Saturday, 3 October 2009

A Parcel From Afar

A parcel arrives all covered with Air Mail stickers and colourful stamps. It’s from Mum. I can always tell, not only because I recognise her handwriting but also because she always makes the packaging look so interesting. She goes especially to the post office and buys a collection of picture stamps. Pretty stamps are so much more fun that those boring sticky labels that they just print out from a machine. The Post Office wonders why it is losing business. I would guess that one of the reasons is that they’ve managed to squash every last modicum of excitement, glamour and visual appeal out of their product. I mean, what kid would be interested in collecting labels with ‘£1.55’ printed on them?

Some of the stamps have a picture of a Platypus swimming underwater. The others have a picture of the Queen and Prince Phillip all got up in their finery, sitting in a carriage. In case you didn’t know, Queen Elizabeth II is still the Queen of Australia. Receiving a package like this really cheers up my day.

Inside are three beautiful scarves from Mum’s own collection: a bright silk square with a modern looking flower print; a huge cotton square with a woven floral design and, my favourite, a silk chiffon square with a hand drawn map of Tasmania, featuring drawings of local landmarks: sheep; timber mills; telegraph poles and Tasmanian Devils, all bordered with yellow and red wattle and gum blossoms.