One of the first people I ran into at MIPIM was good old Steve Norris, chairman of Jarvis and candidate for London mayor. Inevitably, I ask him whether the former undercuts the latter, and get a ticking-off in reply. He would, he says, be taking a hefty pay cut if he triumphs. Whereas "Simon Hughes would be doubling his money, and Ken's been drawing his salary from the public purse all his life." Not sure that's quite the point, Steve.
Er, great idea
Following the success of this year's MIPIM challenge, in which 35 classic cars performed a two-and-a-half day rally from London to Cannes, Vince Dallimore of Troup Bywaters + Anders gives me a scoop about next year's plan. It seems the 2005 race will be entitled the "MIPIM 500", and will feature the same route and participants with one important proviso: all racers will have to use a car that cost them less than £500.
The assorted Reliant Robins and Datsun Cherries will, apparently, rock up outside the Martinez with great ceremony just as they fall apart, after which the drivers will take the conventional route back via Easyjet. What could possibly go wrong?
Thank you for the music
The industry seems to be awash with budding musicians. Having written extensively on consultant guitarists such as HLM's Chris Liddle and Gardiner & Theobald's Gary Griffiths (see page 40), I can confirm that a contender has emerged from the contracting world – none other than Vaughan Burnand, Shepherd Construction's chief executive. Vaughan showed his talent on the Leeds boat, leading a lively karaoke session with revellers until the small hours of Friday morning.
Who says everyone at MIPIM is obsessed with property? I heard some interesting gossip completely unrelated to the subject. A well-placed source informs me that Everton wunderkind Wayne Rooney is off to Manchester United at the end of the season. On the other hand, Everton could probably build a couple more stadiums with its share of the transfer fee … Ja, ja, ja, the funky chicken!
Most festival-goers wussed out of the Friday booze-up and retired to Blighty early. However, after declaring the Carlton Bar dead, I teamed up with architects from Halpern and PRP to seek out the Loft, "one of the top 50 bars in Europe". This is a true statement, if you replace "top" with "most expensive". After buying some €15 thimbles of gin and tonic, a 50-strong band of German QSs arrived and started doing the funky chicken, accompanied by whistles and klaxons. Suddenly the Carlton didn't seem that bad after all.