Monday, 31 August 2020

A Calendar of Benches for September 2020



https://www.flickr.com/photos/book_wallah/2762543034/

It's September, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.Things are starting to get back to normal after a long period that was neither mellow nor fruitful. 

The beach benches have been carefully stacked and put away.


photo by Sheila B

It's back to the school bench for kids, who have been sitting on the couch watching Christmas videos.




It's back to sea on the HMS Peculiar for Mariner Mikey, who has had shore leave just long enough to fill his baby bottle with a grog of Navy Rum.




It's back to the workshop for carpenters, who have had their summer holidays in the woods.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/22326055@N06/3576434535

For my husband His Excellency, it's back to philosophising and mansplaining. 

The Formalist, The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan 1683


And for us here on Benchsite, it's a brand new calendar of September events. 

Eddie, my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate: Here is a picture of me.




Yes, of course, Eddie. We must always have a picture of you. 

Eddie: Why this long introduction? Just get on and tell us what's going on in September. 

I will but I wanted to talk about calendars for a bit. When I was young I had a job in a calendar factory.

Eddie: You did? What happened?

I was sacked for taking a couple of days off.

Eddie: Not funny. Please just tell us about September.

Well, it's National Piano Month, for a start. The piano benches are out making wonderful music.


http://www.wikiart.org/en/Search/piano%20jacek%20yerka


And National Honey Month. I've combed the internet looking for bee benches. They've been a hive of activity.



His Excellency: I'd enjoy a calendar of beautiful women. Is there a National Beautiful Women Month?

No. In the US it's Happy Cat Month

No cat is happier than when sleeping on a bench.


photo by Kelly Riley


Here in England it's Heritage Open Days from the 11th to the 20th of September. That's when rich people like Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, open their houses to the public. 

Are you opening Drizzly Manor this year, Lord B?




Lord Brassica: Certainly not. I don't want riffraff contaminating my benches.

What about Castle Brassica? Maybe that could be open for an afternoon during Heritage Week? 




Lord Brassica: Definitely not. A man's castle is his castle. 

His Excellency: It looks like September might not be very exciting here on Paradise Island. Some artworks of beautiful women would make it much more interesting.

What wilt thou do when the summer is shed?

Eddie: I'll come off the beach for one thing. I've been covered in Factor 500 for weeks.




You can tell it's September. In recent days I've noticed that my bike is woven with cobwebs and my swimming bench is wet with dew when I crawl out of the sea. 




Lord Brassica: I'm not so keen on the sea since all that ruddy Ark business. 

Old Noah: I quite agree. Nowadays I prefer to stay on land.




Mikey the Mariner: I like to be at sea.

http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/sea-benches-for-world-oceans-day.html


Who wants to stay ashore when there are so many fish mermaids in the sea?



Well, don't worry, there are plenty of things to do in September. Here's a whole calendar of excitement.


1

It's National Chicken Bench Month, which is something to cluck about. 

Throughout September, chicken benches rule the roost.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbeighton/5644466386 


Lord Brassica: Lord love a duck! These are magnificent little chaps.

His Excellency: As you are speaking of poultry, here is a painting by French Naturalist artist Emile Friant. It's called The Familiar Birds. 

The Familiar Birds 1921, Emile Friant

Lord Brassica: Oh, I say, she can ruffle my feathers anytime.

His Excellency: Mine as well.

Mikey: And mine.

It seems to me that the birds are rather superfluous here.   

Eddie: I think you'll find it's also International Primate Day. Here is a portrait of me.



Good heavens. We've just got started and I've already lost control of the story. 

2

Great Fire Anniversary

The Great Fire of London started at a bakery in Pudding Lane and burned from 2 to 5th September 1666. 

Old Noah: Yes, I remember it well. A lot of benches were lost. 

Lord Brassica: To commemorate the Great Fire, I've asked my butler to light a small bench fire. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/val_s/5924398105

It has got out of hand. 




Eddie: I'm going to ring the fire department bench.

http://www.levelsofdiscovery.com 

14

Cream Filled Donut Day

I'm not even going to mention the word Krispy.

These aren't cream filled but they're yummy donut benches all the same.


www.asianreplicas.com



Eddie: Wait a minute here! Something has gone haywire with your numbering. You skipped from September 2nd to September 14th. There are 11 days missing.

Old Noah: I noticed that but I didn't like to say.

Eddie: A momentary lapse of focus here, Seashell?

No, not at all. For this story I'm using the Julian calendar. 

His Excellency: It's a calendar based on the solar year, in other words the 365.25 days it takes the earth to rotate around the sun bench. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/salinaspoet/1143285677

Old Noah: Yes, when I was younger, March 25th was the first day of the year.

Lord Brassica: By George, I like the sound of that! I could save a lot of money if there was no bloody Valentine's Day. Tiaras and thrones are pricey you know.






Eddie: This strikes me as a first world problem.

Back to the calendar please. Thirty days hath September, so we've got 30 days of events to get through.

Mikey the Mariner: We could speed up the calendar by leaving out some days.

Old Noah: Funnily enough, that's what happened. 

His Excellency: In the year 1752 there was a switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian one and September 3rd instantly became September 14th.

Eddie: So what happened to those 11 days?

They were lost forever. 

Old Noah: At my age I can't afford to lose 11 days. 

Eddie: Me neither. Please could you just be sensible and go back to the calendar of the 21st century and show us September 3rd and the rest of September. 

Alright then, Eddie, I'll restore the 3rd of September. 


3

It's Welsh Rarebit Day

Eddie: Cheese on toast is not exciting.

His Excellency: Agreed.This woman is not going to be aroused by cheese on toast.

