Monthly Roundup: July 2018

July was quite a busy month! With the conclusion of the World Cup, which saw England being dealt the unexpected blow and despite the fact we didn’t win, it still came home regardless of the result and our heroes came home with their heads held high.

It’s been quite an interesting month to say the most, but the hottest to say the least considering the UK baked in the extreme heatwave, with the heavens well and truly opening on Friday 27th July.

I shall take a look back at the photo moments/articles I’ve published altogether over the course of July.

1.7.2018 – Things were set to get a lot busier considering I would be back at work following two weeks of annual leave, with the weather expecting to be hotter with mild rain and potential thunderstorms.

I also marked the occasion by changing Mother Nature’s theme from Karuna to Lovecraft, whilst also publishing a reworked and improved version of the cube so that the logo and website would stay true to nature’s roots that maintain her beautiful and vibrant personality.

2.7.2018 – Almost one year after we lost the late TV legend, Bruce Forsyth, who passed away on the 18th August 2017, I paid tribute by saying Nice to See You, To See You, Spruce!

3.7.2018 – The UK beamed in a hot, humid and surprising shade of scarlet as a result of the extreme heatwave, meanwhile, it was good to Hydrate Your Hydrangeas whilst basking in the hot and humid sunny Summer weather.

6.7.2018 – The Hypericum plant was most definitely hyperactive, though even nature was mystified by the presence of the Mysterious Mossrose!

7.7.2018 – Imagine a World of Lavender putting your mind at ease.

8.7.2018 – Oklahoma turned orange as the Oklahoma plant proved to be the case whilst the UK baked in the extreme heatwave, meanwhile, there was a Happy Hazelnut that blossomed thanks to the hot weather.

9.7.2018 – The weather was absolutely hot and humid. Talk about a Sultry Summer but the hot weather certainly took the biscuit! However, there was a beautiful silhouette of sunshine which filled the air with peace, but Venus was serious about when she said she would blossom.

13.7.2018 – Nature was feeling rosy!

15.7.2018 – Mother Nature was at her Finest! I even witnessed her True Grit!

16.7.2018 – The breeze of Summer finally beckoned!

18.7.2018 – Mother Nature was at the Longan Short of It!

22.7.2018 – I witnessed a Spirea spiralling in Mother Nature’s roots, though it felt so good to have witnessed Mother Nature’s Summer Roots! She did surprise us with her Magical Marigold, so that was a bonus!

23.7.2018 – The UK witnessed the hottest day of 2018, and it was like it was Mediterranean Monday as I defied the weather warnings to photograph Mother Nature at her most spiritual whilst I was on the way home from work.

24.7.2018 – The extreme heatwave of Summer 2018 was suntastic, despite a lot of greenery being scorched due to the intensely sultry weather.

25.7.2018 – It felt so good to soak in the Rays of Summer Sunshine, despite the weather being intensely humid and sultry.

28.7.2018 – The weather for Friday 24th July was absolutely frantic, not to mention being boiling hot! She finally unleashed her voluptuous violet and made it rain for the UK with an almighty bang!

Thank you so much, everyone, for such a fantastic and productive month. Everything has been up in the air lately with work and finding the time to publish frequently, but I’m glad I’ve been able to produce and publish more content more recently and I hope to continue to publish more content soon.

Again, thanks so much, everyone, and I’ll see you all in August!

Alex Smithson

A World of Lavender!

Imagine a world of lavender putting your mind at ease. This is what the world needs and lavender is the best medicine to relax and make you feel euphoric.

Would you want a world filled with lavender?

Are you fascinated by the lavender’s presence?

Does it put your mind at ease and relax you?

I would love to know.

Alex Smithson

Mental Health: Make a Difference!

Far too often, mental health is often shunned to one side by many of those who believe it doesn’t exist. Some see it as an excuse to make anyone who suffers from mental health feel like they cannot prove their worth because they’re different to everyone else.

Mental health is often ignored nowadays in the modern world, as some people actually believe it’s something that doesn’t exist.

It does exist.

No two people are the same when it comes to mental health. Everyone is different and why should those who believe mental health doesn’t exist feel like it’s okay for them to make others feel left out because they are different to everyone else?

They shouldn’t!

Mental health should be acknowledged by everyone. This doesn’t mean one person should recognise it, let alone any charities should recognise it, but the whole world has to recognise mental health and take into account that the more mental health is acknowledged, the better chances there are of help, support and treatment being provided to everyone depending on the mental health condition they were diagnosed with.

Why do so many ignore the signs of mental health?

So many people ignore the signs of mental health, not because they don’t just think it doesn’t exist, but because they believe it can be cured.

Well Hello!

It is not curable!

It can be managed, however, through the use of help, support and treatment, including support lines, websites surrounding mental health and charities that specialise in providing help and support to all those suffering from a mental health condition.

I care about mental health a lot as I have a lot of friends who suffer from mental health, or do suffer from mental health but haven’t declared it due to their fear of worrying that they may be shunned, left out or be discriminated against because they are different to everyone else. Mental health is something that is very close to my heart and I always support anyone with a mental health condition but don’t ever listen to those who say it’s curable because it’s not!

We are all different, not the same and you cannot flip two different sides of the coin and pray it can be cured. It’s incurable but manageable.

