This is a chronological 12 x 12 grid of photographs taken during 2012* (the first row is January, the second is February and so on). I've been making these things for 5 years now as a kind of quick-reference sheet for what's happened in my life. The photos mostly come from fairly ordinary stuff like trips and restaurant visits, but I like to share them regardless. March is a little later than I'd have preferred to get this up (I was aiming for New Year's Day, sheesh) but hey ho.
Compared to my fairly miserable 2011, 2012 was a good year. Hoo-boy, maybe the best ever. The photos don't quite do it justice but, honestly, it was really fun. For the nosey, there's a giant version of the montage over on Flickr and clicking the #montage tag below'll let you scroll through the full set from previous years.
Looking back, everything changed really early on when things took an, um, half-expected turn in February. Along with a few good friends and teammates, I was made redundant from the design job (the source of my misery) that I'd been working at full-time for the previous 11 months due to company cutbacks. I remember Alex screaming 'That's wonderful Dave!' when I told her on my walk home. Christ I hated that place.
Luckily I had a few freelance gigs that I could turn to and, as fortune would have it, I found enough work to survive on for the rest of the year. For the first time ever I was paying 100% of my way with no part-time jobs as backup. I really hope that I'll be in the same position this time next year. Thank you Job-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. You didn't mean to, but you made my life a whole lot better.
What else happened? Oh yeah, in June, Alex and I got bloomin' married, didn't we? That was pretty amazing. Everything at our wedding went perfectly (bar the weather) and all our friends & family spoiled us rotten. We followed with a mini catch-our-breath honeymoon in Jersey (complete with a 'comedy wedding anecdote' collapsed ceiling on our return) and, in September, a bigger let's-go-on-holiday honeymoon in Paris. 9 months on, we're still solid as a rock. No divorces or nothin'.
Shortly after we got back home, my grandfather ('Poppa' to the family) sadly died. The old boy did alright - 94 years old, father of 4, grandfather of 10, great-grandfather of 15 (and counting) and owner of the twinkliest eyes in town. He and my Nana (who's still going strong with a mean sense of humour) were married just shy of 71 years. Platinum anniversaries don't come round too often and, barring WWII, those two barely spent a day apart the whole time. He was a good man and I miss him.
The rest of the year was full of our usual trips to Arran to visit Alex's grandparents, plenty of walks and picnics in Pollok Park, car painting in Inverness with the Team Recoat folks and a visit to a potato factory in Lincoln. The arrival of a Chillies just around the corner wreaked havoc on our waistlines and the terrible weather didn't exactly help with the repeated attempts to 'get fit'.
Some miscellaneous things:
Best meal: My annual hog roast roll from Oink in Edinburgh. I nip through every December to do some Christmas shopping and look forward to sitting down by myself on a bench with one of these all year long.
Funniest moment: Mark shouting something unrepeatable on The Rubber Dinghy Rapids in Alton Towers on my stag do.
Best harbinger-of-good-times: On a very grey New Year's Day I spotted a kingfisher in Pollok park. We watched it fly up-and-down a little burn like a bolt of blue lightning.
Best bar: Aye it's town centre, but Max's on Queen St. in Glasgow is unfussy, has good beer, nice staff and really tasty food. We started going because it's a convenient place for a few friends to meet up and grew to really love it.
As for 2013? No idea really. Exercise is sorely needed. I don't think I've ever felt so unhealthy. My best man, Fergi, has just moved into our street. Hopefully that'll make me a little less hermit-like. There are a few imminent big birthdays on the horizon too which'll be good fun. Work wise, there's a new computer winging its way to me as I write. Can't wait. My iMac, after years of solid service, is getting a bit doddery in its old age. Hold on buddy, you can put your feet up soon.
* Other photo credits: Nikki Leadbetter is responsible for the 4 wedding photos and Alex most likely took any others featuring me.