On The Green Bench 1911, Henry Lebasque

4

Newspaper Carriers Day 

After all that carrying, they'll need a newspaper bench to rest on. This one's made from 334 newspapers. No glue, no staples, and strong enough to sit on.


www.oscarlhermitte.com  

His Excellency: Do beware of fake news though. There are a lot of liars' benches about.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/24354425@N03/32938865691/


5

It's National Tailgating Day

Form an orderly queue.


https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TailgateGuy 


It's also Cheese Pizza Day and there's definitely a cheesy bench for that.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/lirena/

Eddie: What's with the cheese? The month has just got going and we've already had two cheese days. 

6

It's National Read A Book Day

Because everyone should read.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/3792755540

Lord Brassica: I read a book once. It was yellow.

His Excellency: Reading broadens the mind and literary intelligence is very attractive. 

Dreams 1896, Vittorio Matteo Corcos

Lord Brassica: By jove, she's got the yellow book I read! 

Eddie: That was the Yellow Pages. 

This woman looks too intense. Why not just curl up with a good book on a bench and read for enjoyment? 


www.etsy.com/shop/leatherarts



It's Labor Day

His Excellency: That's Labor without a U because it's in the US. 

Labour is the hope of the world says this bench. Workbenches and such.





And it's Beer Lover's Day

Who doesn't love a nice cold beer bench? 

Or indeed, quite a few crates of beer benches. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/magtravels/34781160/


Lord Brassica: My son loves his beer. 




Eddie: Drunk as a lord. Which he is. 




He spends 90% of his money on beer and women.

Leporello 1907, Erik Henningsen 

Lord Brassica: Yes, and the rest of it he wastes.

8

It's International Literacy Day

Books again. 


www.billwoodrow.com


And book benches.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/120479937@N08/ 

But this time it's less about reading for leisure and more about the importance of everyone knowing how to read. 

Lord Brassica: That book I read was so good that I never needed to read another one.

And it's Iguana Awareness Day

How aware of iguanas are you? 

Eddie: Not that aware. 

When is the last time you saw an iguana bench?

Old Noah: There would have been a pair of them on the Ark.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/62927458@N05/5790602061/

Well done, Noah! You saved the iguana bench for perpetuity!


9

I have to be honest. There is nothing special today. 

His Excellency: Well then, here is an Italian woman who is truly bellissimo.

Portrait of Contessa Nerina Pisani Volpi di Misurata 1906, Vittorio Matteo Corcos 

I know, I know. You are partial to giovani donne.

Lord Brassica: The Contessa is my distant cousin. Charming woman. 

Related to The Duchess I believe.

 
The Ugly Duchess 1513, Quintin Matsys

10

Running Out of Patience Day 

And here is a picture of a woman running out of patience. 

The Perfectionist 1936, Grant Wood


Eddie: It's you. You made this day up, didn't you?

Yes, it's me and I made this day up. I've had enough of all these beautiful women. So from here on we are just going to do September benches. 

11

Make Your Bed Day. 

Old Noah: I don't think I've made my bed for a couple of thousand years. I had a sleeping bag in the Ark. Always damp as I recall. 

Lord Brassica: I never make my bed. The housekeepers do it for me.

Eddie: If your bench is a bed, that's easy. 


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Albert_Anker_-_Schlafendes

Or it may be that your bed is a bench.



www.etsy.com/shop/LoveFurnitureDesign

Either way, this snoring boring discussion of bed benches is sending my readers to sleep. 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrfuller/

Eddie: You flatter yourself that you have readers.I need a banana break. 

12

Banana Day

Eddie: As a primate, I love bananas. For obvious reasons.  

Old Noah: Yes, a banana bench is very appealing. 

www.wamhouse.pl


Eddie: And not only on the 12th of September.


13

Fortune Cookie Day



Lord Brassica: I have already made my fortune. 

You inherited your fortune, Lord B. There was no labour involved. 

His Excellency: We can do without Labour Day then. That will get this over faster. 

National Peanut Day 


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Peanut


Eddie: Mr. Peanut - my favourite snack! 

I don't pay you to eat my bench people, Eddie. 

Eddie: Why not? You 
pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

14

Cream filled donut day



Eddie: You've already said this.

I know, but I'm trying to give you back the 11 days.

Lord Brassica: Forget the ruddy 11 days. Just get on with it. I've got a field to sow.

Sow? In September? It's harvest time.

Lord Brassica: Is it? By George, I guess it is. 

His Excellency: That explains why the fully grown crops are in the way of the seeds you're trying to plant. 

And Colonel Maize is roasting his cobs already.



15

IT Professionals Day.

There's nothing like a recycled keyboard bench to celebrate that. 


nolanherbut.blogspot.co.uk


International Day of Democracy

His Excellency: In which we recognise democracy as a Good Thing. 



Although since the Brexit referendum, I'm not so sure. 


His Excellency: Look at the mess Britain's benches are in now that The People Have Spoken. 

Eddie: Well, some of them anyway. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/279938667

16

Mexican Independence Day 



Mexico is a riot of colourful benches.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytravelphotos/with/3365870597/


Old Noah: México es muy bueno! 




Eddie: I spent dos años in xico. Here I am with Frida Khalo. 



https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/craftykathleen

Yes, Eddie. It was very peaceful here on Benchsite while you were away.

Eddie: Sit down and I'll show you my holiday photos.

September isn't so boring that we have to resort to looking at your holiday photos, Eddie. We're moving on. 

17

His Excellency: No special day? 

Sadly, no.

His Excellency: What about a lovely lady on a bench?

Definitely not. 

Eddie: I could show a primate bench for you.

No.

Old Noah: A pair of animal benches might be nice. 

No, but thanks. 

Mikey: I've got just the thing.

