Monday, 11 March 2013

Who's Who in Fribble-under-Par

Readers have said they are getting just a little bit confused about all these people in Fribble-under-Par. So I've decided to provide a Who's Who to show you who's who. 

First, me. As regular readers will know, I live in the Casa Perfecta on an island paradise called Paradise Island

I’m a keen swimmer. Here I am swimming off The Plunge, making for the underwater Starfish Bench where I’ll eat my (soggy) underwater sandwich.

And now let me introduce Dora and Cora Boran, who have lived in Fribble all their lives and are well placed to help me guide you through Who's Who. 

Dora is the nice one and Cora is her evil twin. 

Every day at 11.42 they take the number seven bus into town to eat their lunch at Miggy's Make A Wish Cafe. 

When I say lunch, I really mean cake.  Miggy's Be Happy Menu is mostly cakes, cupcakes and what she calls bread, which is really cake. There is no cakeage charge for bringing in your own cake.

Today at the bus stop Cora has taken out her teeth to give them a rest until the bus comes.

Cora:  (gummily) This is badly written and stupid. Why don’t you throw out the whole blog and start over.

Knowing how critical Cora can be, I’m going to just press on with introducing people. I’ll be as brief as I can.

His Excellency is my husband. He isn't very interested in benches. He likes to take photographs and he likes birds and boats. There are a lot of birds and boats around Fribble and as His Excellency rarely leaves town, a lot of his photographs are of birds and boats. His Excellency is only ever on one side of the camera so as a photograph of him, this is the best I can do:

Dora:  I’m sorry, dear, I can’t see anything here. Can you pass me my glasses?

I am lucky enough to have two husbands.

Cora:  Lucky? That's just plain greedy. 

Dora:  Yes, I could have done with a husband. Then I wouldn't have had to live with Cora all my life.

I feel for you, Dora, I really do. But let me get on now please.

Mungo is my imaginary husband. He’s an easy going guy who likes benches, travel and sitting in the sun. Here he is in Scotland at a party with his cat Abbey and his imaginary friends.

Because we go everywhere together, there are lots of pictures of Mungo on this blog. In 2013 we had a brilliant holiday in Greece where we (eventually) found some great benches. This year we got high on alpine benches and tasty Italian benches pasta

Mungo is the more sensible and harder working of my two husbands. You can tell by the way they use their workbenches

The other man in my life is . . . 

Dora:  Ohhhhh, you are lucky; three men on the go at the same time!

Eddie is my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate.

Eddie has ruined helped me edit the Blue Monday benches.  He even interfered with stepped in to help with the Orange bench mystery. However, he has a habit of setting his own agenda with the benches. No wonder I was very grateful seeing red. 

Dora: This must be why your St. George's Day dragon post ended up being all about monkeys.

Miggy is my bezzy, that is, my best imaginary friend. She's a true Bench Friend and we've been everywhere together looking at things people do on benches

We went Dutch in Holland, we rode bikes down the Danube . . . 

. . . and she helps me shop for benches

She ate cake at both my weddings (and on every opportunity where cake becomes available.) 

Dora: Poor love, she's had a few problems finding a man.

Cora: No wonder. When she wears a dress she looks like a cow in curtains.

Miggy’s also partial to popcorn, ice cream, and watermelon. Here she is in Holland, having a Coke before moving on to the chips and then the ice cream.

Miggy has a lovely portable house where the people of Fribble and Drizzly have a lot of parties. Once the weather and the benches get sunny, she moves her house to the beach.

Dora: It's not ideally situated for a high tide though, is it dear?

We're very festive here in Fribble. We tune into piano benches and poetry. When autumn benches start to fall we celebrate with lovely commemorative benches and spine-tingling halloweens. Come Turkey time, we give thanks for our benches and quite a few other things.  

And as you'd expect, we have a ding-dong Christmas

But we go well beyond the traditional holidays. Bleak benches for Blue Monday? We got 'em. 

World Toilets Day? We're flush with excitement.
How many communities do you know that celebrate World Toilets Day?

Cora: This whole place is a toilet. What's to celebrate?

On Europe Day in May we celebrated European Diversity with a visit from Blogda in Krappistan. Krappistan isn't in the European Union but Blogda found a bench from each of the 28 countries which are. 

Cora: She looks like an old cow.

No, that's Larry who's the cow.  

Another important person in Fribble is Miggy’s mum. Here she is outside her cottage in The Butts.

Miggy's niece Lettie helped me edit the Baaaad Sheep benches. Here is Lettie, all ready for Burns Night or The Edinburgh Tattoo or the Scottish-themed weddings that took place last summer. 

Dora:  Lovely little girl. I hope she doesn’t have an evil twin like mine.

Cora:  Respect, Wrinkles! I'm all you've got.

Lettie's mum, Nora, is Miggy's sister.
Funny how Migs looks so much smaller than her sister when Migs eats all that cake and Nora just eats grass. Could it be that Nora is small but Miggy is further away?

Our oldest resident in Fribble is Old Noah. He dates back from biblical times and is well known for having saved our animal benches from the floods.

We're very fond of animal benches here in Fribble. Besides Lettie's sheep benches, Noah saved our horse benches, cow benches, chicken benches, duck benches, and our sunny bunny Easter benches.  

There are quite a few children here in Fribble, including April, age six, and her Parallel Selves, May and June. Here they are with Squeezy, their pet lemon.

And here's Fribble and Drizzly Primary School celebrating the last day of term. Yes, they love it when school's out for summer

And now to my neighbours in Fribble. Lord Brassica is the Fifth Earl of Drizzly.
Here he is at Drizzly Manor with his lovely dog Pru.

And of course his lovely wife Jessica, who looks decidedly queenly when occupying a throne.

He also loves his horse Tonks and his beloved 1947 Land Rover. The Thank You bench was one of the many he has donated to the community. 

Lord B is fond of benches and cows. He's good on picnic benches too, if your idea of a picnic is a Harrod's hamper. 

Lord Brassica's long-suffering butler is Unwin, who has a pretty cottage on the Drizzly Estate. Every morning Unwin irons the newspaper and presents it to Lord Brassica, who ignores it. 


Here is Unwin and Miggy's Mum on a lovely springy morning 

Lord Brassica's son Root will be the Sixth Earl of Drizzly once Lord Brassica dies.

Cora:  The sooner the better I say. He’s a no-good scoundrel.

Dora:  He’s a lord, Cora! You should never talk about the lord that way.

In 2013 Root got married to Innocent. 

Just how Innocent she is, we've yet to find out. There was an unpleasant incident at New Year which has got us all wondering. 

One thing is certain though; Innocent knows how to model a woolly autumn bench

Cora: She hasn't pulled the wool over my eyes.

Dora: Oh, Cora, you always see the worst in everyone. Maybe Innocent is entirely innocent?

Root, we know, is definitely not innocent. He keeps getting drunk and crashing cars, which our local police constable seems to find amusing.

In 2013 Root ended up in St. Smiley's Hospital with a rather serious condition. His medical chart is available for all to see so you can make up your mind whether he's good value for the National Health Service. 

from left to right, Pru, Root, Biff and Sk8T. Hood-D is at the back.

Here are Root and his mates, The Fribble Agro, hanging out on a bench at the clock tower before I put them to work on the Bus Stops bench post

Though they don't look up to the mark on editing, I have to say, they did a cracking job. 

And now to Lord Brassica’s wife Lady Jessica, who is well known for her intellectual pursuits, like shopping and sunbathing. Most evenings when the Paradise Island ferry comes in there is a young man on it who has been ordered online from Young Male Readers dot com. 

Dora:  My eyes aren't very good anymore. Ohhhhh, I’d love to have one of these young men read to me.

Cora:  Shameless hussy!

Tonight Lady B's Young Male Reader is a businessman named Phil; she has already been sent his picture. 

As he looks rather well dressed, Lady B puts on her latest evening gown, the creation of her personal dress designer Joop, from Overbearing in Holland. Then she settles down to wait for Phil on the marble bench in the replica mall which Lord Brassica had made for her in the basement of Drizzly Manor.

Occasionally though, something goes wrong in Fribble. For example, recently the Young Male Reader who arrived on the ferry was not quite so young.

Dora: I'd be very pleased to be introduced to this gentleman if Lady Jess doesn't want him.

In 2014 Lady Jess became overly involved with Troy, one of her young male readers. Here they are in her beach hut reading about the joys of summer

Tamsin Pink is the Queen of Cute. She helped me edit a post about all things cute and tiny. And some big, ugly things as well. 

Tamsin works at the Nearly Good Enough Pharmacy here in Fribble and she has worked hard to earn her Not Quite Competent Certificate in handing out prescriptions.

Cora:  She’s daft as a brush. Gave my sister some fungal cream and told her it was toothpaste.

Dora:  No, Cora, it was my mistake. I didn’t have the right glasses on.

After leaving Root at the altar, Tamsin is now engaged to Garçon Orange. Tamsin, Garçon and her baby Isambard Kevin visited Mont Saint Michel last summer. 

Cora:  French! Who needs French? 

Dora: He may look menacing, but Garçon has the heart of an orange.

To help me with a story about Edible Benches I called in Jench de Bench, a Frenchman from vegetable editors dot com. 

He turned out to be a bit dodgy so when our benches went missing, he was high on the list of suspects.  

Mysteriously, Tamsin found herself with a baby last summer. Tamsin says the stork brought it but nobody knows for sure. 

Cora: No surprise there. She's a little slapper.

The baby is Isambard Kevin Pink. His name was inspired by the beautiful bridge benches introduced to us by our local engineer, Emily Hardhat. You will recognise Emily because she always has a bench wrench in her hand.

The Fribble and Drizzly Youth Club is run by Spike, who, having just broken up with his girlfriend, does not wish to be photographed.

Cora:  Suck it up, Loser.

You can see why Cora is the evil twin. 

Dora:  It’s getting near dinnertime, dear. We need to get to the bus so we can go into town.

Yes, Dora and Cora, off you go.

That just about covers the population of Fribble and Drizzly, apart from  
my neighbours, the Paragons. They play an important part in keeping sport alive around here. Not cycling though; Lord Brassica hates bike benches

We have our very own local football team, the Fribble and Drizzly Mediocres. Here's the Fribble and Drizzly Football Club benches on a busy Saturday.

Mr. Paragon looks after the pitch. OK, he's not brilliant at it but he does his best.

It's sometimes hard to get players back onto the pitch after one of Mrs. Paragon's cakes.

image from

We are pleased to say that there has never been any unpleasant football violence in Fribble and/or Drizzly, either on or off the pitch. 

Unless you count the time that Pudsey Parsons went away in a sulk after the Mediocres lost nine nil to the Mope Junction Gerbils. 

image from

Here is Police Constable Willie Wyme, affectionately known as Wyme the Crime. There isn't much crime around Fribble so his main job is to pop down to the bus stop every evening and find Cora's teeth. 

There was a little problem with an Illegal Smile though, in which Wyme found himself on the wrong side of the law. I'm not one to judge but it's a pity Willie doesn't know much about Bench Law

Ursula Makepeace is our Unicorn-in-Residence. She's very well-read and has stacks of lovely book benches.

Ursula is a romantic She has already helped me edit Romantic White Benches and she knows a thing or two about hearty heart benches. In her other life she's a peace campaigner for World Peace Day  

We also have frequent visitors to Fribble, such as exchange students and Little Sailors and long-distance swimmers who like to swim around Paradise Island. 

Here is Mikey the Mariner on Fribble Esplanade during his summer visit, when he stayed just long enough to help me edit a post for World Oceans Day. He visited again the following year, but he was only here long enough to rock the boat benches for World Maritime Day 

And here are the Japanese girls, Kimiko, Noriko and Emiko, during their spring visit. They brought with them in their suitcases a dazzling array of Japanese benches

Artists Drida Kivera and her husband Friego Rahlo are known for their rowdy fiestas and their collection of fabuloso Mexican benches.

It only remains to introduce some of the animals in Fribble and Drizzly. 

Here are my two cats, Rosie and Melissa on the bench in our conservatory.

You may see a resemblance between Melissa and Meredith, the feline editor of the St. Helier bench post. This is pure coincidence. 

Meredith also edited the post for World Cats Day, though to be honest she was such a pain that I wish I'd done it myself. Maybe a dog bench would have been better.

The Sisters Boran enjoyed their lunch today. Dora, as usual, had a Be Happy Meal and took away a Coke for her tea. Cora always orders a Sweet and Sour Cake and tells Miggy to hold the sweet. 

Today, because she left her teeth on the bus stop bench in Fribble, she couldn't eat, which made her more grumpy than usual. Unfortunately, she took her anger out on the Be Happy Bench outside Miggy's.

It would have been something for PC Wyme to deal with I suppose, but he was down at the clock tower building relationships with the community.


The photos of Fribble Agro were taken by myself at great personal risk. The same could be said of the photos of Cora Boran. 

Miggy and Nora were photographed in White Bird, Montana. The Small/Far Away question is dealt with in a hilarious episode of Father Ted

The little cake eater was photographed in 2008 after eating too much birthday cake. Thanks to Scott Whigham for the photo. Other photos of  Whigam family activities can be seen at

My dog Sit, Nora, and Mr. and Mrs. Paragon are needle-felted sculptures made by Kelly Riley You can make your own polar bear by ordering a kit. 

Now that I look closer, you can buy Mr. and Mrs. Paragon too. 

Lady Brassica's Young Male Reader is from

Spike ,the youth club leader, probably has another name. He's a stock image from    Well, where else was I going to get one?

The photograph of the man planking is not actually Pudsey Parsons. It is one of many sporting photos where men, women and indeed children, take part in planking. The image is from

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