I live in a medium-size city on the Canadian prairies where I taught anthropology until my retirement in 1999. I have three adult children and five grandchildren.
I was born in London, England, in 1934, but my family moved to the countryside of southern England when I was five years old. As a boy, I made collections of animal skulls, birds’ eggs, insects, and rocks, and kept a number of live animals—including fish, tree frogs, newts, snakes, lizards, and songbirds. Although I had an air rifle, I only shot at nonliving targets. I remember, as a child, going on an antimeat campaign (for a few days) after I found one of our backyard chickens dead on the kitchen table. I had thought we only kept chickens for their eggs!
As a young high school student in England, I enjoyed reading about the Arctic. I was attracted by the “romance” of that distant region: accounts of polar explorers, fur traders, and local peoples, not to mention fascinating and exotic animals such as polar bears, musk oxen, whales, and walrus. These northern interests influenced me to study science in high school and university, for it seemed to me that becoming a scientist was a good way to get to the Arctic. While still an undergraduate student, I seriously considered spending a season as an inspector on a British Antarctic whale ship, the Balaena. However, being prone to seasickness, I abandoned that particular plan.
However, now that travel involves less ship time than it once did, I enjoy the different cultural experiences that travel offers—whether in Canada or in other countries.