A Mermaid 1900, John William Waterhouse

Yeah, right. Nothing says September like a mermaid combing her hair. 

18

Nothing Special Day

His Excellency: We can't waste this space so here is a beautiful girl who looks about age 18. 

Idleness 1900, John William Godward

Eighteen and Eighty. 

An old man making a fool of himself. Just saying.

Eighteen and Eighty 1898, John William Godward

Eddie: And that kitten seems to have turned into a tiger skin. 

19

Gymnastics Day 

You'd be surprised what athletic people can do on a bench.

Benchpressing, of course.




But also complicated poses. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankvonproofit/9313956577 

Lord Brassica: I'm partial to flexible women.

Mikey: You might be interested to know that gymnastics can be done in threesomes.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/nowpics/15068269019/

Lord Brassica: I say, this gymnastics business looks like jolly japes!

Talk Like a Pirate Day 

Shiver me timbers, here is a pirate on a bench!


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/4942588500/

His Excellency: He seems to be wearing a frock. Not that this bothers me. 

Me, in growly voice: No fear of evil spirits have I, says you!

Old Noah: Back in the day we had pirates, but I can see nothing to be gained by talking like one.

We've been talking like pirates since 1995. That's when Talk Like a Pirate Day first began. 

Eddie: Make it stop.

20

Wife Appreciation Day. 

Lord Brassica: My wife Jessica is very much appreciated. Jolly expensive, but very much appreciated. 

Lady B loves shopping. 




And money.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimsmith/

 
In recent times Lady Jess has been given a beach hut, a diamond tiara, a throne, numerous trips to Paris, a whole store full of jewelry, and a sweet little bench with an unlimited credit card.




I, on the other hand, have been given a pair of earrings and card which I'm pretty sure was the same one given to me last year. I'll say no more. 

Young Man in Black, Girl in White 1919, Nils Dardel

21

International Peace Day. 

Oh, we've done that one before. 




We've got a peaceful easy feeling about all the lovely peace benches.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/snurri/ 

It's Gratitude Day

So danke, merci, many thanks. Whatever. 



 https://www.flickr.com/photos/ellohir/2074602394

 
22

Autumn Equinox. 

It's time to get out all those cozy autumn benches.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasabout/2983648538

Put another log bench on the fire! 




No, not that one. These are valuable designer log benches.

His Excellency: I have made that mistake in previous autumns. 

Eddie: Sorry, too late.



Eddie: Anyway it's too warm for a log fire. 

It's Ice Cream Cone Day.




And Elephant Appreciation Day.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/st3f4n/2746213099/

I wonder if elephants are appreciated more than wives. 

23
 

am going to take this opportunity to skip a day in order to speed things up. 
You're welcome. 

24

World Maritime Day

That's all things boat and sea! 






Best to ask Mikey the Mariner.

Ahoy there, Little Sailor! Let's splice the main brace!

Mikey: I don't care for a drink, thanks. I'm out looking for mermaids.




Oh, you and your mermaid benches. 


http://www.flick.com/tabbikat 

You're a lusty little sailor.

Mikey: Yes, and if I find one, I'll have a whale of a tale to tell.


http://imgur.com


It's also National Punctuation Day

His Excellency: The line above is a sentence so you need a fullstop.

Eddie: Or is it a headline? In which case it doesn't need a fullstop.  

Punctuation Day is fabulous! Period. 

Lord Brassica: I couldn't make any sense of it. Something about polo ponies. 



https://www.flickr.com/photos/orangebrompton/4294873069/ 

Lord Brassica: They don't drive slowly. One of my polo ponies has six points on his license for speeding.

It's all in the punctuation, Lord B.

Mikey: What is Punctuation Day all about?


https://www.flickr.com/photos/86979666@N00/7623744452/


Question mark benches, yes. And also exclamation benches . . . 


www.tabisso.com


and fullstop benches . . . 


 https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/85990435/

You can quote me on that.  


https://www.flickr.com/photos/plainkacyjane/2254145743/

25

It's Save the Koala Day so here are a pair of adorable koalas on a log bench.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathiasappel/

Also, Love Note Day

While people are sitting on benches it's not uncommon for Cupid's arrow to hit them.  





Here on Benchsite we've seen some lovely love notes on benches.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/7796509862



Mikey: I don't believe in love. Or marriage either. 


Lord Brassica: Why buy a cow when you can milk it through the fence? 

Mikey: Why buy a book when you can join the library? 

Lord Brassica: Don't start with the ruddy books again. 


OK, Math Storytelling Day. 

This guy seems to have a story to tell. 



Eddie: The Theory of Relativity has nothing to do with benches. 

Old Noah: There's certainly a story to tell about this bench. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/8422710@N06/3061548006/

Eddie: I'm no maths genius but as near as I can work out, the answer to this is 
-90.342857142857142857142857142857, give or take a couple of operations rules. 

Golly, Eddie, you're smarter than I thought. 


26

International Rabbit Day and we're hopping with bunny benches.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/axoplasm/  

Eddie: I'm hopping with impatience. Can we get this thing done?

European Day of Languages. 

Oh, we love Europe here on Benchsite! Bien sur, we certainly do. 

We've seen benches, benks, banks, bancos for every country in the European Union.


https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HollysHobbiesUK#


We've seen Roman pancas 


source unknown


and Irish formas . . .


https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/10040187875


and παγκάκι in Greece. 


http://www.yatzer.com/Winners-Announcement-Future-Bench-Mark  


We've even had miserable British benches, now that Britain is leaving the EU. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pollyann/3292683030/


27

There's a lot on today. For a start, it's Crushed Can Day.

Eddie: Really? What a surprise!




Yes, apart from all the crushed can art, the crushed can benches are out. 





