Monthly Roundup / February 2017

February sure flew by like the wind. It felt like it was yesterday that February just started and now we’re at the end of the month already. To end February, I will take a look back on the articles published over the course of this month.

1.2.2017 – As this month was set to be just as busy as January, I welcomed all of you to February on Mother Nature. I mentioned that this month would be a lot busier considering I had a Maths mock exam just around the corner, but also because I would be making sure to get out more and make use of the free time I have on my days off to photograph nature-based places for my Self-Directed Curiosity Project.

Also, in a surprise announcement, Beyoncé announced to the world that she is pregnant with twins. Her last pregnancy came in 2011 when she was pregnant with her first child, Blue Ivy Carter, who she gave birth to on the 7th January 2012.

2.2.2017 – As the hashtag, #TIMETOTALK, was officially trending on Twitter, Oli Regan asked me to write this article as this day was Time to Talk Day, in which anyone suffering from Mental Health can speak up about their Mental Health, as well as to how they feel the negative stigma affects and negatively impacts them and anyone else suffering from any kind of Mental Health condition. Oli Regan also appeared live on BBC Two at 9:30 AM and again at 10:30 AM on the Victoria Derbyshire Show. He would also go on to talk about Mental Health on BBC Newsbeat at 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM, including how suffering from Mental Health affected him over the course of his life.

3.2.2017 – Continuing on from my first set of photographs that I took previously at Kelsey Park, I headed to Dulwich Park on the 31st January 2017 to photograph the scenery and also some ducks and birds. I saw some Mallards and Parakeets whilst I was there, including some squirrels, though to tell you the truth, some of the squirrels I came across looked bigger than their usual size, so I did make sure to walk very slowly to photograph them and I am pleased with the end result that I have achieved from this photographic collection.

5.2.2017 – Following on from my visit to Dulwich Park, I decided to visit Beddington Park on the 1st February 2017 to photograph some of the scenery, and I also photographed some of the gravestones, given the names on some or most of the gravestones consisted of people who may have died a few years earlier, including those that may have died up to more than 100 years ago.

7.2.2017 – As I wanted to set the tone of this article, I recommended Madonna’s True Blue record to soothe the soul, as this article was titled as Relaxation. I mentioned that after a relaxing day, despite doing the mock exam for GCSE Maths the day before, I mentioned that I wasn’t stressed, which was a first for me in a long time considering that I’ve been so focused on the coursework lately.

17.2.2017 – Just a few months after we all witnessed the marsupial make his comeback, it was officially announced that Crash Bandicoot would be coming back to PlayStation on the 30th June. I mentioned I would be pre-ordering the Crash Bandicoot N⋅Sane Trilogy, and the release date of the trilogy comes exactly two weeks after I mark my 19th birthday.

19.2.2017 – As it has been almost a year since we lost the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who passed away on the 21st April 2016, I wanted to take the opportunity to pay tribute to the iconic music legend by drawing for this sixth artistic interpretation. This drawing was the first Artistic Interpretation for 2017 and I wanted to make sure that Prince Rogers Nelson would be the first musician I would draw for 2017.

24.2.2017 – After months of rumours and speculation, Cheryl officially announced she is pregnant! This news came at the perfect time and it was only a few weeks before that Beyoncé announced her pregnancy with twins to the world. February was most certainly shaping up to be a fun-filled and heartwarming month.

25.2.2017 – Following hot on the heels of my previous Artistic Interpretation which was based on the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, I worked and completed my 7th Artistic Interpretation which focused on the Destiny’s Child musician and solo hit-maker, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.

Also on this day, the world lost a face of the film world. Bill Paxton, best known for appearing in Apollo 13, Titanic & Twister, sadly passed away at the age of 61 after complications following surgery.

Thanks for a great month everyone. Of course, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Bill Paxton by saying this: “Thank you for everything Bill Paxton. You are greatly missed but you’ll always live on in our hearts forever. Thanks for being the positive change this world truly needed. Thank you for everything Bill Paxton.”

