Swap-bot Time: September 21, 2017 5:54 pm


Date Joined: December 29, 2012
Last Online: September 21, 2017
Birthday: November 16, 1974
Country: Germany
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About Me

Hi! I'm Philip Newton.

I live in Hamburg, Germany, where I'm a software developer for a large telecommunications company.

I'm fascinated by languages and I enjoy learning about language in general, specific languages, and writing systems (alphabets, syllabaries, ...). This also includes such things as shorthand and Braille.

I have a daughter who is 12; she is growing up bilingually (I speak English to her, my wife speaks German). I'm passing on the gift I received from my father, who spoke English to us children, too (he's from England).

And I'm male, which seems to be the exception here :)

I pledge to rate

I try to send out my items fairly soon after partner assignments are made. If you haven't received anything in a reasonable amount of time (bearing in mind travel time from Germany), please contact me and I'll be happy to resend.

Favorite Books

Language (dictionaries, grammars, etc.); Science fiction and fantasy; Computers (programming, etc.)

Likes, dislikes, and allergies

I seem to be developing an allergy to many nuts (and my wife is strongly allergic to peanuts), so please don't send anything with peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, coconut, or pecans. Preferably no almonds, either. "May contain traces of" is fine, however.

I'm allergic to pet hair/dander, so if you have a dog or cat, I'd appreciate it if you try to keep them away from swaps for me. Thanks!

I don't drink coffee or tea so if you sent that, it would be wasted on me.

Please no loose, tiny items (say, smaller than a fingernail) that can fall out of the envelope and get everywhere, such as loose glitter or tiny punchies such as hearts or stars. If the swap calls for them or you do want to add them, please put them in a separate bag or envelope. Thank you!


Brief summary

Blank postcards: I prefer non-region-specific ones.

Zazzle etc. cards are OK.

If the swap gives a choice of naked or in an envelope, I'll leave it up to you or the swap for US senders; in an envelope preferred for non-US senders.

Exception: "Chunk O Cardboard" postcards I prefer to receive naked (stamped and written on, no envelope).

Written postcards

If you send me a naked postcard (that you write on and send without an envelope), please don't forget the swap name and your user ID :) Perhaps you can also include the date you wrote the postcard and what weather it is (such as "18 °C, rainy" or "72 °F, windy").

As for content, some ideas: tell me about your family, your interests, the language(s) you speak, and/or the area you live in.

If you know shorthand, please write a sentence or so in shorthand, with a transcription! (And tell me which system of shorthand that is, please, e.g. Pitman, Gregg, DEK, etc.) And a postcard in Braille would simply be awesome.

As for the picture side: I like viewcards of the town/area/state/country (single-view preferred) or of beautiful countryside in general (whether a majestic mountain scenery, a peaceful lake, or whatever). Cards with wild animals on them are also nice, or humorous cards.

Also have a look at my Postcrossing profile if you'd like some inspiration for postcards.

If the swap calls for postcards to be written on but leaves it up to the sender whether to send them naked or in an envelope, then I would prefer the card in an envelope if you have interesting stamps that you can use (especially Europa postage stamps!). Otherwise I'll leave it up to you. But if you have some nice stamps or something else interesting you want to send along, contact me in advance and ask whether I wouldn't mind getting it in an envelope even if the swap says "naked" - I'll usually say yes about envelopes if I am asked in advance! (Exception: I prefer "Chunk of Cardboard" swaps to always arrive naked - thanks!)

Since most swap-bot mail comes from the US, I have a good collection of the most common US stamps already, so I prefer US-posted cards naked. If you have some particularly interesting stamps to use, though, then by all means send the card in an envie (if allowed by the swap) so I can add those stamps as well!

If you would like to send the card in an envelope and also want to include a little something else, then I'd be interested in bus tickets, newspaper clippings (perhaps with the weather in your area?), maps, public transport timetables, or pretty bookmarks.

Blank postcards

Blank postcards that I receive in swaps I'll probably want to use later in Postcrossing or for future Swap-Bot naked postcard swaps, so I'd prefer nothing regional or touristy (I think it looks silly for someone in Germany to send out a card showing, for example, Montana, unless the theme of the swap calls for a specific picture or letter).

Besides that, though, I'm less picky since I will probably be sending them on and don't know who the eventual recipient will be.

So best are probably postcards that will appeal to as many people as possible.

Pretty countrysides are probably good (as long as they have no text on the picture side), as are animals, flowers, trees, or nature in general.

