Newsletter July 2011

Manchester International Festival - Manchester
30th June to 17th July 2011

Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, and takes place biennially in Manchester, UK. The Festival programme features a wide range of work all specially created for the Festival, including music, visual arts, theatre, dance, food and family events, some indoor and some outdoor, all presented by internationally acclaimed artists and co-producers. This year the festival is being opened by the internationally acclaimed musician Björk. Some other exhibitions and performances to look forward to are British comic, actress and screen writer Victoria Wood, American rapper Snoop Dogg, a production by ex-Blur frontman Damon Albarn and globally celebrated singer Sinéad O’Connor.

Matthew Street Festival – Liverpool
28th August and 29th August 2011

Home to The Beatles and the world famous Cavern Club, Mathew Street is again hosting its famous Matthew Street Music Festival. This is an annual celebration of one of the city’s cultural cornerstones – music. This fantastic free two day event will be 18 years old in 2011, with over 80 hours of live outdoor music; it celebrates cover, original and new bands which attract thousands of local people and guests from all over the world. Held over the August bank holiday weekend in Liverpool City Centre, six outdoor stages showcase live music from 11am until 6pm. Over 95 bands perform from as far as USA, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Switzerland, Russia, Sweden and Scotland.

An Agricultural Experience
Farming Institute from San Michele all’Adige, Italy

Conlan School is happy to share with you, that this month we have once again welcomed students from San Michele - Trento, who we are proud to say have made their 6th visit to Conlan School in as many years. San Michele is a leading college specialising in agriculture, forestry and ecology. Each year Conlan School delivers a challenging programme of English lessons and interesting visits to local companies.

This year saw the students visited a Welsh vineyard at Ty-Croes Vineyard, Anglesey, where they received a guided tour of the vineyard from owner Bevis Spears. They had a tasting session and tour of Llaith y Llan Village Dairies. A typical dairy farm until 2005 when local farmer, Alan Jones, realised the potential of developing it into an award winning yoghurt production facility, whose customers now include Qatar airways amongst others.
The students also visited Moelyci Environmental Centre. This is a social enterprise aimed at raising awareness of conservation, engaging local people in environmental education and promoting natural and sustainable development. Here, the students had a guided tour of the farm and tried their hand at picking some of the fruits the farm sells in its market garden shop.
The final visit of the groups’ stay was to Llysfasi Agriculture College.

Saying of the month: Purple patch

This month we find out what the common saying “purple patch” means and where it comes from.
It refers to an overly elaborate or effusive piece of writing and it also refers to a period of notable success or good luck.
'Purple patches', which are also sometimes called 'purple passages' or 'purple prose', were originally a figurative reference to florid literary passages, added to a text for dramatic effect. They were the literary equivalent of adding a patch of purple material to an otherwise undecorated garment. Purple was chosen because, as well as being a distinctive colour, it was the colour reserved for emperors and other distinguished statesmen in imperial Rome.
The first person I can identify as having used 'purple patch' in print in English was no less an author than Elizabeth I. The term 'purple patch' wasn't much used again until the 18th century.
It wasn't until the 20th century that 'purple patches' were used in relation to anything other than writing. The term then came to mean 'a period of good fortune or creativity'.