This morning Keith stayed with the boys for a couple of hours and I took a walk around our new neighborhood. The weather was perfect for me---overcast (the best for my vision) and just a titch chilly. With a light jacket and a scarf I was perfectly comfortable temperature-wise and because of the favorable lighting I was perfectly comfortable navigation-wise. I strolled up to the Ladbroke Grove Underground station to purchase an Oyster card, which will allow me to ride the tube and buses easily and more cheaply. (The boys ride free!)
Then I walked up to Portobello Road, a street of shops and stalls selling fruits and vegetables, flowers, jewelry, clothes, bags, and other miscellany. I had tried the Portobello Road earlier and hadn't found the food stalls so was glad this time around to see all the fresh produce. I've been ordering from grocery delivery services, but it is so much nicer to pick one's own items. There were coffee shops and felafel stands. Several shoe stores. The windows of one clothing store were lined for almost a block and around the corner with old Singer sewing machines.
It was just a couple of hours walking through city streets and I felt so grateful to be doing it. Grateful to be exploring another country. Grateful that I could see well enough to enjoy it and to walk about by myself. Grateful for the few moments crossing a street looking at street signs and shop signs and people and feeling so present that time slowed down. I want time to slow down more often. But not too much because I am going home to a husband and two 5-year-olds, for whom I am also profoundly grateful.