Monday, August 12, 2013


I do believe I made the remark once before (maybe more than once) that when the end of the world comes with the four horsemen galloping furiously into view, thanks to the ever increasing population, we won’t go out with a bang but the world will be drowned in a tsunami of shit. But now, thanks to science and man’s ingenuity, that fateful day may be postponed if not put off forever and the horsemen can go back to the stables. A company in Sacramento, California, has started to put tons of the natural but filthy stuff to good use - they have discovered a means of turning it into plastic. This is really good news. Firstly it gets rid of what is euphemistically known as human waste, secondly the plastic takes the place of that manufactured from oil, a commodity that’s going to get more and more scarce if not more and more expensive, and the faeces version degrades quite fast as opposed to the oil variety that takes a hundred years. Well, Sacramento is just one city among thousands. Will others take it up and discover more practical uses for it?
I must have spent a good three weeks sorting stamps and sticking them in albums. I hadn’t realised just how large the collection is. Some countries produce the most beautiful and fascinating stamps, others are just plain dull, Portugal for instance, Switzerland not far behind. The collection isn’t worth much but then that is not why I took up the hobby, collecting over the years. There are some stamps I thought might be worth a bob or two but Douglas has looked up their value online and the result is diddlysquat. There are three green Victorian one and a half penny which, if they had been unused would have been worth about £75 each but used are worth only about 90p. There is an early Natal, a Cape of Good Hope, a New South Wales, a Southern Australia and a Crete before union with Greece, Fascinating but as I say, not worth anything. Complete set of George V1 commemorative £6.25. Wow! Taken as a whole sheer volume makes the collection worth anything from five to ten grand and there are any number of doubles, triples, quadruples even but it’s all just theory as I don’t intend to do anything with them and the market anyway always fancies the buyer rather than the seller. Looking it up online it is fantastic just how many stamps are being offered. It really is very big business.
When I was a kid my parents had bought a complete set of Edward Vlll and I destroyed them. I thought they looked untidy so I cut off the perforations and landed myself in extremely hot water. Ten quid I had destroyed, so I was informed, I wonder if they would be worth anything today, more than seventy years later, Must look that  up merely out of curiosity.
Some time ago a friend of his informed Chris that an auction house was selling a stamped envelope on which was a drawing of Champagne Charlie so naturally he bid for it and got it fairly cheap. Evidently it was made by a fellow artiste shortly after Leybourne’s death. After that simple purchase the auction house regularly sent me their glossy brochure of sales. Oh, what a feast! What eye-candy! What fascination! Unfortunately, though there were most definitely stamps I would love to have made a bid for; even the least expensive was outside my range so eventually they stopped sending the brochure.
Talking of Mr. Beeching I have just watched him rinse out a small paint pot and brush under a running tap. He must have used something like two litres of water. I have tried in vain time after time to get him to appreciate water is not an infinite commodity. Okay, so there is no shortage here but it is the lack of respect that gets my goat. It always irritates me when I see him wasting it. Ah well, old habits die hard and some things I suppose are destined never to change. Douglas’s little foible (there’s no one to point out mine) is to use three sheets of  kitchen paper where one will suffice and, funnily enough, I have just read on Facebook that  if Americans used one sheet less a day 571,230,000 tons of paper would be spared in the course of a year. I don’t know who worked out this figure but I’ll take his/her/their word for it

I have just looked up the value of the ten pounds Edward Vlll stamps I destroyed and to-day’s value for a complete set of four is – wait for it – 80p!!! Eina! (That’s Afrikaans for “ouch”.) Evidently a great many people bought and hoarded them thinking their value would increase in consequence of which they’re actually as common as muck. Sorry dad, sorry mom.

No comments: