As well as a constant hangover, Building's news editor also picked up a decent amount of scurrilous gossip at the Cannes property fest. Some of which we are able to publish in his blog.
Ah, MIPIM. The laughter. The posh yachts. And the champagne - the endless, endless champagne. I never want to see another flute again. And I've still got to go out again tonight, to consume for the third night in a row near-fatal levels of alcohol and then get up bright and early to mouth pleasantries to fellow inebriates who, like me, would dearly love to still be in bed.
Even so, having been to previous MIPIMs, (or is it MIPI?) I can honestly say this has been the best of the lot. There have been a number of reasons for this.
1 I haven't spent time any time in the Palais de Festivals. Quite a feat, you might agree, as this is where most of the action takes place. But I hate it. From the outside, the Palais has all the aesthetic quality of a municipal car park. Once inside it rapidly becomes clear that the labyrinthine interior was designed by a sadist with a special pleasure in making people walk endlessly around to no purpose. Last year I took a wrong turning, stumbled around in the Eastern European property section for a bit, and ended up trapped in a car crash conversation conducted in broken English about the Ukrainian shed market.
2 I've spent most of my time on rather nice yachts and in the rather more manageable London Stand to the rear of the odious Palais. On the terrace outside myself and senior reporter Josh Brooks have conducted endearingly ham-fisted broadcast interviews with rather bemused denizens of the development industry and are currently hunting down further victims to beef up Building's multi-media "offer".
So far we've done messrs Ken Shuttleworth and Ken Dytor and are looking for Yeang and Livingstone to create a pleasing symmetry of Kens. Doing a live interview is difficult without any training because you have to remember not to hesitate, stammer or make any facetious remarks, which I invariably do in every sentence I utter.
3 I've remembered from previous hideous experiences to avoid arranging meetings at 8am after only going to bed a matter of minutes before. Last year I was last seen stumbling down Le Croisette at 4am earnestly asking each passer-by if they knew the whereabouts of the Gardiner and Theobald party (which ended up having taken place the previous night). Despite this, I made it in to the press centre (another triumph of neo-brutalist architecture) for my 8am meeting with a carefully groomed partner of a top architecture firm who stared at my red wine-encrusted lips, unshaven face and slept-in suit and simply asked, "Are you alright?"
4 The Mace party on Wednesday. In an inspired move, the consultant decided to augment the usual canapes and champers at their tea-time party with some absolutely delicious scones and brownies, which may or may not have been prepared personally by their energetic chairman Bob White.
5 I was unexpectedly recognised by England rugby legend Jason Leonard at 2am in the Carlton bar, after Building interviewed him a few weeks back. I now consider him a personal friend. Get in.
6 Bovis hired out what can only be described as the plushest, most luxurious and classy yacht and slew the fatted calf on Wednesday evening. Still twice my natural weight after devouring 146 cream-filled scones at the Mace do, I nevertheless waddled on and reclined on the cushioned deck, pretending just for a moment that I had the wherewithall to pick up the £5m price tag for the vessel.
Such was the opulence of the boat that visitors were politely asked to remove their shoes and leave them on the quayside, which rather reminded me of when Mark Pattinson's mum used to require her son's friends to remove their trainers when we went round to play Scalectrix.
But it was clearly worth it to stop stiletto heels tarnishing the scrubbed decks and a fine time was had by all. But it did only make it more ironic when, seeking to dock after a sailing trip on Tuesday, the very same floating palace was incorrectly aligned and scraped alongside the adjoining City of Liverpool vessel.
Perhaps worried that malicious Building Magazine scribes might seek to draw a parallel between such hapless steering and Bovis' commercial nous, I was then directed to the relevant side of the boat by a Bovis man and shown that, in fact, no real damage had occurred. "See - it wasn't really that bad," he began. "But you'll probably report it the way you want, won't you?" I certainly will...
7 I had a mutually drunken conversation with an understandably elated Roger Madelin, whose Argent firm has just received planning permission for its huge Kings Cross development. Madelin managed to proceed through the exchange using only one word (inevitably, "bollocks") and still be screamingly funny. The man is a legend.
8 Benny Kelly's annual knees-up was enlivened by a more than usually insulting speech about the host by Hoare Lea's Roger Steer, and some entertaining banter between Kelly and his old sparring partner, Geoff Wright from Hammerson. Wright's impending retirement was the excuse for sustained canings from the aforementioned Steer, who memorably said that "someone like Geoff only comes around once in a lifetime" before delivering the coup de grace, "But why did it have to be our lifetime?" Wright circulated afterwards, reassuring party-goers that "95% of that was totally untrue".
Which only leaves 5% of libellous, slanderous, unprintable character assassination.
On the debit side, however:
(i) My hotel is not only not in walking distance but is in an entirely different town, reachable only by an epic taxi journey charging an equally epic fare.
(ii) Croydon Council apparently have ten representatives here. Why?
(iii) I didn't get in to Squeeze, having left my ticket on my desk in London. Definitely not Cool for Cats.