You find a dark pool outside the Langham Hotel. It’s triangular and does not photograph well. The still image fails to capture this suspended plane of darkness in the road, holding the rainfall. The rain falls and pools, settles and waits, as a heavy lingering and miraculous reflective surface that takes you deep and down, a centimetre of water that shaves to nothing at the apex, where wet becomes dry. The road markings of weather-resistant white and yellow stripes almost define the edges of the triangle. This shape is not man made. The straight edge of the kerb is human assembled.
Two steps on is the black limousine, with her/his driver waiting in the front seat wearing an appropriate peaked hat. Its paintwork surface is also a dark imperious pool of contour and reflection. The potency in space of this colour is so loaded as to overwhelm. And when the order goes in for the new consular car it’s always for this, without question. Black is shaded, reflected, glossed, gleamed, refracted. Always shines up so well, doesn’t it? Regular polishing is the secret, taking pride in it, buffing it by hand for the final touches. You can see your face in it. Ignore the clouds and the trees. It’s Portland Place London W1, and the Langham Hotel, if you shift your viewpoint slightly, hungry to be represented here. In this reflection.