Chew cannot be serious!

Today there were very high tides forecast, with a flood warning issued for Bankside, so at lunchtime I jumped on a bus and popped down to the river to have a look. I wasn’t the only one, as there were a couple of tide-watchers keeping an eye on it.


By the by, I spotted a familiar sight in an unfamiliar (for me) place.


The people of north London have grown used to the initially rather perplexing sight of a man lying on the pavement, apparently painting a tiny picture on the slabs.

That man is Ben Wilson and he isn’t painting the pavement. No, that would be criminal damage. He’s actually painting chewing gum. The squashed detritus of one of the most annoying habits ever. With the finest brushes and an incredibly steady hand, he turns this horrible muck into tiny, jewel-coloured masterpieces. He’s been doing this for years. Here’s a piece from Archway that I photographed in February 2006.

100_4137 (2)

He’s a pretty familiar sight around Highgate, Muswell Hill and Archway, but I’ve never seen him down by the river. But there he was on the Wobbly Bridge, drawing attention from bemused passers by.

Here are a few of his pieces from today.

P1020720  P1020719

P1020718  P1020717

And my favourite… GumShip! YAY!



5 thoughts on “Chew cannot be serious!

  1. Sorry, didn’t mean to offend, just getting my head round the notion! At least it brightens up the day, rather than the usual distress caused by having gum on your shoe, which is more the norm round here!

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