Q1. Tell us about you, your family and where you live?
I live in Cape Town South Africa. I was married for a long time but my wife and I parted ways recently. I have three adult children, a daughter of 30 who is an artist and web designer, a daughter of 28 who qualified as a physiotherapist then decided to become a vet and is now 6 months away from qualifying and a son of 17 who wants to be an astrophysicist.
Cape Town is truly an amazing place to live. It is unique. In all my travels I have never encountered a city like it. Maybe it is the proximity of everything. You can get anywhere quickly. Travelling from the top of Table Mountain you can be swimming in the sea in half an hour. After that you can be drinking wine on a wine estate half an hour later. After that you will need to go to bed from exhaustion. Even that is close by.
Q2. What is your favourite food?
I love to bar b que. We call this a braai. We braai three or four times a week in summer. I am a carnivore and eat meat. I try and source my meat ethically. Steak on the braai and a salad and a glass of wine or whiskey in the evening and I am king of the castle, even if my castle is rather smaller than it used to be
Q3. Do you have any favourite music?
I listen to music a lot. My tastes are eclectic but I also gravitate towards golden oldies. I wonder if it is because I am approaching golden oldie age.
I love Steely Dan, Crosby Stills, Train, Four Non Blonds and many of the older groups. I hear a lot of modern music because my son insists on playing his music in my car. There are some GREAT songs today as well.
The world is a better place for music.
Q4. What is your favourite sport?
I am obsessed with physical fitness. I train between five and six times a week in the gym, mainly cross fit and high intensity interval training, and I paddle an ocean going kayak. I hike but not as much as I used to and I have a mountain bike and do a lot of cycling in summer. I cycle to my practice and back in summer
Q5. Tell us in a paragraph what your current veterinary position is.
I am the senior partner in a small animal private practice. I love all aspects of my work but the job of running a business is getting me down.
I think that professionally I am approaching the last lap and will soon look to doing other stuff with my life.
I have published autobiographical and fiction books and I am looking to make a career out of writing
Q6. What influenced you to become a veterinarian?
I think that many people dream of being a vet but that privilege is give to very few. I am one of the lucky few. Those of us who dare to try and fulfil their dream and succeed.
Q7. What do you enjoy most about being a veterinarian?
That’s a difficult one. What DON’T I enjoy. I love the work, I love the animals and I love the people. I love being able to cure my patients and seeing them walk out wagging their tails or purring with happiness. Sounds kitsch but it’s the truth.
Q8. What are some of the main challenges for you and your national veterinary association?
We live in an African country where more and more we are out of the main stream of modern veterinary. Our clients are more and more financially stressed and making the private practice that I own work and pay for itself is more of a challenge than it used to be. The challenges facing the National association are finding ways to ensure the continuity and financial wellbeing of their members
Q9. How do you communicate to your organisation about the CVA and its activities?
I email all the communications to the SA Vet association. I used to attend the SAVA meetings but the executive of the SAVA do not have the budget to fund this and it has now stopped. Communications are on a needs basis. The CVA is one of a number of organisations vying for attention. I try and keep the SAVA aware of the CVA. Not always as successfully as I would want.
Q10. How do you think the CVA can assist you in your Councillor Role?
I think that the CVA has done a great job of assisting me. Exposing me to other councillors via conferences has been fantastic. Some of the real highlights of my councillor career have been conferences and meeting up with people who I had made friends with from my first CVA congress.
The good will fostered at these places stands the councillors in great stead
Thank you for this opportunity
With warm regards