When we look at the litter and regret the hideous buildings that we have allowed to replace beautiful Georgian houses in Bath, it is easy to forget that, despite everything, we still live in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
When we show our visitors around Bath we are always reminded just how fortunate we are to be able to live and work here.
Look too at a new book called Bath: City on Show and you get exactly the same feeling.
It reminds us all over again that the evening light on intricately carved Bath stone is one of our own wonders of the world.
But the new book, which is a joint venture by modern photographers and Bath in Time's historical pictures, does far more than just act as a reminder.
It also encourages us to look at both historical Bath and modern Bath in a whole new light.
We are encouraged to look at it not just as a collection of beautiful old buildings and not a city in danger of losing its World Heritage status but as a city that has always been endlessly loved and then rejected but somehow always managing to find a new way of selling its charms.
In her introduction Dr Cathryn Spence does us all a great service by reminding us that when Bath established itself as the "valley of pleasure" the country's elite crowded here. Then, after the property boom when anyone could come here, it was rejected by the truly chic and Bath regained its uncouth reputation which was how Jane Austen found it "an overcrowded cattle market for spouse hunters".
"Sadly," says Dr Spence "it became more fashionable to dislike Bath."
But then, transforming itself as it always does, Bath became a place of genteel retirement.
Subsequently it was damaged by bombs and then many of the bits that Hitler left intact Bath councillors decided to pull down anyway in what became known as the Sack of Bath.
But then, as Dr Spence carefully reminds us, Bath rose from the bulldozers' dust to become a world-class city of festivals and cultural tourism, a vision of the city that we see today.
Modern photographs of Bath have been taken by Dan Brown, Andy Clist, Mark Gibson, Jess Loughborough, Richard Schofield and Christina West. Juxtapositioned with those stunning pictures are historical images from the Bath in Time collection.
But what is equally important is the text around the pictures that has been beautifully written by Dr Spence and allows us all to become mini authorities on our own city.
We are given information about the scenes we see and the context in which the modern pictures are taken.
As Dan Brown, one of the photographers as well as running Bath in Time, says: "Photographed from January to December and from dawn to dusk, the book's unique mix of old and new highlights how times and styles have changed even if the timeless objects remain constant throughout."
Bath being my place of birth, I was interested to get a reminder of what a great city it is(unlike the drab town of Weymouth) where I have lived for the last 30 years. The book was new and was a great read with beautiful photographs, well worth having, it was sent to me very quickly. Thank you seller hope to do business again. Chris.