We've watched both the semi final and final last night in hotel bars. Last night was the turn of the new Holiday Inn Stevenage (feels new, might as well be new, at least perpetually fresh). The Stevenage Holiday Inn is a particularly recommendable exemplar of the contemporary box, probably not unlike any other contemporary box Holiday Inn are no doubt rolling out across the world. At least it feels like they are doing very much that when you are incarcerated in one. And this one is in Stevenage, which is a shit hole of considerable order where there is a great deal for the architect to contemplate as you look out of the square window.
Of course, both environments in the event simply drew out our visceral side, very counter to their contrived swatch of 'design'. That formula, that pseudo discourse on our well-being, now built in to all multinational service industries- 'it's good to keep in touch' on the notepaper, seems rather at odds with being rat-arsed dancing to 'It's Raining Men' with your average eighty year old distant relation at two in the morning, searching for an open bar down escape staircases, and berating crowds (in this case) of lovable Dutch people, for the features of Arjen Robben.
I am once more horse, hungover, mollified, ecstatic and wondering that, in an increasingly formulaic world, whose 'discourse' now includes some arsehole who is displaying empty space in some gallery or another (where all involved should really question their own existence as a far more productive activity-I am rather an aficionado of the modernist quest for nothing, and that's not it) that, at least in my case, Chelsea playing big games of football, seems to become a reality check. They unleash the beast within, give him a bit of a run. Didier Drogba's utterly fabulous late equaliser was still revolving around my head when we arrived home to find Scott tiling the kitchen in royal blue. Serendipity.