Again, thanks for a great month and I will see you all in March.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: November 2016

After an eventful and busy month, I will be taking a look back on the short number of articles I have published over the course of November. I can only apologise for not being as productive recently. I have had quite a lot going on with coursework including things personal-based, but I will try to be as productive as I can over the course of December. Please keep in mind that on the 8th December, I will be doing a Mock Exam for GCSE Maths, so I will be revising for the duration of this week up until the day of my exam as I want to pass this mock exam. I can only apologise if, within this time, I don’t publish any articles.

1.11.2016 – As this month was set to be full of new challenges and full of productivity considering the large amount of coursework I’ve been doing recently, I welcomed you all to November on Mother Nature. Also, this month would be a month for remembrance considering that Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) was just around the corner.

24.11.2016 – All around the world, everyone uses social media; it’s become the norm of the digital world, but on this day, I wrote an article on whether social media had a long-lasting impact on Mental Health. I gave my reasons for why I felt social media would have a long-lasting impact on Mental Health, given that in October, I had worked with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, and I mentioned that now was the time to stand up and fight to end the stigma against mental health, but that we should also raise awareness for mental health. I also mentioned that now was our time to really make the positive change and the best difference in this world and to take a stand for all of those suffering from Mental Health and to end the stigma against mental health.

26.11.2016 – As I share my love for SEGA‘s blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, I wrote a review on the 1993 classic, Sonic CD, which went widescreen, thanks to Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who is best known for porting SEGA’s iconic classic, Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to consoles, smartphones and even tablets. I mentioned how it was such a good game to play, given that it has the old-school retro appeal that can make you feel like as if you were in the 1990’s playing this game the moment it was released.

27.11.2016 – As I visited the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016 to see the Firework Display, I knew I was going to be in for a great evening, as the recreation ground was packed and had a turnout of nearly 3,000 visitors. I published a huge photo collection from bonfire night including a video, but before the firework display kicked off, the organisers of the firework display paid tribute to David Bowie, who sadly passed away on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 from liver cancer, and as the 5th November marked Guy Fawkes Night, celebrations came in light of the failed Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy Fawkes committed treason, which saw him being hung, drawn and quartered. Also, as the firework display came to a remarkable close, the organisers asked for donations for the bandstand as it was named in David Bowie’s memory, given that he used to perform down in Beckenham.

28.11.2016 – Shortly after I went to see the firework display at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016, I was on my way home and whilst I waited for my bus, I saw two drivers who were using their phones or tablets behind the wheel whilst I waited. I didn’t make it obvious that I was looking at them, but they were being ignorant enough to use their phones behind the wheel even when there was heavy traffic present. I also described how there were major health and safety concerns after a group of people set fireworks off which they relentlessly aimed at secondary school students as they were on their way home down Shirley Road, something of which I was only made aware of the moment I got home from college. As you can imagine, I was cross and frustrated at the fact that fireworks were set off, and I vented my frustrations by giving an example of how someone would think if they set a firework off, with them potentially almost causing someone else untold harm.

29.11.2016 – With a futuristic and technological approach, Tron: Legacy created a concept that involved Sam Flynn going on a journey into the alternative world, where instead of the world being normal with some partial technology, the alternative world would be completely digital, as Sam would encounter a clone of his father, the clone of which would be the evil force that could have potentially sealed Sam’s fate. I wrote this review given that I had seen Tron: Legacy most recently as it was on BBC One just weeks before, and I genuinely thought it was such a good film and I would recommend it to anyone.

I can only apologise for not publishing frequently over the course of November. I had so much going on with my coursework and other things personal-based, but I will try my best to make more of an effort to publish articles over the course of December.

Thanks for a good month everyone, it really means so much to have your support and I don’t know what I’d do without all of you by my side. It has been an eventful and busy month, I know, but I got through it, but again, thank you for a good month and I’ll see you all in December.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: October 2016

As Halloween draws October to a close, in a place where no one can hear you scream, I will make sure to round October off by taking a look back at the articles published over the course of this month. Happy Halloween!

