Monday, 15 September 2014

Rocking the Boat Bench for Maritime Day

Shiver me timbers! It's International Maritime Day on September 25th.

It's a great time to look at boat benches so we are very lucky that Mariner Mikey is on shore leave at the moment. 

Here he is at his pretty seaside home on Paradise Island.

He's just back from his voyage on the HMS Peculiar.

There are some brilliant maritime benches out there on the grass open seas.

my photo, Wells, Somerset

Ahoy there, Little Sailor! How fares me old matey?

You may remember Mikey from World Oceans Day. With his bottle full of rum, he helped me introduce a wide range of sea-themed benches. There were wave benches, and shell benches, and marine benches, and whale benches and . . .

Yes, Mikey, I remember the whale tail. Nice bench.

Oh, you didn't mean the bench, did you? You meant the girl sitting on a bench with a whale tail.

You're rocking the boat here, Mikey. I want you to keep it clean this time. We are not interested in your fantasy maritime life. Not whale tails.

Not octopus girls.

Not mermaids. 

Wow, I have to admit, this is a gorgeous mermaid! She's half fish, half fallen angel, as the poets would say.

(WT-shared) Davidx at wts wikivoyage

That's right, Mikey. It's The Mermaid of Zennor from Cornwall. I'm amazed you know that.

You know a lot about mermaids do you?

Who would be/
A mermaid fair/
Singing alone/
Combing her hair

But please let's not drown this story in mermaids. I want us to push the boat out with fabulous maritime boat benches. 

Something like this.

Or this.

Anchors away! This is a splendid nautical bench. 

And here is my imaginary friend Miggy in one of our Paradise Island boat benches. 

What's that, Mikey?  

Yes, perhaps Miggy has sunk the bottom half of the boat. 

Now, Mikey, you spend a lot of time at sea.

You're a salt-sea sailor.

I guess it gets lonely out there, looking at all that water. 

photo by Sheila B

Do you ever feel like jumping ship?

Only when you see a mermaid huh?

I can understand how a Lego mermaid on a bench might leave you all at sea. 

Yes, there are perils on the open seas. 

Avast mateys! There are picaroons everywhere.

And corsaires!

Buccaneer by Albert Henry Collings

The sea can be choppy.

The tides can turn against you.

You may have to steer yourself through high waves.

Keeping a grip on the wheel can be difficult.

©Ross at

No wonder canny sailors keep an eye on the lighthouse. 

But it's not all stormy seas, is it? 

Wrath of the Seas, Ivan Aivazovsky 1886

Some boat benches are smooth as glass.

And although boat benches may have weathered a few storms . . .

. . . some boat benches haven't sailed further than the mall.

my photo Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth

No, Mikey, I'm not knocking your bravery. I'm just saying there are different kinds of boat benches. 

Ferry boats, for instance. 

my photo, Brittany Ferries

And fishing boats. 

And river boats.

my photo, Stein-am-Rhein, Switzerland

And gravy boats.

I'm sailing through these so I hope I haven't missed the boat.

Different kinds of mermaids?

Yes, Ms. Mermaid here is shipshape.

Well-travelled mermaids?

A mermaid at Piccadilly Circus? 

Oh, visiting the British Museum, of course. 

Intellectual mermaids you say?

Golly, I've never seen a mermaid in a tree. 

We're getting off the point here so I'm going to get my compass out and put us back on course. I'm trying to run a tight ship.

Here's a funky little row boat bench

and a Viking boat bench

and a passenger ship bench.

Thin? Yes, the passenger boat bench is very thin.

Thin as a mermaid? Well, I wouldn't know. I've never seen one.

Golly, this mermaid is very thin. And she seems to be based on dry land. So close to land you can hear the seagulls call.

Can I get back to my boat benches now please? Would that be too much to ask?

Here is a lovely rustic bench made from old boats.

Boat benches like these are making great waves.

And this is a bench in honour of US Merchant Marines. They have defended America since 1775.

They've had to weather some stormy seas, though probably not on a bench.

This guy looks like he's riding the crest of a wave.

What's that, Mikey? 

