I have already posted a couple of times and hadn't looked in here to do the intro thing! I have been cooking seriously for about 50 years. I was started at home during WW2 and during the post war shortages here in England. Both my parents worked and certainly by the time I was 7 or 8 I was expected to lend a hand in preparing meals --and I recollect that i would come home from schooll at dinner time ( it;s called lunch time these days!) and make the yorkshire puddings for our dinner. So I had a basic training instilled into me and i could alway knock up a meal as I went through my teen years.. I was an officer in the Brish Army for some 12 years ( got married too) and I always seemed to be cooking -- mixed with my travels around i took a keen interwest in new dishes and ingr3edients. I also did lot of treking, mountaineering and caving during that time and as a frequent team leader i found that my abilities with a pan were always appreciated. I ran a little county pub in Somerset for 6 years when ui left the army -- this was in the 1970's and delevloped my skills even more quickly and increased my interest anf knowledge about food -- Above all I confirmed the fact that I actualoly enjoy cooking probably more than eating! My marriage broke up and I went off to the Sultanate of Oman for 12 years as a communications engineer -- which i what I was actually trained to be. But I also found time to further develop my interests and took great pleasure in entertaining friends regularly and exploring new area of cuisine. It was thrilling to travel extensively in the Middle and Far East. I remember one month that I spent in Thailand recruiting technicians and engineers to work in Oman and had the good fortune to live with an ordinary Thai family adjacent to the "klongs" of the river delta in Bangkok. The food was out of this world and i learned a lot about simple cooking which has always stsyed with me I go on too long. I returned to UK to run my own little pub again but a dramatic period of ill health knocked me for six in the late 80;s /early 90's and I didn't work at all for 5 dreadful years! Picking myself up I managed to do a rethink and until retirement I spent the time as a sort of "Jobbing Chef" -- I travelled around UK looking for work as a relief chef. It was another steep learning curve for me at 58 -- and I worked in some really excellent eating places ( and a couple of terrible ones -- but I quickly learned to avoid those sort). .So I had to be flexible in many ways and it renewed my interest in living -- and in cooking too -- and above all it was fun and hard work -- but fun! I'm 75 now, I still experiment in my cooking , i still cycle ( nearly every day) and I often wonder where all the years have gone! Thats enough.