Category Archives: Family

China WOW! 40 years on

We are just back from Shanghai, after attending a meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ERCP. It was kindly and brilliantly hosted by Professor Hu Bing (standing behind me at the dinner). I enjoyed sharing the podium with Joseph Leung and Sydney Chung, who founded the Endoscopy unit at Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong, which became world-famous for its pioneering practice, teaching and research.


I signed some books (the “Tunnel” book in English and Chinese, and ERCP 2nd edition) for Honest Medical, the local Cook company agents.


Irise Mu was our helpful guide. We toured some local sights and indulged my love of exotic oriental food.


We love congee (a rice porridge), and the hotel had a huge variety of interesting bits and pieces to spice it up.

I could not help reminiscing about my first visit to (mainland) China just 40 years ago (I was in Hong Kong before that, in 1971). My visit in 1978 was with Basil Morson, the British pathologist, who gastroenterologists may remember proposed the adenoma-carcinoma sequence, which led eventually to the modern colonoscopy screening and polypectomy industry.  Behind and between us in the photo is Chen Minzhang. We invited him and 3 others to tour British GI centers the following year. He became Minister of Health of China, and facilitated many of my future visits, one including my daughter Nicola.                                                                                                   

The physical changes over the 40 years are extraordinary. Shanghai was a tired city in 1978, quietly remembering its dominance of Victorian times. Now a humming metropolis of 23 million, remarkably green, clean and tidy, with remarkable buildings.

The “Bund” was the fashionable financial area, looking across the river to suburbs and farm land.       Look at it now! Same place. Unbelievable


We saw the old and new, side by side, and looked down on the Bund from the 107th floor of that tallest building.


Some serious changes in transportation. Stalled on the narrow airport road in 1978, with Basil helping to mend a flat tire. Ever dominant bicycles.

Now great roads and modern cars. More high speed trains than the rest of the world together.  Electric cars have green tags.


So, glad to be home, as always, but grateful for the opportunity to see the amazing developments, and especially impressed with the progress in my own professional field, gastrointestinal endoscopy.

As always, Princess Marion did an awesome job at organizing and companioning…thank you

(And again apologies for not getting the images nicely aligned. They looked good in draft…)


Flying on 9/11 again

At Charleston airport, en route to Shanghai, remembering 17 years ago, and our reflections at that time     Four days in September We were dozing on Delta 11, at 39,000 feet over the Atlantic, four hours out of Gatwick and about halfway back to Atlanta (we thought). Looking forward to getting home after 10Continue Reading

Help me with my books about Fred the friendly snake….please

Some know that I have written 5 books for children about Fred the friendly snake, beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire from Canada. They have won some awards, are popular locally, and with friends and family. In an attempt to broaden our scope, I have teamed up with Bublish ( a local company that publishes and promotes.Continue Reading

Gliding down memory lane aged 16

Seeing photos of granddaughter Alex, aged 16, taking a spin in a glider, heaved me back 60 plus years to my own gliding days. My dad became interested in gliding soon after the war, and it became a favorite family pastime. I camped out in primitive fashion, with my older brother and sister, John and Ann, atContinue Reading

I am still here…..

If I have any reader(s), thank you for your continuing kind attention. I hope that you have not been concerned about my silence for more than three months. We have been busy. We much enjoyed spending a week in England over Christmas. Many many thanks to Andy and Nicky and families for your excellent hospitality. AsContinue Reading

Our 2017 holiday letter

For those who did not receive our annual Christmastime letter, here tis. Bring on 2018! Xmas 2017 comp email Dec 1

“Come from away”. A NYC musical about 9/11 in Newfoundland.

Last night we went to see “Come from away” on Broadway, the show about the 7000 people who descended on Gander, Newfoundland when 38 planes were diverted on 9/11. It was really great show. They managed to turn a scary experience into a heart-warming musical. Terrific!            Some will recall thatContinue Reading

Down English Memory lanes

Just back from three great weeks in England, visiting our special families, as described in my last blog. I took the opportunity to reconnect with several friends from the (very) distant past, and cannot resist sharing them with you. Joe Clayton and I met 60 years ago, in 1957, when we both represented Cambridge UniversityContinue Reading

Three weeks with families and friends in England

  Just back from enjoying time in England with family and some old friends. First the family highlights. Great to be with the whole Cotton family (Andy, Fiona, Alex, Charlotte and Issy) again in Bury St Edmunds          Busy as always with horses and singing.      We helped Alex celebrate her 16thContinue Reading

Family summer on Dewees

Nothing can be finer than to be in Carolina, especially when all the family come to stay. We are lucky to live on Dewees Island, a barrier island just north of Charleston, SC, a15 minute ferry from the Isle of Palms.               We look over Lake Timacau to theContinue Reading