Sunday, 3 August 2014

A Giant Post

Another (expletive deleted to keep this blog child-friendly) week.

As I write this it is Saturday lunchtime and apart from a very brief excursion out into Heswall for a coffee on Thursday morning I have spent most of the week in bed.      I think I overdid it a bit when we went to see the Giants the Friday before last.  Partner-who-loves-tea has womanfully (to my surprise the Microsoft Office Spillchucker didn’t reject that word - blogger did!!) stepped in and kept the show on the road despite an exceptionally busy week at work where she was working her multi-coloured socks off.   I may have mentioned this before but I love her very much and cannot imagine where I and Son-who-watches-films would be without her.  She is a gem in a million.  I'd show you a photo but then she'd chop my head off...  Ah well - if you never take risks what is  life worth?  Here is one of the first photos I ever took of her in March 86 when we began courting. 

I’ve been off Facebook for a week and there are 99 notifications.  That seems a few too many to go through at the moment!!  I had a quick look at my e-mails and one of them was from the Royal Signals asking to see the photo from a few posts back – thanks for the idea Adrian.  We shall see what they come up with.

Until Thursday I had no interest in what dropped through the letterbox (of which the above is only a small sample).  Shows what a sad state I was in!  But since then I’ve been delighted and helped a lot by the postcards and letters and bits and pieces that have come through the mail.  I hope those concerned will forgive slow replies.

You were promised the Giants…

 You were right, Marcheline, not these Giants - 

 These Giants -

On Friday 24th July the Giants paid their second trip to Liverpool.  It lasted till Sunday and they were here to tell the story of Liverpool’s involvement in World War I.  The Giants came to Liverpool in 2012 and their popularity was such that they were welcomed back by an estimated 1 million viewers on the streets of the city and along some of its outskirts.

There were plenty of people all around the city centre waiting to see them on Friday morning.


We saw Xolo the Dog first.  It is pronounced Chohlow.  I picked a space between two young ladies to get a view because I knew that a dog, even at ten feet tall, would be hidden by the crowds.

Just as Xolo arrived at the gap so did a marshall – damn…

  Oh well, at least the Superlambanana on the Royal Court got a good view.

And so did the police helicopter that took those fantastic photos I blogged about last week.

The Little Girl Giant had only just woken up from her sleep in the Queensway Tunnel.

At around 20 feet tall she is quite splendid.

We walked across St John’s Gardens to see the Grandmother as she woke up.  An ideal spot to view from would be the Museum steps but they were roped off for health and safety reasons.  I suppose the Museum was afraid of being sued by someone who couldn’t tell a step from a step.  The world has gone mad, I tell you!

Any way, back to more sensible and fun things.  All ages were there and the excitement built as the music around the front of St George’s Hall changed.

On the radio someone had asked how the Lilliputians who attend to the Giants manage for toilet facilities seeing as they will be out all day. That’s always a popular subject to ask astronauts, Formula One drivers, etc.  The answer in this case was a wooden portaloo for the Little Girl Giants attendants and a posh ‘welfare’ van for those of the Grandmother.

I have to show the British bobby with his helmet.  It was 28ºC - you can tell it’s hot when the bobbies are in their shirt sleeves. 

This seagull has a good spot. 

The original statue of the Spirit of Liverpool was located on top of the Walker Art Gallery on William Brown Street for more than a century from 1877 but it had to be removed in 1993 as the marble had deteriorated so badly that the sculpture was no longer structurally safe. A replica Spirit of Liverpool was carved from a 41 ton piece of Chinese marble in 1993-1994. The replica was put back in place of the original on the roof of the Walker Art.  

This seagull has a good view as well but seems more interested in the crowds below.  He’s obviously wondering what on Earth is going on. 

 The Grandmother Giant spent the night snoozing in her wheelchair and that was the first thing to arrive on the scene. 

And here’s the grandmother.   Strewth, she’s tall. 25 feet tall, actually. 

“Hello little people.”  

She weighs five tons.  But she doesn’t look overweight.  Weight Watchers eat your hearts out.  “SHE'S 85, half Irish, half Breton, smokes a pipe, spits and if you see her lift her skirts run for cover - she’s about to fart.  Unfortunately there was a slight accident in Liverpool – she farted and her head fell off (well, not quite off but it got dislodged causing a fifteen minute delay to the evening schedule.  “She looks just like me Aunty May,” said a girl from Birkenhead.

Some of the movements are made by the Lilliputians jumping off the lorry on ropes.  Great fun.   One small step for Grandmother, one giant leap for Lilliputiankind.

