And a river runs by: come and paint it at the Watermill and have the time of your life

The vibrant painting above is by Mark Warner, who was a tutor at the Watermill in 2017 and who will be returning for another inspiring painting week next year. The picture is a sneak preview and will be telling you all about Mark’s 2020 course in the next few months. For our regular weekend update on availability of this year’s (2019) courses, I thought we might have a river theme. The river Rosaro, rising in the high Apennine mountains some 10 or 12 miles from the Watermill, gushes past our back door and is a favourite location for our painting guests. So this could be you, in this picture by Doranne Alden.

Here’s a watercolour by Mike Willdridge, capturing the watery scene.

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

And here’s one of my favourites, a lovely watercolour by a former painting tutor John Christian:

And here are some members of a painting group a painting group with Sandra Strohschein last year, showing off their work down by the Riverside:

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

Why not come and see for yourself, on a painting holiday or one of our creative writing, knitting or Italian language weeks? And remember: from the moment we pick you up at Pisa airport on your first Saturday the moment we drop you back there a week later, we’ll look after your every need, in a safe and caring environment. When I say EVERYTHING, I mean:

  • all tuition fees and accommodation
  • local transportation (including transfers to and from Pisa airport; including a mid- week excursion by train to a Tuscan beauty spot or historic town).
  • all meals including breakfast, gourmet picnics on location, pre-dinner aperitifs, dinner at the mill or at small and friendly local restaurants with regional Italian dishes and wines.

 All you have to do is to get to Pisa and we do the rest!

Our 2019 holidays are filling fast: we already have a record 240 bookers for our 21 courses, so big thanks to all those who have supported us by booking up for this year. We still have places on some of our courses, however, and the availability is listed below. And even if you see a course you particularly like is fully booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: there often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list. But to be safe why not come and join one of our inspiring and sympathetic tutors where we still have a few places? And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

What’s available: Painting courses

I’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Two or three places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019  Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

The painting courses below are currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come on one of them, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

I’ve listed the knitting courses where we still have availability first:

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Due to cancellations, three or four places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Due to cancellations, three or four places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

The knitting week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

What’s available: Writing courses

I’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the others is but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Five or six places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.
The creative writing week below is currently fully booked fully booked, BUT there are always cancellations. If you’d like to come , please don’t hesitate to get in touch: we will put you on a waiting list and let you know as soon as there is a space.

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Italian language course

Our Italian language course is currently fully booked, but that may be cancellations, so if you’re interested please contact us and we’ll put you on the waiting list.

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us at info@watermill.net.) 

The Watermill, warm hospitality, superb scenery, delicious food, inspiring tuition – and the river Rosaro, all await you!

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

Another lovely watercolour of the river Rosaro, this one by Sandra Strohschein

 

Good fortune, fulfilled dreams: try a 777 creative holiday at the Watermill!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.I was thinking recently about the fact that everything is included in a Watermill creative holiday, whether it’s painting, creative writing, knitting or Italian language. From the moment we pick you up at Pisa airport on your first Saturday the moment we drop you back there a week later, we’ll look after your every need, in a safe and caring environment. When I say EVERYTHING, I mean:

  • all tuition fees and accommodation
  • local transportation (including transfers to and from Pisa airport; including a mid- week excursion by train to a Tuscan beauty spot or historic town).
  • all meals including breakfast, gourmet picnics on location, pre-dinner aperitifs, dinner at the mill or at small and friendly local restaurants with regional Italian dishes and wines.

 All you have to do is to get to Pisa and we do the rest!

So, among other things, that means seven breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners, and that got me thinking about the number 777. Hadn’t I read somewhere that it was a rather special number? I did a bit of research (well, looked it up on Google) and found that 777 is associated with luck, good fortune, miracles, optimism, fulfilled dreams and support from above. 777 is also used on most slot machines in the United States to identify a jackpot.

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

I don’t know about support from above, but I do know that you’d enjoy good fortune and help yourself to fulfil your dreams by coming on a Watermill creative holiday. Yes, you will hit the jackpot!

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

Fulfil your dreams: grab your place

Our 2019 holidays are filling fast: we already have a record 236 bookers for our 21 courses, so big thanks to all those who have supported us by booking up for this year. We still have places on some of our courses, however, and the availability is listed below. And even if you see a course you particularly like is fully booked, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: there often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list. But to be safe why not come and join one of our inspiring and sympathetic tutors where we still have a few places? And why not bring your non-participating partners well? Not only is there a generous £250 reduction for them (sharing a room with you), but we have plenty of activities for them. Find out more about that by clicking here.

