Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas is coming!

October half-term out of the way, children back to school, in the midst of a very wet November and the christmas decorations are once again adorning our gates, courtyards and Palace.

Saturday sees the launch of our Palace Dressed for Christmas season with our theme "Christmas Nostalgia - Toys, Treats and Treasures" bringing the state rooms to life. Many toys have been kindly loaned to us (or should that be 'invited to stay') and loads of teddy bears, meccano, lego, cars, etc are carefully positioned amogst the trees and decorations so as to enhance a magical time to see Blenheim Palace. At this time of the year we are open Wednesdays to Sundays inclusive (through to Sunday 13 December) with various special christmas highlights for all to enjoy incding the "Living Crafts for Christmas" event from 20-22 November, Handel's Messiah performed in the Long Library on 6 December, and Festive Music and Carols over the final weekend - 12-13 December.

A great time to visit Blenheim Palace - and don't forget that the shops are full of tempting christmas gifts and our christmas trees are also on sale through most of December.

It has been a busy week having been away in Cornwall for a few days.

Cornwall was great fun - we rented a big house in Gillan (near Helston on the Lizard) with 2 other families from school and it was great fun throughout. 6 adults and 6 children got on brilliantly and we had great days out to the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, to St Ives, to the National Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, to St Michael's Mount + Porthleven and down to LIzard Point for some bracing fresh air! The slightly dodgy weather seemed an irrelevance and the evenings were filled with laughter and games (particularly some very feisty rounds of Scattegories!) - plus lots of food, wine and too much washing-up!

The only slight disaster occurred on the Thursday when all 12 of us were having fun on a large kids playground near St Michael's Mount (as you do!) and inspired by yours truly the adults were trying to run up a childrens slide - very irresponsible! All achieved it (eventually!!) but R (to maintain his dignity!) decided that it would be clever to moonwalk or surf back down the side and he ended up in a heap at the bottom with a badly damaged, bruised and swollen ankle. Not sure anything has broken but it was still very swollen (and turning a wonderful shade of deep purple) by the time we left on the Saturday - his wife, T, was singularly unimpressed as she was most likely going to have to drive all the way home whilst R "rested"! If only grown-ups could behave better!

A great week with fun people - would be good to return as Cornwall is such a pretty county and it was blissfully quiet having missed the main half-term crowds.

It has been a productive week but also a sad week as Remembrance Day this year seemed to carry so much more significance with Afghanistan dominating the headlines each day and all three remaining First World War veterans having passed away in the last year. So important that we never forget their sacrifices.

The weather forecast is dire for the next few days - hopefully we will all survive and that the weather will be kinder for our festive craft fair next week - this event needs fine weather and dry conditions for car parking - fingers crossed.

Have a good weekend and I will update you next Friday on a very busy week that lies ahead.

Have fun.

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