Enjoy Carol’s paintings of her 5-star Watermill week

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Carol Gaston, who was our guest on Paul Talbot-Greaves’ watercolour painting week here at the beginning of May, has just sent me some of the paintings he made while she was with us (above and below).

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Carol also sent us a very kind message about her stay: “I have never received such great treatment on a holiday. You all couldn’t have been kinder. Everything was 5 star, from the food to the bedrooms, to all of your staff. It couldn’t have been any better. Your organisation of the week was amazing, down to the very last detail.”

Thank you so much Carol. We’re just pleased when people enjoy our hospitality. We’ve a few places left on our 2018 creative courses, so why not come and savour a Watermill week yourself?

Courses with places left: Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here

And on our yoga retreat:

Amy and Joanne H&SAmy Rogg & Joanne Brohmer
25 August to 1 September 2018 – still places
Yoga retreat
To learn more about Amy and Joanne and their course at The Watermill, please visit their Tutor Page

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Annother intriguing painting by Carol Gaston

The roses are blooming in Posara as we look forward to courageous colo(u)r

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

The lovely picture above, taken by our ‘girl Friday’, Chloe Taylor, is of the Watermill rose pergola in the Walled Garden. We are looking forward to welcoming our guests tomorrow on Maggie Renner Helmann’s Courageous Color Workshop and no doubt they’ll be trying to capture the marvellous blooms with their brushes.

Maggie’s is the third creative course this season and we’ve already had some inspiring comment from our guests on the first two courses, painting with Paul Talbot-Greaves and knitting with Sarah Hazell.

A guest on Paul’s course said: I have never received such great treatment on a holiday. You all couldn’t have been kinder. Everything was 5 star, from the food to the bedrooms, to all of your staff. It couldn’t have been any better. Your organisation of the week was amazing, down to the very last detail.”

And a comment on Sarah’s course: “Thanks for such a wonderful week!  It had everything:  fun, knowledge, good food and drink.  It was like a week out of time.”

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Sarah teaching on the vine verandah

Thank you so much for those kind words, they spur us to greater efforts to try to make our guests’ stay perfect. If you’d like to savour the atmosphere of a Watermill creative course, we’ve still a few places left on various courses:

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here

And on our yoga retreat:

Amy and Joanne H&SAmy Rogg & Joanne Brohmer
25 August to 1 September 2018 – still places
Yoga retreat
To learn more about Amy and Joanne and their course at The Watermill, please visit their Tutor Page

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Terry Jarvis demonstrating under the roses

Draw out your energy with yoga breathing, says Amy

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Our enlivening yoga teacher Amy Rogg concentrates on breathing in this tip, to help you in relaxation and restoration.

Amy says: “When we experience stress, our systems, including the breath, contract. Our breathing can become shortened, shallow or chaotic, losing homeostatic rhythm and depth. This also causes a decrease of oxygen in the bloodstream which robs our cells of essential nutrients.”

There are many breath regulation practices in yoga, known as Pranayama. Prana means “’life energy’ and Ayama means ‘to draw out’. Here are three breath practices from Amy, which you can incorporate into your everyday routine “to help promote the relaxation response and create restorative balance in your system as a whole.

1) Alternate Nostril Breathing:

Use right hand. Place your pointer and middle finger on the space between your brows. Lay ring finger lightly on top of left nostril. Lay thumb lightly on top of right nostril. Plug left nostril and breathe in through the right. Hold breath. Plug right nostril and breathe out of the left. Inhale left, hold and plug. Exhale right. Inhale right, hold and plug. Exhale left. Repeat for 3-5 minutes.

2) Increase O2 Breathing:

Take a two part breath in. Hold the breath at the top for 3 seconds. Exhale through the teeth (marking a hissing sound) and slowly let the breath drain out. Hold breath at the bottom for 3 seconds. Repeat.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

3) Two-chamber Breathing:

Place one hand on belly and one hand on chest. Inhale slowly filling the belly first then the chest. The exhale everything out. Repeat. You can add counts to this breathing method…breathing in for 6 seconds, breathing out for 8. Or 4:6, 5:7 etc. Pick the breath ratio that works for you at this time.

Amy and her colleague Joanne Brohmer are running a wonderful yoga retreat at the Watermill this Summer. So take a deep breath and think of beautiful Tuscany, amazing food and restorative yoga. With their students using words like ‘joy’ and ‘magical’ about them, Amy and Joanne will help you to awaken and restore your true passion and self-worth. We are sure this is going to be one of our most inspiring retreats –a sun-filled, fun-filled week where we’ll nurture your mind, body and spirit.

Amy and Joanne’s week will run from Saturday 25 August to Saturday 1 September 2018. The theme of the retreat will be ‘Connection’ – to yourself, to others and to nature.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.Amy Rogg is a yoga teacher and movement facilitator working on transforming the human spirit through holistic arts. She is based in San Francisco, California, USA. Amy helps people to awaken and restore their passion and self-worth, inspiring them to move towards their vulnerability and authenticity. She brings people back into their innate knowledge and wisdom, through a deeper connection to their body, breath, and personal expression.