What’s available: Painting courses

I’ve listed the painting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Two or three places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Three or four places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019  Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

I’ve listed the knitting courses where we still have availability first, the others that are full, but for which there is a waiting list, follow these.

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

What’s available: Writing courses

I’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the others is but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Five or six places left
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019Fully booked, waiting list open
Write Your Life Stories
To learn more about Jo and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Italian language course

Our Italian language course is currently fully booked, but that may be cancellations, so if you’re interested please contact us and we’ll put you on the waiting list.

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us at info@watermill.net.) 

You might even fly in on a Boeing 777!

Watermill creative holidays: fantastic tuition in a safe and caring environment

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

Be inspired with a group of like-minded people

Now is the time to book your place on a Watermill creative holiday – painting, writing, knitting or Italian language. Inspiring tuition, wonderful scenery, delicious food, a safe and caring environment.  We will look after your every need from the moment we pick you up at Pisa airport on the first Saturday, until we drop you off again at the airport at the end of your week.

Some 230 places out of a total of 250 or so have already been booked for our 2019 creative courses, but there are still quite a few places left on some weeks. If there’s a particular tutor or a particular week you would like to come on, and you find ithe course is fully booked, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There are often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list and contact you as soon as a place becomes available.

Bring your partner or friend. Why not bring your friend or partner? 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, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners (please click here) on all our creative courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

What’s available: Painting courses

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Three or four places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Three or four places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019  Two or three places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

What’s available: Knitting courses

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

Writing courses

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
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 Still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

 

Italian language course

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us at info@watermill.net. ) 

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

Students demonstrate their work on the last day of a painting course last year.

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

Concentration on one of Sarah Hazell’s knitting courses

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

Finding a quiet corner to start writing

The Watermill February newsletter is just out

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, ItalyOur February newsletter has just been published and you can read all about it by clicking here. In this month’s newsletter there are stories on:

  • why the Watermill is ideal for the single traveller
  • Mike reaches his hundredth
  • how we oldies took selfies
  • cities, landscapes, people: all captured by Varvara’s brush
  • a scriptwriting success story
  • Debbie’s stunning blankets
  • do you know your sugo from your salsa?

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

And, of course, all the latest information on the availability of our 2019 painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language courses. We are filling fast, so now is the time to reserve your place. There are full details of the availability for all our courses in the newsletter. Just click here.

 

There won’t be snow but you will be a cool scriptwriting dude!

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.These two ‘cool dudes’ (according to my daughter Lara Breckon, at least) were recently snapped at the top of the funicular in Champéry in Switzerland. In case you hadn’t recognised us, it is Lois and me – and we were not about to whizz down the black slopes: we were here for an après ski lunch, even though we hadn’t skied. And very tasty it was too: cheesy fondue washed down by a glass or two of Sancerre.

We were indulging in the high life with Laurence and Brigitte Marks, taking a few days break to keep Laurence company as he watched dozens of films in his role as a judge for BAFTA.  In the four or five days that we were there we watched 16 films: good bad and indifferent. It’ll be interesting to see which of them wins the BAFTA awards this year. We were very taken with Cold War, a black-and-white Polish film which capture the atmosphere of Poland behind the Iron Curtain, with stunning cinematography. We also liked Green Book, charting a journey of a black musician and a white Italian driver through the deep South the worst days of segregation. And I liked The Favourite, even though Laurence and Lois didn’t warm to it at all.

A fearsome threesome of femmes in The Favourite.

Become a better scriptwriter

In between our watching, eating, drinking and great conversation, we also discussed this year’s special unique week-long Scriptwriting course, which is to be run in September by Laurence and his long-time writing partner Maurice Gran.  We think this is going to be one of the great creative courses at the Watermill this year. If you aspire to join the scriptwriting greats, particularly writing comedy drama for television, now is the time to bag your place on Laurence and Maurice’s course.

We can’t offer you snow, but we can offer beautiful scenery, first-class accommodation, wonderful food, good conversation and above all advice from the experts on how to become a successful scriptwriter for TV, films and the theatre.

Comedy and drama legends

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a FeatherGoodnight SweetheartThe New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. 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. It’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well.

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.

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

Tessa at another student to listen to words of wisdom on the vine verandah.

How Laurence and Maurice helped Tessa to scriptwriting success

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our congratulations to Tessa Coates, who is currently writing a pilot comedy show for the ABC television network in America. She is being tipped by the trade papers over there as ‘the discovery of the 2018-2019 development season.’

Tessa, who was one of our students on a Scriptwriting course at the Watermill, gained the prestigious ABC contract after wowing a Hollywood audience with her one-woman show, called Primates and inspired by her college degree in anthropology.

