Welcome to my attempt at food blogging.
There are so many of you out there already, I have no idea if my blog will "cut the mustard", compared to some of the already long established and perfectly seasoned examples that we've all come to know and appreciate.
Due to my ongoing health problems, I cannot say if this will be a perfectly consistent or regularly updated blog, but it's those health problems that have been partly responsible for making me the man I am today.
It's been said that you cannot miss what you never had.
Well, all I know is that when you've not only been denied, but totally unable to eat even the most rudimentary food imaginable, and spent over a year languishing in hospital being kept alive by a daily intravenous infusion of TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) via a triple lumen Hickman line tunnelled through your chest into your heart, being told by the surgeons that you'll never eat again for the rest of your life, your appreciation of real food, and the simple act of chewing, tasting, and swallowing suddenly becomes all consuming.
This is what happened to me in November 1998.
Over a year later I underwent a 12 hour operation at the magical hands of Professor Neil Mortensen in Oxford, and he miraculously managed to carefully restore the continuity of my intestines.
He gave me back the ability to eat again.
Since then, I've had dozens more operations on the old gutty wuts, and am now at a stage where I have only got a very small amount of my intestine left, the upshot of this is that getting the requisite amount of nutrition and goodness from what I eat is a problem.
But, as Spandau Ballet once said "To cut a long story short", all of these traumatic trials and testing tribulations have only served to fuel the very thing they threaten.
My life now more than ever, is a constant exploration and journey to leave no culinary stone unturned. Everything I put into my mouth has to bring me utter joy, be it a perfect plate of exquisitely prepared and executed Michelin rated food, to a simple supper at home of perfectly poached eggs from the farm down the lane, on hot salty buttered toast made from artisanal bread pounded by the hands of a big fat mustachioed baker.
It is here on this attempt at food bloggage, that I want to share these treats, experiences and moments of utter joy with anyone who thinks they might enjoy eating food as much as I.
The thing that makes these flavour packed adventures all the more sweet, is that I'm sharing them with my darling partner Julie. We've been together now for 22 years, and she has been there to hold my hand through all the pain.
Every bite we take together, is a little miracle morsel of utter joy, that helps ease the pain.
Paul N Manning
March 8th, 3:04PM