Below: rain clouds brooding over Greenford Station, a unique station on the London Underground system; wooden escalators take you up to platform level, and a middle bay platform serves First Great Western trains from Paddington. A station built in the 1930s for a capital city rapidly sprawling outward.
Below: Keep calm and carry on shopping. A consumerist message for hard times. Incidentally, the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' slogan that was once intended as a wartime poster has a second life in these financially straitened times. The typeface, the design and variations on the slogan are very popular and visible in Britain today. The conference I attended yesterday and the day before had the slogan 'Business is Good for Britain', using the same font and layout.
Below: the suburbia I escaped to Warsaw from - dense sprawl of 1930s housing that stretches all the way from Kensal Rise in an uninterrupted arc to Ruislip and beyond. Pre-war houses converted for today's needs - neat front gardens turned over to off-street parking; kitchen extensions; loft conversions; double glazing; satellite dishes; burglar alarms. Looking across from the railway embankment between Greenford and South Greenford towards Wembley Stadium in the distance. Betjeman's Metro-land, though its charm has long since evaporated. "In fact, it's probably goodbye England," he said sadly of the sweeping tide of identical houses sweeping across once-rural Middlesex.
Below - the suburbia I do like; broad Edwardian avenues with grass verges - and an early spring. The suburban landscape between Ealing Broadway and my parents' house is an island of comparative beauty which peters out south and west of the railway lines and north of the A40. The spirit of place here is more genteel, more evocative of Britain's former years of splendour.
This time last year:
Stalinist neo-classicism in Warsaw
This time two years ago:
[Easter was very late]
This time three years ago:
Afternoon-dusk-night in the city centre
This time four years ago:
A particularly harrowing reality
This time five years ago:
Wetlands waiting for the spring