Blog Post #024 – Photography Explained #3

Advice, Art, Photography, Travel

Welcome to the third installation of my Photography Explained series. I have enjoyed the process of creating these kinds of blog posts as it allows me to take a hard look at my photography and find those areas that I am weak at and need to work upon. It has also provided me with a further sense of appreciation of the effect that a well-taken photograph can have and the components that need to all come together to allow for this to happen. 


In this particular blog post, I am going to be looking more closely at animal photography

I have been drawn towards the animals of the world all my life and have always been intrigued by what they are. I enjoy watching them go about their activities and observing how different their lives are to our own. Of course, this means that I love to take photographs of these animals that I spot. However, animals are notoriously fast-moving and it can be a real challenge to capture the creature within your frame before they scurry or fly away. 

Below I am going to display a few of my favourite photographs of different animals taken around the world and offer a few tips as to how to get that perfect photograph. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed writing it. 


My first photograph is of a squirrel taken in Elveden Forest, Suffolk. What I like about this photograph is the framing of the points of interest in the image. Around 50% of the photograph is taken up of the foreground which is in focus and the other half is out of focus but provides context to the photograph. As well as this it was crucial to ensure that the squirrel’s entire body is within the frame with none chopped off by the edge. I felt that this organisation created a nice dynamic to the photograph which differentiates it from other photographs of animals.  

A piece of advice that is universal for all animal photography is to take as many photos as you can with a fast shutter speed. You will be left with hundreds of photographs using this method but you have a far greater chance of one being the money shot sitting within a host of average photographs. 


My second photograph is one of a humpback whale taken off the coast of Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. It was such an honour to be in such close proximity to such a huge, majestic creature and the photograph does not do the experience justice. 

And my third photograph is of a loggerhead turtle in Greek waters. I had been told of turtles being present in the area but I did not expect to be greeted by one. An incredibly special moment and thanks to photographs I can revisit this memory again and again. 

In both of these photographs of aquatic creatures, what is important is ensuring that the point of focus, either the tail fin or the turtle is as close as possible to the centre of the frame. This was also another example of when it is vitally important to take multiple photographs in a short period as these encounters are over in a flash and there is a very small window of opportunity to get that perfect photograph. 


My fourth and final image is of a cormorant taken in Folkestone, Kent and is my favourite photograph of any flying animal. In my experience, it has been very challenging to capture a satisfactory photograph of a bird in flight and my best results come from when they are stationary. Again the framing techniques came into play but what I like about this photograph is that I have made the subject silhouetted. 

This is a simple photography technique that can add an extra layer of intrigue by stripping away the fine details of the subject. The most effective way to achieve this is to ensure that the sunlight is behind the subject, this means that the subject stays in shadow and therefore will become a silhouette. 

This is because a human eye has a far greater dynamic range than the sensor of any camera. Through eyesight, details are much clearer when looking towards a light source but through a lens, a silhouette effect can be achieved. 


I hope that you have enjoyed this short journey through my favourite animal photographs and that you have been able to yearn some useful tips that will improve your photography. 

Until next Monday, have a great week. 

Blog Post #022 – My Experiences of Iceland

Life in General, Photography, Travel

Iceland, aptly nicknamed the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’. Thanks to the impressive landscapes equipped with towering volcanoes, geysers, bubbling hot springs and great expanses of lava fields. That explains the ‘Fire’ part of the nickname, the ‘Ice’ is for the glaciers that cover roughly 11% of Iceland’s total land area. 

This is a country that I have had the privilege to visit and I must say it was not what I expected wholly. At times it felt as though I was visiting a planet in outer space rather than a country that sits only 1,367km away from the UK.  As a continuation of a series that began with my experiences in Paris, I will discuss my favourite locations in Iceland whilst showcasing some of my photography of this incredible country. 

Fun fact:  

Fun Fact: Iceland is also known as the ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’. During June, it is unlikely to experience any darkness at all with the sun never completely setting and rising. This phenomenon is due to the way that the earth circulates the sun in an elliptical orbit. This allows for the Midnight Sun to occur, the Sumarsólstöður (Summer Solstice) is the highest point of the daylight where the sun is up for the full 24 hours of the day, hence the name ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’. If you are travelling to Iceland during this month it might be worth packing some eye masks to help you get some shut-eye. 

Let’s get into it with my top 5 locations in Iceland.  


Location #1 – Seljalandsfoss 

I will say this, waterfalls are not a rare sight whilst travelling the length and breadth of Iceland, they’re everywhere! But this particular waterfall caught my attention and in a good way. Seljalandsfoss, towers 200ft high allow water to cascade down into the pool below. The torrent of water is not as impressive as other waterfalls found in Iceland, but its defining feature is a pathway that encircles the waterfall thanks to a wide cavern behind the falls. This allows for a unique experience that makes you feel that much closer to the waterfall itself. 

Prepare to get a little wet when taking a wander along the circular paths thanks to the persistent mist of the falls, this can make the ground underfoot slippery so decent footwear is a must. 

Something I learnt in my further research for this specific location is that the cliff of which the water falls from was once the country’s coastline, hence the naturally formed cavern. The current position of the sea can be seen from the site across an area of lowlands. 


