Alligator traders and the 40-fag rasp – just another day at MIPIM

by on for The Lawyer

Sitting here at 1.20am writing this whilst listening to Radio 4 on my TuneIn app, I realise that I am doing MIPIM all wrong.

I should be next door, in the bar of the Martinez, necking a beer and talking to people who are somewhat the worse for wear and won’t remember anything in the morning anyway.

And there is some merit in doing that standing around in bars thing, but not when you’ve been on your feet or your backside since 9am, talking for England and sick of the sound of your own voice.

Today’s highlights include:

  • A rolling breakfast that went on till 11. If you sit in Le Voilier, on the Croisette, where, if you sit here long enough you will see everyone you know walk past. I have perfected the art of blending into the background where required;
  • A very grown up lunch with the Westminster Property Association, where I sat next to a Japanese journalist and we talked about sushi in Tokyo and I talked about restaurants for a change. Fortunately the hosts, the firm formerly known as DE & J Levy, were there to fill in the gaps and tell me about the resurgent London office market. My mate Boris walked past the table and got a round of applause. He’d just avoided Steven Norris, in the same room #awkward;
  • Being politely moved on from the roped-off area for Battersea Power Station, despite it being empty, because we looked like we were just blagging cups of tea. Glad I’m not a potential investor;
  • The DTZ dinner hosted by the legend that is Bryn Williams, where I sat with a former client, a sometime client, a client’s client, a potential client and a former borrower of a client, who apparently controls 30 per cent of the alligator trade in the world. The biggest purchasers? Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Dior. They have their own tanneries. Who knew? He also does property. And he’s a snappy dresser.

And today? My bulging disc is giving me gyp but the show goes on. As I hobble down the Croisette, I’m hoping to attract the sympathy vote. I have already got that 40 fags a day rasp, so at least the sound of my own voice will be slightly different.