• Simon O'Donovan

Father's Day

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could given another person, he believed in me." Jim Valvano "When it comes to Father's Day, I will remember my dad for both being there to nurture me and also for the times he gave me on my own to cultivate my own interests and to nurture my own spirit." Jennifer Grant

This week's Cognitive Stimulation Therapy session had the theme of 'Father's Day', which is celebrated on 17th June in the UK.


Before discussing the main theme for the CST session, we caught up on this week's news.

The ten Tory Candidates for Leader and our next Prime Minister had been announced as being:

- Environment Secretary Michael Gove - Health Secretary Matt Hancock - Former Chief Whip Mark Harper - Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt - Home Secretary Sajid Javid - Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - Former Leader of the House Andrea Leadsom - Former Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey - Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab - International Development Secretary Rory Stewart

We asked members who they thought would and should get the job? What did people think about Michael Gove's admission of taking cocaine when he was a journalist in the 90s? What did they think of this being the second Prime Minister to gain office without there being a General Election?

The BBC announced it was scrapping free TV Licences for over 75s, except those on Pension Credit. Apparently, Tory Party leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt was behind the move, according to LBC. We asked what members thought of this move. Was it a justifiable change or a step too far? How would it be enforced?

On a different note, 'World Gin Day' was on Saturday 8th June this year (always the second Saturday in June). We asked members who likes a Gin and Tonic? What about other gin based cocktails? GIN MARTINI, LONG ISLAND ICE TEA, TOM COLLINS Or flavoured gins? SLOE GIN, PINK GIN We asked what botanical gives Gin it's distinctive flavour? JUNIPER BERRIES We asked, what is the nickname from centuries ago for Gin? MOTHER'S RUIN We asked, what gin based drink does HM Queen enjoy? GIN & DUBONNET

Rabbit Awareness Week was 1st-9th June. We asked who had ever had a pet rabbit? Or who enjoyed eating rabbit? We asked what the name of the 1972 book about rabbits written by Richard Adams? WATERSHIP DOWN We asked what was the hit single sung by Art Garfunkel from the cartoon film adaptation of this novel? BRIGHT EYES

It was Prince Philip's 99th birthday on 10th June. We looked at some of his best and funniest quotes.

“I’d like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family.” 1967. “People think there’s a rigid class system here, but dukes have even been known to marry chorus girls. Some have even married Americans.” 2000.

“Where’s the Southern Comfort?” When presented with a hamper of goods by US ambassador, 1999. “You have mosquitoes. I have the Press.” To matron of Caribbean hospital, 1966. A VIP at a local airport asked HRH: “What was your flight, like, Your Royal Highness? Philip: “Have you ever flown in a plane?” VIP: “Oh yes, sir, many times.” “Well,” said Philip, “it was just like that.” After being told that Madonna was singing the Die Another Day theme in 2002: “Are we going to need ear plugs?” At a Bangladeshi youth club in 2002: ”So who’s on drugs here?… HE looks as if he’s on drugs.” At Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme, 2006. “Young people are the same as they always were. Just as ignorant.” "Aren't most of you descended from pirates?" (1994 to an inhabitant of the Cayman Islands) "Deaf? If you're near them, no wonder you are deaf!" (1999 to a group of deaf school children stood next to a Jamaican steel drum band outside the National Assembly for Wales) "When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife." (When discussing marriage ? date)

"How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?" (Asked of a driving instructor in Scotland in 2002) "Well, you'll never fly in it. Yo're too fat to be an astronaut." (Said to an aspiring 13 year old schoolboy at the University of Salford in 2009) "It looks like you're ready for bed!" (Said to the President of Nigeria who was visiting the Palace in national dress in 2003)

A more meaningful quote was as follows...

"There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing, ever more quickly, and that bits are dropping off the ancient frame. But it's nice to be remembered at all." (Said in 2011 after being voted 'Consort of the Year')

Channel 5 had announced 'Britain's Greatest Comedian', in a three hour TV special last week.

The results were as follows:

1. Stan Laurel - Comedy partner Oliver Hardy 2. Victoria Wood - Comedy soap 'Acorn Antiques' 3. Billy Connolly - Nickname 'Big Yin'. Song D.I.V.O.R.C.E. 4. Peter Sellers - Played detective 'Inspector Clouseau' in 'Pink Panther' films. One of 'The Goons' 5. Eric Morecambe - Comedy partner Ernie Wise. Song 'Bring Me Sunshine' 6=. Steve Coogan - Played chat show host 'Alan Partridge' 6=. Ricky Gervais - TV sitcoms 'The Office' & 'Extras' 8. Spike Milligan - Hit record with 'The Yin Tong Song'. Another of 'The Goons' 9. Peter Kay - TV sitcoms 'Car Share' & 'Phoenix Nights' 10. Ken Dodd - Carried a 'Tickling Stick'. Song 'Happiness' 11. Caroline Aherne - Play chat show host 'Mrs Merton'. TV sitcom 'The Royale Family' 12. John Cleese - TV sitcom 'Fawlty Towers'. One of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' 13. Tommy Cooper - Catchphrase 'Just like that'. Spoof Magician, mainly comedian 14=. Jennifer Saunders - TV sitcom 'Absolutely Fabulous'. 'French And Saunders' 14=. Dawn French - TV sitcom 'Vicar Of Dibley'. Also 'French And Saunders' 16. Ronnie Barker - Comedy partner Ronnie Corbett. TV sitcoms 'Porridge' & 'Open All Hours' 17. Lee Mack - TV sitcom 'Not Going Out'. 'Would I Lie To You' 18. Sacha Baron Cohen - Comedy characters 'Ali G' & 'Borat' 19. Lenny Henry - Found fame on TV talent show 'New Faces'. Fundraiser for 'Comic Relief' 20. Rowan Atkinson - TV sitcoms 'Mr Bean' & 'Blackadder' 21. Dave Allen - Catchphrase 'And may your God go with you' 22. Jo Brand - Former career Mental Health Nurse 23. Lee Evans - Started Alongside Cameron Diaz in 'Something About Mary' 24. Eddie Izzard - Famous cross dressing comedian and charity runner 25. Stewart Lee - Author of 'Jerry Springer The Opera' 26. Bill Bailey - TV sitcom 'Black Books' 27. Micky Flanagan - Used to be a Fish Porter in Billingsgate Market. Famous Cockney comedian 28. Michael McIntyre - How old is he? 43 29. Rik Mayall - TV sitcoms 'The Young Ones' & 'Bottom' 30. Kathy Burke - TV sitcom 'Gimmie Gimmie'

The list was not without controversy as the likes of Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Kenneth Williams, Peter Cook and Vic Reeves did not even make the cut.

We printed off pictures of the above comedians for the tables and asked members to identify each of them, in reverse order. We discussed which other comedians were missing, who members liked best and how they would rank them in order of funniest.

Other tid bits ...

- YouGov poll regarding Britain's 'Favourite Savoury Foods'. (See pictures linked below). We called out a few of the food items and asked members to give them the 'thumbs up' or 'thumbs down'. Also we thought of missing food items, such as pizza and Chinese takeaway. - Model made out of Tunnocks Teacake wrappers. (Again see pictures) We marvelled at the talents of this sculpture.

(Click on this image for link to photo album)


We moved on to the main topic of conversation, namely 'Father's Day'.

Members were invited to say what their father's names and occupations were. We asked if anyone had fathers still living?

(Take care with reminiscence and bear in mind members may not have had a good relationship with their father and not wish to be engaged in this part of the conversation.)

We asked if any members were fathers themselves and what their children's names were?

(It's good to prepare and know family names etc to fill in the gaps if anyone struggles with naming their children.)

We asked what members thought of 'Father's Day' and 'Mother's Day'? Are both days a nice recognition or a gift shop rip off?

We asked members to list the most appropriate or welcome 'Father's Day' gifts? Some of these included:

- Bottle of whisky - Pack of cigars - Aftershave - Gift token - Meal out - Chocolates

We asked what the worst gifts might be?

- Socks - Pants - Slippers - Tie - Gardening tools - Shaving equipment

We moved on to think about things that dad's enjoy - favoured hobbies and interests (not exclusively male, of course!)

- Watching football - Going to a rugby match - Spending a day at the cricket ground - Watching or participating in other sports - Spending time in the garden or allotment - Fishing - Twitching (birdwatching) - Stamp or coin collecting - Walking the dog - Going down the pub or club.


