Monday, June 27, 2011

Good in a crisis

I am. I'm a lateral-thinker. A problem-solver. A survivor.

It's probably because I get SO MUCH practise with it... what with
my life being a litany of Things Going Slightly Askew, and all.

People who know me will say that perhaps if I wrote lists or did one thing at a time, or was generally less chaotic, things would run more smoothly ...but sometimes, things just HAPPEN.

My week at the Sydney Quilt and Craft Fair was a perfect example of this.

Monday's crisis: Volcanic ash cloud. No lists or tidy workroom could have saved me.

Lateral thinking: At the first whiff of a cloud over Adelaide, I was packing my bags in Melbourne and running for the nearest railway station. Somewhere during that long 12-hour overnight journey to Sydney, I received a text message to say that my Tuesday morning flight had indeed been cancelled.

Result: Although sleep-deprived and grumpy, I arrived in Sydney on Tuesday morning, in time to set up my display. My sister (who was also booked on the same Tuesday flight) arrived Wednesday morning.

--------------------------------------------------

Tuesday's crises: Lost credit card (found later in the week on my desk back in Melbourne, where I'd left it mid-parking-fine-payment, when I dropped everything to jump on a train. Shame I'd cancelled it before it was found...and before I remembered to pay the parking fine). Dead phone battery and no charger for it. Publisher trying to contact me to deliver books for the show. Me, trying to contact the publisher, my sister (my helper for set-up and the show), the bank and my office (to see if my credit card was on my desk). No help to set up the enormous display.


Ok, I admit it - a bit less multi-tasking and a bit more list-writing might have saved me on the credit card and phone front. But give me a break... I was running for the one train that would get me to Sydney in time to set up.



Lateral thinking: I bothered the staff at the exhibition centre for a phone every hour or so, found a bank in the street and cancelled the credit card, stayed late and got in early Wednesday morning to finish setting up the display. I finally found a charger to borrow and found out that my sister was on the way... on the bus.


Result: I slept (guiltily.... thinking of Leonie on the bus) on a soft and comfy hotel bed, only having had one moment of near-complete-meltdown during the day. Ready for business on first day of the show.
My hanging mobile of Tulip Dresses and children's accessories received a lot of attention, which was good because it'd taken some serious lateral-thinking to work out that little corner of the stand.


The books arrived, and sold so well that I needed a second delivery before the weekend. Despite two boxes of them having had a rough courier ride, there were still enough undamaged copies to get me through the show.
"You Sew, Girl!" , the book, was well-received. I even had people who had bought it elsewhere coming up to thank me for writing it. That was nice.



Then I lost my voice. And my right eye swelled up (some sort of bite between my eyelid and brow). Luckily, I had the best bunch of helpers I could have asked for and they did an amazing job. Many thanks to Leonie, Cass, Peta, Gay, Nicole and Fiona for keeping the show on the road.This morning's crises were mere trifles... trying to exchange about $400 worth of $1 and $2 coins before banks opened and my flight was due to leave. My bags were overweight. I got up extra-early and managed to swap coins for notes with various vendors about the airport and then checked in.... only to have the flight delayed until midday. My bags were still overweight but the check-in girl didn't notice.

I got home and I'm happy to be here.

I can't say that I enjoyed my week in Sydney, but I did enjoy being at the show itself. I enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with old friends. I enjoyed seeing people enjoying what I do. I'm also glad that my history of dealings with badly-aligned planets, chaos and disorganisation stood me in good stead for all that was thrown at me. I'm glad that I survived.


Ok. Melbourne Quilt and Craft up next.

28 comments:

Cass said...

You are awesome in a crisis not that anyone would have known there were any problems. I had a great time working for you and would happily do it all again next year.

Tania said...

(Bloody hell).

Breathe

Sleep

Write off tomorrow

You can consider that a list.

Bree said...

............well ok, maybe my last couple of weeks haven't been quite so bad after all.
I did consider suggesting I make the road trip but with all of that you would have added birth to the list!!!!
Hope you slow down for a couple of days. ox

Bree said...

P.S Stand looked amazing!!