Or comics/cartoon cards; or popular image series such as Inge Löök, Flower Fairies, Krtek, etc.

Or many other things :) I'll leave it mostly up to you in a blank postcard swap.

Languages spoken

English, German (bilingual); Modern Greek, French (some); Japanese (rusty). Bits and pieces of all sorts of other languages -- enough to impress, not enough to sustain a conversation! (I can generally understand more than I can speak/write myself, naturally.)

Can also carry on a conversation in Esperanto and have a decent grammar knowledge of Klingon (but when speaking, it takes forever for me to remember the vocabulary, due to lack of practice).

I'm try-lingual: willing to try any language! So many languages, so little time :) My current infatuation is Slovak. (Did you know that there are at least four words for "uncle" in Slovak? And that's not even counting diminutives.) And also Cornish.

Past "flames" have included Niuean, Maltese, Romansh, and Inuktitut. None of them have been shelved for good; they're just on the back burner :)

Angels and Flakers

Thank you @kittenred for angelling I'm Grateful For... for @Elsepelse !

Thank you @malleechick (the swap coordinator) for angelling Swap a Map for @emerymakesthings !

Thank you @Fatherted and @EvilBlackSheep (the swap coordinator) for angelling AES: Postcard from where I live #2 for @Spepera !

Thank you @bungaalangalang (the swap coordinator) for angelling Native Language on Message - Postcard Swap for @zurike !

Thank you @Lizard (the swap coordinator) for angelling ATC - Sender's Choice for @WormwoodWaltz (now fully suspended)!

Thank you @VivaLaDiane (the swap coordinator) for angelling Storebought Postcard Explosion! for @Viscid and @DaydreamStudios !

Thank you @racheljohnson (the swap coordinator) for angelling Rachel's Easy Travel Postcard Swap for @Ichigoshortcake ! (Whose swap finally arrived four months later—thank you!)

Thank you @Paige1900 for angelling Sweet March! for @Savanna82 !


Everybody seems to approach hearts differently (some give them always, some never, and all sorts of variations in between), so this is how I tend to give them out.

My interpretation of hearts is based on the FAQ where it says that "If someone sends you an extra special swap package that far exceeds the swap requirements, you can give that person a heart." and on the rating page where it says "This was an extra special package. Give a heart!"

So I give out hearts fairly sparingly - for things that really make me go "wow!" and that are really "extra special". Which is a pretty subjective thing for me.

So they're not semi-automatic for things such as extras or nice stamps or effort - not even (necessarily) for a nice swap that shows you've read my profile.

I try to keep them reserved for "extra special" swaps, and not every swap (even the good ones) are "extra special" ... if everything is special then the word doesn't really mean anything any more, does it :)

So if I rate you a 5 without a heart, that doesn't mean I hate you or dislike the swap you sent me or that I consider it just barely acceptable. It doesn't mean I think your swap is bad or that you didn't make me happy or that I didn't notice that you paid attention to my profile. I've had lots of lovely swaps over my time here, and I appreciate that! Just because some of them have been truly exceptional doesn't mean many of the other ones haven't been lovely.

If you prefer to swap for getting hearts rather than for sending someone something nice, you may be disappointed. And if you decide that it's not worth putting extra effort into a swap if you're not reasonably certain of getting a heart for that (so you might as well send the bare minimum), I can't stop you. Swap-bot is something different for each person.

Conversely, if you would prefer to rate a swap I sent you with a 5 with no heart, that's fine - since I don't imagine that everything I send is going to be extra special for the recipient.

What I do appreciate is a comment on the swap! Especially if there was something in particular that you liked about it. I'm happier about a 5 + a nice comment than about a 5+heart with no comment at all!


