Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Jules' story

Here is Jules' story of her RCA secret night, as first published in her blog Girl on the Side.

Yesterday was the date I’d been excited about for the past 12 months & had spent the past week doing lists on Microsoft Excel for: The RCA Secret.

Recalling how busy it was last year (and the fact that I’m still not ready for camping), I’d decided that arriving earlier this time would be for the best… and indeed it was. I convinced The Boy (who was an RCA virgin) that leaving the house just after was not insane & would be worth it :) The journey wasn’t bad at all: managed not to stuff up leaving early like I did last year, and night-bused it all the way.

Arriving at the RCA, the 1st thing you noticed was the length of the queue: It had only just hit, and it had already gone beyond that nook in Jay Mews I joined last year when I arrived at 6am… and was steadily approaching the Gore. Walking along, and noticing a lot more tent action this year, we joined the end of the line – which at this point was just on the corner of the Mews. The same steps were taken again: warm clothing, a flask of hot coffee & something to eat. I was worried that being there earlier & queuing for longer would mean being frozen by 8am – luckily the weather was a lot milder this time… although still nippy! A nice element about this though are the people you instantly get chatting to, as everyone is in the same frame of mind about the queue & the weather. This year a new “queuing buddy” was made in Stewart – a very nice bloke who was in front of us & even offered me his chair to sit on during our hours outside :)

At 06:56 there was a sudden surge in the line and we all began moving forwards. I was surprised by this, as the doors weren’t open yet – can only assume that it was the tents all waking up and packing away (?)… either way, we were moving along pretty quick, which was a good feeling.

By 8a.m: we’d already moved up to the side of the RCA entrance, which was super-early compared to last year. This is where I spotted a familiar face: Wayne Chisnall was back! As he said on his blog, he was planning something for the morning & for the 2nd time in a row, I managed to catch it. He was giving out 400 numbered & signed screen printed postcards he’d made, as a “thank you” to those queuing up for the sale in the Cold. As with last year, I’d not even made it into the RCA, and had a lovely piece of art to add to my collection… so “thank you” Wayne :)

08:30 a.m & we were in already… confirming that being an earlier bird than last year does make a difference. It was a return to that excited & nervous feeling again: shuffling through the white building, eager to get down the steps… almost desperate to see the TV screens telling us what was available & what had gone. The panic of papers being flicked through and the sound of pens scribbling out choices lost, were all you could hear once you got to the basement. People were crowding around the 2 TV screens (while still trying to move along the queue) in order to check their choices. The only gripe that I had with the screens this year is that one of them wasn’t working , or the screen wasn’t big enough: only the top half of the bottom row of cards was showing, so you’d constantly miss the cards / numbers :(

Anyway… I got to the cashier, gave her 3 card numbers from my list that were still available on the screen… & they were still there – result! The Boy and I were both done by 10a.m, and walked away with cards from both our lists that we wanted… at some point, The Boy may blog about his – but as an RCA Virgin, he managed to walk away with an interesting name in his envelope…

So, the end results for me?

Full set of pictures are avaliable to view on my Flickr set, here.

I’ll certainly be back again next year… see you then


UcanBeverywhere said...

Nice story!! well done!

queuing buddy - Stew said...

Hey, great to meet you both, I had a fab time. Defo back next year to try my luck again, though maybe a longer list, as I had only 4 left when we got to the till.

thatgirlontheside said...

Hey Stew!
It was great to meet you to & thank you again for being such a gent in offering me a seat :)

We'll be back next year for sure & hope to see you there... we might be there from the Friday afternoon before the sale!

Jules :)