Local mermaids? I don't know of any. 

Yes, Lady Jessica and Troy go out in his glassbottom boat and he reads to her and it's all very romantic.

She's no mermaid though. Not as far as I know.

The Miggy Mermaid? 


OK, let's see her.

That's not funny, Mikey. You know Miggy's bum looks big in this. 

However, that's all water under the bridge. 

So here's another boat bench. Lots of benches in fact. And a bridge.

You're right, Mikey. We're steering off course here with bridge benches. It would be better to set off again with the wind in our sails.

Do you recognise this, Mikey? It's a sailmaker's bench.

The bag is for holding tools and it's actually behind the sailmaker. He has to reach round the back for his needles and scissors and rope.

Yes, you're right, Mikey. It would be jolly awkward if the sailmaker is left-handed.

And speaking of left and right,  let's just take a peak through the port hole and see whether this boat bench is port or starboard.

What do you mean it doesn't look seaworthy? It's a bench, Mikey. A bench! It doesn't have to be seaworthy.

Oh, I see what you mean. This could have done with being less bench and more boat.

Yes, some benches never find their sealegs. They go down with the ship. 

Methinks I saw a thousand fearful wrecks.

©Paul Glazzard at

And if you capsize there are deep-sea creatures just waiting to welcome you to Davy Jones's locker.

A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon.

Well, Mikey, I see you know your Shakespeare.

Canine mermaids? They must be very rare.

This one doesn't look particularly dangerous though. 

Yes, this is a more conventional little mermaid. Very pretty. 

What's that you're saying? A mermaid like this lures men into the depths.

What sort of men? 

Not the men of Fribble I'll bet.

Well, I stand corrected. Nearly every man in Fribble is here. Including Lord Brassica. 

Yes, I know sailors have a reputation for being lusty.

A mermaid girl in every port. 

Nautical but Nice 1941, Curt Teich postcard donation

No, I don't want to hear anything about brassieres.

my photo, Brittany Ferries

Even if they're on the deck of a ferry. 

And I know you're very fond of mermaids. You made that very clear in the Oceans story. 

You seemed to have a little mermaid in every port.

Ohhhhhhh, nice bench.

And a very pretty mermaid.

A mermaid in the Arctic Ocean?

She gave you the cold shoulder huh? I guess she's burned her boats with you then.

This post isn't about mermaid benches though. It's about boat benches. I want to sail on now and show you some more boat benches while you're ashore. 

Here are some very elegant and arty boat benches.

An elegant and arty mermaid? 

Oh, alright, you saucy sailor boy. Go on then.

Thanks, Mikey, she's lovely. She's not exactly a mermaid though, is she? She has legs, for a start.

A poem? Yes, of course. We'd like to see a poem. As long as it's relevant to our maritime benches.

This is about mermaids again. I was hoping to get back to boat benches.

Yes, I can appreciate that mermaids are attractive.

All men find them irresistible you say? 

Are you telling me that this man is sitting on the beach waiting to see a mermaid?

photo by Sheila B

And these men are hoping to spot a mermaid in the harbour?

photo by Sheila B

And this man thought he spotted one out on the rocks?

photo by Sheila B

What do you mean, mermaids put up signs?

Love's fiery dream they cannot smother 
A kiss of a seaman is worth two of another 

So you're saying that every time a man sets sail, he's on the lookout for mermaids?

There's something fishy about this, Mikey.

photo by Helen Danby

We are a sea-faring place here on Paradise Island and few of us have ever seen a mermaid. 

Miggy's Mum, for example. She mends fishing nets down on the beach and she has never seen one.

And I often sit on my seashell throne hoping to see one.

Yes, ok, Troy claims to have rescued one but that was a long time ago, when he was still living in Minnesota.  

You have to wonder how many mermaids there are in a place called Dry Heaves.

These days Troy sails around Paradise Island seeing no mermaids at all.

As the man says in Jaws, he ought to get himself a bigger boat.

Yes, Mikey, you're right: Root seems to be spending a lot of time on the seabed lately.

