• Simon O'Donovan

International Day Of Colour - 21st March

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.” - Wassily Kandinsky

THEME The theme for this week's CST activities page is 'True Colours', as the 'International Day Of Colour And Light' is on 21st March. Colour plays such a big part in our lives. It brightens our day to see a colourful bird or flower; it adds a certain something to our appearance to wear a vividly coloured item of clothing; colours can warn us of dangers in our immediate environment and food always tastes better when it is the colour we expect it to be. Such is the power of colour in our lives, an 'International Day Of Colour And Light' has been assigned, on 21st March each year. As the description of the meaning of the day says, "Colour is, thanks to visual perception, one of the most influential phenomena in people’s lives and also one of the channels that contributes most greatly to the perception of reality." 'Diwali', 'Deepavali' and 'Dipavali' are the Hindu, Sikh and Jain 'Festival Of Lights', which are religious occasions celebrated every autumn in the northern hemisphere. They symbolise the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance." 'Diwali' this year will be celebrated on Saturday 14th November. Then there is the Hindu 'Holi Festival'. 'Holi' is a 24 hour festival based on the legend of Krishna, who was self-conscious about the blue colour of his face due to being poisoned by contaminated breast milk. Krishna was in despair because he believed Radha and other girls wouldn’t like him. He told his mother, who advised him to paint his face so that his colour wouldn't matter. 'Holi' is celebrated by thousands of people throwing paint around and getting covered in different colours. Colours are made with natural ingredients such as turmeric, beetroot, and berries. In 'Holi' the meanings of colours are as follows ...

Red – the ultimate colour of love, passion, and fertility. Blue – the colour of Krishna’s face, and also the sky and oceans. Yellow – the colour of knowledge and learning, symbolising happiness, meditation, and peace. Green – the colour of nature, symbolising the start of Spring and new beginnings. Pink – the colour of caring and compassion. Purple – symbolises magic and mystery. Before moving on we went around the room and asked members to say what their favourite colour is and why.

IDIOMS We next asked members to complete the following phrases ...

- Show your true COLOURS - Variety is the spice of LIFE - To be kept in the DARK - Chasing RAINBOWS - With flying COLOURS - Colourful LANGUAGE - Feeling off COLOUR - Shadows and LIGHT - Black and WHITE - Night and DAY


- Black - Black sheep of the family, Beaten black and blue, In black and white, As black as coal, On the black market, Black tie event - Blue - Out of the blue, Once in a blue moon, Blue collar worker, Have the blues, Blue blood, True blue, Blue ribbon, Blue eyed boy - White - White, Christmas, White as snow, Tell a white lie, White elephant, Wave a white flag, As white as a sheet/ghost, Whitewash something, White collar worker - Red - Caught red handed, Take the red eye, Red tape, To be in the red, Roll out the red carpet, Paint the town red, Like a red flag to a bull, Red hot, Red letter day, To be shown the red card, Blood red, Red herring, Red in the face, To see red - Yellow/Gold - Yellow bellied, A yellow streak, A golden opportunity, A golden handshake, Golden boy - Pink - Pink flamingo, Tickled pink, Pink makes the boys wink, In the pink of health, See pink elephants - Green - Green with envy, Green fingers, Get the green light, Ten green bottles, The grass is always greener on the other side, To be green, Green belt - Brown - Little brown jug, To be browned off - Purple - Purple rain, Purple haze - Grey/Silver - A grey area, Silver screen, Born with a silver spoon in one's mouth, To be given something on a silver platter - Rose - To look through rose tinted spectacles.

DISCUSSION POINTS / QUIZ What are the following items associated with ...

Red nose - COMIC RELIEF Pink ribbon - BREAST CANCER White flag - PEACE OR SURRENDER Red Cross - BRITISH RED CROSS OR SWITZERLAND Blue berets - UN PEACEKEEPERS Red flag - DANGER OR WARNING Chequered flag - FINISHING LINE Rainbow flag - LGBTQ RIGHTS OR GAY PRIDE What is the order of colours in UK traffic lights? RED, RED AND AMBER, AMBER, GREEN, AMBER Which politician described his depression as 'Black Dog'? WINSTON CHURCHILL Who was the first black African American President? BARAK OBAMA Who is the current US President with orange associations? DONALD TRUMP Where does he currently live? THE WHITEHOUSE

