Today is momentuous for several reasons:
1. President-elect Barack Obama. I've already received a few notes from British friends who stayed up all night to watch the elections, and I anticipate many excited comments throughout the day. I must admit I am longing to be in Chicago during this historic time...but it'll be fun to see the delight of my British and international community. I'll be happy with them--but I will also continue to promote the character and good name of John McCain, whom I also greatly respect and admire, as McCain receives little press over here. He's generally seen as a wan inheritor to the Bush legacy, which I feel is very unjust.
2. It is Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night, when Brits celebrate the just-in-time discovery 400 years ago of piles of gunpowder piled under Parliament. Guy Fawkes, a minor conspirator in the Catholic plot to blow up Protestant Parliament and the Royal Family, was guarding the stockpile, hence the creation of a day of remembrance that was once used to fuel anti-Catholic prejudices. These days, however, Guy Fawkes Day has increasingly become a time to party with backyard bonfire parties and citywide fireworks displays.
3. And speaking of change, I can't let this day go by without mentioning that it is also my 30th birthday. I'll be celebrating with a giant bonfire birthday party here in Nottingham (complete with garden fireworks) and I feel rather astounded to be entering a new decade in my life at the very same time that America enters its next significant chapter.
Congratulations, President-Elect Obama. And well done, Senator McCain.