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

SWEENØ / My Diary of Pain / An Album of Honesty & Power Where Oli Speaks from the Heart, the Mind & the Soul.

It is an absolute honour for me to share with you, my review of Oli Regan’s recently released début album, My Diary of Pain.

As a Mental Health Sufferer who suffers from Bipolar & ADHD, both of which among many other Mental Health conditions, is often overlooked, Oli Regan channels his true feelings, emotions, strength, rawness and energy into this album, My Diary of Pain.

My Diary of Pain certainly is an eye-opener, because it has a sense of power that you can’t quite describe, but the rawness of Oli’s voice on this album really stands out, as he speaks from the heart, the mind and the soul about how he really feels.

When you listen to Oli Regan’s album all the way through, you begin to not only understand and appreciate life more, but you begin to realise that life is filled with pain and that pain can strike you at certain points in your life, but with resilience, care, compassion, support, love and respect, the world can be a better place and that negativity can disappear altogether from all existence.

For Oli, an ambassador for Time to Change, to really put his heart, his mind and his soul into producing My Diary of Pain, you can’t help but appreciate Oli Regan entirely for producing such an interesting and powerful album.

SWEENØ – My Diary of Pain (Official Album Artwork)

Oli’s EP, My Diary of Pain, is really powerful and he has created that cut-throat approach where it’s no fuss, no messing about, just get on with it and for Oli, he’s made sure to highlight that this world is already messed up enough as it is and the only way we can all make it a better place is if we all put in the hard work and graft now and make sure that negativity is completely non-existent and that positivity blossoms in this world.

My words of praise go to Oli Regan (SWEENØ):Oli, keep expressing yourself and keep raising awareness to end this negative stigma that is attached to Mental Health, you’re awesome!

To listen to Oli Regan’s album, click or tap the Play button below to listen to My Diary of Pain.

Trust me, Oli Regan’s album, My Diary of Pain is worth a listen, because it reflects on how he feels about this world and everything else in general and it’s worth a listen.

If you enjoyed my review of Oli Regan (SWEENØ)’s album, My Diary of Pain, please feel free to comment below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Oli Regan, OnPoint Headshots, SWEENØ 2017

© The photograph used above of Oli Regan (SWEENØ), including the album, My Diary of Pain, the Official Album Artwork of My Diary of Pain and the logo, SWEENØ, are all copyright of Oli Regan, OnPoint Headshots & SWEENØ. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Album Rating: 10 / 10

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

Happy New Year, and Welcome to 2015 on Mother Nature!!!!!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!

Hello everyone, and welcome to 2015 on Mother Nature!!!!!!!! Following the New Year’s Day fireworks late this morning, I want to kick 2015 off with a bang. This will be the year where everyone comes together to have a good time and to also enjoy life for what it’s worth, and to also enjoy life as a whole.

I published this status I wrote to social networking websites late this morning, such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, writing:

“2014 was a year of realisation and caring for those, even though they weren’t there. It was also a year of growing up and leaving behind the school life.

2015 will be the year where everyone comes together to have a good time and enjoy life for what it’s worth, and to also enjoy life as a whole, whether you’re at college or not.

Live life and enjoy every second, and take a chance when you are given one. Take opportunities that will last a lifetime and enjoy every opportunity and every good moment that life throws at you.

Enjoy life and live your life to the fullest.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!!!!”-Alex Smithson

In honesty, 2014 really was the year of caring for those, especially your loved ones and friends, and even though they may not be there, they always show how much they care about you, no matter what, and that’s what friends and family are for. 2014 was also the year of growing up, leaving behind the school life, and moving on to life at college.

2015 will be the year where the hard work really does begin, as everyone will have an all-new mindset that is solely focused on getting ahead and completing the work. As I’ve said in the status update I posted to Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, it is always best to live your life and enjoy every second, and to take a chance when you are given one. Take every opportunity that will last a lifetime, and enjoy every opportunity and every good and happy moment that life intends to throw at you.

You may have already noticed I’ve made quite a lot of changes to Mother Nature this morning, as I wanted to start 2015 off by updating the background and parts of the logo, so that the cubic logo has a meaning that creates an alternate look with style.

Also, I’m pleased to announce that as I’m halfway through finishing: “My Journey Through a Lens”, there is a good possibility that it could be released before Q3 this year.

To your right of this page, I have just updated the Spotify widget to the all-new mix: “The Mix of 2015”, which will regularly update over the course of this year as the year progresses.

I’ve got a lot of exciting ideas and articles that will be published this year, so stay tuned for the latest articles that will be published regularly on Mother Nature. Also, if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, please make sure to like my Facebook Page and also follow my Mother Nature Twitter account to keep up to date of the articles I will publish regularly on Mother Nature.

Until then, welcome to 2015!!!!!!!!

Alex Smithson

Facebook: Mother Nature Website

Twitter: @MotherNatureWP

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

Welcome back to a chilly February, a new change awaits!!!

Hello everyone!!! I apologise if I haven’t blogged over the week as I was trying to get rid of my throat infection, but now I’m back, I feel better than ever and also wanted to bring a new change to this blog, plus…a lot of photos as a way of thanking you all for wishing me the speedy road to recovery.

To mark a new beginning to this month, I have just added a new Spotify Playlist titled “The Mix of 2014” to this blog’s content sidebar for your listening comfort, and whilst I was recovering from the throat infection, I used my free time to take some photos of the Crystal Palace tower from a view-point.

Here’s a preview of the new Spotify Playlist from a screenshot I took yesterday:

The Mix of 2014 - Preview

Note: Before you play this Spotify playlist, you will need to sign in or sign up to Spotify for this widget to play music. I apologise if it doesn’t play because I thought by using this widget, it could play music without the need of signing in to Spotify, but if you already have a Spotify account, you will need to sign in to Spotify on your Laptop or PC in order to listen to this playlist, or, if you have an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad with the Spotify app installed, a notice will appear showing the”Download Spotify” and “I have Spotify” buttons:

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Yesterday, I took some photos of a magpie and a pigeon in different trees where the leaves fell over the course of Autumn, and as we slowly approach Summer, I wanted to mark the occasion to include these photos, which can be found here:

Thank you all for viewing this blog post, and thanks again for helping me to surpass my target of over 5,000 views, I’m close to 6,000, and wanted to say thank you to all of you bloggers for kicking this blog off to such a fantastic start, last month saw this blog’s overall view count at 3,326 views, and also more than 100 visitors per day, and in the first couple of days of this month, this blog has seen over 1000+ views and attracted over 400+ visitors (Average Per Day) :-)!!!

-Alex Smithson

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