Thursday, September 17, 2009

A week on ......

It is clear that writing a blog is no guarantee of reality - even one week on we are faced with the fact that Spurs did not beat Man U (much to the "bean counter's" delight next door) and that England did not bounce back against the Aussies in the One Day series. Indeed Spurs now go to Stamford Bridge where a second defeat on the trot must be likely (how quickly that bubble has burst!) and England are 6-0 down against the Aussies with only pride to play for in the final match at Durham on Saturday.

Staying with the sporting front, the world of FI is in turmoil with the meltdown at Renault. Flavio Briatore and his Director of Engineering have gone and the team are in shame for conspiring to crash one of their cars to facilitate victory for Alonso. Too much money swills around F1 which makes rational thought sometimes impossible - it drives teams and individuals to make irrational calls of judgement and to break the rules. Victory for the sponsors must come at all costs within a sport that is pregnant with excess - no doubt the sport will try to polish its image and bounce back but you can't help wondering how much else goes on that we are not aware of or which has not yet surfaced?

Back here at Blenheim (and into a more realistic world) we are basking in the success of a dry and very successful horse trials last weekend - Mandy Hervieu can take great pride in delivering a great event and in re-moulding and re-shaping much of the event from 2007. The additional things to do and see have lifted attendance significantly and have provided an excellent platform for 2010 and beyond. Well done to all concerned.

This weekend we are very busy with a multitude of different events taking place - in no particular order we are a primary venue for The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival (with a wonderful array of speakers - from David Cameron to Zac Goldsmith; from William Shawcross to Julian Fellowes; and many many more); we are hosting the Lilliput Lane Annual Collectors Fair, a Riding for the Disabled Event today and charity runs/walks on Saturday and Sunday for the Woodstock Harriers and Combe School; as well as prestigious dinners and functions throughout the weekend. We like to keep ourselves busy (!) - good luck to all across our Operations, Retail and Catering teams and thanks in advance for all your hard work in delivering efficiency and customer service excellence at all times. We have a great team in every area.

At home we are finally getting back into the swing of the girls being back at school and trying to get into a workable routine to accommodate homework, music practice, school clubs, tennis and swimming lessons and stagecoach. Already they look exhausted but hopefully they will get into their stride as it is a long term! My 9 year old has launched into latin this term and it certainly took me back to my school days when I helped her with her latin prep on Wednesday!

This week we have sadly lost Keith Floyd (who enjoyed a drink or two or three in the kitchen) and Patrick Swayze (will pottery ever be the same again after that infamous scene with Demi Moore in Ghost) - at breakfast on Tuesday in the Hoy Household Mr Swayze was described as a gorgeous hunk (I suppose the fact that he was once voted the world's sexiest man is some small justification for this) by my wife (!!) but at least it was encouraging (perhaps promoted by my loud and immediate protests) that both my daughters quickly endorsed the fact that I was a much more impressive hunk! Where would we be without the unquestionable love showered upon us by our children - thats not to say they are of course absolutely right in their judgement!

With so much activity going on around Blenheim Palace and Woodstock this weekend it will be busy but hopefully fun and problem-free - enjoy any connection you make with us and stay in touch - we hugely value all the support we get in trying to keep this wonderful world heritage site restored for future generations.

Have a good weekend and a great week

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