Thursday, 6 December 2018

Holiday benches at breaking point

Yes, the Christmas benches are out.




It's that time of year where everyone starts to feel under pressure. Even the benches are breaking down. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/miphages/15829061296/ 

In these dark days of winter lots of people want a bench break. 

Brrrrr!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rofflcopterr/398552083


Maybe a sun break bench would be better.


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

Imagine chilling out on a beach in Brazil right now.


Bench at Sunrise by Jonathan Wilkin @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/

My best imaginary friend Miggy has gone to a retreat for some bench yoga.




Actually, it's goat yoga. 


Miggy loves a well dressed goat.


http://www.holytaco.com/25-goats-costumes/


Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly: I say, this is an utterly bloody silly activity.

After a couple of downward dogs you'd smell like a goat in a library.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksherman/3931121478


Miggy's Mum: Each to his own, Lord B. People enjoy different activities.



http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/woolly-warm-autumn-benches.html


Well, Miggy's Mum, I guess you have a lot of knitted benches to make right now.


Miggy's Mum: Yes, everyone wants to wrap up warm for Christmas.


Gosh, it's surreal how fast the time bench is fading! 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/p-dub/

There are all those bench stockings to stuff.




The benches are crumbling with too much to do.


The Longest Bench, Littlehampton, West Sussex

The pressure of Christmas is running them into the ground.


The Longest Bench, Littlehampton, West Sussex


Which reminds me, someone has to bench press the logs for the fire.




Mungo, one of my husbands: Mind which logs you burn though.

His Excellency, my other husband: You said that last year. 

And the year before. 

Mungo: You don't want to destroy the ten thousand dollar designer log bench.


http://benchsite.blogspot.com/2014/12/log-benches-just-logs-and-cake.html

His Excellency: Like I did last year.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/nov2874/15267764389 

Mungo: And the year before. 

This discussion about burning benches tends to get heated.


www.dehallen.nl

Let's move on shall we. There are presents to wrap.


http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/another-ding-dong-christmas.html 

And presents to buy. 

What to get your dad?




There are gingerbread benches to bake.



ikea-gingerbread-house-furniture__1364324118146-s3

And the reindeer bench to rein in.





And then after Christmas there's all the new year glitz.





Lord Brassica: What ho! My wife looks jolly attractive in this! 

His Excellency: The words bondage and gear come to mind.

Please will you let me get on with the story. 

There's so much to say!

Eddie, my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate: So to save time I suppose you're going to wheel out the same old Christmas bench stories that you use every year?


http://www.deltastage.com/

No, Eddie, I am writing an entirely new blog here.

Eddie: That makes a change. By the way, here's a picture of me.


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

Wow, Eddie, you're looking very dapper here. You must have been shopping.

Eddie: Yes, I realised there are not many more shopping benches before Christmas.

I know. I get exhausted just thinking about it.


www.thecaravangallery.co.uk 


Lord Brassica: I say, these gels could jolly well do with phoning up Harrods and ordering a score of hampers. They could get their chap to deliver them.

Well, that's fine if you've got the money bench.


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

Lord Brassica: It's vulgar to talk about money don't you know. I've got all the ruddy money I want.

Just as well. Lady Brassica has gone to Paris for some retail therapy.




Her purchases have done her in I think.

http://benchsite.blogspot.com/2013/12/just-x-shopping-benches-til-christmas.html


Or maybe it's the company she's keeping.





Eddie: Company? Is this trip business or pleasure?

It's bleisure. And of course some personal pampering.


http://www.buttbench.com/

  
All that retailing and pampering and fun. All those presents and reindeer and Christmas trees.

Even Santa needs a rest from it all.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/ma1974/300288639/

Benches come in handy for a quick snooze.

The Brassica's son Root: Me, I just kip down anywhere. 






After seventeen pints I don't suppose it makes much difference. 




Root: I spent my whole summer like this. It was wicked!

Eddie: Not everyone is a layabout. A lot of people like expensive activity holidays. 

Yes. Tennis bench vacations are a racquet. 


http://www.remyveenhuizen.nl


His Excellency: Some people like keeping fit on their holidays. Bench pressing and whatnot. 

Lord Brassica: A ruddy waste of time if you ask me. This chap needs to buck up and get a job.



Innocent enjoys bench pressing with Vini when she goes to Rio.


http://benchsite.blogspot.com/2016/08/rio-2016-brazilian-bench-olympics.html



Lord Brassica: Tally ho, this looks like jolly good fun! 

