Ready for the Clocks to Go Forward?

The time went quicker than expected, and it only felt like yesterday we had just put the clocks back one hour. Time sure does fly.

Are you ready for the clocks to go forward at 1:00 AM on Sunday 26th March 2017? I’m most certainly ready for the clocks to go forward.

One thing to note:

If Airplane Mode is turned on for any devices you own, whether it be any smartphone, tablet or smartwatch, including a Laptop / PC, you will need to switch it off in order for the device to automatically go forward one hour. After the clocks have gone forward one hour on every device, Airplane Mode can be switched back on and time will continue as normal.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to March!

Welcome to March on Mother Nature! As you can see, I have decided to go retro with the article image and do it up in the inspired style of Sonic Mania, considering that Sonic Mania is set to be released within the next few months. There is news just around the corner surrounding Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017, which I am excited about and I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on Sonic Mania when it comes out. If Project Sonic 2017 gets an official title and if there’s all-new gameplay featuring both Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic, then I shall consider the possibility of buying the Project Sonic 2017 if it lives up to the hype. I know SEGA & Christian Whitehead both have one heck of a great year ahead so I am pretty sure they will exceed our expectations any which way.

The next few weeks are going to be much busier considering my Summative Assessment deadline for the Self-Directed Curiosity Project is right near the end of this month, so I will be making sure to work my socks off as I am so determined to pass and bump last year’s grade up to a Merit or Distinction at least. Also, I will be working harder than usual over the course of the next few weeks as I have a GCSE English Speaking & Listening Assessment coming up which I am currently preparing for, so I hope it goes well, so fingers crossed! Meanwhile, I will be making sure to put all of the hard work in with my GCSE Maths coursework as I seriously want to pass this time around.

Spring is ready to embrace its beautiful side and with the clocks going forward towards the end of the month, it is safe to say that Mother Nature will blossom with vibrant colours and displays. Not only that, but with the temperature of the weather slowly going back to normal, I cannot wait to enjoy the lovely Spring weather once again. The clocks are set to go forward as part of Daylight Saving Time on Sunday 26th March 2017 at 1:00 AM so I thought it would be wise to let you all know in advance so you know exactly when the clocks go forward.

I should warn you as I read something a short while back for when the clocks went back that if you have any devices with Airplane Mode switched on, such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and any Android devices and smartwatches, then it’s recommended that Airplane Mode must be switched off very briefly in order for every device’s clock to go back or forward an hour. I am prepared for the clocks to go forward so to speak, but even so, why waste time when you make the most of it by making the best out of it?

If I am able to find the free time over the next few weeks, I may consider doing some drawings that I can publish on here, or if I head out to certain places in and around London over the next few weeks to photograph anything nature-based for my coursework, then I will make sure to publish any photography work I produce on this website.

Until then, Welcome to March!

Alex Smithson

Relaxation

To set the tone of this article, I recommend Madonna’s True Blue to soothe the soul.

“…the sun is bursting right out of the sky…” – Madonna

After a relaxing day, despite doing the mock exam for GCSE Maths yesterday, I can honestly say I am not stressed, which is a first for me in a long time considering that I’ve been so focused on the coursework lately.

I was so relaxed after yesterday morning because I submitted all of my coursework on time for the Formative Assessment and I was able to sign-post which sketchbooks went with the coursework I produced and I wasn’t at all stressed.

The mock exam I did for GCSE Maths yesterday went really well and I wasn’t stressing myself over it at all but I answered the questions I could do that I already have a knowledge of and the questions I couldn’t do I decided to leave blank only for the sole purpose that I still need a little bit of help here and there on the questions I am not good at, but other than that, yesterday went really well.

How was yesterday for you? I would love to know. Please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup / January 2017

What a busy month! January sure did come and go like the wind and we only started 2017 a few weeks ago. It does feel completely surreal considering the time has flown. Over the first few weeks of 2017, I have been extremely busy with coursework to tell you the truth and I haven’t published as much, which is a good thing in certain aspects as I have been working very closely on my self-directed film and photography project, as the Self-Directed Curiosity Project I am working on is based around Nature. As you’ve seen just recently, I published a photography collection of Kelsey Park as part of my coursework, as I have been using the film and photography skills I have learned or built on and improved them over the course of time.

