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Friday, November 05, 2004 

Bonfire Night!

Is finally here. I've been excited because I love fireworks and didn't think I would see any while I was here. (I suffer from the same affliction as all Americans: severe egomaniacal tendencies.

Self: We only have fireworks on the Fourth of July. Since other countries don't celebrate Fourth of July, they must not have fireworks!
Self: Well, that sucks. What losers!)

But that's not true at all. I've been seeing fireworks every single night set of by the locals of SE1 to the south of my dorm room. Big ones too, not those dinky little sparklers Americans are so prone to.

I've only been invited to one Bonfire Night, by the British Guy who sits next to me. (Sadly enough, the South African has left to write up his PhD, he's nearly done and doesn't need to come to the office anymore.) I was quite excited to go, even though we're going to Clapham, which for some reason banned actual bonfires. But then a few hours ago he informed me that Stalker also wanted to come, so now I'm bummed out. Oh well, as long as I am promised fireworks, I'll be a happy camper!

Bonfire Night--- also known as Guy Fawkes Night, is a celebration which takes place on the evening of the 5th of November. Guido (Guy) Fawkes was a member of a group of Catholic conspirators who planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament in England in 1605 in order to kill King James I. Fawkes was caught on the night of the 5th, and so the British celebrate him not blowing up Parliament by blowing up fireworks!

The best public fireworks display in London, and also the closest for us, is the one at the end of the Lord Mayors Parade. It's at 5pm next Saturday (the 13th.) Last year I was standing in front of the OXO tower and the view was amazing, even though a lot of people thought the show was over before it started ("another British disaster" several were muttering, before being shut up very quickly by the display proper.)

See here.

Your Daddy remembers about the only non-summer fireworks he's ever been to: the celebration of the release of the Iranian hostages after 444 days of captivity: January 1981. It was chilly, and we sat up close, on the Lincoln side of the Washington Monument. Too close, it turned out -- we were showered with fireworks debris. Lucky we had umbrellas. Wales sounds like fun -- there is lots of Welsh blood on your father's mother's side, I was often told. Glad you still like working in the lab better than working at the desk. I still like interviewing people and taking photos better than sitting at the computer, drafting mission statements. Keep us posted--sounds like all is going well.
P.S. Would you like me to fly over and break all of Stalker's fingers and toes, just as a subtle warning? No charge!

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