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

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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’€

How exhibitionism stripped me bare

Melbourne 2017 Stamp Exhibition entrance banner

If you’re the kind of reader who usually comes here for the pretty pictures and naughty words, be warned: I am hitting max geek with this one. Street cred be damned.

So a few weekends ago I popped into the Melbourne FIAP Stamp Exhibition, held in my hometown. It led to a rather unexpected journey of personal discovery that may affect the very blog you are reading. More on that later.

I can’t pretend a stamp exhibition is anything but exactly what it sounds like on the lid, but let me talk you through it so that if you ever accidentally find yourself at one, you won’t panic.

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Rhodonites are a girl’s new best friend

Australia 2017 Rare Beauties $1 Rhodonite and $1 Golden Sapphire stamps

Smacking my lips at this issue from Australia Post.ย Rareย Beauties, they’re calling them. They’re all gemstones from the collection of the Australian Museum in Sydney, and what a stunning tribute to the lapidary’s art they are.

The golden sapphire and pink diamond areย used in jewellery. The fluorite and rhodonite aren’t, but that’s OK, you can still buy them for me.ย I simply adore that rich red in the rhodonite.

Australia 2017 Rare Beauties $2 Fluorite stampThe photography of the stones is stunning to start with, but the ‘shadow’ across the geometric background adds a 3-D feel that really makes them pop right out of the stamp.

Y’know what I like about this set the most? The simplicity. When stamp issuers start eyeing off gemstones, for some reason there’s a compulsion to show them in theย context of the geological environment in which they are found, or in fugly uncut form (everything is fugly when uncut, amirightย ladies), or in the context of an end product like jewellery or industrialย product. But there’s no fucking about with this issue. You wantย gemstones? Fine. Here are someย fat fucking gemstones. Straya!

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Bowie’s latest release

UK 2017 David Bowie album stamps

UK 2017 David Bowie 1ST Aladdin Sane stamp

Well this is the most exciting thing to happen this year since I accidentally swiped right on Tinder and he turned out to be a match, a babe, and leaving for overseas two days later.

The UK is releasing a set of David Bowie stamps today!

David has been on a UK stamp before, as part of a Classic Album Covers release in 2010. (You can also spot a wild Bowie issue hiding in this post about tortoise stamps from Namibia. Yes, you read right.)

Now Royal Mail is releasing this fabulous set of six iconic Bowie album covers, plus four photos from live tours combined in a stamp sheet.

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London’s burning

UK 2016 Great Fire of London stamp setHere’s a stamp issue I just have to share with you before 2016 becomes too tiny in the rear view mirror. It was undoubtedly my favourite release out of any that caught my eye last year. And you don’t have to be a stamp nerd to love it, though it’ll help if you are a history buff, comic book geek, or pyromaniac. Continue reading

Australia’s best (and worst) of 2016

Australia 2016 Jewel Beetles $1 Stigmodera gratiosa stamp

…In which I attempt to cover a year of review and bitching in one fell swoop.

Each year, Australia Post holds its annual survey in which stamp collectors can vote for their favourite – and least favourite – issue. This used to be an exercise on paper, with a few variations on a simple ‘What was your favourite?’ ‘What was your least favourite?’ type arrangement, with prize giveaways for random winners. Now it’s gone all high-tech, with a detailed SurveyMonkey page, in which all issues must be ranked in order from 1 to 32.

Australia Posts's Survey Monkey Stamp Poll 2016

On the upside, I enjoyed the OCD-triggering task of putting every single issue in its rightful place. On the downside, no prize giveaways. I guess AP has to pay for its CEO’s $4.8 million pay packet somehow.

I could swear I saw the final results somewhere, but I can’t seem to Google it anywhere, and the survey I’ve linked to above still seems to be open. Surely I’m not so lame that I dreamed it? I saw it in such detail! Maybe I was shown the running tallies when I finished the survey? Anyway, this isn’t your problem. The important thing is that I am going to tell you which were the best stamps and which were the worst, as judged by my own brain, so survey results don’t matter. Why Australia? Because I live there, silly.

In no particular order (and with each issue’s title linking to the extremely commendable Australia Post Collectables blog site for more info), Australia’s unquestionably best issues were: Continue reading

Lost in the System

Well, look who’s come crawling back to her sorry blog! Sorry, punksters, I’ve had a ridiculously busy year in both my top-secret work life and my even more mysterious private life. But it’s time to down tools and return to what I love. I’ve informed Mr Trump that the militia uniform designs would simply have to wait. He still hasn’t paid me for the preliminary design work, anyway, but he assures me the cheque is in the mail.

Given that it feels like I’ve been lost in outer space lately, it seems appropriate to return with one of the many doozies of new issues from 2016 that I missed while I was gone. Regular readers would know I’m mad for a pretty space stamp, and didn’t the USPS fire my rockets in May with its gorgeous Views of our Planets release?

usa-2016-views-of-our-planets-minisheet

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Retrogasm!

Australia 2016 Nostalgic Fruit Labels stamp set

Australia 2016 Nostalgic Fruit Labels stamp setHelloooo! Sorry it’s been a while since my last post. I’m going to make up for my stony silence withย loads of prettyย pictures, inspired byย Australia’s Nostalgicย Fruit Label stamps, over which I’ve been soiling myself sinceย theirย release in June.

They celebrate the paper labels that used to beย slapped onto the wooden fruit crates in the olden days before Styrofoam boxes.

What I love about these stamps is that they retain the microscopic details of the original labels. I wonder how many of the three people stillย using stamps will take a moment to appreciate the artist’s work seen, for example, onย this River’s Pride label, and take in the fenceposts, the orchard and the veining on theย half-peeled orange.

Australia 2016 Nostalgic Fruit Labels $1 River's Pride stamp

If you, like me, are a little fascinated by oldey-timey culture, it’s not out of the question that something would appeal to you about both these designs and also ye olde schoole world of stamp collecting. You may have been given the impression that it involves a lot of old stamps with kings and queens and presidents on them that cost a lot of money. Well, I have good news. There are no rules. We collectย whatever the fuck we want. And one could do worse than start with collectingย vintage graphic designs on stamps, because it’s so hot right now. Continue reading