It’s taken me four or five days to finally get around to doing this review. Even as I start I really don’t feel like my heart is in it but seeing as I have been writing end of year reviews for well over ten years now, it would be a shame to allow my lack of enthusiasm to break the habit. Thanks to Michelle for posting hers yesterday, it gave me the much needed kick up the ass, so here we go. Mainly for myself but thanks for reading if you’re here.
Before I began, I looked back on my 2019 review. You can read it here. I was surprised at how in depth and how frank it was. I don’t remember writing much of it.
My 2020 review will be much more condensed, as you’d imagine. The Year of the Rona. To help me recall key moments I looked at my Instagram feed, which I use as a kind of diary. I realise that I hardly used it much and so may miss out important moments although I think I have gotten them all down.
We began 2020 waking up at Casa Tait after seeing in the New Year with Dave and Nicola. This would be another year that I found myself drinking less and less and enjoying drinking less and less, although there were one or two occasions that I did dive in head first, usually encouraged by the crew in the radio chat room. I enjoyed some great shows and welcomed a wider range of friends into the Pressure Radio chat room, mainly due to the lockdowns we were forced into. 2020 Would see the end of the Snoopy Sounds podcasts, 83 episodes in total.
Coronavirus aside, I think the biggest ‘news’ of 2020 was discovering, back in January, that a good friend had been taken ill with Cancer and the future didn’t look too promising for her. “Months” was discussed when talking about the future. However, here we are in January 2021 and Amanda Reed continues to enjoy her Family and Friends as best as possible in these crazy, restrictive times and she, alongside Steve and her family, show us what true strength is and reminds us to make every day count as if it truly is your last. Something I have preached for many years now. From Amanda’s fight, we have created an annual event – Amanda’s Day. This will be an all-day celebration of music were we come together to celebrate one another as well as remember those we have lost. The next Amanda’s Day will be in April 2021. I was also inspired to create the Family237 Support Network for the VB Family.
Whilst talking of VB, I’ll get ahead of myself and mention the ‘Baby Booth’ that took place in September . A limited event due to the restrictions, here is my rundown of the entire thing, should u care to find out more.
Due to a mixture of loss of earnings from the pandemic, amongst many other circumstances that proved a bridge too far, The Montepiedra would eventually close not long after VB2020. This broke many of our hearts but after a few weeks of ‘mourning’ we dusted ourselves off and have found a new home for future events.
I continued to enjoy cooking a lot more in 2020 and put on a few kilos due to the gym being closed. By the end of the year I was back into my daily routine though and look forward to getting the balance right between good food and good health. This getting older lark ain’t no joke. I turned 50 in June and, instead of being onboard a luxury Cruise around the Med, found myself at a surprise party at the Fishbowl with 30 of our friends alongside Drew and Mikey. Talking of the kids, Mikey was home from Uni for the majority of the year but is now back over in Murcia in his 2nd year of his Pharmacy studies. Drew passed her Driving Test and purchased herself a little car as well as moving into a new apartment with a friend who would eventually become her boyfriend. We continue to be proud of the ‘kids’ on a daily basis.
We enjoyed much fewer trips this year, some of which included seeing Moonchild in Barcelona, a small gig in Switzerland just before the lockdown kicked in and an overnight stay in Murcia for Dave Tait’s 50th. A planned Birmingham Reunion for VBW was cancelled as was the much anticipated Southport Weekender I was due to play at.
The restrictions of the full blown Spanish Lockdown and worldwide travel restrictions didn’t actually affect or bother me too much… as has been documented many times down the years, I couldn’t be happier already living in my own little bubble and I was fortunate enough to continue with my Website and Graphic Design Work. I completed my third book, The Weekend Warriors and it is available to read for free online.
2020 would be the year of loss on many levels. Too many of my friends lost loved ones and we were devastated to hear the news of Steve Laviniere (Bobby & Steve) slipping into a coma due to Coronavirus complications and remains gravely ill. He is in our thoughts daily. Others who were taken from us way before their time were Andrew Weatherall, Steve Sutherland, Eric Morillo and Dirty Turk. These are just a handful of people of note I documented on my Instagram and I am sure there are many others you yourself may add to this list of important people to leave us this year.
