Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Cream of Bovine Benches

photo by Amber Rand

May was Cow Appreciation month and now it's Dairy Month, starting with Milk Day on June 1st. As you'd expect, I'm going to show you the creme de la creme of bovine benches.

Who better to help me than my neighbour, Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly. He has a horse named Tonks, a dog named Pru, a flat cap, a vintage Landrover and yes, a rather large farm covering 400 acres here on Paradise Island. The Landed Gentry, that's him. 

So, Lord B, I hope you've got some nice bovine benches to show us.

Lord Brassica: I thought this was about cows.

Yes, it is. Bovine means cow.

Lord Brassica: Does it? Fancy that. You learn something every day.

We could start with ordinary dairy cows, of the kind you have in your barn. Maybe you could tell us what kind of cow this is?

Lord B: It's black and white.

Well yes, I can see that. Does it have a special name?

Lord B: Giles I think that one is. Or Pat.  

I don't mean Cow Pat though. I mean something like Jersey or Guernsey or Alderney.

Lord B: Those sound like foreign places. Krappistan or whatnot.

No, these are the names of Channel Islands, where dairy herds are very important.

Lord B: Butter comes from cows you know.

Funnily enough I did know that.

Here's a butter bench, though whether a cow made it, I couldn't say.

Lord B: My cattle are all English. Reg, Gerard, Alexander, and so on. 

I'm glad you've named your cows. Did you know that a cow with a name will produce 450 more pints of milk per year than a cow without a name?

I didn't know that. I just like a good English name and in England it's traditional to use boys names for cows. 

I actually thought it was girls names that were traditional for cows; like Daisy or Betty. Or Buttercup. 

Lord B: That's news to me.

Buttercup here is reading the Daily Mooeuws, which sounds Dutch. They have a lot of cows in the Netherlands, and a lot of cheese. 

Do you know anything about cheeses, Lord B? 

Lord B: I know that the Hallouminati control all the world's cheeses.

If I named some, would you recognise them? For example, Wyfe of Bath?

Lord B: Yes, I see her at the polo club quite often. Good-looking woman. 

What about Ticklemore?

Lord B: What I get up to at the polo club is my business. 

It's a cheese, Lord B. I'm naming cheeses here. 

I don't have time for a lot of this ruddy silliness. 

I hope you're not referring to me as a silly cow? 

Lord B: Good heavens, no. I was thinking of the rhyme I learned as a boy at Eton. 

How now brown cow? 

No, not that one. 

I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one . . .

Lord B: No, I never saw a purple cow either come to think of it.

I saw a pink cow in London once though. Nice looking chap. Geoffrey his name was. 

Note to self:  Maybe I should have had Blogda for this story after all. Blogda comes from Krappistan, where cows are plentiful. Here she is with her cow Larry.

Blogda was going to bring Larry to Paradise Island but there were quarantine problems.

Blogda: I not keep Larry in stupid cow jail.

Then too there were issues with Blogda's attitude. 

That Lord Broccoli is very bad farmer. Grows nothing.

Yes, Blogda, but I've already explained to you about the European Union subsidies for farming. Lord Brassica is paid to grow nothing. 

Krappistan work hard. Not stupid farmer growing stupid nothing. 

Larry said he would do the cow story with me and that would have been great but Blogda was like a bull terrier in a china shop.

Larry makes milk, butter, cheese, cream. No blog. Blog making for lazy cow like you. 

So in the end I asked Lord Brassica to stand in. I thought he would be knowledgable about cow benches. Now I'm not so sure. 

(Deep breath) So, Lord B, I noticed when putting together this story that cows often inspire creativity.

Lord B: This would make a jolly nice toast rack if you had some large pieces of toast.

Nothing to do with toast. This is a pair of minimalist cow benches, which I think are splendid. 

As is a lot of Cow Art.

Composition VIII (Cow) by Theo van Doesburg

I'm not a stupid man but I fail to see how this is a cow.

This is De Stijl art, Lord B. It's a form of abstract art which developed in The Netherlands during the first World War.  

These people wouldn't know a cow from a cannon.

Does this help? It shows the development of a drawing of a cow into its abstract De Stijl form. 

Composition VIII (Cow) by Theo van Doesburg

It's not a million miles away from the rectangular cows of the 19th century.

