Half an hour later, Harry, who couldn’t believe his luck, was sitting in the back of the Dursley’s car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in his life. His aunt and uncle hadn’t been able to think of anything else to do with him, but before they’d left, Uncle Vernon had taken Harry aside.
“I’m warning you,” he said, putting his large purple face right up close to Harry’s, “I’m warning you now, boy – any funny business, any at all – and you’ll be in that cupboard from now until Christmas.”
“I’m not going to do anything,” said Harry, “honestly…”
But Uncle Vernon didn’t believe him. No one ever did…
Hi again! Yup, still here keeping it magical. I took a bit of a hiatus mostly due to work but also I’ve been on a different sort of adventure and I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to put it in here as it had little to nothing to do with the Magical World of Harry Potter.
This is not to say that it wasn’t magical, it was/is and I had given thought of starting a new page or giving this space a new angle but I still haven’t decided yet. I feel like I have one foot in one world in my head and my other foot in another. Its rather confusing for me as I’m sort of like a J.M. Barrie fairy.
Anyways, just to catch up: Way back, a long time ago I had been dreaming up things to do with my kids during the month of March. While I can appreciate my own memories about St. Patrick’s Day growing up, I wanted to do something different, something more cultural I guess. I was dragging my feet about it this past year as usual, I feel this had a lot to do with being so invested in British cooking, history and culture over the past few years that I had trouble finding my emotional core for the project. Anyway, I found it in the most unlikely and yet obvious place and it has been so much fun I wish I had shared it with you. I started at Lent, working out of a cookbook by Darina Allen:
I had discovered her back when I was pregnant and refound the book at my local library (It is now mine, as I bought a copy, and holds a place of great reverence on my cooking shelf). I was also doing a “traditional” lent so I had to modify quite a bit to not use eggs, milk, butter, meat or alcohol. I traded my Earl Grey for various brands of Irish Breakfast (my favorite thus far being Bewley’s Dublin Morning Tea) and embraced the music of my youth (We had this cassette tape labeled Irish Drinking Music that my grandfather had made featuring groups like The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, Dubliners etc. etc. This as well as the Beatles, Kinks and Beach Boys will always remind me of driving with my father) I also picked up some new literature and lost my heart to James Joyce’s Dubliners. I have every intention of reading Ulysses (started it a couple times) but it might have to wait for the snow as it is the warm season and I feel a little more then obligation to get us outside. On a personal note I gave Connemara perfume a try and nearly cried when I put it on for the first time to realise it held a scent memory for me of my paternal grandmother.
In my kids room and at home with Baby Bat I took on the task of bringing them Irish language, literature and music. I memorized a song a week in Irish Gaelic and instituted some simple Irish vocabulary. For Baby Bat I found a couple books on Irish legends at the library and bought a couple children’s books off Amazon.
It was a great time and one of the best finds I had was a language app called Mango Languages. I love it! I can do a section anytime I want, there is repetition and a good deal of pronunciation help as well as some cultural notes.
So, thanks for sitting through my catch up. Now for the main focus of this post.
Today we celebrated/reenacted the birthday of Dudley Dursley and the start of the Harry Potter series (yes, I skipped the first chapter. This seemed to create more flow as the events from here on out all happen within a year. So that’s my plan)
To be perfectly candid this wasn’t the best morning for me as I seem to have caught some version of death and was up half the night with a wretched cough. We also we’re forecasted with an 85% chance of rain and it was very wet and grey out when we woke up. Nevertheless we got up and made eggs, bacon and toast as described in the books but without the Dursley drama. This is regular weekend fare for us and I considered pulling out a Full English Breakfast but I had neither the energy or the baked beans.
Unlike the books we had Baby Bat’s piano lesson to go to before really starting the adventure. That’s another thing that started in the early spring and we are so excited because she also just got potty trained so that means we can start dance class soon too!
We really lucked out with the weather as it drizzled on the way there and we had nothing but grey sky while we were at the zoo.
I’ve never been to this zoo during anything but summer so I wonder if it is more attended or if the animals are more active other times of the year. Our first stop was a reptile house (apparently there are 2?). and we luckily met this guy from Brazil (“thankssss amigo!”)…we did not set him free but Baby Bat might have spoke some parseltongue to it.
Our next stop was the concession stand for ice lollies. There were no plain lemon but we enjoyed these before heading out to see the rest of the park:
I’m not sure what the zoo in London has by way of food but in Rochester there is mostly hots options. So in the effort to emulate the book we left the zoo for Friendlys and ice cream sundaes on a par with a knickerbocker glory.
It was a good albeit anti-climactic day, owing to my lack of sleep the night before. We ended the day workshoping wand making for a new work project I’m starting this week. I’m going to be going into other classrooms and doing magical arts and crafts with the kids! This upcoming week we’ll be doing wand making and potions. It was good we went over this now as I have a lot experience with potions but not so much wand making experience and noticed some hiccups that we might have hit.
Now hopefully off to sleep while we watch The Sword in the Stone and hope my robitussin kicks in. Have a good week and stay magical!