Having semi-retired, I now have more time to reflect on my many blessings. Topping the list are my wonderful family and dozens of close friends around the world. I am so proud to have 8 marvelous grand-children and two great grandchildren. We are separated geographically, so I am hoping that this electronic medium will help us stay connected and indeed get closer as the years go by.
I am hoping also to spread the word about my rhyming books for children about Fred the friendly Snake, which my children, when young, called “Fred-Fred” (for reasons that will be obvious when you read the first book). They have awesome illustrations by Bonnie Lemaire, and have own several prizes. The first book is called “When Fred the snake got squished and mended”, followed by “When Fred the Snake goes to School”, and then “When Jungle Jim and friends come to visit Fred the Snake”. Most recently we have released “When Fred the Snake and Friends explore Charleston”, where I live, and a small coloring book.
I will be blogging some personal messages and hope that they may stimulate your interest and responses.
I am extremely fortunate also to have had a stimulating and rewarding professional life, which has allowed me to travel widely and to associate with many extraordinary people in many countries. I have recounted some of these adventures in my recently published “memoirs”, called “The tunnel at the end of the light; my endoscopic journey in six decades”.
Peter Cottontail? Huh?
Let me explain why I was not named after a rabbit. There are two common responses when I introduce myself in America (after correcting my pronunciation). “Didn’t you get teased at school?”, and, “What was your Mother thinking of?”.
Peter Cottontail is a favorite children’s story and song in USA “Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail”, especially at Easter, but it doesn’t (or didn’t) exist in England, where I grew up, despite the fact that the song derives from writing by an English author, Beatrix Potter. She wrote the famous stories about Peter Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, but never about Peter Cottontail. One of her other characters is Benjamin Bunny, and my middle name is Benjamin!
I am told that I was actually named Peter after a sea lion that my elder brother liked at Bristol Zoo, and Benjamin after my Dad’s brother “Uncle Benjie”.
Having said that I was not named after a rabbit, the home that Marion and I set up when we married somehow became a rabbit museum, with gifts between ourselves, and from well-meaning friends. One young person set out to count the rabbits in our Ravens Run home in Mount Pleasant, and gave up after reaching 800.
So, we still like rabbits, but I am not one (I think).