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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Photography | Nature is now Blog of the Year 2013!!!

Hello everyone!!! I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of you bloggers and all of you viewers out there for visiting this blog. Without you all, I wouldn’t have got this far in the first 6 months, and to top it all off, Photography | Nature has passed the 1,000+ view mark and has become the Blog of the Year for 2013. I owe a massive thank you to Vijay Shah of the HalfEatenMind blog who nominated me for the 5* on the Blog of the Year 2013 award, and also a massive thank you to Ajay of the Ajaytao2010 blog for the 1* to make it 6*. Another great announcement is that Vijay of the HalfEatenMind blog has just won the Blog of the Year 2013 award as well!!! To follow his blog, the link is below…and again, thanks for a wonderful first 6 months

Thank you Vijay and Ajay, without you both, I wouldn’t have won the Blog of the Year 2013 award, and a massive congratulations to you Vijay for winning the Blog of the Year 2013 award, you deserved it as well and have a Happy New Year Vijay Shah and also Ajay Tao :-)!!!

Have a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you all in 2014 :-)!!!!!!!!!

Vijay Shah’s HalfEatenMind blog:

Ajay Tao’s Ajaytao2010 blog:

2 Role Models that Inspired me the Most + Nominations

I also wanted to mention 2 people who inspired me the most to set up this Photography blog. My best mate, Rhys Brown inspired me and is always a role model who I can always look up to, as I asked what his thoughts were on creating this photography blog, he thought it was a brilliant idea, and I jumped at this opportunity whilst I still could, and I owe him a massive thank you for inspiring me to create this blog. Without him, I wouldn’t have got this many views in 6 months, and I owe him another massive thank you for it, he will always be one of my best mates no matter what. To follow my best mate Rhys on Twitter, here’s the link:

The 2nd and final person who inspired me the most as well was my previous form tutor who I had since I was in Year 9 & Year 10, her name is Zofia Niemtus (though I call her Miss Niemtus as my way of showing her respect) and was a teacher who also inspired me to create this nature blog. I asked Miss Niemtus a month before she left my school to work elsewhere whether she thought it was a good idea to create a blog, and she also thought it was a brilliant idea too, so I created this blog, and over the course of June Miss Niemtus asked me to send the link of this blog to her so she could present it to everyone in my form class. I was like a bag of nerves when she mentioned my blog to everyone, as I was worried to how my friends would react, but the overall outcome of my old form tutor was positive as everyone thought this blog was really good.

Overall, I would love to say a massive thank you to these 2 people for inspiring me the most, without them, this blog wouldn’t be in existence, but I’m absolutely thankful my best mate Rhys and also my old form tutor Miss Niemtus got me this far, they have inspired me to do more, and they both deserve the best. Thanks guys, and have a very Happy Christmas :-)!!!

Here is another blog post morsel for you to digest :-)!!!


As these first 6 months have been perfect for this blog, along with my 2 role models who inspired me the most to create this blog, I wanted to create a follow-up and also wanted to take the opportunity to nominate 3 bloggers for the Blog of the Year 2013 award. These 3 bloggers helped me to beat my target of getting 1000 views before 2013 draws to a close, so I want to nominate these 3 bloggers for their constant efforts on creating posts every day, keeping their blogs in a constant loop cycle.

Below are the instructions on how you can nominate a fellow blogger of your choice for the Blog of the Year 2013 Award:

Here are the instructions (as written by Ann):-

1-Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2-Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3-Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4-Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link:

5-You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here:

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6-And as a winner of the award- please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award-and then proudly display the award on your blog- and start collecting stars!

The 3 people I have nominated for this award are:

1. Vijay Shah of HalfEatenMind: Vijay is a great blogging friend and also a fantastic blogger. Occasionally I keep Vijay up-to-date on the latest blog posts I’ve published so I’m absolutely sure Vijay never misses out on the latest blog posts. The blog, HalfEatenMind is based around all the current affairs, life and also a timeline of events that are currently occuring now. The overall outcome?? Vijay make sure his posts are always effective, and makes sure every post is perfect. Vijay deserves a nomination for the Blog of the Year 2013 award, as he as inspired me to make my blog better in many different ways, and in effect, Vijay has a fantastic blog. To visit Vijay’s HalfEatenMind blog, here’s the link: 

2. Petrel41 (Kitty) of Dear Kitty. Some Blog.: Petrel41 is also a great blogging friend, as her blog is all based around the wide arrays of life, and every blog post she publishes talks about something that is new, something different and also something interesting. Every blog post goes in-depth, as Kitty wants to make sure her posts are effective and fresh to read new. The overall outcome?? The blog is very descriptive and is also a lot more different, as it focuses more on almost everything. Petrel41 also deserves a nomination for the Blog of the Year 2013 award as she has also inspired me to make my blog even better, and the overall finish is that her blog is also fantastic. To visit Kitty’s Blog, Dear Kitty. Some Blog., here’s the link:

3. Ajay of Ajaytao2010 | My Personal Opening to the World: …and finally, Ajay is a great blogging friend who, instead of making a blog post big and effective, always keeps his blog posts short, using a wide array of different quotes for every photo he takes, and also makes sure every small blog post is always effective and suitable to anyones standard. Overall, I found this blog to be really interesting, as Ajay’s blog is more on the wild side, he loves to show his own personal openings with the world. He creates more of a substantial effect in every short blog post he creates, and is always making sure the photos he takes are perfectly immaculate with every single pixel and detail. Ajay loves to aim for the perfect, final finish. Ajay also deserves a nomination for the Blog of the Year 2013 award as he also inspired me to make my blog tidier, effective and more detail, and the overall outcome of his blog is also fantastic. To visit Ajay’s blog, Ajaytao2010 | My Personal Opening to the World, here’s the link:

To finish, I want to say that these 3 bloggers I have nominated deserve to win the Blog of the Year 2013 award for all their hard work, and contributions to their own blogs. I recommend having a look at all 3 blogs, as Vijay, Petrel41 and Ajay love to keep their blogs looking fresh, new and different to make you feel comfortable at ease.

Thank you for reading, and on that final note to round off 2013, have a very Happy Christmas!!!!!!!!!!

Check back on the 1st January 2014 for the new Twenty Fourteen blog layout :-)!!!!!!!!!

-Alex Smithson

The Worst Storm of December

This weather is absolutely horrible, all day I’ve been hearing constant, violent gusts of wind and it feels like the storm is battering on tenterhooks. Today has got to be probably one of the worst days the UK has experienced such violent weather forecasts. Just well over an hour ago, Sky News reported that a man has died after falling into the River Rothay in Ambleside, which has triggered a large rescue search also involving the police, the Royal Air Force, Coastguard and also many mountain rescue teams. This also came after two children in Horsham, West Sussex were treated for minor injuries after being hit by branches from a falling tree. This horrible weather is almost similar to the St Jude Hurricane we had back in October.

Hurricane St Jude: Warning

Hurricane St Jude: Update

This weather is worse for wear at this stage, as almost the whole of the UK was hit by relentless, constant rain which fell on grounds that are already completely saturated, and the battering winds went up to a whopping 70 to 80 miles per hour in the eastern and central areas.

Roughly 3,000 homes are now left without any source of power in Cornwall, and a further 2,000 homes in the South West are also affected after the battering high winds brought down power lines, according to the Western Power Distribution. There are 1,100 homes that are now without power in Berkshire, according to Southern Electricity.

The Met Office have now issued more than 140+ Amber “be prepared” weather warnings for London, the Southeast and also the Southwest of England, including South Wales.

25 “immediate action requiredflood warnings are now in effect and also one severe warning for the South West.

Please be extremely careful where you are, make sure you have a safe journey, and fingers crossed this horrendous weather passes by soon.


Thank you for reading, I hope we can all pull through this horrid weather.

– Alex Smithson

Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela (18th July 1918 – 5th December 2013) – A Timeline of Events


Following the news that Nelson Mandela died last night, I wanted to make a factfile of his life. He was a true inspiration to us all, he fought for the human rights, equality and love. He was a lawyer, an activist and also a prisoner, which in effect made him become the first black president of South Africa, and was an inspiration to all of us, and to a wide array of generations around the world.

Source of photos: BBC News, Africa

The Early Years of Nelson Mandela (1918-1944)

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who is the son of a Thembu tribal chief was born in Mvezo, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa on the 18th July 1918. He was the first member of his family to attend school. It was there that he received the name ‘Nelson’ – it was a customary for school children to be given an English name. In 1941, Nelson Mandela fled to Johannesburg to avoid an arranged marriage. There, he met Walter Sisulu who would help him get to work at the law firm, Witkin Sidelsky.

Early years

Nelson Mandela later went on to join the AFC (African National Congress) in 1944.

Nelson’s Trial of Treason (1952-1958)

In 1952, Nelson Mandela qualified as a lawyer and also set up the country’s first black law firm with Oliver Tambo. With fears looming with a ban from the apartheid government, the African National Congress asked Nelson to make plans to ensure the party would be able to work underground.

Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1956, and was also charged with treason along with 155 others. This would go on to make the trial last 4-and-a-half-years, ending with Mandela being acquitted.

In 1958, Nelson Mandela married his second wife, Winnie Madikizela.

Hope for Africa

The Life Sentence (1960-1964)

After 69 protesters in Sharpeville were killed by police in March 1960, the government were hanging in the balance, so they took the decision to declare a state of emergency, and eventually banned the ANC. The organisation would go on to form a military wing, which was led by Nelson Mandela.

In 1962, Mr Mandela was arrested and also tried for attempting to leave the country illegally. In 1963, whilst Nelson Mandela was in prison was charged with sabotage. This would mean he and 7 others were sentenced to life in 1964, and they were also jailed on Robben Island.

Arrest and trial

Nelson Mandela | Free at Last (1967-1990)

The international community begun to tighten sanctions which were first imposed upon the apartheid regime in 1967. By 1990, the increasing pressure led to President FW de Klerk lifting the ban on the African National Congress. After 27 years of prison time, on the 11th February 1990, Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison.

Many crowds cheered as Nelson and his wife, Winnie Madikizela were released from the prison grounds. The next year, Nelson Mandela was elected as the African National Congress’ president at the party’s first national conference. This meant talks would begin on forming a new, multi-racial democracy.

Free at last

The accepting of the Nobel Peace Prize – 1993

In 1993, Nelson Mandela and the South African president President FW de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring stability to South Africa. The Nobel Committee said that both men made “a brilliant contribution to peace”.

After accepting the award, Nelson Mandela said: “We will do what we can to contribute to the renewal of our world.”

Nobel Prize

The New President – 1994

In 1994, for the first time in South Africa’s history, people from all races were able to vote in the democratic electrons. The African National Congress won the vote and Nelson Mandela became the president. He told the crowds at his inauguration on the 10th May 1994: “Let freedom reign, God bless Africa!”

His deputy, Thabo Mbeki, took over the day-to-day running of the government, which left Nelson Mandela free and to also have the chance and opportunity to promote the country abroad.

New president

The Return to Robben Prison – February 1995

Nelson wanted to mark the 5th anniversary of his release, and decided to visit the prison he was in on Robben Island, where he spent 18 years in captivity. He made the visit in 1995 with other former prisoners who also served time on the island, where many were also forced to perform hard labour.

Robben return

“Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” (1997-2010)

Nelson Mandela stepped down as the African National Congress president in 1997, and his successor, Thabo Mbeki, led the party to victory at the polls in 1999. On his 80th birthday, Nelson married his third wife, Graca Machel. This made him South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, which meant he would campaign against HIV/AIDS, and also helped to secure the 2010 football World Cup.

In 2004, Nelson announced his retirement from public life. Joking with the reporters, Mr Mandela said: “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

Quiet life

Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday Party (2008)

A lot of musicians, film stars and politicians joined Nelson Mandela at a concert in London’s Hyde Park in 2008 to celebrate his 90th birthday. When speaking to the crowd, he said: “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens, it is in your hands now.”

Birthday party

The Battle of Nelson’s Illness (2013)

Nelson Mandela made few public appearances after celebrating his 90th birthday, despite appearing at the closing ceremony of the 2010 football World Cup, which was hosted by South Africa. At the beginning of January 2011, Nelson Mandela was admitted to hospital after suffering from a respiratory infection, and suffered repeated infections over the course of the next 2 years. His lungs were said to have been damaged where he worked in a prison quarry.

Nelson Mandela died at home peacefully last night at the age of 95.


We will all miss you Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela, you are a true icon, and you will never be forgotten.

Thank you for taking the time to read the post as the timeline of events unfolded, it was really appreciated.

– Alex Smithson