Is Stamp Collecting a Serious Business or Can One Have Fun?


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Some thoughts from Harvey Duncan

All of us in this hobby do our own thing and would defend the right to do so like a tigress with her cubs under threat. We have the “serious collector” who takes his or her hobby very seriously and frowns on levity. Why ?? Surely as a hobby it is to be enjoyed and a laugh along the way works wonders.

Serious you have to be if you are after gold in an exhibition etc, but then there are rules which have to be followed and serious attention paid to detail. However, if collecting for interest and display you can inject some humour as this usually wakens up the back row and stimulates interest. For example while talking about Apollo 8 you can quietly mention the fact that thee was a stowaway on board – namely a Florida Mosquito – pause and move on to the next sheet. This gives human nature a chance and you will observe sly grins appear as your listeners’ imaginations move into overdrive and they sit up and take notice.

‘However, when you have finished talking – then your display is in the lap of the Gods as they rubber-neck along your carefully prepared sheets. Well not quite, as you have inserted a few booby traps to catch them off guard just as they were nodding off again. Such as the cartoon shown which should raise the odd grin of anticipation of more to come. Incidentally I have no record of the fate of the stowaway but suspect he made it back safely if his persistent and elusive cousins on the west coast of Scotland are anything to go by!

Now I am sure that there are a lot of humorous anecdotes out there and if you have any why not let Orbit know of them. We can start a “fun” page – just the tiling with the | dark nights approaching.

Now did you know that Astronomers tend to be absent minded – no ? Then read on. Sir Isaac Newton was fed up with his cat always wanting in or out just as he was deep in thought about a problem. So one day he fetched a saw and cut a hole as a “cat flap” at the foot of his door. He then proceeded to cut another but smaller one beside it. When asked the purpose of this smaller hole by a visitor he replied, “That’s for the kitten !”


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