But come on, Mikey, the odds of actually seeing a mermaid are stacked against us.,_golfe_du_Morbihan,_France.jpg

After all, mermaids are creatures of the imagination. 

Aren't they?

And now it's time to end this maritime story with a little riddle:

Mermaids' tears, crusted with time,
Wept long ago, now gather them early,
Trailing beards and trailing slime,
Little morsels, salt and pearly.

What think you, little sailor? Can you guess what it is?


Once again, Mariner Mikey has proven to be a less-than-reliable narrator for this post. I regret to say I cannot take responsibility for inconsistencies in his story. Please address any complaints directly to Mariner Mikey at

Mikey started his quest for love during World Oceans Day last year. If you'd like to see what happened next, have a look at the Three Scottish Weddings in July 2013. (Yes, Mikey was one of the three). And you can check up on Mikey again on Valentine's Day, 2014. But then why is he still going on about mermaids? 

Last year I attended a wedding at landlocked Wells in Somerset. Not a likely prospect to find a sea bench. The reception was in a beautiful walled garden high on the hill overlooking Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor. I took my glass of champagne and went wandering. The boat bench was alongside the pond. What a lovely thing to find.

The pink whale tail thong comes from In my defence, I can only say this image is included as a result of a rare moment of poor judgement; the Little Sailor seems to have been a bad influence. However, for reasons I cannot fathom, Mikey's post for World Oceans Day is one of the most popular stories on Benchsite.

Lisa Baldwin is very precise about her location. She lives overlooking the Tennessee River in Savannah, Tennessee. So not near the ocean then. Nevertheless, her shop is full of maritime things, like the octopus stool and other custom handpainted children's art and room decor. Clocks, curtains, coat racks, knobs, handles, artwork; she has it all at

Simon Morris is from the Gold Coast in Australia and, as you'd expect,  his photographs show a lot of sea and surf. He photographed the beautiful mermaid at the Swell Sculpture Festival in Sept 2013. It's by Monte Lupo Arts.

To the Mermaid at Zennor is a poem by John Heath-Stubbs. Zennor is in the west of Cornwall, where a mermaid is said to have lured a choir-man from the church into the sea. There is a bench in her honour in the transept of the village church which dates from the fifteenth century. (WT-shared) Davidx at wts wikivoyage, seen at

John William Waterhouse RA (6 April 1849 – 10 February 1917) was an English painter whose artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend. Waterhouse's painting A Mermaid may have been inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Mermaid' (1830). Tennyson's poem goes on to describe the mermaid seeking and finding love among the mermen but when the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1901 the Art Journal noted her 'wistful-sad look' and the review remarked that 'it tells of the human longings never to be satisfied … The chill of the sea lies ever on her heart; the endless murmur of the waters is a poor substitute for the sound of human voices; never can this beautiful creature, troubled with emotion, experience on the one hand unawakened repose, on the other the joys of womanhood'.

Kim Baxter-Weed from New Hampshire loves to paint on wood. At her Etsy shop KBW & Co. there are an assortment of hand crafted items, some with a nautical theme like the little blue stool shown in the story. Most of the signs and stools have been made using recycled old pallet wood. 

The green boat bench comes from the Anita Collection in Bali. It is owned by Chamsalina Paulus, who creates furniture from recycled teak wood and oil drums. In the case of benches, some are made from full boats, like the green boat bench shown. The blue boat bench later in the story is from a half boat.

The bench and old anchor, and Miggy in the boat bench were all photographed at Ventnor, Isle of Wight a couple of weeks ago. The boat bench is in the Boat House of the delicious Spy Glass pub, which is right down on the waterfront in glorious downtown Ventnor. Miggy is pleased to report that The Spy Glass does not do portion control. 

Originally from Beantown, MA,  Mike Lindsey now lives in Witch City, by which I'm pretty sure he means Salem, Massachusetts. This is where he photographed the bench back with sailboats stencilled on it. 

Liren Chen lives in New York. She has a whole album of 73 Benches on Parade from Rochester and other places in New York. The first one shown in the sailboat, by artists Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki. Sponsored by Bay Town, its location in 2010 was Bay Town, Empire Blvd., Webster, New York.

