Thematic Philately Topic #3 – UK First Day Covers


Receiving UK First Day covers in the mail once or twice a month from the Royal Mail is a passive form of collecting, I admit…..but the array of topics and creative art that often (but not always) is provided in these covers is astounding.  I have been collecting since October of 1993, and this ‘Sherlock Holmes” theme was my first received.  To view more samples go the pull down “Thematic Philately” Tab on the blog.

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Watercolor Class Level One – the challenge continues


Watercolor is much more demanding than I ever thought – I have done pastel portraits and acrylic and oils in the past and they did not demand the skill required for transparent WC (at least for me).  Much greater appreciation of this medium now.  My slow progress can be found on this blog section under the ‘My Arts & Crafts” pull down tab.

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Manchester University 1970-1971: Thirty eight live acts in two semesters…No problem!


We all had this tremendous appetite for live music.  Coming from disparate corners of the UK, all of us being 17 or 18 years of age, escaping the boredom of living at home with families in sleepy neighborhoods, we just could not believe the plethora of live music many nights of the week at the University of Manchester Student Union, the Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), downtown venues and surrounding colleges.  My recollection of those times was that our ‘band of friends’ would venture out most weekend nights for one of two performances, and also mid week when possible.  I recently came across my first year (freshman) student union card, on the back of which I diligently recorded the band/artist roster for the first two semesters of that first year.  A list-making & collecting compulsive/obsessive pattern that has followed me into adulthood.

A total of Thirty Eight performances over the first two semesters – here is the illustrated list with a few annotated memories.  This is a pretty amazing list in retrospect.

Starting with the most memorable for me – Led Zeppelin at the Students Union, March 19th.  Although it was March, the Union Hall was packed solid, standing only and getting very hot.  I recall making my way over the tall window on the west side and climbing onto the ledge – fabulous view over the heads of all and then cracking open the window to help cool the room.

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Prince, Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, Jeff Lynne and others — “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – YouTube


A really solid performance of George’s classic by this incredible line up, and then Prince steps up and completely shreds it.  What a showman he is.