What year was colour TV introduced in the UK? BBC BROADCAST IT'S FIRST COLOUR TV FROM WIMBLEDON 1967 (We asked if members remembered the Testcard image above?) Which DJ was the first to broadcast on Radio 1? TONY BLACKBURN IN 1967 What was the name of the snooker game broadcast initially in black and white from 1969? POT BLACK What colour vest does the lead rider wear in the Tour De France? YELLOW What are the five colours of the Olympic rings? BLUE YELLOW GREEN BLACK RED (symbolically indicating unity across the 5 continents) By what name are the New Zealand rugby league tourists known? ALL BLACKS What is their 'dance' called? THE HAKA What is the largest animal on the planet? BLUE WHALE (98ft, 180 tonnes) What bird would you take into a mine to prove clean air? YELLOW CANARY What colour seen in nature is Chlorophyll? GREEN Where in the UK would you find the 'Black Mountains'? SOUTH WALES NEAR ABERGAVENNY Which planet in our solar system is known as 'The Red Planet'? MARS (4th from the Sun) What colour describes old brown-and-white photographs? SEPIA In a photographic dark room, what colour light is safe? RED What colour room do actors wait in before taking to the stage? GREEN ROOM What colour is the neutral wire on a modern British domestic plug? BLUE What substance is known as Black Gold? OIL (OR GUINNESS) What is added to gin to make it pink? ANGOSTURA BITTERS If a ship is about to set sail, what flag would it be flying? BLUE PETER Which shipping company owned the 'Titanic'? WHITE STAR LINE Which notorious villain had a horse called Black Bess? DICK TURPIN What is the name of the bully from Tom Brown?s Schooldays? FLASHMAN Who played the part of Velvet Brown in the film National Velvet? ELIZABETH TAYLOR Which TV police series ran from 1955 - 1976 for total of 434 episodes?

DIXON OF DOCK GREEN ("Evening all.") Which two songs with a colour in the title have won the Oscar for 'Best Original Song'? 'WHITE CHRISTMAS' AND 'EVERGREEN' ('A STAR IS BORN') Who was the lead singer songwriter of 'The Moody Blues'? JUSTIN HAYWARD What were the 'helpers' known as in 'Butlins' Holiday camps? RED COATS Which TV comedy series based on this holiday company was set at 'Maplins'? HI DE HI Who was Tony Hart's plasticine friend in the children's art show 'Take Hart'? MORPH Which TV artist's catchphrase was "Can you see what it is yet?" ROLF HARRIS Which DIY product does an Old English Sheepdog advertise? DULUX PAINT What is the name of the murder victim in Cluedo? DOCTOR BLACK The other characters are? PROFESSOR PLUM, REVEREND GREEN, MISS SCARLET, MRS PEACOCK, COLONEL MUSTARD & MRS WHITE Complete this phrase, "Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning. Red sky at night, SHEPHERD'S DELIGHT." (Apparently this comes from the book of Mathew in the Bible and referred to the colour of the sky helping shepherds prepare for the next day's weather.) We next thought about other fables and stories involving colour. We came up with: - 'Little Red Riding Hood' - "What big eyes you have, Grandma!" (The moral of this tale is children should never talk to strangers.) - 'Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs' - We tried to remember the names of the dwarfs in this Brothers Grimm fairy tale... Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey. - 'Goldilocks and The Three Bears' - We asked what food substance was eaten in this story. The answer, of course, was ... Porridge. Next, we thought about famous films with colours in the title and asked what they were about and who had watched them: - 'The Green Mile', 1999. A story based on a black man wrongly convicted of brutally killing a pair of young sisters and awaiting execution on death row. - 'The Color Purple', 1985. A story based on an African-American woman living in the Deep South who survives incredible abuse and bigotry. - 'White Christmas', 1954. One of the most famous Christmas films, based on the previous black and white 1942 version entitled 'Holiday Inn'. - 'The Pink Panther' 1963. The comedy starring Peter Sellers about the hapless Inspector Clousseau. His sidekick and martial arts teacher was Cato. - 'Yellow Submarine', 1968. The fantasy musical film by The Beatles. The music loving inhabitants of Pepperland are under attack by the Blue Meanies. - 'Moulin Rouge', 2001. The musical set in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, starring Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, who it turns out could both hold a tune. - 'Men In Black', 1997. The sci fi action comedy film starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. - 'The Blues Brothers', 1980. The American musical comedy film starring Dan Ackroyd, about a blues and soul revivalist band. - 'A Clockwork Orange', 1971. A dystopian crime film, said to be one Kubrick's finest movies. - 'How Green Is My Valley', 1941. A drama about a Welsh coal mining community during a period of rapid social change. - 'Hunt For Red October', 1990. Starring Sean Connery, this action espionage thriller was about a Russian submarine captain who abandons his orders and heads for the US. - 'Black Beauty', 1971, remade in 1994, and based on the Anna Sewell novel of 1877.

