HIDDEN LONDON: Buckingham Palace and the Mall:

ok this is hardly “hidden” in the (surely played out?) iain sinclair/psychogeographical d’rive sense, but in 22 years as a londoner i only once before looked at BH in the flesh, and that time wz more than a decade ago and i approached via constitution hill

i wz killin time this time also obv (usual tale: screening at ICA at 11, mark s arrives promptly an hour too early), so i wandered round st james’s park, gazed at Army HQ (not knowing that’s what it wz) and Duck Island – Dr Quack must be pleased her constituency central office is so well-placed, Establishment-wise – then wandered up to the oh dear GOD it is an ugly stalinist blob of a building!!

The only ppl on the Mall these days seem to be tourists. Time was, 150 years, it was high society’s top catwalk, where all the nobs came out to see and be seen – some ridin, many walkin – and much political and other business was done here. Famous military nincompoop Lord Cardigan redesigned the King’s Royal Hussars’ uniform to include skintight cherry pants, pretty much just so as they cd look drop-dead hott when parading here etc etc (they were so committed to being fashion pioneers that as part of the Light Brigade they charged down the Valley of Death towards the thundering Russian Guns w/o breaking formation – thus somewhat proving Cardigan’s point, that fear of not being hott trumps fear of dropping dead…)

[i tried to find a nice colour pic but no dice sadly]

anyway that’s all gone now: even on sundays the rich and famous are not to be found on this not particularly attractive promenade… except oddly enuff on leavin the ica i encountered one w!ll!am le!th – co-contributor to the nme in days of yore, who i haven’t seen for like 15 years – headed in that direction. self-involvedly faux-dizzy as ever, he has a book out shortly. what’s it about? “it’s about me!”