Recently the Beatles song has been in my head. I may have heard it for the first time in the summer of 1967. But recently it has become more meaningful. In two months time, I become 64 years old.
It is funny how things happen. A few years ago, I moght complain that I was “getting old” and family and friends would rush to say “not at all!”. But in the last few years, nobody rushes to reassure me. It is no longer a question of GETTING old. It is a question of BEING old.
So perhaps it is an appropriate time to review my various collections. It is almost four years since I took up Stamp Collecting again after a hiatus of more than a decade. The priority was to keep up to date with Irish new issues and to work back from 2012 to 2001. This is largely successful. There are about twenty items (mint and/or used) on the “wants list”. Perhaps completion by the date of the annual Stampa Show (October) is a realistic target.
“Completion” is a subjective term. There is always ongoing new issues but of course the more expensive Irish items will always elude me. In some ways, Stamp Collecting is never meant to be complete. Realistically I can hunt down SOME moderately priced Irish designs and ignore the more expensive over-printed stamps on the basis that these are actually pre-Independence “British” issues.
I think my attention might then turn to inexpensive commercially used mail, such as Irish airmails, censored (World War Two) mail and postcards. I have a growing collection of Irish postcards from the “golden age” (1900-1920) and of course these have British stamps and postmarks in the English language as they are pre-Independence.
Collecting Irish stamps is a serious interest but collecting world wide used stamps is a “fun” thing to do.
My collection of several hundred unwritten modern Irish postcards is more related to “souvenirs” and disconnected from the serious business of Irish stamps. I am entitled to free travel by public transport in the north of Ireland and I intend to use this concession fully in 2016…obtaining postcards along the way. From 2017, this concession applies to all of Ireland and I will begin a five year mission to (again) see every city, town and village in the country.
I am also collecting unwritten postcards from USA and the total now stands at over eight hundred. I am hopeful of having over a thousand by the end of 2016.
The collection of written/stamped postcards continues to grow. I received my first stamped postcard from Luxembourg today and I now have sramped postcards from around eighty countries and territories. It is going quite well.
Coins….well the missing Irish coins are all a bit pricey. But this is pretty much an exercise in preserving small pieces of history. I want to restrict my collection of coins from USA to coins that are circulating. A “fun” thing to do.
Irish phonecards…well they were little more than a passing fad in the early 1990s. The technology is now outdated. People have cell-phones but they remain an interesting footnote in modern Irish history.
There is a high Nostalgia factor. For “baby-boomers” like myself, leisure allows us to re-capture the things that we gave away as teenagers such as sets of “bubblegum” cards. And while I have passed on my love of Manchester United Football Club to my sons and grandsons, there is a “golden age” from 1958 to 1970, when it was just better. I have the beginnings of a small autograph collection.
Perhaps re-capturing my youth is the best way to deal with “being old”. My health is good. And I would certainly hope to be still an active collector/hoarder when I am 70 years old. And hopefully I will still be collecting…albeit more leisurely ..until I am 80 years old.
Let’s face it. None of us are getting out of here alive. We might as well enjoy it.