We asked members to complete the following phrases ...

Twinkle in your father's EYE Father of the BRIDE A bit of how's your FATHER Like father, like SON Experience is the father of WISDOM Old enough to be your FATHER Sugar DADDY Go on my SON Son of a GUN Who's your DADDY Daddy long LEGS Daddy's GIRL Pop goes the WEASEL Honour thy father and MOTHER Our Father who art in HEAVEN


We moved on to some focused questions to get us all thinking and remembering about famous fathers.

What is the name of Paul McCartney's famous fashion designer daughter? STELLA

Which actor is Angelina Jolie's father? JOHN VOIGHT (MIDNIGHT COWBOY)

Which actor played 'The Godfather' in the 1972 Frances Ford Coppola film of the same name? MARLON BRANDO

Which wrestling 'Father's' real name was Shirley Crabtree?


Who played Ben Stiller's father in the 2004 film 'Meet The Fockers'? DUSTIN HOFFMAN

Who are the father and son acting duo where the father played 'Spartacus' and the son was 'Fatally Attracted' to a mistress who boiled his child's pet rabbit? KIRK AND MICHAEL DOUGLAS

Who was the late John Mills famous actress daughter who starred in the 1960s films 'Whistle Down The Wind' and 'Tiger Bay'? HALEY MILLS

Who played the cross dressing father in the 1994 film 'Mrs Doubtfire', so he could get closer to his estranged children? ROBIN WILLIAMS

Who played Harrison Ford's father in the 1989 film 'Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade'? SEAN CONNERY

Who starred as 'The Father Of The Bride' in the 1991 film of the same name? STEVE MARTIN

And the original 1950 version of this film? SPENCER TRACY

Who is known as 'The Father Of The House' (longest serving MP) in the House Of Commons? KENNETH CLARKE

Who is known at 'The Holy Father'? POPE FRANCIS

Which American physicist is known as 'The Father Of The Atom Bomb'? J ROBERT OPPENHEIMER

'Father Time' is also known by which name? THE GRIM REAPER (He carries a SCYTHE)

The 'Father Brown' detective books were written by whom? G.K. CHESTERTON

In the absence of Meghan Markel's father at her wedding to Prince Harry, who walked her down the aisle? PRINCE CHARLES

Name Prince William's three children? GEORGE, CHARLOTTE AND LOUIS

Who is US President Donald Trump's oldest child? DONALD TRUMP JNR WAS BORN 31ST DECEMBER 1977; IVANKA WAS BORN 30TH OCTOBER 1981

Name Ozzy Osbourne's celebrity children? KELLY AND JACK OSBOURNE

What was the father's name in the TV series 'Little House On The Prairie'? CHARLES INGALLS (Played by Michael Landon who also previously starred in 'Bonanza')

How about the father in 'The Waltons'? JOHN WALTON (Played by Ralph Waite)

Which priest wanted to 'Kick Bishop Brennan Up The Arse' (episode of a famous Irish TV comedy series)? FATHER TED (Played by Dermot Morgan)

What was the name of the father in 'The Simpsons'? HOMER

Bette Davies sang the song 'I'm Writing A Letter To Dady' in which 1962 film?


Who was the patriarch in the US TV soap 'Dallas'? JOCK EWING (Played by Jim Davis)

Which father and daughter acting partnership starred in the 1973 film 'Paper Moon'? RYAN AND TATUM O'NEAL

The classic book 'To Kill A Mockingbird', about father figure lawyer Atticus Finch, was written by whom? HARPER LEE

'Daddies Sauce' is now owned by HP, who make a similar brown sauce with the HP name. What does the HP in HP Sauce stand for? HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT (The label has a picture of Big Ben on it!)

Who is Saint Nicholas better known as? FATHER CHRISTMAS

Which TV car advert had a father and daughter saying "Papa", "Nicole"? RENAULT CLIO

Which TV food advert had a daughter trying to decide between "Daddy, or chips?" MCCAINS OVEN CHIPS

Which TV communications advert had a grandfather named J.R. Hartley looking for a book he had written in earlier life? YELLOW PAGES


Spotify playlist link here:

Hello Muddah Hello Faddah - Allan Sherman We asked people to listen carefully and name the Summer Camp that the singer attended? CAMP GRANADA

We discussed what staying in a holiday camp such as 'Butlins' or 'Pontins' was like?

