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Welcoming 2023 🔔 "Happy New Year!"

Some ideas for your first CST group of 2023.

INTRODUCTION Wish everyone a Happy New Year and 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?

- Are there any presents to 'regift'?

- Does anyone not celebrate Christmas? What is their festive occasion? - How did members see in the New Year? Did anyone drink champagne and count down the seconds to Big Ben chiming in 2020? - Did anyone watch Jools Holland 'Annual Hootenany' or see the 'Fireworks on the Thames'?

- What is the most enjoyable thing about New Year's Eve or New Year's Day?

NEW YEAR, NEW BEGINNINGS IDIOMS As a memory prompt, we asked members to complete the following phrases together: 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 one on - ME 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 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 Ring in the New - YEAR

SONG. 'Happy New Year', ABBA -

Hre is our first song to sing along with.

No more champagne And the fireworks are through Here we are, me and you Feeling lost and feeling blue It's the end of the party And the morning seems so grey So unlike yesterday Now's the time for us to say

Chorus: Happy New Year Happy New Year May we all have a vision now and then Of a world where every neighbor is a friend Happy New Year Happy New Year May we all have our hopes, our will to try If we don't we might as well lay down and die You and I

Sometimes I see How the brave new world arrives And I see how it thrives In the ashes of our lives Oh yes, man is a fool And he thinks he'll be okay Dragging on, feet of clay Never knowing he's astray Keeps on going anyway


Seems to me now That the dreams we had before Are all dead, nothing more Than confetti on the floor It's the end of a decade In another ten years time Who can say what we'll find What lies waiting down the line In the end of eighty-nine


Ask members if they have made any New Year's resolutions (things they would like to do more or less of)?

As we start a new year, what is the single biggest change you or others could make that would make the world a better place to live in?

NEW YEAR'S QUIZ Here's a short quiz to carry on the discussion.

Round 1. Traditions

​What do people traditionally do at midnight on New Years Eve?

​What do the Scots call New Year's Eve?

​What do you call a Scottish or Irish social occasion involving Gaelic music and dancing?

​What is a 'Calennig' in Wales?

​What is 'First Footing'?

​What gifts are given?

​Which Cornish town celebrates 'Mummers Day', where traditional Cornish songs are replaced with Minstrel songs? (They also have 'Obby Oss Day' on 1st May.)

​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?

​What is the tradition, in the West Country on the twelfth night, 'Wassailing' all about?

Complete the following phrase, which is said by school children on the first of each month... "Pinch punch, first of the month and .........". ​

​True or False. Doing laundry on New Year's Day is bad luck?

Who wrote the words to Auld Lang Syne?

What do those words mean?

SINGALONG. 'Auld Lang Syne', Maria Carey -

(This is also a great version to dance along with!)

Round 2. Millennium

Identify these 'Millennium Fund' landmark construction projects ...

Who has visited any of them?

​Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

Name the clock & tower?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

What is it called now?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

Which canal is it on?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

What is it called now?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

Where is it?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

What do locals call it (after and animal)?

Name these two 'Millennium Fund' landmarks?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

Where is it?

Name the 'Millennium Fund' landmark?

What river does it cross?

​How many beacons were lit to celebrate the new century?

a. 1,000+

b. 2,500+

c. 4,000+

SONG. 'Millennium', Robbie Williams -

This song borrows heavily from which James Bond movie theme music?

Here it is -

Round 3. General Knowledge

​Which country in the world is first to see in New Year, and at what time GMT is it?

​Complete the saying ... “Thirty days hath September ..."

​Where do Americans celebrate the New Year by watching 'The Ball Drop'?

​Which comedian made the first ever mobile phone call in Britain on 1st January 1985?

​What are 'Veganuary', 'Red January' and 'Dry January'?

​What year was the Queen's 'Annus Horribilis'? Why was it so called?

What name was given to the predicted computer meltdown at the beginning of the year 2000?

​What 1972 disaster movie is set around a New Year's Eve party at sea?

​How do you say "Happy New Year" in Welsh? (Or another language depending on the cultural background of your members)

​2023 will be 'Year Of The Rabbit' in the Chinese calendar. What are the other 11 animals?

SONG. 'Year Of The Cat', Al Stewart -

Is there a 'Year Of The Cat'?

Round 4. My Top 10 News Stories Of 2022

Our beloved Queen Elizabeth 11 died suddenly in September at 'Balmoral Castle' in Scotland. Having reigned from 1952 to 2022, she was the longest ever serving monarch. She died just a little more than a year after her husband Prince Philip. Thank you for your service Mam!

Q. How old was she when she died?

King Charles succeeded his mother as our new King. His wife Camilla will serve as Queen Consort. He takes over the role as our oldest ever monarch. His coronation will take place on 6th May 2023 and an extra Bank Holiday will be given to help with celebrations.

