Victoria Summerley on The Maggie Centre

February 25, 2009

in Uncategorized

Comment on Bridget Rosewell’s review of The Maggie Centre

I haven’t seen this garden, so it’s difficult to comment fairly. However, as someone who has spent a lot of time on cancer wards recently, I don’t think this garden would do much for me. The walls look very stark, and very institutional. Much like a hospital wall, in fact, and cancer patients see far too many of those. Some texture might have been nice. (See picture)

What you long for if you have cancer, is any kind of normal life away from people telling you things you don’t want to know, and invasive treatments that make you feel ill. You just want a break; for life to treat you very gently for five minutes. I don’t think that orange colour is very gentle, though I can see that for some people, it might seem cheerful. In a cancer care garden, in my view, you want movement, birdsong, water – any sort of indication that at least here, life is continuing in a natural way. And hopefully providing you with a distraction.

On a practical note, I couldn’t see much seating either. People who have had cancer treatment (especially chemo) don’t usually feel up to standing around for any length of time. And neither do their loved ones: they’re usually knackered!

Victoria Summerley

Victoria Summerley’s blog

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