Tuesday, 17 January 2017

China in The Year of the Rooster Bench

Cockadoodle Do! 

From January 27th 2017 it's the Year of the Rooster Bench.


It's the tenth cycle of the Chinese zodiac so if you were born in the Year of the Rooster, all your benches will come home to roost.


My imaginary friend Miggy: That fellow in the first photo looks like he rules the roost. What kind of character is he?

Well, Roosters are active and amusing. They like to call attention to themselves.


They walk the walk . . .


. . . and talk the talk.


Miggy: This guy looks like he has something to crow about.

Yes. Himself.

Roosters are larger than life characters. 


They like to be the centre of attention. 


Miggy: Wow, you wouldn't miss this fellow! But doesn't all this showing off annoy people?

Yes, sometimes.


Sensitive individuals may find it hard to get along well with Roosters, because they always brag about themselves and their accomplishments. People born in the Year of the Rabbit Bench, for example, are really uncomfortable with Roosters. 


Pig Bench people don't like Roosters either.


As for Horse Bench people, when it comes to Roosters they say neighhhhh.


Miggy: I can see why. Rooster Bench People are a bit too cocky.


Miggy: They act like they are Emperors fit for a throne.


Roosters have some good qualities too though. 

They are very observant.


Whilst reading a newspaper on a bench, a Rooster wouldn't be caught unawares like this. 


They are hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented. 

Yes, with their humblebrag they ruffle a lot of feathers. 


But they always keep their promises so they make very loyal and devoted friends.


A Rooster friend will always stand up for you.


Miggy: Apart from showing off, what do Rooster Bench people enjoy doing?

Well, they tend to be sporty.


Le Coq Sportif. 


Is a swimming bench in order?




Oui. But enough with the sports. 

What else do Roosters do?

They put a lot into their careers. Ask a rooster to guard your bench and he'll do it.


Roosters work hard and are more motivated than any other animal in the Chinese zodiac.

Sounds like they'd make great employees. What sort of jobs are they suited to?

They make excellent journalists and they're also very good travel writers.

I'd imagine they'd write well about travel in China.

Or even Bavaria.

Justin Tanner,(CC BY-SA 3.0), http://tuckdb.org/postcards/81322

Is this picture here just because it shows a rooster and a bench?

Yes. But actually, China and Germany have something in common.

I can't imagine what that would be.

They both like beer. A lot of beer. 

In China they have many brands of beer benches. 

Like Tiger.

And Snow.

Miggy: I've been to Oktoberfest in Munich. It's a festival with a lot of energy.


But Oktoberfest in Munich is small beer compared to the Qingdao Beer Festival in China. In Qingdao even the benches are made into bottles.

Tsingtao (pronounced ching-dow) is the popular Chinese beer that is brewed in Qingdao (also pronounced ching-dow). 


Here is a rather large bottle of Tsingtao and a convenient bottle opener.


Roosters like carnivals too. These splendid fellows were at a carnival in The Netherlands way back in 1911. 


This is all very well but we were talking about good careers for Rooster people. 

Ok. This is the year of the Fire Rooster. Because Roosters are so observant, they make good firemen.


Or police officers.


They're well suited to restaurants too. A Rooster chef will use just the right amount of salt and pepper.

And an observant Rooster waiter will make sure the salt and pepper is on the table bench. 


 Roosters are great at owning restaurants too.


This is Colonel Sanders. In a story about poultry.

You're right, Migs, this is in bad taste. 

Next question.

What about love? Who do Roosters get on with?

Rooster Bench people get on well with Snake Benches.

Are Roosters good with the ladies?

Oh yes. A Rooster knows what to do on a bench in Le Poulallier.


I guess a Rooster would be cock-a-hoop with a nice bench like this in the henhouse.


Yes, but this year Roosters need to play it cool.


Unless you've already found someone to marry, it's not a particularly good year for Rooster marriages. 


In fact, sorry to say that this Year of the Rooster is rather unlucky over all. It's a mixture of good and bad so it's best to be cautious. 

What should Roosters do then?

This year Roosters should do more and say less.

No more cock-and-bull crowing.


Try to build bridges.


A quietly elegant bridge bench will carry you peacefully across the year.


Meanwhile, caution is needed. 

There is a danger of accidents so take care.  


Don't stand on benches.


 Roosters should face South. 


They should avoid the East, which is unlucky. 

What else should Roosters avoid?

The colour red. 

Red benches are unlucky for them in this Year of the Rooster.


This will be difficult.The world is full of red benches! 

