Thirty-five years ago I bought the first of the two books in the Penguin Nature Guides series illustrated by the great Lars Jonsson.
The books were available in my local book shop, the sadly now defunct Exchange Bookshop in Dalkey, County Dublin. I think they were £3 each at the time and if I remember correctly it was pocket money from a generous visiting relative that financed my purchases. Between the ages of twelve to thirty two I was distracted away from birds (as so often happens), but I kept the books and have opened them many times since then and slowly pored over the stunning illustrations.
Last week I was clearing out old books and brought a bag full to a second hand book shop in Norwich. I didn't want any money for them so the owner told me to pick out a book for myself 'on the house'. I found a near perfect copy of third book in the series 'Birds of Lake, River, Marsh and Field. Seeing how much I was enjoying the books, my wonderful wife Polina found the last two on ebay and amazon earlier in the week and this morning the set was complete........thirty-five years later.
All I need now is for Mr. Jonsson to sign them.