Bench pressing is too energetic for me.

I like walking holidays. With the proper hat and boots of course.





The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan 

Do you see yonder wicket-gate?


Mungo: I do but there are too many styles stiles for me. 

Me too. I prefer swimming benches.


http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/my-swimming-bench.html 


Eddie: I don't understand these active holidays. I'd rather monkey around at the bar.

Don't start with the monkey jokes, Eddie, please. I've got all the stress I can handle right now.

Mungo: Apparently Innocent and Vini are in Rio going for gold. They're calling it a second honeymoon. 


http://benchsite.blogspot.com/2016/08/rio-2016-brazilian-bench-olympics.html


His Excellency: It's worth noting that it's Innocent's second honeymoon because she's still married to someone else.

Yes, Innocent and her husband Root had a relaxing honeymoon in Bracknell.


www.thecaravangallery.co.uk 

And then after the honeymoon, some people apparently have a babymoon before their child is born.

Eddie: The words Meghan and Harry come to mind. 

His Excellency: Pass the sick bag.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/murk/5499694936

How about a throne?


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki

His Excellency: No. 

Eddie: A throne is just a bench with cushions.

His Excellency: I have one thing to say to that.


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


Back to babymoons then. 

Tamsin, a local girl: I didn't have time for a babymoon. A stork brought my baby without any warning and left it on a bench.







Yes, well, the less said about that the better I think. 

Tamsin: After the baby I had a mumcation though.




His Excellency: What, you went on vacation with your mum?

No, a mumcation is where the mum goes away leaving her benches puppies behind. 


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

Tamsin: Ahhhhhh! These are soooooo cute! 

I just left my baby on a bench at the beach.







Mungo: Saves on childcare I suppose. 

His Excellency: Enough already! These family relationship benches are really boring. Give me a break. 

I could do with a break myself but there are just so many benches and so little time.




I've decided I need a micro gap though. 

Eddie: And a micro gap is . . .   

It's like a mini break bench only smaller.


http://benchsite.blogspot.com/2013/06/big-bench-small-bench-cute-and-tiny.html

Eddie: It's smaller than a gap year bench then?

A lot smaller, yes. 

Lord Brassica: Gap years, mini breaks. Pah! This is all snowflake stuff. 




Tamsin: Oh, I love snowflakes! 

Lord Brassica: In my day we didn't have breaks. We went to boarding school at age two and stayed there until we grew up.

Mungo: Yes, and it didn't do you any harm, did it?

Lord Brassica: And then we did National Service. Unless our pater bought us out of it.

Which yours did?

Lord Brassica: Of course. Someone had to organise the elves at Castle Broccoli.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/13139888185/

It's always the little people doing all the work. 

His Excellency: You're getting a bit tetchy, Seashell. Maybe you need a city break bench. 

Athens?


http://www.yatzer.com 


Eddie: Florence.






Lord Brassica: Dunkirk! That's the spirit! 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/17033839@N00/


No, I'm stressed out. I'm in a slough of despond.


The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, 1783


I need a holiday which is emotionally healing.

Eddie: A painmoon I think they call it.

Do they?

Eddie: They do. It's like a honeymoon only with mental anguish.

His Excellency: The two are not mutually exclusive.

Mungo: Maybe you need a staycation?

Yes. I could stay at home with a healing bench. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgrote/2659299640

And a lot of hygge.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/cajsa_lilliehook/23013586383/

Miggy's Mum: Some cozy deer sheets, dear.






Yes. And some lagom.



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

Eddie: You did that last Christmas.

Whatever. 

This Christmas you can all do what you like.


http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/another-ding-dong-christmas.html 


This year I'm going to buy a bag of Bench stuff and leave it under the Christmas tree. 

Help yourselves. 



http://benchsite.blogspot.com/2013/12/just-x-shopping-benches-til-christmas.html


Then, for the rest of my holidays, I'm going to enjoy myself.

I'll get out some wool and crochet a bench cover.


http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/woolly-warm-autumn-benches.html



 Maybe watch some Christmas telly.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/megaul/4167878788

Or just find a comfy bench and read.




ALL: WHO WILL FINISH THE CHRISTMAS BLOG?


Probably no one.

Eddie: That can only be a good thing. 


Merry Christmas!  

Whatever you do on your holidays, mumcation, mini break, micro gap, downtime, sabbatical, or painmoon, have a great time! 







