It took a while for my eyes to focus on the array of sweets on offer. A brief moment of warm nostalgia, and I was transported back to my childhood. Eight years old standing gluttonously in front of the sweet counter of my local news agent, my eyes feasting on ha'penny aniseed balls and fizzy cola bottles, as a prelude to what my tastebuds would soon to experience.
But this is a man's world. Packets of dolly mixture, sherbet lemons, chocolate buttons. Rhubarb and custard. Jelly babies. Did I say a man's world? I hadn't yet moved my eyes across, but I could sense their presence. Crammed in like Northern Line commuters at rush-hour with no inch of space to spare.
An assortment of colours to illuminate a dull January day, the longing to take each 'flavoured' sweet and experience the taste sensation, three packets for £1.50, sold.
Today, however I was treated to a much more satisfying midget gem. My local patch at the Middlesex Filter Beds has hosted Firecrest for what is now my second winter here in Hackney. This for me is the ultimate midget gem and I feel fortunate to enjoy great views of this stunning bird every time I visit the site. It can be located (usually at first by call) almost anywhere along the far-side of the relief channel and invariably within the central wooded areas adjacent to the towpath. In addition, a Chiffchaff was seen flitting around near to the Firecrest, with a further five more observed in a tree viewed from the red bridge between the MFB and Waterworks NR.
Firecrest seen 11/01/2014 - Middlesex Filter Beds
I intend to gorge on the sightings of this delectable winter visitor during its stay, and of course, it will keep my dentist happy.