GREAT WORKS OF ART Click on the link below to be taken to the images. Print these off for the tables.

For the tables, we had printed out images of the following works of art. We asked a few questions about them, but more importantly members were asked to say which they most liked. The acid test was, 'Which picture would you hang on your living room wall?' 'The Persistence Of Memory', 1931 Salvador Dali, lived 1904-1989 Which Hitchcock film featured Dali's 'melting clocks' in a dream sequence? SPELLBOUND, 1945 'Great Wave Off Kanagawa', 1829 Katsushika Hokusia, lived 1760-1849 What year in recent memory did a Tsunami hit the Japanese town of Fukushima? 11th MARCH 2011 'Ophelia', 1852 John Everett Millais, lived 1829-1896 Which Shakespeare play did Ophelia feature in? HAMLET 'Mona Lisa', 1503 Leonardo Da Vinci, lived 1452-1519 Where is the 'Mona Lisa' hung? THE LOUVRE, PARIS How much is it worth? PRICELESS, BUT WORTH IN EXCESS OF $830M (PLAY SONG) 'Water Lily Pond', 1899 Claude Monet, lived 1840-1926 What nationality was Monet? FRENCH (Most of his paintings were of his home garden in Giverny) 'Vetruvian Man', 1490 Also by Leonardo Da Vinci Which British investigative current affairs programme used this painting in it's opening titles? WORLD IN ACTION 'The Scream', 1893 Edvard Munch, lived 1863-1944 Which 1996 Wes Craven comic/horror film starring Neve Campbell had a villain wearing a mask based on this painting? SCREAM 'Creation Of Adam', completed 1512 Michelangelo, lived 1475-1564 Where would you find this painting? ON THE CEILING OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL Which TV arts show featured this painting in it's opening sequence? THE SOUTH BANK SHOW 'Starry Night', 1889 Vincent Van Goch, lived 1853-1890 Which artist had a 1971 hit single with 'Vincent'? DON MCLEAN (PLAY SONG) 'Whistler's Mother', 1871 James Abbott McNeill Whistler, lived 1834-1903 Which 1997 comedy movie starring Rowan Atkinson had the lead character sneeze on this painting and rub her face off with white spirit? MR BEAN 'The Hay Wain', 1821 John Constable, lived 1776-1837 Complete the following phrase, It's like trying to find a needle in a HAYSTACK 'The Fighting Temeraire', 1839 J.M.W. Turner, lived 1775-1851 Which battle was the ship in this painting associated with? THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR

What new polymer note does this painting feature on?


'Son Of Man', 1964 Rene Magritte, lived 1898-1967 Which 1999 crime film starring Pierce Brosnan featured the theft of this painting? THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR 'Marilyn Monroe', 1967 Andy Warhol, lived 1928-1987 What type of soup did Andy Warhol famously paint? CAMPBELLS What are members favourite soups? 'Girl With Balloon', 2002 Banksy, born 1974 (Anonymous British street painter) Where was Banksy's most recent painting painted? ON A GARAGE IN PORT TALBOT 'Going To Work', 1959 L.S. Lowry, 1887-1976 What was characteristic of Lowry paintings? MATCHSTICK MEN (PLAY SONG) 'The Last Supper', completed in 1498 Also by Leonardo Da Vinci How many disciples were there? Name them? The full list of the Twelve is given with some variation in Mark 3, Matthew 10, and Luke 6 as: Peter; James and John, the sons of Zebedee; Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus, or Judas, the son of James; Simon the Cananaean, or the Zealot; and Judas Iscariot. 'The Birth Of Venus', 1480s Sandro Botticelli, lived 1445-1510 Which girl group had a hit in 1986 with the song 'Venus'? BANANARAMA 'Sunflowers', 1888 Also by Vincent Van Goch How tall can sunflowers grow? 6-10FT

'The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies', 1984

(The fictional) Van Clomp

Which TV comedy series featured this painting?


How much do you think it sold for in 2018?


What is the world's most expensive painting ever sold? Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' sold for $450 million to a Saudi prince in 2017 Which of all the paintings draw members' eye? Is there any other favourite painting they have which is not included? What is is that makes a painting valuable?

