Stamp Collecting

I live in the city of Brisbane, Australia and have been since my arrival here in 1963. I used to be pretty active when I was younger but time and circumstances have changed me. Moving, changing jobs, getting married, travelling, have all contributed to the thinning of our fun group that used to get together. There are even fewer of us left and keeping in touch. Consequently, I have become a sedentary person.

I still like my football (soccer) but I am too old to actively partake in that sport now. I still watch the Premier League from England though. I follow no particular team but I would like to see some of the less wealthy clubs win honours now and again. 

My children are now grown and leading their own lives. My wife and I both work and so keep busy. We are never alone as the children are here often in what they always refer to as ‘home’.

I am working part time now, teaching at a private college actually across the road from my home. Here the children are nothing like the children I remember from the public school. These are students determined to improve their lot and sacrifice half their Sunday to come to this college. The lively ones, unlike my previous public school, are very few. In fact, I wish they were a little more lively and contributed to class discussions, always a one sided affair, it seems! Yet, intellectually, these children can often dazzle you with their manners, industry, determination and success.

I used to go fishing usually from the beach. Many a time I came home wet, cold and empty handed but there were times the creel was full of bounty and a nice bounty it was too. I often dreamt of the time I would purchase my own dinghy to escape for the weekend, but other priorities denied me that opportunity. I would not do it now, what with the petrol prices, the different licensing regulations, the destruction of the former good fishing grounds to put up marinas and coastal estates. Where I used to get a feed of fish nowadays you will be lucky to get a catfish but most likely you’ll end up with a puffer fish. It is disgraceful.

So now, I potter around the yard, enjoy the views of my back veranda
with a cup of coffee or tea, play the handyman, go to the occasional movie with the children and with friends and I visit the local stamp clubs on their operating days. Here is where I try to find the missing pieces of my different stamp collections which occupy a great deal of my time. 

So far, retirement has been good! I do as much of nothing as I possibly can. I live by the motto, "never do today what you can put off till tomorrow!" I hope my budget never becomes so restrictive that I have to give up on this hobby. The Australian system penalises all who faithfully work, save and get ahead by denying them a pension. If you are (as the Americans say) a bum, the government will look after you till you die! That is Democracy? And to think I have been providing for one third of a person on social security, according to the latest government statistics, all this time. I was hoping for some recognition, a reward at least or the Order of Australia on Australia Day for my efforts! I am sure some politician will get my entitlements as they always do.

I can only count myself as very lucky. Married since 1967 with four loving, non drinking, non smocking or doing drugs children, healthy and employed all this time. What more can I ask for?

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