Tuesday, November 24, 2015


No one would ever accuse me of being a pet lover, although I have some happy memories to share of pets I have known and loved. In general, I prefer cats to dogs, because they do not usually inspire loyalty, and can fend for themselves during short absences of their owners. Also, I dislike yapping dogs, worry about being bitten, and deplore it when visitors to our home bring their dogs inside without asking permission first. Nevertheless, I have some happy memories of certain pets, and I am planning to write several blogs about them. Barbara and I have not had a pet for some thirty years. Originally, this was because we were frequent world travelers, and the obvious choices between putting a dog in kennels, or twisting a family member's arm to look after our pet in our absence did not appeal to us.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Encounter: Sir David Attenborough

David was born in 1926, the same year as Barbara and Queen Elizabeth. We met at a shore course at a naval base near Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. He was the younger brother of Richard Attenborough, who had made his name as an actor in the film In Which We Serve. Richard died in 2014, but David is still alive as I write. I was a Midshipman at the time, probably in 1944, when we met. I liked David, and have followed his career with interest. He has achieved considerable fame as a naturalist, and was knighted in 1985. He also received the prestigious award of Companion of Honour CH.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ed Howell

I had already begun to specialize in professional liability for consulting engineers (and later architects) when one of my clients told me about a new company that was being formed, known as Design Professionals Insurance Company (DPIC). I followed the suggestion to get to know Ed Howell who had successfully raised enough capital from his clients to start the company. At that time, Ed was wearing two hats, acting as a broker as well as managing the new company. Hearing of my interest, he let me loose on some small accounts, a long way out of town, and I was able to sell him coverage in DPIC. The companies board pointed out to Ed that there was a conflict of interest in what he was doing, so he reluctantly gave up acting as a broker and I soon inherited his accounts. DRA soon became the most successful producer for DPIC. The next step was the formation of a reinsurance company "DPAC Re". After some years, DPIC no longer had the strength to maintain its independence, and the program was taken over by a more conventional company. Many years ago, Ed's Wife, Jo Howell died, and Ed followed her in death soon thereafter.