A visit to one of the major international miniature fairs, such as Miniatura or the Kensington Dollshouse Festival requires logistical planning consistent with a military operation. Time is at a premium and with over 175 top quality artisans exhibiting, the collector who is visiting for just one day has to be well prepared for the task in hand.
Today I shall be planning my campaign with military precision, from calculating the amount of time it will take me to travel from the south coast up to central London by rail, then westwards to High Street Kensington by tube. I estimate that door to door will take approximately 2 hours, give or take.
Last week I printed off the three pages of floor plans, and each day have put aside time to use these, in conjunction with the comprehensive online exhibitor's list, which has helpful links to many individual's websites.
My floor plans now feature colourful 'highlighting' on stands of particular interest, along with copious notes for things to look out for. I intend to visit favourite exhibitors first, using my highlighted pages as a route map.
As part of the rationale for pre-booking a Friday ticket is because of the limited numbers who can attend, I'm hopeful that the three halls will not be too packed out, although of course there are always bottlenecks around the most popular exhibitors in each genre.
As the afternoon progresses, I will gauge the time to leave by:
a) How tired I am
b) I've run out of cash
Hopefully these two variables will coincide, and in order to pre-empt the Friday afternoon rush hour I will be ready to set off for home by 4.30-ish. The fair doesn't close till 6pm, but I shall be exhausted and/or penniless long before then.
I'm really looking forward to it..........