We should be making a difference by raising awareness, opening up more about mental health, and tell the naysayers that tell us to ‘man up and toughen up’ to get a life!

Let’s end this stigma once and for all!

Want to end the stigma? Let’s do this! Please tell me if you raise awareness for mental health, and if you do or don’t, that’s okay and I respect you fully, but please feel free to tell me if you are or know someone, whether it be a family member or friend who has a mental health condition who has struggled to open up or has recently opened up about how they feel. I am more than happy to hear how you felt about opening up, but I am also happy to hear about how someone you know felt about opening up and showing their real emotions.

Please feel free to refer to the Mental Health Organisations page by clicking on the link provided below this article.

Alex Smithson

The Discomforting Perceptions of Airbrushed Photographs.

On every magazine cover or newspaper you’ve read, you may notice there’s been the odd airbrushing or two on all of the magazine and newspaper covers of someone famous you know.

Every photograph I’ve produced that features any friends of mine have never been airbrushed and have never been photoshopped. Of course, I’ve edited some of my photographs by changing some of them to black and white to bring out the facial features of the subjects I photograph so that you still see an all-natural look, but I would never even dream of airbrushing any photographs I produce as I would rather you all see the subjects I photograph for what they actually look like naturally, not what society wants them to look like when airbrushed as airbrushing is not normal.

Airbrushing was the topic of conversation on today’s edition of Loose Women, as body dysmorphia is becoming worryingly common, as a vast majority of some people feel insecure about how their bodies look and they feel they should fix what makes them insecure when they shouldn’t.

Personally, I find airbrushing to be completely uncomfortable, as I would rather look at a photograph of someone famous, especially if it’s a close friend of mine that shows them completely natural with no airbrushing applied rather than look at a photograph of someone famous, especially if it’s a close friend of mine that shows noticeable airbrushing because airbrushing is a complete turn-off. It also promotes negativity for mental health, as airbrushing is another leading example of the stigma that surrounds mental health, considering mental health is only just being taken notice of after so many years of being ignored.

Airbrushing is the vanity card of the future that will alter anyone’s appearance and personally and honestly, I would rather be realistic by saying I would rather see a famous celebrity or close friend of mine all-natural rather than see constant airbrushing in photographs.

I know I’ve probably repeated myself over and over again but I will say this. Don’t ever expect to see any airbrushed photos on here as I am going all natural with my photographs so you actually see what any of my subjects actually look like rather than see any photos that are unnatural.

Mother Nature intends to stick to the all-natural realism of photography, and as for airbrushing, airbrushing is banned!

Do you find airbrushed photographs to be discomforting?

Does it make you uncomfortable knowing you’re looking at the discomforting perceptions of an airbrushed photograph as opposed to an unedited, all-natural photograph?

Do you believe airbrushing promotes negativity for Mental Health in the sense people should be made to look at a photograph that isn’t natural, but is airbrushed?

Please tell me in the comments. I would love to hear what you’ve got to say about the whole unrealistic world of airbrushing.

Alex Smithson

Make a Difference for World Mental Health Day!

Today is World Mental Health Day, so if you are someone or know someone who has a mental health condition, today is about coming together and supporting everyone regardless of what mental condition you and everyone else has or may have.

The ‘Mental Health Organisations‘ page is designed to help all those like yourself who may be suffering from Mental Health, and as this page I set up earlier this year aims to provide help, support and treatment for those who may have a mental health condition or may have a condition not connected to mental health, so if you want to reach out to someone or to a support line that will specialise in whatever kind of mental health condition or condition you may have, this page, I hope, will help you.

Let’s come together and end this stigma once and for all.

Alex Smithson

Should We Change at the Expense of Others?

From a personal perspective, changing ourselves at the expense of others means we are putting ourselves in a position where we are made to change ourselves in order to be socially acceptable to everyone else.

I personally refuse to change myself at the expense of others because I am happy with who I am, what I look like, including how I present myself to other people.

So what, I don’t give a damn if some people don’t accept me just for being myself, at the end of the day, I refuse to let anyone change me so that I can appear acceptable to them.

It’s a messed up world, there’s no other way of describing this world, but at the end of the day, if no one can accept you for who you are, what you look like, including how you present yourself to others, and if they expect you to change yourself at their expense, forget them and just be yourself and never change for anyone.

Never change yourself.

If you feel what I have said here is powerful and eye-opening, please let me know. I would love to know if I inspired you as I want to inspire you all and for you to be yourselves and to never change yourselves at all at the expense of others.

Alex Smithson

÷ (Deluxe) / Ed Sheeran is Back!

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.

As it is the first ever vinyl record I have owned, I feel so honoured to go retro for the first time, because the original vinyl discs initially ceased production many, many years ago, but it’s only been in the last few years that vinyl has made a comeback and I am pleased to say that ÷ is my first ever vinyl record I have purchased.

How many tracks are on ÷?

There are 16 tracks on the Deluxe version of ÷ and here is the official tracklist:

  1. Eraser
  2. Castle on the Hill
  3. Dive
  4. Shape of You
  5. Perfect
  6. Galway Girl
  7. Happier
  8. New Man
  9. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
  10. What Do I Know?
  11. How Would You Feel (Paean)
  12. Supermarket Flowers
  13. Barcelona
  14. Bibia Be Ye Ye
  15. Nancy Mulligan
  16. Save Myself

What comes with the Deluxe Boxset?

