Some ideas for your first CST group of 2019.
Wish everyone a Happy New Year. Ask how their holidays went?
Did anyone have any visitors staying, or did they visit or stay with family or friends?
What were their best Christmas presents? Did anyone have any nice surprises? Or are there any presents to 'recycle'?
How did members see in the New Year? Did anyone drink champagne and count down the seconds to Big Ben chiming in 2019?
Did anyone watch Jools Holland 'Annual Hootenany' or see the Fireworks on the Thames?
What about New Year's resolutions? Have any been made or already broken?
SEEING IN 2019
As we welcomed in the New Year, we discussed some notable occasions that will be happening over the next twelve months.
Harry and Meghan will welcome their first baby. Maybe start a sweepstake of possible names?
The Cricket World Cup will take place in May in London.
The Women's Football World Cup will take place in France in June/July.
June will mark the 74th anniversary of the Normandy D Day landings.
July will mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings.
The Rugby World Cup will take place in Japan in September.
We all agreed there was a lot to look forward to this year then and to discuss each of these events in more detail as they happen.
IN OTHER NEWS
The Christmas Number 1 song was ‘We Built This City On Sausage Rolls’, by LadBaby. The song raised funds for a Food Banks charity,
A new Banksy artwork, given the name ‘Seasons Greetings’ had been discovered on a garage in Port Talbot. We discussed the mural and it’s messages about pollution, childlike naivety and vandalism.
Sadly June Whitfield, comic actress and star of ‘Terry And June’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous’, had died on 29th December 2018, aged 93. We remembered her fondly and looked at some clips of her work on YouTube.
NEW YEAR'S HONOURS LIST
The New Year’s Honours list 2019, published on Saturday 29 December, recognised the outstanding achievements of people across the United Kingdom.
What do people think of the New Year's Queen's Honours List?
What are the main awards?
MBE - Member of the British Empire
OBE - Order of the British Empire
CBE - Commander of the British Empire
Here are some famous people honoured this year. Discuss with the group which are most deserved.
Awards included a damehood for model, actress and singer Lesley Lawson (aka Twiggy); knighthoods for comedian and travel writer Michael Palin, of Monty Python fame, record breaking cricketer Alastair Cook following his retirement from international cricket and for children’s author Philip Pullman, for services to literature; a CBE for journalist, naturalist and twitcher Chris Packham; an OBE for Cardiff born Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas; and following England’s successful World Cup run in the Summer, an OBE for England Football manager Gareth Southgate; and an MBE for captain Harry Kane. Conservative politician John Redwood was also knighted in this year’s honours, which received some negative comment in relation to ‘buying favour’ regarding the forthcoming Brexit vote.
Discuss the Honours System with members. Are these awards deserved? Is the recognition given to public service a British tradition to be proud of? Is this a Royal Family contribution to the betterment of society? Or is it all hot air or cold blancmange?
Notable people who have refused honours include:
Ken Loach, film director, turned down an OBE in 1977, saying: “It’s all the things I think are despicable: patronage, deferring to the monarchy and the name of the British Empire, which is a monument of exploitation and conquest.”
Danny Boyle, film director and master behind the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony revealed he turned down an honour because: “It’s just not me”.
Jim Broadbent, actor, turned down an OBE in 2000, saying: “I’m not that comfortable with actors receiving honours, partly because I think they ought to go to those who really help others. Besides, I like the idea of actors not being part of the Establishment.”
Renowned journalist Jon Snow declined an offer of an OBE, reportedly because he believed that working journalists should not take honours from those about whom they report. He said: “I tried to find out why I’d been given it and was unable to get a clear answer or, indeed, to find out who had proposed me.”
Howard Gayle, Liverpool FC’s first black player, turned down an MBE last year saying that his “ancestors would be turning in their graves after how Empire and Colonialism had enslaved them”. He was nominated for the honour for his campaign work with Show Racism the Red Card.
Musician Paul Weller rejected a CBE in 2006. In a statement a spokeswoman for Weller said: “Paul was surprised and flattered, but it wasn’t really for him.”
Comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders turned down OBEs “for services to comedy drama” in 2001. Saunders later revealed why they turned down the honour offered to them. “At the time, we felt that we were being paid very well to have a lot of fun. It didn’t seem right somehow. We didn’t deserve a pat on the back. It felt a bit fake to stand alongside people who devoted their lives to truly worthy causes.”
In 2000 the former Beatle George Harrison turned down an OBE after his band mate Paul McCartney was awarded a knighthood three years earlier. “Whoever it was who decided to offer him the OBE and not the knighthood was extraordinarily insensitive”, said friend and journalist Ray Connolly.
David Bowie, internationally renowned musician, turned down an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2000, saying: “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.”
Scientist Stephen Hawking revealed in 2008 that he had been approached with the offer of a knighthood in the late 1990s, but declined. It was reported that this was because of the UK government’s handling of science funding.