Location #2 – Whale Watching, Reykjavik 

If you thought that Iceland only had incredible landscapes to offer, you would be wrong. The local wildlife is just as impressive as well as having an extra layer of mystery due to the obscurity of some species. For example, whales. Humpback whales to be exact. 

The surrounding waters of Iceland are home to a rich variety of krill and fish, making Iceland an abundant feeding ground which entices 23 species of whale. The most commonly spotted are minke whales, humpback whales and harbour porpoises. The image above is the tail of a humpback whale I spotted. 

Unlike visiting a waterfall or geyser, whale watching cannot offer you a guarantee that you will spot these sea creatures. But if you do, I promise it is worth the apprehensive wait. The tour operators know the best spots to take the boats and have a keen eye for spotting whales breaking the surface.  


Location #3 – Geysir Hot Springs 

Image taken by  Hans Braxmeier

Geysir is Iceland’s most famous geyser located in the Haukadalur Valley. This particular geyser is steeped in history, especially being the one that each geyser is named after. 

A geyser is an outlet in the Earth’s surface that regularly ejects a column of hot water and steam. This natural phenomenon is something I highly recommend seeing at some point due to the sheer power and scale of these events. It reminds you of the impressive capacity that Mother Nature contains. 

Unfortunately, Geysir is now dormant and does not actively erupt as it used to, with eruptions reaching a height of 170m in 1845. Despite this, Geysir’s neighbour, the Strokkur geyser continues to put on quite the show for visitors with an eruption occurring every 5-10 minutes. And once you see the steaming pool begin to bulge, prepare to witness Mother Nature at its best. 


Location #4 – The Blue Lagoon 

Image taken by Veronica Bosley

The Blue Lagoon. This is probably what most people can pin down as a location in Iceland that most tourists make their way to whilst travelling in this incredibly versatile country. And I can see why as it is quite a unique experience that will not be easily forgotten. 

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa that is situated around 45 minutes from the capital city, Reykjavik. The spa itself is situated in a natural lava field and is close to a geothermal power plant. The warm waters of the lagoon are a result of runoff from this power plant. It is not a natural hot spring as many many think despite there being many all across Iceland.

The average temperature of the lagoon is 39℃ which is a nice contrast to the chill of the typical weather of Iceland. The warm seawater is rich in minerals such as silica that are said to have good skincare properties and is what gives the lagoon its milky blue shade. If you fancy toasting the occasion take a visit to the water-side bar or paddle over to the skincare booth for a face-mask. 

This was something on my travel bucket list and I am so glad to have ticked it off and perhaps you will do the same in the future.


Location #5 – The Capital City, Reykjavik 

Image taken by nextvoyage

My final location that made the list had to be the capital city of Reykjavik. When I was in Iceland, I only spent one night in Reykjavik. This meant that I did not get to explore the city extensively, but what I did see I was impressed by. 

Two-thirds of Iceland’s population resides within Reykjavik with a population of 131,136 people. The city is situated on the south-west coast and is the world’s most northernmost capital of a sovereign state. There is a lot to see within this city, here are a couple of locations within the city that interested me. 

The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Hall sits proudly on the harbour and is one of Reykjavik’s most distinguished landmarks. It is seen as a cultural and social centre in the heart of the city. The large expanses of glass in a honeycomb form make up the exterior of the building which is a world away from the simplistic dwellings of the traditional buildings of Iceland. It is an intriguing piece of architecture that immediately captured my attention. 

Image taken by Michelle Maria

Secondly, something that I remember fondly of my visit to Reyjavik was a visit to the Hamborgarafabrikkan which translates to The Hamburger Factory. Nestled within the coastal streets of the city sits this gem of a restaurant. Their concept is seemingly simple, to offer quality hamburgers with a humorous twist. And it was one of the best burgers I have ever had, no scratch that, the best burger I have ever had. If you are visiting Reykjavik I implore you to give this place a visit, good food at a reasonable price. Well, reasonable by Icelandic standard as Iceland is not a cheap place to visit. 


There we have it, my top 5 locations to visit in Iceland in my personal opinion. I will say that despite being there for over a week there was so much more that could have been done, so I shall be revisiting this incredible country at some point. 

Until next time. 

Vertu blessaður! – Goodbye in Icelandic

Episode #007 – Rafael Spajic: International Street Footballer

Interview, Podcast, Travel

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast where myself, Herbie Hudson and my co-host Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking play above or by searching Discussed It Inception on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more. 


Welcome to the show notes for the seventh episode of the Discussed It podcast. We are very excited to invite our third guest onto our podcast, Rafael Spajic. Rafael is a street football player from Croatia and over the course of his career has become very successful in his field. Rafael has secured 3rd place in the 1vs1 European Championships and 3rd place in the World Cup 3vs3. He is also the founder of Pannalicious, a street football training website. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as we touch on a range of topics throughout our time together. 

We will also be finishing off the show with our ‘Thing’ of the Week, where Rafael will be letting us know what ‘Thing’ he has found interesting and exciting and is happy to share with Hayden and I. Make sure you stick around for that!


