My inner flaneur is excited, jazzed: it’s early morning in the city. The morning mist is burning off and the hot sun rising over manicured Marylebone. The haute bourgeois are resplendent in their Sunday rituals: expensive coffee, French pasties, a buffed well-being. A woman applying her makeup in the sparkle of a window. A three-year-old boy in glasses and shorts by the name of Bonsy is called after by his parents.
Certain things have stayed the same: the low red brick buildings, the high street, the news and crescent circles and private gardens. A low hymn is issuing from a church. The organ, mournful and meditative, is a vestige of a tradition.
The inhabitants have changed. Every second conversation sweeping me along is in French. Every third Spanish. The capital of Europe is London. Right now, the global village is having brunch.