In the Deluxe Boxset for ÷, these are the items that come with the album:

  • 12” x 12” premium hardcover book with photos, lyrics and artwork
  • 2 x heavyweight blue vinyl, exclusive to this edition of the album
  • Deluxe CD album
  • Silver plated Divide charm and necklace, packaged separately
  • Deluxe digital album sent to you at release
÷ (Deluxe) / Ed Sheeran / Official Album Artwork © Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran
÷ (Deluxe) / Ed Sheeran / Official Album Artwork
© Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran

My Review of ÷ (Deluxe)

This album brings out Ed Sheeran’s unique and interesting side to his music, You can’t quite help but think just how much ÷ gives you life. When he released Shape of You, straightaway, it brought along with it its own vibe where you would remember it, not just for Ed himself singing, but because of the fact it has that eccentric and realistic appeal that you want. With Ed Sheeran’s previous album, X (Multiply), that album brought about love and respect and courage, which is why we love Ed Sheeran, I too love Ed Sheeran, not just because he has tugged at our heart-strings, but because he’s made us realise that there is life and love even in the darkest places, and for me, ÷ carries that message too, but also goes on to add that with love, respect, courage, compassion and support, the world can be a better place.

This album gives me life!

Ed Sheeran is a living legend in my eyes because his music is timeless and will never date, but you begin to appreciate life a whole lot more after you’ve listened to ÷ because you can relate and share the same feelings that he has as a musician. Not only that, but his music is eccentric and brings positivity to the table, which is what this world needs and I take my hat off to Ed Sheeran. ÷ is a masterpiece, in fact, +, X & ÷ are all masterpieces and Ed Sheeran is a legend!

If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend you purchase ÷, you will not be disappointed. ÷ is such a perfectly crafted album and Ed Sheeran has produced another exquisite masterpiece that is worth purchasing.

If you enjoyed my review of Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Deluxe) album, please feel free to comment below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran, 2017

© The Divide Album Artwork & Complete Tracklist are all copyright of Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

÷ Album Rating: 10/10

Artistic Interpretation #6 / Prince Rogers Nelson (1993)

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 is the first Artistic Interpretation for 2017 and I wanted to make sure that Prince Rogers Nelson would be the first musician I would draw this year.

This drawing I’ve produced is inspired on the Greatest Hits album: “The Hits / The B-Sides” that Prince Rogers Nelson released back in 1993, as this Greatest Hits collection spans much of the music he released over the course of his career, given that he was the powerhouse and driving force that defined many generations and helped to inspire so many musicians, also because he was known for releasing so many albums that his back catalogue would be filled to maximum capacity.

Prince’s music defined himself as the iconic music legend he is, and even in death, his music will never grow old, will never become dated but will always remain timeless, as his music is eccentric and changes every time but changes so quickly that you cannot help but appreciate the iconic music legend himself for always being different and not making music that sounds the same.

Below is the completed artistic interpretation I have produced of Prince Rogers Nelson.

Prince Rogers Nelson

I’m really pleased with the end result of this artistic interpretation, because I wanted to make sure that this drawing would keep true to the iconic music legend himself. Prince left his mark not just on the music world, but on the entire world, as his music is the reason why so many of the musicians we hear of today are still not just releasing music, but are making the best difference and being the positive changes in this world.

His music has also given so many people around the world, including myself so much to be thankful for and his music, from my perspective, is a message of hope, and that hope can mean you can be yourself and be the positive change you want to see in this world and I feel that by drawing him, he has not only been a positive influence on me, but on all of us.

I want to say this as a way of paying tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson:

“Prince. Your music has been the Sign ‘O’ the Times, Purple Rain came down on us and delighted us and When Doves Cry, you were there to give us all hope and to make sure we were the positive changes this world needs. Your Little Red Corvette sits briskly in heaven and heaven gained an angel. Sometimes it Snows in April, then there is Purple Rain, but you gave us all hope and made us all feel okay to be ourselves, so thank you for everything, Prince Rogers Nelson.”

If you want to pay your respects to Prince Rogers Nelson almost a year after the iconic music legend departed from Planet Earth, then please leave a comment below in his memory.

Alex Smithson

Rio 2016: Day #10

We certainly kicked off Day #10 with a bang as Team GB‘s Charlotte Dujardin became the second British woman to win three Olympic Gold Medals after she retained her individual dressage title in Rio de Janeiro, ultimately with us claiming our 16th Olympic Gold Medal.

We’ve certainly done great so far today and we are actually doing a lot better now. Team GB are making sure to pull out all of the stops for us and they have had such a fantastic first week and they have made sure that they don’t want to let us down in the last week of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. It’s hard to think it only started last Saturday and we’re already in the last week of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The time sure has flown so quickly this past week.

Anna Thompson (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “A very emotional Anna Meares said for the first time in 20 years her body let her down as the Australian finished 10th in the women’s sprint. She beat GB’s now retired Victoria Pendleton to the title in London 2012 and, although  great rivals on the track, they are firm friends off it. They embraced warmly in the interview zone after the race, with Meares paying tribute to the support Pendleton had given her in the run-up to Rio.The 32-year-old will make a decision about whether she wants to carry on until the Commonwealth Games, in her home country Australia in 2018, in the coming weeks.

