Forbidden fruit at the Watermill

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

We call this ‘conceptual artefact’ Forbidden Fruit and you can see it in the Watermill sitting room along with all the wonderful paintings made by our inspiring tutors.

What’s it all about?

Well… We had the wooden bananas first, in Scotland, two yellow ‘ripe’ ones and one green one. We didn’t really know what to do with them and worried that, were they on show, someone might try to eat them. So why not display them under glass, as the Victorians did with their butterflies and stuffed birds?

But the bananas looked a little lonely in their glass case, so I got in touch with the delightful English woodturner Barry Charnley and asked him to provide more fruit to keep them company.

He also produced an apple with teeth-marks, which could only have been made by a wooden boy: Pinocchio, of course. (The young man denied this, but when confronted, his nose grew and grew…)

Come and see our forbidden fruit for yourself, but don’t try to eat it. We love to welcome you on one of our fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring courses where you can make your own creative artefacts, whether they are painted, written or knitted!

As ever, there’s more about everything if you just click here.

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

Meanhile, in the garden: Aphrodite kidnapped. A bust of the goddess, normally in the sitting room, placed artistically in the walled garden.

Famous couples and the Watermill

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

Cheer up! Let’s go to the Watermill!

We have been having a lot of fun recently with our Watermill newsletters, where we always have a paragraph urging you to bring your partner to join you on one of our creative courses. We seek out pictures of famous couples and make up our own captions and we thought we’d share a few of the latest ones with you.

That’s the Duke and Duchess of Urbino above, as painted by Piero della Francesca. And here are Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, as Dr Zhivago and Lara, looking a little chilly:

Let’s go to the Watermill. We won’t need our furs!

Our encouragement to bring your partner or friend holds good: there’s plenty for them to do while you are enjoying your painting, creative writing, knitting or Italian language course. They don’t have to participate in the course, but they will be able to enjoy the wonderful hospitality of the mill and whenever they want, come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners, as well as a generous £250 discount if they share a room with you. We think they’ll be amused:

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

We would be amused by a week at the Watermill.

And as Bogie might have said to Ingrid: “We’ll always have Posara!”

But seriously… Do come as a twosome and double your delights on a Watermill creative course. Our 2019 courses are booking fast, but you can find out more about current availability by clicking here.

And, as always, there’s more about everything at The Watermill website, which you can see by clicking here.

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

Yes, Sofia, you shall go the the Watermill!

 

 

Memories of creative writing courses at the Watermill…

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.I’ve just made a little slideshow of a few of the images from our creative writing courses, showing the inspiring times and places that our guests enjoy. You can see it by clicking here.

Here are the exciting tutors next year’s courses:

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Still five or six places
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 New course: Three places already booked, eight remaining
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

‘Living Legends’ to tutor a Scriptwriting course

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

We are proud to announce a very special Scriptwriting week with Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, described by the British Comedy Society as ‘Living Legends.’ They are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a FeatherGoodnight SweetheartThe New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon.

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

And in a new incarnation, they’ve written hit stage musicals, such as Dreamboats and Petticoats and Save the Last Dance for Me, as well as film scripts and award-winning stage, TV and radio plays. And it’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well.The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Listening to words of wisdom on a previous Scriptwriting course

Laurence and Maurice’s week-long course will show you how to craft your work from your original idea through structure, character, plot and finally, script. They will lead you slowly through what makes classic television comedy, using one-to-one tutorials, team writing sessions, and most enlightening of all, studying films and TV series that have become ‘classics’.

They cannot guarantee success, of course, but they promise that you will leave the Watermill a considerably better scriptwriter than when you arrived.

Seeking inspiration in the glorious scenery around the Watermill.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran

7-14 September 2019

Scriptwriting

To find out more about this unique course please click here.  

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

Time for a lunch break on a previous Scriptwriting course

 

Start telling the stories only YOU can write! (and damn the consequences!)

Here are two pieces of very good advice on writing from masters of the craft. “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.”

That comes from Neil Gaiman, best-selling American author of The Sandman and Stardust.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.You can learn how to write about the real you, as only you can do, on Jo Parfitt’s unique Writing Your Life Stories course at the Watermill next June. If you’ve been itching to write some of the stories of your life, as a full-blooded memoir, a shorter journal, over a series of anecdotes or even a blog or two, we’d be delighted to welcome you here. Here are some comments from guests on Jo’s course at the Watermill earlier this year: Thank you so much for the most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!”   “The Watermill is a very special and beautiful place, and everything was organised so perfectly. Everyone was so hospitable, and Joe is a brilliant tutor. Thanks again to you and your team for such a life affirming week.” “What a joyful and inspiring world you have created there… magical days.”

The Write Your Life Stories creative writing course is 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. 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. Sessions at the mill will empower students to write in a compelling way that makes real experiences come to life.”

Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She 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 will be with us again from 15-22 June 2019 and we’d be delighted to welcome you on her course. And don’t forget, if you book now you can take advantage of our enticing Early Bird offer. Yes, there’s a £75 discount if you book on this inspiring writing course before 31 December 2018. You can find out more about Jo and her course at the Watermill by clicking here.

