Joseph Witriol’s Journal – Part 18: Causyth relief

Wednesday, 30th April 1958, 10.15 pm

Since previous entry have developed boil on eyebrow with ensuing bunged-up eye. Usual fears – would the eye ever de-bung, or bung down. It did, following penicillin (oral) treatment prescribed by Dr Haber, to whom I paid two visits. These visits passed off without any incident, probably because the weather was good, and I did not have to wait very long – ½ hr., say – and the waiting room was not crowded. About three years ago, when I went to my panel doctor one evening, there was an unseemly fracas between the doctor and myself, as a result of which I asked to be taken off that doctor’s list. The incident is not worth describing in detail; I may have been initially a little irritating, but at one stage in the proceedings the doctor said: “I haven’t had a penny out of you yet” (or words to that effect) which sparked off an explosion from me. On that occasion it was winter, it was raining, the waiting room was crowded, and it was over an hour before I was called in. – Dr. Haber is Polish-Jewish ( I transferred to him because Richard [Stern] had told me he was his (Richard’s) doctor), youngish, pleasant. He leaves his surgery and pops his head into the waiting room each time to call in the next patient. If he does this as a matter of policy – may his strength increase! – he’s the only doctor I know of who does. Perhaps if his list was twice as long he wouldn’t do it.

[intimate material omitted]

It’s about a fortnight since I sent the typewritten translations to Harold E Temple, and I have received no acknowledgement from him. However, I have his written order to me to do the translations and I have the receipt for the registration of the postal packet containing the translations which I sent to him. Anyway, he’s probably out of town. I shan’t consider chivvying him till Whitsun, if necessary, when I shall be on holiday.

Am writing this in almost perfect quiet. No noise from next door – no sound of washing or ironing or cooking or frying from Edith. The temperature is just right. Although primary activity prevented me from getting to sleep till about 1am this morning and at one stage this afternoon I had difficulty in keeping my eyes open in the classroom, I do not feel particularly tired now. Laus Deo.

Saw, with Edith, Berlin boys beat London boys 3-0. First rate football. To-night with E. to Islington Schools Music Festival. Innovation – boys’ brass band. They played with what seemed to me to be complete assurance.

Saw film Farewell to Arms. Pleasant ramble, Dorking – Ranmore Common – Polesden Lacey – Leatherhead. Weather kept right. Pleased by gentle tempo of leader, Rose Dubinsky.

After the boils, on the eyebrow and chin – the itchy tookhes. Again the fear – was one condemned to a lifetime of pruritis ani? I don’t know if I have recorded in this journal that from 1936 to 1939 I worked for a Polish Jew who had a large pharmaceutical factory in Cracow and was trying to plant an “ethical medical product” in Britain. Later on he acquired the agency for “Calmitol,” manufactured by a Swiss firm, which was indicated in pruritis ani (and now I come to think of it – or is this only my fancy, influenced by my close association with the subject recently?) and pruritis vulvae. It was genuinely good too, I believe – I remember Sam telling me that while he endeavoured to keep “Causyth” and “Calmitol” going when I was in the forces, he received an enquiry for the latter preparation from someone who said it had given him great relief. I wonder what happened to Joseph Sperling. I last heard of him, just after the war I think, from Brazil (or was it Uruguay?). And to his brother, Dr Harold, whom I met in Tel-Aviv looking like a seedy anarchist waiting his chance to throw a bomb.


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