Sunday, 20 July 2014

Warming The Bench Is Not Just For Substitutes...

A bench becomes the Pied Piper of the neighbourhood.

It was one of those scorching days that should only be had on the edge of the equator, but for some reason we have been experiencing days of 35 and above. Hot, sunny and marvelous for the tourist business. This is why I had to venture outside at about five yesterday afternoon.

I was waiting to check in a guest in the Weinberg region of our village. As guests tend to do, this one was very nice but a slight bit vague regarding his arrival time. ( You know, that is not a problem except if it is too late in the evening I would have to waylay my tipple of choice...a glass of wine. No drinking & driving for me! ) Looking on the positive side of things, I decided to get there earlier and combine it with a bit of attention for the thirsty flowers and to do a final visual check of the apartment.

It was half past five when I deemed everything to look perfect, flowers nursed and chocolate on the pillows. With my handy little rucksack over my shoulder ( you won't believe how much stuff I need to cart about ) I went to sit on the bench at the front edge of the garden. The bench is still on the lawn, but the pavement is right there with the road only a skip away. Divine. Bench with a view. A view to watch traffic in our village.

My rucksack had my Nora Roberts book ( I know, I know, intellectual slumming...but oh so readable ) in its depth and before I could log it out, I had company. The neighbours came out in droves to sit and chat with me on the bench. Well droves is a bit of a relative term. There were two neighbours but as the village is small, droves seems apt. The one neighbour even took out her personal mobile stroller, pushed it over the lawn to come and chat.

Look, as a bench warmer you get to shoot the breeze, talk about what to make for dinner or where to go for one. At times you might get a meatier fare of tidbits regarding people you know. Yes, a bit of gossip but let's face it, we all do it knowingly and unknowingly. We discuss Aunt Fanny's card playing abilities and Cousin Susan's cooking skills. Gosh, even the Pope might do it!

The bench was very comfortable and sitting there talking to friends while watch other friends drive past, was nice. In fact, this bench-warming business beats watching TV and dare I say being online in front of our computer. The bench is the social media platform of yesteryear. The bench lets you connect and find out things. It helps you make friends. It helps you meet new friends. This bench makes life and living fun.

Bench warming should be a subject at school. Don't laugh, but I tend to think that if from a young age we learn how to just chat with others, the world would be an easier place for us to navigate. The art of conversation is vital in avoiding any sort of conflict. Learning to converse only online, doesn't count.

Benches don't need to be just that. You can jazz them up and put a cooler box next to it. After a bit of vino, the ' veritas ' part of village gossip might be rather interesting!

Biggi

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