I was so accustomed to the sight of black and white splodges on London's pavements
that if I thought about it at all, I presumed it was part of the stone,
perhaps a mouldy stain, lichen or a natural imperfection.
I was genuinely shocked to discover it was all flattened chewing gum.
Discarded gum costs £1.50 per piece, to remove -
a staggering £60 million per year.
Here is one solution spotted on the Millennium Bridge in London yesterday.
The Chewing Gum Man has been painting miniature artworks directly
onto the gum for twelve years,
'transforming it into something beautiful that people would like to look at'.
At the other end of the bridge is the Tate Modern where
I met old friends to see the Alexander Calder exhibition.
More playfulness and beauty,
but not free.
Without concessions - £18
or 12 pieces of removed chewing gum.