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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 4, December 2016

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Matthew Paul
Surbiton, Surrey, England


On Randomly Opening the A to Z

My finger alights upon Beddington Water Treatment Works, whence originated several typhoid outbreaks, the first of which, in 1933, just after Dad was born, would’ve taken off Gracie, his mother, but for Granddad, a London County Council teacher, having been trained to spot the basic signs of various common, killer diseases: he spoon-fed her diluted milk as her temperature fluctuated wildly, and kept her alive until she was borne away, looking dreadful, to Purley Way Hospital.

The following night, a police constable knocked on the door, to let Granddad know that Gracie was in isolation with para-typhoid B, the least virulent strain of its group. Within days, Granddad was ringing the doctor to say that there were three more cases: he and his two young sons, who were soon stripped bare, given hospital shirts and whisked off for six weeks of watery milk, junket and stewed rhubarb, daily bed baths and a weight loss between them of several stones.

over breakfast
my younger son tells me
another Greek myth

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