As a healer, Joanne Brohmer offers a range of modalities that helps others enter into their own depth and set their anchor deeper, where they can begin to claim and feel what has been hard to reach. She helps bring what has been blocked forward into the safe home of acceptance and embrace. She facilitates bringing others to that soft, open, vulnerable place in a way that feels safe.

Participants on our yoga retreat with Amy and Joanne enjoy SEVEN nights at the Watermill, with full board. Everything is included in the cost of the retreat: workshops, accommodation (including all linen and towels), tours, pre-dinner aperitifs, all meals and wines (including outings to charming local restaurants) and all local transportation (including transfers to Pisa airport and an excursion by train to Lucca). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest! You can see a draft itinerary by clicking here.

Come and practise your yoga and meditation in the tranquil heart of rural Tuscany and let us nurture your mind, body and spirit.

Amy and Joanne H&SAmy Rogg & Joanne Brohmer
25 August to 1 September 2018 – still places
Yoga retreat
To learn more about Amy and Joanne and their course at The Watermill, please visit their Tutor Page

Yoga girl

 

 

Now you don’t have to eat your spaghetti with a spike

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Picture: The Local

Did you know that in the Middle Ages Italians used to eat their pasta with a spike? The instrument was known as a punteruolo (technically, an awl). I am grateful to the English language on-line newspaper The Local for that pasta fact – and nine fascinating others too. Please click here for more.

The spike, The Local says, “was gradually replaced by the fork as Italians realised that three spikes were better than one. The fork’s practicality for eating pasta is believed to be a factor in why Italy adopted the cutlery earlier and more enthusiastically than most other countries in Europe.” Actually, I think early forks had just two spikes, but I may be wrong…

The Local tells us that the world eats 13 billion tonnes of pasta a year and after Italy and the USA, Russians are the biggest pasta eaters.

At the Watermill we don’t overload you with pasta, but the spaghetti al pomodoro you’ll eat at the trattoria Al Castello near the mill is fabulous and our own Italian grandmother cook Mirella Musetti makes wonderful fusilli alla primavera and a tagliatelle ai funghi porcini that is to die for!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, cookery holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini, a Watermill speciality

All this and painting, creative writing, knitting, Italian language and yoga weeks in peaceful, unspoilt rural Tuscany. Here’s the latest 2018 creative courses availability.

There are a few places left on our 2018 painting courses:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
  1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here

And on our yoga retreat:

Amy and Joanne H&SAmy Rogg & Joanne Brohmer
25 August to 1 September 2018 – still places
Yoga retreat
To learn more about Amy and Joanne and their course at The Watermill, please visit their Tutor Page

 

Red poppies and blue borage in the Watermill walled garden

It’s poppy time again in our part of Tuscany, as the vivid red flowers brighten the roadsides and the meadows. Our gardener Flavio Terenzoni has also encouraged the poppies to grow in the Watermill walled garden, especially in a lovely bed beside the plum tree, where they bloom beside the bright blue borage flowers, which not only attract myriads of buzzing bees but which we also use to decorate our salads.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language, yoga holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

A wonderful picture by Watermill guest Ron Ploeg

Come and enjoy the Watermill flowers yourselves: soon the roses will be in full bloom and the bignonia bursting forth in the courtyard.

There are a few places left on our 2018 painting courses.

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 

Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 

mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.

 

Come and join us and enjoy the magic at the mill.

Admiring the Bignonia in the courtyard

Sudden availability on Mike’s and Claire’s painting courses

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Market day sketch by Mike

Due to cancellations, we now have places on Mike Willdridge’s and Claire Warner’s inspiring painting courses this September. For Mike’s course, from Saturday 8 September to Saturday 15 September 2018, the Donatello bedroom is free for one painting guest, while for Claire’s course, from Saturday 15 September to Saturday 22 September 2018, the Botticelli bedroom, a double room also available for single occupancy, is now free. Details of the rooms can be found by clicking here.

Come and join us on one (or both) of these fun-filled, sun-filled painting courses. We’d love to welcome you here.

Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Claire’s painting of a cafe in Provence

There are also a few places left on our other 2018 creative courses, and more details below.


mike plus picMike Willdridge
8 September to 15 September 2018 1 place left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page


Painting by Claire Warner, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Claire Warner 
15 September to 22 September 2018 1/2 places 
Watercolours (and oils and acrylics)
To learn more about Claire, her course and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page.


