Who would have thought that I would still be at new Norcia. How one's life can change - and all in a good way. I was so fortunate to be able to stay here and carry on with my volunteer work when the borders shut in March last year. I had the caravan packed and was ready to leave for a trip to Queensland! There is plenty to keep me occupied. I now have a fancy overhead scanner to work with. Perfect for the very old hand-written & fragile books that dont like being flattened on a photocopier. The monks now have digital access to all these precious books. I have also 'progressed' to the Collections Office and have the interesting job of checking that all the artworks are where they are supposed to be according to the computer. Another steep learning curve.
The Hotel is now called a hostel and although no longer run as the local pub, is being used for group bookings. The Abbot - an ex chef - is doing wonderful 4 course fine dining experience about every 3 months. They are proving hugely popular and sell out very quickly inspite of the $120 per head price. Many come from Perth and stay the night in the Hostel, Convents and the guest house. Between these dinners there are musical evenings with Fr Robert entertaining us on the piano with his amazing musical talents. These evenings are more intimate with 40 people in the bar. Once again the Abbot cooks, and the next one is a French theme.