Credits




We're a little low key this year but in the past we've had ourselves a Ding Dong Christmas here on Benchsite. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some brilliantly Christmasy benches. In 2015 we here dreaming of purple ones. For a more traditional Ding Dong Christmas though, see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/another-ding-dong-christmas.html  If lagom is not your thing, have a look at the full fat indulgence of my 2016 Hygge Christmas deer.

It was autumn in Mölle, Sweden. It was 2011. Mikael F took a lovely photo of a broken bench with red foliage growing through it. https://www.flickr.com/photos/miphages/15829061296/  Every year we fall for autumn benches here on benchsite  http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/falling-for-autumn-benches.html   And once the weather gets colder we have log benches too. And cake. Plenty of cake. 

The Brrrrrrrilliant Brrrr bench was photographed in Decatur, Illinois in December 2006. The photographer is Tim O'Bryan, who now lives in Chicago. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rofflcopterr/398552083

It gets jolly cold here on Benchsite. Frozen in fact.  


I have two husbands. One is Mungo, my imaginary husband, who features in lots of other Benchsite stories, but not this one. This one includes His Excellency, who has a reputation for destruction, even when he means well. He's a philosopher and, to say the least, not a very practical person. You can appreciate his difficulties if you know his history. Mungo, on the other hand, keeps a good workbench. Read about both of them at  http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/workbench-wonders-two-husbands-lots-of.html


Mary-Lou Fletcher has some lovely photographs on Flickr, including the sunny bench with the big painted sun behind it. I loved this and thought it fitting as the first photograph on the Sunny Benches post. Mary-Lou lives in Cornwall and runs her own yacht management and marine services company. She started taking photos in her  teens and has loved photography ever since. She spent ten years at sea working on superyachts and travelling the world - I wonder if she knows Mariner Mikey from the Oceans post? Her photostream is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mary_lou_fletcher




Jonathan Wilkin took the beautiful photo of a bench on the beach an sunrise. The photo was taken in July 2008 at the Guaratiba Resort, Southern Bahia in Brazil. It is on wikimedia under a creative commons license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bench_on_beach_at_sunrise.jpg?uselang=en-gb  
As you can see by her amazing fitness in the Monkey Position, Sarah Siblik is an enthusiastic yoga practitioner & instructor, an optimist by conviction and an energy healer. She lives in Etobicoke, Canada.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/shaarka/10353231923/



2015 was The Year of the Goat. We had lots to celebrate on Benchsite with goat benches of every description.

The goat wearing a tux is by far the most elegant of any of the dressed-up goats I found anywhere. Being bored with dressing up dogs and cats and babies and rabbits, people eventually got wise and turned to goats. Now there are costumed goats all over the internet. I don't know what the original source of this photo is but here's where I saw it   http://www.holytaco.com/25-goats-costumes/


Why goats aren't allowed in libraries (2009) was written by Murray McCain with drawings by John Alcorn. It was photographed by Nick Sherman, who is a graphic designer, skateboarder and musician living in Brooklyn. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksherman/3931121478


Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, is a gentleman farmer here on Paradise Island. He is a descendent, apparently, of a court judge who laid down the law on legal benches. 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


Keeping warm is quite a thing here on Benchsite. We love it! Miggy's mum lives here in Fribble-under-Par and occupies various benches in the town and on the beach. Last year she organised Knit Bomb Thursdays so that we covered all the Paradise Island benches just in time for winter. And it does get cold here. Our benches get frozen http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/frozen-ice-cold-benches-from-snowvenia.html   See how we keep them woolly warm at http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/woolly-warm-autumn-benches.html


The brilliant orange knit bench and the cardigan-wrapped chair (Chairwear) iare by Claire Ann O'Brien at  http://www.claireanneobrien.com/projects/chairwear  Originally from County Cork in Ireland, Claire-Anne O'Brien lives and works in London producing textiles for furniture, space and product. Specialising in constructed textiles, material properties and textile technique are explored through hands-on experimentation. With a sculptural approach, Claire-Anne investigates form, construction and scale through textiles. Shows include London Design Festival, Milan Furniture Fair, Wool Modern and Spinexpo. In 2011 she received the Future Makers Award from the Crafts Council of Ireland.  www.claireanneobrien.com


PW Fenton from Florida photographed the surreal Dali Time bench in 2008 whilst singing Hello Dali to himself. He has travelled to 21 states and 11 countries - more than Sarah Palin. For a varied and somewhat quirky photostream see his work at  http://www.flickr.com/photos/p-dub/


