• Simon O'Donovan

Valentine's Day 14th Feb

“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you're going to mess up sometimes, it's a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you're going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends - they'll act like it anyway. The ones that stay with you through everything - they're your true best friends. Don't let go of them. As for lovers, well, they'll come and go too. Most of them are going to break your heart, but you can't give up because if you give up, you'll never find your soulmate. You'll never find that half who makes you whole. Just because you fail once, keep trying, hold on, and always believe in yourself, because if you don't, then who will Sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about.” Marilyn Monroe Before embarking on this week's CST activities, a reminder to know your individual group members well. Their lives, loves and losses, as far as is possible and appropriate to ask in any biographical assessment. Adjust the questions and discussion points below accordingly. Start this week's activities with a glass of sparking (non alcohol) wine, strawberries and chocolates, to get everyone in the mood for discussing Valentines Day. Also pass around a bowl of ‘Love Heart’ sweets and ask everyone to read out their message. Raise a glasses for a toast - "To everyone's health, wealth and happiness." "Iechyd da" is also said in Welsh before a drink and means 'Good health'. Pass everyone a red rose, after checking for thorns, and asked people to comment on the smell and feel of their flower and the memories it evokes.


Ask members to complete the following phrases ... Have a change of - HEART A heart of - GOLD Having a heart-to-heart - TALK My heart skipped a - BEAT Home is where the - HEART - is Love at first - SIGHT A labor of - LOVE From the bottom of my - HEART No love - LOST Puppy - LOVE Blind - DATE Fall head over - HEELS - in love All you need is - LOVE Love is a many - SPLENDORED THING All's fair in love and - WAR Cupboard - LOVE Love - RAT For the love of - PETE It's a love / hate - RELATIONSHIP Love is - BLIND No love lost - BETWEEN - them Love conquers - ALL Not for love nor - MONEY Tough - LOVE Love is a - DRUG First - LOVE Out of sight out of - MIND Absence makes the heart grow - FONDER The way to a man's heart is through his - STOMACH Beauty is only skin - DEEP Actions speak louder than - WORDS My love is like a red red - ROSE All good things must come to - AN END Better to have loved and lost than never - LOVED AT ALL

QUIZ We then moved on to some quiz questions about Valentines Day, to get the discussion going. What is the date of Valentines Day? 14th FEBRUARY

Who is said to be the Welsh Saint Valentine (Welsh patron saint of lovers)?

SANTE DWYNWEN (25th January is his feast day)

What is often carved out of wood and given as a symbol of endearment in Wales?

LOVESPOON What does the word Valentine mean? SWEETHEART What is the original meaning of an X on a Valentine's card? - Illiterate people would sign their name with a cross and kiss it for SINCERITY (Today people sign with an X to maintain ANONYMITY.) Who is the Greek goddess of love? APHRODITE And the Roman goddess of love? VENUS Who was the legendary Benedictine monk who invented champagne? DOM PERIGNON Where is the Statue of Cupid in London? PICADILLY CIRCUS If you’re quick to show your feelings, where do you wear your heart? ON YOUR SLEEVE If a red rose is a symbol of love, what are Rosemary and White Lily emblems for? REMEMBRANCE & PURITY Which famous building in America lights up a red heart each St Valentine's Day? EMPIRE STATE BUILDING IN NEW YORK What is the popular Channel 4 TV show where people meet in a restaurant and sometimes fall in love? FIRST DATES What was the ITV show starring Cilla Black where a person would choose another to date out of three hopefuls? BLIND DATE (Paul O'Grady hosts it today)

Can anyone remember any of Cilla's catchphrases?




"DO I NEED TO BUY A NEW HAT?" Has anyone ever been on a blind date? Do people believe in love at first sight? Some people find romance on social media. On which app would you swipe right if you fancied someone? TINDER

What is said to be the LGBT equivalent of Tinder?

GRINDER Roses are red, violets are blue... What comes next traditionally? ... SUGAR IS SWEET, AND SO ARE YOU What surnames did the Shakespeare characters Romeo & Juliet have? MONTAGUE & CAPULET Plus or minus 100 years, what date was the first recorded Valentine Card sent? 1415

Give or take, how many Valentine's cards are sent in the UK each year?

ONE BILLION Who played Shirley Valentine in the film of the same name? PAULINE COLLINS (Starring alongside Tom Conte) Name the leader of the Chicago gangsters responsible for the St Valentines Day Massacre in 1929? AL CAPONE Nowadays we give chocolates, cards or flowers on Valentines Day. What was given as a gift before these modern day traditions? A PAIR OF GLOVES, indicating you wanted the person's hand in marriage If you are engaged to a person, how do you refer to them? Your BETROTHED or more commonly FIANCE Who is supposed to walk the bride down the isle at the wedding? HER FATHER

Who walked Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's wife, down the isle on 19th May 2018?

PRINCE CHARLES (Her father was indisposed) What is the proper name for a wedding ceremony? NUPTIALS What is Cockney Rhyming Slang for 'Wife'? TROUBLE AND STRIFE And husband? POT AND PAN (OLD MAN)

Arthur Daley, in the TV series 'Minder' referred to his wife as what?


