It’s 12:10pm on New Years’ Eve. Brother C is keeping me company on Pressure.
I have been writing these end of year blogs for approximately thirteen years now. Apart from last year… As I was really loving the live stream set up I had, I decided to do the review live on camera. Looking back, that’s annoyed me now as I don’t have a copy of it to read through quickly (although I am sure I can get a transcript of it if I really wanted to). Anyway, if you’re remotely interested, check out my 2021 review here.
To remind myself of the year, I look at my Instagram feed which I use as a regular diary of any major happenings along the way and all the other stuff that occupies me on a daily.
In 2022 I was mostly:
Going the gym. The majority of my posts on IG are of me in the gym. Considering my life outside the house is dominated by my visits to the gym (sometimes three times a week, other times this year four times) it’s not surprising that I usually only post from there. I have continued to get stronger this year and add mass to my physique. I am extremely happy with the progress. I never got the six pack I did actually try pretty hard to get but, as I have said on many occasions… I love food and drink to much to sacrifice it for the sake of vanity. I am extremely fit and eat incredibly well, that will do me.
Thanks to my monthly subscription program, Access, I tweaked the studio a couple of times this year and added some kit. A brilliant new camera was the highlight and the streams look much better because of it. I also upgraded my controller, in readiness for VBW and now I couldn’t be happier with how it all is. There still could be so much more to do, if I was so inclined but that would just be unnecessary expense, again for the sake of vanity. Considering that the live streams and radio shows are purely for fun, I’m over the moon with all I’ve achieved this year in my little man cave. Check out a major overhaul of the studio back in the summer here. With an exerted effort after VB2022, I managed to persuade one or two of the DJs to come join Access and me finally asking some of my closest friends to help me get ‘over the line’ meant I was thrilled to hit 100 subscribers. So many great things have come about because of Access and will continue to do so. It’s so much more than me taking £10 off people and making a shit load of cash off the back of it (I know you all do the sums)… if you want to be a part of it, you can join here.
Back at the end of January we had a live VB Radio Show special that a few VB Family flew in for, another great moment or two. Todd Gardner & Blackwax were the ‘headliners’ joining us at Caboo up Cabo Roig. Next up, one of the first people to grace the new studio was Craig Smith in March. We enjoyed an extended radio show and a lovely weekend with him in the area. This was intended to be a regular monthly occurrence with different guests but the demand wasn’t there.
I have enjoyed regular radio shows every week, the last few weeks have seen me without my turntables as they are being upgraded with new cables but normal programming will resume in the New Year.
I’ve continued sending live streams from the beach to give some much needed sun and sea for everyone who cares to enjoy the scenes.
Tenerife Soul Funk House Weekender
A cracking inaugural event in February that looks set to be repeated every year now. Big up Paul Foster & Jason for the hard work in pulling it all together. 2023 looks set to be even busier with even more VB Family in attendance alongside the healthy influx of young blood form their area. A relatively relaxed affair for me and the next one will be even more chilled, as I’ll be in the midst of my 100 day alcohol free challenge.
War in Ukraine
As these blogs are purely for me to look back on and reflect… I should document the war in Ukraine. It’s ‘funny’ to think of the uproar and social commentary when the war began and, whilst it’s still going on now, we hear so very little about it. 2022 was, again, the year of the conspiracy theorist on all manner of topics, the war included.
Guest DJ Sets
In March I got to play two sets at the Southport Weekender and boy, did we have a good time or what! It was Michelle’s first visit to a SPW and she loved it. I loved being back on the big stage and I didn’t do a bad job whilst there. Check out my SPW review here (and sets). I returned to Birmingham in April for a highly anticipated guest spot for the Powerhouse Reunion which, unfortunately, didn’t turn out to be that great. That same weekend we put one of our cats to sleep. RIP Merlin.
I also had a slot at Hockley Social Club in July. A great gig tinged with sadness as I had flown back to say goodbye to a dear friend that week. I also did a boat party here in Alicante with Mikey in September, as well as providing the equipment for Mr & Mrs Fitzpatrick’s wedding that same month.
Vocal Booth Weekender
October, VB2022. The 2nd event in the new home. A return to form. Read the review here.