Q. How old was he when he became king?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, launched their 'Netflix' series exposing life in the royal family and the impact of their treatment by the UK media on their mental health. They also welcomed their new baby Lilibet, named after the late Queen, who joins Archie to make their family complete.

Q. Who interviewed Harry and Meghan earlier this year and caused some controversy?

President Zelensky received the 'Nobel Peace Prize' on behalf of the people of Ukraine, who are still suffering the devastating impact of the war brought against them by President Putin of Russia.

Q. In which city & country are the 'Nobel Prizes' awarded?

Boris Johnson was ousted from office by his own Conservative Party hierarchy for misleading Parliament about the part he played in 'Partygate' and his conduct more generally.

Q. What is the name of his wife?

Liz Truss succeeded him, but lasted only a few weeks. Indeed, a lettuce outlived her time in office (a 'Daily Star' jibe). Her and her Chancellor's (Kwasi Kwarteng) mini-budget pretty much crashed the economy and lost the country an estimated £30bn.

Rishi Sunak then took over, but with criticism that a General Election should be called after so much political upheaval and for decisions he and his Chancellor (Jeremy Hunt) took, including massive tax increases, without a mandate from the country.

Q. How much are Rishi Sunak and his wife reportedly worth? (More than the King!)

a. £73m

b. £730m

c. £7bn

All of us suffered due to a 'Cost Of Living Crisis'. The causes were many, but mainly focused on increases in energy costs caused by the war in Ukraine, increasing food costs due to rising inflation and increasing mortgage bills due to the crash in the economy caused by Truss and Kwarteng.

Q. How many 'Food Banks' are there in the UK? (More than branches of McDonald's!)

a. 572

b. 1,572

c. 2,572

Many workers began to take industrial action during a 'Winter Of Discontent'. Rail workers went on strike for increased pay and better working conditions. The Government angered them by supporting 'driver only trains'. Postal workers took action for better pay, because of Post Office closures and about Sunday working. And nurses went on strike for the first time ever because of pay and conditions in an NHS massively under pressure after COVID-19 and due to many health and social care staff from the EU going home and leaving gaps in the workforce.

Q. How much is a standard rail fare from Cardiff to London Paddington? (Average cost of a one way ticket booked 7 days in advance.)

a. £63

b. £73

c. £83

Thinking of some good news stories, England's 'Lionesses' won the 'UEFA Women's Euro Football Championship' in July, beating Germany 2-1.

Q. Who captained the men's Wales & England Teams in the 'Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup'?

Jill Scott, one of the team, went on to win 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here' in November.

Q. Which ex Health Secretary joined her in the jungle?

Thinking of weather, in July the UK experienced a heatwave, with a new record of 40.3C being set in Lincolnshire on 19th July.

Q. What is the hottest temperature ever recorded, anywhere in the world? ('Death Valley', California, in 1913)

a. 46.7C

b. 56.7C

c. 66.7C

Round 5. New Year's Honours List

Ask members if they recognise any of the above faces and have a guess at what honours they were awarded.

Brian May KBE - English musician and astrophysicist. He achieved worldwide fame as the lead guitarist of the rock band 'Queen', which he co-founded with the singer Freddie Mercury and the drummer Roger Taylor.

Here is a link to 'We Are The Champions' -

Grayson Perry KBE - English contemporary artist, writer and broadcaster. He is known for his ceramic vases, tapestries, and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles".

Mary Quant DBE - British fashion designer and fashion icon. She became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. She was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and hotpants.

Denise Lewis DBE - British sports presenter and former track and field athlete, who specialised in the heptathlon. She won the gold medal in the heptathlon at the '2000 Sydney Olympics', was twice 'Commonwealth Games' champion.

Virginia McKenna DBE - British stage and screen actress, author, activist, and wildlife campaigner. She is best known for the films 'A Town Like Alice', 'Carve Her Name with Pride', 'Born Free', and 'Ring of Bright Water', as well as her work with 'The Born Free Foundation'.

Here is a link to 'Born Free', sung by Matt Monroe -

Frank Skinner MBE - English comedian, actor, presenter and writer. At the 2001 'British Comedy Awards', he was named 'Best Comedy Entertainment Personality'. His television work includes 'Fantasy Football League', 'The Frank Skinner Show ', 'Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned' and 'Room 101'.

Stephen Graham OBE - English actor best known for playing Andrew "Combo" Gascoigne in the film 'This Is England' (2006) and its television sequels. On television, Graham has starred as DS John Corbett in the fifth series of the BBC One series 'Line of Duty' (2019), Al Capone in the HBO series 'Boardwalk Empire' (2010–2014) and DCI Taff Jones in the ITV miniseries 'White House Farm' (2020).

David Harewood OBE - British actor and presenter best known for his roles as CIA Counterterrorism Director David Estes in 'Homeland' (2011–2012), and as J'onn J'onzz / Martian Manhunter and Hank Henshaw / Cyborg Superman in 'Supergirl' (2015–2021).