Liren's photos of the pirate boat and the fish/ferry boat show benches by artist Deborah McAfee, sponsored by Sutter's Canandaigua Marina. Both benches are located in the parade of benches on Main Street in Canandaigua.
Buccaneer, sometimes called Corsaire, is by English portrait painter Albert Henry Collings (1868-1947). Collings was born in London and lived all his life there. This painting sold at auction in the United States in 2018. 

Liren also photographed the rowboat in Eastview Mall in Victor, New York. The bench is sponsored by MVP Health Care and its artists are Chris Pallace and Kevin Serwacki.  

Sheila B takes a lot of brilliant photos for me without knowing what they are going to be used for. Nor do I. They sit in my files waiting for their time to come, but sooner or later they find a home in a Benchsite story. Most of her photos are from Cyprus, like the photos here of the men looking out to sea, watching for mermaids. The two men on a beach at the harbour are also looking for mermaids, but this time they are in Cowes, Isle of Wight. 

Pascal lives in Paris and has a thing for photographing Lego. He has two or three hundreds photos of Lego figurines, such as the mermaid here, who appeared in a Bench Monday edition in October 2010.

I travel to the Channel Islands regularly and I took this picture of the St Helier wave benches down on the Jardin de la Mer by the beach. St. Helier is a great bench town and with the help of Meredith, my feline editor, I documented them all. Well, most of them. See

Choo Yut Shing lives in Singapore and takes a lot of photos for Creative Commons, including ones I have used before. The red and white tide benches were made for a Street Furniture Design Project by students from the Lasalle College of the Arts. They are located at the Marina Bay Waterfront in Singapore.

The two steering wheels were photographed at Kingsland near Bangor, Wales, by Ross at Geograph. 

Wrath of the Seas was painted in 1886 by Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900). Born in the Crimea, Aivazovsky is one of Russia's foremost artists and painted more than 20,000 paintings, mainly of the sea. 

Bench or boat? The beautiful photograph of the reflecting boat and bench is from Pyramid Lake in Jasper, Canada. It was photographed in 2009 by Reto Fetz, who is from Zurich but now lives in Toronto. Reto has lots of stunning landscape photos from Canada in his photostream at 

Gunwharf Quays is a shopping mall in Portsmouth, UK. Portsmouth is a very boaty place, being the home of the Royal Navy, the Mary Rose, and the ferries across the Channel to Europe and across the Solent to the Isle of Wight. It has all the usual stuff in public spaces, including this boat bench made to be the HMS Sirius, a frigate which sailed from Portsmouth in 1787 to reach Sydney in 1788. The bronze boat bench sculpture is by Australian artist Victor Cusack and was given to the people of Portsmouth in 1991. 

The river boat where lots of children are standing on the shoreline is a boat bench I saw in Stein-am-Rhein in Switzerland. Stein-am-Rhein is a beautiful historic river town on the, um, Rhine. The Bodensee/Lake Constance cycle path passes through, where Miggy and Mungo and I have cycled several times. 
Debbie Vasilinda from Bellingham, Washington has been creating things all her life. Her  mother and grandmothers were artists and crafters taught her lots of different creative things so she loves to draw, sew, bead, crochet, work with wood and do lots of other arts and crafts. She also collects things, like gravy boats. I love the Studio Nova Barrier Reef gravy boat, which comes from Thailand. 

The pretty mermaid following the gravy boat is Ms. Mermaid, who now resides not in the ocean but in a gallery in Manteo, North Carolina. She is the creation of Carol Willett, who sculpts a wide variety of Creatures of Imagination from papier and cloth mâché. Carol's favorite subjects are sea creatures as well as those from legend and myth.  Her menagerie can be seen at:

You don't often see a mermaid in a tree, do you? Probably something to do with the legs. The mermaid tree is by Aimee Ray, who makes crafts, patterns, printables and one-of-a-kind whimsies for her etsy shop at The Mermaid Tree is Aimee's own design and she sells a PDF pattern based on her embroidery art. Besides this she does original crafts, miniature clay NOMS, clothing for Blythe dolls, and lots of other surprises.  