Yes, we've seen this in a previous story on Benchsite. Look at this glorious red ribbon of a bench in Qinhuangdao in China.


What colour is better?

Yellow. A yellow bench this year is lucky.


Or gold. Also lucky.

Or even brown. Plain brown benches can be very lucky.


Brown benches, hard work, no romance. This looks like a boring year for Roosters. If I'm a Rooster it looks like I'll have to live like a monk.


Not necessarily. Just be careful what you get up to.


It's probably best to find a good safe bench and stay on it.

But don't worry -  there are still many things to enjoy.


I'm just going to try to get through it. 

Yes, don't worry.

On February 15, 2018 The Year of the Rooster will all be water under the bridge.

Xinnián kuàilè  and 恭喜发财!

All good wishes for health, happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Fire Rooster!  


How do you know if you're a Rooster? Well, are you Justin Timberlake? No? Are you Eric Clapton or Britney Spears or Rudyard Kipling? They're all Roosters. And if you were born in the following years you're probably a Rooster too: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017.

There are plenty of poultry benches here on Benchsite already. We're Eggstatic about Easter benches. Our benches are no spring chickens. And for other Chinese zodiac signs see The Year of the Horse Bench, The Year of the Goat Bench, The Year of the Monkey Bench

The characterful rooster at the start of the story is from Oksana Boyko's etsy shop Handmade By Povitrulya in the Ukraine. He's perfect for The Year of the Rooster. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/handmadeByPovitrulya

Michiel from The Hague likes to photograph things that don't move around too much, like buildings and details of buildings. Fortunately, he also photographs things that take his fancy, usually old things that managed to survive to this day or things that might change in the future. According to Michiel, roosters like to sit on benches so he photographed two roosters on a bench back in 2009.   https://www.flickr.com/photos/govert1970/3288878800/

A white rooster in the back of a car? Yes, it was seen by Pat when he was doing a Texas road trip in 2008. The car, apparently, came from Doolittle, Missouri. 

Chemical Monkey photographs lots of crazy stuff - I mean seriously unusual stuff. Worth a look. One of his finds in 2005 was a cowboy walking his rooster and the rooster seems to have grown to mammoth proportions. Chemical Monkey thinks this could be Colonel Sander's dream.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/chemicalmonkey/39866085/ 

Rob Swatski is a science teacher in Pennsylvania. He photographs street art, and does the most beautiful portraits of dogs in an adoption centre. Honestly, when you see his photos of dogs you'll want to adopt all of them. Elsewhere on his Flickr site there's some boxcar art, including a yellow rooster crowing, which is by EKORB aka KHaze in Sept 2012.   https://www.flickr.com/photos/rswatski/7992154647/  And speaking of dogs, we've got some great canine benches here on Benchsite 

The big yellow chicken legs and someone else's legs are from a Bench Monday Giant Chicken Edition back in 2010.They were photographed by Jessica Wilson, who at the time was on her Big Road Trip and happened to be in Arkansas. How's that for dedication to art? Despite being on a road trip, Jessica made sure she submitted for Bench Monday! https://www.flickr.com/photos/jek-a-go-go/4678034129

That certainly is a large rooster walking across the wall though the person on the bench seems oblivious to it. Garret Torres photographed the scene in 2013 in New Jersey. Judging from his albums, Garret goes to a LOT of gigs.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/96070808@N02/14121102649/ 

Sign Fail is one of the brilliant discoveries I have made on etsy. Michael Bancroft from Melbourne makes funny sign replicas inspired by real-life hilarity - the best of Chinglish and Engrish on handmade funny signs, cards & magnets. I've used them before, I'll use them again here on Benchsite. They're quirky,inexpensive, great fun. www.etsy.com/shop/signfail

The little bunny sitting on a green bench is authentically Chinese. He was photographed in Dongzhimen, Beijing back in 2010 by Julien GONG, who is an internet guy from Hunan with a profile like this:  #1979 #blackberry #blogger #capricorn #gadgets #husband #iPhone #kindle #media #photograph #uibe #xbox
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/4735484191/  For more sunny bunny benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/sunny-bunny-easter-benches.html

The pig bench was outside the Healdsburg Charcuterie in Healdsburg, California in 2010. It was photographed by Niall Kennedy, a software engineer who likes hiking, dogs, food, travel and scenes around his home and work in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/4886919707/

The Other Dan lives in Canada. He is not so much a photographer as someone who just takes a lots of photos and hopes some of them will look ok. That's his description, by the way, not mine. I think the two horse-heads bench looks great, which is why I've used it here. And it's also in another Chinese New Year post: 2014 The Year of the Horse Bench http://www.flickr.com/photos/theotherdan/

The cocky chicken relaxing on a bench was drawn by  Laurie Pink back in 2006. Laurie comes from Bristol but now lives in Stockport. 

