I like to think that all of us at some point each day wish to capture that incredible sense of wonder that somehow was always present during one’s childhood. The sense, that if you put your mind to it anything is possible. The feeling, that on the whole life is unquestionably good. The foolhardy bravado by which one entered into every endeavour, ‘when I grow up I’m going to be a guitar playing rock star, astronaut, vet’. And last but by no means least the fact that the vast majority of things seemed to quote Mr Spock ‘Fascinating’. In this setting where the most mundane of things are so alive, one finds that a good story is positively spellbinding. Last week I got reacquainted with my childhood sense of wonder with a trip to the Harry Potter Studio’s.
It was blooming obvious that I was going to love this experience but even I was taken aback by how much I loved it. It was truly a wonder to my mind to suddenly and somewhat inexplicably find myself standing in the great hall of Hogwarts. I was literally walking through a museum of a place I had imagined a bazillion times as a child. I was giddy with joy but more than that, I felt shivers going down my spine as my brain miraculously converted so many fond and long forgotten memories into a single moment. It was quite simply special.
As one went round the studio one got a sense of the incredible effort and work that went into each set. It was amazing to behold such delightful craftsmanship that in some cases were only on screen for a few minutes and yet had no doubt taken many hours to create. In the films these props were like sand mandalas that had gone unnoticed by me. To think that all these dazzling designs had come about due to one person who was delayed on a train scribbling down an idea, truly is a wonder. The fact that so much joy resulted for so many people after is something one does not want to find a word for.
Unfortunately at the end of this article, I must allow a little cynicism to intrude, and that is by imparting a brief warning that the people selling this experience know they have a bottle of liquid luck on their hands. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the prices are exorbitant but they are very pricey, a packed lunch is a must. However I think if you’re a fan then it really will be an experience you’ll always treasure. I remember when I saw the last Harry Potter film, at the end a complete stranger behind me said in a sombre voice ‘there goes my childhood’. The words really resonated with me at the time, but the fact is you can always pop back if you want.