Thoughts on the Conservative Party Conference

Disclaimer: I attended the conference purely to meet with MPs and discuss issues affecting deaf young people across the UK. This blog post does not contain, or imply, my political views in any way.



It started with me carrying a rather large rucksack with me towards Lincoln Central train station. I then had to make two long train journeys (which allowed me to get back into reading The Girl in the Spider’s Web) before I arrived in Manchester. I had a quick bite to eat before we went to the conference for our first meeting.

On the way to the conference, nerves mixed with anxiety when I saw the conference building ahead of me – along with protestors who were situated by the main gate. As we entered, protesters jeered anyone with a pass and it was a little scary. Thankfully police officers were nearby and the procedure for getting into the centre was quick and easy.

We were then directed to our room in the centre, where we quickly spoke to our speech-to-text reporter (palantypist) to get communication support sorted. Shortly after we settled down, we had our first meeting with Maggie Throup MP.

Maggie Throup MP

During my meeting, we talked about the IQIPS accreditation for audiology services and Ofsted inspections for Teachers of the Deaf and other SEN services. It was great to meet Maggie and the meeting itself went really well.

Musical reDiscovery: ‘Lies’ by Burns (Otto Knows Remix)

This week’s Musical Discovery is a very special one. About one or two years ago, I heard a track on the radio which I really liked the sound of. However, I didn’t have Shazam to hand, the presenter didn’t say what the song it was and I couldn’t search for the lyrics on Google because it was an electronic song. But now, listening to some of the music my flat mates like, I came across the song once again and I was thrilled.

So, for a special Musical reDiscovery, I review Lies by Burns (Otto Knows Remix) – a song I’ve been meaning to rediscover for years.

Whilst the song’s intro boasts a distorted but funky build-up tune combined with a simplistic drum beat, it’s the main melody itself that really caught my attention when I heard it on the radio. After soulful and sassy vocals by Burns, which hint at what the chorus has in store. At first, the tune is muffled – intriguing listeners – before it is fully developed and played at full volume. It is repetitive, catchy and memorable.

The track then progresses nicely onto the next verse with harmonic piano chords. Despite the verses contain the same lyrics, it creates a perfect balance which allows the song to demonstrate both Burns’ vocal talents and Otto Knows’ skills as a DJ.

As Lies draws to a close, the final melody fuses different instrumentals to create an excellent climax. Then, when it comes to the outro, the song has a similar style to the intro. With the song coming full-circle, Lies a well-developed and track with memorable melodies, impressive vocals and a clear progression. Overall, I’m so happy I found this song again.

What do you think of this remix? Comment below!


Liam unveils new plans for YouTube channel | The Friday Article

Lifestyle blogger, occasional photographer and now rookie vlogger Liam O’Dell has revealed new plans for his YouTube channel – in a blog post published at 12pm today.

Liam, who blogs at The Life of a Thinker, said he plans to compile short, five-second clips together into a full video known as a ‘monthly montage’.

“At the moment, I’m struggling to come up with ideas. It doesn’t help that I’m rather camera shy,” said Liam.

He added. “I know with YouTube that having regular uploads is a good thing.

“With university, I’ll probably struggle to upload weekly videos, so a monthly video will be better.

“It enables me to have time to collect footage, but also fill the month with additional videos should I have any more ideas.”

Liam hopes that the monthly video schedule will begin in October.

Those interested in his channel can visit and subscribe here.


Writing Update: An Uncertain Deadline

First of all, I’d like to apologise for the delay in getting another writing update up on the blog. As you can imagine, university life has been rather busy lately – but that’s not to say that I’ve stopped writing!

At the moment, I’ve had to do some reordering of plot points but now the plot is finally flowing! The first important catalyst in terms of the story has also been written so now it’s a full sprint to the end. The only problem now, however, is that I don’t know when I’m going to get there.

Whilst I have the synopsis planned out and I know what happens plot-wise, my refusal to assign certain plot points into chapters (for fear of having a moment of panic and in turn, self doubt) has led to me being unable to measure my progress. Yes, I may have the word count to help, but whenever anyone asks hoe the book is going, I can only give them the current word count, along with a rough indication of how far I am in the book. Right now I’d say I’m only 1/4 of the way through the book, which is worrying considering that I am to finish by Christmas!

Anyway, aside from all that, ideas have finally started to come naturally, and the words flow. I think the issue now though is getting the motivation to write. It’s not that my story isn’t interesting anymore, it’s just that I need to stop procrastinating!

Current Word Count: 13,829 words

It’s a bit of a jump! Hopefully there’ll be another big increase next time! As always, I shall keep you posted.


Musical Discovery: ‘Children of the Wild’ by Steve Angello feat. Mako

Sometimes, I’m desperate to find a new track to review for my Musical Discovery posts. But after a quick look on YouTube, I noticed that Steve Angello released a new track last week. I gave it a listen and I liked it! So, for this week’s Musical Discovery, I review Children of the Wild by Steve Angello feat. Mako.

