As with perhaps most people, this was the year I said bye to the pandemic and hello to a bunch of other challenges. Here are some of the things I did.

Tutoring: Since 2019, my main professional activity has been tutoring. This year, as well as continuing with private pupils, losing some and gaining others, I have also started with corporate clients. Say what you want about it, I have always benefited from the structure of corporate life.

Platforms I teach over include Tutorful and Musicteachers. Some of my lessons can be found online for free, including Chinese for Absolute Beginners, and Intermediate Chinese Reading: Ancient Poetry.

The Kev: The creative highlight of this year was of course the gig at Academy 3 on August 20th.

Recording professionally is slow and expensive, but I have already written the next The Kev album, and it will be released in 2023, hopefully in the spring.

麦凯文: I wrote three new Chinese songs, and rewrote an old one. This was probably the most daunting task I set myself at the start of the year, but the launch event in February will be a satisfying farewell to my China years. I miss the place but my run there is over, as I explain in this song.

Non-fiction: Literature is, according to former Oxford professor John Carey, the highest of all artforms. Reasons for this include that literature is the only art that can criticise itself, and the only art that is capable of reasoning.

Although returning to fiction feels a long way away, this year I wrote multiple essays, including one that got published in Litro. I also started a Substack, and adapted the pieces into video essays.

Skits: I always wanted to master the art of comedy, but being a naturally earnest person seemed like a disadvantage. Nonetheless, this year I recorded four skits, and wrote more. All got good feedback.

Music: I ran a series of monthly covers, popular songs that I have always adored. These included ‘Little Miss Strange’ by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams Come Through’ by Meatloaf, who we sadly lost this year.

I also uploaded four classical guitar videos, ‘Eternal Flame’ by The Bangles, ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ by Mozart, ‘Cancion de Cuna’ by Leo Bröuwer, and ‘Linden Lea’ by Ralph Vaughn Williams: