Sunday 14 December 2008

The Portobello Gold

Gosh, this is a very nice little patch on the surface of the earth. This pub is a very friendly place indeed! The colour of the light is warm; candle coloured. The Portobello Gold, well chosen name, come to think of it, because golden light is what permeates the place. It's reflected on the wine red walls, the large dark green tiles on the floor, the golden wooden tables and matching straw chairs. Yes, I like this place. The section where I'm sitting - I suppose this is called the restaurant – this section has got a glass roof, like a glass house, and there's ivy and palm trees and other vegetation. The plants hide some of the tables, creating a sense of privacy. Two tables with couches are closer to the roof, only accessible with a ladder, and there's shine through drapes hiding them even further from sight. That's the hippy corner. The section where I'm sitting is three steps higher than the rest of the pub, and from my table I can look down these steps, into the area where people come to drink mulled wine, lager or something stronger. Loads of people are drinking Freedom, an 'organic' lager, 'suitable for vegetarians', 'cause that's on draught and apparently it's quite good.
There's a bit of wall left above the three steps to the restaurant, it forms a brick arcade, painted white. It looks very authentic and matches the hip high walls that form the banister next to the steps and the various knee high walls that form big flowerpots. They contain soil for the plants to grow on.
Next to the arcade, enveloped by a banana tree that doesn't carry any fruit at the moment, there's an ancient looking bird cage with two budgies in it. It's made of wood and probably purchased on the Portobello Market. It makes me wonder how many birds died in there. And whether more birds died in that cage, or humans in this pub. It's an ancient house too, you know, very authentic.
The waiters are all cheerful, skinny, young and beautiful, the boys just as well as the girls. They smile a lot and tease it other. Banter. It makes you feel comfortable, as if nothing matters but playful life. Their dress code is black, but there's nothing depressing about that. On the contrary, they look spontaneous and graceful. Not as if they've spent hours in front of the mirror in order to achieve this look, no, it's natural beauty.
There's music in the other room, I can vaguely hear it, mixed with the buzz of many happy costumers. Though I can't make out any words, the buzz tells me these are all native speakers of the English language, the s-sound is very well represented and I envy them for their accent. The buzz tells me their mood, too. It's the rhythm and the pace – it's similar to the way people walk when they're happy, or going to a place they love. Their happy place. Doesn't have to be St. Tropez or Hawaii. Could very well be right here in Great Britain, London, on Portobello Road, this very specific pub. This lovely spot on the surface of the earth. Why not? I feel comfortable and smug here, I could go on for hours, watching the beauty of a thriving pub with happy costumers. Hmm, spending all those superfluous hours and pounds here in this lovely cosy place.

Happy slap: gosh, life is dreadful.
Where it came from, I don't know, but it suddenly hit me. I rub the back of my head, where it hurts. Why it hit me, I don't know either. Probably to have a laugh.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention the sign on the toilet saying that Bill Clinton once drank a half pint and then used the aforementioned facilities :-)