Friday, 29 July 2011
I've been meaning to write this post for a while but it's taken some time for me to be anything even remotely coherent about it all. I'm still not sure I am, so I apologise now if I come across as a gibbering wreck of a fangirl.
I think every now and then you experience something that will change you forever. For me, one of those experiences was Thursday July 7th 2011 when I went to the premiere of the final Harry Potter film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part2.
As a Harry Potter fan this was a dream come true and I can't begin to tell you what an amazing and surreal experience it was. From the moment I got out of the blacked out Mercedes at Trafalgar Square to be knocked backwards by the force of the thousands of screaming fans, I was totally and utterly overwhelmed; I was literally shaking from the adrenalin. From Maggie Smith(!!!) smiling at Ian and I with an "isn't this mad" to being feet away from Ralph Fiennes as we walked the red carpet to chatting with Robbie Coltrane in the bar the whole experience was just totally surreal.
We also went to the after party which was equally surreal and bucketloads of fun: Warner Bros can certainly put on a party! We're not just talking canapes and champagne either, although both of those were avaialable in abundance. We're talking every cocktail you can think of; hog roasts on the terrace overlooking Tower Bridge; stew and mash; a huge BBQ; a chocolate fountain; a sweet shop and a candy floss stand. And live music. Wow. Talk about unforgettable. I met Nat Tena who made me laugh til I could hardly breath and then I danced to her band
(people everywhere, you need to check out the work of Molotov Jukebox because they are amazing: http://www.myspace.com/molotovjukebox )
I chatted with James and Oliver Phelps and Jason Isaacs, I got an albeit very blurry photo with Rupert Grint and I almost died when Darren Criss danced past me - I chatted with him too.
Have some exciting photos (and please excuse my deranged look. ha):
However, more than all of that was the film, which was quite simply: stunning. It went so far beyond my expectations that I could barely see them. I was an emotional wreck from the start: we watched Dan, Emma, Rupert and Jo's speeches before the film started and I was a mess from there and then at various points through the film the audience just clapped and every time that happened I got a lump in my throat because it just hit me that the people I was sat in the cinema with, this was their film and they loved it and I loved it and this was it. The end. & what a fabulous end it was: somebeody somewhere ought to give Alan Rickman an award for this as he made the film his own. From his very first scene he was outstanding and he almost broke my heart. I cried from The Prince's Tale (the added scene with Snape finding Liy's body slayed me) to the end of the film and was emotionally drained for days afterwards.
The scene with Dumbledore at Kings Cross was amazing and the Resurrection Stone scene was just spot on. It was beautiful, so so beautiful (and so good to see Sirius again.)
Neville was amazing, Molly's 'not my daughter you BITCH' was phenomonal, the Ron/Hermione kiss was beautiful and I loved how that happened in the Chamber, Maggie Smith was fabulous beyond words and I can't not mention the Malfoy's because Lucius and Draco were spot on with their 'we're not sure we want to be bad anymore but we're REALLY scared of Voldemort...'
Speaking odf Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes as ever did the most amazing job. I even liked the epilogue which had me rolling my eyes when I read it.
It was just outstanding and the perfect ending to a series that owns the hearts of so many people. I feel privileged to have been a part of it and it will take a lot of beating. Thank you Mark and Emma Williams for taking me with you. You made my life.
I did it. I bought a Kindle.....and I love it.
I actually really properly love it. This has surprised me actually, as I honestly never expected too. Even when I’d ordered it and was waiting for it to arrive there was a level of apprehension mixed in with the excitement; I couldn't help wondering if I'd just made a very expensive mistake. And then it arrived, and I opened the box and looked it lying there. I picked it up for the first time and realised how nicely it fitted into my hand; how nice it felt. I switched it on and I set it up and I downloaded my first book and I sat and I read it and I realised I had just fallen in love.
People have asked my why I needed a Kindle: ‘you’re a book girl. What are you doing?’ I know, I know and believe me I tortured myself about that fact for a good long while. I spent a lot of time feeling like I was betraying my (full to bursting) bookshelves, going against everything I believed in. The thing is, I don't not love books now just because I have a Kindle. If anything I appreciate them more. I will never ever not buy books, not love books, not wander into my attic just to look at my books. It's not an either or; nothing has been forsaken.
Or, ‘you have an iPad, why not just get the Kindle app?” The iPad is not an e-reader. The interface is entirely different. The e-reader function on an iPad is gimmicky: reading on an iPad you’re never just reading. You’re always aware that you’re reading on something that is not a book and you’re tempted to check your emails or try the next level of Angry Birds and the screen is bright and as neat as the page turning function is (and believe me I had SUCH fun turning pages when I first got my iPad), it takes more effort than I want to make when I am lost in a book and it's too big. The Kindle is invisible. Not actually invisible, obviously, we’re not at Hogwarts now (more’s the pity) but totally unobtrusive; it’s simple; it does what it says on the box, nothing more and nothing less; it’s focussed solely and completely on the reading experience and not on little quirks that make it cool. With the Kindle there is just you and the words. It weighs next to nothing; the screen is amazing; you can read the biggest book in the world and never get arm ache (I am often put off from reading massive books because I read mostly in bed and my arms get tired sometimes just holding a paperback) and I can have books on my Kindle within 60 seconds. That’s from shop to shelf in a MINUTE people. I can carry it around in my bag and read it on the train and the spine never gets bent and the page corners never get tatty. I just read 5 books on holiday and they took up no space at all in my case & something in me gets a kick out of being able to say that I’m 58% of the way through Wuthering Heights. I like that much more than page numbers. My Kindle has become my new best friend.
That’s not to say it’s perfect – what friend is, after all? It’s not as tactile as a book. I could never replace books entirely. The very thought makes me feel a little queasy. If I had no books then I’d miss the smell and the feel and the sound. I get a lot of pleasure out of books as objects and sitting in my attic surrounded by my books instantly makes me feel more relaxed. I like to look at them on my shelves; I like to pick them up and touch them and breathe them in; I like how pretty they look with their individual covers. You lose all of that on the Kindle. If I lived in a Kindle only world I would be a very sad girl. A world with no book covers would be like a world with no light. In fact, if I could change anything about the Kindle it would be that when I put it on standby the portrait of famous literary figures would be replaced by the cover of the book I was reading. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Every cloud has a silver lining though: with no book covers my guilty pleasures can remain secret. Nobody ever needs to know that I sat on the train the other week reading an LJ Smith ‘Vampire Diaries’ book because like a best friend should, the Kindle keeps my secrets for me.
Since buying my Kindle, I have the best of both worlds and it suits me just fine.
The Boy In The Striped Pyjama’s.
I’d almost go so far as to say I found this book offensive. Complete and utter drivel. I honestly, hand on heart wish I’d never read it. (I do want to see the adaptation though, purely for David Thewlis!)