Newsletter April 2014

The Conlan School Course Guide

The Conlan School Course Guide demonstrates the broad range of study programmes we can offer you and your students. Through our ever growing network of contacts in the business and educational community, our aim is to provide experiences that will expand knowledge and increase confidence within the culture of Wales and the UK. We hope that during your time with us you and your students can progress personally and positively in every aspect of life!

Please, click here to download "The Conlan School Course Guide"!

Phrase of the Month - Under the thumb

Meaning: completely under someone's control.
Origin: Few fields of endeavour have as much false etymology associated with them as falconry. 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' derives from hunting with birds of prey and this has seemingly led to a spate of supposed derivations along the same lines. 'Hoodwinked' is said to derive from putting a cloth cap over the eyes of a falcon to calm the bird by simulating night time and 'old codger' is said to derive from the carrier of the cadge or cage that held the birds. Neither of these has any basis in fact.
Being 'under one's thumb' is just a figurative expression that alludes to being completely under another's control. The allusion was to a protagonist so powerful and a victim so insignificant that even the former's thumb was strong enough to control them. None of the early references relates to falconry, or to any other specific origin. The phrase was always used to refer to a powerful person, like a king or lord, exercising control over a subject. The earliest reference I can find to the expression in print is from the 18th century English politician Arthur Maynwaring in The Life and Posthumous Works of Arthur Maynwaring, 1715, which, as is strongly hinted at in the title, was printed after his death:”The French King having them under his Thumb, compell'd them to go at his Pace.”
The phrase was well enough established by the 19th century for it to spawn the verb form 'thumbing'. This was defined in James Halliwell's Dictionary Of Archaic And Provincial Words, 1847, as: Thumbing: A Nottingham phrase, used to describe that species of intimidation practised by masters on their servants when the latter are compelled to vote as their employers please.
'Under the thumb' is still used today with much the same meaning as when it was coined in the 18th century. It's not entirely clear what meaning Mick Jagger and Keith Richards had in mind when they wrote the eponymous 'Under My Thumb' in 1966, but it probably wasn't falconry.

Art Exhibition at ITACA

Monday, the 7th of April in the Itaca cafe (in the same building as our Abergele school) an art exhibition was held by the students of the “A. Passaglia” art school in Tuscany. The group arrived during the first week of April and the program prepared by Conlan School for them was on different forms of art, local artists etc.
The exhibition was centered on portraits of landscapes, nudes, students’ self-portraits and portraits of horses. The students took care of everything: from the set-up of the room with their masterpieces to the handmade leaflets to distribute to passers-by and to some Emrys school teachers. The public display was a great success: a large number of Emrys art students and members of the public came to see the exhibition, and the students took them around the show and explained to them what they did, why they did it and the techniques used.

Llandudno Extravaganza & Transport Festival

The Llandudno Transport Festival is held every year in May on the sea-front showground in one of the most picturesque bays of the UK. Llandudno is Wales' largest resort and famed for its Victorian style and Edwardian elegance.
The Transport Festival is the largest in Wales and one of the U.K.'s best-loved events. It is held in conjunction with the Victorian Extravaganza. Costume, vintage fairground and a host of attractions combine in a unique annual celebration of transport and entertainment heritage within the town.
This year it is being held from 3rd to 5th May 2014. The Saturday road run normally takes in a tour of the World Heritage town of Conwy, via Llanrhos and Deganwy. Further details of the Saturday road run will be available on the Festival Field during the late afternoon. Sunday sees two major events, there is the annual Crosville gathering of buses, coaches and enthusiasts ancient and modern and the Extravaganza street parade. Festival entrants join with walkers in costume, cyclists, marching bands, entertainers and traction engines to circle the town. The spectacle lasts almost an hour.
On Sunday evening the second road run normally takes place around the celebrated Marine Drive for superb coastal views and most unusual photo-opportunities. The half-way stop by the 'Rest and be Thankful' cafe is a transport spectacular in itself. There will be more information on whether the road run takes place on the Festival field. The Extravaganza street parade around the town is repeated at midday on Monday.

Chester Food, Lifestyle and Drink Festival 2014

If you have never been to this event before than you really don’t know what you are missing.
You enter through the Pavilion at Chester Racecourse where you are met by some of the county’s finest Cheese makers, the region’s great cider makers, game sellers from Cumbria, dry cured meats from North Wales – and you are only in the first part of this Extravaganza. Making your way outside you see purveyors of fine coffees, stone baked pizzas, children cooking with the Academy of Culinary Arts…
Moving on you come to the restaurant village where some of Cheshire’s finest provide you with foods from right across the world: Thai, Japanese, Italian, even Mongolian food, as well as some home-cooked treats. Next it’s through the Taste Cheshire village and then on to the lifestyle section featuring the Grosvenor Art Society, or key cooking demonstrations and more great food and drink exhibitors. The whole experience takes about 4-5 hours and all for less than £20. Now that’s a great family day out this Easter

Host Family Interview

Steve and Becky Landon – host family in Abergele.

How long have you been a host family?
We have been a host family for about 7 years, since 2008.
Why did you choose to become a host family?
When I was a child my parents did it and I enjoyed a lot meeting other people from different nationalities and I wanted my kids to experience the same things.
What do you like of being a host family?
Of course the extra income that you gain from being a host family but also the mix of culture that you experience is wonderful.
What are the students hosted like?
The students are very good! 99% of the time they are polite and well mannered. With some of them we also keep in contact. For example, years ago I met one of the students in Rome that hosted me and my family.
Steve and Becky have four children, who are growing up fast and getting to know many different students from different countries. This is helping them understand the world and have an appreciation for different cultures.
Steve has also worked for Conlan School as an EFL teacher, and many students will never forget having a class with him!
Thanks to the Landons for all their help and support over the years!! Long may it continue…