Tag Archives: Fun

#KeepTheSecrets

I’ve just had the most magical weekend and I can’t let it go, which is why I think it’s taken a few days back at home and work for me to sit down and want to write this post as it feels like it’s done then. I know it’s not really, I’m being over-dramatic, but that’s how it feels.

An upfront note – there will be no spoilers in this post. I will talk about how I felt, but no plot or character details will be shared #KeepTheSecrets

In reality this all started in October last year when the tickets went on sale for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and I managed to get in the queue with only around 1000 people in front of my. Compared to friends who got in the queue not long after and it was up in the 6000 range and even more I did really well. It only took about 25 minutes of waiting in the end and I got tickets for myself and my friend Ingrid to see one of the first Saturday double bill previews. I was so happy and so excited to have something new added to the stories I’ve been reading since I was 16! I’m not 31 so it’s been pretty much half my life! It felt exactly the same as a new book coming out – the unknown and the excitement and the trepidation around what could happen. It’s Harry Potter, anyone could die!

Side note – it’s also now totally okay to have a crush on the actors playing Harry, Ron and Draco and a girl crush on Hermione! Amazing actors all round.

I then booked a hotel in Covent Garden, just up the road from The Palace Theatre in Soho. It was a perfect location as it only meant getting the tube to the hotel and then we could wander everywhere. The first thing we did of course was go to the theatre to see it all set up. I took lots of photos of the posters as it was all helping build up the excitement even more than I thought I could contain. Make sure you go and see it during the day before a performance as once we were there for the show it was so busy it was impossible to get the photos I took.

Everything about the set up felt right. It was very much linked to the books, rather the films and I liked that a lot. It was continuing the story for those characters and for the fans who have been there from the beginning, or almost the beginning in my case.

Setting it nineteen years later felt exactly right too. I think this is because I am now an adult and so it would make it easier to relate to them now as adults as well. We grew up together and now we were getting the chance to see who they had become.

I also love that this is in a different format. As a play there is something completely different about it, but at the same time there is something completely familiar. It made it even more excitng for me. It was like the film experience when you are in the cinema with everyone, but with the theatre atmosphere where it’s totally okay to react out loud.

The Palace Theatre is also an amazing building. I recommend walking the whole way round and see the brick structure and take in the architecture that you can then compare to what you see on the inside. It’s like a Tardis!

As we arrived on the Friday we had a day to kill and made the most of it by totally immersing ourselves in our Harry Potter geekness. We went to the House of Minalima, who did all the graphic design work for the films. It is amazing! It’s a combined gallery and shop over multiple floors.

It is a beautiful space, full of colour and fun. It’s mainly Harry Potter, but it also contains other work by the designers, which is just as amazing.

There are some of the original props used in the films as well. The amount of detail and care that went into all this and continues to go into for the new movie is staggering. The love and commitment to the work and the world took my breath away and I could have stayed in there all day.

I want them to come and decorate my house. The floors and stairs especially!

We then went to Cheeky Nails to get our nails turned into Hogwarts House colours ! I never get my nails done so this was exciting. It is attached to a bar as well so is perfect for a Friday night. They ladies there were so fantastic to us and fitted us in and did the details we wanted. I think we entertained them for the night too!

Of course then we had to make sure we got the most value from them by getting them in pretty much every single photo for the rest of the weekend.

We woke up Saturday and could not wait for 2pm. We went for a relaxing breakfast and then we wandered through some bookstores to keep ourselves calm, but get ready for what was coming. We got into the queue just before 1pm to give ourselves plenty of time to get merchandise, drinks and to find our seats. They check your bags on entry and even if the queue is long you’ll be fine as they are quick.

Then we were ready to see Part 1! I took some photos inside before and after the play, but that would give things away so they are just for me as memories. I can’t really say any more as I do not want to make JK Rowling angry by hinting at anything that happens.

All I will say is that I loved it!

We then went to a local sushi restuarant in between the parts. I woudl recommend booking to make sure you get somewhere close as it was super busy being a Saturday and also Pride. To save stress book someone and enjoy discussing (carefully) what happened in Part 1!

Then it was time to join the queue at 6:30pm for Part 2! Everyone was even more excited than before. We were also talking about our theories for what would happen and it was so much fun! Everyone was there as a fan and there was so much love and loyalty in the audience it was amazing. There was also some great discussions, not debates, but people being open for things to go where ever they might go.

Then is was over! It was exactly like finishing one of the books for the first time. Happiness that you now knew what happens and how the story and characters develop. At the same time sadness that it was over and you won’t get to experience it in the same way again. To sum up my reaction without any spoilers is basically me in this photo, taken in the ice cream place opposite right after the we came out of the theatre. It was magic in reality for me!

