Misfits Mid-Life Crisis Adventures in East and South West London, Hertfordshire (inc Leavesden) and Surrey (The NEXT Chapter).
Week 275 Saturday 21st until Friday 27thSeptember 2019.
Many years ago, i went to Euro Disney. One thing I really had no Interest in were the costumed characters around the park. That changed when I saw a six-foot mouse! Yes I had spotted Mickey walking towards me. My friend likes to say that I gave her all the bags and rushed away like a five year old. The magic of the park gripped me, I loved it.
“Tea and Dragons”.
This week I felt the same excitement all over again when I visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Hertfordshire with MOZ and RAC. I need to get this off my chest now! Everything about the place is expensive. There were no shortage of people walking around taking pictures, eating and drinking in the restaurant (I did enjoy a goblet of “butterbeer”) or buying merch. Surely even more “Potterheads” would visit if the entry price was cheaper. I’m sure that the vaults of Gringotts would continue to fill with riches just as quickly. But what do I know! I’m a call centre monkey and not a participant in the new series of “The Apprentice”?
“Fancy a Butterbeer at home”.
Part of the excitement is that Leavesden is where the films were made. The other reason I was like an overactive child high on E-numbers was because of all the props and sets are the ones seen on screen. Standing within Dumbledore’s office I couldn’t help but knock on a huge stone column which of course was made of wood. It doesn’t matter if it’s a blockbuster about a boy wizard or a small TV sitcom or cheap chat show; i get so much of a thrill from being near or on a set (one reason I am still single).
“Could this be the new Wallace and Grommit”.
The sets are as expected beautiful, the detail is amazing most of which would never register on screen on its own. But together the jigsaw of objects scattered around helps make the environment appear real. Unlike most visitors I got more of a kick from seeing the off-screen sections such of bare wood, scaffolding, polystyrene, resins whatever was used to fabricate it. The behind the scenes of a studio or programme has fascinated me since I was small because of watching programmes like “Blue Peter”. When I worked at the BBC i spent so much time roaming around the scenic store and the ring road where dismantled sections of well know sets were stored just looking at them. Throughout the fun of the day, there was a little sadness. I hope that in a parallel universe there is a version of me still working in the TV and film and having a great time enjoying the magic behind the camera.
“I love the look of wood”.
As with employees of Disneyland everyone who worked at Leavesden really did appear to love their job. They talked so enthusiastically about the subject to anyone that would listen. Yes, I know there being paid, but you can’t hide and fake that enthusiasm. Disneyland Paris might have fairy dust constantly falling to the ground. But these two soundstages in Hertfordshire really are full of magic, silver screen magic! Don’t worry muggles with all levels of knowledge of the “Potterverse” are welcome. Just make sure you have a wheelbarrows full of “Broze Knuts”, “Silver Sickles” or “Golden Galleons” to spend.
“Beautiful sets! I said Set”.
And Now For Something Completely Different……
“Members of the Blakey cosplay society”.
Most weeks i visit my sister in Surrey, which involves buying an extension ticket. Normally I just rock up to the booking office say what I want and leave a few minutes later. This week was different! The smiley member of staff wanted to know if I had a valid pass to the zone boundary, then actually checked my Oyster card. They wanted to know what time I was returning the next morning, even though I said it would be early so I know I wouldn’t be applicable for a reduction. I then had to spell the station name i was travelling to.
“With these riches, i could buy the train”.
After 22 months of buying the same ticket, having to spend a little extra time when I am in a hurry (yes, to get to the hell that is work. But more importantly I wanted to visit the coffee shop and see if the pretty redhead barista was on duty) was frustrating. For all I know what happened this week is what should happen each week! Maybe that member of staff who I didn’t recognise was new and training, or they like to do things by the book. It will be interesting to see what happens next week.
“Wigs and bits”.
