I finally made good on my promise to the children and took them on the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour.
We’ve been waiting for quite a while to go (it’s not exactly cheap). But then it occurred to me that the oldest would soon be too old to care (or he probably would care but it wouldn’t be cool to show it), the middle one would imitate his attitude and the youngest one would drive me completely bonkers by going on about it all the time.
I’d also been putting it off as, quite frankly, I didn’t want to go.
I don’t mind the books, but the films weren’t ever my cup of Butterbeer – too long and not as exotic as my imagination.
But hey ho, a promise to go is a promise to go.
So with tickets duly booked and car tyres pumped to rival the smoothness of a broomstick ride, off we went.
Watford, it turns out, isn’t really that far away. A mere hour-and-a-bit in Sunday morning traffic.
Which is just as well because even though we’d roped in a niece on the adventure to listen to the youngest and her relentless HP trivia, then stuck them both in the very back seat and revved up the CD (Pitch Perfect soundtrack – now there’s a film-and-a-half) we could all still hear them.
On and on and on. Books, films, merchandise. Questions like had the rest of the car participants watched the endless HP Studio Tour Haul videos on YouTube?
I had, as it happened, survived an incredibly dull five minutes of two teenage girls convincing one another that the price of a chocolate frog – £8 – was reasonable. But I wasn’t about to admit that as I would then have had to talk about it instead of acapella-ing along to the ’80s music medley.
The tour itself – we got there two hours early – was indecently excellent. But it was a shame about all the children that were there, under our feet and in the way of the displays, taking photographs willy-nilly and generally getting over-excited.
Being able to walk through the great hall and up Diagon Alley were my personal highpoints. Reluctantly, I have to admit it’s all well worth a visit even if you don’t go the whole Hogsmeade on HP.