And that second piece of writing advice? It comes from the inimitable American author Mark Twain, who said: “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”

So, the Duke of Wellington said “publish and be damned!”, but Mark Twain says: “undamn and be published.”  I suspect in this day and age, however, where we are used to much stronger language in print and elsewhere, that our editors would leave in the damns so it’s up to you to delete the verys.

Learn more about the fascinating craft of writing with Jo Parfitt this June.

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

Some of our guests on Jo’s Summer 2018 creative writing course.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness: just the time to plan your 2019 creative week at the Watermill. Read all about it!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.There’s lots to read about in this month’s Watermill newsletter, from ‘notan’ to poetic reflections, and from cool water bottles to solar panels. Eclectic, or what? You can read all about it by clicking here https://watermill.net/mill-news/millnews101/millnews101.php

With so much to say we’re already looking forward to clinking glasses with you on the vine verandah. Our 2019 creative courses, in painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language are filling fast. Time to get your booking in, especially with our enticing £75 discount Early Bird offer. Ci vediamo!

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

It may be misty now but soon there will be more glorious Tuscan sunshine for you to enjoy our stunning locations.

Architect or gardener? Try a bit of both to improve your creative writing!

Architecture…

It is said that there are two types of writers, the ‘architects’, who have everything well-planned before starting to write, and the ‘gardeners’, who have the seed of an idea and simply let it grow as they write.

… and gardening!

I suspect that the successful writer is a little bit of both: you need some sort of blueprint from which to construct your stories, but you also need to allow your creativity to flow spontaneously and let your idea flourish. During Jo Parfitt’s inspiring Write Your Life Stories course here next year she will be helping you with both your writing gardening and your storytelling architectural design!

Gardening: Jo says: “I always include plenty of spontaneous exercises where I present an idea and immediately give students five, 10 or 15 minutes in which to write something. I give them with a seed of an idea, let them start gardening and just see where it takes them; how it grows. For me, I start with the germ of an idea, one that is not yet fully formed, put fingers to keyboard and go with the flow, writing from my gut until my ideas run out. I work out what I am going to say while I am writing it.”

Architecture: Jo says: “After a break (a few hours or more) I return to the piece to put some structure onto it, adding subheadings if I feel I need them, maybe moving the text around a bit and cutting unnecessary words.”

Jo adds:It makes no difference whether you are a gardener or an architect, or, better still a bit of both. It is okay to start off with a detailed plan or with just a seed. What matters is that you accept who you are and learn to craft your natural style into a coherent piece worth reading.”

One of the best ways 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.

We had a wonderful Write Your Life Stories course with Joe last summer and here are some of the comments from our guests:

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

Some of our guests on Jo’s May creative writing course here this year.

“What a joyful and inspiring world you and Lois have created there. Very glad to be back in touch through our shared love of writing and beauty, in which your oasis in Tuscany abounds. With great affection whenever I think of those magical days.

“I had an excellent time at the Watermill and thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and the company. It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and I think we all had an amazing time. Thanks for such a life affirming week.”

 “Thank you so much for the most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” 

Why not hone your own writing (architectural and gardening) skills on Jo’s Write your Life’s Stories week here next year? It will run from Saturday 15 June to Saturday 22 June 2019.

Jo says: “The course at the watermill will provide a 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.”

She adds: “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 Parfitt has published 32 books herself, 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 Parfitt

15 June to 25 June 2015 

Write Your Life Stories 

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

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

Find a quiet corner to start writing your life’s stories

They wore the green beret

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Here is the knitting group on the last evening of Lisa Richardson’s fun-filled week posing in the Watermill sitting room wearing some of the products of their week’s work, lovely green berets.

As well as the knitters, you can see our manager Karsten Muller joining in the spirit of things. Thank you very much, Lisa and all our guests for a week full of laughter and bonhomie. We really enjoyed your company and we look forward to seeing many of you next year, as you are already booked into knitting, creative writing or painting courses in 2019. Our thanks for all your support.

And thanks too, to Lea Marissen for the picture above. And for the one below. Our guests Shelley and Tim Ellison were celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary so we ensured it was properly commemorated, with 22 candles and best wishes in the Watermill dining room.

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

We now have more than 160 bookings for next year’s creative courses, so if you’re keen to come now is the time to get your booking in, especially as we have an enticing Early Bird discount offer: £75 off any one of our 2019 creative courses, if you book your place before the end of December this year. If you have a favourite tutor or a special time of year, now is the time to reserve your place. We look forward to welcoming you here.

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

Jumping for joy on a Watermill painting course!

Walking in the misty mountains

Steve Rutherford, a non-knitting partner on Lisa Richardson’s fun-filled knitting course this week has been enjoying walking in the mighty Apennine mountains above the Watermill. Here are a couple of his atmospheric photographs as the mists and clouds gathered in.

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

 

Thank you Steve for sharing these with us.

Service with a smile

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

Picture: Lea Marissen

Here’s our lovely Girl Friday Annabelle Scott setting the table on the vine verandah ready for lunch for those of our guests who didn’t go off on the excursion to Lucca or the Cinque Terre.

We’d love to welcome you to the Watermill for one of our creative courses next year: the perfect combination of unspoiled Italy and inspiring tuition. For details of all our courses – painting, creative writing, knitting, Italian language – please click here.

There will be plenty of sunshine and plenty of smiles.

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