Friday, May 29, 2009

The Promise

We all rely upon promises made and we suffer from promises broken.

Weathermen (and weatherwomen!) promise much (often enhanced by a side remark from a newsreader - such as, "So I should stay in tomorrow - or similar!") and this can hugely influence how everyone plans their days out - especially over a bank holiday weekend. Much was promised over the Whitsun weekend in terms of good weather and indeed Saturday and Sunday lived up to expectations - but Monday was forecast as being overcast with an increasing risk of heavy/thundery downpours. The weather maps showed Oxfordshire disappearing under a swathe of rain and this was all enough to kill off our Bank Holiday Monday business - even though the day turned out pretty well and we only had a few drops of rain! A promise broken that hurt us - or at least a promise that could have been more accurately presented!

Despite this, numbers over the three days were massively up year-on-year (over 100% up year-on-year) so we can't complain too much and everyone enjoyed the new "Art, Design and A Taste of Summer" show - especially my girls who quickly disappeared into the "Chocolate Heaven" marquee!

On Tuesday it was down to a packed Wembley Arena to see the Girls Aloud "Out of Control" Concert - what a fantastic show and what fantastic performers - great fun! They started and finished with "The Promise" - yes, one of their singles for those not in the know! - and they delivered a great show for their army of fans. I think I was virtually the only male there and the level of wild screaming was at fever pitch all evening - but my little girls (Annabelle 9 and Louisa 6) had a great half-term treat and a memorable evening watching Cheryl and the girls perform. What a buzz it must be to go out on stage in front of your screaming fans - maybe I should do X-Factor (in the "very old category") and launch my career - but then again maybe not - and thats a promise!

On Wednesday I travelled north into Warwickshire to give a talk to the Stour Valley Probus Club and met lots of interesting retired gentlemen - all of whom had a keen interest in Blenheim Palace and what we are doing across the Estate. They all promised to visit Blenheim and they promised to read my blog - in return I promised them a mention - so I have delivered my side of the bargain and I hope that they read this and let me know!!

Yesterday The Duke and Duchess finally received the Historic Houses Association/Christie's Garden of the Year Award from the President and Deputy Chairman of those organisations and over 80 high profile guests enjoyed a wonderful celebration lunch in The Orangery following the formal presentation of the award in the Italian Garden. Lots of press attended and they have promised lots of excellent coverage - we hope they deliver as the exposure for the gardens - and for the gardening excellence on show - will be valuable for us going into the summer months. We are all so proud to receive this highly prestigious award in its 25th year and the weather was kind to us after much rain on Wednesday - the weather forecast promised and the weather delivered.

The forecast for the weekend is for excellent weather (fingers crossed!) so hopefully we will be busy and sales of Blenheim Palace ice-cream and pimms should hit record levels! I promise you that Blenheim Palace and its surrounding Gardens and Parkland look sensational at this time of year - please do visit and enjoy this tranquil inspiring world heritage setting - there is no finer place on a glorious summer weekend and I promise you that Blenheim Palace will amaze you if you have not been before - as will our "Buy One Day - Get 12 Months Free!" offer which continues to go from strength to strength.

I promise to write again soon - have a good weekend!


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