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Who is Paul Marsden?

Paul eating and drinkingHi. Iím Paul Marsden. Here I am doing two of my favourite things - one with each hand.

I donít have many pictures of me because Iím usually behind the camera, so I clipped this mercifully fuzzy image from a much bigger - and far more interesting - photograph. You can see the whole thing (with me mercifully smaller) on the food page.

This page will give you some idea of who I am, what Iíve done and what I do now - so that you can decide quickly whether you want to look around or go somewhere more exciting. It may also give you a reason to use the Contact me button to send me an email (Iíve removed all direct links to my email address in a vain attempt to reduce the amount of spam I get).

Early years

Born in Notting Hill, London in 1943, I went to the Fox Infant School...St Georgeís Junior School and then Colville Junior Mixed School...Latymer Upper School. I worked at Powell Advertising Ltd...Harwood Press (Advertising) Ltd...Bennett Cameras... Associated Electrical Industries Ltd...The Warren Seymour Company Ltd...The Industrial Diamond Information Bureau...

in 2008 this bit was developing into quite a detailed memoir of my early life.

Click here for stuff about childhood, schools and early career and here for full career details or the short version.


I was a moderately successful semi-professional singer on the London folk scene in the mid-1960s. I was never quite respectable because I insisted on singing both British traditional British songs and modern American ones (by people like Buffy Sainte-Marie), because they stretched my big bass voice different ways and I liked to do fun things with my guitar. If you were there too, please click the Contact me button...

Click here for stuff about my brief folk-singing career and other musical matters


In 1969 a string of coincidences led me to run away and train as a teacher...St Lukeís College Outpost at Cornwall Technical College...the Curnow School in Redruth...Brookside Boarding School in Derby...

Click here for stuff about my time in teaching


Cornwall Technical College, where I did my teacher-training, included Redruth School of Art, which had a phenomenal craft potterís course...Hugh West...evening classes with Harry Isaacs...

Click here for stuff about pottery (and some recently discovered pictures)


In 1961 I became involved in CND and did one Aldermarston March...Redruth Local Labour Party (1975)...Publicity Officer...Vice-Chairman of Kerrier District Labour Party...candidate for Redruth North Ward in district council election in 1975...chair of ad hoc Anti-Apartheid committee at the time of Ian Smithís Ulilateral Declaration of Independence...íNo!í campaign in the run-up to the Common Market referendum...Derby North Labour Party...left when Tony Blair announced that he was sending his son to a Grant-Maintained School...totally disillusioned with Blair-era and post-Blair politics...

Click here for more about me and politics - with some 2008 stuff about capital punishment...politics and education...Government IT cockups...

Religion? Atheist.

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him Voltaire
Religion is the opium of the masses Marx

I went to a very churchy grammar school (Latymer Upper School, which had a Chaplain, a choir gallery with an organ in the Hall and a Head of Music who was a brilliant organist...morning assemblies truly impressive and moving...completely seduced by high-church ritual. However, I have for many years been a deeply committed atheist...

Click here to read more about my beliefs and my thoughts on religion in the real world - with some 2008 stuff about the relationship between religion and science, and, from November 2009, my own ponderings about the origin and nature of the Universe.


Cooking has been therapy for me over many stressful years. With one divorce far behind me and a second absolute but with many loose ends, I found a new partner, Patricia, and she and I developed a small catering business for clients entertaining at home. We did dinner parties, finger-buffets and fork-buffets to a very high standard. Unfortunately, with the loss of my BT web work and a heavy commitment to a house and good friends in France, we were unable to make ends meet. The Online Cookbook has been expanded with reports on my experiments with all sorts of new stuff like sous-vide cooking.

Click here to go to the main food page

Wine importer and writer

Above everything else, Iím a writer. I thought there was a cookbook in me, but fourteen publishers disagreed. So you can read The Online Cookbook free-of-charge on this site. However, there is one area where Iíve had some writing success...

Iíve been buying wine en vrac (on draught, if you like) in France for years - it adds interest to holidays and provides excellent everyday wines at frankly silly prices. And Iíve written two series of articles on the subject for Living France magazine. Youíll find extended versions of the articles, telling you everything you need to know to get you started, on this site.

Click here to read my wine articles

IT and web specialist

I met my first microcomputers - a Tandy TRS80, a Sinclair ZX80 and a Commodore PET - in 1980...escaped from school every Friday to support the use of computers in Derbyshire special education...full-time advisory teacher...supporting all the IT in schools and colleges in Derby and South Derbyshire...Voluntary Early Retirement...BT CampusWorld...freelance support local schools, small businesses and home-computer users...completely re-created Derby City Councilís Education Online website...NHS Web Development Manager... Sites4Doctors...

Click here to read more about my work in IT and on the web

Bionic Man (and other health issues)

On the 9 March 2006I had a Total Ankle Replacement operation, carried out by Mr Stephen Milner at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, Derby.

Click here to read more about the operation and here to read about my neck, shoulder, back, leg and ankle exercises.

Then thereís the tale of the knee that I knackered comprehensively at the end of July 2008.

And the health problems that reared their heads at the end of August 2009, and what I decided to do about them.

The pedantic proof-reader

This is where I get on my high horse about the appalling state of the English language, spoken and written.

Click here to read more about my linguistic prejudices - and why theyíre right

The frustrated TV watcher

Dealing with the digital changeover in a world full of garbage on TV is a minefield.

Click here to read about what weíve learnt and what weíve done

Personal site for Paul Marsden: frustrated writer; experimental cook and all-round foodie; amateur wine-importer; former copywriter and press-officer; former teacher, teacher-trainer, educational software developer and documenter; still a professional web-developer but mostly retired.

This site was transferred in June 2005 to the Sites4Doctors Site Management System, and has been developed and maintained there ever since.