Without further ado, here is the full Monthly Roundup for January.

1.1.2017 – Kicking off 2017 with a bang, I welcomed you all to January on Mother Nature. As 2017 officially opened its doors and began with high spirits, I mentioned that 2017 will be a year of looking forward to the future and not back. As I finally decided to break the tradition with Spotify, I decided to do away with “The Mix of…” playlist and replace it with “Alex’s Mix” as I was getting bored of constantly replacing playlists every year, and I mentioned that “Alex’s Mix” would remain a permanent fixture on this website from this day onwards.

10.1.2017 – As it was exactly one year to the day since the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, passed away at the age of 69 from liver cancer, I had made sure to pay my full respects to the Starman by drawing David Bowie, also because the 8th January 2017 would have marked his 70th birthday. Blackstar, which was David Bowie’s 25th and last ever studio album, which was released on his 69th birthday, was classed as “…a parting gift,” to his fans.

18.1.2017 – As I wanted to kick 2017 off with a bang, I decided to revisit the photographic collection I took on the 15th December 2016 by publishing a more up-to-date collection titled: “CROYDON / REVISITED”, which would revisit Croydon with more of a positive approach, given that there was some lovely weather in my first few weeks back at Croydon College.

On the same day I published this photography article that revisited Croydon, I published another photography collection, titled: “NIGHTLIFE IN BECKENHAM”, which followed my close friend’s birthday party the week before. I mentioned that Nightlife in Beckenham was absolutely tranquil and so peaceful, and the quietness of Beckenham gave me goosebumps as it was pin-drop silent, even though it is usually busy during the daylight hours. I kept in mind there were some blind spots in and around Beckenham so I did make sure to keep myself aware of everything around me so that I could make sure that I was safe.

24.1.2017 Mental Health is not a laughing matter, especially considering that the negative stigma is attached to anyone who suffers from Mental Health, but when social media gets involved, it does everything to exploit mental health in such a negative way that you can’t help but feel disgusted at the level of negativity that makes your blood boil. I worked with the famous actor, Oli Regan, on this article as I wanted to raise awareness and join forces with him to end the negative stigma against Mental Health, and I also mentioned in this article that I had set up a page on Mother Nature called: “Mental Health Organisations“, given that I wanted to do my bit to help end the stigma against Mental Health, even though I don’t suffer from Mental Health myself. I published this article as a way of highlighting the negative stigma against Mental Health and that I wanted to help end the stigma, given that I previously worked with Oli Regan on the article: “Are Autism & Mental Health Overlooked? (Parental Guidance is Advised)”.

27.1.2017 – As part of my Self-Directed Project, I travelled to Kelsey Park to snap a collection of photographs given that my Self-Directed Project focuses around Nature. For this Self-Directed Project, I researched 5 different nature photographers; Ansel Adams, David Muench, John Shaw, Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore. As it was three years since I last visited Kelsey Park, I wanted to make sure to showcase how much my photography skills had improved over the course of time. This photography collection was created on the 24th January 2017 and published on this day (to reduce confusion).

29.1.2017 – As I joined forces with more than a million people who signed the petition to block Donald Trump’s State Visit to the United Kingdom, I published a small article with the link to the petition. I also published this article as I highlighted that I am entitled to a freedom of speech and also my own human rights, given that Equality & Diversity always matter in this world, and that all women are entitled to the same type of freedom as men and that they shouldn’t be controlled, shouldn’t be forced and shouldn’t be objectified just for being themselves. I also mentioned that if all of us men can have freedom, then all women can have the same freedom as all of us men.

Thank you for a fantastic start to 2017 everyone and I shall see you all in February.

Alex Smithson

NIGHTLIFE IN BECKENHAM

Following my close friend’s birthday party last Friday, which I loved every second of considering we were all singing and dancing and all sorts, I produced a collection of photographs that would surround Nightlife in Beckenham.

Nightlife in Beckenham is absolutely tranquil and so peaceful, and because of the quietness of Beckenham, it gives you goosebumps knowing that it goes pin-drop silent at night, when it’s usually busy during daylight hours.

Of course, I did keep in mind there are some blind spots in and around Beckenham so I had made sure to keep myself aware of everything around me so that I could make sure that I was safe, and I was pleased to have photographed Beckenham at night because I am interested in night photography, not just standard nature, close-up and landmark photography, but also night photography.

I was glad to have photographed Beckenham at night because it has given me the chance to explore the photographical nightlife of Beckenham, not just as a place, but as a location of interest. Usually, you would expect places like this to be booming at night, but it’s so quiet and is also the best place for photographing stores and also any areas of Beckenham that peak your interest.

If you enjoyed this photographic collection of the Beckenham nightlife, then please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Recommended Camera App: Camera+

CROYDON / REVISITED

Kicking off 2017 with a bang, I decided to revisit the photographic collection I took on the 15th December 2016 by publishing this more up-to-date collection that will revisit Croydon with more of a positive approach and given the lovely weather in my first few weeks back at Croydon College, I couldn’t have picked a better time to take these photographs. Some of these photographs consist of the Pret a Manger & Caffé Nero, including other parts of Croydon I may have not visited in a while.

I also used the opportunity to snap a few photos of Reeves Corner, considering it is more or less quiet now considering it will be six years in August since the riots took place in Croydon, which saw the bigger half of the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down as a result.

I must admit, I was taken aback by just how quiet it was around Reeves Corner, because I last went down to Reeves Corner two years ago when I was studying Art & Design, and even then it did feel uncomfortable, much like it does now.

I want this photographic collection to help you explore what Croydon is like as a place, including how Croydon is in general. For instance, there are so many stores in Croydon that you cannot exactly miss, including banks, landmarks, restaurants etc. and many more.

As I was lucky to snap these photographs when the lovely weather arrived before the slight snow storm, I was pleased to have achieved much better results this time compared to the previous collection and I wanted to make sure that you saw Croydon from a much better perspective than before.

If you enjoyed this photographic collection of Croydon, please feel free to let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Recommended App: Camera+

Welcome to January!

Welcome to January on Mother Nature! Happy New Year Everyone! 2017 has officially opened its doors and the New Year begins with high spirits. The firework display in London paid tribute to the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, including the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie and even the comedy legend, Ronnie Corbett, the man of mighty humour.

Ringing in the celebrations of 2017, 2017 will be a year of looking forward to the future, and is also the year to never look back but to look forward and to enjoy life and also to enjoy the future.

Breaking the tradition with Spotify, instead of Mother Nature having one new mix every year, there will be one mix from this year onwards that will continuously be updated, as I have finally decided to do away with the old tagline: “The Mix of…” in favour for: “Alex’s Mix”. This is because after a while, constantly replacing a Spotify playlist year after year just eventually gets boring, so now, my new mix playlist is called: “Alex’s Mix” and will remain a permanent fixture on this website from today onwards.

Over the course of this year, I will be making sure to dedicate a whole lot more of my own time to my studies considering I have only 6 months left until I finish my time at Croydon College, including finishing education altogether, which is not far away, so I will be making sure to make use of the time wisely by working hard and to also achieve the best I can from my studies, but to also succeed in my education and to get myself a job after I finish education permanently. However, I will be making sure to find the free time when it becomes available to publish articles on here so that I can be sure that none of you are going to miss out.

I won’t lie, I will miss being in education and will miss Croydon College when me and everyone else reach the end of the road, because I love everyone so much, even everyone at my college, because Croydon College including everyone who goes to my college are the reason why I want a fantastic future and are also the reason why I want to have a fantastic life. My family and my friends mean everything to me and without them, I wouldn’t be in a good place now. I feel so fortunate and so lucky to have everyone by my side because I want a fantastic future and a fantastic life and I am so fortunate to have everyone there to support me. But again, Croydon College have given me a reason to want to have a good future and a good life and I am glad Croydon College was my first choice, as I have excelled so well and my time at Croydon College has gone so fast that I actually don’t want to leave.