We also need to show some German benches because Oktoberfest starts


Or, as mein Freund Heinrich from Slapbummel in Bavaria would say, Beginn der Vorstellung um 19 Oktober





His Excellency: The month of September is dragging on longer than a German sentence. 

Speaking of sentences, did you hear about the thief who stole a calendar? 

Eddie: I expect he got six months. 

Old Noah: Yes, and I'm still quite keen to recover the missing 11 days. How are we going to do that? 

28

Ask A Stupid Question Day 

Eddie: Is there a bench for that?

What a stupid question. Of course there is!


https://www.flickr.com/photos/drachmann/327122302/



29

Michaelmas Day

Not every man has gentians in his house
In soft September, at slow, sad Michaelmas

Named for St. Michael, Michaelmas Day is the last day of harvest. You'd better get your skates on, Lord B.

Lord B: Skates? Since when does a chap need skates to do the harvest?

His Excellency: Traditionally, Michaelmas was the first day of the Michaelmas Term 
at Oxford and Cambridge. 


www.etsy.com/shop/RedHedgePhotos

Lord B: I was sent away to boarding school at Hogwarts at the age of five and the Michaelmas Term used to break my poor mater's heart. 

Speaking of hearts, September 29th is World Heart Day. 

Beautiful heart benches to warm your heart. 


www.unknownmami.com/2013/01/lovers-bench-sundays-in-my-city.html

International Coffee Day too. 

Old Noah: Let's head down to St. Arbucks for a cuppa.

Eddie: There are major problems with punctuation here. 




Mikey: After all these dates I need something stronger than coffee.

His Excellency: I'd prefer a well-mixed martini in ambient surroundings. 

Two Idlers 1888, Robert Frederick Blum

I would like to make it clear that I am not the woman here. 

 Eddie: I fancy a banana and peanut-flavoured cappuccino.



I'm going down to the cafe and pull up a coffee cup bench.



Wait a minute guys, we aren't quite finished. There's one more day in September.

30

I hear a lot of kerfuffle out in the street. Mikey, Noah, Eddie - what's going on, guys?

Old Noah: People are rioting, just as they did back in 1752.

What do they want?

Eddie: They hate this Julian calendar. They want their 11 days back, of course. 

Oh no. 

Looks like I'm going to have to start this story again.




Credits

The beautiful art calendar is by Nat Uhing, who is a Filipina-American living in Darwin, Australia and indeed many other places around the world. Nat describes herself and her husband as artists, writers, big readers, and perpetual students of Life. You might have noticed that the calendar is in Spanish. That's because Nat and her husband are amazing adventurers, sailing around wherever their wanderlust takes them in South America, Central America and the Caribbean.  Recently they spent three months on a boat going up the Essequibo River in the Republic of Guyana. Incredible photographs!  https://www.flickr.com/photos/book_wallah/2762543034/in/photolist  Nat creates something every day and her work is obviously inspired by her travels. She makes hand-bound journals and lots of other creative morsels for her etsy shop at  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/smallestforest

The two little kids lounging on the sofa belong to Miggy's Mum. And don't worry, they didn't spend the whole summer vacation just watching TV. They also ate popcorn, tickled each other, squabbled, or played on their computers. They didn't leave the sofa but they had a great summer.  

Mariner Mikey started his quest for love during World Oceans Day in 2013 and then we saw him rocking the boat again in a mermaid-dominated story for World Maritime Day. Once again, The Little Sailor 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 thelustylittlesailor@seamail.com


The two little boys were in the craft room at Daven, photographed by Philip Howard at https://www.flickr.com/photos/22326055@N06/3576434535  This is one of those photostreams full of fascinating photos that tell a life story. Starting in London in 1957, it's a story of a life in care.  http://www.theirhistory.co.uk/

We've already tuned into piano benches here on Benchsite so it seems fitting that we should have the excellent piano by Jacek Yerka, a surrealist artist born in Toruń, Poland in 1952. JYerka has painted over 350 acrylic works where creatures, dreamlike landscapes and ordinary objects are summoned to life. The piano seems to have a small city where its bench should be and there is a tree growing inside it, which won't be great for the strings. I saw the piano on the wonderful Wikiart site at http://www.wikiart.org/en/Search/piano%20jacek%20yerka  Yerka's paintings hang in private collections and museums in many countries and Yerkaland's own site is at http://www.yerkaland.com/



The beehive on a bench is a 1/12 scale dolls house beehive by Sir Thomas Thumb. It costs $22 and when I last looked, there were only four left in stock. http://www.amazon.com/Dollhouse-Miniature-Beehive-on-Bench/dp/B00E1S91N4  It was National Insect Week this year so we were buzzing with insect benches.

The Happy Cat snoozing on a bench is Boo, who used to live with Kelly Riley in Bend, Oregon. Boo and my own cat Melissa were models for my World Cat Day benches story back in August 2013. They came to me as editors from animaleditors.com and it has to be said that cats are not the easiest people to work with. Sadly, both Boo and Melissa have now passed on to The Great Bench in the Sky. 

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, is a gentleman farmer here on Paradise Island. He loves his horse Tonks, his dog Pru,and his 1947 Landrover, in that order. He indulges his wife, Lady Jessica Brassica with a replica mall in the basement of Drizzly Manor, a beach hut on the Esplanade, and unlimited amounts of cash for shopping. However, it has emerged that he doesn't know as much as you'd think about farm animal benches, especially cow benches or sheep benches. He knows a bit more about horse benches, learned from his horse Tonks, and possibly something about dog benches from his dog Pru. What he really knows though, is picnic benches


If you're a regular reader of Benchsite you'll know that I'm a keen swimmer and My Swimming Bench is well documented. There's a post specifically about it called, not surprisingly, My Swimming Bench. You've seen the bench, you've heard the story, now read the poem. It's at http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/my-swimming-bench.html

Old Noah dates back to the rainy days of the Ark, when he nobly gathered up all the animal benches and kept them safe from the flood. When it came to World Animal Day, it was a good opportunity to look at all those animal benches again. 