Evan Lewis is a sculptor who attended the Art Institute of Chicago. Evan and Sandra Lewis opened their furniture showroom on Chicago's North side in 2005. Here they showcase high-end furniture, lighting and objects d'art, such as the beautiful Viking boat bench.

Susan Mcanany's interest in photograph was ignited whilst attending college in Missouri. She loves the simple thrill of clicking a camera shutter and 'capturing the moment', as with the pretty blue rowboat shown in the story. Later she graduated the Washington School of Photograph in Bethesda, Maryland, and over the past twenty years she has been fortunate to work and prosper in many areas of photography incuding portraiture, commercial, event, stock and fine art.

The passenger ship bench was seen on, which has over 800 exciting benches. It is a constant frustration that I cannot find two things on this site: 1) a way to search by key words and 2) a way to locate the owners of the photographs, the designers, or anybody connected with the bench itself. On one occasion I actually found the designers/owners of the bench I wanted and they did not know they were publicly benched throughout France and the rest of the world, nor were they pleased about it. I have found this ship bench in both Mexico and the south of France. Apologies in advance if you are the rightful owner of the excellent passenger ship bench.

Stickersforlife have a great deal of stickers in their shop, including the very thin mermaid hovering above the sofa. They have some very big decals and they have them on a huge variety of themes including animals, flowers, music, trees, dragons, hearts, cars, kids and lots and lots of Others. For Benchsite's new year blog I used their brilliant flying horse sticker to start the new year. The 2014 horse caught my eye as it is photographed above the startlingly green sofa. OK, not a bench, but close enough to welcome in the new year. 

The pretty watercolour painting of the bench and seagull is by Liz Wolter from Oakhurst, New Jersey. The seagull was on the boardwalk at Asbury Park on the Jersey shore.  Liz is a self-taught artists of 30 years experience. She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and has been an exhibiting member of the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, New Jersey for many years. Her work hangs in private and corporate collections, and is also available in her Etsy shop at 

David A. Culpepper grew up in Florida and loves all things nautical. Being a former boatswain mate in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) with a deep love of the sea and enthusiastic collector, he thought an enjoyable and perfect enterprise for him would be ship salvage. For many years he had been involved in international trade in Asia and the South Pacific so he decided to begin his search for authentic nautical items in that region. It was like being on a treasure hunt and hitting the mother lode when he came across his first nautical items. He bought enough to fill one 40-ft. container and shipped it to West Palm Beach, Florida. Culpepper & Co.  is now the largest wholesale distributor of nautical antiques, ship lights and décor.

The merchant marine bench is from the Sacramento chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans. Merchant mariners sailed the cargo ships and tankers of WW2, facing great dangers in submarine-infested seas. Their website has lots of interesting history and a list of their events

Back in 2010, Alan from Woolongong New South Wales heard that there was a Great Wave Off Kanagawa and he went about capturing it for his Flickr photostream     Yes, Alan is surfing fully clothed; he says it was too cold to do otherwise. Had it not been for the fact that the surfing bench was wobbly and unstable, he'd have had a better pose. But of course, benches are not really designed for surfing on,  especially not by a (very slightly) overweight middle-aged guy who should know better. The Great Wave is a Japanese colour woodcut made by Katsushika Hokusai in about 1830. Alan apologises for using a modified version of the print, rather than the original.  

Lady Jessica Brassica is happily married to Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly. Lord B is a gentleman farmer, an expert on both cows and picnic benches,  but this summer Lady Jess has been spending rather a lot of time at her beach hut with Troy. 

Troy breezed into town this summer. He's normcore. Apart from that, all we know about him is this: 1) he comes from Dry Heaves, Minnesota, where he learned to read poetry in a particularly alluring voice  2) he never wears shoes  3) he is extremely polite and calls ladies Ma'm  4) he speaks fluent Spanish  5) he carries a manbag filled with books, a violin and a ladder in case anyone needs to be rescued.  

