Autumn is in full swing, which means that Halloween is right around the corner. Whether you’re a kid or an adult, dressing up in costume, partaking in fall-themed food and drinks, carving pumpkins, and consuming copious amounts of candy makes the wait for October 31 worth it.
While many countries worldwide celebrate Halloween, Nick Tibbels, our colleague in the UK, informed us that UK citizens also mark Guy Fawkes Day. On November 5, in 1605, English Catholic revolutionary Guy Fawkes was arrested after safeguarding himself in a room stashed with gunpowder. His plan was to use the gunpowder to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London. All of this was part of a grand scheme to overthrow Protestant King James I.
You may remember the nursey rhyme commemorating this event, as popularized by V for Vendetta:
Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot
The failure of this “gunpowder plot” has been immortalized in Guy Fawkes Day, where UK citizens celebrate with fireworks, parades, and costumes.
We spoke with Nick Tibbels, Sr IT Process Analyst, about what he’ll be up to this upcoming Guy Fawkes Day.
Tell us a little bit about Guy Fawkes that we don’t know!
On the eve of November 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes stayed at a cottage in the village square of Dunchurch, in Warwickshire. Shortly after he left the cottage on November 5th, while en route to the House of Parliament - in an attempt to blow it up, he was arrested! The building still stands today and has become known as the “Guy Fawkes cottage”. I was brought up in Rugby Warwickshire, which is a stone’s throw away from Dunchurch, so I’m quite familiar with Guy Fawkes and its history.
How is Guy Fawkes Day celebrated where you live?
Guy Fawkes Day is celebrated much like Halloween. We walk around the local neighborhood with our treat bag, only knocking on doors where there are pumpkins in the doorway. Some houses go crazy with decorations, like zombies and goo on the doors, but we are more low-key!
When I was growing up in the village of Berkshire, my family and I would attend the fireworks display annually. It’s organized by a charity called The Roundtable, who donates the proceeds from the fireworks display to other local charities in the area. Luckily, my family and I still go to this.
How do you personally celebrate these events with your family and friends? How do you think COVID-19 will impact this year’s events?
Nowadays, it’s all about the sugar and the haul with my two kids. But with COVID-19, this year will surely be different. This year, the local council guidance is to forego the tradition of “trick or treating” and instead go on a local “pumpkin trail.” This involves families (all dressed up to scare) looking out for houses with Halloween decorations and pumpkins. Each time you see a pumpkin, you give your own child a treat from the supply you’ve taken along. That way, your child still has all the fun and treats associated with Halloween while remaining safe and protecting others.
We may also have bonfire food, which includes jacket potatoes and marshmallows, and make slow-cooked sausage casserole indoors. I know there will definitely be some toffee apples and plenty more.
My son is dressing as Poe Dameron, the X-Wing fighter pilot from Star Wars. We also recently watched a Halloween film at the cinema called Paranorman, which is from the makers of Coraline.
Nick Tibbels is a Sr IT Process Analyst based in the UK. In his two-year tenure at PRA, he started as a Business Analyst and recently moved into the Senior BA role. He is the only Senior BA who is based in the UK—the rest of his team is based in Lenexa, KS.
Despite a literal ocean separating him from his team, remote work comes naturally to Nick. Due to the extensive travel commitments of a large number within our workforce—and that so much of our life-saving work doesn’t take place in a traditional office environment—hiring employees that work outside of the standard office is a necessity.
Nick has worked closely with his teammates and the organization as a whole to develop and document the as-is processes that exist across all of PRA’s current products and services. Much of his daily work involves documenting process flows and working with stakeholders to facilitate current operating processes. More recently, he supported the deployment of PRA’s Mobile Health Platform.
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