Chicken benches feature regularly here on Benchsite at Easter time. And we're eggstatic about egg benches too. The chicks on a bench photo is called Kissing Time and you may have noticed that a pair of chicks are kissing. You didn't? Have another look - it's sweet. The 2011 photo is by Matt Beighton, aka snufflopollus, who is from Leicester in the UK. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mattbeighton/5644466386 

As we were speaking of poultry, the painting of the beautiful woman with one breast exposed and one shoe is by French Naturalist artist Emile Friant (1863-1932). It's called The Familiar Birds, painted in 1921 

The Great Fire of London started in a bakery in Pudding Lane  on Sunday September 2nd and burned until Wednesday the 5th of September 1666.  The City of London at that time was within the medieval city walls, where about 80,000 people lived. The fire consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul's Cathedral and most other  buildings of the City of London authorities though it did not cross London Bridge to the south side of the river Thames, nor did it reach the palace of King Charles II at Whitehall. A monument to the fire was erected near Pudding Lane in 1668.

On The Green Bench 1911, is by Post-Impressionist French artist Henry Lebasque (1865-1937). 

I covered burning log benches last autumn and there are quite a few benches on fire, one way or another, on the internet. The burning bench shown here is by Valentine Svennson from Stockholm. Photographed in 2003, it is one of several fires in his Retro collection. I'm not going to ask whether Valentine started the bench fire. https://www.flickr.com/photos/val_s/5924398105

I'm very fond of children's benches and we've got lots of them here on Benchsite. The Level of Discovery benches come in all sorts of colours and themes and they're also great for storage. The delightful fire engine bench could come in very handy, either for storage or putting out fires. http://www.levelsofdiscovery.com 


Here on Paradise Island we all scream for ice cream benches, and donuts, and other delicious food benches. The tasty donut stools are among a huge variety of food furniture from www.asianreplicas.com in the Philippines. You could also have pizza bench, a cake bench, or a chicken and chips bench. Miggy says she'd definitely go for the ice cream. Their extensive catalog is at http://www.ardt.biz/ARDTCatalog2013/ARDT_Catalog_2013.zip

Craig is the Salinas poet. He's originally from New York but currently lives in Maryland. Before that he lived in California. He was working but then retired and now is working again. I think. Anyway, he photographed the bright and sunny bench in downtown SLO. Sorry, I don't know where SLO is. But I love the benches in Craig's photostream at  https://www.flickr.com/photos/salinaspoet/1143285677  For more sunny summer benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/sunny-benches.html and then, the following summer http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/summer-bench-days-are-here-again.html


Todd in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is The Tailgate Guy. He has built 25 benches from tailgates of various kinds and they're sold on etsy  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TailgateGuy  The International Scout, the Dodge, the Jeep and all sorts of others are on his Facebook page, where you can see the whole process from tailgate to bench www.facebook.com/tailgateguy    Mobile benches make me a little nervous though. They keep moving around, making me ask Dude, where's my bench?


The 334 newspaper bench is by French designer Oscar Lhermitte from his project X in 2008.  It is made from 334 recycled newspapers and three metal bars. Really. No glue, no screws, no nails. Oscar's website is at www.oscarlhermitte.com  


Stuart Rankin is a software engineer living in Yubari in Japan.  In January 2017 he cropped the 1890s Fake News Figure, (with Lurid Background 3) from a Library of Congress illustration from the magazine Puck. Looks like the term fake news has been around a long, long time. 


Labour is the hope of the world is the message on a bench in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. The name Bernie Dunne (1953-1989) also appears there. I'm guessing the message is something to do with The Miners' Hymns music by Jóhann Jóhannsson. The bench itself is in a really bad state and could do with some loving labour to refurbish it.

The pizza bench is by Liren Chen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/lirena/  It has been on Benchsite many times before because pizza is just one of those things you can't do without. For more pizza benches, and spaghetti benches too, taste our tasty Italian benches

Root Brassica is the numpty son of Lord Brassica and Lady Jessica Brassica. He is very like the character in the 1907 painting Leporello in which a young man sits between two maids having a jolly time. The painting is by Realist Danish artist Erik Henningsen (1855-1930). He's one of my favourites of the Nordic artists. 

We're very literary here on Benchsite. A stack of book benches for World Book Day? We got 'em. Poetry benches? Yes, please. We even have Dewey benches for militant librarians, and a whole alphabet of Dutch benches. And there's an alphabet of dance benches as well.

Kathy Thomas's Leatherarts work is hand-tooled and hand-painted. She emphasises that her pieces are not just to look at - they're for wearing, carrying or putting to good use. She has a wide range of colourful and exciting purses, key fobs, wallets, notebooks, belts and will accept commissions. The purse with Woman Reclining on a Bench is a replica of the painting by Carl Olaf Larsson. Kathy's shop is at www.etsy.com/shop/leatherarts  There are issues about sleeping on benches though; see what lengths people will go to stop people sleeping on benches.   


Everyone should read is a Pro-reading bench photographed by Ewan Munro in 2009 in the London Borough of Southwark. Ewan is something of a pubologist and is making it his mission to photograph all the pubs in London  https://www.flickr.com/photos/55935853@N00/3792755540


The joke about reading one book is from Nancy Mitford's novels about her family. Her father, the 2nd Lord Redesdale, claimed to have only ever read one book (White Fang, by Jack London). This seems unlikely as the family had a whole library of books.

