Saturday 30 September 2023

September round-up

Tomorrow is World Postcard Day, a celebration for the anniversary of the postcard. This year’s theme from Postcrossing for it is Postal Hugs. A lovely thought as a postcard can feel like a hug from a stranger. I am a Postcrosser but due to postage costs, am not as active as I used to be. Postage then was 50p to Europe but now that rate is £2.20. I will still send a few postcards now and again, and will write some tomorrow. 

Postcard designed by Christina Liew Jia Hui

Nowadays, I prefer to send letters, and getting to know strangers around the world. I am generally not looking for new penpals but sometimes it is hard to say no to a quality letter. A letter I am partway through replying to was written in August but for InCoWriMo (life got in the way sometime during February for the correspondent). 

3 stamp combination for postage from 2nd October

For the first rate of international postage, Monday will feel somewhat like a postage rate decrease, because the domestic first class stamp price will increase from £1,10 to £1.25. I have used mostly first class stamps, the current rate of airmail being 2 x 1st, but that will overpay on Monday. Domestic mail, what with all the woes Royal Mail have, especially overwhelmed with parcels they neglect to deliver letters daily quite often, I will be using 2nd class mostly - this remains at 75p (for now!). I know that Covid is doing the rounds again, and some posties call in sick, but there’s no cover available to do those rounds. 

Some stamps issued September 2023

September saw 2 stamp issues, one celebrating Paddington, and the other Dame Shirley Bassey. I wasn’t intending to buy that many Paddington stamps, but in the end, I bought a few, ahead of the price rise. Next up will be a stamp issue celebrating Harry Potter (yet again). All first class stamps. I will buy a few stamps, but not as many, perhaps, due to the price rise. The stamps are all 1st class. 

Today is also the last day of Stampex, a stamp exhibition in London. I have never attended, but have seen pictures and heard stories. I’ve imagined it to have been a grand affair, with stamp dealers selling old stamps, auction houses promoting upcoming sales, and Royal Mail selling modern stamps. However, the latter hasn’t happened this year because Royal Mail, in their wisdom (or lack of it), have not attended this year. A shame, not only because there are still some people collecting modern Royal Mail offerings, but also because there was a Postcrossing meet up with many postcards being written & signed needing postage to be sent on their way. 

Elsewhere, I find it a little sad someone with a stamp collection has never actually used a stamp, and has no interest at all in correcting that. Still, there are some people out there who will use stamps. I guess many of the postal authorities will have stamps for sale on their websites, and offer a decent choice of stamps available to use for postage. Surely there is at least one “adequate” issue they would be happy to use for postage… I know I buy more stamps from the issues I really like, and not so many of issues I’m not keen on.