• Simon O'Donovan

Summer of Love

We started this week's session by remembering Bruce Forsyth, who has died aged 89. We talked about his hit shows - 'Beat The Clock', 'Sunday Night At The Palladium', 'The Generation Game', 'Play Your Cards Right' and 'Strictly Come Dancing'. We played a few clips on YouTube and tried to remember his catchphrases. "Nice to see you, to see you nice." "Didn't he do well." "What do points make? Prizes!" "Keeeep dancing!" "Nothing for a pair, not in this game". And noted that the physical stance he used on a few of his shows was based on the statue Rodin's thinker. Next we paid tribute to Jerry Lewis who also died this week. Several members had watched his hit film 'The Nutty Professor' and we reflected on how successful his pairing with Dean Martin had been. We discussed Big Ben, which is going to be silenced for up to 4 years whilst it is being repaired. There are a few exceptions, those being New Years Eve and Remembrance Sunday, when it will be chimed. We noted that Big Ben is actually the bell. The tower itself has recently been renamed Elizabeth Tower. Previously it was Westminster Tower. Several of us had watched news items about the total eclipse of the sun in the USA this week. Against all the advice, President Trump had looked directly at the the sun! We discussed what it felt like to experience a total eclipse - a couple of us had been in Cornwall for the eclipse on 11 August 1999. We remembered the stillness of the totality, the quietness with birds and animals thinking it was night time, the lighthouses turning themselves on, then the wonder of the diamond ring (though most of us had seen that on the TV as it was cloudy on the day). Mr Benn, the childrens' cartoon was 50 years old this week. We played the theme music and opening titles on YouTube. And staggeringly it was the 150th anniversary of the Shipping Forecast. We played the song 'Sailing By', which always accompanied the late night Shipping Forecast on Radio 4. We tried to remember all the shipping areas (we got about 5!). Here is the list: Viking North Utsire South Utsire Forties Cromarty Forth Tyne Dogger Fisher German Bight Humber Thames Dover Wight Portland Plymouth Biscay Trafalgar FitzRoy Sole Lundy (our area) Fastnet Irish Sea Shannon Rockall Malin Hebrides Bailey Fair Isle Faeroes Southeast Iceland Next, we moved on to our theme for the session, which was 'Summer of Love'. We read this out from Wikipedia: The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco's neighborhood Haight-Ashbury. Hippies, sometimes called flower children, were an eclectic group. Many were suspicious of the government, rejected consumerist values, and generally opposed the Vietnam War. A few were interested in politics; others were concerned more with art (music, painting, poetry in particular) or religious and meditative practices.

We asked if anyone in the group had been a Hippie? Or had been interested in Flower Power. We talked about things that might be associated with this time. - the music, of course (the Playlist is on the next page), the flowing clothes, the long hair and beards, VW camper vans, CND and recreational drugs.

After the Music Quiz activity, we made tie dye T-shirts and pressed flowers. We brought white T-shirt packs from Asda (any large supermarket will do) and spray fast drying fabric dyes (various colours) from Hobby Craft. For the flower pressing, we brought a bunch of flowers and used an iron to press and dry them onto card (there is a video on YouTube of this technique). Here is a picture of some of the items we produced.

About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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