It’s six in the morning in a basement apartment in Cannes. Birds are singing in the garden and in the room next to me a baby is gurgling.
My producer Rachel Robey and I are here to announce our feature film THE LEVELLING for Creative England, BFI and BBC Films and although I’m flying solo this time, she’s brought her daughter. This girl is a natural. Two producer parents, lots of excellent warm weather outfits burning a hole in her wardrobe in Blighty and a complete door opener wherever we go.
Last night at the BFI/LFF drinks, everyone on the door wanted a cuddle, and one woman wanted to get together today with her own baby who was back at her hotel. More babies at Cannes! I cry. A Palme D’Bebe! And then remember I’m on antibiotics and must PUT THAT PROSECCO DOWN.
My children have been left with their father and granny and this time, since I’ve been ill in the run-up, lots of dirty washing and no food in the freezer. I felt pretty bad about that, but then I realised that I was still apologising for going away, for having another life. Sorry, not ANOTHER life. A life. Apologising isn’t going to make it okay and that’s what I’d like.
I know half of this starts with me. With us. With acknowledging that our lives are complex and full. If we want to ask our professional lives to acknowledge that we have personal lives, then we must also believe that our commitments to our children and our love for them aren’t compromised by not being there all the time, that is surely a first step. And hanging out with other parents on the Croisette is a step in the right direction.
Hope Dickson Leach