Friday, December 18, 2009

Not many "sleeps" to Christmas!

This time of the year adopts a rather unreal feel as the "big day" looms closer and less work seems to be done each day!

The excitement is building in the Hoy household and my girls break up from school today - not a moment too soon as they are both pooped after a long and busy term.

This week alone has seen the following highlights:

>> Monday - Seasonal Staff Christmas Lunch in the Orangery. An excellent and well-earned opportunity to say a very big thank-you to the army of part-time staff who work within Operations and Retail. Every one of them makes a full contrinution towards delivering a wonderful experience to every visitor - their knowledge, their passion and their loyalty towards Blenheim Palace is first class. We again thank them for all their hard work through a busy year.

>> Tuesday - sneaked off to London to do some shopping - but don't tell the wife in case she gets too excited!

>> Wednesday - a busy day in the office - "Secret Santa" visited and delivered a much needed new pair of skiing socks (will be put to good use in the New Year) followed by a lunch out in Woodstock with the Marketing Team to say thankyou for all their hard work this year. The evening saw us heading in to London to see Annabelle sing with the Dragon School Choir in the Nordoff Robbins Christmas Concert in St Luke's Church, Chelsea. A fantastic event - with stars such as Alexandra Burke, Bill Nighy, and many others performing - but the real stars were the Dragon School - of course! Annabelle was very pleased to get Alexandra Burke's autograph and is very chuffed to have sung on the same stage as an X-Factor Winner!

>> Thursday - a day of mixed emotions - started in the dentist's chair, continued with the Christmas Managers Lunch (at which the Hoy Christmas Quiz was "enjoyed" by all - well by most anyway!!); carried on with the Middle School Christmas Concert at the Dragon (with Annabelle both singing and playing!) and ended exhausted on the sofa watching "Gavin and Stacey"

>> Friday - and into Friday when the girls break up from school. Both are on sleepovers tonight (but Annabelle has another Chamber Choir Concert at St Andrews Church in Oxford beforehand) ahead of the Dragon Sale back at school tomorrow. This event raises a staggering £100k or so for charity in 4 hours - amazing generosity - but Tracy will be glad to get it behind her as she is involved in running the sale for the first time this year. We are both off to a lovely party near Cheltenham this evening (weather permitting) so she can forget about the sale for a few hours!

After Saturday, Tracy and the girls can rest up until the "big day" and the "sleeps" countdown gets very exciting!

The year has flown by but I hope that everyone reading this has a well deserved break over christmas and that the christmas and new year time is both happy and rewarding for all.

Enjoy everything and re-charge batteries ahead of the new year challenges.

Many thanks for all the support that we have enjoyed from so many sources this year - not least the 97,000+ annual pass holders who have connected so positively with Blenheim Palace in 2009 - hopefully your new year resolution will be to connect again in 2010.

Take care and have fun!

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