Kathleen Bleakley Frangipanis
What are you reading at the moment? Together, my partner & I are reading Suzanna Clarke’s A House in Fez. My birthplace is Morocco and we travelled there to celebrate my 40th birthday. A House in Fez are autobiographical tales of 2 Australian journalists living in Fez, Morocco and restoring a traditional home. The kaleidoscopic colours, textures and movement of Moroccan life – people, architecture, artisans at work, colourful and diverse cuisines and landscapes are richly evoked. Along with cross cultural situations, challenges and delights. These are rendered with warmth, humour, respect and intelligence. The photograph of me was taken on my 40th birthday trip, in Casablanca Morocco at Rick’s Cafe. It’s not the original but inspired by the original in the famed film Casablanca – “Play it again Sam…”
What’s your favourite place on the Gold Coast, and why? & What attracted you to the photo you selected? The Currumbin Valley, especially the enchanting rock pools. Much nostalgia from childhood, teens and twenties and more recent trips. As a kid, I loved the bird sanctuary. Hence my choice of photo for Frangipanis.
What’s your connection with the Gold Coast? Family living there: grandparents since the ‘70s, parents in the early ‘90s. The Gold Coast was our annual September/ October school holiday for years. We called my grandpa Grandpa GC. He passed away in 2000 but my grandma is 91 and still living independently, opposite Pacific Fair! She keeps sharp by playing bridge and doing puzzles eg cryptic cross words and sudokus. I take opportunities to visit her and other special family. I’ve had some wonderful junkets eg conferences there and am hoping to come up for the launch of Undertow.
What does your story convey about the Gold Coast? Places such as Currumbin Bird Sanctuary and Nobby Beach ‘s Magic Mountain (alas no longer there); tropical flowers eg frangipanis and hibiscus; the merging of beaches, shopping malls and sky rises! Holidays – The Gold Coast has and continues to be a significant destination for Australians and international tourists.
Tell us about your story in one sentence. Family – celebration and loss of life, rituals of returning and remembering past loved ones.
What else have you published? Books • Jumping Out of Cars, prose & poetry by Kathleen Bleakley & Andrea Gawthorne, photography by ‘pling, Ginninderra Press, 2004 • Passionfruit & Other Pieces, writings by Kathleen Bleakley, etchings by Hannah Parker, University of Wollongong Writers Group, 1995 Poetry and stories in journals, magazines, sites & blogspots including: Australian Reader, Etchings, Fremantle Arts Review, Going Down Swinging, Griffith Review, Hecate, Melaleuca, Poetrix and Wet Ink.
What’s your main genre? Poetry followed by micro stories/ short short stories.
What are you working on now? Lightseekers – a collection of my poetry with images by ‘pling*. The manuscript is complete and seeking publication & funding… *’pling is one of Canberra’s leading performance photographers, my artistic collaborator and life partner.