A few other key moments that I can’t be arsed talking about
- Michelle got her belated 50th Bday gift of a trip to Hollywood
- I opened the gym for roughly 2 months at 6am
- England Lioness’ won Euro 2022
- I tried a residency up Cabo Roig that never amounted to anything
- The crazy heatwave all over the world, as well as one day where the whole sky turned orange in Spain
- Had a trip to see Louie and Anane Vega in Barcelona
- My pal Tippo came to visit, finally, after 19 years of us living here
- My good friend Gary purchased a holiday home in Spain
- I had a tattoo touch up on my chest
- November my mom came to visit for a few days
- Saturday Morning Coffee Club started
- World Cup
- Trip to Iceland… Read the review here.
A year of loss
It’s sure to be the same every year now, as it takes us even longer to scroll back to our date of birth on any online forms… We are losing more and more of our friends and family. Key figures to leave us, from my life at least, were Esther Hatton, Barrington Patterson, Clemy Riley, Dave Hulmes, HRH the Queen, Stu Allen, Ffion Anthony, Roger the Doctor and Donald Elliot. I also said goodbye to my dear friend, Greg Cross. It hurts to even type that. All loss is tough but having reconnected with him in recent years had meant the world to me and to hear the way the family spoke of his love for myself and the radio show every week sent me over the edge at his service. Thanks for being you, mate. I know so many of my friends lost people close to them as well. Can’t really say more than that.
I have consumed a few new books this year but mainly I have been immersed in a journey of knowledge, thanks to various podcasts and videos on YouTube and Facebook live streams. Talking of live streams, I have moved away from playing Xbox so much this year in comparison to other years, mainly because I’ve been so busy with work and learning new skills. I have been constantly researching new ways to improve my reach on social media, a little too much at times as I do need to remind myself that I am not streaming with a view to become any kind of YouTube sensation or social media guru… I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I forget this in the pursuit of getting (what I believe to be) fantastic content out to the world. The struggle for people to see ‘our’ work is real.
As the year ends I’ve been busy revamping the look of my streams and artworks. I go into the next twelve months in a really good place, comfortable with all I am doing and confident of further improvements and new achievements. I hit 1000 subscribers in December on YouTube and have a few new goals to reach, with your help & support. I absolutely love the content I am capturing with my interviews and know it means a lot to the people I involve.
I am happy with the person I was. I love the person I am. I am filled with so much joy when I think of the person I’m becoming.
Life at home couldn’t be better, with Drew currently back with us as she saves some money to get herself on the property ladder and Mikey finishing his 4th year in Uni in 2023. The wife, as I always state at the end of every year, continues to be my beacon of light and hope for humanity. She’s had a change of career a couple of times in the last year (enjoying a recent trip to Budapest for the Xmas do) but continues to push forward. The community she’s building (away from us blokes) is going, literally, from strength to strength. Up the birds! I’ve genuinely never met anyone like her.
When mentioning happiness and being content in life, I am reminded of some pretty sombre words I wrote in the VB2022 Programme this year, along the lines of “If I never woke up tomorrow”… you can read those here.
To sum up
The gorgeous grooves from Brother C and Pugwash take me to 14:36, as I finish this blog.
I used to take huge pride in my blog. I used to get loads of feedback from the regular posts, now I rarely have anyone comment on them. I have no idea how many people continue to pay attention to what I write here. If you’re one of those people, drop me a quick “Hello” down below. Whether you see this review on NYE or into the New Year, I send love and thanks for your eyes and ears this year and wish you all the very best in everything you do.
Such a great read
Thank you for the kind words on Tenerife and the support you have given us 👊🏻
Next year feels like a whole new event already
Honoured to be part of the Vb family and Access crew
Happy New Year to you and the family
See you soon ❤️
Respect to you man.. you deserve all the praise and rewards that come with it.
Big up for all you do throughout the year. Good to see you getting out the house more, really enjoyed our nights at Louie Vega, Incognito, Cabo Roig ( which could have been so much more) etc. Here’s to 2023 😘
Love you Mr Ward ❤
Love you too, sugar tits.
Happy new year Andy.
Thank you for all that you do legend!
A beautiful soul and a huge inspiration to me. 🙏🏼🙌🏽✨❤️
WE move forward together xx