"It is our choices, Harry, that show
what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
Albus Dumbledore
Headmaster, Hogwarts

Well we couldn't resisit it could we! Everybody is on the band wagon, with simply dozens of Harry Potter websites springing up overnight. One of them being Hocus Pocus, and we must give credit to Edward Juan (thank you Edward!) for the illustrations (aren't they something?) you will find his link at the bottom of the page, where you will find all sorts of interesting Harry Potter trivia!

And so we just had to be in it too....besides it gives us an opportunity to tell you (as if you don't already know) how marvellous Joanne Rowling and her books are. If you want a lift, and who doesn't, or an escape from reality - (and ditto again to that) these are the books for you. Look out Children - Adults here we come. As with so many children's books one sometimes wonders if a lot of the emblishments are lost on them - (can we hear them say "rhubarb, rhubarb" to that?) - Or maybe some of us have never grown up really - and these books help to bring that point out! Who knows.

There is also a marvellous sense of the ridiculous in parts which conjures up the scenes so vividly you just can't help having a fit of laughter/giggles! (depending who you are!) And you find yourself saying "Well that sounds logical - why didn't I think of that" Its incredible how Joanne Rowling manages to come up with so many brilliant ideas - we really envy her talent - and she must completely lose herself in her writing. As spoken about previously - here is someone who is following her vision or dream, and its a delight to see.

There are so many parts from the books - like the "flue powder," "sending an owl,"
"Platform 9 ¾'s," receiving "a howler," the portraits whose images go wandering off!
Oh! its a delight! The game "Quidditch", and the "golden snitch" and the "Nimbus Two Thousand Broomstick"- and of course "the sorting hat" (above) - it goes on and on. Its definitely going to be one of those "cult" things.....the vocabulary, everyday things that they do....its another world!!!!!!!!

Anyway, to whet your appetite we thought we would tell you about the part when Harry went to the Zoo with his Aunt and Uncle and cousin Dudley....now its in our words, so it won't be exact, but it will give you an idea of the sort of thing that goes on in the books.

This is towards the beginning when Harry was 10 years old and still living with his Aunt and Uncle and didn't know anything about his magical powers or past. He was just an ordinary boy being tolerated by his relatives (just) - Anyway, it was Dudleys birthday treat to go to the Zoo, and Harry was dragged along too.

Dudley wanted to see the Snakes, and they all trooped off to the Reptile House. Dudley was making an awful fuss, trying to get the hugest Boa Constrictor to move or do something. Anyway it just lay there on the other side of the glass partition asleep. Dudley got bored, and drifted off towards the other exhibits..............

As Dudley moved away, Harry went up close to the tank and started looking at the snake. He thought he wouldn't be surprised if the snake died of boredom with all these silly people around. As he was thinking these thoughts, the snake lifted his head and winked at Harry.... Harry was so surprised....he looked around him to see if anybody was watching.... and then winked back.

The snake then looked at Harry's uncle and cousin, raised its eyes to the ceiling, and gave Harry a look as if to say "I get that all the time." "I know" Harry said, "It must be awful" The snake nodded his head.

Harry asked him where he came from, and the snake pointed to the sign on the glass with his tail, which Harry saw said "Boa Constrictor, Brazil" Harry asked him if he liked it there, to which the snake pointed again to the sign - and Harry read "Born in Captivity" "Oh!" said Harry, "So you've never been there!"

Just then there was a shriek from one of Dudley's friends who had spotted Harry talking with the snake, and everybody came up to see what was happening..... Harry was pushed to the ground, and all of a sudden the glass vanished and pandemonium broke out. Everybody was screaming and running about.

The snake itself was uncoiling itself rapidly and slithered out onto the floor.... and as the snake went quickly past Harry he could swear he heard it say in a low hissing voice

"Brazil, here I come....Thankssssssss, amigo!"

That's just one of the many little titbits running all the time through the books. Its so enchanting. Its probably because we are programmed to think the "worst case scenario" that we are surprised by the different sort of endings, forgetting the other option "best case scenario." The books abound with challenges and obstacles, but they, as young people, not aware of different consequences, just don't think about them much, and go right ahead and expect a good ending for the most part. There is another point that sprang to mind, and that is throughout there is a feeling that there is 'someone' looking after them, and making sure no harm really comes to them.

Going off on a tangent, this ties in with something we received from a good friend currently in the States (hi there!) It really reminds us that there is more than one way to look at something, and that we should take a lesson from our children! This is how it goes:

"When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my yard. My kids see flowers for Mum and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

When I look at an old drunk and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who probably wants money and I look away. My kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune and don't have much rhythm so I sit self consciously and listen.
My kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the words. If they don't know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.
My kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say thee and thou and grant me this, give me that. My kids say, "Hi God! Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don't want to go to Heaven yet. I would miss my Mummy and Daddy."

When I see a mud puddle I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets. My kids sit in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross and worms to play with.

I wonder if we are given kids to teach or to learn from?
No wonder God loves the little children!!

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

I wish you mud puddles and dandelions......"

Anyway as we said earlier we really do recommend these books for old and young alike. They are like a breath of fresh air, we can't say fairer than that!

Happy Reading!!!!!!!!

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