Swap-bot Time: December 12, 2018 2:40 am


Date Joined: December 29, 2012
Last Online: December 11, 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!


Comment: Thank You for the wonder Christmas greetings!!!
Comment: Hi Philip thank you for the beautiful winter PC..very cool car postage stamp. peace love light
dobie256 rated for FS: Send a card on Dec 4, 2018
Comment: majQa' I really like my hedgehog card! You must have read my profile pretty closely! :) Your profile was an interesting read. I wish I had bilingual experience as a youngster -- that certainly is the prime time to learn other languages. Have seen you around the 'bot but don't remember having swapped with you before (your avatar is 'da bomb!!) It was a pleasure. Qapla'!
Response: I'm glad you liked the card, and I'm tickled by the Klingon in your response! Thank you for the heart!
blkwlf rated for Happy December on Dec 3, 2018
Comment: Thank you kindly :) I hope you have a happy december too!
Paige1900 rated for NH: Christmas Postcard on Nov 26, 2018
Comment: YAY! I love when you are sitting in my mailbox. LOL. I always enjoy your messages, very personal and heart-warming. Thank You!
SeleneW rated for NH: Christmas Postcard on Nov 25, 2018
Comment: Such a beautiful PC and I loved your tradition. It sounds like so much fun! <3
loveretro rated for 🎄 Christmas Card x2 🎄 on Nov 23, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the beautiful Christmas card! Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Sammoning rated for NH: Christmas Postcard on Nov 15, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the nice card, I love that is has English and German writing on the front! Drawing lots for presents is a fun family tradition, I've been thinking to get my family started on it as well :)
Comment: Thank you!
Comment: Thank you for the extra PC :)
Comment: Thanks a lot for the cards, I'll send them in the next round :)
Paige1900 rated for NH: HI. My name is... PC swap on Aug 13, 2018
Comment: wow, seems forever since you and I were partnered. It was a very pleasant surprise to find your pc in my mailbox this afternoon! Wow...not many people can say they held open the door for The Pope. I enjoyed reading all your random facts and hope you enjoy (enjoyed) the visit with your daughter. I guess we moved from Kathleen to Byron about 6 months ago. We live in a super small town (seriously little) on 4.5 acres of land. We love it out here. ♥ Thanks again for always being a great partner. :)
MrsKytes rated for HI. My name is... PC swap on Aug 6, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the adorable postcard! My husband and I are both jealous about your MTG cards. I really wish I had gotten into the game earlier. Since you included a return address I'll send you a postcard here within the next few days. :)
Comment: Postcard received and ready to go on it's next adventure. Thank you very much for the beautiful postcard you included for me, I love it! I will be sure to pass along the coupon to the next person too, that is very kind of you! I didn't know you could do that. Thanks again and happy swapping! =)
Comment: What a pleasant surprise to get your package! I certainly was happy to get the pistachios and the tea! I tried one tea last night and one this morning and, really, I liked them both very much! Thank you! As far as pistachios here, I just looked today and at the local Walmart, they had both shelled and unshelled. I noticed you sent unsalted, and that is difficult to get around here; all are salted or "lightly salted". I like them either way. Thank you for a great package! I even liked the pc holding the tea! Thank you again and again!
Response: I'm glad you liked what I sent you :) Thank you for the heart!
Comment: Thank you for sending on the cards.
Comment: I will forward these PC’s on to their next journey. Thank you very much for sending them. As a postage stamp collector, I have to thank you for the beautiful stamps you put on the envelope they will make great addiction to my collection.
Comment: Oh wow!!! So cool of you to send me freakin awesome vintage magazines! I love them. You are great! Thank you.
Response: Thank you for the heart, and I'm glad you liked the magazines :)
LucyToons rated for PCEW18 Round 1 on Mar 9, 2018
Comment: thank you for the lovely postcard :), we have a place in the UK called Babbacombe where they their own model village, I have never visited but would love to one day :)
Comment: Thanks for passing the cards to me. I got them a couple of days ago but haven't been home long enough to rate. Sorry for the delay.

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 782 34 36
Completed Fives Threes Ones
610 994 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
36 499 75 0
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Currently Hosting

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Swan on Nov 15, 2018:

Thank you for the box of One Hundred Flower Fairies Postcards for my November Wishlist!

ContraryHousewife on Mar 20, 2018:

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...

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