Stamp Fair in Belfast on Saturday. Much more successful than the previous week in Dublin.
All the Dealers were part-time. And I was able to pick up maybe 300 stamps at an average of just 5p each.
As you can see 27 of the stamps are Australia.
I like Australia. Australia is the “Ireland of the Southern Hemisphere”. They seem to have the secret of life. And…sunshine. Whether it is Australian cricketers in their baggy green caps, the Melbourne Cup, the wildlife, or the “Ocker” culture of throwing another shrimp or Pom on the Barbie while drinking the amber nectar of Fosters, there is a lot to like about Australia and Australians.
To some extent, there are two Australias. The forward-looking future Republic of (say) Paul Keating which is at ease with its geographical location and the nostalgic backward-looking monarchy of (say) Robert Menzies and its delusional link to a mother country.
Advance Australia Fair as their anthem says.
And its a more inclusive Australia that embraces the English settlors including the exiled convicts from England, Scotland and Ireland, the Aboriginal peoples and later migrants from Greece and Italy and more recently migrants from Asia.
It is called the Lucky Country.
And I like Australian stamps. As I always say, a Stamp Album is a Greatest Hits album and Australia proudly shows its history, wildlife, sport and all the rest on its stamps. So I was happy on Saturday when I picked up these stamps. Many show “Australian Legends” and while many legends will only be known to people in Australia, many such as Olivia Newton-John, Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe, Germaine Greer (feminist author) and the Seekers (one of my favourite pop groups from the 1960s) are known internationally.
There should always be a “feel good” factor about stamps. And these and other “Legends” stamps can make Australians feel proud.