You've probably guessed that it's not a yule log being bench-pressed. This is a photo of pararescueman applicants bench pressing a wooden log in a mud pit during a screening process held by the Air Force 306th Rescue Squadron in Tucson, Ariz. In this test the applicants do a timed 3-mile run, 1500- meter swim, calisthenics, and other various tasks. The photo was taken by Airman 1st Class Veronica Pierce, U.S. Air Force on April 21, 2006. This image is a work of a U.S. military or Department of Defense employee, taken or made as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

As the marvelous Internet Archive Book Images shows, bench pressing goes back a long way.  The man bench pressing dates from 1917. It's an image from page 266 of "A manual of physical training and preparatory military instruction for schools of the United States; a modified Swiss system intended to provide for the strong common national defense of America.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14580815429/


I’ve burned a lot of benches each autumn and there are quite a few benches on fire, one way or another, on the internet. Nov2874 has some lovely photographs in his Ride Around the Countryside album, including the burning log in the fireplace, photographed in 2014. 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nov2874/15267764389 I am pleased to say that this log is not the expensive designer log bench I purchased in Japan. Phew! That's ten thousand pounds saved then.  


Roger Hiorns is a British artist, born in 1975 in Birmingham. He attended Goldsmiths College and the Bournville Center for Visual Arts. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2009. He creates fictional scenarios which are made real through his use of ordinary objects and materials, such as benches. In his 2010 Youth series, which is untitled, a scene is activated at intervals, involving a bench, a small fire and a naked young man who contemplates the fire. The photograph shown here is by Gert Jan van Rooij and is shown courtesy of the artist and his representatives, Corvi-Mora, London. It comes from the Hiorns exhibition at the De Hallen Gallery in the Netherlands; thanks also to Annelieke van Halen at www.dehallen.nl 


The DAD bench was photographed in June 2008 at Bamburgh in Northumberland. The photographer is Jo Jakeman, who has albums full of lots of places around Britain and elsewhere – landscapes, festivals, animals, churches and cemeteries. Jo gets out and about.


A gingerbread bench? Brilliant! IKEA have cracked it. The gingerbread couch is one of their hygge-inspired gingerbread house furniture pieces from Christmas 2016. You cosy up to it, then you eat it. What could be nicer?  ikea-gingerbread-house-furniture__1364324118146-s3



Eddie is my Inner Editor, very popular with Benchsite readers but a real pain to work with.  He's a great editor but he tries to slip primate pictures into Benchsite posts whenever he can, sometimes ruining my stories. For some monkey business with cheeky monkey benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/monkey-business-on-st-georges-day.html

The excellent portrait of Eddie looking studious is from Fringepop, an etsy shop in Atlanta, Georgia. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/fringepop It's full of  8x10 art prints including hipster, pin ups, zombies, steampunk, mermaids, witches, Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln, cabinet cards, owls, taxidermy, flappers, octopus, fine art, lowbrow art, and surreal art. Fringepop also has a large selection of roller derby, horror goth, retro kitsch, and circus sideshow. They also love art deco, flapper, and art nouveau pinups and gorgeous deco mermaid art. They specialize in Victorian, medical, sideshow, and other oddity art along with many whimsical animals including squirrels, owls, deer, and ravens.


The Bench was a play performed at the Delta Stage Theatre in Greenville, North Carolina in December 2010. Written by Larry Larson and Eddie Lee, it's a true modern tale of Christmas featuring the story of two men who meet on a bench at the mall while waiting for their wives to finish Christmas shopping. As the weeks progress, they get to know each other, along with all the other wacky characters who inhabit the mall. They enjoy mall-style entertainment on the nearby stage, including a version of A Christmas Carol performed in under 5 minutes. The Bench is apparently full of singing and dancing and is hilariously funny. It sounds like just the thing for getting into the Christmas spirit; I'm sorry I missed it. http://www.deltastage.com/

Kim Smith owns a dramatic web design company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She photographed the money bench in 2007. Her photo sets contains lots of friends and family and her landscapes  make Michigan look like a beautiful place. In fact, Mackinac Island doesn't look so different from my own Paradise Island.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimsmith/

How many shopping benches til Christmas? Golly, we can get into a panic about Christmas shopping, can't we? 


Primark Shoppers is a photograph by Jan at The Caravan Gallery www.thecaravangallery.co.uk  Jan and her colleagues travel all around the UK and elsewhere finding, capturing, and exhibiting fascinating little slices of life. Caravan Gallery photos have featured on Benchsite before and I have been lucky enough to visit the caravan. What a treat!

