Home again, thank goodness, where things are spookily the same as I left them. I have to keep reminding myself that I was only away for a couple of days, although the weight of my luggage suggests otherwise. You will be surprised to learn that I got out of town with only the one new pair of shoes, resisting the platform soled, 4-inch metallic gladiator sandals. (That I am now regretting and will attempt to track down online.)
I finished both my books before I got on the ‘plane back, but couldn’t find anything else to read because Charleston has only a dodgy Waldenbooks and the airport was even worse. So I ended up with a copy of Elle, which at least had the compulsory article on Daniel Craig (albeit rather insufficiently illustrated if you ask me). Finally, I was reduced to looking through Delta’s Skymall magazine, which was absolutely chockfull of things I can’t imagine anyone wanting. Except for ‘The Wonderwoman bracelet‘, of course, because we all want one of those. The use of the definite article in these catalogues is marvellous: all the items are labelled ‘The genuine Turkish robe’ or ‘The unique Donegal wool long johns’. I think it’s supposed to suggest exclusivity, but repeated use of ‘the’ for every single item just starts to make it sound a bit foreign and strange.
What I hadn’t seen before was ‘the page of Harry Potter stuff’. Genuine reproduction wands, with display cases; a lovingly handcrafted version of the Marauder’s Map; the earrings Hermione wore to the winter ball one year; one of Hedwig’s feathers turned into a quill pen; there was even a knock-off fake Horcrux locket, which in it’s own mad way is rather brilliant. A fake fake. Love it.
[One of the items in that list was made up by me, by the way. There is no reward for spotting which one, just the thrill of the intellectual challenge.]
Anyway, surely the point of wands and magic maps is, well, the magic. Take that away and you’ve basically got a stick and some paper. I’m all for the power of imagination, but if anyone has that much imagination can’t they find their own stick and pretend it’s a wand? The reality of a non-magical magical artefact, and one that can be ordered via a catalogue at that, would bring the whole imaginary world crashing around my ears.