1.10.2016 – Kicking off October, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature and I would announce that this month would be just as busy as September, considering it would be quite a productive and busy month given my Film & Photography Course.

3.10.2016 – On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise. I published my photo collection of The Trek to Dungeness on this day following the trip just around one or two weeks before.

5.10.2016 – On this day five years ago, the iconic and revolutionary technology figure, Steve Jobs, best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today, sadly passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

14.10.2016 – As I collaborated with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, on the article surrounding Autism & Mental Health Awareness, I published an article based on whether Autism & Mental Health were overlooked, to which they actually were, and the article came about after a video surfaced of a man and an organisation who believed that Autism and Mental Health were curable, which they’re not, and I used the sole intention to publicly shame them for their disgusting beliefs of what they think works and what doesn’t where Autism & Mental Health is concerned. It is and always will be an absolute honour to work with Oli Regan, because without his help on this topic of discussion, this article wouldn’t have come to fruition and I thank him wholeheartedly for collaborating with me on this article.

21.10.2016 – To celebrate the release of her fifth studio album, JOANNE, following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw her record: “Perfect Illusion” go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga‘s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, was officially released worldwide. As I had listened to and purchased the deluxe edition of the album on this day, I can honestly say I love Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE.

25.10.2016 – As Winter is fast-approaching, the coats, scarves, gloves and headgear comes out as the temperatures are set to drop, despite the weather being warm on some days. I also mentioned that Daylight Saving Time would come to an end on Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2:00 AM, in which the clocks would go back 1 hour, with the daylight hours being considerably shorter, with an extra hour of sleep included.

29.10.2016 – I published an article that was of serious discussion based on whether you thought drones should be used in the public domain to which I immediately said: “I Don’t Think So!”

Also on this day, I asked you all if you were prepared as the clock would go back 1 hour at 2:00 AM on Sunday 30th October 2016, to which I mentioned that I’m prepared to get back the extra hour as I needed it, also because of the fact I tend to get more work done with an extra hour in hand.

31.10.2016 – It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon! I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK. This photo collection would consist of 56 photographs, including 1 edited photograph based on an original version of one of the photographs I took of BOXPARK.

Thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will try my best to get as many articles published when the free time becomes available over certain times during next month. Again, thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will see you all in November.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: September 2016

To end September on an extremely busy and productive note, I will take a look back on the articles that I published over the course of this month. I acknowledge that not many articles were published this month but the valid reason behind the amount of articles published is because I mentioned recently that writing and publishing articles are taking a backseat as I am focusing on my GCSE English, GCSE Maths and UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Courses. This will also apply for the entire year.

1.9.2016 – As it was set to be quite an interesting month, I welcomed you all to September on Mother Nature considering that I was to progress on to the final year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course. I also mentioned that anything that’s not college-related would take a backseat as I am ultimately keen on wanting to succeed in the GCSE English & Maths subjects.

9.9.2016 – After three years, Lady Gaga, best known for her albums, The Fame, The Fame Monster, Born This Way and ARTPOP, is back! Perfect Illusion, which was released on the 9th September 2016, went straight to Number 1 on iTunes and before Perfect Illusion was even released, it was already topping the charts, which was obviously a good sign because it was Lady Gaga’s return to the music scene three years after ARTPOP.

18.9.2016 – With it being 18 years since Spyro the Dragon landed on PlayStation, I thought it would be nice to do a review of the game considering I have owned and completed the game. As the game contains 36 breathtaking levels split over 6 worlds in the game, with 12 eggs to collect, 15,000 gems to collect and 80 dragons to save, Spyro the Dragon’s journey to defeat Gnasty Gnorc would be the biggest challenge yet for the Purple Dragon.