Did you know that a throne is just a bench covered in velvet? Mike Fisher retired after 35 years of maintaining NASA software. He now does things like photographing thrones, such as the replica of Emperor Qin's peacock throne in the Forbidden Gardens of Katy,Texas. Apparently a man of Chinese ancestry in Seattle built Forbidden Gardens in an effort to give Americans a taste of Chinese culture. Unfortunately, the site he selected was in the path of a freeway and has been paved over since Mike took the photo.

Rooster people are known to be observant. Watching the Show is the title of the photograph with the little girl. She was watching a village performance in 2008 in Chengyang in southern China. The photographer is
SpAvAAi, who has done a lot of travelling and has a glorious album of China  https://www.flickr.com/photos/spavaai/3177257555/

A man was reading a newspaper in Hong Kong in 2006. J B, from Champaign, Illinois, photographed an orangey yellow person coming up behind. Look Out! is the title of the photo, taken in Hong Kong. JB's profile is just one word: Mathematics.

The little boy hugging his beloved rooster is one of many brilliant images from Internet Archive book images at https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14761218234/in/photolist-oup6UE-odCeSN-tCrU7j-ouBgog-oeVuK3-osZBUa-owq7Wg-  

Karina's Bunches and Bits have graced the pages of Benchsite for some years now. In March 2010 Karina's house officially went on the market and her realtor suggested she "de-clutter" a bit. This meant a few roosters and chickens had have to be packed away but there was still time for a quick Bench Monday photo of the rooster and the red shoes, standing on a bench, of course.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bunchesandbits/4454801198/  

Le coq is one of the national symbols of France and sporty coqs appear on all kinds of sports clothing. The Le Coq Sportif chaussuers were photographed by  
awee_19  in July 2011. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mystical-mii/   Awee is very well travelled and there are albums full of photos worth looking at. So are our Rio Olympics sport benches

I love a man in a bonnet. In 2006 Sebastian Adel took a brilliant photo of the Croatian Team reserves on the bench at the Junior Water Polo Championships in Velenta, Bihor. That's in Romania, where Sebastian is a marketing manager. The Croatian team didn't win that day though; the Hungarians won.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/sebishor/368027532/  I'm a keen swimmer myself so I've got lots of swimming benches to show you.

Vinicius (Vini) was our guide to the benches of Brazil during the Rio Olympics. It was a sporty bench event, to be sure. Innocent took gold in bench pressing. But what else did Vini get up to? Let's just say it wasn't innocent. 

Jan Yarnot is a fossil freak from Laramie, Wyoming, now living in Sacramento. He took a trip to the Pacific North West where he saw a large white rooster in front of the Black Cat Antiques shop in Snohomish, Washington. Apparently this shops has a lot of black cats. And one very proud white rooster.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/fossilfreak/198418360/  

Thomas Wasper is a photographer in Long Beach, California. He sent me the incredible story of Mike the Headless Chicken. You've got to read it to believe it:  http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11178  Back in June 2008 Thomas snapped some photos of a Taco Bell commercial being filmed in the East Village on Broadway. In most of the photos the rooster is calm but in this one there's some ruffled feathers.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/selfishcauses/3660079707/ 

The Bavarian rooster with the bench and the pretty cottage is one of a set of six oilette postcards by Justin Tanner. http://tuckdb.org/postcards/81322  (CC BY-SA 3.0)  For more alpine benches from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other Apline places, see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/getting-high-on-alpine-benches.html

Tsingtao beer is one of China's favourite beers and the second biggest beer brand in the whole world. It's brewed in Qingdao, a port city where Germans founded a brewery in 1903 and, not surprisingly, Tsingdao is a light, crisp, clean beer that goes well with Chinese food. The Qingdao Beer Festival takes place for two weeks every August and it knocks the socks off Oktoberfest for noise, excitement, bizarre performances, and sheer numbers of beer drinkers. 

