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The Sultan's Elephant heads down a crowded Haymarket in central London, on the third day of the presentation.

The Little Giant's space capsule makes landfall in London at last. I don't know if it's coincidence, but Phileas Fogg sets off from just around the corner in Around The World In Eighty Days.

There was something more than a little religious about the whole weekend, never more than when La Petite Géante was walking through the trees of St James's Park.

OK, here's one pic of the gigantic mechanical elephant. It was quite impressive, really, everyone should have one.

 

I did a bit of work on this to add to the ethereal feel of seeing this strangely adorned beast lumbering toward Biffy's London gaff.

The puppet girl rides on the top deck of an open-top double-decker bus, past the Sultan's Elephant, in Horseguards Parade. It all makes perfect sense in the context of the story... I'm sure.

La Petite Géante says goodbye to her dear friend the Sultan's Elephant. I know how she feels. I'll miss them both.

As the crowd dispersed, the people who'd been manning the movable cordons around the Girl and Elephant had their photoshoot.

You're very lucky this doesn't have a soundtrack, as her appearance was accompanied by the most dreadful jazz-rock I have heard in many a year. Thankfully it had picked up a little by the evening.

I want one.

 

(These pictures are going into my photostream out of order; if you want to see things as they unfolded, please see my Sultan's Elephant set.)

La Petite Géante stops to answer a call of nature. Being gentlemen, her assistants give her some privacy.

 

UPDATE - Pete Woodhead has found a photo on the BBC website of me about to take this...

The guys tucked underneath the elephant's head.

Le Bernard l'Ermite (The Hermit Crab).

Once upon a time, there lived a sultan who was tormented in his dreams by visions of a little girl who was travelling through time. This is his story, incredible but true.

 

The sultan could no longer sleep, his growing anguish diverting his attention from affairs of state. In order to cure his sickness, and believing that he would find the girl in the land of dreams, he commissioned an unknown engineer living in 1900 to construct a time-travelling elephant. A few months later, the sultan set off with his court in search of the little giant, which, in the course of his nightmares, had been transformed into a marionette 5 metres high.

 

The trip was awful, but they found a series of clues as to her wherabouts. The giant loved sewing - she liked to stitch cars to the tarmac, boats to quaysides, trains to railway tracks and sometimes even envelopes to letterboxes.

 

The elephant followed the trail left by the puppeteers. And as in all love stories, strange things began to happen. Such was his happiness at getting closer to her, he began to expel hundreds of living birds which disappeared into the sky in a burst of joy.

 

[ www.thesultanselephant.com/ ]

I was driving home last night from training and had to take a diversion because the police had closed Vauxhall Bridge. When I drove past on the other side of the bridge I noticed that the diversion was being caused by the night-time moving of a 42 tonne mechanical elephant!

 

You might have to click on the picture to see it, but there is a tiny little man in the front that is controlling things, and a couple on the back. It really is astonishingly big!

 

The elephant is part of a weekend of free theatre roaming around London, inspired by the stories of Jules Verne. You can read more at the BBC. I hope to see some more on Sunday, including some of the performance itself. Stay tuned :)

On the third day of The Sultan's Elephant presentation in central London, the little giant puppet knelt down in the Mall, in front of Admiralty Arch, allowing small children to swing on her arms.

No, I'm not going to crop it. I'm all about the moment rather than the image. Plus I really like the contrast between the guy's circular camera-handle and the London Eye directly above it. It' s all about scale.

I was driving home last night from training and had to take a diversion because the police had closed Vauxhall Bridge. When I drove past on the other side of the bridge I noticed that the diversion was being caused by the night-time moving of a 42 tonne mechanical elephant!

 

You might have to click on the picture to see it, but there is a tiny little man in the front that is controlling things, and a couple on the back. It really is astonishingly big!

 

The elephant is part of a weekend of free theatre roaming around London, inspired by the stories of Jules Verne. You can read more at the BBC. I hope to see some more on Sunday, including some of the performance itself. Stay tuned :)

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