Availabilty on other painting courses:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
 – 1/2 places

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page


Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1/2 places
Watercolours

To learn more about Sandra, her course at the mill and to see more of her pictures, please visit her Profile Page

 


Andrew Geeson
Andrew plus pic23 June to 30 June 2018 – 1/2 places
Watercolours
To learn more about Andrew, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 


terry plus picTerry Jarvis
7 July to 14 July 2018 – still places
Watercolours (and oils, pastels and acrylics)
To learn more about Terry, his course at the mill and to see more of his pictures, please visit his Profile Page

 


Nel and Bec plus picRebecca de Mendonça & Nel Whatmore
1 September to 8 September 2018 – 1/2 places
Pastels
To learn more about Rebecca & Nel, their course and to see more of their pictures, please visit their Profile Page

 


Come and join us and enjoy the magic at the mill.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany Italy.

Mike’s picture of the millstream rushing beneath gardener Flavio’s famous bridge

A happy group of knitters on Sarah’s workshop at the Watermill

Here’s our happy group of knitters on Sarah Hazell’s knitting week enjoying the sunshine in the hilltop village of Monte Dei Bianchi after a gourmet lunch at the Al Vecchio Tino restaurant. It was a fun-filled inspiring week – and thank you ‘sisters’ for your bubbly company.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

The view from the restaurant

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

Sarah teaching on the vine verandah

Sarah will be back for another knitting and la bella vita week next year, and there’s a special deal: Sarah’s 2019 knitting holiday at 2018 prices. If you book before 1 September 2018 you can enjoy this inspiring 2019 knitting holiday at 2018 prices. To enquire about availability and/or to reserve your place, please click here. Two of this year’s course participants have already booked in for 2019!

The Watermill May 2018 newsletter is just out…

 

— with an update on the few remaining spaces on our 2018 creative courses. In this month’s newsletter there are also stories on:

  • How church bells will keep you on time(ish) on Terry’s painting course
  • Why only you can write some of life’s stories
  • A revolving door leads to Sandra
  • A reminder of our photographic competition
  • The only remaining 2018 knitting place
  • Why residential writing courses reach places others cannot reach
  • Why transitions are important in yoga – and in life
  • A preview and a tempting offer on our 2019 creative courses

Intrigued? Read on… You can see it all bby clicking here.

Hope you enjoy it!

Painting by Sandra Strohschein, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Grow your writing wings with Jo at the Watermill

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.

You can do it!

I have always thought that from time to time in life we have to take risks: jumping off the cliff, as it were, and finding that we can fly. So I was in tune with this sentiment by author Kurt Vonnegut, who echoed my thoughts in this tip about writing: We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” 

Of course, you’ll need a safe landing ground, a group of supportive friends and an expert guide on your fledgling outings…

And that’s just what you’ll have on Jo Parfitt’s wonderful Writing your Life’s Stories week here. Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a safe haven in which to unlock your creativity, write from your heart and hone your writing craft. It will also help to remove blocks to your writing. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

One of the best way to begin writing is with stories from your own life, whether it’s for a short blog or  full-blooded memoir. Or just a record for your grandchildren to enjoy and to understand what you did and how it was when you were younger. You’ll need motivation and courage, but the rewards will be great. As one student on Jo’s last course here said: “I can honestly say it’s been life changing for me and the setting could not have been more perfect.”

Jo’s first week with us, from 22-29 September, is now completely full, but we still have a few places on her second Write Your Life Stories course, from Saturday 18 August to Saturday 25 August 2018.

Jo’s creative writing courses are designed to help you produce your best work, to find your true writer’s ‘voice’ and to write authentically. Among other things, you’ll discover the secret of SPICE, the seven steps to writing life stories, and put this into practice right away.

Jo Parfitt has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors get into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. She’s an inspiring, compassionate and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.  Jo says: “The class will include several methods and genre and is perfect for anyone wanting to write about their own lives for an effective journal, memoir or blog. If you would enjoy an injection of inspiration in a safe and supportive environment this course is for you. It is appropriate for students of any level.”

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

To learn more about Jo and her course at The Watermill, please click here

 

 

A colour wheel with a difference, by Sarah’s knitting group

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga holidays/vacations/retreats, Tuscany, Italy.This wonderful colour wheel, photographed on a table on the Vine Verandah, was made yesterday afternoon by some of our guests on Sarah Hazell’s inspiring knitting week here.  After arranging swatches of yarn to show the relationships between colours, one of the group, Linda Walker, brought flowers from the Walled Garden to augment the display, with this stunning effect. Gina Davidson took the picture.

Everyone seems to be having a wonderful time, knitting on the Vine Verandah or dodging Tuscan thunderstorms and repairing to the communal sitting room.

Sarah Hazell will be with us again next year for another fun-filled, inspiring knitting holiday – and we’ve already taken two bookings!

And there’s a Special Offer: If you book for a 2019 creative course before 1 September 2018, you can reserve your place at 2018 prices. (After 1 September, the costs for 2019 courses will change.)  You can see more on the Watermill website 2019 Preview Section, by clicking here.  http://watermill.net/wmprov2019/watermill-prov19.php If you’d like to come, please be in touch as soon as you can, using the 2019 Preview Enquiry Form there.

Come and enjoy a convivial and colourful week.