Chris Boardman (Olympic Cycling Champion for the BBC): “Laura Trott is going to have to produce a personal best here, but that is how it should be at the Olympics.

Chris Boardman: “Laura Trott has beaten the former world champion. Quite a remarkable ride. She had a beautiful line on the track.

Sir Chris Hoy (Six Time Olympic Cycling Champion on BBC One): “This is a huge, huge task for Mark Cavendish. Elia Viviani is in great form and has a lead. It is very exciting and I’m getting nervous.

Simon Brotherton (BBC Commentator in Rio de Janeiro): “Mark Cavendish came to Rio not as the favourite for the gold medal. He comes into this final race  not the favourite. Is it possible? Does he have the ability to win? Yes, he does.

Anna Thompson: “Laura Trott is one popular lady in the velodrome as the loud cheers fill the venue and British fans fly their flags and chant her name as she goes into the lead in the women’s omnium after two events. Now it’s the moment of truth for Mark Cavendish. Can he win a first Olympic medal?

Chris Boardman: “That’s what you have to do – lose some battles in order to win the war. Cavendish can’t do much chasing now, that cost him quite some energy.

Sir Chris Hoy: “It’s a good start for Mark but I think Viviani is looking ominous. He has the answer in terms of top speed. But one lap gained and it could all be very different.

Chris Boardman: “Mark Cavendish could get a warning for that because he just swung down into him. That could be a real problem for Mark Cavendish. That’s changing the shape of this race dramatically.

Anna Thompson: “There’s great support for Mark Cavendish here and I’ve just spotted his wife Peta in the crowd, bouncing son Frey on her knees. Daughter Delilah is here too but the noise is a bit too much for her as she keeps sticking her fingers in her ears!

Sir Chris Hoy: “It was Mark’s fault, but it was not intentional. You could see him apologising to Viviani.

Luke Reddy (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “Argentina are in the hockey house. Their fans have been superb across this Olympics from rugby sevens to last night’s men’s tennis final. Loud, proud and passionate. They meet the supreme Netherlands in the women’s quarter final later but first it’s Great Britain v Spain – who are already warming up. Team GB took bronze in 2012 remember so there is expectation aplenty. The men are out, it’s up to the women to meet the target of one medal between the two GB teams.

Davit Chakvetadze has won Gold on his Olympic début for Russia in the Greco-Roman wrestling -85kg event after a 9-2 victory over Ukraine’s Zhan Beleniuk.

Chris Boardman: “Neutralising the race really changes the shape of things. They’ve almost reset. Everybody has had a breather and is coming back. It’s a real bonus to those out on the attack. Mark is stirring the pot, seeing what he can instigate. He knows somebody has to set off the first one.

Sir Chris Hoy: “Mark Cavendish is looking super sharp in the sprints, but not picking up all the points. This is anyone’s race at this stage.

Chris Boardman: “Hansen really feels under threat here from Mark Cavendish. Cavendish has really been closing that gap and he’s not too far – if he keeps sprinting like he is, the strategy he’s employing now could well do the job and take him a gold medal.

Alistair Magowan (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “Somehow it has been a dramatic day at the sailing without seeing much action at all. Rio has that sort of effect on things. After no wind all day, the women’s Laser Radials went out for their medal race and when a front blew in, organisers then decided it was too windy, making it a frustrating day for the likes of Annalise Murphy, waiting to win a first Irish sailing medal for 36 years, and her watching family. Double Olympic champion and BBC TV reporter Shirley Robertson says: “They are the top 10 sailors in the world so you could argue ‘let them go out there’ and race but it was probably a sensible decision given there were gusts of 36 knots, which is the top end of the scale.” No confirmation of tomorrow’s schedule yet but the Laser Radial and Laser medal races are likely to kick things off.

Alistair Magowan: “The Laser Radial medal race wasn’t the only one to be postponed because of high winds, and according to double Olympic sailing champion Shirley Robertson, it was a lot more hairy  out to sea as she filmed with the BBC TV crew. She says: “Within 10 minutes of the 470 boats being sent out to the ocean because there was no wind, we saw this black line of weather coming in from the west and it hit us and the entire fleet. It was 40 knots, which is gale force, and there were boats upside down everywhere. We were with the 470s and they are pretty manageable, so once they got upright, they can drop their big sail and just come in as best they could with their small sail. But the 49ers were also out there; they are light skiffs and they are difficult to handle and some of them might have had a big issue to get back to safety. Fortunately, the wind has since dropped and we are told that all the boats have returned safely.

Chris Boardman: “Hansen is going for the attack here and Cavendish is a long way back at the moment. He’s just gone again over the top – he’s trying to bludgeon them into submission. It’s turning into a real slugging match.

Team GB’s Mark Cavendish wins Silver in the Men’s Omnium Cycling Event.

Chris Boardman: “Viviani is in tears, it means so much to him and he had to work so hard. It’s great to see this level of emotion. Cavendish fought hard, he got that medal that’s eluded him for so long. Perhaps not the colour he’d like but boy, he earned that silver. He did the best job he could.

Sir Chris Hoy: “A great finale, Mark looks disappointed but on reflection, when he looks back at the last year he will be very proud of himself. The right man won and Viviani was too strong. They are tough athletes.

Sir Chris Hoy: “There was no big celebration, he wasn’t punching the air. There was a sense of disappointment but he has to see this as a massive achievement. To come back to the track, to adapt to all these different events. The omnium is about being the best all-rounder, and he was nearly that. It’s down to enjoyment now. If he can go back home, have a break.,enjoy himself, get back on his back and reset his goals. There’s plenty of life there.

Luke Reddy: “That’s a dream opening quarter for Team GB. No nerves on show, just solid stuff and they could put the lowest ranked side left in the tournament to the sword here. The crowd isn’t all to boisterous, I’d estimate we are 30% full here with the majority of fans from the Netherlands. A brief “Espana, Espana,” song breaks out but quickly a gent with a drum starts the Great Britain fans off. Based on that opening quarter, I think the British fans will be able to enjoy this one. The message in the huddle must have been for more of the same.

Team GB’s Mark Cavendish after winning Silver in the Omnium Cycling event: “I’m happy. Elia was the best guy there. If you take the points I lost in the elimination I would’ve been right with him. I have got my Olympic medal. It is really nice, but gold would’ve finished the collection. I did a pursuit yesterday and was unhappy I didn’t break the olympic  record, that’s just me. People are forgetting the team we have got behind us. It is incredible how they have worked. Without those guys I wouldn’t be here. Will he be competing in Japan in four years time? He replies: “I don’t think so, but I said that eight years ago. I will retire at some point, but then I will have a month at home and people will tell me to get back on the bike.

Chris Boardman: “It was a very strong, late dash there by Sarah Hammer. I think she showed her hand a little bit. She’s holding something back for that final sprint should she get there. Now it’s Laura Trott she’s got in her sights.

Simon Brotherton: “Once again, Laura Trott shows she is masterful on the elimination race. No-one can touch her. She is absolutely flying and she’s floated through this event. Up to this point, she looks to be the class of the field.

Sir Chris Hoy: “Laura has the confidence. She knows she can leave it to the last second to sprint and she has options. Other girls there, they tend to have one particular strength that they try to play to. It was a really strong, confident performance. Laura is opening up the gap over her rivals and so far, you can’t look beyond her for this gold medal.

Anna Thompson: “Mark Cavendish’s wife Peta is a relieved woman and tells me she couldn’t be more proud of her husband for winning an Olympic silver. “He wanted gold and raced for gold and couldn’t have given any more,” she says. “I know the sacrifices he’s made and the hard work he’s put in this year and after some people questioned him after the Worlds, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

Luke Reddy: “All going to plan and as Spain’s players walk off at the half-time hooter, Team GB run off the pitch and down the tunnel. That extra zip sums it up in many ways. So this looks good don’t you agree? Maddie Hinch in the Team GB goal has barely touched the ball. A reminder Germany and New Zealand are into the semi finals, Argentina meet the fancied Dutch later. Great Britain look well drilled though and are set to maintain that 100% record they have earned since being here. A half-time entertainer has just told us it’s “time for some inflatable fun.” I’ll keep you posted.

Aimee Lewis (BBC Sport in Rio de Janeiro): “Spectators are like moths to a flame near the Olympic Rings outside the velodrome. It’s the prime selfie spot and understandably so as it does look wonderful lit up. No-one seems too concerned that Mark Cavendish has won the first Olympic medal of his career. It’s all about capturing the perfect picture.

British Cycling’s Head Coach, Iain Dyer, spoke to BBC One: “The only pressure we created was in the team to produce our best performances. The rest will take care of itself. It was an elimination example from Laura. She loves the elimination. I think it’s possibly the worst event for me to watch. She did a super job. It’s third time lucky for Cav. He deserves it. Coming back off the Tour de France, then the last throw of the dice to medal in the omnium, he did a great job.

Cuba’s Mijain Lopez Nunez has won Gold in the Greco-Roman Wrestling -130kg event.

Anna Thompson: “It makes a change to hear a different national anthem to the British one and the Italian one is a particular favourite of mine. The crowd enjoyed it too!

Aimee Lewis: “Empty seats? There won’t be many for the basketball judging by these queues. Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Nigeria are all playing and their fans have turned out in numbers. The white and pale blue of Argentina dominates and their fans are already singing as they wait. It should be a cracking atmosphere.

Luke Reddy: “Something tells me we may get a Netherlands v Great Britain showdown in the closing stages of this tournament – a repeat of the Euro Champs final GB claimed last year. If we do, it’ll be a cracking atmosphere as already tonight we see the colours of both nations sat alongside one another. Man of the match goes to the boyfriend of Team GB’s Sam Quek – pictured below on the right. He’s drumming in armour. And when I say drumming, I mean relentlessly.

Mel Clewlow (Ex-Team GB Hockey Player): “I don’t think they’ve peaked yet, I don’t think they’re playing their best hockey. But they’re winning matches and progressing through the competition.

Luke Reddy: “Canoe slalom of a run there from Georgina Olivia and Spain have hope with seven minutes to go. You get the sense Great Britain have conserved a bit of energy, good job though as Giselle Ansley is green carded so they go down to 10 for a while. GB’s back six are now deep, it is very much a hold what we’ve got approach.

