About Me

My name is Simon O’Donovan MBE. I’ve worked in NHS Wales for most of my adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

I recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service. I continue to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.

 

I've been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive our 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. 

 

My colleagues and I have been using these approaches regularly in our day to day work and have found them beneficial. The materials provided have been tried and tested, then refined to improve and further develop them for future use.

 

The main aim of this website is to share our 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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2018 Simon O'Donovan. Proudly created with Wix.com  2019

True Colours

June 3, 2019

 

 

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

 


THEME

This week's theme was 'True Colours'. 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 Sunday, 27th October 2019.

Then there is the '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 to our News Round Up, we went around the room and asked members to say what their favourite colour is and why.


NEWS ROUND UP

Thinking of colour, this week it was reported that an amateur treasure hunter in Australia had unearthed a 49-ounce gold nugget while walking the fields in a goldmining town in Western Australia. The man found the 'monster' of a gold nugget, valued at £54,000, with a metal detector.

Ask members to complete the following phrase ...

Finders keepers, losers - WEEPERS

The Royal Mint had just valued a 200 year old gold George 111 sovereign at £100,000. The 'Independent' advised people to "check down the sofa", as the coin which was minted in 1819 was originally valued at £1. Members commented on the large value of this small piece of gold, compared to that of the large nugget found above.

It was 'National Biscuit Day' this week. We asked members to comment on their favourite biscuit, then for fun read out from www.thepoke.co.uk 'What Does Your Favourite Biscuit Say About You?' picture linked in the slides. (Take care to avoid reading out the full text under the Pink Wafer!)

Next we read out a story from www.walesonline.co.uk which referred to Cardiff City Council plans to establish a 'Canal Quarter' in the heart of Cardiff. Apparently, the former Glamorganshire Canal still runs under Churchill Way and we asked if members knew it's route through the City. We then asked which members had enjoyed a canal narrowboat holiday. We commented on the slow speed, the back to nature feel of travelling through unspoiled countryside and the hard work of taking boats through flights of locks.

Finally this week, Max McDougall age 22 claimed his first ever victory in the daredevil 200ft tumble down Cooper's Hill in Brockworth, Gloucestershire. The Gloucester cheese rolling race winner knocked himself out last year when he tried the race. This year's female winner, Flo Early age 28, immediately announced her retirement after spraining her ankle. The prize for the winners, a round of Double Gloucester. We asked if anyone remembered rolling down a hill as a child and the feelings it resulted in.


IDIOMS

We 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

(We commented on his forthcoming official State Visit to the UK.)

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?)

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 version entitled 'Holiday Inn'.
- 'The Pink Panther' 1963. The comedy starring Peter Sellers about the hapless Inspector Clousseau.
- '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 a 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 painting above 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

'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

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 

https://open.spotify.com/user/1154769589/playlist/1asaFBbOh3Rv4Rvt2j3IyT?si=TGAytidmRNSkWIGW18QJxQ


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 just two of them are pictured below.

 

One of members efforts is pictured above.

 






 

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