Enjoying words and music at the Watermill

Picture: Sue Reed

We added an extra aesthetic dimension yesterday to Jo Parfitt’s Writing Your Life Stories week, with a little light evening music to entertain our guests during their Tuesday evening aperitivi. Local teenagers Letizia and Harry, sitting under the rose pergola, played tunes ancient and modern as we sipped our pre-dinner drinks under the vine verandah.

You, too, could enjoy convivial company, relaxed conversation, inspiring tuition – and incidental music – when Jo returns next year. She will be with us from 9-16 May 2020. And if you book now, you can enjoy Jo’s inspiring 2020 course at 2019 prices. Three people have already booked up. You can see a preview of Joe’s 2020 course and, if you like, reserve your place, by clicking here.

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

A collage of conversation compiled by Sue Reed.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, sculpting, knitting, creative writing, Italian language and yoga, holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.Jo Parfitt is an author, journalist, teacher, blogger, conference speaker and poet. She has published 32 books herself, has helped more than 100 authors into print and more than 1,000 people to begin writing. Jo’s a compassionate, inspiring, and encouraging teacher: her motto is ‘sharing what I know to help others to grow’.

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. You will be empowered to write in a compelling way, bringing your experiences to life.”

Here are some more comments from guests on Jo’s previous courses at the Watermill: “The most magical trip to Tuscany, which will stay with me forever!” “It is a very special and beautiful place and everything was organised so perfectly. Jo is a great tutor and we all had an amazing time.”

The workshop will include several methods and genres 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.

Everything is included in the cost of your holiday at the Watermill: tuition, accommodation (including all linen and towels), 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 or the Cinque Terre). You get to Pisa, Italy, we do the rest!

Preliminary details of our 2020 sun-filled, inspiring painting holidays are on our website at https://watermill.net/.  (Or just type ‘watermill.net’ into your search engine, then click on 2020 Courses Preview.) And don’t forget that if you book now you can enjoy this inspiring 2020 writing course at 2019 prices.

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

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

The Watermill is getting greener!

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

More yellow than red means green: supply easily outstrips demand

As of this week, we are proud to announce, the Watermill is becoming self-sufficient in electricity. We have just commissioned our new photovoltaic energy generation system and we are now happy to say that overall, thanks to the power of the sun, we are producing much more electricity than we are using.

Our sincere thanks to the architect Stefano Santini and his team, and our brilliant builders Nico and Danielle, who aesthetically incorporated the photovoltaic panels in our ancient roofs.The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

As well as helping to save the planet, our solar powered electricity will help to make our guests even more comfortable. We have already made a start on installing air-conditioning units in the Watermill rooms. There is now air conditioning in the studio and in the communal dining room (and in our industrial kitchen, to keep our cooks cool and calm as they prepare your delicious meals). We also now have units in the Lippi Suite and in the Brunelleschi and Donatello bedrooms. We will be working again in October to complete the whole system, so that by the beginning of the 2020 season we should have air-conditioning everywhere, all powered by the sun.

In the first couple of days of operation, as you can see from the picture at the top, we used some 90 kWh of electricity, half of which we generated ourselves and half of which we had to buy from the electricity company. But we also generated more than 100 kWh of extra electricity, which we fed back into the national grid, and for which we will be paid. (Of course, electricity companies pay less for the electricity we supply them than they charge for the electricity they supply us, but even so we think will make more money than we pay, as well as helping to save the planet. On today’s reckoning, we’ve already avoided the production of nearly 140 kg of CO2. A drop in the ocean, it’s true, but you have to start somewhere…)

Here’s a green snapshot of our photovoltaic production at the height of a sunny Tuscan afternoon:

Along with our moves to cut down on the use of plastic, notably with our reusable vacuum flasks and our delivery system for cool natural and fizzy water, we are working hard on the “greening” of the Watermill. Come and enjoy the fruits of our labours yourself!

 

Emily jumped at the chance of returning to the Watermill for a painting holiday: so can you!

The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

Picture: Robert Christopher

Here’s Emily Muhlberger jumping for joy on a Watermill painting course last year. She enjoyed herself so much that she has just bagged the last place on Sandra Strohschein’s painting week this June.

We still have a few more places left on our 2019 creative courses and we would like to suggest that you, too, should jump at the chance and come and join us and see what all the fuss is about.

This is the current availability on our painting courses:

Sue Ford
13 – 20 July 2019 One or two 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 or two places left
Watercolours (plus acrylics and oils)
To learn more about Jude and her course at the mill, please visit her 2019 Profile Page.

 

David Taylor
12 – 19 October 2019 Due to cancellation, three or four 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, 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.

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 Fully booked, waiting list open
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.

 

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.

 

Varvara Neiman
31 August – 7 September 2019 Fully booked, waiting list open
Water-based oils, acrylics and watercolours
To learn more about Varvara 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.

 

And on our writing courses:

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

We’ve listed the creative writing course where we still have availability first, the other is fully booked, but there is a waiting list.

Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran
7 – 14 September 2019 Four or five 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 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.

 

Why not jump at the chance and come and join us!

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

So that’s how it’s done!

 

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

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.

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.

‘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.