I know I’m not alone in that I optimistically thought 2021 would perk up sooner than it did, however it’s still been full of interesting and fun things despite the spectre of COVID.

Every year I compile a list of things I’m proud of, to remind me I’m not completely useless: a mix of serious and not-so-serious bullet points. It occurred to me I last posted something like this to my blog back in 2017 which (embarrassingly) gives you an idea how much I write things up nowadays.

Let’s crack on anyway – 2021 has therefore been notable in some part for the following:

  • Performed at an excellent private party in the Cotswolds
  • Archived almost the whole of Mad Rabbit PD (my BBC Micro software library from 1991)
  • Hosted several bangin’ nights on the UK comedy circuit
  • Wore a stage outfit every week for 20 weeks to bring in the bins
  • Partied with the Pink Singers at the home of the Acting US Ambassador to the UK
  • Wrote a radio drama which was workshopped but ultimately rejected by the BBC
  • Replaced the fences at home
  • Refurbished the BBC Micros in the studio
  • Discovered I have an IMDB entry
  • Joined a “die-in” protest in Leeds in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death
  • Kept my accounts up-to-date for the whole year
  • Directed and produced an on-location live-streamed theatre gig
  • Performed my first DJ set in 8 years
  • Photographed a series of tableaux for the Forgotten Women of Wakefield project
  • Bought a goose lamp called Kevin
  • Extended out the garden decking
  • Archived my grandfather’s VHS and cassette recordings of Wakefield Cathedral Choir
  • Performed to 50,000 people on the front page of Twitch as part of Trans Pride Brighton
  • Built a herb garden
  • Turned the loft into a useful storage space
  • Got vaccinated, vaccinated again, and boosted
  • Resigned as a Reddit moderator
  • Completely rebuilt the Bleeding Obvious website
  • Performed a streamed show paid for by the UK Creative Recovery Fund
  • Finally played the London date from the 2020 tour – 18 months late
  • Home-schooled the youngest for 3 months while still nailing down the day job
  • Signed up with a Film/TV “extras” agency
  • Did three solo photo studio sessions using remote triggers
  • Acquired a mad kitten called Tabitha
  • Managed to dodge COVID (just!)

Sadly three friends didn’t make it to the end; two of those friends took their own lives. I rather hoped this might be the year which bucked the trend but unfortunately was not to be: depression, abuse and bigotry factored in the suicides. We still have a long way to go.

Looking forward, 2022 will at least be full of work: I’ve got tons on with the day job and plenty of folk trying to hire me for a variety of projects. Other (artistic) ambitions include learning about screen-printing and making my own neon art which would be useful for show props. I’d also like to acquire another caravan and start getting weekends away again, something I’ve missed since we sold Lily the Lesbivan.

Music-wise, there are enough songs for a couple of Bleeding Obvious albums which would be nice to complete and release (especially given album 3 is now three years late) although many of the studios I used for vocal recording have closed down, presenting a bit of a challenge. Thanks to the pandemic and Brexit and everything if I order a run of vinyl now (December 2021) then it won’t arrive until at least January 2023; nobody buys CDs either it seems so any release will probably have to be digital as well. I’m quite sad about that.

I’ve optimistically booked a small tour in February-March (gig list here) and confirmed for a few UK festivals but cautious of booking up too much in case things kick off again. It’d be nice to have a bit of a bimble round the country without potential postponements and cancellations looming over, even if it does make tour routing a little more of an adventure. Fingers crossed, eh.

Maybe I’ll even keep this blog updated a bit more. Happy new year, pals.