A Portal to Another World

Come away, oh human child! To the waters and the wild (W.B. Yeats) … Experience a realm of mystical beings who are a part of the magic and beauty of nature. Dare to enter the wondrous Real of Faerie. There are many mysterious and fascinating paths to follow in this enchanting realm.

Patrons who inhabited the Soul Food Cafe between 2003 and 2010 and contributed to major features on the site, will testify to the superpower of the Enchantress (aka Heather Blakey).  Le Enchanteur, as she became known, lured travellers through a portal, into the Cave of the Enchantress and on into the magical fantasy world of Lemuria. As they travelled in this new world those who came honed their internet skills and helped to build a place that went on to exist in the minds of many.

Self Portraiture! “Le Enchanteur Entering Lemuria’ Heather Blakey 2004

Sadly the portal closed for many years but now Heather Blakey has taken on a  new identity. As Georgina McClure she has established Bancroft Manor, a virtual manor house which welcomes creative people to come, take up residence and share their creativity with others.

Are you a creative person who has had a yen to have the dream ‘room of your own’ where you can work? Have you searched for places that really nurture your creativity, where you can shamelessly share what you are doing and genuinely collaborate with other creative people? You can join and help build this quirky, creative, cyber collective. You will be astonished by the ‘extra steak knives’ an inexpensive subscription entitles you to.

Fantasy Destinations

Edward Hopper, Western Motel (1957). Yale University Art Gallery. © 2019 Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper/ARS.

You could spend the night in this painting, courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or perhaps you could be lucky enough to be selected to stay with Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

I’ve just made myself a cup of bush tea. And yes, my fellow tea lovers. You may also drink bush tea. Find it under the name Rooibos or Red Tea in any good tea shop.

Personally, I am heading off to Gaborone in Botswana to stay with Mme Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s No 1 Ladies Detective. Apart from spending time sitting drinking tea with her at her home in Zebra Drive, I am hoping to assist her and Grace Makutsi at the Detective Agency and head out with Precious in her little white van to the orphan farm.

Of course, you can contemplate and decide where you will go. You could visit a gallery, view some work of artists, let your fingers do the walking and write yourself into the place that you are drawn to.

Or you could design and set up your own space here at Bancroft Manor!

Postscript:

To my great joy Alexander McCall Smith has written ninteen books in the classic No 1 Ladies Detective series and many of them are available on audio. As I listen to them I make many cups of bush tea, sit eating generous slices of fruit cake, travel to Botswana and enter the lives of people whom I would feel honoured to know.

Entering the Bancroft Estate

There are many awesome and spectacular fantasy worlds that have been created, depicted through books, movies and games. The truly amazing, surreal paintings by Jacek Yerka capture my imagination.

It was Virginia Wolfe whose idea of a room of her own captured the imagination of thousands. Bancroft Manor lies within a fantasy world somewhere in cyberspace. It is a place where those who take up residence can have the dream room, apartment, outbuilding, or treehouse of their own.
Heather Blakey

When Katharina Rapp made the journey and approached the Bancroft Estate these were the gates that greeted her. It didn’t take her long. She now has settled into Studio Rapp.

A Piper Called Them

In another time and another place the piper called and travellers came. Can you, like Alice be tempted to follow the rabbit and see where it takes you?

Soul Food Bumper Catalogue of Creativity

Come away, oh human child! To the waters and the wild (W.B. Yeats) … Experience a realm of mystical beings who are a part of the magic and beauty of nature. Dare to enter the wondrous Real of Faerie. There are many mysterious and fascinating paths to follow in this enchanting realm. Choose to the left and dare to enter a wondrous realm full of magic and beauty…
by Edwina Peterson Cross

When the piper called them artists and writers conjured many versions of the portal that led to the Cave of the Enchantress and Lemuria. What would you pack for the journey? How would you find your way into the fantasy world of Bancroft Manor?

Through the Enchanted Doorway
A journey of the Heart

My journey began long before I knew I was looking for something. One night I received an email asking me if I was ready to…

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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

This course offers residency for creatives who are willing to step into a parallel univers and enjoy the stimulation of working alongside kindred spirits. Initially the group will take up residence in Bancroft Manor, a residence established by the somewhat mysterious Georgina McClure, who has been inspired, not only to build castles in the air but to provide a sanatorium environment to protect and strengthen the creative flame.

Setting Out for Bancroft Manor

Close your eyes. Trust that the space you are going to make will be sacred. Now take three deep breaths.

Inhale Exhale

Inhale Exhale

Inhale Exhale

With a final inhale and exhale release any fear about coming to Bancroft Manor. Like the Land of Get What You Want in the Magic Faraway Tree, Bancroft Manor meets the personal needs of each resident.

Breath in and out and release any remnants of doubt.

Now visualise a long path stretching before you. It may pass through a dark wood but it gradually winds up a gravel path towards the top of a hill. At some point, you see a very old iron gate. The gate is locked and vines cover it. As you reach within your pocket you find the very key that is needed to open this gate. Place the key in the lock, turn it and wait as the gate swings open.

You thought that Bancroft Manor was abandoned but you find yourself in a garden. It may be an Italian garden or perhaps something you would find in Japan. It may be any garden of your choosing. Take in all the details. Look at the flowers! Note the old trees and check out the one with a seat underneath it. Just ahead lies Bancroft Manor, a house you recognize, a place that you know. Take a moment to visualize it in all its glory.

You reach the front door but it is locked! Happily you find another key in your pocket. Visualize this key! Take a deep breath and open the door. As you enter take in the overwhelming feeling that you have arrived at a safe place, a place where your creative spirit will flourish. Slowly and with purpose go to what you know is your room. Perhaps it has a tiny door that you have to slip through. Take in all the details of the door and then scan the room to see what is still inside. A large desk overlooks the garden. You sit and open a draw, take out pen and paper and look at the virgin paper that lies in front of you.

Capture your thoughts and feelings as you arrive and return to the space you know so well.

Member Responses

Almurta Arrives at Bancroft Manor

Almurta Settles Into Bancroft

Almurta Goes Exploring

The Journey Started Somewhere

She Wolf’s Journey Begins

First Steps and a Key

Entering the Bancroft Estate