Gatwick 5:15am. White fog. You couldn’t see a hippo if it kissed you.
I shuffle into the Terminal. Join the departures’ queue. In front of me are three ladies in yellow chicken onesies (I know). I am surrounded. Behind me, three men sport brick red T-Shirts: “Barry’s 40th – Benidorm 2014.”
Somehow, I feel like a gooseberry; I edge to one side. On cue, Barry and the glowing chickens begin a lively chat.
Normally I get the Eurostar to MIPIM. You know, living the Francophile dream: fields of lavender and sunflowers slipping by; training hard for MIPIM with a large glass of claret.
But this year a deal drop-kicked these French fantasies. No way could I go to Cannes before I’d finished it for our clients.
We worked till 2am Sunday night, checking the 150 completion documents, and completed last night at 9:00pm.
Then we had the odd glass of champagne, just to remind ourselves that we had actually finished.
But I’m not complaining: it’s a £300m signature transaction for the clients into a new sector.
So that’s why I’m on the early Easyjet; which is tricky because, like Dennis Bergkamp, I’m a nervous flyer (there the similarities end, no-one, not even my Mum, would call me six foot, blond and elegant).
But it’s worth it. Cannes beckons: land of Brigitte Bardot, bouillabaisse and crisp rose. As we fly, English deals and fog fade in the French air.
Today I have a client lunch, a packed menu of meetings, and then our own Eversheds’ dinner.
“Everything in France is a pretext for dinner,” as they say.
More bulletins later from among the palm trees and the crystal blue air.
Bruce Dear, head of London real estate, Eversheds