Within this episode, we:

  • Talk to Rafel Spajic, an international street footballer who travels the world competing and performing. 
  • Discuss our ‘Thing Of The Week’
  • and much more…

Below I have outlined the general gist of the questions that we asked Rafael to answer. However, throughout the episode, we go slightly off-piste with the conversation but we cover a range of topics that relate both directly to Rafael’s journey and sport in general. 

If you fancy finding out what Rafael’s insightful and interesting comments in reply to these questions then head over to this podcast episode and give it a listen. You won’t regret it! We go off on quite a few tangents in this week’s discussion so to hear answers to those bonus questions that arose go and give the episode a listen. 


  1. Would you be able to tell us a bit more about yourself, where you’re from and what is that you do?  
  2. Tell us about the journey within the younger years. At what age did you move from Switzerland to Croatia and how did you feel that move affected your life? 
  3. From there can you take us through the following years in which football became such a big part of your life? 
  4. What was it that made you lean towards street football rather than 11-a-side? 
  5. Who was your inspiration in terms of street football was it someone already playing within the game or someone who played in a different configuration of football? 
  6. Motivation is so important to be able to compete at the very highest level, how do you keep yourself motivated and hungry for that end goal? 
  7. What is your end goal, what is it you want to achieve?
  8. How would you describe your style of play? (3 words) 
  9. What do you do to relax outside of training? Can it be a struggle to get that balance?
  10. What would you say is your greatest achievement so far? 
  11. Following on from that what would you say is your favourite memory of football? This could be you playing or watching football? (most memorable)
  12. Do you enjoy watching all forms of football or do you lean towards watching one kind more than another? 
  13. You are quoted saying that ‘regular soccer has become so robotic’, do you feel that street football allows for more creativity and freedom? 
  14. Do you have any advice for someone who wishes to give street football a go? 
  15. Do you think it practising skills required for street football can be transferred to regular 11-a-side football? 
  16. We see you have worked in association with a number of clubs and companies such as Coca-Cola, how have these opportunities come about and what has been your favourite?
  17. How would you like to be remembered? 

‘Thing’ Of The Week

As I am sure you know by now within this section of the podcast each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. Of course, when we have a guest on the show we love to invite them to join us in this recurring segment. Read ahead to see what the three of us come up with and see whether you would be interested in any of them. 

To kick off the proceedings I will reveal Rafael’s ‘Thing Of The Week’. He chose to give us two ‘Things’ Of The Week but in a rather unorthodox way which I like. He chose a positive and negative ‘Thing’ Of The Week. The first was the recollection of the incredible backheel assist by Karim Benzema to Casimero to give Real Madrid the win over Espanyol. Follow the link if you fancy giving this goal a watch. 

Rafael’s second ‘Thing’ was less positive and is the unfortunate rise of COVID-19 cases in the city that Rafael is currently residing in. We hope that the situation improves and our hearts go out to anyone affected. 

My ‘Thing Of The Week’ was a sport that I have been introduced to this week. This sport is windsurfing which is a combination of surfing and sailing and I have a friend who will be taking me out and showing me the ropes. In preparation for this experience, I have been watching YouTube videos to try and grasp some of the basics but we shall see how it goes.

And to finish off this week’s ‘Thing’ Of The Week segment we have Hayden. Hayden’s ‘Thing’ was in fact “Manchester United” and this is thanks to the successful return of the United football team in the Premier League. Hayden is enjoying this string of positive results and I think he is less nervous in the team’s abilities at the moment. Long shall it last! 


And, that wraps our episode featuring our third guest. Hayden and I thoroughly enjoyed having Rafael on the show and I am sure we will have him back on the podcast. 

I hope that the show notes have provided a further layer of communication between the two of us and you, our listeners, by providing additional information, but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoyed listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

Happy listening, everyone! 

Episode #005 – Oliver Pritchard: GB Triathlete Interview

Advice, Education, Interview, Life in General, Podcast, Travel

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast where myself, Herbie Hudson and my co-host Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking play above or by searching Discussed It Inception on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more. 


Welcome to the show notes for the third episode of the Discussed It podcast. We are very excited to invite our second guest onto our podcast, Oliver Pritchard. Oliver is a profoundly deaf athlete who is seeing great success in his sport – triathlon. He competes internationally with Great Britain and is going from strength to strength. As a deaf person and budding triathlete myself, I was looking forward to this conversation and I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did. 

We will also be finishing off the show with our ‘Thing’ of the Week, where Oliver will be letting us know what ‘Thing’ he has found interesting and exciting and is happy to share with Hayden and I. Make sure you stick around for that!


Within this episode, we:

  • Talk to Oliver Pritchard, a profoundly deaf athlete who is seeing great success in his sport – triathlon
  • Discuss our ‘Thing Of The Week’
  • and much more…

Below I have outlined the general gist of the questions that we put over to Oliver to answer, throughout the episode we go slightly off-piste with the conversation but we tried to allow for a chronological narrative that works through Oliver’s journey to date and then looking forward to the future. 

If you fancy finding out what Oliver’s insightful and interesting comments in reply to these questions then head over to this podcast episode and give it a listen. You won’t regret it! We go off on quite a few tangents in this week’s discussion so to hear answers to those bonus questions that arose go and give the episode a listen. 


  1. Would you be able to tell us a bit more about yourself, where you’re from and what is that you do?  
  2. Let’s go right back to the start, what were your first encounters with sport growing up and what effect has this had on you going forward? 
  3. Were there any individuals that motivated you to get active? 
  4. Moving on from the earlier days, what made you look towards triathlon which brings together a number of disciplines rather than just focusing on one? 
  5. You studied at Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University. How did you find studying at university and how did you balance your academic studies and training? 
  6. It was during these years that you managed to find your way into the GB squad. Can you tell us more about how this opportunity arose and how it has affected you?
  7. Motivation is so important to be able to compete at the very highest level, how do you keep yourself motivated and hungry for that end goal? 
  8. It is a difficult time to remain positive at the moment due to the restrictions but do you think anything beneficial has come from this period of slowing down? 
  9. You completed the London2Paris 24hr cycle raising money for the NDCS (National Deaf Children’s Society). Do you have any plans for another endeavour like this one?
  10. I know that you have this mantra ‘it’s abilities, not disabilities’, would you be able to expand further on what you mean by this?
  11. What do you do to relax outside of training? Can it be a struggle to get that balance?
  12. It seems as though that even on your holidays you remain active. Would you prefer an active holiday like skiing above a week lounging by the pool?  
  13. Staying with the topic of holidays I was wondering if you could give us your top three destinations and why you chose them? 
  14. What would you say is your greatest achievement so far? 
  15. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Is a professional triathlete something you aspire to become?
  16. Is there a particular sporting event that is high up on your bucket list? The Kona World Championships has been something that has always interested me but I have a way to go before I get there! 
  17. How would you like to be remembered? 
  18. So Ollie, if people want to follow your journey or get in touch, where can they find you? 

‘Thing’ Of The Week

As I am sure you know by now within this section of the podcast each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. To change it up this week we have Kyle joining us for this particular segment. Read ahead to see what the three of us come up with and see whether you would be interested in any of them. 

To kick off the proceedings I will reveal Oliver’s ‘Thing Of The Week’. He chose to give us two ‘Things Of The Week’. The first was ‘Carpentry’. He then explained that he’s been doing some work with a carpenter and feels that he has learnt some invaluable skills during this experience. His second ‘Thing Of The Week’ was an Instagram page that he has had a big part in setting up. This page is called @silentspeedsters and the idea behind it is to create an online community for deaf people all around the world to come together and have a place to communicate and connect. The Instagram page bio reads: 

#deafpower

An upcoming sports club, with deaf individuals in mind.

Our dream is to create a community easy to find.

I like this idea and I will get involved with this as it can be challenging trying to find deaf individuals to have a chat with. I have included the link below for you to check that out. 

https://www.instagram.com/silentspeedsters/

Moving on, my ‘Thing Of The Week’ was a podcast that I have been listening to a lot recently. And that is “the Joe Rogan Podcast” and over the last week I have listened to over 5 hours worth of Elon Musk on the Joe Rogan Podcast and it has opened my mind up to what is possible and allowed me to learn more about Musk and what he is like. I also listened to some of Brian Cox’s episodes as well as Neil deGrassse Tyson which are both cool people. Highly recommend checking those out, I will include the links below. But make sure you give this episode a listen before heading over there. 

http://podcasts.joerogan.net

And to finish off this week’s ‘Thing Of The Week’ segment we have Hayden Day. Hayden’s ‘Thing’ was in fact “Brownies” and this stemmed from the fact that Hayden had made some during the week and felt as though he had perfected the recipe. If you do fancy making some brownies I have included a link below, happy cooking. 

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/best-ever-chocolate-brownies-recipe

From this, we go off on a discussion about nutrition in triathlon which was an interesting one and is some bonus content that sits outside the main body of discussion. 


And, that wraps our fifth episode featuring our second guest. Hayden and I thoroughly enjoyed having Oliver on the show and we look forward to having him back on to see how he’s getting on further down the line and see how he is doing in the world of triathlon. Unfortunately due to COVID races have been cancelled but we hope that he can get back to competitive racing as soon as possible. 

I hope that the show notes have provided a further layer of communication between the two of us and you, our listeners, by providing additional information, but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoyed listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 

Happy listening, everyone! 

Blog Post #013 – Corsa Camper Conversion

Art, Life in General, Travel

This week’s blog post is centred around a project that I undertook over the last couple of weeks. This particular project I am calling the Corsa Camper Conversion. 

Confused already? Let me explain. 

I have always toyed with the idea of wanting to live out of a campervan and travel with this. These dreams mainly stem from listening to stories of my Dad doing this in Australia when he was younger. I actually have the number plate from that very campervan up in my room. When I first looked at buying my first car I did look briefly at vans for a possible conversion or campervans and realised very quickly that this route was very much out of my budget at 17 years old. 

Also, Instagram feeds like these only fuels the fire even more!

This then saw that dream put to rest for a while, until a couple of weeks ago. It came to me almost out of nowhere. I think the genesis of this project is partly down to the COVID pandemic and the cancellation of several holiday plans this year. I was troubleshooting how I can get to travelling as soon as possible. 

That is how I concluded that I would convert my 2010 Vauxhall Corsa into something that I could live out of for some time. In my mind, these periods may consist of two different circumstances. 

