Benches is a collection of personal writings originally recorded over many years in small notebooks and later gathered into the present book. Fortunate in having a number of open spaces generously furnished with benches very close to her Richmond home and to her small house in Cornwall (where rocks generally take the place of benches), Peggy Jones came to recognise that taking the time to make simple notes of her experience of that particular moment in that particular place deepened the experience and even transformed it. If Benches is 'about' anything, it is about these moments.
While Richmond and Cornwall are central to the book, 'notes' were made in other places and in many moods, celebratory, contemplative, angry, confused - but always grateful. The style and tone of the writings varies depending on whether they were written spontaneously - from within the moment - or were later reflections upon the themes that appeared to link those moments together, even over periods of many years. The themes that emerged are age-old and familiar to all: the nature of beauty and presence, the experience of time - passing time and the fullness of time, life and death, grief and outrage, the power and reach of words, and the limits of words, love, acceptance, and the irreducible mystery that lies within and beyond it all.