I LOVE snow! And it was extra lovely to have a little sprinkling here in London over the weekend, it frames today's little Christmas adventure quite beautifully. At the end of November, we took our Guide unit away for a weekend of pure Harry Potter magic. We sorted them into houses, had wands and made Bowtruckles, we played quidditch and hunted golden snitches, and there was a whole series of shrieks when Aragog made his appearance in the bathroom at night.
The highlight, however, was a trip to the Harry Potter studio to see all the magic behind the movies. The girls were pretty excited to go and we piled onto a little coach, wands at the ready, bags filled with snacks (because every Guiding trip needs all the snacks) and big grins.
The studio really is fascinating; there's a huge amount of detail to see in the props, sets and costumes and we poured over it. Or at least, the girls did while as leaders, we had half an eye on the displays and the other half trained on the Guides them trying to keep them roughly together in a group. I like to think of this as McGonagall style.
Our game of quidditch out on the frosty fields that morning involved significantly fewer tactics. But just as many cloaks, so I think it counts.
We enjoyed wandering through the Great hall, seeing it all decked out for Christmas with the tree and stage ready for the Yule Ball musicians. In fact, the girls made the most of each opportunity: they had broomstick summoning lessons, wand lessons, duelling classes and I caught some of them bowing very correctly to Buckbeak.
Heading into the Forbidden Forest caused a real stir, especially with our young leader who is both addicted to all things Harry Potter, and terrified of spiders. I know because I had to go and turf one out of their room. So while she refused to give up on the opportunity to shuffle through the lingering smoke-machine effects and enter the spidery section of the forest, she induced quite the cacophony of squeals among the Guides.
Actually, I'm creeped out by spiders too, but I don't tell the girls that.
Still waiting for my letter. I am going to ACE arithmancy. You'll see.
Although I refuse point blank to read this.
Seeing the paper models and constructions was one of my favourite parts. Which I suppose is a given as a fan of papercrafts. Imagine if this was your job: how wonderful to spend days putting together perfect miniatures in cardboard.
The finale was seeing the giant model of Hogwarts, complete with grounds and dusted with snow for Christmas. It really is magical and we were all a bit dazzled by the sheer detail and scale of it. It's just beautiful, and the lights change gradually as you watch so you can see Hogwarts in the glow of the moon, and by the light of day. Sprinkling it all in snow was the icing on the cake.
This was my second visit to the studio and it will not be last. I highly recommend a trip to visit the wonders of Harry Potter and I can't wait to go again!
P.S. This post is part of a series I'm writing throughout December in response to Shimelle's scrapbooking class, Journal Your Christmas. By blogging each day, I hope to savour each and every lovely moment of the most wonderful time of the year, and have some great memories to look back on.