Tessa tells me that she attributes no small part of her success to the support and advice of Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the ‘comedy writing legends’ who run the Watermill scriptwriting course.

Tessa says: “I had the most fantastic week at the Watermill, the food, location and sheer hospitality are second to none and you could not ask to be better looked after. To sit under the vines and learn from Living Legends is an opportunity that does not come round very often. They truly are not only two of the best writers around, but enormously generous with their knowledge. I’m incredibly lucky to say I now write comedy for a living, and I do that in no small part because of the support and wisdom for Laurence and Maurice.”

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

Tessa at another student to listen to words of wisdom on the vine verandah.

From Edinburgh to London to Los Angeles

Tessa describes herself as a ‘writer, performer, freelance journalist, enthusiastic teller of anecdotes that may or may not have happened.’ She was one-third of the sketch group Massive Dad and performed Primates,  her debut solo show, at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, followed by a run at the Soho Theatre in London early 2018.

Last June, ahead of the 2018-19 US TV development season, Tessa flew in to Los Angeles to perform her show at the Lyric Theatre and Improv Lab and, thanks to wildfire word-of-mouth, the later performances of the show where a sell-out and Tessa found herself performing to a room full of Hollywood executives. It all led to her being commissioned to writing the pilot for ABC. Again, our many congratulations to Tessa. We shall be watching her progress with interest and admiration.

If your ambition is to become a successful scriptwriter like Tessa, you could do no better than to attend Laurence and Maurice’s inspiring Scriptwriting course at the Watermill this September.

Comedy legends

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran are famous for such TV hits as Birds of a FeatherGoodnight SweetheartThe New Statesman and Shine on Harvey Moon. 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. It’s not just comedy: Marks and Gran are producing serious dramatic works as well.

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.

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.

Tessa in full Sound of Music mode in the mountains near the Watermill

How we oldies took selfies and were ready to talk on the phone

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our Facebook friend and Watermill guest last year, Nancy Kimsey Anderson, recently posted the picture above to try to persuade her younger friends that this was the way we oldies used to take selfies. I wonder if they believed her!

Talking of phones, I thought I might share with you part of a blog post I did some time back about telephones and the Italians. Here it is.

Why do the Italians say ‘Pronto’ when they answer the phone?

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

I’m ready. Where is Bill?

If you’ve ever heard an Italian answering the phone, you may have been mildly surprised to hear that the first thing most of them say is Pronto. That means ‘Ready’ or ‘I’m ready.’ But why do they say this instead of ‘Hello’ or even just giving their number?

The answer goes back to the early days of the telephone when to make calls across Italy one had to go through an operator. You’d call him or her and give the number, then hang up. In due course your phone would ring and the operator would say: “Are to ready to accept a call to (the number)?”  And of course, you would reply: Pronto. ‘Ready.’

Somehow that response has stuck in the Italian telephonic psyche, so even in these days of instant mobile communication just about anywhere in the country (or the world) they still say Pronto when answering a call.

Watermill creative courses: find out more on the Interweb!

These days, of course, we don’t have to communicate solely on the telephone, we oldies can use what I like to call, infuriating my children, the Interweb, so I’m going to use this post to keep you up-to-date on availability on all the Watermill’s creative courses this year.

We are filling fast but still have plenty of places with different tutors. If there’s a particular tutor or a particular week you would like to come on and you find it is fully booked, don’t hesitate to get in touch. There are often cancellations and we will put you on a waiting list and get in touch as soon as a place becomes available.

Bring your partner or friend. Why not bring your friend or partner? 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, to come out with you to our beautiful locations. We also offer a range of Alternative activities for partners (please click here) on all our creative courses, as well as a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you.

Painting courses

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Three or four places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Four or five places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Four or five places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019  Four or five places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Knitting courses

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Due to cancellations: One or two places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

Writing courses

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 One or two places left
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 Still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

 

Italian language course

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. We are ready for your call on (UK number +44 (20) 7193 6246) or email us oldies using the Interweb, on info@watermill.net. ) 

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

Last chance to claim your Early Bird discount on a Watermill painting, writing or knitting course

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

Get a move on! Pass it on!

Now is the time to grab your place on one of the Watermill’s fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring creative courses, especially as we only have four days to go for our Early Bird special offer: there’s a discount of £75 (English pounds) if you book any of our 2019 creative courses before 31 December 2018.

Nearly 220 people have now booked in for the Watermill’s 2019 creative courses. Since we only have some 240/250 places you can see that we are well on the way to being full! We do have availability on some of our inspiring painting courses, however, and on our creative writing courses, particularly the Scriptwriting course by those ‘living legends’ of comedy, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, which we have opened only recently.

