Sunday, 16 March 2014.
I got up at 7am, which for a night-owl like me was too early (especially on a Sunday).
At 8am I was out the door, and after lugging two large wheeled suitcases one at a time down the three flights of stairs from my apartment, I was off to Town Hall station about 15-20 minutes away (the next apartment building I live in, I will definitely choose one with an elevator).
From Town Hall I got a train to Turrella, about 10 kilometres away to the south. As the train pulled into Turrella station, I was a little dismayed to see that Turella was yet another hilly suburb of Sydney – but I had survived many other Sydney hills with one or two of my suitcases, so I could do it again.
Another 10-15 minutes and a few hills later, I reached my destination – Arncliffe Park in Arncliffe, the suburb next door to Turrella. Arncliffe has its own railway station on another line, but it was closed that morning because of trackwork – but fortunately, Turella station wasn’t too far away.
I made my way into the centre of the large park, to where several marquees were being erected. Soon I spotted a familiar face, and he directed me to where I had to go.
Soon after that, I was inside one of several joined marquees unpacking my suitcases.
An hour or so later by 11:30am, I was ready.
I was at CreARTivity, an event that was part of Rockdale Arts Festival 2014, and I was beginning my first experience as a Lego exhibitor.
A few weeks before, one of my colleagues in my Lego group had asked if anyone was interested in exhibiting at CreARTivity. Several of us had said yes, including me.
Getting to CreARTivity presented several challenges.
First was discovering that Arncliffe station would be closed that Sunday. I thought about perhaps staying at a nearby hotel the night before, but when I couldn’t find one within reasonable distance I decided to get the train to Turrella instead.
The second challenge was how to safely transport my Lego to Arncliffe. I knew that I would be using my suitcases, but how could I pack my Lego inside them? After some investigation, I found that IKEA were not only selling plastic containers that could fit two apiece into each suitcase, they were also on special for a wonderfully low price – so the weekend before, I got those.
The final challenge was weather. It had rained the day before CreARTivity, the forecast for the day itself wasn’t good, and that morning when I got off at Turella station the sky was grey and threatening. If the heavens opened, my backpack had its rain-cover and my Lego creations would stay dry within their IKEA tubs – but I myself would get drenched because I wouldn’t be able to hold an umbrella.
Ultimately, though, I would have to take my chances – and if worst came to worst and I got soaked, I could spend CreARTivity drying out. Like having to get off at Turrella station instead of Arncliffe, it wasn’t the end of the world.
Fortunately, there was no rain from the station to the park – or from the park back to the station that afternoon.
Instead, though, I would get rained on while in that marquee.
About halfway through CreARTivity the rain came pouring down – and unfortunately, because our Lego group’s marquees hadn’t been sealed properly, some of our displays copped a drenching.
That included the large table of trucks I had set out, but fortunately (a) they were easy to move out of water’s way, (b) Lego is water-resistant and quick to dry off and (c) I had even covered my paper display-cards in adhesive plastic book-covering.
The only other minor mishap I encountered that day was with one of my builds.
Readers may recall way back in June 2012 when I began building, and my first creation was two police helicopters combined into a larger one.
Almost two years later I still had that helicopter, so I thought it was only fitting that because it was my first MOC (my own creation) it should go on show.
Alas, that helicopter had also been a fragile MOC…and when I got to CreARTivity and opened my suitcases, I was dismayed to find that it had disintegrated during transport.
I thought about quickly putting it back together, but decided to use just my trucks.
Apart from the rain and the broken helicopter, though, my first show as a Lego exhibitor was an enjoyable and pleasant success.
After I set up my trucks, all there was left to do for the rest of CreARTivity was stand or sit behind my table, answer questions from visitors young and old, and talk Lego with my colleagues.
It was good fun – and just the type of fun I had hoped exhibiting Lego would be.
CreARTivity was scheduled to finish at 3:30pm, but because of the lousy weather it was called off early.
Fortunately, by the time I’d repacked my suitcases the weather had calmed down again so I was able to return to Turrella station without getting wet.
Soon I got a train back to the city, where I later had a nice steak dinner to round off a good day.
Later, I would learn that CreARTivity was an example of what my colleagues described as a “little show” – a small-scale event like a a suburban festival or a school fete.
“Little show” is certainly not a put-down, though. As I’d experienced that day – and would several times again in the year ahead – “little shows” are enjoyable for their pleasant and relaxing atmospheres.
The next event I would be exhibiting at, however, would be an example of a “big show” – a large-scale spectacular filled with a dazzling array of MOCs from local and interstate exhibitors to attract thousands (and perhaps even tens of thousands) of visitors.
And what a big show it would be, indeed.
TO BE CONTINUED