• Simon O'Donovan

Summer Nights

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time." -John Lubbock "Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." - Van Morrison


There was a heatwave across most of central Europe last week, with temperatures in France reaching a record temperature of 45.9c. Apparently, roads in Germany melted and people generally struggled to stay cool by staying out of the sun and keeping well hydrated. We discussed who liked hot summer days and who preferred to stay indoors.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were announced as the two final candidates in the Conservative Party leadership competition. We discussed who out of these two would make the best, or least worst, British Prime Minister.

The English Women's Football Team had got through to the Semi Finals in the 2019 FIFA World Cup being held in France. Several members had seen the match and commented on the women's compared to the men's game.

Paul McCartney was 77 last week. We remembered some of his songs with The Beatles and Wings - 'Let It Be', 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Hey Jude', 'Silly Love Songs' etc.

Then, of course, June 21st was Midsummer Day. Hence the theme for this week's CST activities page.

IDIOMS ABOUT SUMMER Make hay while the sun SHINES Lead down the garden PATH Little ray of SUNSHINE Head in the CLOUDS Fresh as a DAISY Come rain or come SHINE Chasing RAINBOWS One swallow does not a summer MAKE He’s no spring CHICKEN Let the grass grow under your FEET Fair weather FRIEND Indian SUMMER Hot under the COLLAR Like a cat on a hot tin ROOF Full of hot AIR It’s raining cats and a DOGS Like a storm in a TEACUP Take a rain CHECK The dog days of SUMMER Travel on a SHOESTRING Soak up the RAYS / SUN

DISCUSSION We moved on to discuss the main theme for this week's session, namely 'Summer Holidays'. We asked people, by way of introducing themselves to the group, what was their favourite holiday memory or best place they had visited. We then listed different types of holidays and commented if we had ever been on them and if so what the good things and bad things about them were. (PRINT OUT THE HOLIDAY PICTURES FOR THE TABLES. ASK THE QUESTIONS

Click on the above photo to link to the Powerpoint) - Camping holiday (In a tent what are you usually sleeping under? CANVAS OR THE STARS) - Caravanning holiday (Has anyone stayed at Trecco Bay? Where is it? PORTHCAWL) - Campervan holiday (Which movement was the VW campervan associated with? HIPPIE) - Butlins or Pontins holiday (What colour coats do helpers wear in each camp? RED - BUTLINS & BLUE - PONTINS) - Overseas city break (PARIS AS AN EXAMPLE) (Which city would members most like to visit?) - (Name some UK airlines? EASY JET, RYAN AIR, THOMAS COOK, THOMPSON, FLYBE, BRITISH AIRWAYS) - London weekend to see a West End Show. (Complete the following Musicals titles: Les MISERABLES Miss SAIGON Phantom of the OPERA Sunset BOULEVARD West Side STORY Blood BROTHERS The Lion KING Singing In The RAIN Fiddler On The ROOF Guys And DOLLS

Sweeney TODD - Overseas seaside holiday (What is the famous surfing beach on the island of Oahu in Hawaii called? WAIKIKI) - UK hotel holiday or 'mini break' (How many stars is the best rating for a hotel? 5 STAR) - Backpacking holiday (What do backpackers usually wear on their back to carry their possessions? RUCKSACK / Where do they stay? YOUTH HOSTELS) - Horse riding holiday (How do you 'steer' a horse? WITH REINS & VERBAL COMMANDS) - Cycling holiday (What is a bicycle built for two called? A TANDEM) - Golfing holiday (What is commonly referred to as the 19th hole on a golf course? CLUBHOUSE/BAR) - Dancing holiday (What dancing show travels to Blackpool Tower for one live episode each year? STRICTLY COME DANCING) - Canal narrowboat holiday (What steers a canal barge? TILLER / What tool is used to open a lock? A WINDLASS) - Cruise ship holiday (If the ship hits an iceburg God forbid what signal is given out? S.O.S.) - Coach Trip (What maximum speed are coaches legally allowed to travel at in the UK? 62MPH) - Train holiday (Which detective featured in the 1939 novel 'Murder On The Orient Express'? HERCULE POIROT) - Skiing holiday (What is 'Apres Ski'? ALCOHOL SUCH AS SCHNAPPS AND SNACKS SUCH AS CHEESE FONDUE) - Activity holiday - painting, wine tasting, cooking etc (What colour wines are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot? RED) - Adventure holiday - rock climbing / climbing over Sydney Harbour Bridge / parachuting / hot air balloon (Which would members prefer? Anyone have a fear of heights?) - Safari (Where is the nearest Safari Park? LONGLEAT) - Whale watching (What is the Killer Whale's proper name? ORCA) - Gambling / Casino holiday (Has anyone been to Las Vegas, or fancy going?)

