In this time of social isolation some old school things, it turns out, are still pretty cool. Once upon a time kids used to do things you may not have even heard of, things like catching tadpoles and making mud pies, playing marbles, building cubbies and collecting stamps. There was a time when most kids had a stamp album. Some kids went on to maintain their collections and become really rich.
An album is a special book into which stamps are placed using particular techniques. Stamps can be soaked from envelopes when letters arrive in the post, purchased from dealers, and swapped with friends. Maybe letter-writing will be one of the things that reemerge after ‘the virus’ has passed, and you won’t have to wait so long for a stamp to arrive in your mailbox. People who don’t collect stamps simply throw their envelopes away – ask them to keep their stamps for you. All you need to start is a notebook, a glue stick and some patience. You can work up to soaking off the stamps and getting a ‘proper’ album. Maybe you’re one of those people who could have a lifelong interest in stamps, a philatelist, and become really rich.
Other kids outgrew their interest in stamps. But stamps are beautiful artworks and are often produced in series, which makes them interesting to collect. They also come into the realm of miniatures, which appeal for reasons I am yet to identify. My stamp album is buried in the sands of time but I still can’t resist a great stamp.