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. (By the way, we've got some great Irish benches for celebrating St. Patrick's Day). She loves shopping at her replica mall and having poetry read to her by Young Male Readers dot com. She is happily married to Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly but some summers Lady Jess  spends rather a lot of time at her beach hut with Troy. 

The Butt Bench is from a company in Milltown, New Jersey called The Butt Bench and they do what they say they do. They make an all-in-one bathtub seat on which you can sit, for whatever reason you need to.  According to their product information, the Cedar Butt Bench can create a relaxing zen or spa-like feel in your bathroom. Customer testimonials speak highly of the bench for reasons of safety, comfort, storage and shaving. And the t-shirt is for sale too.  http://www.buttbench.com/


We celebrate World Toilet Day here on Benchsite at

The Santa lying down on the bench is called Bænkebidder and it's by Ma1974 in Naestved, Sjaelland in Denmark. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ma1974/300288639/  Ma1974  understands Danish and English and some Swedish and Norwegian. She understands very little German and a few words of French and Dutch.


The Tennis ball bench is by Tejo Remy and Rene Veenhuizen at http://www.remyveenhuizen.nl in Utrecht. The two designers studied together at Utrecht School of Art and at Department 3D-Design; they have worked together since 2000 and have a worldwide profile.  'By making everything our material, the world is our toolkit. We transform the familiar and incorporate the circumstances. By applying this as a kind of design rule, we create our own freedom.'


Root is the son of Lord and Lady Brassica of Drizzly.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 blog last year.



Back in 2016 Vini guided us through the Rio Bench Olympics
Vinicius is a popular name in the Portuguese language. It dates back to Roman times and in 2016 it was the name of the Olympic mascot, as well as Brazil's famous musician Vinicius Moraes. Vini is a great bench-presser, according to Innocent, but the only medal he won was a bronze for sun bathing. (That's a Tim Vine joke from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival). 

There are two wonderful illustrations in this story from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Do you see yonder wicket-gate? You don't? Well, it's the first of the illustrations. The second is where Christian still endeavoured to struggle to that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house. That's the name of the illustration, as well as what he did. I just call it The Slough of Despond.  


If you follow Benchsite you'll know that I am a committed swimmer. Maybe not as committed as some people though. See my tribute to serious swimmers and the swimming benches that support them. My Swimming Bench is well documented on the post 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    


Innocent is Lord and Lady Brassica's daughter-in-law because she unwisely married their numpty-but-very-rich son Root. She has emerged from her convent nursing dress into something of a fashion icon, becoming a world class fashion model for Studio Joop, from Overbearing in Holland. But just how innocent is Innocent? Her frequent trips to Rio give us some clues I think. 


Marc, a technical writer from Brighton, is neither anti-royal nor anti-wedding. But in 2011 the Royal Wedding Sickbag made him laugh, so he photographed it. https://www.flickr.com/photos/murk/5499694936


The Brassicas of Castle Brassica and Fribbly Manor are what passes for royalty here on Paradise Island. A red throne was made for King Charles III of Spain, gilded sometime before 1772 in Madrid and including his profile in the medallion atop the backrest. Since the late 19th century each Spanish sovereign has had a copy of this original throne, incorporating his own portrait. In the Royal Palace in Madrid now are matching thrones for King Don Juan Carlos I and Queen Dona Sofia. However, this photo was taken by Jebulon, during an exhibition of various thrones, in Château de Versailles France. Jebulon is French and proud to live in the centre of Paris.  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Throne_Charles_III_of_Spain.jpg?uselang=en-gb


Stacy Scissors in Tucson has the best name of all Etsy shops: Running with Scissors. She describes her shop as emo, scene, rockabilly, kitsch, rocker, and hardcore bling, in other words, stuff for the sweet and evil side of every girl. There is all kinds of jewelry, including razorblade necklaces and the bright and blingy Bah Humbug necklace. If you have a look at her shop, you're in for a treat. www.etsy.com/shop/runningwithscissors 



Tamsin is a sweet local girl who works here in Fribble-under-Par in the Not Quite Good Enough pharmacy. Ever a follower of fashion, Tamsin likes to try anything new. She has a French fiance, Garcon Orange, and a baby named Isambard Kevin, whose paternal origins are unknown. And 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.


