Swap-bot Time: February 22, 2018 12:43 am


Date Joined: December 29, 2012
Last Online: February 20, 2018
Birthday: November 16, 1974
Country: Germany
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About Me

Hi! I'm Philip Newton.

I live in Seevetal, Germany, near Hamburg -- 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 13; 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, 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!


goinjenny rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Feb 20, 2018
Comment: Thank you for sending blank
tatntole rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Feb 16, 2018
Comment: Thank you
Maggiesmother rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Feb 14, 2018
Comment: Thanks for the great postcard lighthouse. I did not have this one. It will make a great addition to my colledction. Linda
LoveThis rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Feb 14, 2018
Comment: thankyoiu very very much for the adorable card :)
HOLDENV84 rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Feb 7, 2018
Comment: Your postcard came on one of the hottest days of the week, so the snow filled postcard did cool me down! Just the thought of seeing snow would be amazing. I am so glad you got to see your daughter and meet her future family. I think it would be hard but knowing that she is happy and safe is always reassuring. I am so glad that you and your daughter enjoyed the visit!
widelo123 rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Feb 3, 2018
Comment: Philip, thank you for the postcard. I hope the winter storm have subsided. We have been getting a tremendous amount of rain lately. Shirley
libertylithium rated for pne and libertylithium on Jan 24, 2018
Comment: Wow what a wonderful and thoughtful package I have received from you. I truly did enjoy reading the letter you wrote and trying the local chocolates you sent. Thank you for the letter, sweets, and pens! I will be sending yours ASAP- I have the drawings sketched out but not yet colored/shaded.
kdeorne1 rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Jan 22, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the postcard.
Comment: Thanks for the personal note, hope you have a wonderful 2018!
Minxy1964 rated for FS: NDH PC on Jan 13, 2018
Comment: Very pretty card, and extremely readable writing. I'm impressed! Xx
TexyDeb rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Jan 11, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the postcards (one cute and one pretty). We had one child for two days Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Since December we have been alone at home. Strange, fun, odd and a sad. Be well.
brianfuchs rated for PCEW17 Round 6 on Jan 6, 2018
Comment: Thanks. Sorry I was so late to rate. I've been sick and had trouble getting well. Have a fantastic day.
Creeny rated for Christmas Cards #3 on Dec 25, 2017
Comment: Ups, etwas verspätetes Rating, sorry! Danke für die schöne Karte :) Ich wünsche dir weiterhin wundervolle Weihnachtstage und ein glückliches Jahr 2018! Liebe Grüße in die Nachbarschaft :D
Response: Danke schööön ♥ Dir auch!
kdeorne1 rated for PCEW17 Round 6 on Dec 24, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the postcard.
goinjenny rated for PCEW17 Round 6 on Dec 23, 2017
Comment: Thank you, esp for sending blank
sebastian122 rated for FOPS - Send a PC, Get a PC on Dec 22, 2017
Comment: What a lovely card, and what an interesting story! Thank you so much for sharing it with me. =D
susieq11 rated for FS: Christmas Card, International on Dec 22, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the lovely card and bat postcard! Hope you and your family enjoy the holidays!
NatACT rated for Christmas Cards #3 on Dec 19, 2017
Comment: My family is just the same as your family in the yearly gathering of all the children and grandchildren. I think it is my mother in law's favorite time of year just for the small army of children who run around the house, gobbling up all the sweets that only grandma would let them eat, lol... Have a wonderful and safe Christmas.
TexyDeb rated for PCEW17 Round 6 on Dec 18, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the pretty postcard. 16c today with a sky full of clouds
ainaignies rated for QUICK Christmas card #86 on Dec 13, 2017
Comment: thank you

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 762 34 36
Completed Fives Threes Ones
588 972 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
36 478 74 0
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Paige1900 on Dec 26, 2017:

Best of 2018 (and onward) to you Philip!

VivaLaDiane on Sep 22, 2017:

You're one of the most caring and thoughtful people ever on SB. Thanks for being amazing!! ♥♥

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

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