Monthly Roundup: March 2017

This month flew like the wind, and it only felt like yesterday we just kicked off 2017! Time has flown so fast lately that it’s impossible to keep up with the speed of time.

I will make sure to take a look back at the articles published over the course of this month, and of course, I will be making sure to remember the victims and the police officer that died on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 down Westminster Bridge, London, as a result of the horrific terrorist attack.

1.3.2017 – Welcoming all of you to March on Mother Nature, I mentioned that I decided to go retro with the article image and did it up in the inspired style of Sonic Mania, considering that Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017 (now officially titled ‘Sonic Forces’) would be released over the next few months. I also mentioned that the next few weeks would be much busier considering my Summative Assessment deadline for the Self-Directed Curiosity Project was just around the corner.

3.3.2017 –  After a three-year break from music, and after his hotly anticipated second studio album became the most streamed album on Spotify and other music services, Ed Sheeran is back with his third studio album, ÷. Shape of You really sets the tone of his latest album, because it has a unique vibe that really sets the mood you want to experience when listening to this album. I mentioned that ÷ is the first ever vinyl record I have owned and that I felt so honoured to go retro for the first time and it was an absolute honour to review Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Deluxe) album.

8.3.2017 – As this day marked International Women’s Day, I wanted to make sure all women across the world get to celebrate being the women they are and to always be themselves. I also mentioned that all women deserve equality, diversity, respect, compassion, care and love regardless of skin colour, sexuality, gender, culture, religion and place of origin and that it’s right for all of us, including myself to celebrate all women as part of International Women’s Day.

15.3.2017 –  Let’s face it. We’ve all seen for ourselves the negative stigma that has become attached to Mental Health. The negative stigma has all too often put a strain on all governments and organisations, with Mental Health sufferers having to experience the harsh reality that they may end up not being allowed to access the help, support and treatment they need. Writing this article gave me the chance to be open about my anxiety, and although I am not officially diagnosed, I do suffer from Anxiety, and writing this article gave me the chance to be open about my Anxiety, as well as to how I have been able to manage and keep my Anxiety under control.

20.3.2017 – It was an absolute honour for me to share with you, my review of Oli Regan’s recently released début album, My Diary of Pain. I talked about how the rawness of Oli’s voice on this album really stands out, as he spoke from the heart, the mind and the soul about how he really feels. If you get a chance, please do listen to his album, My Diary of Pain, it is so good!

22.3.2017 – 24.3.2017 – No articles were published as I released an open statement on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 in light of the horrific terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London, in which 3 victims died, including the police officer, PC Keith Palmer.

25.3.2017 –  After months of rumours and speculation that she was pregnant, Cheryl & Liam officially announced a few weeks before that they were expecting their first child together. It became official that Cheryl & Liam officially welcomed their first ever child together!

Also, on this day, I asked you all if you were ready for the clocks to go forward, considering that the time went quicker than expected and that it had only felt like it was yesterday we had just put the clocks back one hour, which proves and rings true even to this day that time sure does fly.

26.3.2017 – As this day marked Mother’s Day, I wished all mothers around the world a Happy Mother’s Day and hoped that all mothers had their Mother’s Day filled with love, happiness, joy, respect, compassion and care.

28.3.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project for the last year of my UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College, I was asked to produce a 6 minute and 40 second presentation on a time-keeping tool called Pecha Kucha, which is the Japanese term for Chit-Chat.

Pecha Kucha, which is Japanese for Chit-Chat, is where you produce 20 slides that have to be exactly 20 seconds each. For every slide, you would need to explain in 20 seconds for each slide a brief run-down of the kind of work you are going to produce, regardless of whether it is project-based or not. The 20 slides would have to consist of one or more short sentences you can talk about within 20 seconds, including any work you have currently produced to date.

As my Pecha Kucha presentation focused solely on Facial Expressionism, I mentioned that I would research certain photographers, such as Cecil Beaton, Walker Evans, August Sander, Thomas Ruff and any other photographer that specialises in Facial Expressionism; the field of work I want to produce.

29.3.2017 –  In the last few years, the police numbers have gone down due to cuts that have been made to save our government money, our money of which is supposed to be used to keep our police officers on the streets. On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, exactly one year to the day of the devastating attacks that took place in Brussels, which saw 35 people killed (32 victims, 3 perpetrators), with more than 300 people injured, a terrorist attack took place down Westminster Bridge, where 5 people were killed as a result, one of which was the terrorist, while the other was a police officer who was stabbed and sadly died as a result of his injuries.

31.3.2017 – I published two photographic articles that focused on Croydon, considering that I ceased the opportunity to photograph Croydon while the lovely weather lasts. The weather has been absolutely peaceful lately and it was good to see that the weather was finally looking up and that it was most certainly shaping up to make the two-week holiday as relaxing and as peaceful as ever!

Thanks so much for a great month everyone, and although it was a great month, it was also quite devastating as a result of the terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London and I shall take this opportunity to pay my full respects and condolences to the families of the victims who lost their loved ones on Wednesday 22nd March 2017, including paying my full respects and condolences to the family of the police officer, PC Keith Palmer.

Again, thanks so much for a good month everyone, and I will see you all in April!

Alex Smithson

The EU Referendum. The Historical & Most Controversial Voting Event in History.

It’s been the most talked about event of the year. The EU Referendum. But just how important is the EU Referendum? Well I’ll tell you.

The EU Referendum, as we all know it, would be the biggest referendum for the European  Union, in which all citizens of Europe, for instance, the UK, Gibraltar, Scotland, Northern Ireland and many other parts of the United Kingdom would cast their vote on whether to Leave the European Union, or to Remain in the European Union. I stayed up until 7:35 AM this morning after I went to bed as I was eager to find out the final result from the EU Referendum and I was one of those people today who would not sleep until I found out the final result from the EU Referendum.

I am absolutely pleased that the Leave side of the EU Referendum campaign won the vote to leave the EU and I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with anyone who chose to vote Leave or Remain and I absolutely have no problem with anyone who chose to not vote in the EU Referendum.

I was somewhat surprised of the news that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, had announced his resignation from his position as Prime Minister for the United Kingdom but after I woke up to the news of his resignation and that he would be leaving his position as Prime Minister in October, I went from being tired and not alert to being wide awake and fully alert.

You can say I was surprised but wasn’t shocked. However, I am pleased that the Leave side of the campaign won the vote to Leave the European Union.

It was obvious from day one that the EU Referendum wouldn’t just be the historical voting event in history, but that it would also be the most controversial Referendum in history.

There were always going to be those certain stages where xenophobic, racist, and even homophobic comments would crop up and cause a series of bumps in the road, as well as other forms of social abuse online.

Of course there was and still is a huge amount of backlash from both sides of the campaign, as there have been a large number of comments that are deemed racist based around immigration, but even so, I’ve been keeping a close eye on Facebook to find out how everyone else reacted to the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

I will be honest, I voted to Leave the EU for a number of reasons and it’s not in any way about immigration at all just before there is any chance of someone jumping the gun at why I chose to leave.

I chose to Leave the EU because:

  1. Of the lack of money being funded for our National Health Service, our voices not being heard, including a government that is corrupt because they take advantage of our human rights and tell us what we can and cannot do.
  2. Our human rights are being taken away from us if we chose to remain, for instance, by remaining, we won’t get much of a say over what we can and cannot do in the UK if we chose to Remain.
  3. The lack of policing on our streets, our safety not being taken into account and the fact that our government and the EU are failing to crack down on the crime rates. For instance, the crime rates are at an all-time high due to gun and knife crimes being committed, not to mention the leniency of sentencing where a prisoner’s amount of years behind bars are concerned. Every day there are a number of reports being published of multiple stabbings taking place, including gun crimes, and also crimes where technological devices such as smartphones, tablets, televisions, even the latest smartwatches being stolen.

Obviously, this article will receive mixed reactions and quite possibly a lot of criticism and I’m not in any shape or form going to deny that, but I have absolutely no intention of causing offence based on my reasons for choosing to leave the European Union, so I do sincerely apologise if you are offended.

Every single day, I always keep myself up to date on the news, even when I’m not publishing any articles, as I always make sure to never miss a single thing. I watch the news very closely 24/7 so that I can get a clear understanding of the news, as well as to what goes on in the world every single day.

I will make it perfectly clear I have absolutely no problem with anyone who chose to vote to Leave or Remain and I also have absolutely no problem with anyone who chose to not vote in the EU Referendum.

This is my first ever time voting, but I respect everyone’s decisions entirely if you chose to vote to Leave or Remain, and I also respect everyone’s decisions for if you chose to not vote in the EU Referendum.

Did you vote to Leave or Remain in the EU Referendum? If so, please feel free to submit feedback. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson