The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | The Opening Ceremony in Review


Hello everyone, as promised, I will talk about the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games as it unfolded.

All the crowds that purchased their tickets to see the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games were certainly over the moon with the wonderful and energetic display that was put on tonight. Crowds gathered around the stadium to witness the afterglow of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games as some or most of the athletes that took part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games made their appearance in the Celtic Football Club stadium where the Opening Ceremony was held.

Many famous faces, such as Victoria Pendleton, Sir Chris Hoy and the Royal Majesty herself, the Queen, including Prince Philip (The Duke of Edinburgh) made a substantial and remarkable appearance upon the progress of the Opening Ceremony.

More than 70 Commonwealth countries are set to take part in this year’s 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as part of an ongoing timeline of events that are set to begin.

One of the true world leaders was recognised tonight and will always be remembered, Nelson Mandela. He was recognised for the Commonwealth Games while the Opening Ceremony was in progress. He is a world leader who will never be forgotten.

To draw the Opening Ceremony to an astounding and fantastic close, a large firework display unfolded before everyone’s eyes, and everyone was cheering on for each country that would be participating in this year’s 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for 2014.

Before I conclude this blog post, I would like to say that tonight’s Opening Ceremony was fantastic, was also flawless, and went according to plan. It was one of the best, remarkable display’s that has ever been put on in history. Glasgow have done such a wonderful job delivering a flawless performance for the Opening Ceremony, and they have also truly done themselves proud.

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

Alex Smithson

XSCAPE: Celebrating Michael Jackson’s Life + Deluxe Album Review

As today marks 5 years since Michael Jackson sadly passed away, I wanted to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life for who he was, and how I have come to love the music of someone who was famously known for the famous dance, the moonwalk.

For Michael Jackson, you can definitely say he was the King of Pop, as his music, despite the ongoing claims, allowed everyone to understand what he loved to do the most. As he grew up with making music since the age of 5, because he was with the 5-piece Jackson 5 group, this meant his career, despite it being too early for him to start out, actually proved that he would later on become one of the most successful solo artists on the music scene. Now I know that being forced into the music scene at the age of 5 is not right, given the kind of life Michael went through, but, by making his own music at the age of 20, this gave Michael Jackson the biggest chance to break away from a childhood that was pretty much taken away from him, considering what Joe Jackson did to him in his young years, whipping him regularly if he sung one note out of tune, which is the thing I have come to hate about Joe Jackson.

The albums Michael Jackson did when he became a solo artist was where he made his first proper big break, for example, Motown, because when Motown celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 1985, Michael performed the classical tune that will always be played to this day, which was Billie Jean. This song was overall the best highlight of his solo career.

When I found out he died on this day five years ago, it was an awful lot of time for me to take in the news, in honesty, I was actually crying because he was a talented artist, and was mainly the global figure in popular culture which made his career entirely spread over four decades. Everyone paid their tributes, even days, months or even years after he died, and even I, and everyone around the world will always think about him, despite some negativity, he will always remain in my heart and everyone’s hearts, as he was a kind man who gave up something of his own to provide for others around the world that may have been suffering during a difficult period. His foundation: “Heal the World” was a way of raising money for those who were less fortunate than himself, which I thought was the nicest thing he’s done for everyone, because he was giving something back that he never got from his own father, and I admire Michael Jackson for all the hard work he has done. His legacy will live on for many years to come.


XSCAPE (Deluxe) – Album Review

XSCAPE (Deluxe)
Credit: Michael Jackson, Epic Records, Michael Jackson’s Estate and Rodney Jerkins ©. —XSCAPE Logo Cropped Out to Prevent Copyright Infringement—

When I first heard Michael Jackson’s new posthumous album “XSCAPE”, it blew me away, as this was music that defined the true image of the King of Pop himself. This album was like a journey back in time, as his music overall up to this recent posthumous album defined and enabled me to re-live the experience all over again. It felt like a journey where music would never age, and for Michael Jackson’s albums, even XSCAPE, his music will never age. Despite the 8 tracks that have been contemporised (enhanced to prevent confusion), his music will always be available for many generations to come.

This album, as a whole, was almost unlike the music he would normally make, but this album retain’s his crown as the King of Pop, and will always be the album I listen to. I gave this album its first ever listen on the music-streaming service, Spotify, and now, I have the physical copy of the Deluxe album, which I am over the moon to have as it was a birthday present for my 16th birthday last week :-).

