Friday, 24 June 2016

Lost and Found - Cool stuff on Benches

You can find just about anything on benches. 

Just to prove it, I've asked my friends and neighbours here on Paradise Island to show us some of the stuff they've lost or found on benches.

My husband, His Excellency: I don't think you have a leg to stand on with this story.

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly: Good heavens! What kind of blighter leaves a leg on a bench?

Root, son of Lord Brassica: I've been legless on benches. 

Lots of times.

The less said about that the better. 

What's the best thing you've found on a bench, Lord B?

Lord Brassica: A 1947 Landrover. Jolly good find! 

And my horse Tonks. He stood on a bench for a spot of high jinks. 

Tamsin Pink, Queen of Cute: Oh, I looooove seeing animals on benches. I found some deer on a bench once.

Funny you should say that, Tamsin. There was a lost goat the other day on a bench on the Isle of Wight. 

His Excellency: I think you should put a stop to this animals-on-benches thing. 
As we've seen before, there is no end to animal benches. 

Benches get lost too.

And plants. I spent hours looking for my herb pot.

His Excellency: I'll bet you wondered where the thyme went.

Haha. Very sage.

Now maybe we could think of some other nice things we've found on benches? 

Mikey the Mariner: I've been at sea a very long time on the HMS Peculiar. 

Mikey: The best thing I've found on a bench is a mermaid.

Mikey: Well, three mermaids actually.

Please don't start with the mermaids, Mikey. 

Come on now, little sailor. You've been all over the world on your sailings. What else have you found on a bench?

Mikey: A whale tail.

His Excellency: He's a lusty little sailor, that Mikey. 

Lord Brassica: Hats off to him! 

Root: I keep losing my hats on benches.

His Excellency: This looks like a lampshade.

Root: Does it? After a good night out, I can't tell. 

Tonks, Lord Brassica's horse: I lost my hat once.

Was it straw?

Tonks: Yes, I was going to eat it.

This is far too beautiful to eat!

Root: Sometimes when I sleep on benches I feel like I've lost my head. 

Lord Brassica: Buck up, Lad. If you want to get ahead, get a hat.

That's enough hats now. What about shoes?

Tonks: I've lost shoes but this isn't one of mine.

photo by Sheila B

I don't suppose these are either.

Joop, from Overbearing in Holland: Here in The Netherlands it's common to find shoes on benches.

my photo, Enkhuizen

 Sometimes people pop their clogs on a bench in Amsterdam. 

In Britain it's more likely to be jelly shoes.

Tamsin: Ohhhhh, these are soooooo cute! 

I'd like to find Cinderella's shoe so I could become a princess. 

Hmmm. I don't think it works like that, Tamsin. 

Tamsin: I found a tiara on a bench once.

His Excellency: This looks like Drizzly Manor. Isn't that Lady Brassica's tiara?

Lady Brassica: I would never wear anything so garish. When I sit on my throne I prefer to look totally dignified.

Have you ever found anything interesting on a bench, Lady B?

Lady B: Indeed I have. A very nice looking young man.

Lord Brassica: That pesky American seems to find his way into every story. I wish he'd pack his bag and go back to The Colonies.

I've found just the bag. It was on a bench in London. 

Lord Brassica: What a damned nuisance, littering the capital like this. 

I don't think you can call it litter.

Lord Brassica: I'll call it what I jolly well like. And now I need a stiff G&T. I'm off to my club.

His Excellency: You might need these. Left unattended on a bench. 

Nowadays an unattended bag might be a criminal act. So let's find our local bobby on the beat police constable Willie Wyme, also known as Wyme the Crime. 

Greetings, Willie. I'll bet you've found some good stuff on benches when you're out on the beat? 

Willie Wyme: I found a computer on a bench once.

Wow! Looks like a nice place to find it.

Willie: I was pursuing a criminal suspect at approximately 9.21 am when . . .

We're not really interested in the crime, Willie. What did you find?

Willie: I found a set of false teeth in the bus shelter.

What did you do with them?

Tamsin: My baby was left on a bench.

As I recall, the stork brought him.

Tamsin: Yes, and now he's older he has lots of toys that get left on benches. This week he lost his favourite caterpillar.

That's very common. Especially bears.

photo by Monica Matthews

And ducks.

His Excellency: And cameras. I've left a few cameras on benches.

So did the Lost Camera Girl. She was lucky enough to get hers back though.

Lord Brassica: I say, this country has gone to the dogs. It's jolly annoying that people are so careless with their possessions. 

I don't think it's carelessness though is it? Sometimes people just lose things.

Lord Brassica: In my day our servants looked after things. We didn't tolerate this wanton littering. 

It isn't littering, Lord B. Sometimes people leave stuff behind on purpose for others to find.

His Excellency: I found a book on a bench once. The History of Glue.

Yeah, I know. You couldn't put it down.

I found this baby in a park.

Tamsin: Oh, this baby is adorable! 

Root: Kind of big though. I wouldn't want to change his nappie.

His Excellency: Why is this child out in the rain? 

OK. Bad example maybe. How about memorial flowers?

my photo, Yarmouth Isle of Wight

Root: When I find flowers on benches I give them to my wife.

Innocent, Root's wife: I have never once received flowers from you, you mean, snivelling little git. 

Lady Brassica: I don't have to rely on finding things on benches. I receive flowers constantly from my numerous admirers. 

They know what women want.

Innocent: The only thing I want is money. Stacks of it.

Innocent: I want so much money you'd need a basket to hold it.

Here's a basket I found on a bench in Slovenia.

my photo

Lady Brassica: Plastic is so tasteless don't you know. Especially when Innocent is wearing it.

Innocent: This is a perfectly on-trend Easter dress which is 100% recyclable.

I don't want a family feud here. 

Anyway, isn't it nice to find things on benches? 

Root: I sometimes find nice drinks on benches.

His Excellency: Would you like some ice with that?

How about a bag of crisps?

Tamsin: Or an ice cream?

Root: It's awesome what you can find on benches! 

Of course what you find on benches is seasonal. 

In summer it's common to find sunglasses left behind on benches.

Tamsin: Golly, these look good enough to eat! 

And baseball caps.

Maybe someone leaves their lunchbox behind.

Or they take off their high heels and run across the park in barefeet.

Then it gets a bit chilly and the blankets come out.

Gloves. Good heavens what a lot of gloves are lost and found on benches.

And scarves.

His Excellency: That's boring though.

Well, what do you like to find on benches?

His Excellency:  Good conversation.

Lord Brassica: Attractive women.

Innocent: Money. Stacks of it. 

Tamsin: Cute puppies.

And roses.

And lovely messages.

Well, there you are. Everything you could want, there for the taking.


On a Sunday morning photowalk David Ingram saw a pair of high heel shoes and a pair of glasses on a bench. His fantasy was that their owners had a good time Saturday night and that the loss of the shoes and glasses was worth it.  David is from Omaha, currently living in Austin, Texas. 

Martin Deutsch is an engineery type from Glasgow, now living in London. He apparently has a keen eye for the mundane, and likes infrastructure. He took the picture of the lost leg on the bench.

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 Tonks, and possibly something about dog benches from Pru. What he really knows though, is picnic benches.

Tamsin Pink is the mother of the stork-delivered baby Isambard Kevin, who appeared in 2013 on the morning of Tamsin's wedding. That was a long time ago and now she has a different fiance altogether. A great fan of pink benches, Tamsin works here in Fribble-under-Par in the Not Quite Good Enough pharmacy. She has a rather odd perspective on life, as shown in the post she helped me with about big and small benches. If you think size doesn't matter, you ought to see it.

The Babychamp deer belonged to my friend Effie, who was 93 then and has since passed on. Effie let me borrow them for photos, though she didn't know why they're so wonderful. 

Helen Danby lives on the Isle of Wight and is a keen bench spotter. Hot off the press, she sent me a tweet about the lost Goaty McGoatface, last seen on a bench at a bus stop in Ryde. I hope social media works to find him. If you like goat benches, we had plenty of them a couple of years ago for The Year of the Goat Bench.

The joke about missing herb plants is by Anthony Wright. It's on the Best Oneliners list from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016. The History of Glue is also from the Edinburgh Fringe. 

Lady Jessica Brassica is a fashionista and former model with Studio Joop from Overbearing in Holland. Now she has her own fashion house at Ballyfrumpy in County Offhand in Ireland.  She loves shopping at her replica mall and having poetry benches read to her by Young Male Readers dot com. She is happily married to Lord Brassica but last summer Lady Jess spent rather a lot of time at her beach hut with Troy.