Rajeev Nair is a software professional living in Chennai in Kerala. The mermaid with a rather large backside is not Miggy, thank heavens. She's at Kollam Beach in Kerala, photographed by Rajeev in 2007.  She also appears in a gallery of Flick mermaids at

Wally Gobetz lives in Jersey City and finds interesting things. A bit of a history buff, to say the least, he provides a full background to his photographs. The Boston Public Garden was estabished in 1837, the first pubic botanical garden in the US. It's lagoon boats began in 1877 and now consist of six boats with benches, like the one shown. The oldest of these bench boats dates back to 1918.

David Edwards, aka Badly Drawn Dad, photographed the carved wood sail bench in Whitstable in 2008 and he was kind enough to send it to me just in time for this maritime post. Badly Drawn Dad says he has two lovely grownup (?) children, but he's no more dadly than any other dad. He is badly drawn, though.  
The sailmaker's bench comes from the National Maritime Museum of Cornwall. It was used by Frank Tresidder of Penrose Sailmakers at Upton Slip in Falmouth. 'The majority of sailmakers were right handed – hence the bag is on the right of the sailmaker. There are also holes in the end section to prop up tools and keep them close by. The sailmakers’ benches acted as their tool chest as well as a place to sit and work. Sometimes benches incorporated small boxes of tools on one end . . .  Each sail was made of canvas strips sewn together by hand, until around 1880 when sewing machines began to be used. Finishing work was always done by hand. Sailmakers sewed ten stitches to the inch in the early days of sailmaking.' The bench tells its own tale at

The nautical toy box bench is by artist/designer Rich Adamowicz in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. As you might expect from a craftsman living near the sea,   he makes high quality wood creations with a coastal flair. 

A couple of cheerful men seem to be chilling on a bench in the flooded Ganges. The photograph is by Barry Pousman, who comes from Atlanta but now lives in New York. The photo is one from his travels to India in 2011. at

That Sinking Feeling is the boat going down into the grass at Withernsea in East Riding in Yorkshire. Looks like it's sinking fast. It was photographed by  Paul Glazzard for Geograph at

There are several quotations from the works of William Shakespeare in the story. Methinks I saw a thousand fearful wracks and A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon are both lines from King Richard III. What think you, sailor? is from Twelfth Night.

The ferry bench and the brassieres sauvages (aka lifejacket) benches were on the deck of our Brittany ferry in October 2016. We were sailing from Portsmouth to Caen in Normandy, where we enjoyed lots of French delights and saw Le Mont St. Michel. The weather wasn't brilliant though. 

Gypsy and the Fool are a rather mysterious couple but at some point they took a trip to Huatulco in Mexico, where they photographed a bench with sea creatures. In this maritime context, I'd like to think of it as a Mexican wave. They have a whole album from this trip, full of animals and buildings and colourful things.  Their other albums feature friends, family, pets, and landscapes; I'm guessing they live in Canada, but that's really none of my business. 

Pets Adviser is from New York and has a lot of lovely canines in the photostream. One is Lola, who was taking part in a Halloween dog parade in 2012. She chose to be a mermaid on that occasion. Pets Adviser's website is at and the Flickr photostream is at 

The men of Fribble-under-Par certainly seem to have fallen for the lovely little mermaid. As Mikey suggests, she has lured them into the depths. Who is here? Well, there's Lord Brassica, who is very fond of female shapes, even mermaid ones. Our local police constable is Willie Wyme, aka Wyme the Crime. He's always got a smile on his face, especially in this case.  Our personal trainer and expert at law is Rawl Benchley-Press; he's the little one in white.  For a quick guide to the people of Fribble-under-Par, and some unsavoury gossip, see

Big Bang Zero is an Etsy shop in New Jersey. They specialists in mid century mod, rustic and industrial and what an amazing array of stuff they have. There is a pink typewriter Royal to die for. There is aso a Victorian mechanical Valentine featuring a sailor and his girl sitting on a park bench. his arm is hinged, allowing them to hide behind his hat for a kiss. Besides this, Big Bang Zero has modern, fine and primitive antiques, vintage designer clothing, designer purses, shoes and boots, costume and estate jewelry, rare and First Edition books, and vinyl records, all fresh to the market. 