Daddy Cool - Boney M What song about Russia did Bony M have a hit single with? RASPUTIN

What was their Christmas single?


Can You Feel The Love Tonight - Elton John What musical is this song from?


Who was Simba's father? MUFASA

The Railway Children - Soundtrack What were the names of the children waiting for their father to come home? ROBERTA (BOBBIE), PHYLISS & PETER

Who played the station master Mr Perks?


Rhythm Of Life - Cy Coleman What musical did this song feature in? SWEET CHARITY

The song opens with the line, 'Daddy started out in San Fransisco' ... Name the famous red bridge?


Star Wars - Soundtrack Who was Luke's father? DARTH VADAR

And his twin sister?


Papa's Got A Brand New Bag - James Brown This song is considered a seminal work in which type of music? FUNK

Ask members to think of different types of 'bags'?


My Old Man's A Dustman - Lonnie Donnegan Time for a sing a long

We also discussed local arrangements for refuse collection!

Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder performed this song, with changed lyrics, at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration when? 4 JUNE 2012

How many years is a Diamond Anniversary?


Papa Was A Rolling Stone - The Temptations Name the Rolling Stones? MICK JAGGER, KEITH RICHARDS, CHARLIE WATTS & RONNIE WOOD

Ask members to complete this proverb ... A rolling stone,


Papa Don't Preach - Madonna What was Madonna's first hit single? HOLIDAY (1984)

What music show did she recently appear in?


The Living Years - Mike And The Mechanics Mike Rutherford fronted this group. Which group was he originally from? GENESIS

Who is singing on this track?


Grandad - Clive Dunn What hit TV comedy series did Clive Dunn star in? DAD'S ARMY (As Corporal Jones)

Dads Army - TV Theme Name the characters and their catchphrases? Private Frazer: We're doomed! Captain Mainwaring: You stupid boy. Lance Corporal Jones: Don't Panic! Don't Panic! Private Pike: Mum won't like it, Uncle Arthur. Private Walker: It won't cost you much. Private Godfrey: Do you think I might be excused? Sergeant Wilson: Do you think that's wise, sir? Chief Warden Hodges: Put that light out!

Only Fools And Horses - TV Theme

Name the brothers?

DEL BOY (Played by David Jason) & RODNEY (Played by Nicholas Lyndhurst)

What vehicle did they get around in?


Steptoe & Son - TV Theme

Who played Harold and Albert?

HARRY CORBETT & WILLIAM BRAMBLE What was Harold's catchphrase about his Dad? YOU DIRTY OLD MAN

Daddy's Home - Cliff Richard What was Cliff Richard's backing group called? THE SHADOWS (featuring Hank Marvin)

In Cockney rhyming slang, what does 'Hank Marvin' mean?


Father And Son - Boyzone Who originally recorded this song in 1970? CAT STEVENS

Father And Son - Cat Stevens

We went around the room and asked members which version they preferred.

Father Figure - George Michael

What was George's real name?


Ernie - Benny Hill What vehicle did Ernie drive? THE FASTEST MILK CART IN THE WEST

Does anyone remember having a milk float deliver gold top milk bottles?

So Long, Farewell - The Sound Of Music

What was the name of the family?

VON TRAPP How did the family escape from Nazi occupied Austria? THEY CLIMBED OVER THE ALPS

Welsh National Anthem (Land Of My Fathers) Which politician infamously pretended to know the words to this patriotic song? JOHN REDWOOD (Who was in the Welsh Office at the time.)


We decided, for this session, to have a 'Beautifying Session', with hairdressing and nail care provided.

For the male members of the group, we asked who wanted their hair combed and slicked back with Brylcreem. We passed around some old men's aftershaves to smell and members put on their preferred choice. We had Old Spice, Denim, Blue Stratos, Brut and others on hand.

For female members we had some make up, nail varnish and emery boards. As well as perfumes such as Sunflowers, Anais Anais, Lavender Water and Lily Of The Valley.

We had some incidental relaxation music playing in the background to help with the ambience.

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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