Half a lifetime ago (literally, half my lifetime) I left my little old NZ for the very first time and embarked on what would be a 3 year odyssey of overseas travel and experience. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times, but not necessarily in that order.
That is to say it was worse before it got better.
The worse was down to the efforts of the family I left NZ to go work for – and rather than tell THAT story, let’s just say, I was naive and innocent and they took advantage of that naivete and innocence. But rescue after 3 months with these people came at the hand of Nobill and the Chairman, who have been mentioned in pages on this blog before.
Nobill and the Chairman are the salt of the earth kind of people who attended the church I took refuge in to escape my captors and I lived with them for the best part of 8 months while I absorbed American Culture and saved enough money for a round the US trip, which also is also a story for a different day.
In any case, it so happens that Nobill, in the years since I left fair US shores became a Nobel Laureate in the world of Physics – or more precisely Atomic Physics (which, if you’re anything like me, just makes Physics a whole ‘nother level of terrifying) and as a consequence he spends a fair amount of time travelling the world talking to people about Atomic Physics in the form of trapping and cooling atoms to make better atomic clocks.
I know, when you put it like that it doesn’t sound so hard.
When the Chairman told me they were coming to visit and that Nobill was visiting my university to give a talk then of course I had to go hear him! Even if it meant I didn’t understand a word… and so THIS is how I came to tweet “I am at a physics lecture (waits for the laughing to stop). Yes, by choice…”
Actually, as the Chairman had said, “when you see/hear this lecture you’ll come away thinking you actually know what he’s talking about. Until someone asks you a question… and you have nothing to back up what you think you know…”
In any case there was lots of liquid nitrogen illustrating the talk so it looked fantastic and went beyond physics lecture to physics performance…
As Nobill was a guest of the University and I was a guest of Nobill I was invited to join them for dinner after the show – and it happened that dinner was at a rather well known resto called ‘Rockpool’ – only one of the world’s top 100 restuarants bearing lots of stars and hats and the like.
We had the 8 course degustation menu, with the matched wines and it was gorgeous. But I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow.