I have mentioned in a previous post, regarding my love of Christmas I believe, that I consider myself a fan of a number of things; the television shows and books that I read and watch tend to be the only things that keep me sane what with the copious amounts of work I get from Sixth Form and living with a rather strange but very loveable family as mine is. I tend to gravitate towards fictional shows and books such as Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, Sherlock, The Walking Dead Harry Potter. I absolutely adore the Harry Potter books and movies which have provided me with years of entertainment, no matter how many times I re-read/watched them all; I am ashamed to admit that I watched the movies first because I thought the books would be... wait for it... BORING! Now I've never claimed that I knew what I was talking about all of the time because in this case I certainly didn't, I read the books for the first time early 2012 and, as previously mentioned, fell in love with the characters and their fascinating stories and world. After finishing the first book I was definitely hooked and I've been a massive fan ever since. I had always wanted to go to and see where the films had been made and I am lucky enough to live quite close to Durham Cathedral and when the second movie 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' was being made I visited the Cathedral the same day that Daniel Radcliffe was on the scene. Alas, I didn't get close enough to see the boy who, at that point, I had decided was destined to be my husband who didn't know it yet; however I was lucky enough to see that the "blood" writing was still on the walls, you know that part "The chamber of secrets has been opened, enemies of the heir beware"? Yeah I was over the moon at that. It was in late May 2012 after I'd finished my last GCSE exam that my Mam said she was taking me for a surprise and to pack an overnight bag. I later learned that I was on my way to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour... WHERE HARRY POTTER WAS FILMED!! Oh my days! I was so excited I practically burst my own eardrums from screaming!
When we arrived after getting lost and driving around aimlessly for hours on end I could not be contained, I practically dragged my parents into the main building. Immediately I was surrounded by my favourite childhood characters such as young Ron Weasley, young Harry and Hermione and some not to loved characters *cough* Voldemort *cough*. After getting our tickets stamped and sent on our way we were led into a big movie theatre where we watched the cast welcome us all to what had been their world for 10 years; when we exited the theatre I was awestruck as I wandered into the great hall, sat on the tabled where the cast had sat as their wizarding alter egos for many, many years... I loved it!
We gradually made our way around the titanic excuse for a building being able to see things I never dreamed I would see such as the Ministry of Magic, Dumbledore's office, Hagrid's hut, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and so much more. It's hard to pinpoint the highlight of the tour when just being there made it one of the best days of my life, I did thoroughly enjoy going into the creature creation section where they held all of the creatures such as a Basilisk skeleton, Aragog the giant Acromantula (which for someone who suffers severe arachnophobia was terrifying!), Inferi and lots of others. Halfway through I got a tap on the shoulder off of my Dad pointing to a bedraggled little house elf saying to me "Look Kate it's Dobby!" I was so disappointed that he had gotten Dobby and Kreacher (and Hagrid and Gwarp) so terribly confused... I thought I had trained him well in Harry Potter trivia. Me any my Mam had a giggle at his cluelessness of characters that took a more back-seated role. Out of the whole day the highlight of the tour came right at the end for me when we walked, with hundreds of other Harry Potter fans who had come along to experience the magic and wonder of the tour, into a dark, almost black room. We then saw the ceiling light up with hundreds of tiny blue and golden lights which illuminated the most magnificent sight I've ever seen in my, albeit short, life... The Hogwarts Castle (as pictured above). It was a phenomenal sight which was greeted to over one hundred fans giving a rousingly enthusiastic round of applause, the placed I had so longed to be in from being a young child I had finally arrived at. It truly was a dream come true and it remains to this day, and I am sure it will in the future, one of the best best experiences of my life and I am so very thankful that I got the opportunity to experience it with many other Potterheads from around the world.
Love Katherine. X