As you’ve probably all guessed by now; I love design, I love the making of it, the construction (hence my own degree in Jewellery Design & Silversmithing) but alongside this curiosity is the ‘I don’t want to believe it isn’t actually real’ feeling that my newly booked tickets and the subsequent Leavesden Studios Harry Potter Tour is making me feel.
This is going to be a bit emotional for me.
Like many millions of others I am a Generation Harry. I was read the very first book just after it’s release; sat on the thin velvety-feel carpet tiles in the reading corner in my tiny Primary School class room. Mrs Grey read it to us. We were all hooked. That one thing, that one story linked us in ways nothing else could. Twenty or so ten-year olds who had not a single thing in common would all feel the same, gasp the same, almost cry the same on that thinly carpetted floor.
That’s the power of a good story. For me, it has always been a struggle to recreate that awe-inspired, deep seated, so amazed I could cry feeling of stepping onto the cobbles in Diagon Alley for the first time with Harry, fresh from the ‘You’re a Wizard Harry’ comment and bursting at the seams with excitement.
Leavesden Studios offers me just that. The reason I didn’t grab a broom and speed over there as soon as it opened this March is simple. I didn’t want to go alone. Dispite the many millions just like me, I don’t live with any of them. Other Half (as he is known on here) can’t abide fantasy telling me he’d rather poke his own eyes out with prickly sticks. The comment cut surprisingly deep. This is something I have a lot of time for, the world in which I grew up in, with the characters I’ve known for years. WWHD was a little phrase that practically got me through my GCSE’s. What Would Hermione Do? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t live in robes with a Hogwarts scarf on but damn, sometimes just escaping to that world brings me comfort. When I’m stressed I read. When I’m lonely I read. Comfort in the form of old friends and familiar places I can access in seconds within these books.
So after my Aunt took her family to Orlando, Fl. and visited the Harry Potter World park-within-a-park at Universal Studios, I asked my wonderful Dad if he’d go with me on a slightly shorter trip to just outside Watford. Luckily not even leaving the country. He jumped at the chance, being almost as much of a kid as myself and even offered to pay for our tickets in. Leavesden has now become a possibility for me.
It’s not until October that I can get the time off to drive up to Watford and Dad can get the time off to drive down so we can meet in the middle. I thought it would be nice to go for some sort of occasion and since my birthday month is full of maybes and possiblys I thought we could do it for Dad’s.
The thing now is the wait. Having researched fully what we’ll get to see there I teared up a little when I saw the grand finale item. A 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts itself. This is definitely going to be worth the wait and I am even demanding a new camera for my birthday just to take high quality photos with on the tour (yes, it’s allowed) and now have to calm my breathing when I think of the very first moments after the curtain has lifted and I walk into the Great Hall for the first time…
Yes everyone, I LOVE THE HARRY POTTER WORLD.