Friday, June 20, 2014
Above: An old water pump on the outskirts of Dubbo.
The end of this month marks the half-way point of my exile to Dubbo. The experience so far has brought huge learning opportunities, unforeseen responsibilities and has forced growth as an emergency physician. At the same time it has expedited the progress of WBP.
I am flying home tomorrow to check on construction again, and to start on the first of two winter gardening projects to get the last of the planting for the park completed before spring. There is a little bit of tree transplantation to be done, and we have more trees and shrubs yet to arrive.
Peter has resigned his job at the Cathedral, and will be working full time at Willowbrook from the end of July. There will be much to do in late winter / early spring to get the estate ready for a summer opening; and until we are up and running and employing a small staff, it will keep him fully occupied.
The lighting arrived from the UK last week, so we will finally be able to position the fittings exactly on the walls, and to see them for the first time (having purchased everything on the internet, and not being exactly sure of how closely the delivered products will resemble the photographs (I am always a little nervous about buying things online).
We are starting to source the smaller items for the project, such as towels, bed linen, and bath robes, and having them monogrammed, along with leather folders and stationery, for the rooms.
Peter and Darin, our technical consultant, have already sourced the telephones and PABX system, and are looking into the security cameras, intercoms etc. The brief was 'unobtrusive state of the art'.
Meanwhile I have sourced all the remaining whiteware and small appliances including televisions, soundbars, and in-room espresso machines in Australia. I have shipped them back to NZ (where inexplicably the same items are 2-3 times the price).
One of the most pleasing finds recently was a set of three large cut glass urns with taps that will make splendid juice dispensers for the breakfast buffet or for functions. They blend modern function with period aesthetic...
I look forward to taking lots of photos this weekend which I will share on my return soon.