We have arrived in the Twenties and I am ready to see a lot of new stamps.  Promo artwork is fine but it is so much nicer to have an actual stamp to hold in your tongs as you place it into an album or stockbook for the first time. I will have my first chance in 2020 when Thailand’s Year of the Mouse Zodiac stamp is issued tomorrow.

My New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair spent at home although I did go out to the balcony at midnight to watch the fireworks over Phuket Town. They may not have been as impressive as those in Singapore or North Korea (both of which were broadcast live on television here), but there was a nice breeze making it much cooler to be outside than in my non-air conditioned apartment.

I did take the time to create a new handstamp inspired by one I saw on Timbre Phil-Ouest’s Facebook page:

Happy New Year postmark from La Poste, Paris, on the left, inspired my creations for two Happy New Year handstamps from Phuket. Both of these include the Thai phrase สวัสดีปีใหม่ (/sa-wat-dee pee-my/) which translates as “Happy New Year”. One has the date 1 January 2020 (Western style) while the other reads 1 มกราคม (/ma-ka-ra kom/) 2563 (Buddist Era year). The clock tower pictured is the iconic symbol of Phuket Town, where I live.  It was the Province’s first police station, built in the early twentieth century to protect the first foreign-owned bank which sat right across the street.  Both buildings have recently been restored (with beautiful new exterior paint) and now contain local museums.

To accompany these new handstamps (digital only, mind you), I also made some quick label designs based on local post stamps I “issued” in mid-2018. Four are seen in today’s featured image above; a fifth promotes this website:

Philatelic Pursuits.com label design based on a Republica Phuketia local post definitive stamp “released” in 2018. Created by Mark Joseph Jochim on 31 December 2019.

I woke up quite early today — New Year’s Day — and immediately began searching for stamp programme announcements. Of course, this being a holiday, I didn’t find any but I did find a few further images for North Korea’s New Year Juche 109 stamp and accompanying postal cards so I have updated the associated posts here and here.  I also attempted to find information about upcoming stamps by South Korea but could not find anything at all.  Several weeks ago, a photo of their 2020 release schedule was posted on Facebook but I have not been able to translate it into English.  Nonetheless, I have added an entity page for South Korea along with release dates (the first being 26 February) and the number of stamps.  I hope somebody can provide me with the subject matter for these releases soon.

There have been a few minor tweaks to this site in the past few days.  The most visible is a change in the color scheme.  I have long preferred dark backgrounds as the stamp images contrast better and they are easier on my eyes.  A few of the pages I lost in the transfer from the old blog version have been restored, mainly those that list links to the many entity pages; I prefer these to drop–down menus.

By the way, I should let new readers know that I prefer to use the term “entity” or “stamp issuer” (sometimes even “stamp-issuing entity”) as I feel it is more inclusive than the word “country”.  Some of these are organizations (such as the United Nations or UNESCO) while others are territories or even states rather than true countries.  I also hope to include more hobbyist local posts (including my own — Muang Phuket Local Post, Republica Phuketia and eccPost — which see a few “releases” each year). The latter are just fun items to include on postcards that I send out and usually cover subjects not touched by Thailand Post (i.e., the 200th anniversary of Thai-U.S. diplomatic relations or my home island of Phuket).

Phuketia - MPLP #Ph49a (2018)
Phuketia – MPLP #Ph47-49 (2018)
Phuketia - MPLP #Ph50 (2018)
Phuketia – MPLP #Ph50 (2018)

At any rate, welcome to the New Year.  I hope everyone has great success in their endeavors, both big and small.  I am very happy to be able to share so many beautiful stamp designs to anyone interested to take a look.

Bring on the stamps!!!

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