Root is the son of Lord and Lady Brassica. He spends much of his time on benches, often face down. Whilst Lady B is gorgeous and Lord B is wealthy and personable, Root has none of these qualities. In fact, he has no qualities whatsoever, as became apparent in my Bus Stop benches story. For a full account of Root's Stupidity condition, including his medical notes, see   Yeah, I know it's not ethical to publish someone's medical chart but honestly, he doesn't mind.

Innocent is Lord and Lady Brassica's daughter-in-law, married to their numpty son Root at a festive Scottish celebration last year. Innocent has emerged from her convent nursing dress into something of a fashion icon. She has become a world class fashion model for Studio Joop, from Overbearing in Holland. (Love those Dutch benches!)  How innocent Innocent is has yet to be determined but she looked hot for International Nurses Day.

Mikey the Mariner is a saucy little sailor who sails around the world chasing mermaids and whale tails. He first appeared in a story of benches specially selected for World Oceans Day in 2013; this is still the most popular post on Benchsite. He came back in September 2014 to rock the boat with some maritime benches. A warning though; he's a lusty little sailor and he doesn't always tell the truth.

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

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

The pink whale tail thong comes from There are no contact details for this site; maybe that's just as well. 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.

Ann Fisher is yooperann. She has two photos in this story. One is Hey you left your hat on the bench! But it wasn't actually a hat, it was a lampshade, seen in Forest Park, City of Taverns, Chicago.
Her other photo is You are beautiful, seen on a bench on the California platform of the Blue Line in Chicago

Matthew Matheson is a brilliant photographer. He says shades of brown are hard to pin down but it looks to me like he's nailed it with the lovely straw hat on a bench. This is photo 186 of 365 he took in July 2013.

Sheila B lives in Cyprus and the UK. She is a brilliant photographer of benches wherever she goes. Colours, angles, interesting settings; she spots them everywhere. You'll find many of her lovely photos throughout my Benchsite stories. The blue clog on a bus stop bench is from Cyprus and is part of the fascinating story of bus stop benches. Sheila also gave me the Bench scarf and this particular picture was taken by me. For real warmth, you need a log bench fire though. Maybe also a comforting piece of cake

Two invisible women's shoes: Francis Mariani found them on a bench at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto. That was way back in June 2009 so no doubt they've been lost again by now.

Police Constable Willie Wyme just about keeps the peace here on Paradise Island, though on one occasion Willie himself was jailed for an illegal smile. In his defence, there were a lot of interesting smile benches; it's just the one that was illegal.

Derek A saw some abandoned golf clubs, bag and all, on a bench in Akishima-shi, Tokyo in 2007. Hmm. Makes you wonder. Maybe some golfer got  p'eed t'eed off with the whole thing and left them there. 

Eden Brackstone is from Whatrehuanui, Otago, New Zealand. He photographed The Thing on the Mountaintop Bench in 2011 at Coronet Peak in Queenstown. He named the thing Alfred and has appealed for information as to Alfred's purpose and how he got there. He has also questioned what Alfred does for a living. I'm guessing it's something to do with computing.

Don't panic, the baby on a bench is not abandoned. In August 2009, two month old Baby Archie became the debut occupant of the Tales From A Park Bench art installation project in which anyone could do anything they liked on this London bench. Sadly, the bench was only there for a short while but during that time a lot of stuff happened - singing, story telling, reciting poetry and, in Archie's case, a lot of gurgling and farting.

Monica Matthews lives in San Mateo, California. She took the photo of the abandoned toy on a Samtrans bench.

Jake P Johnson is from Bristol. He took the photo of the lonely little duck on a visit to Bath   He also has a great black and white picture of people sitting on a bench overlooking the Clifton Bridge in Bristol. This is a favourite bridge view seen before on the Benchsite Bridges post.