- Music festival e.g. Glastonbury (How would members cope with the rain and mud?) - Day trips or as this type of holiday is now called a 'staycation' (to the zoo, amusement parks or national parks) Members also commented on which of the above holidays they fancied. Of if they had any other ideas? QUIZ QUESTIONS We moved on to some more questions which further prompted reminscence and discussion. 1. In which part of the UK is Stonehenge? SALISBURY PLAIN 2. Which group of people still 'worship' at the standing stones? DRUIDS 3. Where are the 'Blue Stones' said to have come from? PRESILI HILLS NORTH WALES (Does anyone have any ideas on how they would have got the stones to Southern England 5,000 years ago?) 4. Where was the hotel in the hit TV sitcom 'Fawlty Towers' located? TORQUAY 5. Where did Manuel come from from in this sitcom? BARCELONA 6. What is the name of the hotel and hairdresser in the sitcom 'Benidorm'? HOTEL SOLANA & BLOW AND GO 7. What was the name of the holiday camp in the TV comedy series 'Hi De Hi'? MAPLINS 8. What colour jackets did staff at MAPLINS wear? YELLOW 9. How about real staff in Butlins and Pontins? RED IN BUTLINS, BLUE IN PONTINS 10. What is an outdoors swimming pool called? A LIDO (Has anyone swam in one?) 11. What was the name of the children's TV series about life on a canal narrow barge? ROSIE AND JIM 12. What were the main characters' names in the TV comedy series 'Last Of The Summer Wine'? COMPO SIMMINITE, NORA BATTY, CLEGG 13. Which actor who starred alongside Cliff Richard in the film 'Summer Holidays' also starred in the UK comedy series 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'? MELVYN HAYES 14. What was the name of the holiday show presented by Judith Chalmers? WISH YOU WERE HERE 15. Who presented the earlier BBC 'Holiday' programme? CLIFF MICHELMORE 16. Which Australian TV soap is based in Summer Bay? HOME AND AWAY 17. What are the opening lyrics of the Grease song 'Summer Nights'? SUMMER LOVING HAD ME A BLAST 18. Who had a hit with the 1961 song 'Summertime Blues'? EDDIE COCHRAN 19. Which US singer is known as 'The Queen Of Disco'? DONNA SUMMER 20. Which song has the lyrics 'Winter spring summer or fall, all you have to do is call'? YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND BY CAROLE KING 21. What happens if it rains on St Swithen's Day (June 15th)? IT RAINS FOR 40 DAYS 22. What is a period of hot and dry autumn weather known as? AN INDIAN SUMMER 23. What are three summer signs of the zodiac? GEMINI CANCER AND LEO 24. What is the filling of a 'Summer Pudding'? RED FRUITS SUCH AS STRAWBERRY RASPBERRY, BLACKBERRIES AND BLACKCURRANT 25. What are 'Ann Summers' shops infamous for selling? SEXY LINGERIE AND OTHER ACCROUTEMENT 26. Name three sporting events which take place in the UK every year... WIMBLEDON - FIRST TWO WEEKS OF JULY, ROYAL ASCOT (LADIES DAY IS 19TH JUNE), LORDS CRICKET - VARIABLE DATES 27. Where is the '2018 World Cup' to be hosted this summer? RUSSIA 28. What according to myth or fable does lighting never do? STRIKE TWICE 29. Where is the 'Glastonbury Music Festival' held? WORTHY FARM IN PILTON 30. What is the name of the famous hill with St Michael's Tower on top which overlooks this music festival called? GLASTONBURY TOR 31. When is the longest day or 'Summer Solstice'? JUNE 21ST 32. Where do druids traditionally gather at dawn on Midsummer Day to celebrate the passing of time? STONEHENGE 33. Sunlight provides us with which key vitamin? VITAMIN D 34. Which US state is known as 'The Sunshine State'? FLORIDA 35. Name the main ways for getting to your holiday destination? AEROPLANE, BOAT, TRAIN OR CAR 36. Which TV detective show starred John Nettles as D.I. John Barnaby? MIDSOMER MURDERS 37. What other detective role did he play? BERGERAC (set in Jersey) 38. Who had a hit single with the song 'Holiday' in 1983? MADONNA

MUSIC QUIZ As usual, our music choices were songs which most members held in their long term memory. We have found that whilst some individuals with dementia have difficulty communicating their thoughts and needs, the tone pitch and rhythm and even lyrics of songs are often better preserved than everyday speech. This is a great therapeutic strength and adds value to music based activities. We intersperse questions to prompt recall and promote cognitive ability, but more important is the enjoyment derived from singing along with a well known or loved song. It is indeed an uplifting experience to have one's musical memory recognised and supported.

The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of which year? 1967 What were ‘Flower Children’ better know as? HIPPIES What did Hippies protest against in the USA? VIETNAM WAR Where was their cultural home? HAGHT-ASHBURY, SAN FRANSISCO Did anyone consider themselves a Hippie in earlier life? What fashion or symbols were associated with flower power? WEARING FLOWERS, VW BEETLES AND CAMPERVANS, LONG HAIR, BEARDS, FLOWING CLOTHES, SANDALS, FLARES, CND, RECREATIONAL DRUGS Of course, music was a big part of the scene. What was the music festival which took place on Yasgers Farm In 1969 called? WOODSTOCK The first half of the playlist relates to music associated with Flower Power; the second with Summer Music generally.


