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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

North, South, East, West ....

More travels on my ellie journey - continuing on from last Thursday, 17th June .... From Greenwich, I took the DLR back to Bank Station, exited there, and walked to Lime Street.  I walked through Leadenhall Market on the way.  I love architectural facades and how spectacular is this one? 

Such a wonderful change to have a brilliant blue sky as a background!  I love taking photos of the inside of buildings with light streaming in - I think it is so atmospheric - this inside is so rich and full of light, it seems like liquid treacle. 

Just as well you don't have smellavision!  While things look visually stunning, it is amazing to me how many gorgeous places in London smell so strongly of drains!  Eergh ..... Dodgy plumbing is a terrible thing, but you have to take into account the age of most of the city, I suppose.  A bit more of a walk, turn a corner, and here is Izzy, #196.  This beautiful elephant named Izzy was created by Paul Roberts.  Artist's Inspiration: "Isambard Kingdom Brunel once said "Nine tenths of all failures in this world are from not quite doing enough". This was exactly the message I wanted to send out, he never took no for an answer and saw a project out till the very end, much like our determination to save the Asian Elephants."

I actually think Izzy is one of my favourites.  Not flashy, like some of the other elephants, but I think Paul Roberts has been so clever and incorporated so many elements of what Isambard Kingdom Brunel achieved on the surface of this ellie - the stream trains, the railway lines across Britain, making parts of the country accessible, and so many of his marvellous engineering feats - including a tunnel which circumnavigates Izzy's bum!  :lol:  Though because I am a lady, I refrained from taking a photo, for the sake of Izzy's dignity.   

Such a juxtaposition of different shapes, colours and textures - very satisfying taking photos on such a beautiful day as this was.  From Lime Street, I proceeded to the Tower of London to seek out that ellie - #124, Elfreda, created by Jeff Hoare.  His Inspiration: "I wanted the elephant to look as if it had walked out of the sea and that the sea was all the different colours."

The mix of old and new is fantastic.  I don't think it always works, but it seems like you could almost reach out and touch the GLA Building which is across the Thames.  Whilst this was a normal work day for millions, something life enriching to know that there are yet many more people enjoying the sights, sounds and smells!  of this amazing city. 

From the Tower, I took the tube to the Embankment - Victoria Embankment Gardens, to be precise.  Three ellies here, and a very clever pun - Mr Brown, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg.  Unfortunately, no insight as to the artist's inspiration, because they were all painted by Anonymous!  Here's #230, Mr Brown. 

Here are all the sparring partners together - Mr Brown, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg.  You can recognise them by their party colours!  Don't you love their boxing "trunks"!?  :lol:  (Their numbers for my reference - are #228 Mr Cameron, and #257, Mr Clegg). 

You get a great view of the London Eye from the Embankment.  No doubt, there is probably better views - not in front of the bridge, for example - but you take the photo where you are, don't you? 

Two more elephants to be seen at Cleopatra's Needle on the Embankment.  Back to some va va voom!  #227, My Gorgeous Jungle.  This vivacious and very bright elephant was created by Shunyam.  Artist's Inspiration: "My elephant will be fully covered by a gorgeous jungle, in which he/she can hide, be safe and enjoy!"   Hope the jungle is just as bright, to ensure full camouflage! 

The next elephant is #197, Haathini, created by Penelope Patrick.  Artist's Inspiration: "The Palm trees are symbolic of the diminishing vegetation due to mans necessity for land. The space above the palms represents the corridors that the elephants need to connect their habitats. The Butterflies mean freedom."   A masterpiece of subtlety compared to the previous ellie! 

Here's a bit of info that I gleaned from Wikipedia:

Cleopatra's Needle is flanked by two faux-Egyptian sphinxes cast from bronze that bear hieroglyphic inscriptions that say netjer nefer men-kheper-re di ankh (the good god, Thuthmosis III given life). These Sphinxes appear to be looking at the Needle rather than guarding it. This is due to the Sphinxes' improper or backwards installation. The Embankment has other Egyptian flourishes, such as buxom winged sphinxes on the armrests of benches. On 4 September 1917, during World War I, a bomb from a German air raid landed near the needle. In commemoration of this event, the damage remains unrepaired to this day and is clearly visible in the form of shrapnel holes and gouges on the right-hand sphinx. Restoration work was carried out in 2005. The original Master Stone Mason who worked on the granite foundation was Lambeth-born William Henry Gould (1822–1891). 

I think things are brought to life when you know a bit of history about them.

I would have taken more time with these photos, and honed in on Cleopatra's needle and perhaps taken some shots of the river, but within 5 seconds of this photo being taken, this whole monument and these ellies were covered in swarms of Italian school children!  Pandemonium and chaos reigned, and I couldn't rush enough to get out of there.  I have now covered the morning and mid-afternoon shots - my next post is about the late afternoon ellies across the other side of the river.   I haven't made an exact count of the number of elephants I have seen in total, but the number wasn't that large compared to some others.  It was probably about half - I shall tot it up exactly in my next post, once I've worked out who is who!  It's taken me so long to get this number - I am amazed that some people got more, in only one day!  I have no idea how they managed it, but I would like some of their energy, please. 


  1. More fab and gorgeous Ele-pics! would be hard-pressed to say which is my fave tbh


  2. More really fab pictures Ali, and wow is My Gorgeous Jungle very bright! At least she is a cheerful sight even if she couldn't hide in the jungle! :)

  3. wow ... your blog is just beautiful, lovely to read and some fabulous photos of our amazing city.

  4. Wow Ali - you have got to see so much of London on your eli-hunt. I have really enjoyed seeing them all on your blog.

  5. I love these effelumps.. I am going to be in London on 16 July, but I bet they will all be gone by then..?