It has happened to us many times. They ask us what we occupy our time with and we respond. A very small percentage of our conversation partners know what philately means. The majority does not. However, even those who do know are not sure that they are fully satisfied upon suddenly hearing this unlikely word.

If the conversation is of substance and not exhausted by mere formalities, it is imperative we offer some clarification to our partner in conversation within the next twenty seconds (at most) to maintain their interest. Are we able to do so?

Twenty seconds are nothing; about fifty words. Where does one begin to describe? What is to be emphasised? How does one manage to make it appear important?

If you are lucky and have held your listener’s interest with the first cascade, you have bought yourself another twenty seconds for another fifty words. But make sure your supplement is just as interesting as your introduction.

On February 6, at a meeting of an H.P.S. working group, wider concerns were raised: philately today, its relation to culture, the forms of philately from that of a creative practice to a multifaceted science, the absence of stamps from everyday life and its transformation into a competitive advantage, benefits and impacts of technology etc. There was a plethora of ideas, different approaches, even some clashes, but only one conclusion: clear answers need to be given and they need to be given by us.