Other popular Chinese beers include Tiger and the world's best selling Snow.
The white Siberian tiger bench is nothing to do with beer. It's from Asian Replicas, who make a huge variety of lifesize statues and furniture in the Philippines www.asianreplicas.com  The I Love Snow photo is from Benjamin sTone's Benchilda photostream. He's a library specialist from Sullivan, Illinois, currently living in Urbana. His albums are bus-related and also include chocolate grilled cheese, kim chi, and how to make your pants into art.  https://www.flickr.com/people/benchilada/

Chris Devers lives in Somerville, MA and gets around the world elsewhere. He photographed a fridge magnet in 2014 which suggests that beer might give energy.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cdevers/14730337955/

There are bottle benches in various places, including Hualien City in Taiwan. This bottle bench is at the Quindao Beer Museum in China; the source is unknown. I saw it at https://thechive.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/cool-bizarre-benches-seats-26.jpg?quality=85&strip=info&w=600  

In 2002 Danny Howard, from Chicago, did a World Tour. He photographed a sign that says It's pronounced  and it also says Enjoy responsibly on the sign. My Chinese isn't brilliant but I'm pretty sure this is an ad for Tsingtao beer.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dannyman/263560267/  For lots of clever benchvertising benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/benchvertising.html

Carsten Ullrich loves China and currently lives in Shanghai. As a project he posted a photo of China (almost) every day. Back in 2008 he posted an image of the world's biggest bottle opener alongside a giant bottle of Tsingtao beer. The bottle opener is, I think, the Shanghai World Financial Trade Center. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ullrich/2968540675/  

There are plenty of carnival benches here on Benchsite. You might not think The Netherlands is a carnival country but you'd be wrong; there are huge carnivals in places like Rotterdam, Breda, Eindhoven and Maastricht. These three splendid roosters were at the 1911 carnival in 's-Hertogenbosch. The photo comes from the ever-surprising Nationaal Archief at  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationaalarchief/5453358048/  There are no restrictions on use of these photos, which are also available on Wikimedia at 

It's the year of the Fire Rooster so a speedy fire engine bench might come in handy. This splendid fire engine bench is much used on Benchsite because it's so brilliantly fire enginey. It's by Levels of Discovery at http://www.levelsofdiscovery.com The children's Level of Discovery benches come in all sorts of colours and themes; here on Benchsite we've seen the crown jewels and The Alphabet Soup bench, which is one of my favourites. 

Willie Wyme is our police constable here in Fribble-under-Par. He has a bright smile, which is great for smile benches, but he isn't always on the right side of the law. Is there a law for benches? There certainly is. I rest my case. 

The salt and pepper chef was on a bench at a pub in Somerset some years back. I couldn't help photographing him and I knew he would find a place on the blog eventually. For some tasty Italian benches see  http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/tasty-italian-benches.html

The vintage Cumberland Maryland rooster salt and pepper shaker on a bench are from the etsy shop My Vintage Whimsy in South Carolina (not mine, actually - the owner's). The shop has delicious vintage bed sheets, linens, aprons, pillowcases and fabrics. There's a set of flowery yellows sheets I recognise from my childhood. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/myvintagewhimsy

Colonel Sanders on his bench was photographed at the Colonel Sanders Museum in Corbin, Kentucky. Corbin is where Harland Sanders established his diner in the 1940s, and which became finger lickin' good across the world.The photographer is Jimmy Wayne Emerson, who is a vet in Dalton, Georgia. He (Jimmy, not the Colonel) enjoys travelling and photographing county courthouses and post offices. As a personal mission he has set out to visit all 3,143 counties or county equivalents in the United States.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/5094669843/  

A rooster and a hen were on a blue bench in Islamabad, Pakistan in August 2015. Kami Rao, the photographer, imagined that the rooster was saying This is my hour! Kami Rao has a whole album of chickens, and a very nice rooster. https://www.flickr.com/photos/51715344@N07/20887120351/  

The charming rustic rooster and chicken bench is from www.bellesscape.com in Los Gatos, California. http://belleescape.com/painted-country-rooster-hen-bench.html The bench features a special hand-painted rooster and chicken design on the back rest. The papaya finish has been lightly distressed to add an antique feel. It's available for $2,295.00. Belleescapes has just about every kind of chic furniture you can imagine: farmhouse, industrial, cottage, bohemian, cosmo, Provence, vineyard and even shabby chic. Cottage style? They've got coastal, earthy . . . I'll stop there. You can have a look for yourself.

