Monthly Archives: April 2019

It Really Is All Top Secret

If you want to know what is in this Top Secret file, the file that contains the course work for Heather Blakey’s new ‘Drilling Down – Writing for Wellness’ course you can come to Bancroft Manor and undertake a project she is planning to have the group spend eight weeks working on. For information about how to work at the virtual Bancroft Manor, check out the FAQ page here.

Creative First Aid

Pack up some drawing paper, a box of crayons and some writing implements. Set aside at least an hour when you can be by yourself in a relaxed, reflective mood. Explore the estate and find a special space for yourself. Settle down on a garden bench, a rocky outcrop or simply lie on a rug under a sprawling tree. Close your eyes, relax and pay attention to your breathing. Imagine that you can picture your breath flowing in and out of your lungs like a silver, gurgling stream. A new online exercise is available to members of the Bancroft Collective. For details about how to join check

Travel Lightly Armed With Creative First Aid

First aid kits with roll-out compartments are usually filled with practical first aid supplies and instructions. Suitable for travel, they often come with a belt loop for easy carrying.

Given that Heather had come to an earlier session of her Writing for Wellness Course with a heavy duty first aid box, participants were not as surprised when they spotted this First Aid Kit on the table. However, they were not quite sure what lay within.

Bancroft Manor members who are doing the online version of the course Heather ran will find out soon what lies within this particular travel kit. If you are intrigued and want to join check the FAQ page for details about gaining membership.

Finding Grace

“The best advice I could give anyone is to spend your time working on whatever you are passionate about in life.”
-Richard Branson

The best advice I could give a writer or actor is to spend time with their characters. When you are building a character you need to spend as much time with their inside as their physical outside. To do this it is a good idea to spend a significant amount of time with them.

Finding Grace, written by a member of the Bancroft Collective serves to highlight the benefit of bringing a character to spend quality time with you on this enchanted estate.


‘I could tell you my adventures – beginning from this morning,’ said Alice a little timidly: ‘but it’sno use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Inspired by Heather Blakey’s workshop for creatives featuring The World of Georgina McClure at The Bancroft Manor and Estate: The Journey Begins Part 2

Time is strange. I walk, trudge, even run a bit when the path is briefly level. Has it been hours or years since I was at Longleaf? Was I ever there at all? Will I ever return to Buck and Lou-Lou and all the sweet familiarity of home?

Mountains rise around me. The path grows rocky and narrow. The air is thin and I am grateful for the bottle of water in my pack. Fog rolls in and I remember a time lost in frightening sea fog…

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A First Aid Kit for Creatives

When Heather, my agent, went to her Writing for Wellness course in Castlemaine and put this old first aid kit from my apothecary on the table, aside from generating discussion about the origins and story held by this old Australian State Electricity object, there was much speculation about what lay inside.

Bancroft Manor members who are doing the online version of the course Heather ran will find out soon what lies within the kit. If you are intrigued and want to join check the FAQ page for details about gaining membership.

Toning the Creative Spirit

An artistic impression of the wharf near the Bancroft Estate!

When I decided to offer an online version of a Writing For Wellness course my nom de plume has been running in the town we live in, I wondered what shape it would take. After spreading the word that those who love the Expressive Arts could take up residence in the virtual Bancroft Manor and have access to this course some trusting souls actually responded and signed up. These members are now in a closed Facebook group and they are helping to paint a picture of Bancroft Manor by establishing identities and doing things like writing about inhabitants such as Eramus the Groundskeeper or describing time spent visiting the Library.

When you come to a place like Bancroft Manor and engage in the associated online course it is a bit like going to one of those health places where you nurture your soul by treating your body like a temple, engaging in yoga and meditation, eating the right foods and generally getting physically fitter. By contrast, everything about this world supports the notion of nurturing and toning the creative spirit. The jury is in! There is plenty of evidence to support the idea that creativity heals and that when you take the time to work collaboratively and do exercises like those that are offered, projects you are working on are enhanced and you will become more prolific.

Initially, members are road testing ideas to enrich their capacity to build characters and The Determined Passenger and The Shift are just two examples of responses to the first exercise. If you believe your creative spirit might benefit from working alongside this group check out the FAQ page for details about how to join.

The Vision of the Bancroft Collective

“The Bloomsbury Group was a small, informal association of artists and intellectuals who lived and worked in the Bloomsbury area of central London. Most prominent of these was novelist and essayist Virginia Woolf. In all, only about a dozen people at any one time could have called themselves members of the group. Beginning shortly before 1910, the Bloomsbury Group gathered at irregular intervals for conversation, companionship, and the refueling of creative energy.

The members of Bloomsbury, or “Bloomsberries,” would more or less maintain allegiance to their mutual philosophy of an ideal society, even through a World War and three decades of tectonic shifts in the political climate. They had no codified agenda or mission. They were not political in the ordinary sense of the word. Most importantly, there was no application or initiation required to become a member. Bloomsbury was an informal hodgepodge of intellectual friends, and one either merited inclusion to that circle or one did not. No rules of order, as in a committee, governed the way in which Bloomsbury managed their interactions. Instead, they held impromptu dinners and gatherings where any number of topics was the subject of serious discussion and contemplation. These intellectual exchanges served as the main influence on later work by individual members”.

It is anticipated that the Bancroft Manor Collective, like the Bloomsberries, will assist with the refuelling of creativity. Unlike many famed artistic collectives Bancroft Manor is situated somewhere in cyber space and initially provides members with fellowship and access to an online Writing for Wellness course. While it is not expected that it will become vast and unwieldy it will be interesting to see how it evolves and takes shape!

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