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Hangovers, sun and a spot of ivory tinkling

The morning after probably the busiest of the three nights of alcohol-fuelled networking at MIPIM is an understandably quiet one.

The first thing I see as I wander down the beachfront is a great big rubbish truck picking up empty bottles from the bars.

Meanwhile a man to the left of me scans the sand with a metal detector, searching for hidden evils buried in the Cannes sand.

“I’m told by one delegate that there are more yachts sprinkled along the seafront than in recent years”

It’s fair to say, the glitz and glamour of the previous evening has well and truly worn off.

Still, the sun is shining and with a couple of coffees down (and plenty to go), it’s not long before yesterday’s buzz reappears.

Most of my conversations so far have centred on the positivity in the sector: “Confidence is back,” delegates chime, with the money flowing (almost) like 2008 never happened and everyone starting to enjoy themselves again.

I’m told by one delegate that there are more yachts sprinkled along the seafront than in recent years.

While the joie de vivre was typified earlier today by one chief executive playing a spot of piano on a yacht before lunch.

However, caution is out there.

One disapproving delegate tells me that over the seven years she has been attending, she doesn’t recall a time there has been this much boozing.

“People shouldn’t forget that we are here to do business,” she warns.

“Others flag up the impending general election as a hurdle that needs to be cleared”

She is not the only person with a more sobering view of proceedings on the French Riviera.

One chief executive reminds me of the sudden and rapid onset of the last downturn, suggesting that another may not be too far off.

Others flag up the impending general election as a hurdle that needs to be cleared before any progress is made.

And there is an increasing feeling that the UK would be doing well if it only has to go to the polls once this year, with a second vote potentially holding schemes back yet further.

But still, this doesn’t take away from excitement that is circulating at MIPIM 2015.

You get a sense of real change to come.

The London stand is packed with major schemes to watch out for in the weeks, month and years ahead.

Work is clearly out there for contractors - now is the time to get a slice of the action.

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