Introducing tiresias1000: mint, unhinged

When I started this blog, I always intended to point readers to corners of the internet where crazy people are doing interesting philatelic things. I haven’t done much of it yet, but now one Instagram account has forced my hand.

If you know Instagram, skip two paragraphs. If not, and if you like design, or art, or stamps, you should investigate. This is not a How-To-Instagram post, but in brief: people go there, share pictures, and like and/or comment on each others’ pictures. That’s it.

The Instagram cliche is to post a restaurant meal, cocktail, bikini body or holiday snap to make your friends jealous. But lately I’ve been delighted to see an increasing number of philately-related users popping up. Some are so basic that they’re downright dull, but many are vibrant and fun, and some are nothing short of works of art.

You can decide for yourself which category my Instagram page belongs to, but for once I’m not here to talk about me. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you tiresias1000.

Mr Schqperia – ventriloquist. 'Say something mate' shouted the crowd. 'A gottle of geer' said the substandard entertainer. 'Yer lips are moving mate' screamed the restless mob. 'Ha ha ha' retorted the vegetarian stage act, 'what's your point?' 'Get off, your shit mate' replied the frantic assembly. 'Well your grammar and punctuation leaves something to be desired' came the testy reply from the lazy performer. Mr Schqperia's beard was twice as bad. He died with his hand inserted. ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€โšฐโšฐโšฐ#stamps #philately #pimpmystamp #mate #sayings #bottle #beer #entertainment #lips #moving #scream #mob #vegetarian #point #theshit #leave #desire #sharp #vegetarian #lazy #performer #beard #moustache #hairstyle #lifestyle #shoes #pose #portrait #art

A post shared by Tiresias (@tiresias1000) on

OK, this is going to take some explanation.

I don’t know if tiresias1000 is individual or movement, genius or madperson, and I don’t want to ask. But his/her/its/their Instagram feed is a stream of constant delight. Whether regaling us with questionable biographical details of the subjects of classic stamps, or concocting spurious variations photoshopped by someone who is not very good at Photoshop, tiresias1000 rarely fails to make me laugh.

The average tiresias1000 post features a stamp, a potted biography, multiple and often unrelated emojis, mention of the wanton Mrs Tittersley, a cause of death, and more hashtags than is legal. The perfect tiresias1000 follower would appreciate dadaism, meme humour, design, philately from the classic era, and beards. Especially beards. The question left lingering in my brain after every post: WHO THE FUCK IS THIS AIMED AT?

Answer: me. I love you, tiresias1000.

Hugo Grotius (pronounced 'de Groot') – intellectual giant. 'De Groot' literally translates as the man with a 'brain and a half'. In de Groot's case this was actually true. It helped him stride around the Universiteit Leiden with intellectual authority, correcting students as he went. He invented International Law which effectively brought an end to conflict and war. His legal system is still in place today. Surprisingly, de Groot never finished a killer sudoku. His beard was also very clever. De Groot ran out of time. ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€โšฐโšฐโšฐ#stamps #philately #pimpmystamp #groot #intelligence #literature #meaning #saying #brain #half #true #uni #leiden #students #law #beard #moustache #hairstyle #lifestyle #shoes #controversy #goodnews #clever #comedy #hahaha #selfie #lovely #time #photo

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Tracing tiresias1000’s Instagram feed back to its earliest days affords us an archaeological insight into the condition of the human(?) mind. It would seem that he/she/it/they started a rather straight Instagram feed of philatelic items in July 2016. Only the final hashtag hinted at the bedlam that was to ensue.

The obsession with facial hair begins within a few weeks. It’s not long before the feed becomes 100% beard, including this rarity that I could not find in Stanley Gibbons.

No.3: Sarah 'Fergie' Ferguson – duchess, novelist and television personality. Having previously posted that women, and bearded women in particular, are rarely celebrated philatelically, further study has proved me wrong on both counts. Edna Ferber's contention that talented women are unrecognised also lies in tatters. Who can forget Fergie's sophisticated and riveting tales about Budgie the Helicopter. She deserves her place in the pantheon of stamp celebrities on merit, not because she was once a minor royal. Her beard is thick and her ginger mane looks swishy. Fergie is alive and well๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿ‘ฑ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿฆ#stamps#philately#duchess#novelist#personality#tv#television##beard#beards#mustache#moustache#hair#hairstyle#lifestyle#tatty#sophisticated#rivet#tales#budgie#helicopter#merit#thick#mane#swish#study#ginger#alive#wellbeing #fergie#selfie

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By December, tiresias1000 is experimenting with multiple images and using hashtags and emojis of no relevance to the post. There is soon an onset of varieties of spurious legitimacy and often questionable artistry. But sometimes not.

