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Saturday, 19 June 2010

West Side Story ...

I walked from Bayswater to Notting Hill Gate to continue my elephant trek last Sunday.  You never quite know where you are until you suddenly spot an elephant at the side.  At least then I knew I was on the right track!

This elephant is #41, Travels on my Elephant.  It looks quite innocuous from here, but some of the wording on this elephant is a bit racy.  The word "prostitution" appears on it several times, not to say that I counted the exact number!

This elephant named Naveen, # 178 was created by John Stefanidis.  Artist's Inspiration: "The vibrant colours, fabulous architecture and incomparable fabrics of India fuelled my imagination to create an elephant which would stand out and draw attention to the plight of the Asian elephant."

Next, on to #51, Oran (You Stole my Heart), who was created by Adam Bridgland.  Artist's Inspiration: "The birth of my son Oran was the inspiration for my elephant design. The four magpies painted on one side of my elephant are a reference to the line in the old english magpie rhyme, 'four for a boy'."

Turn around, and this is the other side:

One of the things about being on foot and on your own is that it is quite frustrating when you miss an ellie.  There were elephants at Notting Hill, and I missed the one called Daisies!  I am sure she was being a bit shy and hiding around a corner, but that would have been the advantage of being with someone.  Sometimes I just didn't have the energy to be persistent and walk back on myself to find that one particular elephant that I'd missed. 

Onwards towards Holland Park and the day was getting darker and drearier until I spied this magnificently coloured creature - #215, Rainforest.  Created by Ruth Green, her Inspiration: "To save the magnificent beauty of the rain forests and the endangered animals of the world". 

It is quite difficult to get shots of some of these elephants in their settings - especially on such a busy street as this is, with cars whizzing by!  I've had to crop this next pic quite severely - but better that than a huge red pillar box being very distracting in the foreground, I think.  Here's #65 - Burma. 

Burma was created by Baccara Smart and was originally wearing the anklet below - probably wise to remove, as she is sitting out in the street!   Artist's Inspiration: "Graffiti being the metropolis soul, camouflage being the environmental graffiti, led to the catalyst for 'Burma'."
Later on, onto Oxford Street.  I think I will save that for tomorrow.....

They start taking the elephants off the streets tomorrow and today is the last day to see them in situ.  The body is willing, but the flesh is weak .... my knees have seized up, and begging for mercy.  I might have to instead save seeing the rest of the elephants until they are all gathered for a communal visit to the Royal Chelsea Hospital next week ....


  1. Love reading your commentry to go with your photos Ali. I agree with you about some of them being difficult to photograph. I got into London one day this week, but only managed 6 ellies. Looking forward to your next update.

  2. loving this. pics are brill and really interesting commentary too. :)

  3. Your knees are going to hospital or the Ellies or both? I have really enjoyed travelling around with you and will be sorry when it's all over.