Luke Reddy: “The medal haul could be increased further on Wednesday when Great Britain’s women play in the semi-final against New Zealand. Let’s not forget this side came fifth of six in the recent Champions Trophy so to be into the last four shows they’ve found the groove needed. Everyone will fear the Dutch a little, they play Argentina shortly and will be distraught if they don’t make the semis. It’s just started hammering down with rain for that one. Great Britain got it done tonight. Yes they tailed off a little but as they leave the field, the fist pumps shows they’re happy.

Tom Fordyce: “After the Bolt and Van Niekerk shows on Monday night, this might feel to some like a flatter night in the Estadio Olimpico. There is certainly not yet anywhere near the same buzz around the tall blue grandstands, but it is early, and we still have two of the all-time greats in action: David Rudisha, Olympic champion and world record holder in the 800m, and Allyson Felix in the 400m, winner of three golds in London, owner of nine World Championship golds. It’s like the second evening of a stag-do – something of a hangover from the excesses of the night before, still a whole lot of fun to be had.

I’m so pleased to hear that Team GB’s Tom Bosworth has proposed to his partner, and his husband-to-be said yes! I wish them both the absolute best for the future.

Russia’s World Champion, Evgeny Tishchenko, has won Gold in the Men’s Heavyweight Final after beating Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit, making this Gold his country’s 11th Olympic Gold of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Luke Reddy: “Deodoro has gone from baking 34 degree heat to a deluge ahead of Argentina v Netherlands. Only a fool goes without the cagoule as they say. It seems there are many fools as with no shelter in the stadium, most people are outside hiding underneath it. These Dutch fans tell me they are confident. Asked if they will beat Argentina they reply: “of course”.

Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Nurudinov has won the men’s +105kg Weightlifting Gold with a combined score of 431kg.

Steve Backley (Four-Time European Javelin Champion for the BBC): “It’s a great pole vault final in the making, but we want to see it on a safe and level playing field.

Jamaican 110m Hurdler, Omar McLeod, spoke to BBC Sport: “I know how to work through climates like this – I train in Arkansas, I just wanted to get through the first run and have a good set-up for tomorrow. The confidence is always high, it is good to have confidence in a hurdle race like this – I’m ready to go there and have run. I’m trying to seize the moment, embrace the opportunity and enjoy every day.

Tom Fordyce: “Torrential rain in the Estadio Olimpico, reminiscent of that night in 2002 in Munich, in another Olympic stadium, when Paula Radcliffe splashed through the puddles to win 10,000m gold. Which is a great memory, but when the two events they’re trying to run here are sprint hurdles and pole vault, not a happy comparison.

Colin Jackson (Two Time 110m World Hurdles Champion for the BBC): “These are awful conditions for these hurdlers. Under these conditions the track looks like a mirror because of the lights in the puddles, so it’s very hard to spot the hurdles.

Gabby Logan (BBC One Presenter in Rio de Janeiro): “We’re nice and dry…

Michael Johnson (Four Time Olympic Gold Medallist for Athletics on BBC One): “If you look at Orlando Ortega he’s basically approaching this like “yeah it’s raining, but I’m going to do what I’ve got to do”. I hated warming up in the rain, and it’d take me a few minutes to get over the fact that it was raining and I didn’t like it, but then you get on with it and do what you’ve got to do.

All events have currently been paused due to the heavy rain at Rio’s Olympic Stadium.

Andrew Cotter (BBC Athletics Commentator): “That wasn’t rain! Actually it was rain. It was very heavy rain. So says a Scotsman…

Colin Jackson: “Thank goodness for that! Pozzi was running quite well up until that stage, nice and tight.

While all events have been delayed at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, I’ll quickly summarise the highlights of Day #10.

  • Team GB’s Dujardin won her second individual dressage title
  • Team GB’s Mark Cavendish came second in the Omnium Cycling Event, claiming Silver
  • Team GB’s Hitchon came third in the women’s hammer event, claiming Bronze
  • Team GB are second in the medal table with 16 Golds
  • Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet won the 3,000m steeplechase Gold in Athletics.
  • The United States Gymnast, Simone Biles, finished third on the Beam.

Andrew Pozzi just spoke to the BBC after qualifying successfully in the Men’s 100m Hurdles event, despite stumbling quite heavily on one of the last hurdles: “I went into recovery mode, I made a stupid mistake and you can’t afford to that here,

He added on: “Thankfully I qualified so we can come back tomorrow. We were waiting to come up onto the track when we were told it was delayed. It’s no bother, it was only 15 minutes, it’s not an issue. I’ve come into this in the best shape of my life it’s just about doing it when it matters now.

Colin Jackson: “Belocian will be devastated, he’s come all the way to Brazil and he does that. He will be absolutely furious with himself.

Colin Jackson: “I like Devon Allen straight away. You need to get rhythm and cadence going. But when he hit the hurdle, his hips dropped very low. Looking at his body composition his legs look very short. But it’s just getting the cobwebs out, he hasn’t raced for a while, but he looks pretty good.

Team GB’s Lawrence Clarke has made it through to the fifth and final heat of the men’s 100m hurdles after coming third place, with smooth running in the centre too.

Colin Jackson: “Very competent bit of hurdling for Lawrence. He’s one of these athletes who is very good technically and he gets into a hurdling groove very early. That’s one of the reasons he got to that final at London 2012, he has good speed and he knows he isn’t going to make any mistakes because he’s got good technique.

