Who Is Heather Blakey?

A tried and true way to work with memories of lived experience is to pull out photographs. This one brings back memories of a six-month tour of Europe and the United Kingdom with my late husband. The title of a chapter for my story might simply be ‘The Roller Coaster Ride’.

Heather Blakey has had over thirty years experience as a secondary school teacher in Melbourne’s Northern suburbs and she graduated as a Master of Social Work at Monash University in 2018.

Between 2000 and 2010 she built and managed the critically acclaimed Soul Food Cafe , a site which was given high praise by Writers Digest and authors such as Sark and Jean Houston. While she no longer runs this labyrinthine website, Soul Food informs how she works and has influenced writing courses that she regularly runs.

Heather describes herself as a purveyor of stimuli and an artistic midwife. She has worked as a specialist teacher of writing with people of all ages and believes that the expressive arts, and writing in particular, not only promotes wellness in those who trust the process and engage but helps people identify and value their unique voice.

When she managed the Soul Food Cafe Heather led people on adventures through a portal into the Cave of the Enchantress and Lemuria. Lemuria was a cyber retreat where travellers wandered, joined a gipsy camp, sat around telling stories and called in at places such as the House of the Serpents and the Lemurian Hermitage. Travellers used Riversleigh Manor as a base but went off trekking with donkeys into more remote regions such as the Camp of the Amazonians, White Owl Island, The Isle of Ancestors, Rainbow Beach, The House of Baba Yaga, The Lemurian Hermitage and the Lemurian City of Ladies. Much of the journey was celebrated in her annual Advent Calendars, links to which can be found at the site she created While Waiting For Godot to reveal a fresh direction.

Heather stopped running Soul Food in 2010 after yet another death all but extinguished her creative flame. However, she has never stopped working as a purveyor of creative stimuli. She regularly runs workshops such as ‘Travels with a Donkey’ and ‘Writing for Wellness’ in Castlemaine and, using the name Georgina McClure she has established a new virtual sanctuary where likeminded creatives may congregate and support one another.

For those wishing to join  Bancroft Manor there is a small self-determined fee structure available. Apart from entitling members to access to a closed Facebook Group, this fee helps to fund the cost of running a number of WordPress sites that provide rich creative stimuli and enables Heather to spend time providing resources and extending the readership for members. Associated sites of Bancroft Manor include the Bumper Catalogue of Creativity which is an archaeological dig into work done in the Soul Food Cafe and Danse Macabre which she is jointly operating with Anita Marie Moscoso who was an original member of  Soul Food.