So, have a look through the list and see if anything takes your fancy. And if you see below that your favourite tutor is fully booked, don’t worry too much, there are often cancellations. So please be in touch and we will put you on the waiting list.

On the other hand, to be sure of a place on a Watermill painting course, why not choose one of our other inspiring tutors where there are still places?

Painting courses

Paul Talbot-Greaves
27 April to 4 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Watercolours
To learn more about Paul and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Keiko Tanabe
18 – 25 May 2019 Fully booked, waitings list
Watercolours
To learn more about Keiko and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sandra Strohschein
1 – 8 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
8 – 15 June 2019
 Fully booked, waiting list open

Watercolours
To learn more about Sandra and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Vicki Norman
22 – 29 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Oils en plein air
To learn more about Vicki and her course at the mill, please see our 2019 Courses Preview page.

 

Painting by Mike Willdridge, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Mike Willdridge
29 June – 6 July 2019 Two or three places left
Watercolours and drawing (also gouache and acrylics with an emphasis on sketching and drawing on location)
To learn more about Mike and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 Three or four places left
Watercolours, pastels, collage and mixed media plus acrylics
To learn more about Sue and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Jude Scott
17 – 24 August 2019 Four or five places left
24 – 31 August 2019
 One place left

Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Four or five places left
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Claire Warner
14 – 21 September 2019 Four or five places left
Watercolours, oils and acrylics
To learn more about Claire and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Maggie Renner Hellmann
21 – 28 September 2019  Fully booked, waiting list open
Courageous Color Workshop’ in oils, acrylics, pastels and watercolors
To learn more about Maggie and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

Charles Sluga
28 September – 5 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours, acrylics and oils
To learn more about Charles and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Tim Wilmot
5 – 12 October 2019 One or two places left
Watercolours
To learn more about Tim and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Five or six places left
Watercolours
To learn more about David and his course at the mill, please visit his 2019 Profile Page.

 

Knitting courses

 

Sarah Hazell
4 – 11 May 2019 Two or three places left
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Sarah and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

Debbie Abrahams
25 May – 1 June 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Debbie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Marie Wallin
6 – 13 July 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Knitting and La Dolce Vita
To learn more about Marie and her knitting week at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page

 

Writing courses

 

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

Jo Parfitt
15 – 22 June 2019 Four or five places left
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 Still plenty of places
To learn more about Laurence and Maurice and to register an interest in their course at the mill, please visit their 2019 Profile Page.

Italian language course

Langues services and Francesca la Sala 
11 – 18 May 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Italian language
To learn more about Francesca and her course at the mill, please click here.

 

We’d be delighted if you could join us. Please click here for more details about all our 2019 creative courses. And be an Early Bird to catch those remaining places.

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

An honourable mention for a Watermill painting guest

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Pam Paszke, who was one of our painting guests on one of Sandra Strohschein’s painting courses last year, has just emailed to tell us how much she enjoyed our Christmas newsletter and she also comments: I have such fond memories of my time there with both of you and Sandra.”  Her art is going along rather well, too: “I have won an honourable mention at our state fair for one piece!  Yippee!!”  That’s Pam’s picture above.

We remember Pam particularly because during the week she organised impromptu pre-breakfast Tai Chi sessions on the roof terrace above the courtyard dining doom. Another guest, Steve Harger, took the picture below of some of the group in gentle action. Now Pam has gone on to procure her Tai Chi certification and she says: Who knew that would come out of a painting holiday!” So, many congratulations to Pam on two counts.

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

I used to do Tai Chi myself when we lived in Scotland and I am thinking of taking it up again. Maybe see you on the roof terrace? Not a bad way to start the day, especially with stunning views of the Apennine mountains, the backbone of Italy, in the distance…

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

We can’t promise you Tai Chi every week, but we can promise you sun-filled, fun-filled, stimulating and inspiring creative weeks, whether it’s painting, writing, knitting or learning Italian. Come and join us in 2019! Find out more by clicking here.

 

The Watermill Christmas newsletter is just out

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.Our Christmas newsletter has just been published and you can read all about it by clicking here. In this not-so-serious festive edition, there are stories on:
*Famous couples and the Watermill
*Forbidden fruit
* The advantages of simple origami and a bubbly talk
*Driven to abstraction
*Shedding new light on ancient Florence.

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

And, of course, all the latest information on the availability of our 2019 painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language courses. We are filling fast, so now is the time to reserve your place, especially as you only have a week or so to go before the end of our Early Bird discount offer of £75 off any of our creative courses if you book before the end of this year.

We love to welcome you to the Watermill, but in the meantime our warmest wishes to you and yours for a happy Christmas and a healthy and creative New Year. And bring a partner (octopus optional!)

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