1

When I move to Nottingham to study architecture I am situated near the Peak District. This project would allow me to drive out there, park up at a campsite and disconnect from normality, even if it’s just for one night. I see this as a way of dealing with the stress I may experience at university but who knows.

2 –  

I am also aware that France and Spain openly welcome ‘wild camping’ and I feel that a road trip through these countries would be very high up on my To-Do List when restrictions are relaxed. I would also be much more comfortable driving than having to make my way through an airport and boarding planes. 


Before I set out on these adventures I am going to need to put my ideas in practice and carry out my very own van conversion but on a Corsa, hence the name ‘Corsa Camper Conversion’. 

I enjoyed the process and I do feel that I surpassed my expectations with my level of woodworking ability. I have my Grandpa to thank for these skills that have been taught to me from a very young age. I tried to keep this project on a budget and within the images and descriptions below you will see just how I managed this. I was also conscious of the limited size of the car in question so storage played heavily on my mind and I feel that I have been able to achieve a substantial amount of storage.

Without further ado, let’s get into the process of this project. 


To achieve enough space for this conversion, I removed the back seats which was easy enough but I have ensured that I can remove all modifications with ease and return the car to its original state if I require space for more people in the car. 

With that completed, I started to construct the bed frame. This was built using wood purchased at my local B&Q for around £50, this ultimately became the only large purchase I have made so far on this project. This frame sits in the boot space and is elevated off the floor of the car to allow for additional storage. 

To create the length required for a mattress I extended the structure as shown and added horizontal slats for added strength. The white board is removable and is only screwed down when the front two seats are fully pushed forward which increases the length of the sleeping space which I very comfortably fit in.  

I was kindly gifted a mattress that was to be thrown out by a friend so at no additional cost I now had a mattress which snugly fits atop this wooden structure and is remarkably comfortable considering it is in the back of a car. 

Now fitted with a duvet, pillows and cushions I am now looking forward to additions that will make the experience more enjoyable. I am looking at purchasing material to tint the back windows, a solar shower and potentially a fridge of some kind. However, these all cost additional money but I am happy where I am at the moment and I’m looking forward to spending my first night in my new ‘humble abode’. 


Throughout this process, I practiced both my creative and practical skills which always need to be exercised to improve. It also makes you realise that small spaces designed well can be extremely comfortable. This experience has opened my eyes to the world of micro-living and minimalism which is something that I wish to explore further. 

So there we have it, another one of my ‘Lockdown Projects’, not sure what’s next but whatever it is I am looking forward to it. 

Till next week, have a good one. 

Episode #001 – Inception: Introductions, Bucket List and Arguments

Architecture School, Life in General, Podcast, Travel

Welcome to the show notes for Discussed It, a podcast where myself, Herbie Hudson and my co-host Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot. Read ahead for a written breakdown of each podcast episode, photos, links and bonus content that didn’t make the cut for the podcast. Happy reading and if you want to check out the podcast where myself and Hayden Day discuss a little about a lot, follow the links below. 

You can listen by clicking play above or by searching Discussed It Inception on your favourite podcast players such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer and many more.

This is the first-ever show notes blog post for my new podcast, Discussed It. I hope that the show notes will add that further layer of communication between the two of us and our listeners by providing additional information but I’m sure it won’t beat listening to us chat away first hand. We hope that you enjoy listening and will consider subscribing and making the Discussed It podcast a part of your weekly routine. 


Within this episode, we:

  •  Introduce ourselves and give some background on the conception of the podcast.  
  • Discuss our ambitions and compare life bucket lists.
  • Partake in the first-ever Weekly Round-up.
  • and much more…

Topic 1 – Introductions 

Sometimes introductions can be rather awkward, like that random stranger you met last week that you’ll never meet again. But us British are always so polite, a shake of the hand and some kind words and off we go. Thankfully, me and Hayden’s introductions did not fall in this category. We started the episode by allowing our listeners to get to know us a little bit more by giving some background information, our aspirations and goals and an explanation as to why we have started this podcast. 

We discussed some of our life plans and where we see ourselves heading in the next few years and looking further, perhaps 10-20 years down the line. 

I feel that at this moment the “the plan is to become an accredited architect, but it is a long and bumpy road so I shall allow my situation to take control” and in the future I see myself “running my own firm, working for myself” perhaps. 

Hayden has some similar plans but he highlighted that he doesn’t “know where I want to be specifically but I want to be in a position where I am being creative and not have the same 9-5 every day” and is keeping his options open by suggesting these jobs, “an architect, a graphic designer or an art teacher at school”

We also discussed why we had chosen architecture as a university course and some ideas of what we might do at university to take time away from the intense work and de-stress. 

I am confident in my choice of course because I believe it is “a good course and quite diverse, you can take it to lots of places”. What I mean by this is that I believe that the skills that are taught and learnt during architecture school are massively transferrable to many job sectors. These skills include organisation, time management, good design practice and effective communication. 

In terms of activities outside of university work, we both agreed that sport is high up on priorities but I was keen to state that I “don’t want to be too serious about the sport, just use it as a social outlet”

Hayden had a similar view on this subject and expressed an interest in “badminton but I don’t know if I will make any teams”, as well as to “Play cricket…find a village team..a mess around”

We then touched on the subject of podcasts and what has prompted us to start our own. We both like to listen to podcasts and I see them as an effective form of content release which allows you to multitask whilst absorbing information almost subconsciously. 

