ON THE SCENT OF SOMETHING OR OTHER

Whilst on the subject of body parts, I thought it might be worth drawing attention to one of London's lesser known features. I am sure most people are aware of the London Eye - the giant ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames in Westminster. But did you ever hear of another of the capital's facial features - The London Nose? No I thought not. Well, here it is - high up on a wall within Admirality Arch - so high in fact that it could only really be reached by a man on horseback. A man in the cavalry say who may pass it on his way to war with Napoleon and touch it as a good luck totem.

Interesting right? But I am very pleased to be able to announce that this isn't the only London Nose. There are in fact six other much lesser known noses whose purpose is entirely obscure. I did read the other day that London is the 'cocaine capital of Europe', so perhaps this nose is a monument to the practice of ingesting that illegal substance- Stiff upper lip powder as we used to call it. They are certainly in the right part of town.

Or perhaps they are there in recognition of the fact that until fairly recently one of the most significant things a visitor or new arrival to the city would have noticed was the smell. Talking with Catherine Arnold, it became clear to me that until the first world war, the place would have absolutely stank - of death, disease, rotting food, raw sewage and unwashed bodies. Nice.

Sniff.

FURTHER ADDITION 11 OCTOBER 2009..
I thought I would add three further noses. (one courtesy of David Wright - thanks). I intended to sniff out the other two soon.

Yesterday at Cafe Koha with Joe, I found myself sitting next to someone with a very fine nose indeed - Ms Jerry Hall. Nice to see an American Actor / model / whatever smoking Camels. I have given up myself but it's become so unpopular and un-PC that I have been reconsidering - especially when seeing smoke exhaled from such elegant lips. We did however then bump into the actor who played Dot Cotton in East-Enders and my resolution was strengthened.

Another fellow with a fine figure of a nose is the English musician Stephen Duffy. At the Raindance Festival on Friday, we saw the film 'Memory and Desire' a documentary about his career. Much of it was filmed in hand held close up - in fact, I thought the camera may be about to actually go up one of his nostrils at one point. Despite that, he has a wonderful and extraordinary time of it and had written some of my favourite tunes so it was a pleasure to see him so lauded.

I"M READY FOR MY CLOSE UP MR DE MILLE

I've been zipping around the freeways of Los Angeles in a hire car. This was a fairly terrifying experience - mainly for the citizens of Los Angeles. I know that Americans use the right side of the road (the wrong side we would say) but on all previous visits, my driving has been of the back seat variety.

The geography of the city became somewhat clearer to me as a result of my time on the roads - at least in that I understood much more clearly how radically different it is than European cities - first of all it is seemingly limitless and secondly, there is no centre. I liked it much more this time than previously - not difficult I suppose when you are sipping a cold drink by the pool of a house in the Hollywood hills or of a sea-front hotel in Santa Monica. I was of course there to work - but still.

Now on the other hand the psychogeography of the the place remains quite novel to someone used to the Dickensian labyrinths of London life. It's easy to assume that absolutely everyone is involved in the film business in some way or to fall back on easy cliches regarding superficiality, low carb diets and cosmetic surgery.

However, regarding the latter, I must point you at this delightfully spiteful piece of moving imagery by our old friend and colleague Alex De Campi for the Marcella and The Forget Me Nots song "What have you done to your Face?" produced by yours truly..


Quite put me off having any work done myself - even if I will be spending more time near the camera and musing on the words 'cut', 'score' and 'feature'.