-It makes more sense than a couple of other things.

Mad Aunt Bernards Tortoise Poetry

"The page to come and visit for a fabulously sensible intake of poetry straight from the divinest of inspiration - and it's only a bit tortoisy. A cracking good read if you're under anaesthetic."
Lord Elpus - The Guardian

Friday, June 5

Aunt Bench Of The Week!

It's Friday and it's 'Bench Of The Week', so for those among you who've not met her - here is Aunt Bench.

Aunt Bench is one of my elder sisters, and lives in East Bung, with her only daughter, Folly. Bench has never quite recovered from a difficult birth experience, as Folly was delivered by tractor pulling. Even now, the trauma has left Bench with a terrible addiction to licking fly papers, and we frequently find her slumped by the pantry cupboards, stuck to several sheets of it, in a state of delirium.

Folly is now 32, but I fear Bench will always feel the need to leave her under the beady eye of Mrs Coddy, who in my opinion is like the SS branch of neighbourhood watch. Bench enjoys several hobbies, including staring at people in public, beard shows, barking classes, quilling and looking at the letter 'o' (some folk really are odd, you know).

As a young child, she was a skilled competitor in our local dance competitions, and would frequently wow judges with her own slant on the St Vitus Dance, a regional favourite. Her fears and phobias include brown windsor soup, question marks, woad, and Folly, her daughter. She has favoured the more delicate beard, in contrast to Vom and Turgid, who do not like using the thinning scissors. Bench likes the feminine look, which also causes her to wear sleeves as she does not care to display her Navy tattoos in public.

As a member of the RSPB, she fosters abandoned wrens, which she allows to nest in her hair. The bun allows them warmth, shelter, and security. When on a bus into town, or in the vets to get her jabs, you could be forgiven for thinking she's innocently adjusting a hairpin, when actually she is often posting in a mealworm that she's stealthily taken from her handbag to feed her adopted brood. Also a member of Crow Lovers United, she has made an effort to learn their language. She is often observed on other people's television aerials 'kaaarking' her head off, stealing chip papers from bins and rampaging across car parks to rip off windscreen seals with her 'pretend' beak.

A fascinating, odd, troubled soul. Many a time I could cheerfully take a plank of wood to her, but that's family. Well, it's mine, at any rate. But although, like Bagpuss, she is a baggy, and bit loose at the seams, Emily loved him. And we love Bench.


  1. Is Folly an only child? I though she had a brother called Park.

  2. Dear Aunt Bench...her beard is beautifully coiffed.

  3. Hello Feck, after a tractor-pulling birth, yes. Bench would never have had another. But if she had, they would surely have been called Park, Garden and Communion.
    Many thanks Clare, I will pass that one. Reading Marie Claire does get her down when she feels she's not up on the latest look.

  4. Wonderful Bench of the Week, Aunt Bernard! That is indeed an elegant thinned beard.

  5. Aunt Bench does have a tranquil look, even though she is a troubled soul - she must feel secure in the love of her family.

  6. Navy tattoos? Abandoned wrens? Are you sure you mean the RSPB and not the RNBT(Royal Naval Benevolent Trust?)

  7. The Pearls are such a nice touch just under that beautifully coiffured beard!

  8. Could it be that your family was related to the late Errol Flynn? Aunt Bench bears a marked resemblance to him in his younger days. Such a troubled lady - poor soul. I do hope her latter years will be more tranquil.

  9. the pearls really do make the outfit! Who does her hair(s)??

  10. I'm dashing out (I'll be back to read later), but I have a prezzie for you MAB.


  11. I used to have an imaginary friend just like your sister Bench but she was much taller and had an internal beard. I don't recall much more about her save to say that we married.We divorced because of her bigamy. I found out that she had become a mid wife as well as mine. She used to favour deliveries by the tractor technique. I now am obviously an ex tractor fan - groan, groan
    It isn't odd to fear woad is it? as I fear the woad of distruction. Is it all too late for me?

  12. reminds me very much of the beard belonging to Mr Twit who kept sardines, stilton and corn flakes in his beard. Has Bench ever been known to do this?

  13. Thankyou 'Poe', i've put my new 'fing' in my sidebar for all to see. I will polish it again later, and give it a proud rub down with a gecko for extra shine. Blessings and weevils, lady, blessings and weevils.

  14. "looking at the letter 'o'"
    Jesus God!! What awesome metaphor!!
    This was hilarious - kinda read like Woody Allen's funny prose writings. Classic!

  15. Would Aunt Bench be using some sort of conditioning jollop on that there beard or is it her natural oils keeping it in such lustrous condition?...it's magnificent

  16. Bern, Darling! I don't wish to pick, but do you not have the photo upside down. I'm sure Bench has waxed recently and this really isn't very flattering to her.

    And how is your dearest husband Cybil. I hope he got home safely. Has he confessed to you that I (assisted by thirty-two Light Infantry Volunteers and a crack Platoon of the Home Guard (who kindly abandonded their cracks to assist in the hunt for Cybil)) eventually tracked him down for you at Tesco in Bracknell. He did NOT wish to be pursuaded away and, in fact, nearly threw a Paddy. It was as you feared, we found found him in the seasonal section rattling the Poles again.

    Heart, you simply MUST try that little trick I showed you with the muzzle. It really doesn't hurt. It just pisses them off for a while, but they soon get over it when you get the toybox out.

    So glad you enjoyed your day out.

    Your loving sister,


  17. Substantial Dames in your family, Dear!
    Aloha from a dreaming tortoise...

  18. Ah, Mad Aunt B, you don't know what a service you've done me with this piece. My own dear family seem so wonderfully conventional by comparison with Bench (and you, actually), even Uncle Pubis, who likes to eat biscuits through a straw and parts his hair from ear to ear so that he can sidle along pavements without arousing suspicion. Bless you!