Aside from the song itself, the music video reminds me of Woodkid’s dramatic Run Boy Run. This continues in the actual music, with the track’s powerful, driving drum beat in the bridge mimicking the consistent drum beat in Woodkid’s song.

On a similar note, Mako’s ‘buzzing’ vocals appear to resemble Noel Gallagher’s style, making the song’s repetitive lyrics memorable and catchy.

Then, for the chorus, Angello introduces a guitar melody which is like Calvin Harris’ track, Faith. Whilst I feel as though the chorus doesn’t match the style of the verses, it’s still a part of the song which stands out to me.

However, despite liking most of the track, that is not to say that there aren’t any parts of the song which I don’t like. For example, in the middle of the track, there is silence for around 15 seconds in the middle of the track, which is unusual and disappointing.

But overall, with certain aspects of the track mimicking artists such as Woodkid and Noel Gallagher, Children of the Wild is a euphoric single by Steve Angello and Mako.

What do you think? Comment below!


Review: Mega Games with Tom Webb

On a quiet, peaceful September evening, I sat on a deckchair and listened to music. This was part of the Roundabout Festival – a collaboration between Paines Plough and the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC) – and I was there to see Mega Games with Tom Webb.


The event itself was held in the Paines Plough Roundabout theatre which, on the outside, certainly looked intriguing. But when we were finally invited to enter the theatre itself, it was surprising to see how large the inside of the structure was. The theatre had a somewhat post-modern design (both inside and outside) and definitely gave off a friendly and homely atmosphere – perfect for Tom Webb’s Mega Games, a show with audience participation at its core. 


As we entered the theatre, Tom greeted us before handing us a raffle ticket. Over the course of the evening, he would pull out two tickets and those two people would go head-to-head in a ‘mega game’. Admittedly, I wasn’t so keen on the audience participation aspect of the show (having a spotlight shined on me – with members of the audience all staring at me – can be a little nerve-wracking), but even if you weren’t selected, you could still get involved with the show.

For me, my type of audience participation is when I can blend in with the rest of the crowd. With games such as Mega Basketball and Appleships, those in the audience were given tasks such as creating a basketball hoop with their hands and revealing whether they own an Apple smartphone or not.Aside from the games itself, Tom Webb also did well to add to the silliness of the show itself. When ‘mega gamers’ made their way to the stage, Tom was quick to welcome them to the game and thank them for coming before delivering his own brand of comedy. With Tom creating jokes based on audience members, there was definitely a strong sense of involvement and audience participation – something which made the show interesting and unique.

Then, as the show reached its conclusion, Tom opened the games up to the entire audience by challenging us all to a game of Mega Rock, Paper, Scissors. The evening ended with the top scoring ‘mega gamers’ playing Human Hungry Hippos, where they had to be the first to eat a handful of Skittles out of another person’s hand – certainly a bizarre and silly end to a rather funny evening.

Combining witty humour with silly games and a little bit of nostalgia, Mega Games with Tom Webb is an immersive, mock comedy game show which promises a good laugh alongside light-hearted gaming. 

Rating: 4 out of 5


Musical Discovery: ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ by Sam Smith

Ahead of the release of the new Bomd film, Spectre, speculations and rumours circulated about the title song and who would sing it. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Sam Smith would be singing the track, entitled Writing’s on the Wall, for the movie. So, as a special Musical Discovery post, today I review the new Bond track for Spectre.

A music video has yet to be released for the song, but the artwork has been revealed. Source: @samsmithworld on Twitter

Opening with a powerful timpani roll before introducing horns and strings, the song already contains the stereotypical, grandiose style that constantly appears in classic Bond theme songs – plus a little bit of Harry Potter.

At this point, listeners can already make comparisons between Skyfall and Writing’s on the Wall. Both songs begin with a strong timpani introduction and slow, relaxed piano chords to ease in the vocals.

However, unlike Skyfall, the shift into the opening verse occurs more quickly. It is not long before Sam Smith’s vocals begin. Smith’s vocal style in the track fits the mellow chords of the piano perfectly, and the rhythm of the lyrics is different and intriguing.

Admittedly, I wasn’t expecting the chorus and the lack of a driving drum beat is disappointing. But, upon listening to the track once again, I feel as though the chorus’ dramatic fanfare is fitting for Smith’s vocals and the overall style of the piece. We also see Sam explore high notes which demonstrate his talents as a singer and cements the idea of him being ‘the male Adele’.

But as the song continues, it develops further to avoid a rigid song structure. Whilst the chorus lyrics are memorable, the verses remain unique, with new instrumental melodies being added and Smith exploring different vocal styles each time.

Overall, it is another great Bond theme which combines Sam Smith’s perfect vocals with typical Bond grandeur. Despite finding the lack of drums disappointing, the song works well without them. As well as this, listeners shouldn’t be too quick to judge, as we tend to find that the song replicates the tone of the movie well. Upon seeing the movie, reviewers can make a more informed decision. 

But for now, Writing’s on the Wall fits the Bond style perfectly, and Sam Smith’s vocals bring powerful soul which is brilliant alongside atmospheric instrumentals.

What do you think of the track? Will you be seeing Spectre? Comment below!