• Simon O'Donovan

It's Good To Talk

This week's session began as usual with a catch up on current news. The heatwave was still ongoing, with temperatures hitting 30c. Some members loved the warmth, whilst others found it overbearing. Fires on Saddleworth Moor in Yorkshire had resulted, just 6 miles from Oldham. We commented on the bravery of our fire fighters and discussed how it must feel to have your home threatened by fire and smoke. Germany was knocked out of the 'FIFA World Cup' by South Korea in the preliminary round. This was a real surprise to some members. Kathy Bates was 70 this week. We remembered some of her most popular movie roles, especially her Oscar for her performance in the film 'Misery'. June 28th was 'National Sunglasses Day'. We went around the room and asked who liked to or needed to wear sunglasses. And put those we had with us on to compare fashions. June 27th was 'National Writing Day' and this fed into the main theme for our session, namely 'Communication', or 'It's Good To Talk'. QUIZ QUESTIONS: We had some questions to prompt recall and discussion, as follows: What is the telephone number you would ring in an emergency? 999 What is the number Americans would ring in an emergency? 911 What is the number you would ring to ask for non emergency Police support? 101 What was Petunia advertising in the safety message of the 1970's which had her husband say, "Oo look Petunia, he's waving at us now?" HM COASTGUARD What was JR Hartley looking for help from in finding a copy of his out of print book about Fly Fishing? YELLOW PAGES Marconi sent the first radio signal from Lavernock Point in Cardiff to where? FLAT HOLM Who invented the TV? LOGI BAIRD Who broke The Enigma Code in the Second World War? ALAN TURING What does WWW stand for in a computer address? WORLD WIDE WEB What is the price of a first class stamp? 65P What animal helped advertise BT services? BUZBY THE BIRD What communication do truckers use? CB RADIO I which Tom Hanks film did he meet Meg Ryan in an internet chat room? YOU'VE GOT MAIL Who delivered Harry Potter's mail? HEDWIG (HIS OWL) What were the first words said by Buzz Aldrin from the Apollo 11 moon landing on 26th July 1969? THE EAGLE HAS LANDED Which characters and actors featured on the recently released set of 'Dads Army Stamps'? "Do you think that's wise sir?" Sergeant Wilson, played by John Le Meisurer "I'll tell Mum!" Private Pike, played by Ian Lavender "You stupid boy!" Captain Mainwaring, played by Arthur Lowe "Don't panic! Don't panic!" Lance Corporal Jones, played by Clive Dunn Complete the following phrases: "A nod is as good as a wink .... TO A BLIND HORSE." "Careless whispers... COST LIVES." "The pen is mightier than... THE SWORD." "A picture is worth a THOUSAND WORDS." "Actions speak louder than WORDS." "You can't judge a book by IT'S COVER." "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't SAY ANYTHING AT ALL." "It's not over 'till the fat LADY SINGS." "Don't talk the talk if you can't WALK THE WALK." Guess the book and author from these first lines of famous books: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." CLUES: LONDON AND PARIS 'A Tale of Two Cities', by Charles Dickens (1859) "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world." CLUES: GREGORY PECK, WHALE 'Moby Dick', by Herman Melville (1851) "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." CLUE: MR DARCY 'Pride and Prejudice', by Jane Austen (1813) "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." CLUE: 34 YEARS AGO 1984, by George Orwell (1949) "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question." CLUES - MR ROCHESTER 'Jane Eyre', by Charlotte Bronte (1847) "All children, except one, grow up." CLUE: TINKERBELL 'Peter Pan', by J.M. Barrie (1911) "When Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton." CLUE: MIDDLE EARTH 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring', by J.R. Tolkien (1954) "Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice ‘without pictures or conversation?" CLUE: WHITE RABBIT 'Alice In Wonderland', by Lewis Carroll (1865) "Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." CLUE: HOGWARTS 'Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone', by J.K. Rowling (1997) “'Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,' grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. 'It’s so dreadful to be poor!' sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress." CLUE: SISTERS 'Little Women', by Louise May Alcott (1868) "Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Harry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried away by wagon many miles." CLUE: TOTO 'The Wizard of Oz', by L Frank Baum (1900) "You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of 'The Adventure of Tom Sawyer', but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly." CLUE: MISSISSIPPI 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn', by Mark Twain (1884) "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep." CLUE: THE GOOD BOOK 'King James Bible', 'Book Of Genesis', ? author & date When was the last time...: Anyone wrote a letter

