Archives for May 2018

Brightening our local town with a bicycle made for fun

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This bright and flowery mauve bicycle has just been put in place outside the Caffe del Angelo half way up the via Roma in the nearby walled Medieval town of Fivizzano. Complimenti to the café owners for their aesthetic enterprise, which really adds to the town’s ambiance.

You can come and see the bicycle during one of our fun-filled, sun-filled creative weeks this year. We still have a few places left on our 2018 painting courses (and on our memoir writing course). Details below.

And we are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

Availability on 2018 creative courses at the Watermill.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein
9 June to 16 June 2018 –1 place or 2 sharing
Watercolours

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

 

Andrew plus pic

Andrew Geeson
23 June to 30 June 2018 –1 place or 2 sharing

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 3 places

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

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

Terry Jarvis’ lovely watercolour of market day in nearby Fivizzano, where we go on location during our painting week

The spirit of the Watermill

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.This delightful watercolour demonstration painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann captures the essence of the Watermill: our sunny courtyard, comfortable cushions, the interplay of light and shade…

Mind you, it hasn’t always been sunny this week. We’ve endured heavy rain and noisy thunderstorms.  But it looks like being good weather today as our guests go off to paint at the tranquil Convento di Carmine.

If you’d like to join us this year, we still have a few places left on our 2018 painting courses (and on our memoir writing course). Details below.

And we are already taking bookings for our 2019 creative courses, with a special offer of any 2019 creative week at 2018 prices. Please go to our 2019 courses preview section, by clicking here.

Availability on 2018 creative courses at the Watermill.

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
  1/2 places

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

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

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

 

Andrew plus pic

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 3 places

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

Painting by Maggie Renner Hellmann, a tutor at The Watermill at Posara painting holidays/vacations, Tuscany, Italy.

‘Last light Tuscany’, by Maggie Renner Hellmann

A walk from a castle to a pilgrim church

The Watermill at Posara for painting, knitting, creative writing and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.This stone angel can be found at the parish church in Pognana and was taken by Watermill guest Cliff Anderson when he and his fellow non-painting partner Richard Hausman took the walk across the valley of the Mommio river while the painters on Maggie Renner Hellmann’s week painted the castle and village of Verrucola. Thank you for sharing it with us, Cliff.

The walk begins below the castle on an ancient path across a Medieval arched bridge over a river gorge.  It ends at the 12th Century Romanesque church of Santa Maria Assunta di Pognana, one of the churches on the pilgrim trail to Rome, the Via Francigena.

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

Cliff’s panoramic view down the valley from Pognana church.

As well as the ancient bridge over the river gorge and the great views down the valley from Pognana to Fivizzano and beyond, our walkers were able to enjoy the church bell phenomenon. On a good day, with little wind, you can hear four different churches tell you the time. But they are not synchronised, so each strikes the hour (and the half hour) at slightly different time. 1230 is an exciting time to be here!

Meanwhile the painters were looking for somewhere to paint in Verrucola:

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

Photo: Maggie Renner Hellmann

The Pognana walk is just one of the fun activities we offer non-painting (or non-writing, non-knitting, non-language-learning) partners. You can see more by clicking here. There is also a generous £GBP 250 discount if they share a room with you. Our 2018 courses are pretty full, but there are a few places left:

Painting:

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
 – 1/2 places

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

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

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

 

Andrew plus pic

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

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

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

 

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

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

Picture: The Local

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

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

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

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

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

Tagliatelle ai funghi porcini, a Watermill speciality

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

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

Sandra plus picSandra Strohschein

2 June to 9 June 2018
  1/2 places

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

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

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

 

Andrew plus pic

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

On our Writing you Life’s Stories week:

Jo plus pic

Write Your Life Stories
Jo Parfitt

18 August to 25 August 2018 Still a few places

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

And on our yoga retreat:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Come and enjoy a convivial and colourful week.

How to keep bad backs at bay, by Amy

Bad backs are the bane of Western living, caused often by our sedentary lifestyles Our lovely yoga guru Amy Rogg, who is mentoring a course in Bali at the moment, has just sent me this well-focussed yoga tip on ways to loosen your spine

She says: “Spinal opening and flexibility are essential to feeling good and pain free. The most important nerve connections are in the spine so here are some ways to prevent stagnation and compression and maintain fluidity and malleability.”

Here are the exercises:

1) Cat/cow (see top): find a table top position on your hands and knees. As you inhale, drop your belly and ribs towards the floor, looking up and flaring your tailbone. As you exhale round the spine and push into the palms to press out of your shoulders. Repeat this spinal undulation for 1-2 minutes, aligning breath and movement.

2) Anahata kriya (left): scross-legged and hold your knees with your hands.

Start moving the torso in a circular motion, taking the heart around in a circle in one direction.  Do this for one minute. Then switch directions for another minute.

3) Downward/plank (above): start in downward dog. Lift into the toes and round the spine like a wave towards plank pose. From plank, bend your knees and scoop your hips back to downward dog. Repeat these wave undulations 6-8 times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yoga girl