MUSIC ROUND Spotify Playlist here True Colors - Cyndi Lauper What are the Primary Colours? RED, YELLOW, BLUE, GREEN (COLOURS THAT CAN BE MIXED TOGETHER TO PRODUCE OTHER COLOURS) Sing A Rainbow - Cilla Black What are the colours of the rainbow? RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, INDIGO, VIOLET What was her real name? PRESCILLA WHITE Mr Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra Who formed the band ELO? JEFF LYNNE, ROY WOOD AND BEV BEVAN Name some clouds? CIRRHUS, NIMBUS, CUMULUS Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John What were the little people called in The Wizard Of Oz? THE MUNCHKINS (They were orange) Pink Panther Theme - Henry Mancini Who was Inspector Clouseau's Chinese manservant? CATO Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison Look into your neighbour's eyes. What colour are they? WE WENT AROUND THE ROOM, ASKING (WITH PERMISSION) TO LOOK INTO EACH OTHER'S EYES) How common are blue eyes in the UK? 48% BLUE, 30% GREEN, 22% BROWN Red Red Wine - UB40 Which UK politician famously got handed her P45 during her speech at the Conservative Party Conference in October 2017? THERESA MAY Ask members to name their favourite wine (grape not colour)? (Or other favourite tipple if they don't like wine) Gold - Spandau Ballet Which band member went on to star in Eastenders? MARTIN KEMP Who was the lead singer? TONY HADLEY Ask members to point to any items of gold they are wearing... Purple Rain - Prince After a conflict with his record company Warner Bros, what did Prince change his name to? THE (LOVE) SYMBOL OR THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE Oranges and Lemons - Traditional The bells were all in London. If you are born within earshot of the Bow Bells, what can you call yourself? A COCKNEY (WE THOUGHT ABOUT SOME COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG - ADAM AND EVE - BELIEVE, APPLES AND PEARS - STAIRS, TROUBLE AND STRIFE - WIFE, DOG AND BONE - PHONE ETC) Yellow Submarine - The Beatles What zebra crossing did The Beatles famously cross on one of their albums? ABBEY ROAD (50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THIS ALBUM THIS YEAR!) Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley Before playing this track we thought about the lyrics. One for the ... (MONEY), Two for the ... (SHOW), Three to get ... (READY), Now... (GO CAT, GO) What were Elvis's nicknames? ELVIS THE PELVIS, KING OF ROCK AND ROLL His middle name was? AARON Golden Brown - The Stranglers Who was the lead singer? HUGH CORNWALL Lady In Red - Chris DeBurgh Go around the room and ask people to identify the colours of clothing they are wearing. Alternatively ask which member is wearing which colour articles of clothing and compliment outfit choices. Ebony And Ivory - Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder What musical instrument is made of Ebony and Ivory? PIANO KEYBOARD Blackbird - The Beatles We listed black or black and white birds, then said the Magpie rhyme together. CROW, RAVEN, BLACKBIRD, STARLING.... ONE FOR SORROW, TWO FOR JOY, THREE FOR A GIRL, FOUR FOR A BOY, FIVE FOR SILVER, SIX FOR GOLD, SEVEN FOR A SECRET, NEVER TO BE TOLD, EIGHT FOR A WISH, NINE FOR A KISS, TEN FOR A BIRD, YOU MUST NOT MISS Karma Chameleon - Culture Club Name the lead singer? BOY GEORGE AKA GEORGE O'DOWD What can chameleons do? CHANGE COLOUR TO CAMOUFLAGE THEMSELVES Blue Moon - The Marcels Which horror film featured this song? AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON What was the name of the pub in this film? THE SLAUGHTERED LAMB Lily The Pink - The Scaffold What year was this a number 1 hit single in the UK? 1968 Which wading bird, standing on one leg, is pink? FLAMINGO (Pink due to EATING SHRIMP) Tie A Yellow Ribbon - Dawn Which fruits are yellow? BANANA, LEMON, PINEAPPLE, APRICOT, MANGO ETC Whiter Shade Of Pale - Procal Harem In the song lyric, what dance was mentioned? FANDANGO Green Green Grass Of Home. A singalong to finish

PRACTICAL ACTIVITY For our activity this week we asked members to recreate their favourite painting from those on show, or to come up with their own piece of original artwork. The only rule being that no white could remain on their sheet of paper. Some of the results were stunning and one of members efforts is pictured above.

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