What did Reginald Perrin see when he thought of his mother in law in the TV series 'The Rise And Fall Of Reginald Perrin'?

A HIPPOPOTAMUS What is a 'Shotgun Wedding'? WHEN THE BRIDE’S FATHER FORCES THE WEDDING BECAUSE HIS DAUGHTER IS PREGNANT What is an 'Arranged Marriage'? WHEN FAMILIES ARRANGE A WEDDING OF THEIR CHILDREN WHO MAY NOT NECESSARILY HAVE MET EACH OTHER Where in Scotland would you elope to for a 'Quickie Wedding'? GRETNA GREEN Finish this well known phrase, "She loves me, ......"? SHE LOVES ME NOT (usually said whilst picking the petals off a daisy, one at a time) What are the anniversary symbols or gifts for 1 year married, 10 years, 25 years, 30 years, 40 years 50 years and 60 years? PAPER, TIN, SILVER, PEARL, RUBY, GOLD & DIAMOND

(Take care with these next questions ...)

What were the female member’s bridal gowns like? What colour bouquets and kind of flowers did members have? What about the first dance, can people remember their song? Where did people go on honeymoon? Where did the renowned 18th Century womaniser or some say great lover Giacomo Casanova live? (A clue is he liked to take part in masked balls) VENICE What does S.W.A.L.K. mean on a Valentines envelope? SEALED WITH A LOVING KISS What children's sweet has a different affectionate message on each one? LOVE HEARTS Who wrote "Tis better to have loved and lost, Than never to have loved at all"? ALFRED LORD TENNYSON According to an old English tradition, what is supposed to happen to the first man a woman sees on Valentine's Day? HE MARRIES HER What year did Same Sex Marriage become legal in the UK? 10 DECEMBER 2014

In May 2010, Paris had to remove thousands of what from bridges and ban them from being attached by lovers?

PADLOCKS True or false: Swans mate for life TRUE (And they make a heart shape when their necks intertwine. Aw!)

TOP TWENTY ROMANTIC FILMS Ask the group to list their favourite romantic or rom-com films. Some must haves to get you going or check against follow ... (Print film posters for the tables to help conversation and remembering.) 1940 'Gone With The Wind' Starring - Clarke Gable and Vivien Leigh Quotes "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" & "After all, tomorrow is another day." 1942 'Casablanca'

Starring - Humphry Bogart and Ingrid Bergman Quotes - "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine!" & "Play it again Sam."

Song - 'As Time Goes By' 1945 'Brief Encounter' Starring - Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard Quote - "I love you. I love your wide eyes, the way you smile, your shyness, and the way you laugh at my jokes." 1957 'An Affair To Remember' Starring - Carry Grant and Deborah Kerr Quote - "Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories... we've already missed the spring!" 1961 'Breakfast At Tiffanys' Starring - Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard Quote - “You call yourself a free spirit, a "wild thing," and you're terrified somebody's gonna stick you in a cage." Song - 'Moon River' 1971 - 'Love Story'? Starring - Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw Quote - "Love means never having to say you're sorry." 1987 'Dirty Dancing' Starring - Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey Quote - "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" Song - 'I've Had The Time Of My Life' 1989 'When Harry Met Sally' Starring - Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan Quote - "I'll have what she's having!" 1990 'Pretty Woman' Starring - Richard Gere and Julia Roberts Quote - "I appreciate this whole seduction thing you've got going on here, but let me give you a tip: I'm a sure thing." 1993 'Sleepless In Seattle' Starring - Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan Quote - "I knew it the first time I saw her. It was like coming home, only to no home I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a car and I knew. It was...magic." (Loosely based on the 1957 Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr film ‘An Affair To Remember’) Song - 'In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning' 1994 'Four Weddings And A Funeral' Starring - Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell "Gareth used to prefer funerals to weddings. He said it was easier to get enthusiastic about a ceremony one had an outside chance of eventually being involved in." Song - 'Love Is All Around' 1997 'Titanic' Starring - Leonardo DiCapro and Kate Winslet Quote - "I'm the king of the world!"

Song - 'My Heart Will Go On'

(The Titanic disaster was on 14th April 1912; more than 1,500 souls were lost) 1999 'Notting Hill' Starring - Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts Quote - "I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Song - 'When You Say Nothing At All' 2001 'Bridget Jones's Diary' Starring - Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant Quote - “It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.” Song - 'Out Of Reach' 2003 'Love Actually' Starring - Hugh Grant and Martine McCucheon Quote - “If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around.”