Life goes on and I can say this for once in my life, 2017 is a year of finally moving on and to just enjoy yourself, but most of all, is also the year to just be happy and to enjoy life.

The sidebar has been tidied up a bit and I have done away with some widgets that are no longer relevant, but Mother Nature gets a better shade of blue, as I have made sure to change the colour so it appeals to 2017 and to make for better visibility on Laptops / PCs, including on smartphones, tablets and consoles.

To kick off 2017, I just want to say:

LET’S MAKE THIS YEAR A SPECIAL ONE!

Alex Smithson

So Solid Crew / I’ve Got 21 Seconds to Go! / BOXPARK EXCLUSIVE!

So Solid Crew smashed it when I went to see them perform at BOXPARK CROYDON and I was lucky to get some photos with one of the members from the group and honestly, it was so good! I loved every second of the performance, and the fact that they doused alcohol into the crowd (yes, I was one of the many few that got soaked but I loved it) just made the night so much better! I can tell you, they had those Diffusion smoke machines on site and those Diffusion smoke machines definitely must have had something in them because when I inhaled the smoke, I went from being somewhat tired and not as alert after finishing college to being suddenly active, wide awake and alert, in other words, whatever may have been in those smoke machines must have made me high.

They kicked off the Christmas Light Switch On by counting down not from 30 seconds, but from 21 seconds, considering that they did the record: “21 Seconds” a long time ago and they started the Christmas Light Switch On with a bang and then they started to perform 21 Seconds, which is a memorable record in its own right, considering that Ashley Walters (a.k.a. Asher D), Michael Harvey Jr., Double Dee and some of the members of So Solid Crew performed the iconic hit.

They performed other songs as well as their own tracks, some of which were rap-based and some not necessarily rap-based but songs we all know and honestly, they smashed it at BOXPARK Croydon. Luckily, as the tickets were free, me and a group of friends went and it was the best night of my life! I was also lucky to get some photos with Double Dee from So Solid Crew and I told him that it was my first time seeing So Solid Crew perform, and straightaway, he said: “Respect for you Brother.” Now for him to say that to me, again, like the time I went to see Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow & James Plimmer, it felt like I had been friends with him for a long time, even though it was the first time I actually got to meet Double Dee from So Solid Crew, and honestly, he is so down to earth and is such a genuine guy and it was an absolute honour to meet Double Dee and it was also an absolute honour to see So Solid Crew at BOXPARK Croydon.

I have got dozens of photographs from the Christmas Light Switch On at BOXPARK Croydon, including some footage from the Christmas Light Switch On which clocks in at around 45-50 minutes.

Overall, I absolutely loved every second of So Solid Crew’s performance at BOXPARK Croydon and I’ll treasure that night for the rest of my life. Also, I’m so happy to have met Double Dee from So Solid Crew and I will remember that night for the rest of my life as it is a happy memory I will never forget and will always smile about.

I’ve got 21 seconds to go, so if you enjoyed this massive photo collection and video article, please feel free to let me know by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

CROYDON / Thursday 15th December 2016

As I will be starting a self-directed photography project in 2017, I have decided to share with you all a small photographic collection I took of Croydon whilst I was at Croydon College yesterday before falling sick to a sore throat and cold, keeping in mind that my work for the past few projects were all submitted on Monday.

The reason I chose to create a cut-throat style kind of text in the name, Croydon, is because I want you to see Croydon as being a community that is divided, where some values are more or less stripped or tarnished of all credibility despite Croydon taking centre-stage when good things come out of it.

How do I see landscape photography in Croydon? I see landscape photography in Croydon as an opportunity for me to take photos of the landmarks, including the shops that surround me.

Landscapes interest me, as I am fascinated by how certain objects are positioned depending on the place. For example, I love nature, but I love to know how a plant blossoms in a certain location. The same idea can consist of a landmark, for example, the Lloyds Bank opposite BOXPARK CROYDON stands out instantly as it is a larger building that you cannot exactly miss from a distance.

Overall, I am really pleased I used the Camera+ app (recommended) to take these photos, as they came out a lot better than I expected.

If you liked my small photo collection of Croydon, please let me know by commenting below your feedback. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson