Lydgate: the centre of the Universe?

THEY CAME… they pondered in homage to the boyish new ‘Master of the Universe.’

Brian Cox, The People’s Professor was in town and the audience at the White Hart in Lydgate just had to listen.

Prof Brian Cox: with homemade rockets (picture by Lesley Sweeney)
Prof Brian Cox: with homemade rockets (picture by Lesley Sweeney)

But it was not an evening celebration as we know it.

Because, in just twenty amazing minutes, the professor thrust us back to the very beginning of time (well, almost given a nano-second or two) and then painted a mind-expanding picture of our place in the heavens.

One hundred and ninety guests attended the glittering event to support the aspiration of the driven team who Love Lydgate.

And I’ll bet I am one of the vast majority who really could not get to grips with the encyclopedic knowledge of all things universal expounded by this amiable, quietly-spoken genius, who at 44 is one of the hottest properties in the world of physics.

He fielded every kind of question about where we came from and where we are going to.

And when event organiser, Jenny Greenwood asked innocently if Lydgate was the Centre of the Universe, unfazed he replied, and I quote: “The Big Bang happened everywhere.

“So in that sense, you may attempt to say that Lydgate is the centre of the Universe. But everywhere is the centre of the Universe…”

Hmmm deep,  diplomatic thought from the Professor here.

We learned Black Holes, well, really are Black Holes and do exist… That it is possible to travel through time to the future – but not the past (an answer delivered with complex dexterity)…

We also discovered he thought Ethiopia was one of the most interesting places on earth to visit because of an isolated tribe who had no concept of possessions.

DINNER: foraging for food
DINNER: foraging for food

“I just thought cooking was putting food in a pan and keep turning up the heat,” he said ruefully, much to the joy of laughing audience.

Even the menu on the night had the diners guessing because again it was not food as we traditionally know it.

The starter, described as foraging, turned out to be morels, chicken liver and a squid ink cracker, hidden among pebbles on a tray, see picture.

There was a beetroot and apple sorbet, shrouded in nitrogen mist, and robust beef cheek, kale and burnt mayonnaise.

As a parting gift, he was presented with Heston Blaumenthal cook book and two cardboard handmade rockets from Harry and Jacob of the Lydgate Beavers.

The event raised more than £3,000 which will be used to benefit the Love Lydgate community.

Later, gazing at the ink-black sky, I left believing despite his fulsome answers, Professor Brian Cox had created even more questions – demanding even more answers.

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