Saturday, 10 September 2011


I have a pair of mad keen Harry Potter fans here. They call themselves Hermione and Ginny, or sometimes Luna. They have pinched our old college gowns (in Oxford you have to wear black gowns to take exams and on various other formal occasions so every student has one) and pair them with school uniform even on non school days. They have watched the first three films over and over; those from Goblet of Fire onwards are far too visually intense for them yet. They have lain on my bed for hours and hours listening to me reading to them; we're currently halfway through the Half Blood Prince. They are each rereading the earlier books - Tall Small is reading about 3 of them at once!

So when I asked them what they'd like to do over the summer, the top request was for Harry Potter day. Ah, OK. What does that involve then?

Well, first of all you need to find your Hogwarts uniform:

Then you need a wand, complete with a treasure for its magical core - one had a special fluffy feather, the other had a piece of wool from the mane of a very well loved unicorn.

(Instructions for wand making are here, though you really don't need them)

You need a Sorting Hat (though in this house we all ended up in Gryffindor, of course):

Not my proudest crafting moment but it did the job - until I sat on it.

For the first night feast you need to eat special magic biscuits decorated with appropriate symbols:

and you need to drink butterbeer - an alarming combination of cream soda and Nigella's butterscotch sauce which tasted far more delicious than it had any right to do.

Then, and only then, can you sit down and watch one of the films, for the fiftieth time. And if you're really lucky, you get to do it all over again the next day!