I enjoy listening to a range of podcasts such as “My Dad Wrote A Porno”“Life Of An Architect” and “I listen to some of True Geordie because of the people, but I don’t listen to it religiously”

This was a direct contrast to Hayden who says that he is a religious listener of the True Geordie podcast and has been since the early days he always said that “there’s a nice music podcast which I listen to called Dissect, which is a short form analysis of albums and songs which is quite nice”. This makes sense as Hayden is a huge music fan and enjoys creating his own beats, such as the jingle for this very podcast. 

I have put links to all of the aforementioned podcasts below if you fancy a listen to any of them. I highly recommend all of them, but only after listening to ours! 

My Dad Wrote A Porno: 

https://www.mydadwroteaporno.com

Life Of An Architect: 

https://www.mydadwroteaporno.com/#intro1

True Geordie: 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWaZLW7Bfa83J_h587dH1WQ

Dissect Podcast: 

https://dissectpodcast.com


Topic 2 – Life Bucket List 

Expanding upon our introductions we decided to dive into our life bucket lists for the first proper discussion topic on the Discussed It podcast. Below I will briefly outline the points of discussion and if you want to hear our more detailed discussion then head straight over to your favourite streaming service (Spotify, Apple Music etc.) and start listening or click the link below. 

I struggled with how broad this particular topic because it is so broad but I managed to narrow them down to just 5, here are mine: 

  1. A road trip of some kind, perhaps across Europe or the US 
  2. To visit and dive the Great Barrier Reef 
  3. To train for and complete a marathon, most probably the London Marathon
  4. To write and publish a book of some kind 
  5. To become an expert of some kind but not sure what area, perhaps architecture

And here is Hayden’s life bucket list, hearing us chat about our might nudge you to create your own. We would love to hear what you have down on your bucket list! 

  1.  A physical feat of some kind, maybe a marathon
  2.  To hit a century in a game of cricket 
  3.  Visit 50 countries 
  4.  To master the piano and the guitar 
  5. Design and build my own house 

The Weekly Round-Up 

I feel that it would be wise to offer some explanation for this segment which will become a recurring section of the podcast each week, or at least we think it will be. The general idea is that every week, each of us will choose three words that best sum up that week trying to be as honest as possible and then will explain the reasoning behind the selection of the words. The chosen three words will be kept secret from the other person until recording which we hope will allow for some interesting conversation. 

Let’s see how both mine and Hayden’s weeks went. I will provide our words but if you want any explanations then you’ll have to give our podcast a listen. Especially Hayden’s explanation as to why Naked was one of his words of the week! 

My three words of the week were: 

  1. Toasted 
  2. Uneventful 
  3. Apprehensive 

And Hayden’s words of the week were: 

  1. Biking 
  2.  Accommodation 
  3. Naked 

Topic 3 – The 100 Most Pointless Arguments In The World 

For this particular segment, Hayden randomly selects a page from the book: The 100 Most Pointless Arguments in the World. This book was written by Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman, presenters of the BBC TV show Pointless. I then flip a coin and whoever wins selected what side of the argument they wish to take and has just 1 minute to argue their points and vice versa for the other person. 

I have included the link for this particular book below if you fancy checking it out for yourself. 

The 100 Most Pointless Arguments: 

In this particular edition, the selected argument was: Is it acceptable to dump someone over text? 

I lost the coin toss and had to take the side that ‘it is not acceptable’ and Hayden took the counterargument. If you want to find out the details about our debate regarding this particular subject then follow the link below to listen to our first episode. 


‘Thing’ Of The Week

Not dissimilar to The Weekly Roundup, we are thinking that this will also be a recurring segment of the show. In this section of the podcast, each of us will choose their favourite thing that we have seen over the week. This could be absolutely anything ranging from a product, food, architect etc. that has stuck in our minds. Most probably our ‘thing’ of the week will be utterly useless to yourself, but you never know. 

This week Hayden’s Thing Of The Week was: 

“Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” 

It sounds as though Hayden likes how “brutally honest” Gordon Ramsay is and “thinks he is really horrible and it makes me laugh”. I can’t say I don’t disagree with him, I think his shows are hilarious. 

Hayden enlightened us on his fondest memory of the show as I am sure there are so many moments to choose from! 

“My favourite is when he is speaking to an owner…he doesn’t pay his staff..and he calls him you pompous fuck’, that’s one of my favourite quotes” 

In all Hayden highly recommends you check out the show if you haven’t already and perhaps you’ll enjoy it as much as Hayden does. Follow the link below to find all the episodes: 

Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares: 

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/ramsays-kitchen-nightmares

Moving on, my Thing Of The Week:

“My thing of the week is Concorde”  

“I have been reading a book…it is Jonathan Glancey’s Concorde: The Rise And Fall Of The Supersonic Airliner”. This is a book that I will mention in a future blog post titled my Summer Reading List and I have enjoyed the read. It is a little heavy going with the technical language and names and figures but it gives you a sense of appreciation of the work, time and money that went into such an iconic project like this one. 

