What are you looking for?
28 July 2017


right, so: i missed the harry potter craze. it either came and i didn't notice, or i was too old and didn't care, or i was too busy dancing in nightclubs to avril lavigne and wasn't bothered. whatever the case, harry potter totally passed me by. as a result, i do not get 98% of the internet's jokes, and i stare blankly at people when they talk about that time that whatsits did the thing with whosits against he who cannot be named, because actually: it all means nothing to me.

my pals though? big fans. biiiiig old fans. and because i am such a nice person, and my will is malleable and clearly not my own, i let them peer pressure me into watching the films. i refused to start by reading the books, because i am an adult, and those books were written for children. i don't care how good you believe they are because you have likely read them at least 12 times each and have some fond memories of how jk helped shape your childhood, or something. i have no such memories, so no, i will not start by reading children's fiction.

i started watching the films in january of 2016, and while i watched, i live-tweeted my reactions. the #ericawatchespotter hashtag got quite a lot of love over those few days where i put aside everything else (it was winter, what else did i have to do?) for the good of my education, and it was... well, it was ok. i was more interested with the tweeting that the films, if i'm honest, and my mates realllllly loved the bazillion questions i would ask them daily about plot twists or characters i should totally already know about - i've got a short attention span, ok, but i did it.

so, i watched all but two of the films in 2016, sort of gave up because i was bored and i guess something better came along (ben, maybe?) until about three weeks ago when a few of the girls got invited to the press preview of the new exhibition at the warner bros studio tour in watford. each of the girls had a plus one invite to spare, and so i though sod it, what have i got to lose, and threw my name in the ring. 

the girls squealed with excitement, and i laughed. ho! such fun it will be, dressing up and playing ghosts and goblins at harry potter land! well yes, that was about the extent of my enthusiasm, but i liked that my friends were so pleased with themselves, proud that they'd finally converted the muggle, and so i got to finishing the films before the big day.

then the day came. i had a meeting in the afternoon at work that ran over, making me late to the station. the girls all waited. i had a stonking headache, but still, the excited girls waited. we jumped on the train, and then the magical bus to harry potter land, and there was nothing but serious happiness coming out of the faces of my friends - there was no way i was going to get away with being a miserable sod that day, so instead, i threw caution to the wind and i let myself have a good time. so, i may not be a fan, or a convert, but i know how to have fun (and they promised me prosecco); the rest would be easy.

we were a bit early so we had a play in the gift shop where i very nearly bought a wand belonging to luna lovewhatever her name is, and also a slytherin baseball tee even though apparently i'm a gryffindor, and i don't play baseball. such is the pull of a gift shop, no!? come 8pm, it was time to begin our tour so we had one obligatory photo in front of hazza's cupboard under the stairs, and we were off.

the opening films are pretty cool. i mean, i even got a goosebump, that's how cool they are. and actually, the opening film actually made me want to go and maybe give those films another try; there were scenes i don't remember seeing, characters i can't remember at all, and - well, i should probably just give them the air time they deserve, right? everyone in that room with me was a mega super fan, and they were enthralled. they were obviously so overwhelmed, so joyed, so elated to be there that night, and it was abbbbbouuuut that time that i realised i was way in over my head.

my friends were cool about it though. even though i was probably the only muggle in the whole place, it was fine. this was fine. we moved into the great hall. the. great. hall. as in, the one from the film. yes, the actual film set. because - here's something i genuinely wasn't expecting: the studio tour? is a tour of the film studio. the actual, genuine film studio that the films were made in. so yeah, we were in the great hall. and there was food. so now, i've technically dined in the great hall. cool, huh?

we met with designer phillip treacy (who designed the fabulous hats in the films), as well as members of the wardrobe, hair, and make up teams who talked us through their visions and the final products, and this will be the part of the night that we shall now refer to as "that time phillip treacy sassed me in public". yes. when defending a friend against his accusatory "do you work for the mail?" and asking him very loaded questions about fashun and trendy colours, he turned to us and asked "do you write about food, or fashion?" to which we replied in unison: food. this was precisely the time in the film when the sarky fashion friend looks you up and down in your three-year-old new look dress and goes "hmmm" before turning away. yes kids, that really happened. to me.

the rest of the night was never going to live up to that, but still: i walked through the hogwarts express, i went inside number four privet drive (even though i was foolishly pronouncing it "private drive" for most of the night), i drank butterbeer, i met a dobby, i walked up diagon alley, i stood next to hagrid. i mean, even for a muggle, that shit is pretty fucking cool.

did i mention it was the actual harry potter film set we were at? so yeah, i got to see the exterior of hogwarts in all its glory. the whole. fucking. school. in its entirety, and maaaaaaan alive let me tell you this: that was something i won't forget for a long time. muggle or not, you know i love me a good looking castle, and that, my friends, is probably the castle to end them all.

i've gotta hand it to my friends - they are some determined bitches. for two years now they have been trying to convince me to join their coven of wizard-lovers, and i've refused. i've refused out of a combo of spite, stubbornness and sheer determination, but for what? to miss out on a global community of people with incredible spirits, with secrets and stories, with passion for a story with an unlikely hero? i mean, that's so shit. am i gutted i didn't read these books when i was a kid, because to be honest: they're stories i would have loved as a pre-teen. back before i was broken and spiteful and full of misery (ha), because now i just think it'll be too late.

i have conceded though. i have agreed to read the books. i'm sure i'll hate them, because what 33 year old adult reads harry potter for the first time and loves it? yeah, probably not this one. but i've been proven wrong once, i'm willing to give it a go. if not for me, for these awesome nerds. because they're the best humans i know, and i like making them happy. look how happy:

Add your comment

thank you for your comment, you lovely thing you.