FLOWER POWER Woodstock - Mathew Southern Comfort. Who had a hit wit this song originally? JONI MITCHELL Flowers In The Rain - The Move. What are members' favourite flowers? Go around the room California Dreaming' - The Mamas & The Papas. Can anyone guess what this song is about? HOMESICKNESS Mr Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan. Can anyone think of any other percussion instruments in addition to the Tambourine? CYMBALS, TRIANGLE, TIMPANI, SNARE DRUM, BASS DRUM San Francisco - Scott McKenzie. What is the name of the infamous prison in San Francisco Bay? ALCATRAZ Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys. The Beach Boys are associated with the surfing community. Has anyone ever surfed or dived in the sea, or used snorkel and goggles and flippers? Daydream Believer - The Monkees. What were their names? DAVY JONES, MICKY DOLENZ, MICHAEL NESMITH & PETER TORK Aquarius, Let The Sunshine In - The 5th Dimension. What are members' star signs? Does anyone read their Horoscope? (Maybe read a couple out, if you have access to a newspaper that includes them?) Up, Up and Away - The 5th Dimension. Can anyone think of other forms of air travel in addition to a Hot Air Balloon? HANG GLIDER, PARACHUTE, LIGHT AIRCRAFT, HELICOPTER, JUMBO JET, CONCORDE Frankie Valli - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You. What was Frankie Valli's backing group known as? THE FOUR SEASONS Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles. Why is this song thought to be about taking psychedelic drugs? IT IS THOUGHT LUCY. SKY. DIAMONDS. SPELLED OUT L.S.D. Itchycoo Park - Small Faces. Is Itchycoo Park a real place? NOT REALLY. ITCHYCOO REFERS TO STINGING NETTLES IN THE PARK WHERE STEVE MARRIOTT GREW UP AND LATER VISITED FOR DRUG TAKING SUMMER TIME The Sun Has Got His Hat On - Me And My Girl Name different types of sun hat? STRAW BOATER, BASEBALL CAP, PANAMA, FEDORA, CLOCHE, TRILBY, COWBOY HAT, KNOTTED HANDKERCHIEF Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & The Shadows Where did the bus trip end in the 1963 film 'Summer Holiday'? GREECE Lovely Day - Bill Withers How many hours daylight is there on the longest day? (Nearest guess) 16 HOURS 38 MINUTES Seasons In The Sun - Terry Jacks What year was this a worldwide hit? 1974 Sunny Afternoon - The Kinks Which sunset did The Kinks also sing about? WATERLOO Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks. Can anyone name any other London mainline stations? EUSTON, ST PANCRAS, KINGS CROSS, PADDINGTON Perfect Day - Lou Reed Go around the room and ask members what their perfect day would be. In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry What aspect of this song lyric is a criminal offence? HAVE A DRINK HAVE A DRIVE (ASSUMING THE DRINK IS ALCOHOLIC) You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder How old is Stevie Wonder? 68 HE WAS BORN 13TH MAY 1950 Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles Which Beatle wrote and sang this song? GEORGE HARRISON Summer Nights - Grease What were the two main character's names? DANNY ZUKO (JOHN TRAVOLTA) AND SANDY OLSSON (OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN) Bring Me Sunshine - Morecombe And Wise What were their Christian names? ERIC AND ERNIE Can anyone do the closing dance? You Are My Sunshine - Johhny Cash What is the slogan for the Sun Smart Safety Campaign? SLIP SLAP SLOP EXTRAS

Maybe if extra time, or in any case, ask members to choose songs to play from these lists.

Mix the questions up as you see fit.

Summer Breeze - The Isley Brothers What is the name of the summer breeze which emanates from the Sahara desert and often brings sand dust to the UK? SIRROCCO Ain't No Sunshine When You're Gone - Bill Withers What film starring Hugh Grant did this song feature in? NOTTING HILL Walking On Sunshine - Katrina And The Waves What year did Katrina win the Eurovision Song Contest with 'Love Shine A Light'? 1997 Sun Is Shining - Bob Marley & The Wailers What religion was Bob Marley? RASTAFARIAN Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran Listen carefully ... Who says, in the song, 'No dice son, you gotta work late'? HIS BOSS Summertime - Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald What musical is this song from? PORGY AND BESS Sunny - Marvin Gaye Who shot and killed Marvin Gaye on April 1st 1984? HIS FATHER Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - Elton John Who later had a number 1 hit dueting with Elton John on a live version of this track? GEORGE MICHAEL


Some ideas ...

Make tie dye T-shirts. Buy white T-shirt packs from Asda (any large supermarket will do) and spray fast drying fabric dyes (various colours) from Hobby Craft. The more colourful the patters the better.

Flower pressing. Buy a bunch of flowers and use an iron (note safety concerns) to press and dry them onto card (there is a video on YouTube of this technique).

Stand up and gently throw a beach ball back and forth across the room, shouting out members' names as you do so. As an alternative for those who struggle to remember names, ask people to shout out their own name and a single positive word which describes them. Have a selection of ice cream flavours for people to sample and vote for the favourite.

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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