Wednesdays at Ross and Ross Food are usually horrible. We all hate Wednesdays: it’s the day of vac-packing, labelling and boxing up hundreds of little terrine slices. Every time I enter the kitchen, Ross W’s face is slightly darker, until by about mid afternoon I am afraid to make eye contact and only speak to him for life and death matters (oh how I wish I was joking).
HOWEVER. Last Wednesday was much better! For me, anyway. I left behind these hilariously dull tasks to be whisked away on a magical day off to… the Harry Potter Studio Tour! I realise this is not the stuff of regular Ross and Ross blogs but bear with me, dear readers. I will try to explain everything in muggle terms for all you non-Potterheads.
As a massive fan of anything Potter-related, I was totally in my happy place. We arrived early, so we had ample time to explore the largest gift shop/ actual treasure trove I have ever seen. Quite simply it was fantastic. They had everything! Hogwarts robes for every house, including the quidditch varieties, quidditch balls, wands, mugs, soft toys of every mystical animal in the films (including my personal favourite, Fang, Hagrid’s dog) and so much more. They even had a fully stocked Honeydukes (the wizarding sweet shop in Diagon Alley), from which I walked away with a box of fudge flies, a chocolate wand, a chocolate frog (complete with wizard card) and a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.
As we were going through the exhibition, it became clear exactly how much effort and expense had gone into these films: nothing was too much effort or expense. They spent a year working on things that would appear for as little as two seconds in the films. For the quidditch world cup in film 4 (the Tri-wizard tournament), they made hundreds of handwritten programmes, complete with stories, biographies of players and adverts for wizarding shops. Part of the exhibition included all the amazingly detailed drawings they did of the sets, and props like the basilisk and Aragog, the acromantula. Halfway round, I had a mug of butterbeer which turned out to be just as magical as if Madam Rosmerta had poured it for me herself inside the three broomsticks. To top the tour off, we exited through a room that housed the incredible, 8m high model of Hogwarts and the grounds, which they used to film all the long shots of the castle, including ones where Potter and his band of miscreants were flying around it trying to get away from dragons and dementors, etc.
In all, it was a fabulous day off work, only made better by the knowledge that my esteemed colleagues were having absolutely no fun without me. Send me your stories of your best, most exciting days off and I’ll publish the best ones!