In 2009 Joeke Pieters photographed a nine year old rooster on his own on a bench. Joeke lives in Winterswijk-Woold in the Netherlands and looking at her photos puts me right in that wonderful landscape. There are lots of beautiful animal photographs too.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/joekepieters/3620475810/ For a whole alphabet of Dutch benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/an-alphabet-of-dutch-benches.html

At her etsy shop WendysJoy Wendy Garrigues Jenkins does colourful illustrations for homes, gardens, life. One of them is the hen and rooster wedding card. Wendy draws and paints her illustrations and can put them onto whichever product you like: cutting boards, coasters, magnets, kitchen towels, cards and prints, metal signs, plush pillows, and more.  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/WendysJoy

Mr Bootle enjoys photographing manhole covers in London. In fact, he has a whole album of manhole covers, including the Stop Cock one from June 2012
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbootle/7162484987/   This reminds me of an anthropology course I took in the 1970s which required me to spend several weeks doing rubbings of manhole covers. Most enjoyable.

**El-Len** is a physician and vintner who loves to travel and sees photography as a way of capturing moments and extending each trip she takes. She photographed beautiful bridges whilst travelling in China. The first bridge is Miao architecture somewhere in Guizhou Province. The covered bridge is also Miao architecture; it's in Langde village in Guizhou Province. Ellen sent me several beautiful Miao bridges, which are from the Miao ethnic minority in this region of China. But that's just the beginning of the wondrous images I found in her photostream  http://www.flickr.com/photos/27784269@N06/   For some beautiful bridge benches cross over to  

Extra! Extra! ...read all about it! Woody was found dead last night in a local warehouse. Although suicide has been ruled out, little is known about possible motivaton for such a heinous act. The figure lying dead or injured is fortunately just one of those wooden model things that artists use to draw from. They can strike any pose and hold it indefinitely, which is a clear advantage over a life model. Back in 2010 there was an assignment where Wespeck rose to the challenge of imagining himself as a photographer working for a big city newspaper: It's 1940. You're out there on the street with your 4x5 Speed Graphic and your mission is to capture a juicy shot that will sell papershttps://www.flickr.com/photos/wespeck/4845710880/

When I say that Leo Reynolds takes pictures of signs I mean he SERIOUSLY takes pictures of signs. And alphabets. Do not Stand on the Workbench is just one of the 126,000 signs in his photostream https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/6004233669/  I have used it previously in the story about my two husbands and their workbenches

The man pointing to a map is William J. Young of Drouin, Victoria in a photo taken in 1944. Drouin is obviously not Snowvenia; he's pointing to a map in Australia. The photo comes from the National Library of Australia on the glorious Flickr Commons site at   https://www.flickr.com/photos/national_library_of_australia_commons/6174070848   nla.gov.au/nla.pic-an24190093

We have a whole story about red benches here on Benchsite. The beautiful red bench images are the Qinhuangdao Red Ribbon Park in Hebei Province in China. The park was designed by Turenscape.com and completed in 2008. The ribbon of red steel bench runs for half a kilometre through the Tanghe River Park, which was created in a derelict area on the edge of an urban area. The aim was to preserve the natural habitat and to create a space for recreation. The work has won the American Society of Landscape Architects award and Condé Nast Traveller magazine called it one of the seven wonders of the architectural world. http://www.turenscape.com/english/projects/project.php?id=336

The woman sitting on the bright yellow bench is Tien Li, who was photographed by Daniel Hoherd in Denver in 2010. Daniel is a technologist by day, photographer by night.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/warzauwynn/4835460718/   If you like yellow benches, you'll love our springy yellow benches from 2014.

The gold bench is shown by Innocent, who held a dazzling Gold themed party at New Year. Guests were strictly instructed to come wearing gold and everyone got the message, except Lady Jessica Brassica, who turned up wearing silver. The fashion forums were harsh but you have to wonder if Innocent was as innocent as she claims. 

Back in 2007 Ben Burkland and Carolyn Cook did a China Spree. Their tour of China took them to the Forbidden City where they saw this cheerful Chinese couple on a bench. 

There are some amazing pictures of Modern Monks around and Modern Monk is the title of the photo of the blue monk with a mobile phone. He was photographed by Jack Zalium in 2011 in Ngong Ping Islands, Hong Kong. Jack was taking a trip of 396 days, during which he covered 30 countries on five continents. His excellent photos of these places are nicely organised in albums at https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaiban/8156514108/

The One Child policy in China has now been rescinded but the message remains. Produce trees, not children is a bench message from 2008, photographed by Bill Glover on a bench in Milu Park
Beijing.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/billgloveruk/2282724889/

If you read Benchsite regularly you'll know that I'm keen on colouring. The Chinese river picture was coloured with the wonderful Melissa and Doug colour crayons. Elsewhere, I coloured a Chinese temple and the figures on the marble benches belong to Miggy's Mum.

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