A Shorthorn Cow, John Vine

Sussex Cow 'Joan', James Clark Senior

Lord Brassica: I say, these are jolly nice looking creatures. Especially Joan - what a brisket!

So you see, cows are very inspiring to artists and designers. Look, there's even an abstract bench.

Amersfoort, Netherlands

I don't care for benches. Here is a blue cow, name of Art.

Holy cow, Lord B really doesn't know anything at all about bovines. Or art. I've got to tread carefully here.

These are female cows though, Lord B. They've got udders. 

The udder is where the milk comes from I believe.

Don't you know for sure? You have a herd of 300 Friesans.

Have I? By jove, I think I have.

Friesans are very good milkers. Here's a nice blue bench with a couple of old fashioned milk cans.

And here's a dairy maid sitting on her milking stool.

I say, this is a jolly nice looking girl. Reminds me of my daughter-in-law.

Oh, don't let's get started on this subject. Lord Brassica's daughter-in-law is Innocent. She could be described as a sacred cow but let's not go there. 

It may seem a mooooooot point but we can't just keep chewing the cud here. We really need to focus on benches. I'm going to take the bull by the horns.

I have never cared for that expression. Does this fellow look amenable to being grabbed by the horns?

No. I see what you mean, Lord B. 

Nor does this fellow.

You'd have to run hell-for-leather if this chap came after you.

Speaking of leather, here is a bench made from one thousand leather belts.

I say, this is a jolly creature. 

Reminds me of my wife. She looks smashing in tight leather trousers. 

I'm going to steer us in another direction now.

Good idea, Seashell. Here's a cracking bench.

©Christine Matthews @

Sorry, Lord B but I don't see what this has to do with bovines cows. 

You're going to have to buck yourself up, Seashell. That's cow parsley growing around the bench. Any fool can see that. 

Cow parsley isn't exactly what I had in mind. I was thinking of something like Aberdeen or Galloway or Black Angus.

Lord B: Those sound like foreign names to me. And I'm no stranger to xenophobia.

No, they're the names of Scottish cattle breeds. Scotland isn't foreign. Yet.

Oh dear, where do I go from here? Lord B is making a mess of this story. But then, working with guest editors is never black and white.

I say, this black and white bench reminds me of the very attractive frock Innocent wore to the Dairyman's Ball.

Well, I can certainly see a cow theme going on here. But we need to get back to benches now. 

There are an awful lot of cow bench pictures. You can take your pick.

But we need to show some cow benches: there's a lot at steak stake here. 

I hope you don't have a beef with that. 

Holy cow, Seashell! These animals are tagged for the livestock market. Don't tell me this young couple are going to end up in my steak and kidney pie.

Keep your head on, Lord B. 

We haven't started putting people out to pasture. 

Not yet anyway.

There are certainly issues about meat-eating though. Have you ever thought why you stroke your dogs and eat your cows? 

By jove, someone has defaced this picnic table. What has happened to manners these days? It's a disgrace.  

But this is a serious message getting people to think about the food they are eating, particularly meat and dairy products. Have you ever thought that cows milk ought to be for baby cows?

Not in my dairy dreams.

Have you ever thought what happens to all those lovely cows?

Well, you might want to think about it.

Perhaps I can show you the whey way cows live in other countries.

I'm English. I have no interest in other countries. 

Is this anything to do with that ghastly Krappistani woman?  

No, it's India. In India you will often see cows wandering in cities.

That's because in India cows are sacred. They stand on benches.

And sit on benches.

Are they mad? 

Who? The cows? 

No, the Indians. Sacred cows on benches. Is this some EU directive?

No, it's nothing to do with the European Union. It's to do with the Hindu religion.

Good lord. You wouldn't see this at St. Asphyxia's.

That's true. Fribble-under-Par is a very English scene.

The new butter bench looks splendid. As does my wife.

I've noticed that a lot of cows read newspapers these days. 

I suppose this is a Brussels thing? Next thing you know I'll have to order the ruddy Times for my heifers.

They don't have to put up with this sort of nonsense in America.

No, but they've got cowboys. Cowgirls too probably. 

I've never understood all that dressing up in boots and silly hats. 

