Monday, October 13, 2014

Stamp Collection

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had a quiet one but still managed to socialize with some friends, which was nice. On Sunday, we went to this production of Shakespeare's Henry V at The Proud Archivist. I was totally skeptical before we arrived, but once we got into the swing of thigns, I ended up really enjoying it.

I just wanted to share with you these beautiful stamps I received this morning from a publisher I work with in Singapore, which brought back a huge sense of nostalgia for me. I especially love the "Vanishing Trades" stamps on the left, featuring a cobbler and a goldsmith.

Did you (or do you) collect stamps? I did. I took it quite seriously! I remember cutting out stamps from my mom and dad's mail and soaking them in water for days (to get the adhesive off) and pressing them between heavy books after they were dry so that they'd lay flat.

For Christmas one year, I asked for a proper stamp album and my dad bought me a beautiful hardback book with delicate rows of transparent sleeves to slip my stamps in (that's one thing I loved about my parents: they always took my requests seriously!). I'd spend days in my room, obsessively arranging and rearranging the stamps by country, color, and size. My mom would buy me collector's editions from the local post office, which I also loved, but they weren't as special to me as the ones I "discovered" myself.

Looking back, I think that collecting stamps was my way of (figuratively) traveling the world. I loved collecting stamps from Europe and countries like Finland, Estonia, or further afield. I stared long and hard at each of the stamps, looking at the pictures within them and wondering what life was like in that place. Most of all, I just marvelled that a stamp traveled all that way around the world and eventually made its way to me, sitting in my little room in Small Town, USA.

I think I'll save these stamps from Singapore and add them to my collection back home when I visit during Christmas.

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