“I Don’t Get Out Much”

Someone asked me recently why I haven’t been blogging as often as I had previously. The reason is simply that at the moment every day looks pretty much like every other and there’s not much to say.

However, the end of the second lock down in the UK neatly coincided with my wife’s retirement. Normal couples would have celebrated this momentous event with a party getting family and friends together. I don’t think that even were it possible to do so would we have chosen to go this route. Instead we went to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour at Watford. For the fourth time I think.

I still don’t understand why they insist on calling it the Warner Bros. Studio Tour when the only thing there that you can see is the Making of Harry Potter exhibition – there is no element of a studio tour at all.

That aside I still think that it is perfect in every way and, since our last visit, they have extended it again to include Gringotts Bank. This includes the banking hall where the tellers sit which was exactly the same as you go through before the Gringotts ride in Florida (clearly they were on some two for one deal) and, well, no spoilers, if you want to see take a look at the video below.

Anyway, the whole point of this post was not supposed to be about the awesomeness of the Harry Potter exhibition but visiting during a global pandemic.

We haven’t been out much at all over the last nine months and so to go somewhere different really felt like a treat. It came, though, with both positives and negatives.

You had, of course, to wear a mask all round the exhibition. To be honest I have so got used to doing so that it is no great shakes any more and, of course, helps protect me and others which I am more than happy with.

The upside was that compared to previous visits it was very, very quite. In fact it was so quiet that I was able to get pictures in a number of places and especially Diagon Alley with nobody in front of me at all. This was extraordinary and most welcome.

There was a one way system as you exited via the gift shop making the pandemic a marketers dream as you were obliged to go past every single item whereas previously you could have quickly exited stage left. One point on the gift shop was we were prepared to buy some overpriced items for Christmas presents and decided socks would be great except there were no sizes printed on them and nobody could tell us what sized foot they would fit. Sorry family, no Harry Potter socks for you!

Everyone has had to adapt this year and that has meant we have been staying home much more so to escape to a fantasy land was actually just what we needed.