John Cleese, comedian and actor, was offered a CBE in 1996 but refused because he thought they were “silly”.
Alan Bennett, playwright and author, turned down the offer of a CBE in 1988 and then rejected a knighthood in 1996. He said: “I felt that, in my case, it just wouldn’t suit me, that’s all. It would be like wearing a suit every day of your life.”
(Information source Huffington Post)
NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS IDIOMS
As a memory prompt, we asked members to complete the following phrases about ‘New Things’.
To turn over a new - LEAF
To start - ANEW/AFRESH
Nothing ventured, nothing -GAINED
To break new - GROUND
Out with the old and in with the - NEW
When one door closes, another - OPENS
Winds of - CHANGE
You can’t teach an old dog new - TRICKS
As bright as a new - PIN
As busy as a - BEAVER
As good as - NEW
A lick of - PAINT
A brave new - WORLD
A whole different - BALLGAME
A new broom sweeps - CLEAN
New kid on the - BLOCK
New lease of - LIFE
That’s a new on on - ME
As good as - NEW
Breathe new life into - SOMETHING
Dawn of a new - DAY
Make - OVER
Feel like a new - MAN
Like a kid with a new - TOY
Brand spanking - NEW
New - PASTURES
New wine in old - BOTTLES
Nothing new under the - SUN
Plumb new - DEPTHS
Put a different complexion on - SOMETHING
See in a new - LIGHT
Take a new - TURN/TWIST
Take on new - SIGNIFICANCE
That’s a new one on - ME
The Emperor’s new - CLOTHES
Ring in the New - YEAR
NEW YEAR'S QUIZ
Here's a short quiz to carry on the discussion.
1. What do the Scots call New Year's Eve? HOGMANAY
2. Who wrote the words to Auld Lang Syne? RABBIE BURNS
3. What does Auld Lang Syne mean? TIMES GONE BY
4. Which is the first country to celebrate New Year? SAMOA (10AM UK TIME)
5. Which US state is the last to celebrate New Year? HAWAII
6. What is traditionally served on New Year's Eve in Scotland? HAGGIS WITH NEEPS AND TATTIES (SWEDE AND POTATOES) AND WHISKY (SINGLE MALT) (PLAYED IN BY BAGPIPES)
7. What is 'Calennig' in Wales? A NEW YEAR'S GIFT GIVEN DOOR TO DOOR WITH GOOD WISHES (AN APPLE SKEWERED WITH CLOVES, DRIED FRUIT AND SPRIGS OF EVERGREEN)
8. What year was the Queen's 'Annus Horribilis'? 1992, THE YEAR WHEN CHARLES AND DIANA SEPARATED AND WINDSOR CASTLE WAS BADLY DAMAGED IN A FIRE
9. What 1972 disaster movie is set around a New Year's Eve party at sea? THE POISEIDON ADVENTURE
10. Who sang that they were going to ... 'Party like it's 1999'? PRINCE
11. What was the feared computer failure of New Year's Eve 2000 called? THE MILLENNIUM BUG
12. What landmark constructions were built to celebrate the Millennium? THE MILLENNIUM DOME (O2 ARENA), THE LONDON EYE, THE MILLENNIUM (PRINCIPALITY) STADIUM, WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE, MILLENNIUM BRIDGE (Can anyone think of any others?)
13. Who sang the song 'Millennium'? ROBBIE WILLIAMS
14. What is traditionally given by a dark haired person in the custom of 'First Footing'? SOME COAL, BREAD, MONEY AND GREENERY (TO MAKE SURE THE HOUSE IS ALWAYS WARM, THERE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT, THERE IS ENOUGH MONEY TO GET BY AND EVERYONE LIVING IN THE HOUSE HAS A LONG LIFE)
15. Where in the UK do people say "Black rabbits, Black rabbits, black rabbits" in the closing seconds of the old year and "White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits" in the opening seconds of the new year? YORKSHIRE
16. Complete the following phrase, which is said by school children on the first of each month... "Pinch punch, first of the month and .........". NO RETURNS
17. Where do Americans celebrate the New Year by watching 'The Ball Drop'? TIMES SQUARE IN NEW YORK
18. Which Stevie Wonder song begins with the lyrics, "No New Year's Day to celebrate..."? I JUST CALLED TO SAY LOVE YOU
19. Which Abba album did the song 'Happy New Year' appear on? SUPER TROUPER
20. 2018 will be the year of which animal in the Chinese calendar? THE PIG (CHINESE NEW YEAR IS TUESDAY FEBRUARY 5TH)
The pig is not thought to be a smart animal in China. It likes sleeping and eating and becomes fat.
In ancient Christian symbolism, the pig signifies laziness and greed, while Muslims, Jews, and other Islamic cultures see the pig as something 'unclean'. Thus, they are 'forbidden' to eat pork.
21. How do we say 'Happy New Year' in Welsh? BLWYDDYN NEWYDD DDA
Ask members if they have ever received recognition for a lifetime achievement.