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


Mike Cogh lives in Adelaide and photographed the gnome bench and many other benches around the world which I have used widely on Benchsite.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/13139888185/  Mike has an extensive set of over 800 Humble Bench photographs at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/ 



bcgrote lives in California and has way too many interests, including animal photography. Sit Stay Heal is a bench from the Gaslamp District of San Diego, where she comes from. It was photographed in 2008 in front of the Gaslamp Hilton 

Greece - 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 Dunkirk bench depicts The Spirit of Dunkirk, when thousands of small boats were mustered to rescue more than 300,000 troops from the shores of France in May and June 1940. This photograph is from Greg Duce, who saw the bench at the National Arboretum in Alrewas, England, in 2010. Greg has toured many of the battlefields of Europe and has an extensive collection of military, battle, and memorial photographs on his photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/17033839@N00/


Hygge was the word of the year 2016 in the Collins and Oxford dictionaries so we had to have hygge for Christmas here on Benchsite.  There are more than one and a half million #hygge posts and zillions of hygge photographs on Pinterest. So many hygge books were printed that most people got one for Christmas. For a detailed analysis of hygge and its various cultural meanings, see Charlotte Higgins in The Guardian November 22, 2016. She goes so far as to suggest that the Danish hygge was  hijacked into a commercial frenzy that turns hygge into something far less cuddly than it sounds. 


Tis the Season is the title of the bench with lovely deer cushions. Cajsa Lilliehook is a photographer from Portland. She runs a number of fashion and photograph blogs, such as It's Only Fashion in Second Life®. Her column at Shopping Cart Disco called What I Like features art and fashion photos of Second Life from Flickr and fashion blogs. On Flickr I found her Tis the Season photo of a bench from December 2015.   https://www.flickr.com/photos/cajsa_lilliehook/23013586383/


Flannel deer sheets are everywhere at Christmas and for some reason I find them hard to resist. Along with the sheets, of course, you can get the matching bedside table and lampshade, and cushions that look like they've come from a Scottish manor house. I strongly suspect that all this deer-themed stuff has a limited life after Christmas.

Last year for Christmas here on Benchsite we looked at lagom benches. There are different ways of looking at the concept of lagrom. Some Swedes hate it. For example, it has been referred to as a suffocating doctrine of Lutheran self denial. Novelist and comedian Jonas Gardell called his 1990s standup show På besök i mellanmjölkens land, a visit to the land of semi-skimmed milk. 



In Avon, Ohio Joanne is a mum and a graphic designer, among others things. In her Paperieshop at etsy she sells DIY printable templates, instant downloads and wall décor. Sensibly, she has a definition for hygge, and also one for lagom, which is neither excessive nor sparse, but looking, feeling, and being in perfect balance. The wall art digital file with this definition is a very lagom image, in that it is beautifully displayed on an attractive bench that is thoroughly in keeping.




I wouldn't want you to get the idea that I am in any way sponsored by Bench dot or any other company. Far from it. The stuff in the bags are my very own purchases from the Bench dot outlet store. None of them fit me and they are all the wrong colours but never mind, they bear the Bench message and that's what's important.


Meg is a paparazzi currently living in Portland. She photographed her favourite holiday movie - the yule log and the elf - in 2009. There is a fire, of sorts, going on in front of the TV. https://www.flickr.com/photos/megaul/4167878788

At the end of the story the Fribble and Drizzly folk have turned out to wish you a merry Christmas. In the photo below, right to left in the back row is Police Constable Willie Wyme, best known for his illegal smile benches. Mikey the Mariner knows all about ocean benches, and boat benches too.  Root (future Sixth Earl of Drizzly) is a bit of a waster, but still he can tell you about bus stop benchesparty benches and, in his own weird way, sleeping on benches. Tamsin has an interesting totally daft perspective on life, and benches. Angel Angela is, well, angelic. The two older folk are Noah, keeper of the ark and saver of animal benches, and Miggy's Mum, who knits a mean guerilla bench scarf. Front left is Emily Hardhat, an expert on bridge benches.Tonks the horse would like it known that he is not lean and lank and he has no intention of dashing through the snow pulling a lot of lazy people in a sled. Tonks has already done his bit for Benchsite, having been one of the 2014 Year of the Horse Benches.


In the middle are Lord Brassica, Lord Brassica's dog Pru, Tamsin's baby Isambard (origin unknown), and, of course, Hello Kitty. Each of these has a story to tell on other Benchsite posts. If you're meeting them for the first time, go to Who's Who in Fribble and that will tell you all you need to know.