As part of the hard work Michael Jackson has done, I want to give this posthumous album a rating of 10/10 as I believe that for those of you who haven’t heard it yet, you will be blown away, and it will make you want to keep the album on loop.

To your right of the blog page, I have put up the Spotify playlist of Michael Jackson’s XSCAPE (Deluxe) album for your viewing comfort (will remain permanent for this blog) :-).

Thank you for viewing this blog post, this blog post is a fitting tribute to mark the celebration of Michael Jackson’s life, as he has inspired me and everyone around the world to do better, and I thank him for his inspiration. He will always be forever remembered in our hearts for as long as we shall all live.

-Alex Smithson

Kelsey Park: Revisited

Hello everyone!!! As promised, I revisited Kelsey Park earlier this year, marking almost a year since my last visit. This time round when I visited Kelsey Park, it was like a welcome of open arms, as the weather around me was just right, it was perfect, the breeze was comfortable and I felt like I wanted to stay there all day.

When I revisited Kelsey Park back in April, I was able to get a glance at getting more photos of the squirrels, geese and some new kinds of ducks that were at the park. For the first time, I actually got to see a new breed of duck which I had never seen before. The new duck I saw when I visited Kelsey Park was the Male Mandarin, and if you look closely at its feathery wings, the tonal colours of its wings show the overall vibrancy.

Some of these Male Mandarin Ducks can often be found either on land or in water, and I saw at least one or more of them when I revisited Kelsey Park back in April. Seeing these male mandarin ducks for the first time was an all new addition to the park, as well as the heron, which was also another added addition to Kelsey Park.

As well as being there, I managed to get a few photos of some different squirrels, though the two best photo moments were when one of the squirrels sat in perfect position eating the nuts he gathered, while the other squirrel stood up with his hands almost firmly together, which showed an obvious sign he wanted to get some nuts, which I thought were the best moments that highlighted my visit to Kelsey Park.

Life is always full of surprises when you visit a place like Kelsey Park, as you can get special moments there that will live with you for the rest of your life.

As always, I aim to make every visit count and get as many photo moments I can that will highlight the days out that I’ve been places.

Before I get started on the next blog post to go live in a few minutes regarding the Brazil 2014 World Cup, feel free to download these photos and keep for use at anytime, even set them as wallpapers for anything that may be for an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, and even Android Devices.

Below this post, I have pinned the article of “A Great Day Out at Kelsey Park!”  if you want to have a look back on this article and on the first Kelsey Park article I did last year :-).

Thank you for viewing this blog post.

-Alex Smithson

Shirley Hills

Hello everyone :-)!!!

In light of the blog post I published this morning, as promised, I have added the photos of Shirley Hills that I took back in April to this blog post for your viewing pleasure. Taking these photos reminded me of just how comfortable the viewpoint was, as well as the view around me.

As I took photos when I was at the viewpoint, the sky was cloudy, but didn’t stop me from getting good photos that would highlight my trip up to Shirley Hills. The view around me was panoramic, it was surreal, it was an experience that reminded me of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It was like a journey of London in one full view.

I really enjoyed Shirley Hills, as it was a photographical opportunity I didn’t want to miss.

Below are the photos of Shirley Hills I took, and there is also an edited version of one of the photos I took that I filtered via Instagram. Feel free to download these and keep as a wallpaper at your own will :-).

On the 1st July, an all new blog experience will take place, and a special announcement will be made on that day as well…stay tuned!

Later on, I will be publishing a blog post about the Brazil 2014 World Cup…watch this space!

Thank you for viewing this blog post :-).

-Alex Smithson

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games – The Closing Ceremony In Review + This blog is taking a 5-month Hiatus!!!

Hello everyone!!! Before I round off the Closing Ceremony, I wanted to announce that this blog will be taking a 5-month hiatus from today onwards as I will be focusing more on my exams as I finish school for good in July. This day onwards will mean that I will be setting my priorities more on my real exams than on this blog, so I apologise if I don’t post over these 5 months of the hiatus. If I haven’t been able to reply to the comments all of you sent in, I will make sure to do so as soon as possible after the 5 month hiatus is over, and that is a promise.

Now, regarding the Closing Ceremony, I wanted to publish the final highlights and medal results from today’s last 3 events which finish off this year’s Winter Olympics before the flag is handed over to the next host of the Winter Olympic Games, Pyeongchang in South Korea.

