End of year review – 2017

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End of year review – 2017

I decided not to write a review for this year, then I decided I would, then not. This morning I decided to give it a shot. Why? Well, mainly because I hope it will inspire you to do the same thing. If you don’t know ‘where you’ve been’ this year then how can you decide on where you need to be next year? This could be work related, romance, financial or spiritual. Even by just taking 10 minutes to think about all you’ve achieved (or haven’t) this year will do wonders for your subconscious.
Get it done!

Where do I begin ?

My immediate highlights are as follows.

  • VB Family New Year Gathering
  • Vietnam/Cambodia Trip
  • Ibiza
  • Summer Diet
  • Vocal Booth Weekender

First off, I remember the wonderful time around 35 VB Family had here to see in the New Year. A great meal and after party on NYE followed by a party at our house a few days later. Glorious weather in the company of great people. We’ll be doing it all again next week, can’t wait.
Attention quickly turns then to another trip of a lifetime, this time to S E Asia. You can view the photo album here. If that link doesn’t work just go to my Facebook Profile and select photos.
As with previous years, I took out a bank loan over 12 months and didn’t worry about the costs, we just enjoyed it and took away memories to last forever. I truly believe that travel is one of the most important things you and your children can experience in life. Of course, we are in the fortunate position to be able to pay back the loan (thanks to bloody hard work from us both), I know not everyone could even start to think about this but really, it’s only money and if you stop and think about the dosh you spunk on endless nights out and weekends away then I bet you’d be surprised at just what more in life you could be doing.
Another trip away (one of many this year) was across to Ibiza for the first Groove Odyssey event there. It was great to spend time with some of my favourite people on the planet and show support to Bobby & Steve’s party. I wouldn’t personally rush back to Ibiza but I am sure it will grow and grow… just another of the MANY new events to eat up your holiday allowance and pocket money.
As the summer approached I continued with my weekly visits to the gym. Since finishing my marathon last year I stopped running all together and focused on lifting heavy weights and conditioning my body. I built up great momentum and then in the summer went on a very strict 1200 calorie diet, to see how my body shape would change. Whilst I lost 9kg and looked “OK”, in hindsight it wasn’t really worth the 8 weeks of really hard work and no booze. I won’t be bothering with such harsh dieting again but look forward to getting back into the gym in the New Year, the last 6 weeks I’ve had to give it a miss due to a rib injury. If you are wanting to ‘get in shape’ in 2018 then the only words I can share, as a total non-pro, is that you really need to focus on your diet. If you don’t watch rigorously what you eat then all the exercise in the world is a TOTAL waste of time!
Last on the list is the Vocal Booth Weekender. I said all I needed to say about it here. The VB Family continues to be a life-enriching experience and I can’t even tell you how excited I am to share news about next year’s 10th Weekender Celebrations. It’s gonna be rather good.
Ok, so that’s the bulk of it. I now need to look through my Instagram feed to see if anything else springs to mind before looking ahead to the New Year.
Other Highlights: (in reverse order)

  • VB Xmas Reunion
  • Having the whole house painted, inside & out plus few new ‘bits no bobs’
  • Cooking lots more new dishes
  • Madrid trip to see Jamiroquai
  • Finishing off the studio
  • Enjoying my weekly radio shows
  • Getting Varifocal Lenses
  • Not a highlight but totally forgot to mention losing our beloved Bouncer, the family Dog of 10+years
  • Having more friends & Family visit
  • Mikey passing his 2nd level Driving Test and turning 16, receiving his new 125cc bike
  • Trip to play SSW and visiting the Lake District for the first time
  • Getting a Pressure Cooker (yes, that’s how old I’m getting, this is a highlight)

