Quite by chance I discovered an interesting sheetlet issued by the postal administration of Ireland, An Post, on its website - it is highlighted under the "Collectables" section rather than the "Stamps" section and since I often look at the latter and not the former, I would have been completely unaware of the issue of this item particularly as I have not seen any other publicity about it. The sheet combines all the new definitive stamps which commemorate the Easter Uprising, all in a 70c value, on gummed paper unlike the basic stamps.
This looks like an excellent item and is being sold by An Post for €11.20. Rating:- *****.
The item reminds me of the sheetlet issued recently by the St. Helena postal administration which combined all of its new "Birds" definitives in a sheetlet (see Blog 726).
Cyprus Post's next issue of stamps will be released on 11April 2016 to commemorate the Olympic Games to be held in Rio De Janeiro. The set is made of 4 colourful diamond-shaped stamps and was designed by Antonia Hadjigeorgiou and lithographed by Veridos Matsoukis of Greece. Rating:- ****.
The next issue from Bounty Post, the postal service of Pitcairn Islands, will be released on 19 April 2016 to commemorate the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. Pitcairn Islands Stamp Bulletin no. 150 informs us that the new issue highlights "the striking outfits and hats she wears when carrying out her Royal duties" which seems to be taking the same line as the Pobjoy Stamps minibus issue from Ascension Island, Bahamas, British Antarctic Territory, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands and Tristan Da Cunha (see Blogs 724, 726 and 727).
Australia Post issued a miniature sheet containing 4 stamps on 18 March 2016 to coincide with the Canberra Stampshow which took place from 18 to 20 March 2016. Rating:- **.
It will be hard for collectors of Australian stamps to resist buying the "Collectable" pack which is to be sold for $20.95 and is titled the Peppa Pig Holiday Pack. The item contains a sheet of 20 x $1 Australia map stamps from the 2016 Love To Celebrate issue in 2 panes of 10.
The British-made Peppa Pig television programme seems to have no Australian connections except that Australia is one of the 180 countries which screen it and in 2012 it was a source of controversy in Australia when it was claimed that an episode titled "Miss Skinny-legs" encouraged children to befriend spiders which,given the number of highly toxic arachnids in the country, may not be such a good idea.
In May 2014, amid Federal budget payment cuts to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, it was suggested that ABC may have been considering ending the screening of Peppa Pig and other foreign-made programmes and the Australian Federal Agriculture minister made references to the character as a menu item in a Thai restaurant and a newspaper columnist referred to the programme as "pushing a weird feminist line".
Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian minister for communications, quelled fears of Peppa's early fate of being turned into bacon by tweeting, "Contrary to media rumours, Peppa's is one snout we are happy to have in the ABC trough".
Perhaps, given the pig's prominent role in recent Australian popular culture and politics, a sheetlet featuring the creature is not so irrelevant as one may first believe! Nevertheless, Rating:- 0.