Anatole France – international man of letters. Anatole had a song for every occasion. If you were sad, he was sadder. If you were happy, he was happier. If you were in love, he could double it. If you found artistic expression in painful shoes, Anatole trounced it with a wittier metaphor. If you'd had a slippy experience with the muddy Mrs Tittersley, he'd had it muddier and slippier. He sang his songs in a high pitched whine, which was always annoying. His beard surpassed itself. Anatole died before anyone else. ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€โšฐโšฐโšฐ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’ฐ๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿ‘™๐Ÿ‘™ #stamps #philately #pimpmystamp #song #sad #happy #artistic #pain #shoes #mud #slippy #slip #annoyed #beard #moustache #hairstyle #lifestyle #mercy #hair #poetry #sayings #meaning #quotes #dentistry #savings #money #tax #wrestling #wine #bouncy

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As worldwide demand kicks in and the pressure of maintaining a cutting edge philatelic platform on the internet mounts, Tiresias1000 appears to reach the point of clinical insanity at the turn of 2017. The obsession with beards remains. Though not here.

I don’t know who or what you are, tiresias1000, but I have no hesitation in declaring you the most brilliant corner of the internet. You clearly know your shit, yet you are pissing it gloriously against the wall. You deserve way more than 568 followers, and I hope that with this post, I add maybe at least a good three more.

Enjoy this random selection of tiresias1000’s Instagram posts, and for the sake of all that is good and pure on the internet, FOLLOW!

I am slightly less deserving of your adoration than Tiresias1000, but that’s no reason not to like, link, share, and follow me, right? Letโ€™s find each other on Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram! ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ’€

Queen: 1. Punk: 0.

Australia 2016 Queen's Birthday $2.75 Golden Wattle Diamond Brooch

Australia 2016 $1 Queen's Birthday stampHer Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, turned 90 on April 21st,ย but she’s stretching celebrations out all the way from April until June, because She’s The Queen So Suck It Plebs.

Last year I wrote about Australia’s traditionย of marking Her Majesty’s birthday with a stamp issue. In that post, I may have inadvertently given readers the impression that I’m not a fan, with ambiguous phrases such as “pointless allegiance to Empire”, “another countryโ€™s monarch is irrelevant to a nation half a planet away in the 21st century”, and “reliably some of the dullest Australian stamp issues each year”.

Well, didn’t I have to swallow my republican tongue with this year’s issue. Iย didn’t mention it here whenย it was released, butย I keep seeing it at the Post Office, and it is no less stunning for the delay.

Australia 2016 Queen's Birthday $2.75 Golden Wattle Diamond BroochIt’s all about this Australian Golden Wattle diamond brooch. Continue reading

Stamp of the Day: Sorrow

ZiggyI’m composing an official-first-blog-post-of-2016, butย sadly it has been gazumped by the loss of a personal musical icon. Many words are being written todayย inย tribute to David Bowie. Let me add a few of my own.

Today’s Stamp of the Day depicts the iconic cover of David Bowie’s album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

It was part ofย Royal Mail’s 2010 Classic Album Covers issue, which combined two of my great loves, music and design, as well asย philately, which I shall classify as a great like. If I called it a great love, I would sound like one of the dottyย old men one bumps into atย philatelic society meetings.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? Being a stampย collectorย with aย creative andย intellectual streakย made me odd among my peers in my teenage years. I persisted, quietly, because screwย them.

David Bowie’s musical output speaks for itself. I speak for the many peopleย who were once teenagers who felt like they came from another planet. Bowie showed us it was just fineย to be a bit weird.

Incidentally, the building in the background of the Ziggy Stardust cover is a post office. First class indeed.


Show your modern love by following meย onย Facebook,ย Twitter, andย Instagram! x

The Queen isn’t dead. Long live the Queen!

Australia 2015 Queen's Birthday minisheet

Due to general busy-ness I’ve missed a few Australian releases of late. But I thought Aussie Post did a decent job of the Centenary of the Anzac landing, amid the appalling jingoism currently en vogue down under. No doubt they’ll release some hideous and overpriced Anzac-themed ‘Impressions’ products at year’s end, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Then we’ll blow it up behind us so the Germans won’t get us. Continue reading

USA portraits – and the best stamp they never released

Punk Philatelist Johnny Cash Flips The Bird stamp

Credit where it’s due. How well does the United States Postal Service do portrait stamps?

It’s got a head start, being in America and all. With its entrepreneurial spirit, vibrant cultural scene, and comprehensive disenfranchisement of minorities, the USA is never short of an innovator, an envelope-pusher or a trailblazer to honour on a stamp.

USA 2015 Maya Angelou stampTake the Maya Angelou stamp thatโ€™s out on April 7. No frills, just elegance and eloquence. A dignified tribute. I was gobsmacked to read that the image is that of a painting (!) โ€“ an oil-on-canvas number by Ross Rossin that resides in the National Portrait Gallery. Look at that face, and imagine the stories it could tell. Continue reading