20.9.2016 – Early Monday morning and sometime during the afternoon when I was on my hour-long lunch break (Monday 19th September 2016), I ceased the opportunity to snap a small set of photographs in and around Croydon as I arrived over an hour early before my 9:30 AM lesson time. I must admit, I used the Camera+ app again after a while, and I must say I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my photography skills, but at the same time, I’ve also noticed I can take better photographs than before. This photo set that I published would then go on to be a part of my coursework for the last year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course.

I want to say to all of you this. Thank you for sticking by me following the events over the last few months, I don’t know what I would do without all of you by my side. I can only apologise for not publishing frequently, but now is the time to put priorities first before anything else, but most of all, now is the time to stay strong and to stand up and get your voice heard.

Again…from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sticking by me over the last few months, I don’t know what I would do without all of you by my side, and I will see you all in October.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: August 2016

August sure has flown like the wind. Too fast for my liking, but even so, there have been some happy and sad moments down the road considering the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games came to an end, but still, life still has to go on and we should keep fighting the good fight. As promised, I will be taking a look back over this month, including certain moments that unfolded down the line.

1.8.2016 – After July came and went like the wind, I welcomed you all to August on Mother Nature. I mentioned that I would announce more details about Book #4 very soon, with further mention of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which I mentioned I would be considering on covering as the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games were ready to start on Friday 5th August.

Also, on this day, I announced that Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective” would be out soon, considering that Book #4 was almost completed.

I also published another article on this day based on whether Writing Prompts help to exercise the brain, including mentioning how we can all have the occasional writers’ block that makes us somehow lose track through an idea that could be perfect and useful for a particular subject or conversation.

3.8.2016 – On this day, I asked you all whether you had ever been in a fly-on-the-wall situation, to which I mentioned to all of you that I have been in that kind of situation, because I have been in that position where I have seen something that has got absolutely nothing to do with me.

4.8.2016 – On this day, I published a short photography guide, in which I would give you a genuine idea of how I create my photos, and how you could create your photos to a similar standard like mine.

Also on this day, I talked about insecurities and how they define us as people, including how they can also make us the people that we are.

I also published another article on this day, in which I celebrated the return of Crash Bandicoot, given that on the 13th June 2016, after years of speculation, the classic Crash Bandicoot series which consisted of the three PlayStation 1 Games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped would be remastered and ready for release in 2017.

5.8.2016 – 6.8.2016 – 22.8.2016 – From the 5th & 6th August to the 22nd August 2016, I would cover the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games as they happened, as well as announcing which countries won Bronze, Silver & Gold, all the way up to the Closing Ceremony.

During the course of the 16 days of the Olympic Games, I made some gradual changes to Mother Nature, as I changed the ‘About’ pages, including changing the font from PT Sans to Karla, to accommodate for better reading and viewing. I also made changes to the Purpose page, which needed updating after a long while, but these small changes would make a big difference and would also make Mother Nature modern.

24.8.2016 – As it was 11 years since the iconic handheld Sonic Rush game was released, Sonic Rush was the first Nintendo DS Game produced and released by Sega. With more than 30-40 levels in the game, Sonic Rush brought to the table the new and playable character, Blaze the Cat.

29.8.2016 Gene Wilder, the man who was best known for portraying as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, sadly passed away at the age of 83 on the 28th August 2016, following complications with Alzheimer’s Disease. For me, his death was actually quite a shock as I remembered watching Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory as a child, but as I heard the news of his death a few hours before, I was shocked and surprised. My thoughts go out to Gene Wilder, his family and everyone he knows at such a sad time. Gene Wilder’s legacy will live on forever, he is gone, but never forgotten and will live on in mine and everyone’s hearts forever.

Thanks to every single one of you for sticking by me for the entirety of August. This month has been great considering the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games came and went so fast like the wind, but it is sad to see the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games come to an end. Although we have to wait another four years for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, I can honestly say that this year’s Summer Olympic Games were much better than the last.

But again, thanks so much everyone for sticking by me, I don’t know what I would do without you, and I will see you all in September.

Alex Smithson