Land of the Giants

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February 17th 2015
Published: February 17th 2015
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The Little Girl and the Diver
Land of the Giants

They say size matters, whoever “they” are and I guess it’s true, Australia has the biggest mining company in the world, and we also have the biggest open cut mine in the world, so without the need for one upmanship, we were excited that the Giants were coming to Perth and I believe that they were not visiting any other part of this massive country, so we were very privileged to get the opportunity to see them.

For the past couple of months they were advertising on TV, the fact that the Giants were coming to Perth which would be part of the Perth International Arts Festival and this was the weekend they would be here.

So first let me set the scene and tell you about where the Giants Come from.

The Giants are a Diver, and a little girl who are the invention of a French guy called Jean-Luc Courcoult, Author/Artistic Director and Founder of a large scale street theatre company called ROYAL DE LUXE, who were founded in Paris in 1979 and now reside in Nantes.

We have obviously taken cuttings
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We laughed at this, locking your skateboard up
and pieces from the press to describe this awesome spectacle.

Now the logistics of bringing something like this event to Australia is just an awesome undertaking and the city of Perth spent 5.5 Million dollars bringing them here to help commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Anzacs and we will cover this in a blog later in the year.

Now let’s just go back to The Giants

Items on the news told us the two characters (the Giants) were a Diver and a little girl, who are Uncle and Niece, the Diver is 11 mtrs high and weighs 3 tonnes, each of his diving boots weigh a quarter of a tonne each and he looked just huge even an impressive size when we saw him on the TV, he is supported by a massive pulley rig that is operated by about 12 people.

The Little girl is 6 mtrs high and again is supported by a pulley rig who take about 8 people to make her operate.

Now the Story

You can’t just have these monstrous Giants walking about willy nilly without a story and the
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Caroline looking radient
story originates back in 1915 called the Lighthouse Girl, which was researched by a Lady called Diane Wolfer and the original story went like this.

In 1915, a young girl named Faye Howe received letters from the battleground simply addressed to The Lighthouse Girl, Breaksea Island, Albany, Western Australia)

The letters no longer survive, but the legend of the Lighthouse Girl does.

Albany author Di Wolfer researched the legend of Faye Howe for several years and released a book based on the story. She says Faye was the last point of homeland human contact for many of the men of the first ANZAC convoy that steamed out of Albany 100 years ago.

Di says the ships of the convoy were anchored near Breaksea for days before departure, allowing Faye and the men a real window of communication.

"It's probably likely that they used semaphore and in those days, someone like Faye whose dad was a lighthouse keeper would have been an expert in semaphore.

"They could have been there on the cliff flag chatting to the guys, a bit like old fashioned texting, for days."

The original story was then adapted by Jean-Luc
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The Giants just waking up
Courcoult , Author/Artistic Director and Founder of Royal De Luxe and the Giants were born.

We were aware that the Giants were in Perth on Friday and the little girl was walking around the city looking for her Uncle (The Diver) who was asleep by the Wellington Street bridge (don’t forget he is 11 mtrs tall) I read in the paper that he actually snored and people went and lay next to him just for the experience.

On Saturday the Giant-Diver walked around one part of the city, whilst the little girl walked around another part and on Saturday night the Diver and the little girl (Uncle and Niece) finally met up in Langley Park, where they slept the night, the little girl sitting on her uncles’ lap.

As we had been following the news we knew it was going to be busy as the crowds on Saturday were about 400,000 and guessed that the crowds on Sunday would be even bigger, unfortunately Sunday was our only opportunity to head into town.

Our plan was to leave the house at 6.00am but we had a flaw in our plan as we didn’t even wake up until
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The rig that supported on of the Giants
6.15am and we rushed around and managed to get out of the door and on the train by 7.00 am.

We were in town before 7.30 and walked up to Fast Eddies which is a 24 Hour diner that does some awesome food. Where we both breakfasted on scrambled eggs on Toast with a skinny flat white coffee, we finished by 8.30 and on our way walking with the masses towards the park where we arrived by 9.05.

There they were the Giant diver was fast asleep in the sitting position with his niece sitting on his lap and as this was the first time we had seen them in the so called flesh we were blown away by just how fantastic they were, I was astonished just how precisely these marionettes had been made as the Divers hand fitted on to the shoulder of the little girl jut perfectly.

We stood by the massive stack of speaker and behold the giants were both sleeping and snoring, it was truly amazing, it reminded me of the noise that the burner on a hot air balloon makes.

As we waited in the hot sun, the crowds amassed, and it got busier and busier, we could see people standing on the balconies of the apartment blocks and hotels all looking at the giant spectacle.

We had read on line that the Giants would not wake up until 10.00 am so we nearly had a hour to wait, fortunately we had bottles of water in our bag so just enjoyed the warm sunny morning that it was and soaked up the atmosphere not to mention standing there mesmerized by two sleeping giants.

About ten minutes before ten, the Giants helpers turn up and started to prepare, and on the stroke of ten a Didgeridoo boomed through the speaker so loud that it rattled your chest, I am a sucker for a good didge player and this guy was good, he played for about 15 minutes and as he was playing the giants started to wake from their slumber.

The diver woke up first, he looked at the little girl and then he looked around him as if to take in the crowds that had gathered to watch, he looked surprised to see so many people. Then the little girl awoke, she looked up at her uncle and they both seemed captivated by the moment and oddly enough it felt quite emotional.

The little girl all 6 mtrs of her was lifted by the crane and her feet touched the ground, she was connected to her rig by her helpers and she wandered around a little much to the delight of the crowed. She also danced, the crane helped raise her high off the ground and dance to the delight of the crowds, the music and the atmosphere was vibrant.

Whilst the girl danced, we watched the puppeteers prepare the diver, they put his helmet back on and amazingly the way he lifted his head, made it look so real as the helmet was carefully raised brought toward him and lowered onto his head. Shortly after the Diver stood up and we were truly amazed just how tall he was, nearly 40 foot tall and he started to walk around as he was paying attention to his niece who was dancing over the way.

I said earlier that his was part of the 100th Centenary of the Anzacs and they played the last post and held a minutes silence in honour of the fallen
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This really puts in in proportion
and everyone fell silent, even the giants bowed their heads as a sign of respect.

Once the formalities were carried out, the premier of Western Australia the Honourable Colin Barnett who said all the usual stuff and without making a joke of this I am sure he was p*ssed, missing and slurring words, we don’t think he even managed to say Western Australia properly, but rumour has it that he had had a champagne breakfast.

Once the Giants were mobile we were done, we had seen what we wanted to do and now it was time to fight our way through the 1.4 million people who had turned up, we only found that out when we watched the Sunday night local news. The show was not even over until 12.30 because the Giants would walk and finally depart Perth on a boat up the Swan River, although plenty of people surged toward the river, still plenty had the same idea that we did.

We walked back with the crowds to the Esplanade station but it was just heaving and people were at a standstill so we decided to walk up to the Central station which is further
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The little girl dancing
up the line and we thought probably less busy, knowing that if we got on there we would stand a better chance of getting on a train, there was no way we were getting on at Esplanade any time soon!

We arrived at central station, it was a breeze we walked onto the platform and waited 10 minutes for a train, quite a few people had the same idea, but we got our seat the door closed and we were off, the train was busy but when the doors opened at Esplanade not many people squeezed on, the platform was packed, if we had waited at Esplanade there was no way we would have been anywhere near that train.

We got back to the house at about one o’clock and we had had the most marvellous experience and new how lucky we were to see the giants.

The story as follows from the Royal De Luxe website

The Deep-sea Diver, his Hand and the Little Girl-Giant

At the time of the legends, a Giant had settled in the middle of a river and all the ships that sailed that way went passed him.
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This is the lifestyle we are enjoying
Just like on motorways today, he requested a toll for access. He used the money he collected to build the city of his dreams. He had dug pools as huge tubs to relax in and host other Giants.

One day, conquerors from another world managed to capture him and cut off his hand. The current carried him and his hand away, down to the bottom of the ocean. Strangely, the Hand was living alone now somewhere in the Atlantic waters where she was busy stroking the rocks, seaweed and fish.

One day, a storm took away a trunk full of letters from the Red Star Line - boats sailing from Antwerp to the American coast - which sank close to the Hand. With great obstinacy and courage the Hand dragged the trunk up to one of the tubs in the city. Unfortunately, having no arms the Hand could not pull the trunk up onto the dock.

However, the Giant’s niece - the Little Girl-Giant – had chartered a boat to look for her uncle, but she didn’t find him. In the spot where the Giant lay, a geyser under the sea had woken him up. Some Water
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The Divers Helpers
Giants built him a diving suit to allow him to go looking for the Little Girl-Giant that he so loved.

Scaling the sand dunes underwater he found his way to the city and once there, he lay down in one of their tubs. Legend tells us that he found his Hand, the lost mail and the Little Girl-Giant, but it is only a legend.

We believe credit where credit is due and well done the city of Perth who put on an excellent event

Until next time


Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23


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Putting his helmet on!!
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Empty Perth Streets
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The Perth Crowds
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The Perth Crowds
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We didn't really understand what this was
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the Sound Rig
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A new Indian parked in the street

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