Used a typewriter Paid a bill by cheque Sent a birthday card Sent a Christmas card Sent a holiday postcard Sent an email Used a landline telephone to make a call Used a mobile phone to make a call Made a call from a red telephone box Texted someone Chatted face to face over WiFi List as many different types of communication as you can: Flags Telegram Semaphore Morse code Enigma code Smoke signals Carrier pigeon Quill and ink Chalk and board Sign language Lip reading Walkie talkie Telephone Pen and paper Telepathy Gestures Hand signals Fax Radio TV Discuss the change in communications technologies since members were children. What has been the impact of new comms technologies on quality of life? Positives might include ease and speed of contact; negatives might include a less fit and active population. Ask members to guess the meanings to these 'Cockney Rhyming Slang' phrases: Adam and Eve – believe Apples and pears – stairs Aunt Joanna – piano Baked Bean – Queen Baker’s Dozen – Cousin Barnet Fair – hair Brahms and Liszt – pissed (drunk) Brown Bread – dead Bubble Bath – Laugh Dog and bone – phone Half-inch – pinch (to steal) Hank Marvin – starving Jam-jar – car Jimmy riddle – piddle Mince pies – eyes Plates of meat – feet Rosy Lee – tea Ruby Murray – curry Sherbert (short for sherbert dab) – cab (taxi) Sweeney Todd – flying squad Syrup of figs – wig tables and chairs – stairs Tea leaf – thief Trouble and strife – wife whistle and flute – suit (of clothes) There are more to be found here

MUSIC QUIZ Here is the Spotify Playlist link: Telephone Line - ELO Who was the lead singer-songwriter with ELO? JEFF LYNNE Smooth Operator - Sade What telephone number did one used to ring to get hold of the Operator? 100

(Did anyone have a 'Party Line'?) Telephone Man - Meri Wilson What is the previously named Post Office Tower in London now called? BT TOWER Ring, Ring - ABBA Tough question, but can anyone remember their telephone number?

(Did anyone have a Bakelite telephone with a rotary dialer?) Please Mr Postman - The Carpenters What is the name of Postman Pat's black and white cat? JESS I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter - Fatts Waller Does anyone keep a diary, or has anyone kept one in the past. Some famous diarists include: ADRIAN MOLE, ANNE FRANK, SAMUEL PEPYS, VIRGINIA WOOLF, CAPTAIN ROBERT FALCON SCOTT Pennsylvania 6500 - Glen Miller Glen Miller was a bandleader in which musical era or music style? SWING Tie A Yellow Ribbon - Tony Orlando & Dawn Can members think of other gestures? WEARING A BADGE, ARMBAND OR WRISTBAND, HIGH FIVE, WAVE GOODBYE, THUMBS UP, SALUTE Message In A Bottle - The Police Who wrote the message in this song? A CASTAWAY S.O.S. - ABBA How would an S.O.S. message be sent? MORSE CODE Convoy - C.W. McCall Who starred in the trucking film 'Smokey And The Bandit'? BURT REYNOLDS Hanging On The Telephone - Blondie Can anyone guess what answerphone message did Princes' Harry and William allegedly leave on their grandmother's phone, when she got her first mobile and asked for their help in setting it up? "Hey wassup! This is Liz. Sorry I'm away from the throne. For a hotline to Philip, press one. For Charles, press two. And for the corgis, press three."

(Apparently this is true!) Letter From America - The Proclaimers How would a letter from America traditionally be sent? VIA AIRMAIL (PAR AVION) Radio Ga Ga - Queen Ask members to raise their hands in the air and do the 'Live Aid' clap when Freddie Mercury sings the 'Radio Ga Ga Radio Goo Goo' in the chorus. Careless Whisper - George Michael Let's have game of 'Chinese Whispers'. Some members may need help to pass messages on. Remember this is just for fun and laughter and merriment should prevail. The message to pass on is as follows: "It's been so hot this week I nearly paid the gas bill, but I decided to buy a paddling pool for the dog instead." Return To Sender - Elvis Presley What colour were letterboxes in the UK painted in the home towns of Olympic medal winners in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics in 2016? GOLD Space Oddity - David Bowie Listen carefully. What was the first instruction given by Ground Control to Major Tom? TAKE YOUR PROTEIN PILLS AND PUT YOUR HELMET ON I Write The Songs - Barry Manilow How old is Barry Manilow? JUNE 17TH, 1943 - 75 YEARS Sir Duke - Stevie Wonder As the lyrics of this song say, music is a language we all understand. Go around the room and ask members to state what their favourite song is. (Use your knowledge of members to assist them where necessary.)

The Typewriter - BBC Concert Orchestra

What are the first six keys on a typewriter keyboard?


ACTIVITY Write a letter with help if needed (members can be asked to dictate their sentiments to helpers to write down if writing is difficult for them) to anyone you like, living or deceased. Something you wanted to say, that is important to you. Or alternatively write a poem. Or write about a memory you have. Anything which has meaning and value to you. Have some card and felt pens available, so if members wish their words can be shared or displayed. If words are difficult for members, then print off some Thank You cards from the web with words pictures to colour in, so that they can produce a personalised card for a loved one. Or, maybe play a game of Charades. Some possible films titles to act out: Top Gun Jaws An American Werewolf In London Oliver Murder On The Orient Express Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines My Fair Lady The King And I Spiderman Batman And Robin Shrek The Exorcist Grease Castaway Back To The Future Gone With The Wind The Lion King Alien Psycho Gladiator Titanic Raiders Of The Lost Ark Star Wars

Or how about a simple game of HangMan. There are free apps available.

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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