TexyDeb rated for PCEW17 Round 5 on Sep 19, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the pretty postcard. Good luck with the teenager. I hope the move goes smoothly. Congratulations on your new home, I send love and peace to be with all who enter it.
Response: Thank you very much!
sabbysteg rated for NH: Postcards x5 on Sep 17, 2017
Comment: Thanks for the sunset card. I hope your move goes off without a hitch!
Response: Thank you!
widelo123 rated for PCEW17 Round 5 on Sep 17, 2017
Comment: Philip, thank you for the postcard. I am with you, I do not like to see the days getting shorter. I wish we could skip winter. Shirley
goinjenny rated for PCEW17 Round 5 on Sep 16, 2017
Comment: Thank you for sending blank
Response: You're welcome! Thank you for the heart :)
Kochanski rated for NH: Simple PC swap on Sep 15, 2017
Comment: Received postcard very quickly. Surprised to find out what my partner and I had in common. Sending best wishes for the future, pne.
Response: Thanks for being discreet and for your good wishes. All the best for you, too.
Maggiesmother rated for PCEW17 Round 5 on Sep 13, 2017
Comment: Thanks for the handmade postcard. Happy swapping, Linda
TriniH rated for NH: Postcards x5 on Sep 13, 2017
Comment: Ooops! I thought this one was for a different swap. Hopefully got it correct this time. Fabulous card! Love the sticking!
Sassa rated for PCEW17 Round 5 on Sep 12, 2017
Comment: Nice one :) Thank you
MommaBaxter rated for NH: Postcards x5 on Sep 6, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the beautiful scenic postcard! I am looking forward to going to Washington and Oregon, but there are many fires there right now, so hopefully it will clear up soon so we can see the sunrise/sunsets!
goldfinchmeadowlark rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Sep 6, 2017
Comment: Belated thank you for the adorable duck card and lovely floral and rabbit postage; the tulip made me smile especially because they are one of my favorite flowers, and I just saw and am almost finished reading Tulip Fever. Happy practising/learning -- I loved studying languages in high school and college and really want to get back into it. (My younger sister is teaching herself Japanese.) ♥
Fieke rated for NH: Postcards x5 on Aug 31, 2017
Comment: Thank you very much for the lovely PC
HOLDENV84 rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Aug 30, 2017
Comment: I am scared of swimming to far in the ocean (massive fear of what is underneath the water) so I have never competed in a marathon or triathlon. My biggest walk to date in competition is 6km. But next year I will aim to do something big!
sabbysteg rated for Happy Anniversary to VLD♥ on Aug 26, 2017
Comment: Thanks for the card!
goinjenny rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Aug 26, 2017
Comment: Thank you for BOTH PCs
TexyDeb rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Aug 25, 2017
Comment: Thank you for this big beautiful postcard. Wishing a quick and proper sale! So cool to see my address in Greek!
kdeorne1 rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Aug 16, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the flower postcard. I wish you the best of luck with moving and selling your house.
LucyToons rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Aug 2, 2017
Comment: thank you for the Salamander postcard :)
Maggiesmother rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Aug 1, 2017
Comment: Thanks for the postcard with all the stamps. Happy swapping, Linda
Sassa rated for PCEW17 Round 4 on Jul 18, 2017
Comment: Great card :)
Comment: Thank you

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 723 33 35
Completed Fives Threes Ones
570 925 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
36 461 73 0
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Currently Hosting

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Paige1900 on Aug 31, 2017:

Wow! I can't believe your daughter is 12 already...time is flying by isn't it?

VivaLaDiane on Jul 3, 2017:

Hiiiiiiii Philip!! Thanks so much for joining my anniversary swap!! Great to see you still around! ♥

Paige1900 on Apr 29, 2017:

Hi Philip...I've been away a while, and wanted to drop in and see how you were.

PenguinParade on Apr 9, 2017:

Hey Philip-to respond to your response-it's not that the link didn't work, but in the email you said "And an example of where a street address just wouldn't work -- there's a park called "Planten un Blomen" in Hamburg" I just thought it was fun that you included that. It all still worked out good though! I just worded it very poorly in the comment :P

widelo123 on Jan 29, 2017:

PCEW17 Round 1 Week 5

Philip I want to thank you for the beautiful postcard from Germany. The water is so clear it looks like a mirror image of the actual scenery. I also love looking at the hills and mountains, as where I live there isn't any, just flat land. Shirley

Paige1900 on Jan 4, 2017:

Hello Philip...just dropping by to wish you a wonderful...

JenniferB on Oct 5, 2016:

Hello from Australia Philip! 🇦🇺 Thank you for the bonus PC. You wrote very well considering you were between countries on the train...how wonderful! Hope you enjoyed your day trip to Česky Tešín. I imagine there would be so much amazing history in the countries you've travelled. Thank you for enlightening me. Take care 😊

RyeRye on Jul 3, 2016:

Inspiration Station

Swan on Apr 6, 2016:

You got the month right, so thank you! :)

MichelleWillow on Mar 8, 2016:

Hamburg bei nacht arrived. I'm sending the last one in next couple days. Caught a flu. :/

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