Who? The cowboys?

photo by Kelly Riley

No, the cows. In some places cows get decorated for festivals and whatnot.

Yes, here's a cow all dressed for a festive occasion. 

Very nice looking girls. They need to get themselves a good fellow rather than waste their time with cows.

Well, we've had cowboys and we've had Indians. I suppose we should show the Sitting Bull bench.

No, sorry, that's not the one. It's this one.

Must be my eyesight. I can't see a bull here. Where is it sitting?

Sitting Bull was a Lakota tribal chief at the Battle of Little Bighorn. 

Make up your mind: was it little or was it big?   

Forget it, Lord B. I'll show you the Cow Palace in San Francisco. 

There's not a cow in sight.

This is the place Lady Brassica wants to visit. It's a bit of a tourist attraction apparently. Some wealthy chap built it for his wife.

No, that's the Taj Mahal in India.

Never heard of it. Doesn't ring a cow bell with me.

OK, I'll have a look and see what other cow benches I can find.

photo by Miggy's Mum

Hmmmm. Cows but no benches. 

You look rather elegant here, Seashell. Your dress could do with pressing though. I'll get my chap to send it to the laundry. 

No thanks, I want to finish up the story.

Rightio. But let's have no more vulgarity. Cow palaces and so on. I can't see why a ruddy cow needs a palace. 

It doesn't. It just needs a patch of grass.

Is this what they call a cow pasture in America? 

In America you get cow plankers. 

That's P as in Plank, by the way.

What ho, this looks like jolly good fun. It's the sort of prank we'd have got up to in boarding school. 

Well, too late now, Lord B.

Yes, it's no good crying over spilled milk.

Back in Europe now and here's a beautiful cow in the Alps. Can you imagine Heidi bringing her herd down from the mountains?

Heidi? Her Majesty's daughter. Lovely girl. Used to play sardines when we went to Balmoral in the summer holidays.

He's milking his royal connections for all it's worth. I'm just going to ignore him. 

Actually I'm thinking of ice cream.

I say, this bench is top notch! 

Ice cream is a favourite with everyone. Especially children.

In Antarctica they graze their cows on snow. Very effective for ice cream making apparently.

What can I say to that? Breathe deep. Count to ten.  

This little girl is celebrating a succession of birthdays with an ice cream cone. 

I'd like to see some real British God-save-the-Queen cows now. 

OK, Lord B. I can show you some udder cows if you like.

my photo, Open Air Museum, Nancray, France

That's more like it. Good British cows!

But now we need to round this up and ride 'em out, if you know what I mean. 

He doesn't. Hasn't got a clue. 

These cows are here on Paradise Island. 

my photo, Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

By jove, that's my cow! Mos. 

Mos-cow. Very good. I suppose you're Russian to see him? 

The trouble with you, Seashell, is that you don't speak the Queen's English. I don't understand a word you're saying. 

No, I thought not. 

So back to my question about cheeses. How many cheeses can you name?

Well, there's Harrods. They do a spiffing hamper. And Fortnum and Mason, likewise.  

No, I don't mean shops that sell cheeses. I mean artisan cheeses like Gallybagger or Stinking Bishop

Steady on, it won't do to insult the bishop. 

He wouldn't know the difference between a cheese and a font.

On the other hand, I have found that Blogda's cow Larry can identify just about all the cheeses from around the world, and he also knows the fonts. For example, Larry knew straightaway that the font I'm using here is Verdana, and that Acapella is a cheese. 

But Lord Brassica is right about one thing: we could keep looking at bovine benches til the cows come home. 


The baby cow is Caden, from Moscow, Idaho. This was his first Halloween.  

The brightly coloured flowery blue bench was photographed by Nathaniel Moseley at Mont St Michel in 2013. He describes his photography as travel photography. I focus on architecture, art, some landscape, and what you might call still life. He tries not to get people and cars in his photos so that the photo shows the solitary side of travel.

The mosaic cow bench is at Cozumel in 2009, photographed by Kathy.  Kathy has colourful albums of photos from, among other places, Florida, Argentina, Peru and Antarctica. There are alien animals, mosaics, landscapes, and all kinds of festivities around the world.  

Lord Brassica is the Fifth Earl of Drizzly. He lives here on Paradise Island with his lovely wife Jessica, who is pictured with the new Fribble-under-Par Butter Bench. Lord B. often commissions benches for the community and he commissioned this one following the Dairyman's Ball last summer. Lady Brassica is wearing a dress she designed herself, made at her studio in Ballyfrumpy in County Offhand.  

The lifesize black and white cow is from Jolly Roger Ltd., otherwise known as Lifesize Models in the UK.  They have thousands of quality resin and fibre-glass 3D life-size models, figures, signs, statues, props, furnishings, etc. Their showroom has over 2000 themed models, which include animals, people, and everything from counter-top coffee beans to fullsize elephants. Their Facebook page shows some of the models in amazing situations  You will also find them talked about on Twitter

The bench I call the Butter Bench is actually called the Alight Bench. But doesn't it look like butter to you? It's by Turnstone Furniture (2011) and comes in many different colours and patterns, some of which don't look so much like butter  Turnstone is inspired by getting people to use space so that they engage with each other, think more deeply, and do great things. They make all kinds of seating and office furniture.

Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney are indeed Channel Islands and they're famous for their dairy products. They have some nice benches too.

The cheeses are a photo called Benched, taken in 2007 by Celine Asril.  -  Celine is a struggling writer from Singapore, now living in London. She takes glorious pictures of food. Her blog is at

It's true that a cow with a name produces more milk than a cow without a name. How do I know  this? I looked up 1,411 QI Facts at  page 77.

My husband, His Excellency, is very fond of artisan cheeses so yes, I know my cheeses. His favourite cheese is Stinking Bishop, which comes from Gloucester cows in Gloucestershire. Wyfe of Bath and Little Wallop are English cheeses which I actually know nothing about but love the names. Gallybagger is a cheese from the Isle of Wight, gallybagger being the island word for scarecrow. Ticklemore is a crumbly textured cheese from the Sharpham Estate in Devon. It's a goat's cheese though. I don't know much about Dutch cheeses but I do know about Dutch benches

The Cheese or Font game was very popular a couple of years ago and His Excellency and I are still playing it far too often. Yes, I know how sad that sounds.  But it's addictive. Come on now. Tabard: cheese or font?

Blogda and Larry are from Krappistan. Larry is shown in quarantine in Fribble-under-Par jail, guarded by PC Willie Wyme, aka Wyme the Crime. Later in the story he is shown in happier circumstances on the Fribble Butter Bench. Blogda visited in May and helped me with the post for Europe Day. I use the word help loosely here, because although we did finally manage to show one bench for each of the EU countries,  Blogda insisted on arguing that  Krappistan should join the European Union. I'm fairly certain that this will never happen. For a start, every bench in the country seems to be broken. And you know what they say: you can judge a country by how it looks after its benches.

The bull terrier in a china shop was in Parkwood Antiques in Pokesdown in Dorset, which is not a million miles from Paradise Island. Put it this way: I could visit Parkwood Antiques this afternoon. It was photographed by Joe Flintham in 2009. Joe is an ardent admirer of John Berger. Make of that what you will.

The cow/girl I've called Buttercup is on a bench reading a newspaper in a shopping center. She was photographed in 2010 by Daniel, aka parascubasailor, who lives in Thonon near Geneva in France and has taken quite a few cow photos.  Daniel quotes from Mark Twain in his profile: You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.

The brown cow bench is one of several bench sculptures called Eastwick Park Farm, made by Rosalie Sherman in 1983 as part of the ongoing Philadelphia Public Art project.   It includes a vast array of public art: 846 sculptures, fountains, mosaics, memorials and, of course, benches, scattered all around Philadelphia. There are driving site tours and maps for locating the art. The scale of the Philart project is really quite something and it's being added to all the time. Last year Rosalie's sheep made it onto Noah's Ark of animal benches.

The little purple cow stools are by designer Onar Cobanli in Como, Italy. Born in Istanbul in 1984, Onar studied design in Italy and got a PhD for his research into design competitions. He has featured in many magazines, including Milano Mod in April 2012 (that's him on the cover).   Onar Cobanli's company is, which has the most amazing range of products I've seen, including more than 100 benches, chaise lounges, sofas, and chairs.   

The pink cow was at London's Southbank art centre last summer. I can't for the life of me remember why but it was a delight to see it there. 

The minimalist cow bench is by Inhabitat in Novato, California, who makes future forward design for the world you inhabit.  There are glorious Cathedrals of Junk, solar powered houses, pop-up cat cafes, and more benches than you can shake a repurposed stick at.
De Stijl is a form of abstract art founded in 1915. It's Dutch leader was Theo van Doesburg (1883-1931) whose ideal in painting was a complete abstraction of reality. His famous Composition VIII (The Cow) was created in 1917-1918 and shows how a figurative drawing becomes abstracted in a careful arrangement of colourful rectangles and squares. OK, it's not everyone's cup of tea but I think it's brilliant. Van Doesburg's work is now in the public domain.   

Paintings of rectangular cows (and sheep, and pigs) were a bit of a thing in the 19th century. At that time selective breeding was possible and desirable traits were large size and a squared off rump. If that were the case now, I'd be a beauty. The shorthorn cow was painted by John Vine (1808-1869) and joan, the Sussex cow, is by James Clark senior (1860-1902). Both pictures are from the Museum of English Rural Life. See also Rectangular Cows by Molly Tresadern at art uK. 

Miggy and Mungo and I were in Luxembourg again last year and we had lunch in a park with some lovely Art Cows, including the painted blue cow. You can just see Miggy on the bench in the background, stuffing her face with cake.  

The blue bench and milk cans were photographed by Ken Rachynski in Alberta, Canada in 2010. Ken is a computer manager and IT geek who likes to take pictures of his family.

The milk maids are an illustration from an unknown illustrator at Port Sanilac, Michigan in 1910. The title of the postcard is Pretty Dairy Maid. It was photographed by Don Harrison, a wannabe philanthropist, aka The Up North Memories Guy. And that's Up North in Michigan, not Up North as we know it in the UK.  

Innocent is the daughter-in-law of Lord and Lady Brassica, married to their hapless son Root, who is known for getting drunk and sleeping on benches. Since her wedding last summer, Innocent has emerged from her convent nursing dress into something of a fashion icon, usurping her more famous mother-in-law and causing uproar on the fashion forums.  Wearing last autumn's Downton Abbey servants dress she may look like butter wouldn't melt, but don't mistake that for innocence. 

The Bull is a cast aluminium sculpture by Richard S. Beyer (1925-2012).  It's in Ellensburg, Washington, a town noted for its cattle industry. This photo was taken by Tim, aka lippert61, who has lots of photos of Ellensburg and might live in that neck of the woods.   Between 1968 and 2006 Rich Beyer created over 90 sculptures for public spaces in cities and towns throughout the USA (and beyond) but particularly in the northwest. His designs are active and direct, using animals and people with expressively carved gestures to tell stories about experience and interaction. Beyer used humour to affirm the human condition, often making fun of things that limit and debase, such as pretension and complacency. The private parts of The Bull were first thought by local people to be rather too raunchy so Beyer discretely covered them with a cowboy hat. The sculptures are brilliant and so are the titles: Coyote Reading a Candy WrapperMan Eating DogfoodThe Wedding of the Girl Who Grew Up With Chickens. You could tell a story from every title. 

The Bassingham bull is the poor fellow with a nose ring, photographed in Lincolnshire in 2010 by Richard Croft for Geograph.   

The amazing leather belt bench is by Hongtao Zhou, a designer, artist and researcher working in the interdisciplinary areas of furniture design, sculptural installation and performance. He started his career in Harbin, China and came to the US in 2005, where he gained a PhD in Furniture Design and Manufacturing from Purdue University. He is currently an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, working on design and art matters regarding sustainability, climate and culture.

The Triple Cow Head bench is by Mike Coghlan, photographed in Homebush Bay in Sydney in 2009.    Mike, from Adelaide, is one of my most reliable bench providers and his bench collection is the most extensive I have found. It is truly inspirational, so on dreary days I flick through to see what's new and it cheers me up enormously.

The bench in cow parsley is in Enfield, UK and it actually does fit two criteria for the Cow story: 1) it's cow parsley and 2) it's at Bulls Cross in Enfield. It was photographed  by Christine Matthews in 2008 

voodoo angel is Megan, from Los Gatos, California. She photographed the black and white cow bench in Seattle in 2008. She says she has no idea what she's doing on this planet but she's open to suggestions. I have a suggestion, Megan: get out there and photograph some more benches! -

The vintage cow shakers are from Sarah Miller's shop in Madison, Wisconsin. She sells vintage clothes, jewelry, shoes, hats, purses, coats, lingerie, home goods, and more from the 1920's through the early 1990's. The cow shakers are from the 1970s.

Stefano Costantini is from Rome, where he is a private driver and tour operator. The cow bench was photographed in Orvieto in 2011 as part of his Orvieto album  Stefano Rome Tours provides shore excursions from all cruise ports in Italy, as well as day trips throughout Tuscany, Umbria, Lazio and Campania regions.  Stefano's websites are at and   

 Anna and I on a Cow Bench is a photograph taken in 2000 in Calgary. Calgary is a Cow City, notable for the Calgary Stampede. The photo is by swifant at  Swifant's albums cover much of the world but Calgary is the only bench I picked up.

The strikingly beautiful headless leather cows are by designer Julia Lohmann (born in Germany 1977) and now based in London and Hamburg.  The Cow Benches (2004)  have appeared in design shows all over the world and are much photographed wherever they are exhibited. The designer describes them as a bovine momento mori. She explores the contradictions in our use of animals, using offal, offcuts of leather, and meat industry waste products in her work. The Cow Benches all have names, for example Belinda and Antonia and Waltraud - girls names, you'll note, and that's how it should be. 

No wonder Lord Brassica is so upset. He loves picnic tables. This particular picnic table is graffitied with an important philosophical message: You stroke dogs and you eat cows. It was photographed by Manuel Quiroga in Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain in 2011   

John Firth photographed the cow seat at Dairy Dreams ice cream parlour in Pentreheyling in Shropshire. It is available through Geograph at 

The toy cows were in a child's sandpit in a very unlikely place high in the Alps. Miggy, Mungo and I were on our summer search for alpine benches when we happened upon an extraordinary view at the top of a mountain in Italy's South Tirol. There was a house, and a picnic bench, and very nice coffee. Behind us was the sandpit where every single cow was keeled over. I thought immediately of Lord Brassica and how there might be a lesson for him.  

Zubin Bharucha, from India, is a student in Bremen in Germany. He took the photo of the contented cow on a bench for his photostream at  I'm not sure where it was but the sun was shining and Zubin has travelled to Lisbon so putting two and two together, I'd guess this might be a Portuguese cow. 

Dave Morris is a photographer and lighting designer in Oxfordshire. On his travels to India he photographed a cow standing by a bench at dawn in Uduaipur in Rajasthan. He has some other bench photos, including a stunning one of water on varnish. -

The Indian cow sitting on a bench is a photo by Matt J Kelley in Riskikesh, Haryana, in 2009. -   Matt has albums from his travels to India, Vietnam and Mexico City. There are many, many surprising benches in Mexico City at 

Cliff Dix keeps has a great eye for cows. Indeed he has a whole album dedicated to the Atlanta Cow Parade in 2003.   Here you will see cows of every description - hospital cows, shoe cows, watermelon cows, Elton John cows, and every kind of lovely decorated cow you can imagine. None of these are benches though. The cow reading a newspaper on a bench is the ING bench cow, at

The lonely cowboy was photographed in Brainerd, Minnesota in 2007 by Mykl Roventine.  Mykl is a designer of things, blogger and social media junkie. He's the admin person for a lot of Flickr groups, including Bee Porn, Really Big Inflatable Things, and Extreme Lawns. A particularly relevant group for my cow story is When Good People Pick Bad Fonts.   Oh, dear, quite apart from the confusion with cheeses, this font business is tricky. I may have fallen foul with my use of Verdana? Mykl's blog is at 

The two cowboys on the wooden bench are in front of the Shaniko Hotel in Shaniko, Oregon. This is an historic town which we went to many times when I was growing up. My grandfather was an old cowboy himself and he loved Shaniko. I have pictures of various members of my family sitting on this bench. This picture was taken by Kelly Riley this year. 

