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Hugh is on assignment,

Eddie Mair | 07:46 UK time, Monday, 3 March 2008

but because he is, in my view, radio royalty, I am forbidden from telling you where he is. Wild horses would not drag it out of me.

He has sent these first-impression photographs from his first 24 hours back in the city that he's visited many times since the invasion in 2003. It's Baghdad. Oh damn. Here are Hugh's words and pictures:

"Some things haven't changed - checkpoint on the road from the airport to Baghdad city centre.

Tank track seen through the windscreen of our discreet, low-profile vehicle.

American checkpoint.

Some things have changed. A family on the Tigris river embankment.

Another family. New umbrellas and tables in an area which was desolate, neglected and empty for years.

Three sisters enjoying the spring evening air.

New swings for the children. And for Mum.

The main BBC office. Darker than ever now because of new steel sheets across the windows in case of bomb attacks nearby. Very depressing working conditons, rather claustrophobic.

On our fortifications outside: "I am the cat that walks alone, and all places are alike to me" (Have I got it right? - T. S Eliot, I hope)"


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