“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” as Robert Frost once wrote, and while I need not cut through the woods to get to work, today I did contemplate the choice between two roads. While it isn’t the shortest way, today I couldn’t resist taking the Portobello Road route to the office. Most folks know the famed street as where shoppers come in throngs to rummage through the antiques and clothing at their Saturday afternoon leisure, yet there’s something so enchanting and intimate about strolling down this road in the morning when it’s only just waking up from its beauty sleep. The silence is delicious, my morning-walk soundtrack consisting of not much more than the whistling of a man painting the wrought iron fencing in front of a pastel mews (near where George Orwell used to live) and the odd shop owner beginning to unpack their wares out on the sidewalk. A truck rested patiently at a curb, waiting to bestow its casks of Liquid Happy at one public house.
In the quiet, then, was excited anticipation of what the day would bring. This is a street that is eager on a daily basis to welcome its people and hold them tight in its comforting embrace, bringing them cheer on so many aesthetic levels. Most would opt for this bustle of the later day, but me, I’ll take the morning Portobello Road less traveled by, and that will make all the difference.
(Of course, it may not be convenient to experience Portobello in this way unless you, too, work or live here…why not let London Relocation Ltd. help you out with that?)