Bits and pieces through the years


The 'story of my birth'

The ‘story of my birth’

My dad, Stan Pearsall, was a very talented Disney animator for the offshoot division Animaland under GB Animation, part of the Rank Organisation.  One of his cartoons, as senior animator can be seen on YouTube.

He penned and illustrated this charming poem, which is more truth than fiction concerning the circumstances of my birth (25th June 1947). The words are:

This is the story of Joan and the pud

Who lived on a boat when Thames were in flood

She mixed up a batter and opened up oven

And being a big one with pushing and shovin’

She rammed it inside and switched on the heat

Then crawled back to bed – she was feeling quite beat

This was at two, I forgot to mention

And though she worked with every intention

Aint I a bonnie lass

Ain’t I a bonnie lass?

When bed time arrived we got it at last!

She opened up oven and to her surprise

The pud were so big, t’were a sight for sore eyes

She levered it up as best she were able

And when it was out, t’were bigger than table!


Then up sprung a blizzard and water went wild

And thinking of peril for Joan and wee child

I frantic’ly looked for a boat but t’were none.

Things looked bloody black and we thought we were done.

Then suddenly smote with a wondrous idea…

Lifting up Yorkshire said, “Nothing to fear!

Just sit next to me when I put it in water –

Pearsall Coat of Arms

Pearsall Coat of Arms

I’ll row pud to bank and save thee and thee daughter!”

Now all safe and sound we’re living on shore

Joan gave birth to lass, and I’ll tell you what’s more:

The pud that got wet when put into water

Is wetter inside now it’s used by m’daughter

To sleep in at night – as a cradle it’s good –

But what-a-to-do with a girl and a pud!


At around 18 months

At around 18 months


Animator of Ginger Nutt. at Moor Hall

Animator of Ginger Nutt. at Moor Hall







David Dodd Hand, director of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full length animated feature film (1937)

David Dodd Hand, director of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first full length animated feature film (1937)

At my baptism, David Hand became my godfather.

My baptism certificate

My baptism certificate

My mum, Joan (now Fletcher) was his secretary. It was while working for David that she met my dad in 1946.

It was also during this time that I showed promise as an artist, or so my artist daddy thought (hoped?)!

Here is a sample of such efforts:

I drew, daddy captioned:

Can you see what I see old boy?

Can you see what I see old boy?

 to be continued . . .












Some pictures that define my life

My favourite pic of me

My favourite pic of me


Where do I start with my memoirs?

I randomly picked this picture to begin a long story of a very interesting life. Friends and family have repeatedly asked me to write my story down and I have always struggled with this, even though I have files and files of notes and even full ‘episodes’. My son, Oliver, as part of his encouragement, helped me set up this website to embark on that journey. I will publish it all in a book one day. This is a great platform from which to take that first step.

So, I thought I might begin with some pictures that define my life; not necessarily in chronological order at this stage. That, I’ll do later.


This picture was taken in 1976 in a very special place called Dera Baba Jaimal Singh where I spent nearly a month. This ashram is a (now burgeoning) settlement on the banks of the River Beas which divides the Indian and Pakistani province of the Punjab. The story of my sojourn there would alone fill a book. Suffice it to say for now that this experience enhanced my philosophical and spiritual understanding of life in general and who I am in particular. I still have more questions than answers though! I have a wealth of pictures of this episode of my life that I will share with you over time. Even though I spent only a month at the ashram itself, my experience of the Sant Mat philosophy started in 1966 already.

From the book "The Chemical Capture of Animals" Plate 8 - Syringes placed correctly in two rhinoceros, both approach LandRover while under etorphine-hyoscine

From the book “The Chemical Capture of Animals” Plate 8 – Syringes placed correctly in two rhinoceros, both approach Land Rover while under etorphine-hyoscine


Another brilliant episode of my life.

Does anyone remember “Born Free”?

Does anyone remember “Clarence the cross-eyed lion” which became the basis for the television series “Daktari” in the late sixties?

“Born Free” was about Elsa the lioness raised by Joy and George Adamson. The real Daktari, on which the TV series was based, was the same person who happened to be the veterinary scientist to the Adamsons’ lions, Dr Toni (AM) Harthoorn, married to Sue Hart at the time.

In the early 70s, Toni moved from Kenya to South Africa and joined the Transvaal Provincial Administration’s Nature Conservation Division, when soon after, he and Sue divorced.

Toni and I met at a meeting (satsang – refer to the previous picture’s narrative). We married in 1973. I qualified in Nature Conservation and Wildlife Management and together we spent the next five years doing scientific research into better capture methods to prevent overstraining disease (capture myopathy) resulting in fewer deaths when relocating animals to the wild or special reserves. We wrote books, delivered papers at international congresses and made a TV series, between carting our mobile laboratory around dozens of nature and game reserves around the country. It wasn’t all sunsets and scenery but I wouldn’t have swapped it for anything. Again, loads of interesting pictures to share.

To be continued . . .