This Friday, January 26, is Australia Day, and that means it’s argument week down under. Crack open a tinny and celebrate with a very rare Punk Philatelist Longread!
Australia Day is Australia’s national day. It’s called Australia Day because obviously the names of all the other countries were already taken. Australia Day has been celebrated on many different dates in different regions in different eras, but it’s only since 1994 that it’s been uniformly observed on January 26.
We maybe should’ve thought that one through. Continue reading
Happy New Year, readers! Hoping your year is as bloody awesome as the pun in my headline.
2018 has kicked off with the news that on January 23, the UK’s Royal Mail is releasing no less than 15 stamps commemorating “the significant British contribution” to the production of the TV series Game of Thrones.
Here’s the Royal Mail’s justification for jumping on the GoT band-dragon:
The Game of Thrones production involves a very significant British contribution. Principal filming of the series is at Titanic Studios in Belfast, at the Linen Hill Film Studio in Banbridge and on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, with additional filming in Scotland and European locations including Malta, Croatia, Iceland, Morocco and Spain.
Additionally, the acclaimed cast is predominantly British and Irish, and British expertise is to the fore in many areas of the production, including award-winning costume design and prosthetic special effects.
And here’s what they might as well have written:
Game of Thrones is huge and we are out to make a shipload of coin.
(…Or someone’s childhood. Someone British.)
Ever been suddenly reminded of something that was once an everyday part of your life, but somewhere along the way, it wasn’t anymore, and you think, ‘I haven’t thought of that in YEARS!’?
For me, it was last Tuesday, when this stamp crossed my radar. First reaction: “STICKLE BRICKS!” These joyfully-colored, spiky, plastic building blocks were a regular feature of the bedroom floor in my childhood home. But indeed, I hadn’t thought of them in years.
Second reaction: “I didn’t know they were called Stickle Bricks. How about that.”
And then came the question. What the fuck are Stickle Bricks doing on a postage stamp? I had to know more. Continue reading
(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 tag 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!