Archives for July 2018

The Watermill through the trees

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.On a recent ‘constitutional’ walk up the steep panoramic road towards Angino, we took this picture of the Watermill through the trees. Doesn’t it look peaceful? We are enjoying our Summer break here, with British, French and Italian friends, before heading off for a few days in London and Paris.

We are delighted to say that all our creative courses for the rest of 2018 are fully booked — although we have just had a cancellation for Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça’s outstanding pastel course this September, so there’s room for one more:

Nel and Bec plus pic

Pastels

Nel Whatmore and Rebecca de Mendonça

1-8 September 2018 One place available

To learn more about Nel and Rebecca and their course at The Watermill, please click here.

Bookings are now flowing in for our 2019 courses: nearly 100 people have already reserved their place. You have just over a month to take advantage of our tempting ‘2019 courses at 2018 prices’ , which ends at the end of August. More about all our fun-filled, sun-filled, inspiring creative courses can be found in our 2019 preview by clicking here.

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

Nel captures the magical morning light on a Watermill terrace.

The Watermill’s war on plastic

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

We’ve become increasing embarrassed at the Watermill by the amount of plastic waste we’ve been generating. We have a big green Eurobin in our carpark dedicated solely to plastic waste for recycling and every week it has been stuffed to the gunnels.

Every time we see a picture like the one below, we feel an accusatory finger pointing our way!

Our chief culprits are plastic water bottles. We’ve been providing bottled water free to our guests, conscious that in the warm weather everyone needs to be properly hydrated. In particular, our painting guests take water bottles out on location and they’ve been getting though a least a bottle a day. Creative writing, knitting and Italian language guests swig a fair number too – and so they should.

Cost is not an issue: we get special ‘loss leader’ offers from our local supermarket, so six litres of water costs us a mere one Euro. No, it’s that overflowing plastics bin that made us feel we were contributing to global environmental pollution.

So, we’ve come up with a solution to look after our guests and keep them happy waterwise. That’s Lois above demonstrating the solution in action.  We have purchased a couple of dozen robust stainless steel vacuum flasks and we’ve marked each one with a number. We loan a flask to each of our guests for their creative week. They fill them with water at the tap from our mains supply and can even cool their water with ice from our new ice-making machine. Each week the flasks are sterilised in our dishwasher, for re-use by the incoming guests.

It’s just a bit more of a faff than plucking a plastic bottle from the fridge. But we reckon it’s worth it – and our guests on last week’s knitting course, the first to try the new experiment, all thought it a great idea and worth the (slight) effort. We hope you agree!

We are becoming even more environmentally friendly here.

The Watermill is surrounded by two environmentally protected areas: the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines and the Regional Park of the Apuan Alps. The air and the water are pure and unpolluted, and the area abounds in wildlife.

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

A swallowtail butterfly at the Watermill. Picture: Lara Breckon

We have undertaken sensitive restoration, seeking where possible to incorporate modern energy-saving construction methods in the upgrading process, from insulated roofs to double-glazed windows. We source all our food locally wherever possible, growing some of our own and using local suppliers and producers.

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

Tomatoes fresh from the Watermill garden.

In our next phase of development, we plan not only to restore the roofs and walls of the water-powered turbine mill (Mill 2), but also to incorporate photovoltaic panels in the restored roof structures, to generate ‘green’ electricity.

 

 

And there are (sorry!) no plastic ducks in our bathrooms…

Too many of us get lost at sea!