As a very small boy, I apparently mistook a cemetery, with its white gravestones standing to attention in the green grass of the graveyard, for a cricket match. It became a family joke. Headstones became cricketers.
The graveyard of St John at Hackney is another one of those London cemeteries that have been cleared of headstones to create a grassy recreational space. The cricketers have left the field of play. Headstones appear to have stacked up against the perimeter wall, but, on closer inspection, they turn out to be a foot or so from the boundary.
As I walked around the graveyard trying to read the names on the headstones, a young family kicked around a football, a couple lay on a blanket reading books, enjoying the sunshine, and a homeless man slept on a bench. I wonder if any of them thought about the hundreds, if not thousands, of bodies decomposing beneath their feet.