I love fandoms. I have friends who don't get it at all, have never given into that geeky urge. But I've always been that way inclined. I've gone through a few big ones in my life - the X-Files (before I even had the internet - I had to content myself with cutting photos out of the Radio Times), Buffy (which is and always will be my favourite TV show in the world) and Harry Potter.
The lovely thing about fandoms is how inclusive they are, and what the internet does a bang up job of is assuring you that you're not alone. Unlike some of my younger blogger friends, I didn't discover Harry Potter until I was 18, taking a year out before university and bored out of my mind in a thankless admin job. I devoured the first four books in about two weeks, and then started googling to find out when the fifth one was due. And, shortly after reading a phenomenally bad piece of fanfiction in which it was revealed that Voldemort was Harry's mother and also a mermaid, I stumbled upon the WB message board, which was home to some of the most awesome people I have ever met.
Gradually, it's becoming more acceptable to have friends from the internet, but I still feel like the average, non-internetty person would think it was more normal to do online dating than create an online friendship. But many of my closest friends are from the internet - not just my fellow bloggers (although I would completely count them) but my fandom friends. The girls I went to Italy with last year? I met on a Buffy board. My friends, Nic and Ali, who I always visit cool old houses in Derbyshire with? On that there Harry Potter board I just mentioned.
Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour was always going to be a must-do as soon as I heard it was opening. For a start, Leavesden is a 10 minute drive from my house - but also because of what those books and their fans mean to me. And of course I had to go with Nic and Ali. So, armed with my fellow Harry Potter nerds and a camera with a full battery and an empty 8GB memory card, off I went.
If you're at all interested in going, you've probably been by now, so I won't go on and on about how much I loved it. I did, though - I loved seeing all the detail that went into the sets and props, and brilliantly, we were given total freedom to browse for as long as we wanted and take as many photographs as we could. Although it was busy, it was never crowded. It's also huge! If you've been pondering it, do go - it's about £30 a ticket and it was completely worth it. The gift shop is epic and there's even the opportunity to try Butterbeer! You can even pose for a photo outside of No.4 Privet Drive - well, you've got to, haven't you?
I must admit to having a lump in my throat when we entered the final room to see a spectacular scale model of Hogwarts. There's no such thing as 'just a book', you know.
Dress - Mela Loves London
Coat & Tights - Primark
Shoes - Office
Roxy Shopper bag c/o Spartoo