Sunday, March 7, 2010

Springtime at Blenheim Palace

What a glorious week - lots of blue sky; a springlike feel in the air; and many more visitors each day into Blenheim Palace. It is frustrating that the weather is such a strong factor in our trading success or failure - but we certainly walk with a spring in our step when the weather works in our favour which has been the case since March arrived.

The week has gone well - my mother came through her operation on Tuesday in good spirits and has today gone home to carry on her rest and recuperation. I went over to see her at the Nuffield Hospital in Cambridge on Wednesday and she looked remarkably well given that her 3 hour operation was only 24 hours earlier. She will need to take it steady for the next couple of weeks - not an easy task as she hates being idle and hates being dependent on others. Together with my sisters we will do our best to make sure she does as she is told - for once!

On Thursday, I attended the latest Oxford Inspires Cultural Platform at the Said Business School in Oxford. The event was very well attended - not surprising really - as the guest speaker was the author Philip Pullman. He spoke passionately and eloquently about the breakdown in some of our core values - citing school lunches as an example as to how children now eat from a self-service cafeteria (or even take their own packed lunch) whereas in the past they sat at tables with elders or teachers to supervise conversation, manners, etc. A small example but I do share Philip Pullman's concern at the loss of pride in our core values - wherever I go I see graffiti and litter, I hear swearing, I witness bad manners and I see broken signs, traffic cones lying around and general neglect. So much more needs to be done to better showcase ourselves - especially with 2012 looming - and we should all take greater pride in presenting any areas that we can control or influence in a better condition - but ultimately the uplift in core values needs to be driven from a generational perspective - good manners (especially good table manners), respect and good behaviour begins at home and if we can inspire our children to aspire to improve then I believe society's core values will be uplifted.

Incidentally, there is an opportunity that Oxford Inspires and the emerging Destination Management Organisation ("DMO") for Oxford and Oxfordhire could end up co-joined as one organisation to deliver the cultural and tourism programme across most of the county. A great prize and a great opportunity - watch this space!

Tuesday sees the Churchill family descending on Bladon and Blenheim Palace for the private funeral of Winston Churchill - Tory MP, journalist and grandson of Britain's wartime leader - who died on 2 March 2010 aged 69 after a long battle with cancer. It must have been difficult for Winston to carry the name of his famous grandfather but he made his own mark through a varied life and he accomplished a great deal. Tuesday will of course be a sad day for the family.

Today we have welcomed the Tombling family from North London to Blenheim Palace - they will forever be known as our "100,000th annual pass holders" and we gave them a special day with our compliments to mark this milestone - hopefully they will spread the word and tell everyone about our "Buy One Day Get 12 Months Free!" amazing ticket deal for 2010!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and hopefully the fine weather will last into the week ahead and through to Mothers Day next Sunday.

If you are still looking at ideas for "Mum" then bring her to Blenheim Palace for the day and enjoy springtime at this wonderful world heritage site.

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Anonymous John Hoy said...

Thanks Mary - good to meet you earlier and I hope your husband enjoyed seeing around the Palace whilst we talked.

Visit us again soon and keep reading the blogs!

Best wishes


March 12, 2010 at 7:27 AM  

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