Stamp Duty (preview)


The Big Issue has just published Stamp Duty. Here’s how the story starts:

MY BROTHER rings. Out of the blue. From interstate, where he’s lived more than half his life.

“I’ve been tidying the garage,” he says with a quiet enthusiasm, “and I’ve found your old stamp albums.”

I reply, warmly, that I’m mildly curious but not exactly captivated about re-visiting an apparent childhood hobby from close to 50 years ago. “I don’t really remember collecting stamps.”

“Well, you’d written your name on the two albums, inside the front cover.” A chuckle comes down the line.

I cannot recall wishing, pondering, dreaming about stamps. I cannot recall the anticipation, the satisfaction, the excitement of collecting them.

“You kept a running tally of how many stamps you had. You wrote numbers and dates on the inside back cover of one of the albums.”

I am holding the phone to my ear and trying to make sense of this new-found (so to speak) hobby. I’m stumped. Stamps?

And here’s a clue as to how the story ends:


Stamp Duty is in edition 485 of The Big Issue, available from street vendors for a fortnight from 30 May.  Look for Ned Kelly and Richard lll on the front cover.

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