Friday, July 8, 2011

End of the octology

What a big day: the last event in the Harry Potter section of our lives, that's given us so much shared fun and excitement over the last 14 years. It was the premiere of the final movie, held in Trafalgar Square because the usual Leicester Square wasn't going to be big enough. Trouble is, Trafalgar wasn't big enough either, with so many eager fans camping out for days that the 8,000 coveted red wristbands for admittance to the central area soon ran out, and thousands of people were shut out into the wasteland of the footpaths around the outside, to be barked at by stressed policemen.

Rather unkindly, the barriers were solid and high, leaving us wishing we had drills - "Or a wand!" one girl said longingly - and reduced to poking our cameras over the top, hoping to catch a snap of the stars or JK herself on the stage in front of the big screen. We were all herded and bossed by the police, and most of us saw very little, our only excitement coming from the roars and screams of the crowds squeezed on the steps of St Martin's as they caught sight of a new star coming forward for an interview. But it was still fun and exciting, and it was such a good-natured crowd, from little kids in cloaks and round glasses, through the 20 year-old Harry generation with their risque posters ("I'd get sleazy for Ron Weasley"), all the way up to people like me who ought to be beyond it, but were loving every moment.

It was a major production, getting there from Gloucestershire, and battling through the traffic and crush of people, and we saw practically nothing of the celebrities - but it was an event that meant a lot to us, and we were glad to be there.

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