Two houses down they’re having the loft opened up. At present the work is halted by rain. Twin skips lie silent, tightly covered in blue tarpaulin–not to keep them dry but to protect the emptiness which represents their value. Materials are no longer being hauled up from the street. Previously I couldn’t make out much of the work, only hear thuds & shouts, but now that the leaves are off the trees I see scaffolding; the pulley that dangles from it; & a thick, ancient-looking rope swinging against a sky filled then emptied on a regular basis. The scaffold has Victorian values. Gothic and energetic even when it’s out of use, it speaks of the rush to be active that achieves nothing but can’t be argued against. All projects, after all, are inherently good. They are good because they are projects. Business is busyness. Although having your loft opened up is a weirdly old-fashioned improvement, an improvement from an era when people could only afford to build upward: the hot money, the property money–the proper modernity–of West London now resides in domestic bunkers mined deep beneath house & garden.