That’s pretty much all the main stuff. I’m sure there was more I was too busy enjoying to document.
I love Instagram. I use it as a daily diary for when I do anything of ‘importance’. It’s much easier to scroll back through than the endless crap I post on FB, although I do feel I haven’t been so erratic online this year, maybe down to the fact that I’ve been so busy with WardsWebsites
My website and graphic design has increased a hell of a lot this year and I continue to improve my skills and expand my knowledge base as well as my list of clients. Michelle has had a bit of a ‘topsy-turvy’ year at work but still continues to shine in all she does and, between us, we haven’t done too badly. It is what has enabled us do all the things we love and to get the house closer to that dream home we always wanted.
Which reminds me, totally forgot to say that this year was the year Drew left home. In the summer she decided that she’d had enough of school and seeing as I had dropped out after one year of 6th form, I didn’t feel I could really argue with her to stay. Since then she has moved into an apartment with her new boyfriend, yards from us around the corner and enjoys working in a local Estate Agents. She seems extremely happy, which is all I ever want for my kids, and we look forward to enjoying Xmas Day together, the 5 of us, at home.
I do feel I am getting more and more frustrated with the kids. I know that this is because they are now their own people and so  regularly do things that annoy me. I sometimes wonder why I ‘wasted’ the last 10 years of my life trying to drum some routine and discipline into them and yet they still find it impossible to keep their bedrooms clean or follow (pretty irrelevant on the face of it) tasks like taking their shoes off when they come in etc etc. I fully understand that this is down to my need to be in control just as much as it is their ‘lack of respect’ (how I see it) but on the grand scheme of things they are great kids and I know that deep down, they have been given a good foundation for all that lies ahead. Fingers crossed.

What does 2018 Hold?

Another visit from VB Family to kick start the fun, followed by a couple of trips back to Birmingham in January and February are the immediate things on the horizon. In May, Michelle & I will head to Miami for a House Music cruise followed by a couple of days in Portugal. Nothing then is in the diary for myself, for now, until we celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary year with a few other close friends in September here in Spain, followed by VB2018. In December I HOPE to be able to take Michelle to Australia for the first time, to see in Xmas and the New Year.
I look forward to continuing my fitness regime and working harder with my website and graphics work. I have no other travel plans and, as has been the case for many years now, won’t be accepting any new DJ bookings. I’m way too happy at home for all that nonsense. That said, I would be lying if I wasn’t slightly envious of what appears to be an ever-increasing rise in quality parties around Europe and do sometimes think what it would be like to be rocking them again. Then I go back to sitting in my pyjamas, a happy man 🙂
I enjoy my weekly radio show and don’t really push it too much other than to those that want to hear it. Let’s face it… there’s so much music about now, who has time to listen to it all and who really ever bothers listening to anything other than their regular favourites?
Well, I could ramble on and on but I think I have covered everything of importance for this year.
Again, a few people close to me lost loved ones but as I finish I can’t think of too much sadness around, apart from the madness of world politics and terrorism, another reason I’m so happy at home. A very good friend is currently quite poorly in hospital and I hope that the outcome isn’t as bad as we are thinking.
My friend, thank you for joining me on my journey and I hope we get a chance to enjoy each other’s company in the coming months. 
Eat, Drink & Be Merry.
One Love, 
Wardy !


Streaming Gear I use and recommend:


Mac Mini M1 2020 (upgrade to 16GB RAM) = https://amzn.to/3YSkcWZ
Elgato Stream Deck = https://amzn.to/3Jd08sU


1 x AOC U2879G6

1 x AOC 24B1W


Sony ZV1 = https://amzn.to/41fSkgR
Logitech Brio 4k (x2) = https://amzn.to/3KYMbQx


Wave XLR = https://amzn.to/3INhw7s
DJI Mic2 = https://amzn.to/3IKIDjf

DJ Kit:

Shure 55s Radio Mic = https://amzn.to/3Igp94w
DJ Controller = Pioneer XDJ-XZ
Technics 1210 Turntables = https://amzn.to/3Eqzyth
Stylus; Ortofon DJ = https://amzn.to/3xHmSL5

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