Team GB’s Lawrence Clarke told BBC Sport: “I got out remarkably well, I didn’t want to take any risks, the first round has to be clean, you can’t make any mistakes,

He added on: “Tomorrow night I’m coming back with my game face on, it’s a do-or-die race. In 2012 I was ranked 26th in the world coming in and finished fourth in the final. I think I’m ranked 31st this year. I love it, I’ve been waiting for four years for this.

Tom Fordyce: “The rain has moved on from this part of Rio for now, with the pole vaulters back out and the discus resumed. Good qualifications on a drying track too for Andrew Pozzi and Lawrence Clark, two more trained in the peerless stable of hurdling guru Malcolm Arnold.

Steve Backley: “That was a high tariff dive…

Colin Jackson: “We have been asking a lot of the 17-year-old Sydney McLaughlin. Just getting here was a huge achievement. You’ve got to get used to this stage, and that comes with maturity. There’s no doubt she’d have learnt so much from this.

Steve Cram (BBC Athletics Commentator): “Well that wasn’t very good, was it?

Colin Jackson: “Ashley Spencer you can tell is a lady that has a lot of speed. She’s very low over the hurdles – when she approaches the hurdle I half close my eyes because if she hits one she’s going flat on the track.

Michael Johnson: “There will be another race in the 110m hurdles for those that did not qualify from first two races and they can claim a fastest loser spot. Those athletes that did well in the first race will say ‘wait a minute, they have another opportunity, but I don’t have another opportunity’. The second race is always faster. Hopefully it gets the competition committee for the IAAF saying ‘this is what we do when it rains’.

Colin Jackson: “When you look at somebody who has gone under 53 seconds you really want to scrutinise how they’ve done that. Delilah Muhammad is a very rangy runner and she’s very confident in this event.

Tom Fordyce: “Eilidh Doyle comfortable in qualifying – a few little technical things to work on, but she has time. A medal contender in the final if she gets it right.

Eilidh Doyle won her 400m hurdles heat with reasonable ease, and she told BBC Sport that she was relieved after initially struggling with the heat, and this comes on the night that all events were delayed due to torrential rain: “It wasn’t a great race, but it’s very difficult in the heat you want to conserve as much energy as possible, I’m happy that I’ve got the win and I’m through to the next round. I always get quite nervous in the heats, you just want to get out there and go. I never think about medals, I just want to go out there and give a really good performance. I just want to make sure I come off the track knowing that I gave it everything.

Tom Fordyce: “David Rudisha produced arguably the greatest single performance at the London Olympics. He ran that night like some relentless robot – what can he do here tonight?

David Rudisha has won Gold in the Men’s 800m Final.

Steve Cram: “Alfred Kipketer did everything he could to mess this race up for Rudisha but he wasn’t having it. The great David Rudisha. A 1.42 for anybody else would be extraordinary. For him, well it’s almost ordinary. But I have no idea what Alfred Kipketer was up to.

Tom Fordyce: “Fabulous from David Rudisha, the greatest 800m runner of all time and quite possibly the nicest man in sport too. There will be no-one in athletics who begrudges him his second Olympic title.

Brendan Foster (Olympic Medallist & BBC Athletics Commentator): “David Rudisha looks magnificent in full flow. One of the great sights in athletics, a pleasure to behold. This man is an impressive athlete, a proud Masai warrior.

Shaunae Miller has won Gold in the Women’s 400m Final.

Andrew Cotter: “That is giving it absolutely everything for a gold in the Olympic Games. What a run for Shaunae Miller. That is how to finish a race and become an Olympic champion.

Tom Fordyce: “A fabulous final, a fabulous finish. We thought Felix would come through, and with another two metres of track she might have done.

Michael Johnson: “It was a fantastic race, that was an amazing effort from a world class athlete. Allyson Felix will be very disappointed because all she needed was one more metre to really make that happen.

Tom Fordyce: “Second time lucky for Deuce. But not for Serbia’s Milan Ristic, the previous slowest fastest loser, who – hokey-cokey style – was first in and then out.

Thiago Braz da Silva has made the home crowd go nuts as he has cleared 5.93m in the Men’s Pole Vault, which has helped him as he now stays in the medal hunt, and I mean the gold medal hunt.

Sam Kendricks has won Bronze in the Men’s Pole Vault.

Tom Fordyce: “Wonderful noise as Da Silva battles for pole vault gold. All his rivals have been booed, but if this makes sense, it’s all rather marvellous.

800m Olympic Champion, David Rudisha: “My training was great and I have been having really good sessions since I was injured. I have had no doubts about my form – I never doubted myself. To win my second gold is a great moment for me.

Steve Cram: “I’ve seen some things over the years – and that is up there with the very best. Look at the joy on his face – incredible scenes.

Tom Fordyce: “Da Silva’s previous PB was 5.92. He’s not just destroyed that, he’s broken the Olympic record. And set Rio alight in the process.

Thiago Braz da Silva of Brazil has won Gold in the Men’s Pole Vault Event.

Tom Fordyce: “That might just be the moment Brazil’s Olympic Games have been waiting for.