I’ve put a link to this specific book below, I would recommend checking it out if you have an appreciation of engineering or simply interested to learn more about such an iconic British piece of history. 

Concorde: The Rise And Fall Of The Supersonic Airline 

I describe the aircraft displayed above on the book cover as “an object of beauty” which I stand by, I think that aesthetically it is miles ahead of the typical commercial aircraft of today and the fact that is it functional beauty that is borne out of necessity as the aircraft had to be hugely aerodynamic to allow it to go faster than the speed of sound. 

Concorde Factfile: 

  • Has a cruising speed of 1,350mph – more than twice the speed of sound 
  • The fastest transatlantic crossing took just 2hrs 52mins and 59secs 
  • A joint venture involving both the French and the British governments 

Hayden made the comment that it “looked a bit rocket-like” in which I replied that it “looks a bit like a hawk” thanks to “the nose slanted downwards”. 

The story behind the slanted nose is an interesting one. The main reason behind this is that the flight crew couldn’t see the runway in the nose-up position so when coming in to land the nose would need to be lowered. However, during its high-speed flight, the nose and window would be in the up position which allows the jet to maintain its aerodynamic shape which allows for supersonic flight. The aircraft and the story behind it is one that I have enjoyed finding out more about this rather incredible venture which is the first and sadly the last commercial supersonic aircraft. 


Thank you for taking the time to read through the first-ever show notes, for the first-ever podcast episode. If you want to reach us on Twitter, it’s @discusseditpod or for any of those longer queries shoot us an email at discusseditpodcast@gmail.com. And if you start listening today then you can honestly say that you have been here since day one!

Cheers to exciting times, happy listening! 

Blog Post #008 – My Travel Bucket List

Life in General, Travel

‘To travel is to live’, a quote coined by Hans Christian Andersen and is one that resonates with me. I have been very fortunate to have explored outside of my home country and experienced the different cultures, architecture and landscapes of many countries. However, when calculated I have only travelled to 4% of the world’s countries. It makes me think about how much there is still to explore. That is why I have decided to compile a travel bucket list of places that are top of my list to visit if I got the chance. This list most probably is not the same list I would have made if I had thought about it yesterday and is likely to change tomorrow. But it’s a start. 


Destination #1 – The Great Barrier Reef, Australia 

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Pexels.com

My first destination on this bucket list had to be visiting the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This has been on my list for years and ever since I became a qualified scuba diver and discovered a whole new world underwater it has only reinforced my desire to visit. This reef that is visible from space is built by one kind of animal: the tiny coral polyp. Thes polyps grow together like building blocks to create modular colonies – corals. I find this natural process phenomenal and its ability to support such a diverse range of life within its structure.  

The desire to visit also stems from my father telling me about when he spent a year living in Australia on a dive boat. His stories sound incredible and only fuels the fire inside me to get on a plane and visit. The sad thing is it sounds like the Great Barrier Reef’s golden days are limited thanks to global warming and ocean acidification. We must take steps to preserve this wonder of the world. 


Destination #2 – Barcelona, Spain 

Photo by Vitor Monteiro

I must admit that I have technically visited Barcelona, but before you ask why it is on my bucket list, I feel I haven’t visited as it was simply a facilitator for an activity, this meant that I did not explore the city and discover the beauty it has to offer. I have also seen the incredible architecture that it has to offer and it captivated my attention. It is the architectural style Modernisme influenced by Antoni Gaudi at the turn of the 20th century that I have heard so much about and wish to see with my own eyes. 

I am also a lover of the sea and this city provides both city sights and sandy beaches so it’s a win-win situation for me. I am also an avid rink hockey player in the UK and I would love to watch one of the top professional teams, Barcelona play a game at their arena called Palau Blaugrana. 


Destination #3 – O’ahu, Hawaii 

Photo by Braden Jarvis

Aloha!

I have to be wholly honest with where the inspiration for this particular destination stems from. Thanks to the long-running remake of Hawaii Five-0 of which I am a huge fan of, is strangely enough set in Hawaii. In particular the island of O’ahu. The television series depicts Hawaii as an amazing place to visit and of course, I may be viewing the place through rose-tinted spectacles but it has to be in my top 5 destinations. 

The diverse landscapes displayed through my television screen excite me massively with its sunny beaches and thick rainforest. It seems to be a perfect location for me, I think I might need more than just a week here to get my fix. 


Destination #4 – Athens, Greece 

Photo by Patrick Evmerrxas

Again this is, in fact, a location that I have already been to when I sailed the Greek islands and flew into Athens airport. But I feel that I saw nothing of the city apart from out of the window of our thankfully air-conditioned taxi from the airport to the port. 

This particular city is steeped in architectural history. The most famous piece of architecture in Athens has to be the Acropolis, which sits at the highest point of the city. This steep-sided, flat-topped structure of limestone rises abruptly 100m from its surroundings and has become central to the city that builds up around it as every modern city does. 

This heart of the city is somewhere that I want to visit, I am not overly sure what I will feel when I step onto the grounds and explore but it just feels right to be in my top 5. 


