Accepting disappointment as sarcastically as possible.
Well, unfortunately there was no Q&A section after the presentation so I didn’t get the opportunity to ask anything – in fact, I don’t recall Attenborough even speaking at all during the ceremony.
Secondly, I also hoped to get at least a decent photograph of the man, but sadly even that opportunity was crushed under the cruel wagon wheels of fate. The story behind my failed photo-op isn’t one of my most shining moments, but it is somewhat amusing in its piteousness.
As you would expect at this kind of event, the place was absolutely packed-out with people eager to get a glimpse of the Attenborough. Viewing space was in short, however, I had been fortunate in finding a sweet spot with a direct view of the stage on the bottom step of the building’s central staircase. By the time the presentation was ready to begin, the staircase was entirely full of spectators, but (of course) people still needed to use the steps to get about their business. To make their passage easier, whenever someone came down or wanted to get up the stairs, I jumped down from my step and allowed through access (as I recall, I was the only person making any effort to create a space for movement at all). Anyway, a lady comes down the stairs and I step down to let her through, but – wouldn’t you know it – she only goes and steps right into my spot. I was so shocked by the impropriety of such an action (and because I didn’t want to cause a scene), I found myself utterly unable to pull her up on what people from my neighborhood would call very not on behaviour. Please bear in mind that the event took place in my office, so I wasn’t going to shake the boat too much, especially considering I’ve only been here for a month. Oh well, c’est la vie, as the Dutch say. I got neither a question nor a photograph, but life goes on. I bet the lady who stole my place was able to take a good picture, although I hope not.