from practically every country in the world.
Cats are wonderful companions. Generally they are intelligent, affectionate and sensitive. The evolution of the cat began millions of years ago and today’s domestic cat may be a descendant of a wild African cat the Egyptians tamed perhaps as early as 3,500 B.C. By about 1500 B.C cats were sacred to the Egyptian goddess Pasht or Bastet – some sources think the name ‘puss’ is derived from the goddess’ name.
Legend states that, when the great Buddha found enlightenment beside an old oak tree, he invited all the animals to his kingdom to celebrate. Only 12 animals arrived, and Buddha promptly rewarded them by naming each new year in honour of them. The order in which the animal arrived at Buddha’s side is significant, for he gave each a special characteristic. The Dog was the eleventh animal to reach Buddha and he was given the motto ‘I am loyal’ and stands for loyalty and justice.
When I first began collecting stamps back in the late sixties ‘space’ was one of the ‘in’ topics. It was the time of the ‘space race’ when people all around the world followed avidly the achievements of the Russian and United States space projects, each nation trying to outdo the other in space technology.