As the (non-paid) Chair of the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee, I'll try to explain how an image of Stompin' Tom (and others) finds its way on to that small piece of perforated real estate. But how do we pick the subjects? Well, it all starts with the Canadian public. Anyone can submit an idea for a stamp topic or subject.
Yes, the Observer fete had everything, including a British contingent: author Amanda Foreman served on the 2012 judging panel for the esteemed literary award, Man Booker Prize for Fiction, with Dan Stevens.
This Mother's Day and International Women's Day, it's time to celebrate real mums and women's individuality. Whether you're like me, one minute wearing two odd socks at a kid's birthday party - the next minute reporting from VIP at the BRITs, let's hear it for each woman who is balancing it all.
The public loves a scandal and always has. Philosopher F.H Bradley claimed that 'there are persons who, when they cease to shock us, cease to interest us'. True that may sound, but presently the media cultivates two types of story: one which is scandalous and one which is intolerably dull.
There was fog on the moors and the hounds were baying in the night when I landed in Glasgow, Scotland... or maybe it was just the sound of the jet engines dying down, along with the fog of three vodkas I took for the transatlantic flight from L.A.
She was on the public stage for nearly a decade as Kate Middleton, so a mere wedding, despite all the pageantry and coverage, is not enough to dislodge the association.
I recently wrote on this site that, in reference to the recently published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, pregnant and on holiday, that '...our morbid fascination with this bizarre, ordinary family invests them with a sort of inverted dignity just by them doing and saying nothing of real consequence.' I didn't expect such a vivid illustration to present itself so soon.
If you stop and think for a moment, this whole thing isn't really about Kate Middleton. Sure, she's the focus of this round, but you're noticing it because she's ubiquitous enough that everyone feels they can give an opinion and because it involves talking about women's bodies and women's representations in the media.
Kate faces the same problem that every other royal faces when they're out in public. The very moment that they step out of line, say something a little risque or a little daring, then get absolutely pilloried. So for the past decade, Kate has been absolutely squeaky clean.
In a chorus that has chirruped on since the dawn of time, the world united to shut Mantel up. Some of the nastier comments on her facebook page were painful in their venom. Tweets called her rude, and admonished her with patronising clichés like 'If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all'.
Initial reaction from pretty much every female I know was horror, not so much that the Duchess of Cambridge can't so much as sneeze without someone capturing the moment for posterity, but that if you're going to be photographed in a bikini, you want a tiny bit of warning, and that's even if the picture is only being saved to someone's iPhone, rather than splashed across supermarket shelves the world over.
Kate Middleton has no reason to be dismayed. She looks beautiful displaying her bump and she and Prince William are inspiring role models. Kate is a role model because she's showing that a pregnant woman's body is perfectly beautiful.
Our morbid fascination with this bizarre, ordinary, family invests them with a sort of inverted dignity just by them doing and saying nothing of real consequence.
Just the teensiest point of order about the Duchess of Cambridge pictures being "mistakenly" flashed to millions of viewers on ITV's This Morning: would it be too daring, too risky, to suggest that, just perhaps, there was no mistake whatsoever about it?
Some thoughts over pizza at a restaurant in Rome after a 14 hour day on three hours sleep. I'm in Italy reporting on the Pope when another story breaks. Pictures of the royal baby bump appear in an Italian gossip magazine. Back to work for me, I'll never get to finish that pizza now.
Behind the political discourses, the media headlines, the highly-frantic speeches and the amusing campaign, it is easy to forget that we are dealing with human beings whose lived experiences cannot be reduced to mere statistics or neat caricatures.