Magalie L'Abbé from Montreal photographed the improvised benches of Kirin beer crates at the Nagano Jazz Festival in Japan in 2005. Magalie came back from a 1.5 year honeymoon around the world with lots of pictures from a little bit of everywhere. You can read more about it on her travel blog / website. What I can tell you is that Magalie really did cover the whole world and there are benches galore on her photostream. https://www.flickr.com/photos/magtravels/34781160/

Sitting on History is a bench sculpture by Bill Woodrow, 1995 at www.billwoodrow.com  I photographed this bench at Cass Sculpture Park in 2009.

The women sitting on stacks on books in the street were photographed at the Spui book market in Amsterdam in 2014. I'd be surprised if any of these books were about benches. Hans Stellingwerf photographs Straatmoments in the streets for his website at TrekEarth and his Flickr photostream at HS Fotografie. https://www.flickr.com/photos/120479937@N08/ Hans would like to make it clear that if he is following someone, it's for streetphotography only.

There are two paintings by Italian portrait artist Vittorio Matteo Corcos (1851-1933). The first is Dreams 1896. The other is Portrait of Contessa Nerina Pisani Volpi di Misurata 1906. Both are stunning women, beautifully painted. Neither are related to Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly. 

The Ugly Duchess, sometimes called An Old Woman, or A Grotesque Old Woman, was painted in 1513 by Quentin Matsys, a Flemish painter in the Early Netherlandish tradition. He lived from 1466 to 1530 in what is now Belgium.  

The woman running out of patience is not me. I never run out of patience. The woman shown in the painting is The Perfectionist (1936). Nothing wrong with being a perfectionist.  The artist is American painter Grant Wood (1891-1942).  

The Zjedzony banana chair looks good enough to eat and indeed Zjedzony means eaten in Polish. The Zjedzony chair comes from Wamhouse in Poland www.wamhouse.pl   Wamhouse was established in 2005 by two people - a graphic designer/photographer and a civil engineer. The company is in Chojnice, a small town in northern Poland which is near the inspirational natural setting of the Bory Tucholskie National Park. Wamhouse creates both interiors and furniture, promoting not only the design and the products, but the region they come from. 

The iguana was on a bench at Guayaquil, Guayas, Ecuador  in 2011. The photographer is cantfind, and someone I can't find a profile for. On cantfind's photostream there are albums of the Galapagos and a whole album of the Guayaquil Garden of Iguanas. https://www.flickr.com/photos/62927458@N05/5790602061/

Here on Benchsite we'd thought about the uses of benches, including aspects of social and anti-social benches. What about bench beds and beds as benches? Yes, we've thought of that too. 

The Sleeping Girl on a Wooden Bench is Schlafendes Mädchen auf einer Holzbank by Albert Anker (1831-1910). The date of the oil painting on canvas is unknown. The photographer Sotheby's and the image is in the public domain as a two-dimensional work of art due to the painter having been dead for more than 100 years. It was sold in 2012 for 1.2 million Swiss francs - worth every penny franc! I saw it at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Albert_Anker_-_Schlafendes_M%C3%A4dchen_auf_einer_Holzbank.jpg?uselang=en-gb

Antonio S, aka Ellohir, is an engineering student from Valencia in Spain. The gracias image was photographed in 2007.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/ellohir/2074602394  

Peter Lambeseder in New Jersey believes that everybody deserves a second chance- even furniture.  Saddened to see so much furniture with potential going to waste,  he decided to start a furniture rescue, including the smart looking French provincial bench made from a headboard.  LoveFurnitureDesign is his etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/LoveFurnitureDesign. The L.O.V.E bit stands for Limited, Original, Vintage, Eclectic.

Michael Fuller is from Toronto but currently lives in Perth. His photo sets show a lot of physical activities around the world, like kitesurfing, sailing, scuba, rock 
climbing, camping, dune-bashing, stargazing, swimming and yes, of course, standing on the roofs of cars  http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrfuller/  The bored, sleeping students is a photo called Cozy Students, taken during a Classafloat sailing adventure http://www.classafloat.com/ 

My niece's wedding was 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.

Mikey certainly has a thing for mermaids and you can see why. The colourful mermaid was photographed by Kat from Racine, Wisconsin in 2007. The mermaid and other sea life benches are in the Kid's Cove play area next to Lake Michigan. She has eclectic interests, shown in her wonderful photos at http://www.flick.com/people/43067379 

The pink whale tail thong comes from http://imgur.com. 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.

Mr Peanut is a sculpture of a well-recognised character, created by Sean Roach of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The sculpture was on a public bench on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the American company Planters in 2006. Bill Walendzinski, who photographed it, says it's no longer there so it's lucky we have the photograph.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mr_Peanut_Sculpture_on_Bench_at_Atlantic_City_01.jpg?uselang=en-gb

I saw the democracy seat at The Art of Democracy exhibition at Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight. It was summer 2015, just in time to commemorate 800 years of the Magna Carta. Yes, we believe in democracy, and for all legal aspects of benches, we've laid down the law. Then in June 2016 we had a referendum, which has made rather a mess of things. See what happened to our benches before the Brexit vote. And see what a mess we made of it after. 

