‘Upscale apartments within a Victorian façade’

Horrid slogan on a building-site hoarding

They did well for themselves the Victorians
No better monument to their efficiency and progress

than these enduring streets of red-brick and yellow-brick houses
We find them surprisingly comforting and congenial

Hard work hard money they speak of and we admire that
but find ourselves worthy of more and better
We are scaling up!

Our new homes behind these old walls
will have bigger rooms especially bigger kitchens
lined with appliances the Victorians never imagined

We must have as many bathrooms as bedrooms
We keep ourselves cleaner than they did

Our windows will be triple-glazed and won’t open
We don’t care about the world outside because
it’s not our private property!

We don’t care about fresh air because our air will be conditioned
and as for daylight – the lovely leaf-dappled light
of a hundred and fifty suburban springs and summers and autumns –

we shan’t care about that either when our eyes are fixed
on our high-definition immersive TV and computer screens

We care for nothing and no one for we have the best of both worlds:
Upscale apartments within a Victorian façade!

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