I had to laugh when MOZ said there’s a couple of poos on her ring. She was talking about the Hamster who has left a couple of tiny droppings on her fave nut ring. Just the mention of Poo and ring got me laughing.
“Are these better than lightsabers?”.
Overheard Two Harry Potter cosplayers in the Studio Tour shop. “Harry’s really has some weight to his”! While the other was impressed at the size of Ron’s! They were talking about magic wands.
“Watching this while i should have been writing this shiz”.
My Mid Life Crisis Conts……
This week I have mainly been watching:
“Better Than Us”, (S1, ep 6). “Blakes 7”, (S1, ep 1). “Carnival Row”, (S1, ep 5). “Click”, (21/09/19). “Coca Cola Vs Pepsi: Cola Wars”, (23/09/19). “Criminal (UK)”, (S1, ep 1 to ep 3). “Criminal (France)”, (S1, ep 1 to ep 3). “Dexter”, (S4, ep 7 & ep 12)(S5, ep 1 to ep 8). “Disenchantment”, (S2, ep 1 & ep 2). “Fear The Walking Dead”, (S5, ep 15). “Final Space”, (S2, ep 13). “Japan With Sue Perkins”, (S1, ep 2, TX: 24/09/19). “Lucy And D.i.C”, (S1, ep 8). “McDonalds Vs Burger King: Burger Wars”, (TX: 17/09/19). “Marianne”, (S1, ep 2). “Pandora”, (S1, ep 11). “State Of The Union”, (S1, ep 5 & ep 10). “Stath Lets Flats”, (S2, ep 6). “The Apprentice: Meet The Candidates”, (S15, TX: 24/09/19). “The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance”, (S1, ep 10). “The Great British Bake Off”, (S3 (S10), ep 5, TX: 24/09/19). “The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice”, (S3 (S6), ep 4, TX: 27/09/19). “The Great Model Railway Challenge”, (S2, ep 2, 20/09/19)(ep 3, TX: 27/09/19). “The Mash Report”, (S3, ep 4, TX: 26/09/19). “Top Of The Pops”, (TX: 09/06/88)(TX: 16/06/88).
This week I have mainly been listening to:
“30 Animals That Made Us Smarter (BBC World Service)”, (S1, ep 27, 23/09/19). “Apollo 11 Legacies (WHNT19 News Podcast)”, (ep 7 to 9, 03/07/19) (ep 10, 17/076/19). “Brian And Roger”, (S3, ep 4, 25/09)(ep 5, 27/09/19). “Griefcast”, (ep 97, 25/09/19). “Iain Lee (Bonus)”, (26/09/19). “Iain Lee (Highlights)”, (20/09, 23/09, 26/09/19). “In Poor Taste”, (ep 108, 24/09/19). “LBC Podcast: Nick Abbot (Whole Show)”, (21/09, 27/09/19). “NASA: Houston We Have A Podcast”, (ep 111, 27/09/19). “Rule Of Three”, (LIVE ep, 26/09/19). “Space Boffins Podcast: The Naked Scientist”, (10/01/15) (10/02/15) (10/03/15) (16/04/15) (10/05/15) (10/06/15) (13/07/15) (12/08/15) (10/09/15) (10/10/15) (10/11/15) (10/01/17). “Space Rocket History Archive”, (ep 18 & 19, 15/10/17). “Soundtracking With Edith Bowman”, (ep 160, 21/09/19). “Strange Times”, (ep 317, 24/09/19). “The All New Angelos And Barry Podcast”, (27/09/19). “The Nick Abbot Habit”, (16/09/19). “Morrissey”, “Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds”, “Manic Street Preachers”, “Ash”, Pj Harvey”, “Voice Of The Beehive”, The Timelords”, “Erasure”, David Guetta ft SIA”, Lana Del Ray”, “Elbow”, “Shed Seven”, “Pink Floyd”, “Pulp”, “Journey”, “Liam Gallagher”, “Snow Patrol”, “David Bowie”, Pet Shop Boys”.