Another way of asking this question is what are they most proud of.
Perhaps they excelled at school or university, perhaps there was a significant contribution they made in their occupation, or perhaps they raised a wonderful family.
Perhaps they have a skill that is remarkable, for example being able to play a musical instrument, being an artist or author or being fluent in another language.
As for a practical activity, have members draw or paint a gold medal and ribbon to award themselves for their best lifetime achievement. (And a silver and bronze medal if there is time!)
Maybe illustrate the background with an image of what it is they have excelled at.
Happy New Year - ABBA
Which Royal Wedding took place at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on 19th May 2018? (They are expecting their first child in May this year.) PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE
January - Pilot
Who is the Roman God of beginnings and endings that January is named after?
Have You Met Miss Jones - Robbie Williams
Who wrote Bridget Jones Diary, which centred around the main character starting a new diary each New Year's Day?
(Renne Zellweger starred in the film series.)
The Perfect Year - Dina Carroll
This song was written for and featured in which Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical?
(Norma Desmond was the main character.)
Stevie Wonder - I Just Called To Say I Love You
This song won an Oscar for 'Best Original Song' for which 1984 romantic comedy, starring Gene Wilder?
THE WOMAN IN RED
(Gene Wilder also starred as Dr Frankenstein in Mel Brookes' 1974 comedy horror film 'Young Frankenstein'.)
1999 - Prince
What was Prince's real name?
PRINCE ROGERS NELSON
(Can anyone remember what his alternate 'Love Symbol' looked like?)
(He had a hit single with what colour rain? - PURPLE)
It May Be Winter Outside - Love Unlimited
When did the UK experience it's worst winter weather, in living memory?
THE 'BIG FREEZE' OF 1962/63 WAS THE COLDEST ON RECORD FOR MORE THAN 200 YEARS. THEN THERE WAS THE 'WINTER OF DISCONTENT' IN 1978/79 AND 1981/82 WAS ALSO PRETTY BAD WITH PARTS OF WALES EXPERIENCING 23 FT DRIFTS.
(Last year's snow storm was called what? - THE BEAST FROM THE EAST)
New Year's Day - U2
Who is the lead singer of U2, who recently said that music in the UK had 'become too girly!'
BONO (A.K.A. PAUL DAVID HEWSON)
December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) - Franki Valli & The Four Seasons
What was Franki Valli's first hit in 1962 (named after a fortified wine)?
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) - ABBA
What was ABBA's first European hit (there's a clue in the word European)?
('Waterloo' won the 'Eurovision Song Contest' in? - 1974)
Dancing In The Moonlight - Toploader
How long does it take the light from the moon to reach the earth?
Light travels through space at just over 186,000 miles per second. The moon is just under 250,000 miles from Earth, so light from the Moon's surface has to travel more than one second (ABOUT 1.3 SECONDS) to reach us.
(Sir Patrick Moore presented 'The Sky At Night' for more than how many years? - 50 YEARS)
Celebration - Kool And The Gang
How do people celebrate New Year? WITH CHAMPAGNE, A KISS AT MIDNIGHT, A PARTY, DANCING, FIREWORKS, RESOLUTIONS AND SINGING AULD LANG SYNE
It's My Party - Leslie Gore
Who would members invite to a party if they had the opportunity?
Gold - Spandau Ballet
Gold is categorised in terms of purity and value by what?
(Is anyone wearing any gold today?)
All Night Long (All Night) - Lionel Richie
What was Lionel Richie's group called?
(Their number one 1978 hit was? - THREE TIMES A LADY)
Millennium - Robbie Williams
This song is based on music from which James Bond film (the title song being sung by Nancy Sinatra)?
YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE
('Take That' celebrate their what anniversary this year? - 30 YEARS)
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Frank Sinatra
Who likes the snow?
Discuss what reminds us of snow days as children? -
NO SCHOOL, TOBOGANNING, MAKING A SNOWMAN, SNOWBALL FIGHT, COLD FEET AND HANDS, MITTENS, BOBBLE HATS AND SCARVES, BALACLAVA, WARMING BY THE COAL FIRE
Rock Around The Clock - Billy Haley & The Comets
How often does Halley's Comet orbit the earth?
EVERY 75-76 YEARS. IT WILL NEXT APPEAR IN 2062!
Auld Lang Syne - The Party Poppers
Get the group up dancing and linking arms. HAPPY NEW YEAR X
It is important to note these discussion topics and quiz questions are only suggestions and prompts to support your CST session.
Time for discussion and elaboration is more important than completion and going off at tangents is absolutely to be encouraged.
It would be good to have feedback about what has worked well and not so well in the activities included in the CST Blog, maybe along with photographs of things produced in your sessions. (Please don't include pictures of members unless they have expressly given informed consent and their relative or friend has also agreed to it.)
Ideas for future activities would also be gratefully received.
Wishing all my followers and supporters a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!