Masahiko Ohkubo is from Kobe in Japan. He photographed the note for the Lost Camera Girl in Sydney in 2011.   For some amazing benches from Japan see

Rhonda is similar to sunshine. She's from Manchester, Michigan but currently lives in Denver. In 2007 she visited the De Cordova Museum in Boston, where she photographed the big baby, a sculpture by Nina Levy.    Nina Levy is a Brooklyn artist who creates illustrations, photos, and hyper-realistic figurative sculptures such as Big Baby. She frequently uses her own family as models and for ten years her two sons have been treated to a Daily Napkin of illustrations created by her. Her portraits and figures are startling and compelling

Josef Pinlac loves New York City. His Somebody's Watching bench stacked with money (and a pair of eyes) was taken in NYC in 2009 and his photostream is full of joys of living in the city. Looks like one of them was the Polar Bear swim at Coney Island on January 1, 2014. I love swimming benches and ohhhh, I wish I'd been there.

Zoomar lives in Seattle and likes pugs.  His albums are full of them, including Roscoe. He took the photo of the pug with the empty drinks bottle on a bench way back in 2006. And in 2009 he took photos of an intriguing Hippo Pumpkin Event. The mind boggles. For more dog benches see

Cube Test is a photo by Irish Eyes, taken in Cashel, Tipperary in December 2010. For one solid week, this bench had two bags of frozen ice cubes--day and night  Irish Eyes is also known as Irish Typepad. He comes from Lancaster, Pennsylvania but currently teaches college courses in media writing, media studies, public relations and multimedia programming in Cashel, Ireland. And top o' the mornin' to ye if you're interested in Irish benches for St Patrick's Day.

No, they're not crisps, they're Bamba. Bamba is a popular kids snack in Israel. For some reason, back in 2010 this bench in the middle of Sheinkin Street in Tel Aviv was full of bags of all kinds of Bamba. It was photographed by Sagie, a web developer who currently lives in New York.

In summer 2015 we were all screaming for ice cream benchesThe empty ice cream cup on a bench was photographed by Aleja Wielkopolska in Poznan, Poland in June 2013.

The lovely ice cream sunglasses belong to Ursula, our lovely Unicorn in Residence. The Cinderella shoe is hers too. Like Tamsin, Ursula is a romantic who believes in fairy tales and magical things happening on benches.

Maureen Barlin is a photographer in London. She has a lot of great benches, including the brilliant London Book Benches from 2014. One of her photos is the Paris cap, which was seen, not in Paris, but in Richmond Park in London in 2012.

One of the first poems I ever wrote was about an abandoned shopping cart.   Chris Orbz has a whole website about shopping carts in ravines, which I love  He photographed the pink bench with the shopping cart in the background in 2007 at Liberty Village which, I think, is in Toronto. And there's a rusted lunchbox and flask on the bench too.

On a Sunday morning photowalk David Ingram saw a pair of high heel shoes and a pair of glasses on a bench. His fantasy was that their owners had a good time Saturday night and that the loss of the shoes and glasses was worth it.  David is from Omaha, currently living in Austin, Texas. 

The Comforts of Grandma is a bench created by Pat Delagrange and photographed by k8 in Auburn, Indiana in 2009.   Speaking of grandmas, some lovely elderly people here on Paradise Island have their say about benches. They're no spring chickens but I'm eggstatic to have their views. 

Looking for company - alone and left behind. That's the single glove with dew droplets on it, left on a bench  (or put there to be found) in Bern, Aargauerstalden in Switzerland.
 Karsten Seiferlin from Neuenegg, Switzerland took the photo for a Happy Bench Monday in February 2012. There are quite a few snowy benches in his photostream  so he's found his way into my Frozen benches story at

The woman in a 1950s bathing suit is not Lady Brassica, though Lady B is a great fan of yellow benches. It's from the photostream of genibee, who has an eye for vintage fashion, though she claims that she's just on Flickr for the cheap thrills. She has downloaded old Sears and Spiegel catalogues and scanned a good selection of magazines going back to the 1920s. This makes for a fascinating photostream.

*Lie, pronounced Lee, is from Antwerp. She sent a message - merci with roses and chocolate - to all her Flickerito friends back in 2010. What a nice thing to do. Delightful photo and lots of different languages.  There are many beautiful benches to be thankful for at Thanksgiving; see

How do you get ten puppies to stay on a bench so you can get their photograph? Gini managed it when Arlette and Hoss had their litter of ten Greater Swiss Mountain puppies in 2000. They're from Brushcreek Farm in Philipsburg, Missouri. Gini's photostream is at  And if you like mountains, you can get very high on alpine benches in Germany and Switzerland. 

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