Thursday, 7 November 2013

And I would walk 9 3/4 miles and I would walk 9 3/4 more...

This time last week was a stressful, tiring, fun and extremely worthwhile day for London Loveiosa: the day of our Halloween sponsored walk. Even before the day of the walk itself there had been a lot of organisation: registration, deciding which locations to visit, working out a route map, creating welcome packs, sorting out first aiders, customised wristbands... You name it, we probably did it.

Getting welcome packs ready to go!

So when we arrived at Platform 9 3/4 on the day of the walk it was absolutely brilliant to see everyone there, in their costumes, excited to do the walk.

Group photo at Platform 9 3/4

After stopping for a quick photo at Platform 9 3/4 we were off, led on a tour of muggle London by Ron and Hermione. Stops on the tour included 12 Grimmauld Place, Leadenhall Market (Diagon Alley), the Millennium Bridge (where we all kept an eye out for death eaters), Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Gringotts and then back up to King's Cross to finish back at Platform 9 3/4 (with a little detour to the Grand Connaught Rooms where LeakyCon London was held - we couldn't resist!) with Ron and Hermione giving a few anecdotes at each stop. Overall it took us just over 8 hours from start to finish, and when we finally made it to the last stop it was pitch black.

The money we've raised in sponsorship is still being counted, but at the minute it looks like it's going to be somewhere between £400 and £500, which is incredible! My favourite parts of the walk were definitely seeing everyone in their costumes, the singalong of Mysterious Ticking Noise we started (very loudly) on the Millenium Bridge and seeing how excited a little boy dressed up as Harry looked when he saw all of us and we waved back at him. But rather than me typing for ages about the fun things we did, I thought I'd let other chapter members weigh in on their favourite parts of the walk:

Bea: "My favourite parts were meeting everyone for the first time which was super cool and also the wonderful confused looks we got from passers-by at our costumes."

Laurene: "As a foreigner, I absolutely loved discovering London through Harry Potter related locations led by Hermione's anecdotes (and Ron's, when he wasn't eating). But my favourite thing was watching the faces of kids light up when they recognized the Hogwarts Express. As Harry Potter was such an important part of my childhood, I'm always incredibly happy when I see children living the same amazing journey."

Rebekka: "My favorite part was that I could be Ron! It was so much fun to be involved and explain all the different things to the others. The script was brilliant! And it was very cool that I could eat all the time!"

Guilia: "My favourite part of the walk was definitely the atmosphere. Everyone was friendly and dedicated and it was lovely to meet more people as I haven't been around in person much. Everyone put a lot of effort in and it was fun."

Elesha: "My favourite part of the walk was when we were walking down Euston Road and I saw the lights from King's Cross, because that's when it finally dawned on me that we had done it. All the messaging and meetings (and the huge amount of work by Cheryl) had paid off. We had just walked 9 3/4 miles around Central London without getting lost! And let's not forget that when we were back at Platform 9 3/4, someone dressed as Harry walked past and had a chat with us! Like, what were the chances that we would meet someone in full Harry costume, next to Platform 9 3/4 who was not a member of London Loveiosa!

Also, another highly ranked moment was taking a detour down Great Queen Street to the Grand Connaught Rooms. Yes, we did sing 'Total Eclipse Of The Heart' on its steps. Yes, passers-by did look slightly confused. And yes, I was home…"

Laura: "Being surrounded by Harry Potter fans made the walk even more amazing. 9 3/4 miles gave us all the time in the world to talk and get to know the others. Also, after several hours, seeing the others in their house colors and being led by the Hogwarts Express became so normal that I could not understand why people were staring at us."

A huge thank you to all of the fundraising team who organised the walk, to everyone who came, everyone who sponsored us and also to the HPA and HPA Chapters for helping us spread the word!

Ron and Hermione - full of fun magical facts!

Elesha and Jessica, creators of the best costumes ever.

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