VALENTINES MUSIC QUIZ Spotify Playlist here (There’s a lot here. You might want to pre-choose a selection before starting.) 1. Love Theme From Romeo And Juliet - Henry Salomon This was the theme for which Radio 1 love story slot on ‘The Simon Bates Show’? OUR TUNE 2. And I Love You So - Don McClean Don McClean sang another song about a US dessert. What was that called? AMERICAN PIE 3. Baby I'm A Want You - Bread Who was the lead singer and songwriter of the group Bread? DAVID GATES Think of some different types of bread? COB, BATCH, TIN, TIGER, SOURDOUGH, RYE, WHOLEMEAL, GRANARY ETC 4. My Baby Just Cares For Me - Nina Simone This 1958 hit was re-released in 1987 after featuring in a TV advert for what? CHANEL PERFUME (The video was Nina recreated as a singing cat!) 5. Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli What was Frank Valli's group called? THE FOUR SEASONS (What season are we in now?) 6. Dedicated To The One I Love - Mamas And Papas What was Mama Cass’s real name? CASS ELLIOT 7. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams Which 1991 film starring Kevin Costner was this song written for? ROBIN HOOD (PRINCE OF THIEVES) Name some of the characters? ROBIN HOOD, MAID MARIAN, SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM, FRIAR TUCK, LITTLE JOHN, MEN IN TIGHTS

(The events were said to have taken place in Sherwood Forest) 8. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys What year was this song released and what album was it from? MAY 1966; PET SOUNDS Who was the lead singer songwriter? BRIAN WILSON

What sport was their music associated with?

SURFING 9. How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees Who is the only surviving brother Gibb? BARRY What film was this song from? SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER 10. I Think I Love You - David Cassidy Which family show did David Cassidy star in? THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY (Did anyone have a poster of David Cassidy on their wall as a teenager?) 11. I'm A Believer - The Monkees Who was lead singer of The Monkees? DAVEY JONES What are ‘The Three Wise Monkees’? Mizaru, covering his eyes, who SEES NO EVIL; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who HEARS NO EVIL; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who SPEAKS NO EVIL 12. Puppy Love - Donny Osmond Donny’s little brother Jimmy had a hit single aged 9 in 1972 with which song? I’LL BE YOUR LONG HAIRED LOVER FROM LIVERPOOL

What religion are the Osmonds?

MORMONS (based in Salt Lake, Utah) 13. Lovin' You - Minnie Ripperton It's time for a sing along. Get the group to 'la la la la la' with the chorus. In which season was this song set in? SPRINGTIME (in lyrics) 14. Oh Lori - Alessi Brothers The Alessi Brothers are identical twins. Does anyone have a twin in their family, or among their friends? What about other famous twins? RONNIE & REGGIE KRAY, MATT & LUKE GOSS, THE PROCLAIMERS 15. Love Is All Around - Wet Wet Wet

This song was number 1 in the UK charts for 15 weeks in which year?


It featured in which 1994 romantic movie, starring Hugh Grant?

FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL 16. The Air That I Breathe - The Hollies What is the main constituent of the air that we breathe? NITROGEN - 78% (Oxygen is only 21%) 17. I'm Not In Love - 10CC Which two 10CC band members went on to form a successful pop duo? KEVIN GODLEY & LOL CREME 18. It Must Be Love - Labi Siffre Which group had a major hit with this song again in 1981? MADNESS 19. You To Me Are Everything - The Real Thing Which soft drink had the slogan “It’s the real thing”? COCA COLA 20. You’re The First, My Last, My Everything - Barry White What was Barry White otherwise known as? THE WALRUS OF LOVE 21. Endless Love - Diana Ross Who is singing with Diana Ross on this track? LIONEL RICHIE Which female group did Diana Ross lead? THE SUPREMES 22. Moon River - Audrey Hepburn What was her character's name in the film 'Breakfast At Tiffanys'? MISS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY Who was her co-star? GEORGE PEPPARD 23. Unchained Melody - The Righteous Brothers What film used this piece of music in ‘The Potter’s Wheel’ scene? GHOST (Starring Patrick Swayze & Demi Moore) 24. Can’t Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley Who was Elvis Presley’s wife? PRISCILLA PRESLEY 25. When I Fall In Love - Nat King Cole How did Prince Charming awaken Sleeping Beauty? WITH A KISS 26. Silly Love Songs - Wings How do you say ‘I love you’ in French? JE T’AIME Italian? TI AMO


ICH LIEBE DICH Welsh? RWY’N DY GARU DI (Add nationalities and languages as appropriate to the group) 27. Time Of My Life - Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes What film does this song come from? DIRTY DANCING Starring whom? PATRICK SWAYZE & JENNIFER GREY 28. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston Who originally wrote and recorded this song? DOLLY PARTON What film did Whitney Houston sing it in? THE BODYGUARD (Co-starring Kevin Costner) 29. What A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong What was Louis Armstrong’s nickname? SACHMO

30. My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion

What nationality is Celine Dion?


What shipping line did Titanic sail under?


What was the name of the jewel lost at the end of the film?

HEART OF THE OCEAN Members should all be feeling the love after that playlist. Together, make a heart shape with our fingers and thumbs, close our eyes and blow a kiss to our special someone.

ACTIVITIES Make collage Valentines Day Cards. Print off old Victorian cards from the internet and cut them up to reuse and refashion them. Make origami hearts. Instruction video here Make origami roses. Instruction video here

Or make an origami fortune teller. Here's a great template

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.


Free Subscribe

Simon O'Donovan. Proudly created with  2019