I am in awe of JK Rowling for creating this world and sharing in so many ways. I totally respect her call for everyone who has seen the play to #KeepTheSecrets to let others see as we had just done. I cannot wait for the script to come out as I will be able to read that while replaying the play in my head. I would say to anyone who has tickets to wait to watch the play first before reading the script as I can tell you it will not be the same and your patience will be worth it.

I treated myself to quite a bit of merchandise and love it all! I’m keeping hold of my tickets as memories too. It was an experience I will never forget and feel lucky to be one of the first people to have seen the play in full in one day. I don’t think I could have waited 24 hours for the second part to be absolutely honest!

I would also say to anyone who is a fan to keep trying to get tickets from the official website. I hope one day they will tour it or do a live showing broadcast to cinemas, but I also hope that will be a few years away to give as many people as possible the chance to see it as it is meant to be seen!

#KeepTheSecrets

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

I started this week by making my way to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice celebrations. This is one of the only time it is free access to the site and to the stones themselves. I’m lucky that with my job I get to take part in volunteering activities like this as in all honesty I do not get the point of sitting in a field all night. However I am grateful for being also to experience it in a golunteering way instead.

It was a beautiful evening and I took my camera and borrowed a friend tripod to try and get some lovely photos. I’ll share those in another  post  though as they need editing slightly and I would like some help from my teacher to do that.

It was an amazing sky with bright sunshine, but lots if scattered clouds to heal things up and add colour.

It was also a full moon or strawberry moon, which only happens a couple of times a century on the solstice. It was all beautiful to watch.


When my shit finished my friend and headed down to the stones themselves to experience threat thing. This year was quiet I’m told as they introduced a parking fee and banned alcohol from the site. When we went in there were only around 6000 people, compared to closer to 20,000 normally. It was really calm and chilled. The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming really. 

It is odd at the same though as they light up the site with huge flood lights that give off this fake moon like glow. For safety and ease of walking around to was great, but compared to last year at Aberbury where they don’t provide any lighting, it is a completely different experience. 

We even g pretty much in to the centre of the stones which was a first for me. I got to touch a few of the stones, which was important to me. It felt like touching and being a part of the history of the place. The stones are so old I feel as though they hold so many stories and memories of the world. My fantasy geek ended coming out there!

I wish it was the moon in theses photos, buts it’s not it’s just the floodlights!

In a week that has ended on such a down note for me and many others, the start of the week feels so long ago. The connection I felt to our past had slipped away in the last few hours. It’s odd to sit here now and think we are going backwards. I refuse to dwell and I’m glad I voted for what I believe in and will continue to do that. Now on to a happier weekend catching up with Ingrid and going to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! 

Weekend Fun in London

I seem to be going quite a lot lately and I am quite enjoying it. I’ve been able to explore new parts I haven’t been to before. This last weekend I was there for a friend’s hen do and we had great fun. The weekend started with a treasure hunt that had us walking around London for a a few hours. I got to see Kensington Palace, which I don’t think I’ve been to before.

We then headed to have afternoon tea at a beautiful hotel new St James Park. The scones and cakes were absolutely amazing!

We then headed to the River Thames for a night cruise. This was amazing as I got to see the city late at night all lit up and it was beautiful.

Tower Bridge

The Greenwich Meridian laser

The Shard, Tower Bridge, and the walky talky

Closer up

Underneath

The Tower of London

The London Eye

It was a lovely nice that stayed warm into the early morning. The light reflecting on the river were  gave the water a glow that is does not have during the day.

The next day we headed towards Portobello Road and I found this tree that was growing and taking the wall with it. It made me smile and appreciate that nature in the city still thrives.

We went to an amazing place – The Electric Diner – for breakfast and I enjoyed a fantastic flat white and a Full English tat hit the spot nicely. I intend to go back here when I can.

When we had finished it was still waking up and the vintage market was set up as we wandered back up the road. I would very much like to come back for the food market during the week. It was beautiful and sunny and it would have been nice to stay a while longer, but I will plan that in for next time.

Overall a lovely day exploring and visiting some new places that I will be making the effort to go back to. The sun made it an extra special weekend.

Recent Wanderings… Harry Potter Studio Take 4

My inner geek came out in full force last week with my fourth visit to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. My sister got my ticket as my birthday present as she wanted to go again and get the audio guide and knew I wouldn’t mind us ignoring each other on the way round while we explored!

This trip for me was looking for details I missed on my previous visits.

I loved this Quidditch player suit of armour.

As it is the 15th anniversary of the release of Philosopher’s Stone they brought our the Sorting Hat into the main hall so we got to see it close up (and I loved it’s shadow!).

In the common room there is a portrait of a young Professor McGonagall with a plan cat.

