Whenever I visit a post office for any product or service, I feel compelled to enquire if there are any special stamps available, even if I have absolutely no need of them.
My purse has a small zipped section in which I keep a little plastic packet filled with postage stamps. Most of the stamps contained therein are special issues I have been unable to resist.
I tend to buy several of each design, and am happy to make use of most of them as soon as I need to, but I often find it hard to part with the very last one. As a result of this, I have a growing collection of single, slightly ragged, stamps sitting in my purse that will doubtless continue to sit there for some time to come.
The stamp shown below is a particular favourite that I once had many copies of. This is my last copy, and I have often taken it out and had another look at it before returning it to the plastic packet. I wonder if I will ever be able to bring myself to stick it to an envelope and send it off on its travels.
This stamp was produced in 2013 as one of a collection brought out to celebrate the trading fleet of Britain’s Merchant Navy.
The ship was designed by Scottish surveyor and shipbuilder, Hercules Linton, and built on the River Clyde in 1869. The name, ‘Cutty Sark’, seems an odd name for a ship, coming as it does from the Scottish term for a short nightdress, as worn by a witch called Nannie in the poem Tam O’Shanter by Robert Burns.
Rather splendidly, the ship is still in existence, having been carefully preserved by the Cutty Sark Trust and turned into a museum based in Greenwich, London.
In memory of Hercules Linton, at the north end of his home town of Inverbervie there is a full scale replica of the Cutty Sark’s figurehead, featuring Nannie gripping a horse’s tail as described in Tam O’Shanter.