(And yay to you if you know which film lent me that headline.)
I’m excited today, and not because I’ve been snorting lines of this coffee-scented stamp from India. It’s a big day. I’m launching a new category on this blog.
I get very easily excited.
As the use of snail mail for letter post continues to fall off a cliff, postal authorities around the world look more and more to stamp collectors to fluff up their bottom line. Thus opens a new and technologically marvellous chapter in an old book: that of the novelty stamp. Continue reading
Well, hello internet! Long time no see. Apologies to the regulars for my absence. Every now and then, in my day job, I get caught up on the kind of project that requires way too much commitment, and steals all of the little moments I normally use to jot down my philatelic fancies. And then, I took a holiday. Back now. Hi! Continue reading
Update: since this post was published, Tiresias1000 has removed his, her or itself from Instagram, rendering most of the links and embedded images in this page inactive, and my descriptions incomprehensible. But I’ll leave it here as an eternal tribute to the glory of what once was.
When I started this blog, I always intended to point readers to corners of the internet where crazy people are doing interesting philatelic things. I haven’t done much of it yet, but now one Instagram account has forced my hand.
If you know Instagram, skip two paragraphs. If not, and if you like design, or art, or stamps, you should investigate. This is not a How-To-Instagram post, but in brief: people go there, share pictures, and like and/or comment on each others’ pictures. That’s it.
The Instagram cliche is to post a restaurant meal, cocktail, bikini body or holiday snap to make your friends jealous. But lately I’ve been delighted to see an increasing number of philately-related users popping up. Some are so basic that they’re downright dull, but many are vibrant and fun, and some are nothing short of works of art.
You can decide for yourself which category my Instagram page belongs to, but for once I’m not here to talk about me. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you tiresias1000.
OK, this is going to take some explanation. Continue reading
Once again I find myself buried beneath an avalanche of boringwork and sadly the blog has gone a bit quiet. But as soon as I caught a chromey whiff of this issue from Australia, I knew I would have to tell you about it. I give you: Street Art.
If you’re the kind of reader who usually comes here for the pretty pictures and naughty words, be warned: I am hitting max geek with this one. Street cred be damned.
So a few weekends ago I popped into the Melbourne FIAP Stamp Exhibition, held in my hometown. It led to a rather unexpected journey of personal discovery that may affect the very blog you are reading. More on that later.
I can’t pretend a stamp exhibition is anything but exactly what it sounds like on the lid, but let me talk you through it so that if you ever accidentally find yourself at one, you won’t panic.
Smacking my lips at this issue from Australia Post. Rare Beauties, they’re calling them. They’re all gemstones from the collection of the Australian Museum in Sydney, and what a stunning tribute to the lapidary’s art they are.
The golden sapphire and pink diamond are used in jewellery. The fluorite and rhodonite aren’t, but that’s OK, you can still buy them for me. I simply adore that rich red in the rhodonite.
The photography of the stones is stunning to start with, but the ‘shadow’ across the geometric background adds a 3-D feel that really makes them pop right out of the stamp.
Y’know what I like about this set the most? The simplicity. When stamp issuers start eyeing off gemstones, for some reason there’s a compulsion to show them in the context of the geological environment in which they are found, or in fugly uncut form (everything is fugly when uncut, amiright ladies), or in the context of an end product like jewellery or industrial product. But there’s no fucking about with this issue. You want gemstones? Fine. Here are some fat fucking gemstones. Straya!
Well this is the most exciting thing to happen this year since I accidentally swiped right on Tinder and he turned out to be a match, a babe, and leaving for overseas two days later.
The UK is releasing a set of David Bowie stamps today!
David has been on a UK stamp before, as part of a Classic Album Covers release in 2010. (You can also spot a wild Bowie issue hiding in this post about tortoise stamps from Namibia. Yes, you read right.)
Now Royal Mail is releasing this fabulous set of six iconic Bowie album covers, plus four photos from live tours combined in a stamp sheet.
Here’s a stamp issue I just have to share with you before 2016 becomes too tiny in the rear view mirror. It was undoubtedly my favourite release out of any that caught my eye last year. And you don’t have to be a stamp nerd to love it, though it’ll help if you are a history buff, comic book geek, or pyromaniac. Continue reading
…In which I attempt to cover a year of review and bitching in one fell swoop.
Each year, Australia Post holds its annual survey in which stamp collectors can vote for their favourite – and least favourite – issue. This used to be an exercise on paper, with a few variations on a simple ‘What was your favourite?’ ‘What was your least favourite?’ type arrangement, with prize giveaways for random winners. Now it’s gone all high-tech, with a detailed SurveyMonkey page, in which all issues must be ranked in order from 1 to 32.
On the upside, I enjoyed the OCD-triggering task of putting every single issue in its rightful place. On the downside, no prize giveaways. I guess AP has to pay for its CEO’s $4.8 million pay packet somehow.
I could swear I saw the final results somewhere, but I can’t seem to Google it anywhere, and the survey I’ve linked to above still seems to be open. Surely I’m not so lame that I dreamed it? I saw it in such detail! Maybe I was shown the running tallies when I finished the survey? Anyway, this isn’t your problem. The important thing is that I am going to tell you which were the best stamps and which were the worst, as judged by my own brain, so survey results don’t matter. Why Australia? Because I live there, silly.
In no particular order (and with each issue’s title linking to the extremely commendable Australia Post Collectables blog site for more info), Australia’s unquestionably best issues were: Continue reading