The detail in the proper is amazing and I love this column with the owls.

The phenioxes in Dumbledore’s office fireplace were also noticed this visit.

I always love the potions classroom and got a nice view of the Advanced Potion Making book. It was sad to see Alan Rickman’s costumes this time round knowing he no longer with us, but it also made me appreciate the detail even more on this set.

I don’t think the prophecy orbs were there the last time I visited and looked amazing all lit up in the Ministry of Magic set.

Of course I had to get another view of the kitten plats and especially the one that looks like Merry and Pippin.

I love the books you can spot around the place and I hope they do a full version of Hogwarts A History at some point as I would totally buy it. I love that this is in Hermione’s trolley at Platform 9 and 3/4. 

Another thing I kept spotting this trip was the cauldrons all wrapped up ready for travel. I would love to recieve one in the post (or send one to Ingrid) as a surprise!

There was another one on the Hogwarts Express too!

I am a fan of Luna’s character and I loved the lion headdress she wore in the films. I think it’s because it reminds me of my favourite film The Lion King. 

This visit I also spotted the miniature dragons used in Goblet of Fire!

I also got to see my favourite art piece again. I love this one of Hogsmede as I think it’s subtle and you could love it even if you didn’t know it’s Harry Potter related as it’s just a beautiful scene, but if you do know Harry Potter you would appreciate it even more!

Of I also tried butterbeer again (and HAD to drink my sister’s as she wasn’t a fan) so I now have all three cups they sell it in on my shelf, which makes me very happy. I also got the photo of my and my sister in the Weasley’s flying car, which means I have this photo for everyone I have been with (both my sisters and Ingrid) so it has turned into a bit of a tradition.

I find they do change things up every time I go. Even in six months they have changed how they do the interactive parts and have different things on display. I definitely want to go back to see it in the snow and would go back for special events (at normal cost, not those extortionate dinners they put on!) on occasion. I really hope they add Fantastic Beasts onto the tour once all the films are out as that would be AMAZING!

Recent Wanderings… November 15 Edition

November is always quite a busy month for me and this year was no exception. It was made up of volunteering, swimming, and starting a new job, as well as catching up with friends.

Earlier in the month was the first Chilly Dippers swimming event at my local lake. I chose to do the 400m swim, but there were options of 25m to 100m as well. The temperature had just fallen into single figures (9.9 degrees) so it wasn’t too bad to swim in. I started steady and then got into a good rhythm and came second overall and first female with a time of 6 minutes 20 seconds. Soup and cakes were also included with a shiny medal to add to my collection. I’m signed up to one in December as well!

I then volunteered at a local duathlon (run, bike, run) and was station at the bottom of a hill turning people through a gate on the bike course. I also had a cow staring at me the whole time, until the farmer came with fresh hay. It was good fun and all the competitors were friendly and shouted thanks as they went past. It’s always super nice when people do that, especially on a cold and muddy day.

My first christmas catch up was with the girls I used to work with at the local swimming pool and we went for an all you can eat Chinese and gossip. It was great fun as we don’t get to see each other as much as before. It wasn’t officially christmas, but we are struggling to get another date in before so it will probably wait until birthday celebrations in January.

As part of my preparation for cross country skiing in January I found a company Exodus recommend and went Roller Skiing at Eton Dorney (http://www.rollerski.co.uk/). You get set up with boots, poles and longer roller stakes and I spent the day learning how to skate and classic cross country ski. It was hard work, but so much fun and I feel a lot more confident about going on holiday to do this now. I wasn’t fast, but I kept up all day. I did manage to have the wrong the skis/skates on after lunch so had to swap with the instructor as I couldn’t move without my poles as my skates kept going backwards.

I started my new job in November as well and we took a  team day to Coleshill to really get under the skin of what the whole team is doing going forward. It was great to get out of the office and to one of the properties that are part of the organisation.

I was supposed to be heading to Brussels or Bruges at the end of the month, but due to the situation in Paris and Brussels it has been postponed to February. So instead me and my friend went to the Bath Christmas Market and got a good start on my christmas shopping. It was a nice day, but it gets really busy so we had a nice long lunch and headed home as it started to rain.

I’ve been trying to use my cinema pass more often and this month saw 4 films, which is the minimum I try to see.

  • Hamlet – the encore showing of the National Theatre Live show.
  • Of Mice and Men – another encore showing of the the NT Live show.
  • Spectre – I really like Daniel Craig as James Bond and liked this. Skyfall is still my favourite though!
  • Mockingjay Part 2 – I liked this, but preferred the book as several aspects came across much better when reading from the characters point of view.

December is also a busy month with lots of catching up with friends and christmas celebrations throughout the month.

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