And here comes the live music lorry with Jean-Luc Courcoult, writer/director of Royal de Luxe, the creators of the giants. 

Since 1979, led by Jean-Luc Courcoult, Royal de Luxe have travelled around the world with their small and large scale shows. They are invited into the heart of the cities, surprising all generations and allowing them to escape from reality for a short time.  From 1993, Royal de Luxe became synonymous with over-the-top, extravagant theatre: the Saga of the Giants began and became a major chapter of the company’s history. Manipulated by Lilliputians, these Giants bring stories to life on city streets over several days. Their audacity and their poetry, mixing time and genres, with different giants moving at the same time at various ends of a city results in thousands and even millions of spectators.  In 2013, Jean-Luc Courcoult was decorated with the title of Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters of the French Republic by Jean-Marc Ayrault, Prime Minister of France.

If you ever get the chance to see them it is worth the squash of people and the traffic jam home and there aren’t many things I’d say that about. 


  1. It does look a grand day out.

  2. It certainly looks like a giant spectacle! Would they still have held it if it had been raining? I imagine the mechanism to move the giants is not water-proof; so, good job it was such fine weather. My niece who studies in Liverpool is now home in Ripon for the summer, but I bet she would have gone to watch this if she had still been in town.

    Sorry to hear you have had such a terrible week again.

  3. You have a very kindly view of seagulls. I would have said that he is obviously looking for some people with something edible so that he can terrorise them.

    1. You really have forgotten your roots, haven't you GB. It's not food they are after - it's a suitable target for pooping on!!!

  4. So sorry you've been under the weather. Hope you are feeling much better, and that the good feelings last. xoxox Bless you and Richard, and the wonderful Jo. xoxoxo

  5. What an amazing show! Wow and wow again!

    In your down times, know that i am praying for you.

  6. Wow! That was a post and a half John. I did so enjoy it. Thank you.

  7. Great photos! I've been hearing about these giants from several of my UK friends lately, and they all talk about a dog, a girl, and a grandmother. Are there more?

    1. Yes, but only three came to Liverpool this time. I'm not sure they have the capacity to handle more than three at a time (plus there are the road closure policing issues as well).
      You can see more of them at

  8. What a blog post - lots to read! I'd love to see The Giants. I wonder if they'll ever make their way over to this side of the pond.
    Your spouse - she is beautiful!

    1. I agree with Pondie -- yes, Jo is beautiful! Give her a hug from me, xoxox

  9. Hello Scriptor! Im Tom, I met you in the cafe in irby a few weeks back! Two things- I can help you slighlty with your russian fridge magnet as I studied the language- it says Dnelronetrosk- Fountain Theatre of Opera and Ballet It hink, hope that some help! Also Ive been inspired by writers like yourself and started a blog on food and nature, it would be great to see what you make of it if i could send you the address. Thank you for your blog!

    1. Hi Tom
      Thanks for the magnet info - I now know who sent it.
      I pulpwood love to see your blog - if you put the address in a comment a few of my readers may also be interested.
      All the best, John

    2. Pulpwood - pulpwood - where on earth did that come from! It should have read I sure would or certainly would...

  10. Thanks for all the good wishes, folk. Much appreciated.

  11. I would pulpwood love for you to give it a read over- it's my first foray into the blogosphere and you're an experienced bloggist! :)

    Thanks John, Tommy

  12. There is something appealing about giants like this. In some parts of France and Spain they carry giants through the streets, we came across an amazing procession of them in Toulouse. I am glad you have regained interest in your mail - you must be on the mend! I hope you are soon fully recovered.

  13. Wow, that Grandmother looks amazing. What it must have been like to have seen that up close!
    Jo is beautiful and I have seen her more recent photos and she looks very much the same to me!
    I hope you are feeling a bit better now, John.

  14. I enjoyed reading about The Giants in this post CJ.....wish I could experience them for myself, but thanks to you and your beautiful photos I did just that.
    I can totally see why you wanted Jo to be your mate, she is a beautiful lady.....her smile radiates warmth.
    Wishing you good health as you continue to get back to what you love doing best.

  15. John, I sure hope you're feeling better. I think your wife is a beauty! This post was so fun and informative. Man, those Giants are super amazing! I would be one of the millions squishing in to see them in person! I showed your post to my co-workers during lunch...made for fun conversation! Take care and have a good week!

  16. A great post... :) I can't believe how many blogs I've managed to miss lately!


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