Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Hotel Room Life

You always look bad in a hotel room mirror, my hair always goes all Keith Floyd, and like him you pretty much always feel bad when you wake up in hotel rooms, no matter how swanky, and this is not swanky, it's just accented with fields of dark brown against soft white and B&W photoshopped collages of the City of London skyline. I spent years trying to persuade students not to be imaginative with hotel room design, to make sure they used double loaded corridors because it's all about the maid doing the rooms efficiently with those carts, and recommending ice machines by the lift. And if I can't see a concrete ceiling as I lie on the bed, I'm not happy, I want a suspended ceiling over the bathroom only, with a little step between the two for the air conditioning grill and the fire sprinkler, and a heat lamp in there, and shower fittings that I can figure out easily, and..so on. I don't want architectural design, the whole point of hotel rooms, something the Americans gleefully understood long ago, is that they were all the same. After all here I'm waiting on (my own) architectural design, not trying to dress up as Lord Nelson to appropriately grace the Princess Caroline bijoux boutique suite. I'm waiting, I am between things, hanging in limbo, and rooms like these are just right for that, and it looks like it's going to be a long wait.
Most people leave their hotel rooms, but I'm stuck in here all day, at least until I go and visit our pit to witness our righteously slow progress. It's all about preparation, and nothing is ever straight, so it has to be straightened out. Even by 1959 they couldn't do straight, maybe we never will (I notice the bath panel here doesn't fit). For sure we shall have the only straight kitchen in Christendom by the time Scott's finished, which will probably be Christmas.
Hotel rooms have improved, you can work in here, you can die in here, there's not a lot of point in trying to do anything else. You leave the Discovery channel on and learn how to restore a 911, or listen curious as antique dealers accuse each other of not being nice people, you become dependent on sachets, you contemplate the whisky bottle and plastic porn and stare in the mirror. The mirror is never more than a few feet from your face.
But I've been working, working on the most over designed square footage of cupboard space ever imagined and periodically deeply ashamed of myself, longing for other options. While I could never buy them, I can at least admire the crappy low voltage light fittings in this hotel room, they are satisfactorily crappy, but then I've just spent three days in middle England getting close to an aneurysm over the design of a front door.

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