Monday, May 31, 2010

Roll on June!

The last day of May and the last day of our three day craft fair - "Art, Design and a Taste of Summer" - a wonderful collection of exhibitors and displays.

May has been a topsy-turvey month with some very good weather/numbers and some very untimely poor weather. We started the month with the May Day Bank Holiday Jousting weekend hugely affected by damp + miserable weather and the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend at the end of the month has also been weather affected - with Saturday virtually washed out by the rain. Despite an underwhelming start and finsh - the middle has performed OK with some lovely hot weather at times and some strong weekends - not least the glorious Aston Martin Owners Club gathering which sat spectacularly across the front of the Palace.

Hopefully June will enjoy good weather and good numbers - so important that these critical summer months perform at or above expectations as once they are past there is not enough "volume" in the remaining months to pull up any shortfall. The month has a variety of sporting and cultural delights for everyone to enjoy - on the sporting front we have the Triathlon weekend (5 + 6 June) and this is followed by a Junior Sculling Regatta on the Main Lake organised by the Hinksey Sculling School (12 June) - culturally the month is dominated by a series of outdoor theatrical performances by the Oxford School of Drama at the Pleasure Gardens. From 9 to 12 June and then from 14 to 19 June performances of "The Comedy of Errors" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will be staged on alternate nights - a great setting for some inspiring outdoor theatre.

June is also annually dominated by preparations for our summer Trustees meeting in early July - this meeting is held on site here at Blenheim Palace which adds to the pressure for all concerned. Papers and Agendas are beginning to be drafted and these include the accounts from the prior year - which mean that Dom's desk is covered by even more paper than usual! We are on track at this early stage and hopefully the month will run smoothly and that the pack of papers will go out to the Trustees on time at the end of the month - always a sigh of relief to get to that stage but not there yet!

On the national/international front, it has been a weekend of mixed fortunes for the Brits. Success in the Grand Prix with Lewis and Jenson storming to the front courtesy of the "fighting bulls seeing red" and the England Football team scraping a dodgy win in Austria thanks to the generosity of the Japanese defence - on this form the England team won't last long in South Africa but I have a hunch that we will actually do quite well - semi's or even the final should be in our grasp! On the failure front, Andy Murray skidded out of the French Open with hardly a whimper and our entry in the Eurovision Song Contest achieved a glorious last place on the night! We almost expect this outcome - but then Pete Waterman was successful several decades ago so why should we expect him to deliver the right formula for success in 2010 - we need a fresh young approach to have any chance of overriding the voting prejudices across Europe. And the jury is out on the England Cricket team - currently struggling to beat the mightly Bangladeshi team at Lords - could be an exciting last day's play.

Enjoy your bank holiday and say goodbye to May - lets hope that June arrives in positive mode and that it delivers on every front!

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