Day two rolled around pretty quickly - grey and rainy morning ... time to head for a warm, dry workshop to face the lathe.
I was pretty apprehensive, as I have never been anywhere near one of these machines before, and had promised to return home with all fingers intact (both hands). The lesson involved a pretty quick demo of how to put a bit of wood onto the spindles, an explanation of the gouging and turning tools and their use, and an efficient display by Alastair of the steps involved ... and in seemingly no time he was holding up a stool leg and telling us that we were ready to go ahead.
Anyway - got there - then a bit of smoothing with sandpaper while the legs are still spinning, followed by burnishing. This was done by grabbing a handfull of the shavings off the floor (and there were plenty - near ankle-deep) and cupping your hand under the turned leg with light pressure and letting the shavings rub the leg, leaving a really nice sheen.
For a FAR better summary of the process, here's Peter Galbert's youtube demo of the process - the man is a maestro, no question.