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!