Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Working hard...and a day trip to Siena

Walking to lunch in Siena a medieval orchard in the centre of the old city!
The past three days have flown by as we have worked hard on our writing assignments and had a personal meeting with Eloisa after each revision. Bronwyn described the instruction as 'like gold with a sprinkling of diamond dust '.
So true..I have learned more in the last week than I have in three years of writing and I hope it is reflected in future novels. We had decided to all put in and buy a gift for Elosia and present her with a handbag she had  admired. When she set off for the village to buy it for herself on Monday, there was some quick thinking and two of the girls waylaid her in an art gallery while Katrina Snow ran ahead to the handbag shop and filled them in. The lovely proprietor went along with the subterfuge and sadly told Eloisa the bag of her choice had been sold.
So to allay her disappointment she was presented with it after Monday's workshop rather than the presentation dinner on Friday evening. She was delighted with it.
Eloisa was delighted with her orange leather bag...hand made in Florence.
It is hard to believe we are in the second half of our week of the workshop. They days are filled with writing, eating, workshop, instruction and the occasional side trip to the gelataria.
We seem to spend much of each day in this shop!
 The only activity planned for today (other than writing) is a tasting down in the village after lunch. A gelati tasting that is! The flavours are exotic and wide ranging.
Which one today?
I have not tasted any flavour that surpasses the fig and ricotta cheese yet.
On Monday we headed off to visit an Etruscan grave (within walking distance of the gelataria). The views from the top of the hill over the village were superb and the experience of walking inside a 700 B.C. tomb was an awesome never to be forgotten one.
Fiona and the village shops in the background...the handbag shop is near the small tower on the left in a medieval fortified tunnel!
I expected this visit to be special but the experiences are exceeding my highest expectations. Here are some shots of the visit to the Etruscan site.
The avenue to the hill of the Etruscan site.
One of the four graves...each had three rooms
Bronwyn exploring another grave
The Etruscan grave explorers
On the way back to work...Bronwyn, Fiona and Katrina with me

On Tuesday morning we were up bright and early to head to Siena, an hour away courtesy of Fabrizio, our mini bus driver. I rose at 4.30 a.m. to get some words down so by the time I went to bed at 2.30 a.m (more writing) after  our day in Siena...including a two hour lunch in the sun (with vino) and a nine kilometres of walking around the medieval city, I had put in a 22 hour day! You cannot miss one moment. I can sleep on the plane on the flight back home to Australia!
A taste of Siena for you...
A view of the Duomo in Siena before we walked though the medieval alleys across town to get there
In front of the Duomo before our tour. The weather has warmed up!
Walking to the Duomo via St Catherine...patron saint of Italy's residence in the fourteenth century
The ceramics are beautiful
Using the wifi in my new camera to take a  group photo at lunch in the medieval orchard...before the food arrived
And then the food arrived and kept coming...and coming
And we finished with dessert...

Cajsa... who organised the workshop took us on a tour of Siena
To see more ceramics

An exhausted group at the end of a wonderful day

So today will be devoted to gealti and writing, followed by our nightly visit to Il Fondaccio dai Dottori Restaurant another place where the food is divine.  The restaurant cat visits us out on the terrace.
Siobhan and the restaurant cat...
The weather is so warm I am about to brave the icy waters of the hotel pool before writing my next chapter...
Until tomorrow...
Between blogs I am posting photographs and anecdotes on my author page. Come on over and say hello.


  1. Loving your photos and living vicariously through your blog. Would love to have visited the Etruscan tomb; maybe next time! Enjoy the rest of your time there!

  2. Oh thank you so much for sharing with us! I just love Eloisa and I love diamond dust! I look forward to reading the gems you all construct from this lovely experience.

  3. What lovely adventures you all are having! Good to hear you are putting in some writing time but glad I'm not sharing the room while you write all night

  4. What a wonderful experience!


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