Arriving in unreal city with real chill

London's Portobello Market remains sluggish on a chilly Thursday morning.

London’s Portobello Market remains sluggish on a chilly Thursday morning.

Connecting at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, I passed by Ruby’s Diner as the notes of “Frosty the Snowman” spilled out onto the walkway.

All of a sudden, it seemed, London’s darkened terraced streets were gliding by the windows of the underground train taking me from Heathrow into the city early in the morning–the transition is always  unbalancing, no matter how many times travelled.

I passed commuters rushing to work as my breath stamped the bitterly chilly air–everyone looked cold and a little pissed off: welcome back to the U.K.

Unreal City, 
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.”

I arrived at my friend’s flat that overlooks Portobello Market as nice British breakfast smells emanated from Greggs Bakery.

Venturing along the street lined with Christmas trees for sale, I had my first near miss with a London pigeon in dive bomber mode. The book shop that featured in the film “Notting Hill” is close by, though it’s having to close.

Still, the rest of London is busy enough–apparently tonight is the biggest evening for office parties in the capital.