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So there are Oliphaunts, and I have seen one. What a life!
Apparently many of you were also in and around the Mall watching the giant mechanical elephant. We went in after school, all tired and crabby. Key quote: "But Mummy, I don't want to go and see a boring old giant mechanical elephant...".

We'd had a vague worry we wouldn't be able to see, but the elephant is properly enormous as promised, and there weren't all that many people there. Thousands to be sure, but there was plenty of space. And we didn't mind not being so very close when we realised that those people right up next to it were getting thoroughly sprayed with water. drplokta contemplated wistfully how much more fun it would have been if you hadn't known it was there, if you'd just turned a corner and there was a giant elephant wandering down the street. But of course, if we'd not known it was there, we'd have missed it. Later we visited the site where the spaceship had crash-landed; despite the damage to the tarmac my worldweary children were not fooled for an instant. And then we went back into the park to get round to the front of the elephant and get properly close, by which time it appeared to have run out of water.

It's around tomorrow and Sunday as well. Go! I do think this will be one of those things that will be remembered for ages; shutting loads of central London streets down so that a giant elephant can trundle around.

Here's a photo (we took lots)

The Sultan's Elephant

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This looks like the exact same puppet show from Nantes last year, crashed spaceship and all. Was there a large puppet of a little girl as well? Do you know more about it? The web page I saw on it was all in French. Awesome stuff really.

Based strictly on this lj-entry on today's events and what you describe, yes, there's a large puppet of a little girl, yes, there was a rocket, and yes, it's the same show. Looks totally stunningly fantabulous, though.

Indeed, at the time anti-French sentiments were going through one of their peaks here in the US again, and myself and some Americans were marveling at a country that would do something like this. It is the kind of artistic expression only possible in the first world.

Yes, it's the show that the French theatre company Royale de Luxe did in Nantes last year, brought to London by a pair of women who run a UK events company dedicated to staging unusual events. For more information, try http://www.thesultanselephant.com or http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/sultanselephant/

The little giant girl was there too; some of it has been London-i-fied; she had a deck chair in St James' park and is touring London on an open topped routemaster.

Thanks for that! Awesome.

and is touring London on an open topped routemaster

This detail takes the event from freakin' cool to OMG why am I on the wrong side of the pond AGAIN dammit. Sigh.

I was fascinated by the pictures on the Nantes town web site last year. I am so glad you got to see them up close. The elephant is even bigger than I thought.

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