'The Lionesses' - England captain Leah Williamson is made an OBE and teammates Lucy Bronze, Beth Mead and Ellen White become MBEs.

Round 6. Some final songs ...

Who sang that they were going to ... 'Party like it's 1999'?

Here is the song -

Which Stevie Wonder song begins with the lyrics, "No New Year's Day to celebrate..."?

Here is the song -

'Perfect Year', Dina Carroll -

Which musical does the song 'The Perfect Year' come from?

'January', Pilot -

What was their other UK top 20 hit? (Clue "Oh oh oh it's ***** . Never believe it's not so!")

'New Year's Day', U2 -

Who is the lead singer of 'U2'?

What is his real name?


Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

SONG. 'Auld Lang Syne', Andy Stewart

A final, more traditional version of the song to finish -

Dance together, but only if safe to do so!

PRACTICAL ACTIVITY Ask members if they have ever received recognition for a lifetime achievement. Another way of asking this question is to ask what they are 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!) Or make a 'real' medal out of air drying clay and ribbon. Maybe illustrate the background/other side with an image of what it is they have excelled at. (Emojis are useful in this respect.)

Round 1

Kiss. During a Hogmanay party, it's customary to try kissing everyone in the room as the bells ring at stroke of midnight. Passionate New Year's Eve kisses are featured prominently in popular culture.



'Calennig' is a Welsh word meaning "New Year celebration/gift", although it literally translates to "the first day of the month". A 'Calennig' gift is traditionally an apple skewered with cloves, dried fruit and sprigs of evergreen.

The tradition of 'First Footing' was always important in Scotland and Wales. A dark-haired man should let in the New Year for good luck.

The 'First Footer' would traditionally arrive bearing gifts to bring good fortune and health to the home. Gifts generally took the form of a coin, shortbread or something edible, a lump of coal or wood for the fire and a drink of whisky to represent prosperity, food, warmth and good cheer.

Padstow. The tradition came from Philadelphia 'Mummers Parade'.


There are two versions of Wassailing. One involves groups of merrymakers going from one house to another, wassail bowl in hand, singing traditional songs and generally spreading fun and good wishes. The other form of wassailing is doing the same thing in orchards to bless the apple trees for a good harvest next year.

"Pinch, punch, first of the month and NO RETURNS." Salt was meant to make witches weak, so the pinch signified the use of salt to weaken the witch, while the punch was then administered to banish the witch for good. Saying the words 'pinch punch for the first of the month' therefore became a way of welcoming in a new month and protecting yourself from bad luck.

True. Don't do laundry on New Year's Day, or a member of the family will be washed away (i.e., die) during the coming year. Also doing laundry on New Year's Day will wash a year of good fortune down the drain.

Rabbie Burns / 'Times Gone By'

Round 2

'London Eye' / 'Big Ben' & 'Elizabeth Tower'

'Millennium Stadium', Cardiff / 'Principality Stadium'

'Falkirk Wheel' / 'Forth & Clyde Canal' connecting to 'The Union Canal'

'Millennium Dome' / 'O2 Arena'

'Eden' / St Austell, Cornwall

'Millennium Centre' / Cardiff Bay

'Millennium Bridge' & 'Tate Modern'

'Spinnaker Tower' / Southampton

'Gateshead Millennium Bridge' / River Tyne

More than 4,000

'You Only Live Twice', 1967

Round 3

The Pacific island of Tonga is first to ring in the New Year and celebrated at 10am GMT on December 31st - making the tiny island nation the first to head into a fresh year.

“Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, but February’s 28. The leap year, which comes once in four gives February one day more.”

Times Square, New York ('The Big Apple')

Ernie Wise

'Veganuary' is a pledge to give up meat and dairy for the month of January. 'Red January' is a pledge to focus on fitness as a means to improve physical and mental health. 'Dry January' is a pledge to give up alcohol for the month of January.

1992. It was so called as it was wrecked by the collapse of three of her children's marriages - including Prince Charles' to Princess Diana - and the fire that severely damaged her Windsor Castle home.

'The Millennium Bug'. Planes didn't fall from the sky, banking systems didn't crash and clocks kept ticking, largely so technicians told us because of the crisis averting measures they took.

'The Poiseidon Adventure'

'Blwyddyn Newydd Dda'

The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat (sometimes interchangeable with sheep), monkey, rooster, dog and pig

There is no 'Year Of The Cat'

Round 4

96 years

73 years

Oprah Winfrey

Oslo, Norway

Carrie Simmonds




Gareth Bale & Harry Kane

Matthew Hancock



'I Just Called To Say I Love You'

'Sunset Boulevard'

'It's Magic'

Bono / Paul David Hewson

FOOTNOTE 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 care partner 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 2023. Thank you for your ongoing support!

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