The pile of wood shown is a photograph by Lara in 2006. Lara is a casual games artist from Vancouver, who now lives in Seattle. Her albums are full of photos from Canada, the US, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lara604/279938667

There is a whole fiesta of fabuloso Mexican benches here on Benchsite. 
Jasperdo lives in Camano Island, Washington. A retired letter carrier, Jasperdo now enjoys travelling and taking pictures. His picture is the silver mining town of Copala in the Sierra Madre Mountains near Mazatlan. Jasperdo describes it as a well preserved colonial town full of cobblestone streets, numerous historic building and a small central plaza and he says it's well worth a visit.  
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mytravelphotos/with/3365870597/

Crafty Kathleen from Massachusetts has Got the Goods. She's a purveyor of hard-to-find vintage-inspired fabrics and notions. Home Ec retro housewives, Japanese kitsch, and Mexican dancing skeletons - her fabrics are to die for. Alexander Henry's cotton fabric, 'Frida's Garden', featuring Frida with a monkey, has been out of production for some time now but Crafty Kathleen has been crafty enough to find it for her etsy shop and I've been lucky enough to show it in the story. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/craftykathleen

The very fit man benchpressing is Vinicius, our friend from the Santa Marta favelo in Rio. Vini guided us through Brazil and the Rio Olympics, though it has to be said there was more than enough time spent on women's sports, especially Beach Volleyball. Bench cycling, bench destruction, dubious relationships - see what was going on behind the scenes at Rio.

The black and white photograph of a woman on a bench is from the Altea 
Ballerina Projekt in Dresden back in 2013. It was taken by Frank Janowski aka frank vonproofit. He takes gorgeous photos of dancers.  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankvonproofit/9313956577 

The Kama Sutra circus performers were photographed by Ben at the South Bank, Brisbane, in 2014. Ben says he had no idea they did Kama Sutra-type things in circuses these days; he now sees a new use for his joinery work bench. Ben is a musician who originates from Glasgow in Scotland but now lives in Brisbane.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/nowpics/15068269019/

Pascal's Lego benches are much in evidence here on Benchsite and so are his Lego people, such as Pirate Brickbeard, photographed for a Bench Monday in August 2010. According to Pascal, it's the rule to wear something pretty for Bench Monday so Pirate Brickbeard has chosen to wear a very fetching red and white frock. In Pascal's Flickr forum someone suggested a game of cross-dressing pirates. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasukaru76/4942588500/

Designed by Nolan Herbut, The Wolfgang Keyboard Bench was made using two thousand recycled computer keys embedded on the surface of a Baltic birch wooden bench. Its surface is made entirely of recycled computer keyboard keys and no, it can't be connected to a computer and used to type. But you can push down every one of the keys; they have been attached exactly the way the keys are fitted on to a normal keyboard and make a satisfying click when you type.  Nolan Herbut is a recent graduate of the Industrial Design program at the University of Alberta and he also makes lamps from computer keyboards.  http://nolanherbut.blogspot.co.uk/p/portfolio.html


John William Waterhouse RA (1849 –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'. https://www.wikiart.org/en/john-william-waterhouse/a-mermaid-1900


English artist John William Godward (1861-1922) painted beautiful women in a neoclassical style. Idleness (1900) is the pretty girl playing idly with a kitten. In the other painting (1898), an eighteen year old girl finds herself on a bench with a man of eighty. It can't end well.  

Imagine a lot of wonderful benches for World Peace Day. The Let There Be Peace bench was photographed in 2010 by David Schwartz. It's on his photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/snurri/  

Every autumn we've fallen for benches here on Benchsite. The red leaves on a bench were photographed by Jasabout in Seattle in October 2008.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasabout/2983648538  Jasabout is a pixel puncher and he has some gorgeous landscape photos and a whole album of beautiful autumn leaves.

The log bench was seen at a campsite in Vlotho, Germany in 2015. 

The ice cream cone seats were photographed in Minehead on a holiday there in 2013. 

The Elephant Bench was at Koya-cho, Wakayama prefecture in Japan in 2008. It was photographedby S. (aka DocChewBacca). I don't know anything else about S. but there are albums of stormtroopers and lots of photos of Japan. https://www.flickr.com/photos/st3f4n/2746213099/

We've had a lot of love benches over the years because someone is always falling in love on a bench; I've done it myself with both my husbands. The Someone Fell in Love Here bench is in Falmouth in Cornwall, photographed in 2012 by Tim Green, aka atoach, who lives in Bradford in the UK. Tim has an admirabe collection of bench photos in his photostream https://www.flickr.com/photos/atoach/7796509862  His blog is at http://timgreenfromqueensbury.blogspot.co

The wonderful painting of the Young Man in Black, Girl in White was made in 1919 by Swedish artist Nils Dardel (1888-1943). The girl is Nita Wallenberg, daughter of a wealthy Swedish banking family. Nita met the artist in Japan in 1917 and  they became secretly engaged but her father did not care for bohemian artists and put an end to the relationship. This painting sold for £445,250 in 2012. 

Splendid sunny bunny benches are multiplying all the time. Paul Souders is axoplasm, a web designer living in Portland  
https://www.flickr.com/photos/axoplasm/   He likes taking pictures of people and pets and little statues like the rabbit holding up all the benches in the park. Axoplasm notes that sadly, most have lost their ears, hats, tails, etc.


The brilliant "You" seating is by TABISSO®, a dynamic French design company focusing on a new concept of high-end typographic lounge furniture. Typographia was inspired by teaching the alphabet in a township in South Africa. Their collection of typographic furniture allows you to freely communicate names, acronyms, or any personalised message by displaying chairs and floorlamps side byside. The set of chairs includes all letters from A to Z and numbers from 0 to 9, and the set of floorlamps covers over 20 punctuation marks.They were nominated finalists of best new product in a London design show in 2011. www.tabisso.com

Some people are just so clever and creative that other people take their stuff and use it for their own purposes. Such is Tsahi Levent-Levi, who made the finger face with a question. It's one of his many brilliant teaching and presentation photos which appear in all kinds of galleries and is, fortunately, available on Creative Commons.     https://www.flickr.com/photos/86979666@N00/7623744452/