The unforgettable part of when the Opening Ceremony begun was when the fifth Olympic ring failed to open, which makes today’s Closing Ceremony funny as a large group of dancers who were performing for today’s Closing Ceremony re-enacted the flaw that went viral all over the internet, but the best part was seeing the dancers unravelling to make it look like the last Olympic ring opened, which was the best thing to see today.

There were a lot of ups and downs over the course of The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games as some countries were in defeat after being beaten but other countries were able to have their chance to shine. These two weeks have proved to be special in some ways, but on the good side, even if Team GB only got 2 Bronze, 1 Silver and a Gold medal, then at least we got a few medals which was good.

Below are the final, last ever highlights of The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, rounding off the last, and final day following the Closing Ceremony that has just finished:

  • The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games have now finished prior to the Closing Ceremony.
  • The IOC Chief mentions: “Russia delivered all it had promised.”
  • Britain finished 19th, matching the best effort of the four medals won over the 2 weeks of the Winter Olympic Games.
  • Russia topped the medal table with 13 Golds.
  • Russia’s hosts win the four-man bobsleigh, with GB 1 finishing in fifth place.
  • Canada’s men defeated Sweden with a score of 3-0 to win a Gold medal in the Ice Hockey event.

Before I begin the 5 month hiatus, here are the final medal results of The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Thank you so much to all of you bloggers and viewers for standing by me over the course of June to now, and I wish you all a happy Summer. See you all again soon in July :-)!!!

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Russian Fed. 13 11 9 33
2 Norway 11 5 10 26
3 Canada 10 10 5 25
4 United States 9 7 12 28
5 Netherlands 8 7 9 24
6 Germany 8 6 5 19
7 Switzerland 6 3 2 11
8 Belarus 5 0 1 6
9 Austria 4 8 5 17
10 France 4 4 7 15
11 Poland 4 1 1 6
12 China 3 4 2 9
13 Korea 3 3 2 8
14 Sweden 2 7 6 15
15 Czech Republic 2 4 2 8
16 Slovenia 2 2 4 8
17 Japan 1 4 3 8
18 Finland 1 3 1 5
19 Great Britain 1 1 2 4
20 Ukraine 1 0 1 2
21 Slovakia 1 0 0 1
22 Italy 0 2 6 8
23 Latvia 0 2 2 4
24 Australia 0 2 1 3
25 Croatia 0 1 0 1
26 Kazakhstan 0 0 1 1
Albania 0 0 0 0
Andorra 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0
Armenia 0 0 0 0
Azerbaijan 0 0 0 0
Belgium 0 0 0 0
Bermuda 0 0 0 0
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 0 0
Brazil 0 0 0 0
Bulgaria 0 0 0 0
Cayman Islands 0 0 0 0
Chile 0 0 0 0
Chinese Taipei 0 0 0 0
Cyprus 0 0 0 0
Denmark 0 0 0 0
Dominica 0 0 0 0
Estonia 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0
Greece 0 0 0 0
Hong Kong, CHN 0 0 0 0
Hungary 0 0 0 0
Iceland 0 0 0 0
Independent Olympic Participant 0 0 0 0
India 0 0 0 0
IR Iran 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0
Israel 0 0 0 0
Jamaica 0 0 0 0
Kyrgyzstan 0 0 0 0
Lebanon 0 0 0 0
Liechtenstein 0 0 0 0
Lithuania 0 0 0 0
Luxembourg 0 0 0 0
Malta 0 0 0 0
Mexico 0 0 0 0
Monaco 0 0 0 0
Mongolia 0 0 0 0
Montenegro 0 0 0 0
Morocco 0 0 0 0
Nepal 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0
Pakistan 0 0 0 0
Paraguay 0 0 0 0
Peru 0 0 0 0
Philippines 0 0 0 0
Portugal 0 0 0 0
Rep. of Moldova 0 0 0 0
Romania 0 0 0 0
San Marino 0 0 0 0
Serbia 0 0 0 0
Spain 0 0 0 0
Tajikistan 0 0 0 0
Thailand 0 0 0 0
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 0 0 0 0
Timor-Leste 0 0 0 0
Togo 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0
Turkey 0 0 0 0
Uzbekistan 0 0 0 0
Venezuela 0 0 0 0
Virgin Isl, B 0 0 0 0
Virgin Isl, US 0 0 0 0
Zimbabwe 0 0 0 0
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The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games – The Opening Ceremony In Review

Hello everyone!!! As you already watched the Opening Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games unfold, I wanted to review the best and slightly unexpected parts of the Opening Ceremony in terms of the time duration.

