Saturday, 9 March 2013

On Possessions, Stuff, Things.

I just moved house.
Well, to be exact, I moved back into my place after two years of house-sitting my mother's much nicer little house a couple of miles away. We, my brothers, sister, and I, were trying to sell it, and I was living there in much nicer leafy suburbs than my own. Last weekend, we finally did the move-out, it's sold, furniture and things apportioned, sales at auction, which brings me around to my subject, Stuff. Things. Kipple. 
The debris of a life.

As you may recall, I blogged some old family photographs. In the same closet were the boxes of my dad's stamps. He started collecting stamps when he started work, in a business which exported all over the world, and by the time I was eight or nine years old, I had a stamp album, a Stanley Gibbons catalogue, a lot of little tissue paper stamp-hinges, and a fascination for these little coloured patches of paper, these world travellers from far-off places and times.

A stamp-collection is a poor-man's art gallery.

My father collected for over seventy years.

I bought stamps for him, on my travels.

History on the pages.

The Shah of Persia

Tristan Da Cunha

The Falklands Islands

Palestinian Stamps

Saar, a short-lived republic.

Boxes of Unsorted Stamps

East Germany

And so, about seven boxes of stamps, albums, first-day covers went out to the auction valuers, and we're told they might bring in a hundred and twenty pounds. Pah! For that I'll have them back, frame a few. I value them, personally, at more than that. 
But here I am, in the midst of trying to downsize my possessions to start a new life in another country, and I'm getting bogged down by stamps. 

Am I crazy?
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