Helen ST is from Haslemere in the UK. She loves cycling, photography, baking, travelling, ducks and lots of other things which appear in her photostream. She is also something of a grammar vigilante and she has a fine collection of signs in different languages. One is the car driving polo ponies https://www.flickr.com/photos/orangebrompton/4294873069/ 


Leo Reynolds from Norwich says that photography with Flickr feeds his obsession of collecting things and it's a lot cheaper than CDs, DVDs and books. He just can't leave the shutter shut. Leo has a very extensive photostream, which includes sooooo much punctuation you won't believe it. There are ampersands galore. And where else would I find a fullstop bench?  https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/85990435/


Kacy Matthews-Hall, aka Plain Jane, has provided photos of lovely punctuation benches from downtown Portland. The quotation bench is from her photostream back in February 2008.   
https://www.flickr.com/photos/plainkacyjane/2254145743/

John Ayo is a photographer and he must also be a maths whizz. In 2008 he photographed the mathematical graffiti on a park bench in Alum Spring Park in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He says the vandals are more sophisticated there. And of course it wasn't Eddie who got the answer, it was John. His answer is -90.342857142857142857142857142857, going by what he recalls of the 
order of operations rules. https://www.flickr.com/photos/8422710@N06/3061548006/

Holly Hinton from Staffordshire runs Holly's Hobbies, a shop full of unique cross stitch charts featuring words, characters, symbols and geeky stuff, all available to download instantly. The 28 EU flags are beautifully done and you can't help but wonder when the UK flag will be taken off  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HollysHobbiesUK#

Here on Benchsite there are many fabulous European benches united by much diversity. Twenty-eight EU countries, twenty-eight benches: how hard can it be? There's a whole alphabet of Dutch benches, and plenty of brilliant benches from SwitzerlandGreece and Snowvenia. If you want to go beyond Europe, have a look at the fiesta of Mexican benches or the lovely benches of Las Vegas or Japan.

The Roman bench is a modern antique 'sofa' in the Colosseum. I have done a great deal of searching and I regret that I don't know its source but I think someone sent it to me from Pinterest.

Our St Patrick's Day Irish benches will warm the cockles of your heart. The Blarney Castle bench is outside Blarney Castle near Cork in Ireland. You're meant to kiss the blarney stone, which apparently gives you the gift of the gab. I kissed it back in 1977 and I'm still waiting. The photograph is by Matt Brown, editor of Londonist.com and an all-round Londonophile. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/10040187875

The black and white Athens Benchmark bench comes from the 2010 Athens Benchmark competition sponsored by Bombay Sapphire and supported by design journalists from Yatzer.com  The winning benches from the competition can be seen at http://www.yatzer.com/Winners-Announcement-Future-Bench-Mark   For lots more lovely Greek benches see  benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/greek-bench-mission-impossible.html

The little goodbye biscuit is a photo by M Kasahara, aka pollyann at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pollyann/3292683030/

Mein Freund Heinrich is from Slapbummel in Bavaria. He's a great fan of folk dancing and of course he knows his way around the Alps. We got high on alpine benches with him a couple of years ago.

We make a big deal about punctuation here on Benchsite because I'm one of those punctuation geeks who spends ages looking for perfectly punctuated benches. According to Alexander Henning Drachmann, Alexander Henning Drachmann is a charming, reflective and relatively young artist from the west coast of Denmark. He loves books, music and films but he hates most modern pop music and also opera. He loves films and documentaries and he's green with a capital G (so that's Green). He took the photo of the question mark bench sculpture at the start of the story, which he saw in Esbjerg, Denmark in 2006. I wonder if it's still there. That's not a question by the way, which is why there is no question mark.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/drachmann/327122302/

School benches? Yes, we got 'em here. The Oxford bench was photographed by Stephanie Byron, who is from Iowa. I don't know if she was actually in Oxford at the time, or maybe even another place called Oxford, other than the well-known university one. Her shop is Red Hedge Photos, which sells simple, beautiful, and unique  products  inspired by nature. There are floral prints, animals, textures, objects, letters and all kinds of prints to add a dash of cheerful inspiration to everyday life.  www.etsy.com/shop/RedHedgePhotos 

Not every man has gentians in his house
In soft September, at slow, sad Michaelmas
Indeed. These are the opening lines of the famous poem Bavarian Gentians by DH Lawrence.

There were some hearty heart benches around on Benchsite a couple of years ago. The gorgeous yellow hearts bench is at the corner of Irving and 6th in San Francisco. It was photographed by Claudya Martinez, who describes herself as a Latina mom blogger. She has a very entertaining blog about what she gets up to on Sundays  www.unknownmami.com/2013/01/lovers-bench-sundays-in-my-city.html  This was one of the first romantic benches to catch my eye and I'm very pleased to have it here.  It also featured in my blog about how I met Mungo in Las Vegas.

Mathias Appel takes THE most gorgeous photographs of animals, including the two koalas on a log bench earlier this year. Entitled Family Koala, it was taken in a zoo but I'm not sure where, nor do I know anything at all about Mathias. But what a photographer! If you have never seen a red panda before, do have a look at his Red Panda album. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathiasappel/ And by the way, it's Red Panda day on September 19th!

I saw St. Arbucks in a little village in Wiltshire a couple of years ago. Yes, it's a coffee shop. And yes, they've neglected the apostrophe, which is needed to show that the shop is St. Arbuck's, not Starbuck's.  

The jolly coffee cup stools are at a cafe in Freshwater, Isle of Wight. I've never seen them anywhere else but I'd certainly like to have some. 

Two Idlers 1888 is an evocative painting of wealthy indulgence.The artist is American Robert Frederick Blum (1857-1903), known for drawing, painting and printmaking.He travelled widely in Europe and lived in Japan for several years.  

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