To start off, the fireworks of the Opening Ceremony started off with a bang, it was to everyone’s expectations and was a pleasure to see Sochi ring in the Winter Olympics with a bang. The sequence was in perfect timing and was also a way to start the ceremony off, despite the amount of rushed time it took a few days previous to finish the construction on everything else.

I did kind of expect a small problem to occur during the opening ceremony, and to much of my amusement, I laughed as the last circle of the Olympic rings didn’t unfold, and over these past couple of hours, everyone has been uploading videos to the Twitter-based video service Vine of the technical malfunction on the last snowfall-based Olympic ring, and it has been all over newspaper websites, such as the Metro, and the Daily Mail (a.k.a. MailOnline).

Now with a technical malfunction such as this to happen, not everything is perfect, but also brings in line a number of improvements for future Winter Olympic Games and Summer Olympic Games to come.

Tonight has been an excellent night regarding the silentness in the night sky, but in honesty, just by watching the opening ceremony on TV, it felt as if I was there re-living the whole Olympic experience from when I went to the Paralympic games back in September 2012, as the atmosphere was calm and peaceful. It was truly an astounding and wonderful experience to watch the Opening Ceremony unfold live on TV.

To conclude, I have provided some handy links from the Zemanta plugin (free) of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games of further information for all of you to read at your viewing comfort, and have also provided a link below of a link from Daily Mail’s website:

Taunting Sochi – Despite a lavish opening ceremony, Twitter is awash with more and more evidence of Sochi disasters | Mail Online-

Thank you for reading this blog post, and please feel free to share this with your friends :-).

-Alex Smithson

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My Journey Through Photography – A Free Blogbook!!!

Hello everyone!!! I wanted to surprise you all by letting you know that I’ve just published a free digital book to Dropbox and is a blog-book based on my journey through photography. In this free digital blog-book, I have picked out the best and worst parts of photography, and have also done 2 pages based on my days out at Kelsey Park and Battersea Park, plus a page which talks about this blog. I also wanted to thank all of you bloggers and viewers for helping me to achieve and surpass my target of 2,000 views, these first few weeks of 2014 have been fantastic as I have almost reached the 3,000 view mark and have almost beaten the overall amount of views from June to December.

I also want to thank all my great blogging friends, including Vijay Shah and Ajay Tao as they have all inspired me to make my blog get this far, and I also want to thank my 2 main role models, Rhys Brown & Zofia Niemtus (Miss Niemtus as a mark of respect) for being the biggest inspirations overall. These 2 bloggers and my 2 main role models are a true inspiration to me and are also a true inspiration to us all.

The blog-book is free to download via Dropbox now: Click here to download your free copy of “My Journey Through Photography”

Thank you for reading this post, and I bet you’ll enjoy reading my little blogbook :-).

-Alex Smithson

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The Dusty Miller of Battersea Park – A Look Back

Hello everyone!!! I wanted to do a little look back on one of the blog posts, so I decided to find out the name of the plant. The name of this plant is called a Dusty Miller, as I did a little bit of research to find out the name of this plant. I was eager to find out what it was called. By using this photo of the plant I took back in August, I used Google Images to find the name of this plant, and just by looking at the Dusty Miller, you can see a lot of detail, it has that kind of feel to it where it appears to be glowing around the edges.

When I looked at this plant, it had what appeared to be a wintry appearance, as you would normally associate snowflakes with that curved shape of the plant. The Dusty Miller has a beautiful texture, and because of how structured it looks, it stands out. Going to Battersea Park in August was special, as it was a place where I could expand my creative ideas further.

Despite the hot weather last summer, it was truly special because you could see the whole of London from a glimpse, and to top it all off, I could see the River Thames below, which gave me two ideas to create a few panoramic photos that would show the whole landscape around Battersea Park. I hope to go there again soon after I leave school as I’m now in my last couple of months of secondary education.

To conclude, I have provided 4 images of the same Dusty Miller plant photo for different sizes that are suitable for the iPad & iPad mini, iPhone & iPod touch, Laptop/PC and Apple’s iMac/Macbook. Feel free to download these wallpapers anytime:

Thank you for reading this blog post.

-Alex Smithson

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