Sunday 12 April 2020

Piggy banks, sticks and Hogwarts Castle

I'm on page 120 - it's been a busy few pages! Hagrid - The Keeper of the keys, has freed Harry from the Dursleys, whisked him off to London,  made a withdrawal from Harry's piggy bank - Gringotts of Diagon Alley, and kitted Harry out for Hogwarts - with robes, parchment, quills, books and everything else a student wizard needs for his first term.  Including the wand (which apparently chose Harry).  Hagrid also bought Harry a birthday gift - Hedwig - his owl - I always wondered where Hedwig came from - and now I know!

The wand shop was the first time in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that I found myself questioning the facts.   Bearing in mind that by this time I have accepted without question that wizards are commonplace, owls deliver letters, boats can be propelled with nothing more than the tap of a pink umbrella, entrances open up from a couple of bricks to a Hagrid size portal, and then close again behind you and goblins guard a bank several hundred feet beneath London.   

The section in Mr Ollivander's wand emporium snapped me right out of the story with a 'That's not right!' kind of thought.  

Here's the phrase that did it  

"Your father, on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand.  Eleven inches. Pliable

Mahogany is a fine hardwood, but one thing it isn't is pliable. But I can't keep falling out of the story whenever I find something I think is factually wrong - we're in a wizarding world here, and I need to maintain the suspension of disbelief.

After all - If I pick holes in Harry Potter books based on the physical properties of materials, I might as well complain about the dragon heartstrings and phoenix feathers as well - in which case we won't have much of a story left.  

I've therefore decided that this must be 'wizards special wand making mahogany' - with characteristics not found in ordinary 'muggle mahogany' 

What's brown and sticky?       A stick!
So I'm good with Harry Potter, and from now on - anything which contradicts what I already know from 60 years as a muggle will be considered to be special wizarding world stuff with magical properties, and I'll just carry on reading. 

The trip to Hogwarts from Platform Nine and Three Quarters, introduced the Weasley's, Hermione Granger and identified the pale snooty boy from the robe shop as Draco Malfoy - we're now out of the boat under Hogwarts ready to enter the huge oak front door.  

I can't wait to see what happens next!



  1. Amazing �� I'm the same age as your daughter, and I've been a major fan of this book series right from the release of the first book. To see a person who is the same age as my parents give this book series a try is absolutely wonderful! Open minded, suits you ��

  2. Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. Hope you enjoy the rest of book one.

  3. Have fun. I'm a bit jealous to be honest. Wish I could read it for the first time.
    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  4. I'm glad to see others in my generation enjoying Harry Potter! I read it when my son (32) was around 11, as the books hit America. I think more "mature" people should give it a try. IT IS AN AMAZI G WORLD TO BE A PART OF!

  5. I'm currently re-reading the books (or more like listening to them while drawing) and for tonight I stopped at the same pages as you ! Let's do this together ! Haha

    Like your daughter i have finally convinced my father to read the books a few years ago. At first he was reluctant because he thought that it was "a book filled with witchcraft and evil stuff" (old fashioned Christian) but i convinced him to give it a try and he read them so fast and loved them! No evil stuff anymore (quite the opposite really)

    So please, read them with an open mind and you'll see as you go on that it's not just children's books ! :) And I can assure you that it will tighten the relationship you have with your daughter as it did with my father and I !
    Sorry for the long comment, I'll end it just by saying this :
    Welcome to our world ! Hope you'll feel at home ;)

  6. This is so fun!! I’m strangely somewhat jealous that you are experiencing this all for the first time, but it’s crazy satisfying to read your thoughts along the way. You’re daughter is a delight to watch on YT and she obviously gets some of that personality from you! Thanks for the laughs, and stirring up all these old feelings from these wonderful books. Enjoy the ride!!!

  7. Oh so glad you are enjoying them I have decided to read the whole series again enjoy reading them you have some amazing characters to meet and I can't wait to hear your thoughts on them.

  8. I encountered a girl while playing the Hogwarts Mystery app whose family owns a tree farm where they use the wood to make wands... Maybe it is, indeed, a mahogany for wands only!

  9. Hello!

    Avid Harry Potter fan here and I thought I’d explain the whole “pliable” wand thing since you seem like you’d appreciate an explanation.

    Wands have... personalities, if you will, and can range from being very flexible to unyielding. What this is describing isn’t the physical attributes of the wand but the degree of willingness the wand holds to adapt and change to situations (often speaking of the wielder’s own capability but not always). For example, McGonagall’s wand is described as stiff and she herself is quite strict, while Hagrid’s is described as being rather bendy.

    Hope this helps! And I wish you well on your journey into the Wizarding world!

  10. Lmao! This is the cutest thing ever!

  11. And now I've learned that mahogany isn't naturally pliable, thank you to you! 😂 And I'm wondering why you call Gringotts the "piggy" bank? Is it because of Goblins?
    I'm sure I'll enjoy your post very much! Keep up the good work! :D


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