National Stamp Collecting Month
Today marks the start of National Stamp Collecting month for all you philatelists out there. I've been a stamp admirer all my life thanks to my dad who always had the dining room table filled with stamps he was soaking off. I think it was only natural for me to get into the hobby as a result. I still have my first “grown up” stamp album and I still use it too. It's about 6 inches thick and I'll probably never fill it, but there is something very relaxing about sorting and affixing stamps to the pages. Of course, I have a few (quite a few!) other albums and stock books now and my collection grows day by day thanks to the friendly swappers over on Swap-Bot. I'm not alone in my stamp hobby, the Queen has a stamp collection she inherited from her father, FDR made time every day to look at his stamps and even Hercule Poirot is a philatelist, so I am among distinguished friends.
I know stamp collecting is not everyone's cup of tea, but you can't help but admire this stamp from Belgium. It's a Weather Bureau stamp and is sensitive to warmth, sort of like a mood ring. At first glance, you see a scene with a tree, but once the stamp is exposed to the sun (or your hand if you're impatient like me) little sun and clouds appear. I really like this stamp, and it's not the first stamp Belgium has come out with that is innovative. Just a short time ago they had chocolate stamps. Belgium is known for its fine chocolates and their stamps are testament to that. I didn't manage to get the stamps as they were a limited edition and sold out quickly as you would expect when chocolate is involved, but the lovely Lien whom I did an ephemera swap with recently sent me the selvage from her set of stamps. It really does smell and taste like chocolate. I don't know how they managed that but it is truly a unique set of stamps.
Belgium is making the hobby of stamp collecting fun again with their unusual stamps. Chocolate, temperature sensitive and even glow in the dark stamps. C'mon, you know you want to collect them.