A nice sit down
November 20, 2021 10:24 AM   Subscribe

When most people choose a calendar to pin on their wall they would usually go for some cute animals or a famous film star. So Kevin Beresford was surprised when his calendar, celebrating the benches of his hometown, Redditch, became a runaway success. The unique dullness of his subject matter has struck a chord with the British public, and he’s now grappling with hundreds of orders while his flat has turned into a full-time calendar factory. In the Guardian, Jessica Murray covers a surprisingly popular calendar along news about the Dull Club, which publishes its own singular calendar.
posted by Bella Donna (25 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
No link to buy? This is useless to me.

(I love stuff like this; the things and infrastructure all around us we ignore every day, but every single one of those boring benches, railway stations, manhole covers, or whatever, has been put there by a person - or team of people - and there’s a reason for it)
posted by parm at 11:31 AM on November 20 [5 favorites]


but every single one of those boring benches, railway stations, manhole covers, or whatever, has been put there by a person - or team of people - and there’s a reason for it

This is part of why I love Joe Pera, it seems like he he gets this, and he loves telling the details of how something came to be and the people involved in making it happen. He doesn't always get down to the nitty gritty of individual benches or chairs, but he often still makes the subjects of his episodes very personal, like in his recent episode on mid-westerners and their Second Fridge, and the many uses a second fridge has and the items it likely would contain.

He has a very calming voice and likes to take his time explaining things, and he has some very good jokes that always catch you off guard because he never really changes his tone or pacing.

I love this calendar, I wish there was a link to buy it as well.
posted by deadaluspark at 11:48 AM on November 20 [4 favorites]


Benches have a lot of story in them, there's so much implicit.

Maybe I should be making a boring calendar of my own neighborhoods. (I think he's a better photographer than I am though!)

I'm interested in this happy "boringness" as a familiar kind of nontoxic masculinity. It's related to the third problem of meritocracy, to wit, if we achieved a useful and fair meritocracy, would we just break the hearts of everyone who wasn't on top? In his case, no! Or not permanently!
posted by clew at 11:58 AM on November 20 [3 favorites]


I also immediately started looking for a link. I found the Benches of Redditch 2022 calendar on the Roundabouts of Great Britain web shop. Sadly, they don't offer overseas posting on this item.
posted by Lirp at 12:17 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Lirp. Perhaps we need a MetaFilter calendar of the mundane. I have never heard of Joe Pera and will check him out.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:32 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


I swear this country and their fascination with weird calendars.

It was Waterskiing Westies for awhile. Then there's the Eddie Stobart calendar, for all your logistics needs.

Then again, I take the year's pictures of my lemur on holiday and fit them into whatever generic-as-hell "nice sayings" print-yourself calendar I can find online, to amuse myself. So it's really only a matter of time before it becomes "Lemur on Park Benches of Nottingham Special 2023"...
posted by Katemonkey at 1:05 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


Obscure fact - I've been to the bench for the May picture (in the village of Sambourne) and messaged another MeFite while I was sat on it.

It's a bit of an odd area of the Midlands. Not quite suburban (you get that a few miles north in the southern estates of greater Birmingham), not quite farming country (you get that a few miles south in the Vale of Evesham), not quite rural (further south still, or over t'other side of the River Severn.

I had a few wanders around it earlier in the year, as it was close by, and took a few pictures. The grave (more, and more) of a local lad who used to drum in a rock band is in the graveyard of a nice church (visitor book), and the nearby road sign. And another nearby sign.
posted by Wordshore at 1:16 PM on November 20 [12 favorites]


I was wondering whether there was information about the Grealish calendar on his Wikipedia page (mostly because I did not know who he was before this) and I will note there is not... but there could be.
posted by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on November 20 [1 favorite]


I found it on Etsy. Pricey shipping tho at $21, puts it over $35.

...still worth it.
posted by deadaluspark at 4:37 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


I would contribute to a "Mice of Metafilter" calendar or a "Pencil cups of Metafilter" or a "Hats of Metafilter" or a "DIY projects of Metafilter" calendar.

I am also totally ready for an "Amphibians of Metafilter" calendar, but are there >= 12 amphibian lovers here?

...Or an "iNaturalist photos of Metafilter" calendar... just saying...
posted by amtho at 5:23 PM on November 20 [4 favorites]


"Mefites Bean Dinners Year-Round"
posted by clew at 5:30 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


"Mefites Bean Dinners Year-Round"

I mean, I wouldn't mind another UK focused one that's breakfasts of beans on toast.
posted by deadaluspark at 5:46 PM on November 20


Here's a link to the Dull Men's Club, which I'd actually run across while doing some research into giant pumpkin growing.
posted by msbrauer at 6:21 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


Tangentially, when I went to the Louvre, I figured that there was not a piece of art in there that had not been photographed better than I could, so I took pictures of the bemches, of which there were a remarkable diversity. You could probably chronicle the development of the museum through the benches.
posted by DebetEsse at 6:53 PM on November 20 [6 favorites]


There’s so much to be said for celebration of the mundane. It’s a welcome tonic in these trying times.

Unrelatedly, I’ve recently learned (perhaps here?) that “ditch” as a standalone word or suffix is ambiguously the trough OR the berm, depending on dialect and context. It could be the canal or the dike or maybe both. Indeed dike is cognate to ditch.
posted by sjswitzer at 7:08 PM on November 20 [5 favorites]


I love this calendar, I wish there was a link to buy it as well.

There are both US and UK links to buy at dullmensclub.com, my new favorite website, though the FB group is easier to navigate.
posted by bendy at 7:29 PM on November 20 [2 favorites]


For anyone interested in subjects by some considered dull, there's also a lovely BBC podcast called the boring talks.
posted by charles kaapjes at 11:12 PM on November 20 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't mind another UK focused one that's breakfasts of beans on toast.

What? There’s no room for those of us who dine on beans on toast? In countries other than the UK? To be honest, a MeFite calendar of DIY projects is most up my alley but they are all fine ideas.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:16 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


Don't forget The Londonist's Badly Placed Benches.
posted by Paul Slade at 5:51 AM on November 21 [2 favorites]


It’s not boring, but I think a calendar devoted to ‘Doggos of Mefi’ would do well. Unfortunately it might cause those not included to flame out.
posted by Phanx at 6:27 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


I didn't really have chance to visit Redditch today and sit on one of the benches featured in the calendar, though I was close - my Covid booster jab just before luncheon was in an arts centre about six miles west of there. Maybe on my next trip to that part of Worcestershire.
posted by Wordshore at 8:40 AM on November 21 [1 favorite]


Another important thing to consider about celebrating the boring:

Benches, bridges, and other public social utilities are super important to functioning cities, but we rarely sing the praises or remember the names of the people who actually did the work putting them in place and securing them safely.

The older I get, the more I'm aware that the world will forget me very quickly after I die, that despite all the things I have contributed to in society, no one is really celebrating them, and certainly no one remembers I was involved in any of them.

In a way, a calendar about park benches with some information on them is a rejection of that. In a small way, it's saying "These things actually do matter, no matter how boring some people find them." Yep, boring things are often insanely important, and we do ourselves and society a disservice by ignoring them because they're boring.

I pine to live in a world where the names of the workers are emblazoned across everything they build, so no one can be made to forget their contributions.
posted by deadaluspark at 8:40 AM on November 21 [4 favorites]


I've a good mind to make the Quare Bales 2023 Calendar!
posted by Homemade Interossiter at 2:20 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]


I've joined the dull club FB group and made a couple posts and some comments and I think I might be trending in dullness. Woo-hoo!!!
posted by bendy at 2:25 AM on November 23 [2 favorites]


> manhole covers

I took a bunch of photos of manhole covers / utility pit covers while on holiday in Italy, they're quite fascinating and also quite hard to get good photos of without shadows, feet or pigeons.
posted by nickzoic at 7:41 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]


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