Benches – they often just fade into the background as part of our “street furniture”. They are something we barely notice, unless we happen to be looking for somewhere to park ourselves for a quick sandwich, or a brief respite from walking while we sip gingerly on our scalding take-away coffee.
Try noticing them a bit more, though, and they can be more interesting than you might think. Most obviously, you can check out the little inscriptions which so often adorn them, highlighting the lives and passions of people we never knew, who once had some association with the spot. And then there’s the location to consider – in particular, what view does the bench command, and has it perhaps changed over the years as the varnish on the bench has flaked off and the metal arms have started to rust and stain?
In today’s picture, it was the position of the bench itself which interested me. Located in a garden, it had been set back into a lush and fecund flower bed; the ground cover was slowly creeping up through the slats of the seat, whilst the hedge was drooping low and providing a natural canopy. It was almost as if nature were pulling the bench into its own green and florid embrace.
A seat not to sit on perhaps, but simply to admire.