Destination #5 – Machu Picchu, Peru

Photo by Tomas Sobek

This particular destination choice owes it inspiration to a school friend of mine who visited Machu Picchu rather recently. She spoke very highly of the experience and motivated me to take a closer look into the location.       

Machu Picchu offers one of the most substantial legacies of the fascinating Inca civilisation, an empire that once stretched for 4000km. However, the thing that captivates me is the experience of making your way to this location. As my friend did most tourists travel on foot along the paved, former Inca road known as the ‘Inca Trail’ or the higher-still ‘Salkanty’, which climbs heights of up to 4600m. It does not sound like a stroll in the park but that’s what I like, I prefer the adventure of a trip. I will not settle for a week of sitting around the pool.        


There we have it, my travel bucket list, it was hard to narrow all the amazing places in mind down to just 5 but I feel rather content with the above list. Of course, visiting any of these destinations will not be as easy as it was previous to the pandemic. But can anyone be blamed for having some dreams of where they would like to go when it is safe for us to travel? This gift of time is simply making my mind wander and dream of the 96% of the world that is yet to be explored. 

Keep dreaming. 

All the best. 

Blog Post #005 – My Experiences of Paris

Travel

Paris, often referred to as the City of Light is one of the most romantic, beautiful cities on Earth. Littered with pockets of irresistible culture, it is a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list. I was extremely lucky to visit this particular city in the summer of 2018 and basked in the beautiful weather, food and architecture that the place has to offer. I thought that I would take the time to pen my experiences of this magnificent city, exhibit some of my photography of the city and to offer recommendations on what to do and see if you ever get the chance to visit. 

Fun fact that I learnt in my research for this post, the reason that the nickname ‘City of Light’ was coined is that Paris was one of the first European city’s that adopted gas street lighting on a large scale to light the city’s boulevards and numerous monuments. Moving on let’s get straight into the thick of it. 


Location #1 – Visit the metro system 

The Paris Métro is, of course, a rapid transport system responsible for the movement of over 1.5 billion people annually. The metro system is seen as an identifying symbol of the city and is known for its distinct architecture and unique entrances influenced by Art Nouveau designed by Hector Guimard. It was the signs adorning the entrances that piqued my interest as I walked the streets of the city and encouraged me to document their intriguing appearances. I highly recommend seeking these features out and taking a trip down into the metro. Some of the underground stations are beautifully designed and worth seeing. 


Location #2 – Walk the steps to the Sacré-Coeur

If you don’t fancy taking the stairs when visiting the world-famous Sacré-Coeur may pose a slight issue thanks to the 222 steps up to the entrance of the building. But trust me it’s worth it when you get to the top, the view across the skyline of Paris is incredible and the building up close is beautiful. The Sacré-Coeur is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is an iconic example of ancient Roman architecture, Byzantine architecture to be exact. If you can visit Montmartre which is steeped in artistic history, situated 300m from the Sacré-Coeur. This is where you come if you want a classic Parisian caricature. 


Location #3 – Visit the Musée de l’Orangerie

For the avid art lover or keen tourist, the Musée de l’Orangerie is a must-visit. A collection of paintings named the ‘Water Lilies’ were offered to the French state by the world-famous painter Claude Monet on the day that followed the Armistice of November 11th, 1918 as a symbol for peace. As a lover for architecture, the extra intrigue came from the knowledge that Monet designed the building in which the painting had to be exhibited, this was because he carefully calculated and designed the way that light would enter the rooms and affect his paintings. He believed that the lighting was crucial in aiding the message he wished the painting to impart on the observer. You will not be disappointed with this particular art gallery.   


Location #4 – Make sense of modern art in the Centre Pompidou

I must say that this particular art gallery was a change from the classic galleries of The Louvre and the Musée de l’Orangerie but a welcome one at that. This particular art gallery is the Centre Pompidou. The building was designed by the architectural team made up of Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano who wished to create a futuristic, high-tech building. And they have achieved just that, it is so different from the majority of the classic Parisian architecture that is commonplace throughout the city. This art gallery is the largest modern art gallery in Europe and you could easily spend most of your day walking the exhibition rooms. To be perfectly honest, some of the installations were interesting, to say the least, and took some thinking to make sense of the artist’s intentions. But I guess that is the point of these thought-provoking, layered artworks and I came to like various pieces throughout the gallery. Take a trip to the 6th floor and soak in the incredible panoramic view of the city, it is not to be missed.


Location #5 – Take a trip up the Eiffel Tower 

Of course, a trip to Paris could not be completed without a mention of the world-famous Eiffel Tower, an iconic symbol of the city. The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower with a height of 324m. Its construction took a remarkably short period of two years, two months and five days between 1887 and 1889. It was constructed to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and to demonstrate France’s industrial prowess to the world. Stood proud by the bustling waterway of the River Seine it is an unmissable piece of Parisian architecture. It is equally as impressive come darkness and transforms itself into a stunning light display. 


So there are my top five locations in Paris that captured my imagination and the experiences will stay with me forever. I think that the current situation allows us to reflect on the experiences that we have had and increase our level of gratitude for being granted them. At the present moment, travel is so restricted that sightseeing is out of the question but I think when as a planet we come out of the other side and movement increases we must take the opportunities to see as much as possible because you never know what’s around the corner. 

Au revoir!