Evan Bench is an aptly-named Paris-based freelance photographer working mainly for Travel, Politics, and Cultural publications. His work has been published in Time, Wired, Conde Nast, Travel Channel, and many other newspapers, magazines, and web sites, including previous posts on Benchsite. The cow with the cartoon girls was photographed in Madrid in 2009

The dog lying on a sitting bull is a photo by Tom Maloney at Tom is from Melbourne but lives in London and travels widely. Cow and Dog was photographed in Jodhpur in India. 

Sitting Bull was a Lakota tribal chief who defeated Colonel George Custard at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. Sitting Bull was killed in 1890, having won the battle but lost the war. The Sitting Bull bench was photographed by Patrick Phillips, aka k8, in 2009.    k8's photostream is full of cats, cakes, and very colourful benches that I have never seen elsewhere. 

The Cow Palace in San Francisco was originally the California State Livestock Pavilion but is now an indoor arena for concerts, conferences and sporting events. It was photographed by Tim Adams in 2013. This view is from San Bruno Mountain State Park where the Saddle Loop Trail passes and where there is a bench to admire the palace.  OK, it's not the Taj Mahal but at least it's a palace. Sort of. 

The golden cow reading a newspaper is from Athens, photographed by Kamneed, who has some very nice benches in his photostream, along with photos of food, people, landscapes and street life in Istanbul  

The sweet little cow chair is from Primary Products Ltd, a privately owned toy and gift company in Telford, UK and South Victoria, Australia  They specialise in brand development and launching products to market throughout Europe and Australia. The cow chair is one of their range of delightful nursery furniture products.

Miggy's Mum loves to take pictures and this is a great one of a statue looking out over some very contented cows. It's at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, where Brideshead Revisited was filmed in both the 1981 TV version and the 2008 film. I adore Ben Whishaw as Sebastian but for me Charles Ryder will always be Jeremy Irons. 

Mike Cogh lives in Adelaide and photographed Bench with a lawn in Wormerveer, Netherlands in 2014.     Mike has an extensive set of over 800 Humble Bench photographs at 

Yes, I know planking is sooooo over, but I couldn't resist including this picture from a couple of years ago. It's from the great site which now, strangely, seems not to work, possibly due to being for sale. Who says there's no money in planking? 

The spilt milk bench was photographed in Seattle in 2010. The photographer is Steve Mohundro, who now uses Lightroom to process his photos but still wants some great shots straight out of the camera. Like many people, he didn't take many photos until he went digital (in 2004) and then he went a little nuts (his words, not mine).

Oh I love the Bavarian alps. I have cycled in that area for many years and have done a bit of walking too. Wank mountain? Yes, I know that one. And the Zugspitz of course. The beautiful cow in the mountains was photographed back in 1987 by Oops, who is a photographer in the Netherlands. His real name isn't Oops, of course; it's Arend Bloemink, an art director, design teacher, graphic designer, website designer and grandfather. His website is at and Flickr photostream at

Heidi, of course, is not the Queen's daughter. Heidi, written by Johanna Spyri in 1880, was a little Swiss mountain girl who worked hard herding her cows. She would not have been playing sardines with the likes of Lord Brassica. Sardines is a hide-and-seek game in which one person looks for all the rest. Eventually everyone ends up crammed together like sardines in the hiding place. In Lord Brassica's day this was played in the closets of country houses of the aristocracy. Nowadays, apparently it's played in shopping malls.

There are quite a few ice cream benches around, though none that I know of in Antarctica. I've shown some here on Benchsite in previous stories. This one was photographed in 2007 by cherry2far and I'm not sure where, though it says Bahamas in the corner, which might be a clue.

Emma and Her Cousins (2009) are the four happy kids eating ice cream in a small town. The photographer is Mish Mish, an Egyptian-American, born and raised in Texas. She's a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, MBA, financial analyst, blogger, dog-lover, brunette, and photographer.

Triple the Pleasure, 2008 is by Mark Kirchner, who photographs his daughter each year on her birthday (25th July). You'll notice that all three are the same girl at different ages. She's on the same bench at Central Market, eating strawberry ice cream. Mark says that this one was the easiest one to compose, as he had her move around on the bench. You can see the earlier attempts required more photoshopping.

The joke about the Hallouminati controlling the world's cheeses is by Nick Helm from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival best jokes list - sorry, I don't know which year.

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