Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Nobel Prize Winners

Jeremiah does, as always, come up with the best invitations in town. What follows may seem like both name and place dropping (if there is such a thing?) but I can happily steam ahead with my tale without undue misplaced modesty, because all of this is only because of him, and I am just a hanger on. Last night we started with drinks at the Reform Club where the French Ambassador Sylvie Berman was celebrating her new book ‘China in Deep Waters’.

 We were rather overdressed for this occasion– Jeremiah in black tie- because we were unable to stay for the dinner, having invitations for the Science Museum’s annual gala Dinner. This turned out to be much fun and I was seated next to Sir Paul Nurse, who I discovered, to my extreme delight, to be the Nobel prize winner of medicine in 2001! Now, being a Swede, this really did impress me (going to the Nobel ball has always been a dream of mine). We chatted about his time in Stockholm receiving the prize and we discussed Bob Dylan’s literature prize. Sir Paul thought Dylan had behaved badly by not going to the ceremony. I wanted a picture of us together and he agreed to this, but then he took off rather suddenly before the dessert! I was quite disappointed, and I told my next companion as much:

A very elegant man of Asian origin now sat down next to me in the place of Sir Paul and we started to chat. I lamented that I never got a picture with the  Nobel prize winner. “ Oh, dear, that is a great shame “ commiserated my new companion. Then I said: “But never mind, you will have to do. Can I have a picture with you instead?” And the charming man agreed. So here we are, above.
Then, after some time he took his leave. And someone said to me: “Do you speak exclusively to Nobel Prize winners or could I get a word in? “ And I found out that I had just been sitting next to Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, who received the Nobel prize for  chemistry in  2009....


Blogger Tabor said...

Someone is moving in good circles.

2:14 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Dear Tabor,
I am so grateful to know Jeremiah and David who are both the recipients of great London tickets and are kind enough to let me tag along to these dos when I am in town!
As I said, its nothing to do with me...

3:35 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This story is priceless! Had to read it aloud to Josie, too.

8:36 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Yes, Susan, it keeps me giggling too!

10:34 PM  
Blogger Gilliane said...

Dear Sophie, so glad that you are feeling well enough after your operation to be gallivanting with VIPs. Brilliant!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Hamzah said...

Hi Sophie...just came across your blog recently, and I am quite in awe.

Its unfortunate Djenne has lost you. I am hoping to visit Djenne in the near future, if the politics allow.
ANyway to get hold of someone at the Hotel to gauge the situation?

10:41 PM  
Blogger Andy Rayner said...

My wife and I laughed, and laughed, and laughed over this one. Thank you for the good cheers.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Annonymous said...

So very sad to see your very special, charming hotel close. Our very best to you and the wonderful people of Mali. May the future hold the peace and beauty you all deserve.

3:27 PM  

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