Steve Cram: “We have had world records but maybe that is the greatest moment so far in the athletics. He beat a great and popular champion – and when he went over his winning height I looked along the line and everybody was up.

Denise Lewis: “That was just sensational, fantastic – it is why we love sport.

Thiago Braz da Silva is Brazil’s fourth Olympic Gold Medallist in Athletics after Adhemar da Silva (triple jump, 1952 & 1956), Maurren Maggi (long jump, 2008) and Joaquim Cruz (800m, 1984).

Here are the final medal table listings for Day #10:


United States
26 23 26 75

Great Britain
16 17 8 41

15 14 17 46

11 12 12 35

8 9 6 23

8 6 6 20

7 9 8 24

7 4 16 27

6 7 9 22

South Korea
6 3 5 14

6 2 3 11

5 3 4 12

3 0 2 5

New Zealand
2 6 0 8

2 3 5 10

2 3 4 9

North Korea
2 3 2 7

2 3 0 5

2 2 9 13

2 2 0 4

2 1 3 6

2 1 2 5

2 1 2 5

2 1 1 4

2 1 1 4

2 1 0 3

2 0 4 6

2 0 2 4

2 0 1 3

2 0 1 3

South Africa
1 5 1 7

1 4 1 6

1 3 4 8

1 2 2 5

1 1 2 4

1 1 1 3

1 1 0 2

1 1 0 2

1 1 0 2

1 1 0 2

Czech Republic
1 0 5 6

1 0 3 4

Chinese Taipei
1 0 2 3

Independent Olympic Athletes
1 0 1 2

1 0 0 1

1 0 0 1

1 0 0 1

Puerto Rico
1 0 0 1

1 0 0 1

0 4 1 5

0 2 1 3

0 2 0 2

0 2 0 2

0 1 2 3

0 1 1 2

0 1 1 2

0 1 0 1

0 1 0 1

0 1 0 1

0 1 0 1

0 1 0 1

0 1 0 1

0 1 0 1

0 0 3 3

0 0 2 2

0 0 2 2

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

0 0 1 1

United Arab Emirates
0 0 1 1

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

American Samoa
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Antigua & Barbuda
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Bosnia & Herzegovina
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

British Virgin Islands
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Burkina Faso
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Cape Verde
0 0 0 0

Cayman Islands
0 0 0 0

Central African Republic
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Cook Islands
0 0 0 0

Costa Rica
0 0 0 0

Côte d’Ivoire
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Dominican Republic
0 0 0 0

DR Congo
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

El Salvador
0 0 0 0

Equatorial Guinea
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

FYR Macedonia
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Hong Kong, China
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Marshall Islands
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Papua New Guinea
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Refugee Olympic Athletes
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Saint Kitts & Nevis
0 0 0 0

Saint Lucia
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

San Marino
0 0 0 0

Sao Tome & Principe
0 0 0 0

Saudi Arabia
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Sierra Leone
0 0 0 0

Solomon Islands
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

South Sudan
0 0 0 0

Sri Lanka
0 0 0 0

St Vincent & the Grenadines
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Trinidad & Tobago
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

US Virgin Islands
0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

Day #10’s events have officially come to a close. Please make sure to check back soon for Day #11 of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Thanks to all of you for such a fantastic, positive and absolutely perfect tenth day and I hope and wish all of you a very positive, wonderful, joyful, happy and lovely night.

Alex Smithson

How Has Political Correctness Affected Modern Society?

Political correctness has affected the way almost all societies are nowadays. For instance, there is a lot of discrimination in this world and a lack of equality, and certain words that you could say before that weren’t racist, sexist and misogynistic are now considered to be racist, sexist and misogynistic.

For example, you could say to a woman: “I like that dress you’re wearing, it really suits you” in an entirely honest, polite, appropriate and respectful manner, and it would be considered misogynistic or sexist depending on how that person reacts to it.

I hate the fact that political correctness has affected us all as people, because it’s like the words we could say before that were entirely appropriate, polite and respectful are not being allowed to be said anymore.

I also hate the fact that political correctness has affected the world and the way we communicate and interact with others, because it’s like the freedom of speech you are granted is somehow taken away from you from that certain aspect of the freedom of being able to speak, even if what you say is entirely appropriate.

Whenever I talk about a certain subject, I like to approach it carefully and be as honest as possible without offending anyone, because I worry that anything I may say that is entirely honest and polite could be seen from anyone else’s perspective as being offensive.

I always like to make sure that whatever I talk about I approach very carefully and I also like to make sure that what I say is entirely appropriate, respectful and polite, so that I can get any points across about a certain topic or subject without that particular subject or topic being rude.

Political correctness has indeed affected modern society, because it’s like the type of words you could say before that were appropriate you can no longer say due to political correctness.

Political correctness has gone mad and it’s like some of the appropriate words we could say before are no longer allowed to be said, so to some extent, even if we have our full rights to a freedom of speech, we’re in effect losing certain rights to a freedom of speech because we can no longer say certain words that were allowed to be said before but not allowed to be said now.

Overall, it’s pretty sad to see the way things have gone over the years, and it’s also pretty sad to see that political correctness has taken over all of our lives and prevented us from saying certain things that we could say before that we can no longer say now.

Do you think Political Correctness has affected Modern Society? Please let me know by submitting feedback below.

All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson