String theory and veggie breakfast in Chester

frozen veg under CC by artist in doing nothingDid I ever tell you my 'string theory in Chester' story?

Well, there we were in a dodgy bed and breakfast in Chester, having decided to break our long journey back to Hampshire following a visit to Cumbria.


The B&B had looked fine on the internet, but my room was in dire need of refurbishment, and for some reason the owner's idea of a vegetarian breakfast was a fried egg, veggie sausage – and some boiled frozen vegetables!

That's the breakfast part, but where does string theory come in, I hear you ask.

Well, I'd been unable to sleep because the bed was so uncomfortable, so I'd amused myself listening to, if memory serves, Margi Clarke on City Talk from Liverpool. For some reason she was chatting to an expert on string theory from Imperial College, London.

Now don't ask me about the exact details of the late-night discussion, but I certainly found it fascinating at the time – and I remember enthusiastically attempting to convey its gist to another member of my party over my frozen vegetable breakfast.

string under CC2 by FeeBeeDeeA discussion developed.

It was at this point that the only other guest taking breakfast rose to his feet and made his way over to our table to introduce himself, clearly taking me for a visiting academic. Turns out he was a professor of quantum physics, or some such; couldn't help but overhear string theory talk; not every day in a B&B dining room in Cheshire... etc etc.

Of course I explained that I knew next to nothing – it had merely been a late-night radio show topic that had caught my imagination. And the good prof graciously recommended a couple of slim volumes for beginners should I wish to take my interest further.

That was then in Chester.

But the laws of probability mean that somewhere in the multiverse there's a (rather handsome) copywriter sitting in that dining room eating breakfast right now. They've learned how to cook up fabulous veggie breakfasts, by the way. Hey - they've even done up the room. And that dashing young copywriter is exchanging quantum niceties with a delegation of visiting physics professors.

And they are hanging on his every word.

Pic of frozen veg under CC2 by artist in doing nothing
Pic of string under CC2 by FeeBeeDee


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