How typically English (in the bucolic imagination) to play croquet on the lawns of the Bishop’s Palace with Well Cathedral in the background. The players are all dressed up in whites for the occasion, watched by the hoi polloi at the nearby tea shop.
A couple of games are in progress, all women apart from one man, who from time to time rests on his mallet while the women enjoy discussing the tactics of their next move, or maybe their next shopping trip.
The game appears to be played in a ‘gentlemanly’ spirit, with handshakes all round at the end. There is none of the aggression I recall from young men playing opportunistic games of croquet many years ago.
We came across this wonderful sculpture by Josefina de Vasconcellos in the Bishop’s Palace Gardens at Wells Cathedral. It depicts eight children bearing the weight of the cross, with each child symbolising a crime against children in today’s world. They include a child suffering from Aids, a baby victim of genocide, a child blinded by a land mine and a homeless child.
A plaster version of the statue was created by Vasconcellos in 1999 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the United Nations’ International Year of the Child, when she was 94. A home was subsequently found in Wells for a more permanent version.
What a wonderful depiction of the weight modern generations are placing on those coming. We could easily add to the list climate breakdown, rising sea levels, pollution, extinction of species, victims of modern warfare and on and on…
A representation like this makes that burden so much clearer than mere words.