The Grim Reaper visited a male friend of mine the other day. Mr Reaper called by very unexpectedly at four a.m. and stayed just long enough to drop an anvil onto my friend’s chest before slipping silently away into the early morning darkness.
Not entirely coincidentally, I have been reading an arcane piece of literature called “Touching on Deaths” I uncovered at the Founders Book Fair. It’s a medical history of early Auckland based on the first 384 inquests held in the city. Its author, New Zealand doctor turned historian, Laurie Gluckman, spent ten years transcribing reports - hand-written in spidery pen and ink - of all the inquests held between 1841 and 1864.