Fiona said...

Time to put your feet up (and write that list for Melbourne Quilt and Craft: phone charger, credit card ...!!)

Of course, if I get round to writing a list I usually leave it somewhere I can't find it, as I discovered when I got to the cash and carry this morning!!

The stand looks great in the photos!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

As ever...

Wot T said.

Buy Design said...

Sounds like an eventful week. Can totally relate to the phone charger incident after trying to buy an adaptor in Budapest to charge our phones. Will never leave home without a travel adaptor again. If you can imagine one Scottish woman, her Yorkshire husband, a little bit of French, a smattering of German, a Hungarian phrase book and the fact that 'ADAPTOR' appeared to mean something either hilarious or rude in Hungarian.
Glad you got your excess weight on board without any additional hassle.
Fiona x

Allison said...

*rubs Nikki's shoulders, passes her big cup of hot chocolate and entire plate of Tim-Tams*

Amanda said...

Sounds like dispite it all you had a great show. The booth looks fantastic and you wouldn't know that you went through hell and back to get there. Good luck in melbourne, at least you will be close to home.

rachelmp said...

You deserve good luck for the next 10 years!! Glad the show was a success

clare's craftroom said...

Oh. my. goodness. You are now officially my hero ! I would never have coped with all that , good on you !

Peta said...

Oh Nikki! You bottled all that up so well. You never once mentioned all the chaos you went through! Wished I could have helped you set up. You did an amazing job setting up solo and sleep deprived. Lovely to meet you!

craftapalooza said...

WOWZERS, good on you though for keeping on!!!

CurlyPops said...

Just the thought of a bus trip has me shuddering.... stupid ash cloud!

Kayly said...

Oh, dear! I don't think there are any other words of comport I can say, other than 'you did good'. Now are you coming to .... Brisbane? Don't faint.. don't faint..

Leonie said...

Yep...........You did good!

Jennie said...

Well done! A less-seasoned crisis-coper would have crumbled. You're a role model for those who are still in the "Why can't everything go perfectly?" phase and are yet to reach the "Everything always goes wrong so how can I be prepared?" phase.

I'm planning to drop by the studio on Thursday to get a lit something signed (if you're available).

Kate said...

Well done for surviving! I did a market on the weekend and I heard 2 ladies talking near a stall with bags and your name mentioned and how you were their hero!

Handmade said...

Survivor and all round clever pants! I never cease to be amazed by the reaction of people who see your work for the very first time - they are intrigued, amazed and desperate to get their mits into your patterns. We had a fun time and happy to help out.

Melinda said...

Oh my gosh, what an eventful week! I'm so glad it worked out for you in the end!

Are you coming up to the Canberra Craft and Quilt Fair in August? (PLEASE!)

sewjourn said...

Hope you get a good sleep tonight! I think one day you'll be glad that you've written all this down so that you can look back and laugh! Here's to a quiet, calm few days ahead....

Belinda said...

WOW Nikki, sounds like a big week - you are definitely a trooper.
Hope you had a good sleep and a restful day today :o)
Looking forward to the Melbourne Quilt and Craft show

Magdalena, The Craft Revival said...

You know what, generally when it rains, it pours. That's usually the kinds of scenarios which happen to me when I have a build-up of things happening simultaneously.
And you know what else? Life would be boring without all the drama. It's good to get the heart racing occasionally.
Well done on the successful show!

Adele - A Lass from Downunder said...

I'm pretty sure you couldn't have squeezed any more into your week - resilience is a handy trait to have!

Juddie said...

oh my! I think I would have dropped my bundle very early in that chain of events. You're a trooper! Glad things went well overall and that the book is selling like hotcakes! Get well soon ....

Melanie said...

If you could bottle those skills you'd be a millionaire for certain. Well

Melanie said...

Oops. Hit 'publish' prematurely there! Well done under so much pressure Nikki, I'm inspired by your coping skills :)

Fer (checking in when I can) said...

Sounds like you were surviving purely on adrenalin! Don't you just love the 'rush' when things start falling into place though.

The other bonus is that you can knit on the train too. :-)