Nautical but Nice (1941) is an English postcard from Curt Teich & Co.'s archive. It was donated for use under a Creative Commons license and is available on wikimedia. 

The Little Mermaid is a very well known book by Hans Christen Andersen and this illustration is by E. Stuart Hardy (1904). Inevitably, it's also a Disney movie (1989). This book cover of a beautiful Little Mermaid was photographed by Sofi in Kazakhstan. This and other beautiful book illustrations are at

I think snow mermaids must be fairly unusual. Tammy Lo found this one in February 2010.  Tammy is from Brooklyn and her albums are full of animals and concerts. 

The elegant arty boat benches are Arc Studio Bertjan Pot in Rotterdam, which consists of designers Bertjan Pot, Vladi Rapaport and Marjolein Fase.  At Studio Bertjan Pot the starting point is material research and the outcome is usually an interior product showing a fascination for techniques, structures, patterns and colors. Most experiments start quite impulsively by a certain curiosity for how things would function or how something would look. From there Pot takes on challenges with manufacturers to explore possibilities and push the boundaries a bit. The Arc bench is produced and sold by Arco at

The beautiful statue of the nude girl is called Endless Summer. She was photographed by Marco in 2010 at  St Cyr-sur-Mer in Provence. Marco is from Marseille so his albums contain a lot of photos around the south of France

Suzy photographed the mermaid poem bench at Upper Hulme in the Peak District in England.  In 2004 the Peak District National Park commissioned fifty benches with poems to commemorate the anniversary of the Ranger Service. The poems were written by local people living near the national park. Here is the mermaid poem on its bench at the Mermaids Pool at Warslow Moors.  It was written by Harriet Burn, who at that time was at the Manifold Church of England Primary School. 

In the summer at Mermaid Pool
As the grass grows all around
I think I sometimes hear her sing
For the Mermaid’s home I’ve found.

Biff Jelavich from Moss Landing, California took the photo of the three lovely mermaids. They were at the Moss Landing Street Fair flea market in 2013  

BC Lorio describes himself as a fan of the Atlanta Braves, New Orleans Saints, and Northwestern Wildcats. He's a lover of any music that has a groove. He's an attorney, a professor, an occasional blogger. And he's a hobby photographer who captured the Mermaid Parade in Brooklyn in June 2014.

Love's fiery dream they cannot smother 
A kiss of a seaman is worth two of another 

Wonderlane from Seattle is simply wonderful. In this story I have used her man in a paper boat, who aso appeared in the fiesta of Mexican benches.  He is called El Viejo y el mar (The Old Man and the Sea) amd sure enough he's along the coast in La Paz in Baja California Sur. The sculptor is Guillermo Gomez.

Helen Danby sent me the carved fish bench. It's in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, down on the harbour near the fishery.

Miggy's mum is a hardworking soul. She's always making or mending something. Last year it was woolly scarves. Now it's fishing nets. Must be her nursing training, which you can read about at

Root is the son of Lord and Lady Brassica of Drizzly. Whilst Lady B is gorgeous and Lord B is wealthy and personable, poor Root has none of these qualities.In fact, he has no qualities whatsoever, as became apparent in my Bus Stop benches blog last year. In this story though, he seems to have made himself at home in a scallop shell. 

The stack of colourful boats is in Conleau in France, at the Gulf of Morbihan. It was photographed by Jebulon  in August this year and made avaiable on wikimedia at,_Conleau,_golfe_du_Morbihan,_France.jpg

The riddle is by John Fuller. Have you guessed what it is yet?  If you don't want to know, look away now. It's an oyster. 

The alluring mermaid with the pearl at the end of the story is Innocent, an ex-convent girl, nurse, and now a fashion model and daughter-in-law of Lord Brassica of Drizzly. As we have seen in many Benchsite stories, Innocent will try anything to get attention so I'm not surprised to see her as a mermaid. But just who is she trying to lure into her depths?


  1. Canine mermaids are indeed quite rare. :)

    Thanks for using our photo. That's awesome.

  2. Lola looks fantastic in her mermaid costume. Very unusual mermaid ears though!

    Many thanks,


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