A lovely thing.

Today is my birthday. I’ve had 46 of these so far and generally find them to be pleasant occasions, and this was no exception.

This one involved a trip to Frinton-on-Sea to spend some time with my Mum, who treated us all to lunch in the charming Cafe 19. I had a rather lovely steak and chips. But the “lovely thing” of my title was what I found on a bench just down the road from the cafe. I spied something sitting on the bench, apparently abandoned. It appeared to be a little notebook or diary, and I was sad for whomever had left it. Instinctively, I went over to pick it up to see if there was a name or contact details, so I could help get it back home.

But what I found was that it was chained to the bench.

Bench Diary, Frinton-on-Sea, 1st January 2015

Odd, I thought. So I took a closer look. On the front, it said “Bench Diary”.

Bench Diary, Frinton on Sea, 1st January 2015

And inside, an explanation.

Bench Diary, Frinton on Sea, 1st January 2015

Looks like I stumbled across a small part of a global storytelling project. Chained to this bench in Frinton-on-Sea for one day, before presumably being whisked off elsewhere. My nephew composed a poem (which he’s asked me not to reproduce here) and I left a wee reflection, too. Which I’ll also not publish in keeping with the anonymous nature of the project.

What a lovely thing, I thought. I had a browse through the many earlier entries in this diary, but couldn’t read many of them as the majority were in French. And then I spotted that the little instruction sheet was stuck on with sellotape. Curiosity got the better of me…

Bench Diary, Frinton on Sea, 1st January 2015


Yes, this particular little part of this project had started life in France, and, by the look of things, had only made it over here very recently. I wonder where it will end up next?

You can read more about the project here: http://www.benchdiary.com


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