On a lighter note, 2020 for me will always bring back memories of Call of Duty/Modern Warfare which I played pretty much constantly on my Xbox. I relocated my console to the studio/music room where I moved out the sofa bed and treated myself to a smaller 4k monitor and recliner chair. It has been a constant source of laughter, not only for myself on a daily basis online with friends but also for the Taits who continue to ridicule me for the life I get to lead… sat on my ass playing video games all day. I know who’s laughing the most though 🙂
Talking of laughter, with all the doom and gloom in the world, Michelle and I continue to enjoy life to the best of our abilities and look for the silver lining on every cloud. I think we are the happiest we have ever been and stronger together than ever before. She has worked throughout this pandemic and is my rock, turning 50 herself recently.
With all the uncertainty in the world right now, it is pretty difficult making too many plans. We have VB2021 lined up for October but other than that, I genuinely don’t think I have anything I am looking forward to on the horizon. I continue to be as positive as can be and to try to share this outlook however and wherever I can and I enjoy talking more to close friends on a more regular basis. My weekly radio show is a great way to catch up with everyone virtually and the mixed blessings of Facebook are the perfect way to keep abreast of all that’s going on (or not) in the world. I wait with baited breath for the all-clear to fly again… it’s been too long since I’ve seen my mom.
My friend, thank you for being in my life for 2020 and here’s to all the memories we continue to make for 2021. As I say on a weekly basis, I truly love and appreciate you for being a part of my life.
Thanks for reading. xxx
Always good to read the positivity on your review. Thanks for the highlights of my year with a guest spot on the VB show and at baby booth alongside your birthday party. Here’s to 2021 🙏 ohh and really enjoyed Snoopy Sounds throughout the year, a fitting tribute to a lovely man. X
Lovely words, I love you x
A great sum up. I just want to say that although I’ve only spoken to you a handful of times at our first VB and Michelle I’ve yet to have a conversation with (!), Pressure and the VB family and of course my own wonderful family have been the only light in a dark year. I can’t do a reflection on 2020 as it extends into a peak worse than the first in my home town on the South coast of England with my entire close family all working long hours at our local hospital. The VB family will continue to be my light and positivity during 2021 and the hope that in October we can put it all behind us and have a party to end all parties and for that Andy Ward I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Peace and best wishes to us all
Ange and Rick
Andy, your comments reflect the way this year has been for many of us.
Life has been difficult, both personally and professionally, with the low point being losing my dad during the first lockdown.
Your occasional PM’s to check on my wellbeing often brought a tear to my eye as it meant so much for you to take the time to drop a line to someone you haven’t seen for over 20 years.
Your weekly show has become part of our Sunday evening routine, bringing back musical memories.
Thanks for everything you do.
I have truly missed my VB family this year. Much love to you all ♥️
Lovely words as always Andy
Love and light to the Ward family as we continue the fight for 2021
Great words Andy 2020 has been a struggle for so many and as we go into 2021 we can only hope that things will change for the better, I for one believe it will.
It’s been a pleasure to listen to your shows over the year and connect with you and the other VB family in the chat room and hope one day soon we all get to share a been and have a dance on the dancefloor….
You and so many other DJ’s have ignited my passion for music once again bringing a smile to my face and a tear to my eye with your shows, big respect ✊🏻 for your dedication to share your love and knowledge of music to us all.
Life has taught me that respect,
caring and love must be shared.
For it’s only through sharing
that friendships are born.
Happy Newyear from the Rogers family
Lovely review Andy and thank you for always thinking of me it truly lifts my spirits – you and Michelle are such an inspiration to us, and I am truly thankful for all the love and support i receive daily from the amazing VB family – that I will always carry in my heart ❤️ Xxxx For…with…of…the….family ❤️ Xxx
Thank you Andy, as you know I always look forward to your annual review. Open, honest & positive as ever my friend. Wishing you guys a very Happy New Year with continued good health & positivity. Respects. Mark 👊🙏❤️
My first ever read of one of your reviews Andy. Great stuff. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you via the online gaming world as you mentioned in this article. I think COD has brought many new friends and faces together. Happy New year to you and your family and keep up the great work with VB. Watching and being a part of the Baby Booth this year from a listener’s perspective was great fun and I’m glad I got to get a few of you a pint or 2 🙂 I hope 2021 brings even more success.
Kind Regards Dan Gurney aka Digital Dan
Lovely read Bro…… Happy New Year to You, Michelle, Mikey and Drew ❤️