Birthdays in March – mum’s and mine


Both mum and I not only have our birthdays in March but also in the same week. I am 16 this year, Alhamdulillah, and my family members had given me wonderful presents.

Mum gave me a lot of her Australian, American, Canadian and New Zealand stamps wrapped in a lovely silver coloured box. My dad bought me stamps at the stamp fair and an A3 sized document file which I now use to keep my stamps in. My sister Aeshah gave me some Vietnamese stamps featuring dolphins that are missing from my collection and lots of odds and ends that I could use for my craftworks. Anisah gave me a number of her drawings and Ali gave me a hairdryer, a ‘Snoopy’ clock and a watch.

My parents gave me a beautiful birthday card with a picture of a flower drawn by mum (the artist), using soft pastels. Ahmad Ali gave me three birthday cards for he enjoyed card making so much that he couldn’t stop making them… Abang Muhammad sent me a birthday card too, all the way from Chicago together with lots of gorgeous U.S.S.R. stamps.

My mother had a marvellous birthday too. Again, most of her presents were stamps from all of us. I secretly looked through her stamp albums and picked out stamps that I own but is missing from her collection. I’m delighted that she was thrilled to receive the stamps that I gave her. I also gave her some Machin stamps (the British definitive stamps with a picture of Queen Elizabeth’s head – mum simply love them, she has a few pages of those lovely stamps in her stamp album and wishes to own as much as she could). Aeshah gave her stamps too. Anisah gave her an envelope with a picture of a cat that she ‘bought’ for 6 stars (our play-money currency) from my little brother.  And Ahmad Ali gave mum a beautiful egg cup and a special Machin stamp(the 1840 Anniversary Machins) with pictures of both Queen Elizabeth as in other Machin stamps and Queen Victoria as in Penny Black.

That night,we had pizzas from Domino’s Pizza for our dinner. Everyone love Domino’s Pizza and we celebrated most of our birthdays with them. It was only last month when we had pizza for my little brother’s birthday!

Stamp Collecting


A page from my stamp album

 

I had been introduced to stamp collecting since I was a little girl. Both of my parents collect stamps and they both have beautiful collections of stamps from most parts of the world. However, it wasn’t until I was 10 when I started to have a real interest in stamp collecting.

I was reading an article from a magazine at my school library about a girl who had collected more than a thousand stamps by the age of 8. When I went back home, I took out my dad’s stamp albums and look at the arrays of stamps neatly arranged inside them. For the first time, I was fascinated by stamp collecting and decided to start my own.

My first few stamps were given to me by my Indonesian classmate who received letters from her families and relatives in Indonesia. Unfortunately due to my carelessness, I lost them all and I really regretted it.

Nevertheless, it was my parents who helped me a lot in stamp collecting. My father bought me a stamp album two years after I started collecting stamps; it was when he thought that I was already serious with my hobby. He also gave me stamps from his letters.

My mother however, gave me lots of stamps from her own collection and some dated back to her schooldays. She told me how people threw away most used stamps that were very common during those days. Had she kept them, she could have sold them now for a good price. I guess that is the reason why I have more than a page filled with ‘Alophoixus ochraceus‘ (Merbah Beringin) stamps in my stamp album. If you live in Malaysia, it is impossible to miss the stamps since they appear on almost every letter sent by the Malaysian Postal Service or Pos Malaysia.

My good friend, Aishah Salihue (whose parents are from Sri Lanka but is living in the USA), mailed me US and Sri Lankan stamps every now and then. Even her wonderful grandfather gave me lovely Sri Lankan stamps when we met at Aishah’s house in San Jose in 2006.

 

A day with Aishah in the backyard of her house in San Jose. From left: My sister, Aeshah; Aishah; me; Aishah's brother, Ali; and Anisah (far right) in a pink sweater.

My collection consists mainly of Malaysian stamps especially the ‘Birds of Malaysia’ series and the ‘Malaysian Agro-Based Definitive Stamp’ series. Although I haven’t collected the entire set of both series, I hope to be able to collect a complete set of the mint stamps and a complete set of used stamps from both series.

 

Some of my stamps from the 'Birds of Malaysia' series. I have more than a page of these.

In fact, I would like to expand my collection as big as I could. If only I could be as lucky as my mother to inherited a lovely collection of Malaysian stamps from her grandfather and a really wonderful collection of Malaysian and foreign stamps from her aunt when she was about eight…

However, stamp collecting is losing its popularity among today’s youngsters and I suppose it is harder to get wonderful stamps in our mails now than it was during my parents’ schooling days. Perhaps we should start writing more letters instead of sending e-mails; furthermore receiving letters are much more exciting than getting e-mails, at least for me 🙂