I am certain that I am not alone in being quite enamoured and thrilled by the arrival of the Elephant Parade in London. I have been keeping a very eager eye out for them as I go out and about around London and have now infected those around me, including the New Man who suggested that we get on our bikes and try to see as many as we could. So last weekend as the temperatures soared and so did the young ladies of Shepherd's Bush' hemlines, we toured around. Little did I know until I got to Selfridges and one of the Elephant Parade's shop where I located a map of the parade, that there are indeed some in Westfield. Including this one in The Village:
The child isn't mine but it is definitely a fine sign of how these elephants have got children (and me) excited and exploring London with enthusiasm I am not sure you would usually see.
So as I cycled along and rediscovered by hamstring muscles, these weird and wonderful Elephants helped me rediscover my love of London. The sunshine and the view of NewMan's butt cycling ahead of me helped too of course, but it is very easy to forget (or neglect) one's love of this unique city. Yes, there is crime, grime and many things we'd rather not see, but there is also charm, incredible history and passion and some delightfully extraordinary oddities to see. This summer that includes the Elephants on parade and once their time has come you can actually buy them as part of this campaign to raise money and awareness for the Asian Elephant which is at risk of extinction. Now I am as much of an animal (or mammal in this case) lover as the average city dweller who regularly curses the amount of dog poo on the streets of W12 (and yes I'm talking to you Shepherd's Bush Yooves who let their "pet" rottweilers TuPac and 50 Cent use our pavements as a toilet) but I have become strangely moved by this campaign, primarily because I have seen how children have reacted and I just thought it incredibly sad that these distinctive creatures would disappear from future generations.
Hey. What can I say? Dumbo always makes me cry.
Here are a few of my favourites from the weekend.
One of our favourites was this little fella called The Isles of London which featured areas of London shaped as continents of the world with minute and accurate detail about each area and place within that area. Of course I found and was suitably happy with the artist's interpretation of Shepherd's Bush: