Scott Simpson and the Escape to Hogwarts

Today was a Sunday, like most Sundays. With shopping list and coffee in hand, I began the grocery store circuit. As I gathered the feasting needs for the week, I found myself making a last-minute addition when The Magic of Harry Potter Time Special Edition (re-issue) caught my eye. A quick page flip was all the approval I needed, and I was off to grab what I actually came for, when it hit me. The answer to why I have become completely spellbound within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Let’s put aside the fact that Joanne (J.K) Rowling has written a amazing story, supported by an incredible cast of characters and creatures living in a magical world that is nothing short of spectacular. Lets also forget for a moment that I have a healthy and enriched inner child with an imagination that fails to accept boundaries.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to move to Scotland. Not a day goes by where the thought doesn’t cross my mind. My wife has agreed to us moving there one day, for a year, with the condition that she doesn’t have to work. I see this as her starting point for the negotiations, I am working on my counter offer. My attraction to Scotland runs deeper than the connection my ancestry brings. The history, the architecture, the old cities and settlements, the landscapes and obviously the thousands of castles are nothing short of breathtaking. That’s right, breathtaking. The scenery that Scotland provides, is very much similar to the settings I find within the books I read, and of those I think about writing.  Each time I visit Scotland I am left with the feeling that I have stepped into a new (old) world. I very much desire to live somewhere that makes me feel as though I have traveled back in time; I don’t think I was ever built to be someplace “new”. I should also clarify that I would favor somewhere that lacks the sun and heat, has an abundance of rain and is somewhat further away then at least two provinces from Ontario where I currently live. I want to think that Iceland, any of the Scandinavian countries, Ireland, even Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island could fit the bill. But I digress…

It was at that moment when I grabbed the magazine, that the question as to how a 30-something year old would become so absorbed within the world of Harry Potter was answered… it provides an escape from my modern surroundings and transports me to a place that feels like home. As it’s currently not possible to call Scotland home, I have leveraged my imagination to help quench my thirst. Thankfully, there is no shortage of fuel for the imagination; 7 books, 8 movies + 5 additional movies planned in the Fantastic Beasts series, a play, a number of Harry Potter theme parks (Hogwarts Campus Visit) and the Warner Bros. Studio in London where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Until such time that I can call Scotland or some other historic place home… I will always have an Escape to Hogwarts.

*** I am visiting Scotland for the third time this fall, it’s currently a round trip and includes a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train (Hogwarts Train) and a tour of the Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studio. My cauldron is full to the brim with excitement and its fair to say I cannot wait, so stay tuned for future postings!





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