A 2011 Montage: 12 Photos Per Month

2011 Montage

For the 4th time now I’ve taken enough photographs to put together a montage covering the 12 months since the last New Year. Arranged chronologically, each row of the above image represents a month of 2011 using photos taken with my camera or my phone*. The previous ones are here: 2008, 2009, 2010.

This has become a tradition. I sit down, usually on New Years Day, and take a few hours sorting through iPhoto, dropping pictures into folders and sticking them together in Photoshop. The end result, while likely dull to anyone but myself and maybe a few of my friends is, to me, quite a special little thing. That 4400 x 3300 (full size) rectangle contains the 28th year of my life. I can’t change that. Not now, not ever.

For some months, the pickings were mighty thin. Maybe I didn’t do much, maybe I didn’t carry a camera. For others, there were so many photos that I had to be completely ruthless with my editing. It’s a hard balance weighing up how much I like a particular image with how much it represents a time or an event. I also try to include a good mixture of ‘important things’ (eg. a holiday / an exhibition) and ‘silly things’ (goofing off around the house / stuff we’ve eaten).

On the whole, 2011 has been a funny one. Small in some ways - I didn’t leave Scotland, I didn’t exhibit much, I put on a little weight. Big in others - I worked on some of my most important jobs (many of which I can’t talk about yet), I spent my first full year living with Alex and we passed the ‘6 months until our wedding’ milestone. I saw less of my friends and less of my parents than at any other time of my life. I made some ‘career’ decisions that I really regret and others that I’m really proud of. At some points I was very happy, at others I was very sad.

Mostly when I look back, one thought comes to mind: I wish I’d had more time. More time to draw. More time hanging out with Alex. More time alone. More time doing nothing. More time with friends and family. More time working for people I like, less time working for people I hate.

I may do a few more end of year / start of year posts over the next few days, I may not. I know they’re not that interesting to read, but they can be fun to write. Please stay tuned for more rubbish from me throughout 2012. I think it’s gonna be crazy. Thanks for reading my blog. I love you x

* owning a new, fancy phone has presented a problem this year - square photographs! Thanks to the likes of Instagram and Hipstamatic, I’ve actually taken more square pictures than rectangular ones. This has meant that, to keep things consistent, many of my best photos didn’t make the cut. I’m considering making a second, 12 x 12 square montage to fix this.

A Wee Trip to Arran

David Galletly animated portrait

I write this on returning from our big 'summer' holiday - 2 nights on the small Scottish island of Arran. With a wedding fast approaching, we're staying sensible and cutting back on the most reckless of spending. Big holidays ain't an option.

It turned out to be a great wee trip. Alex has family in Whiting Bay and we've been over a hundred times to visit, but finding a good deal on a posh hotel added a new twist to the familiar surroundings. For the first time in my life I experienced a sauna (verdict: hot) and I got to go swimming, something I haven't done in 10 years (verdict: wet). Here's a link to my Arran photo album (pretty much just holiday snaps, don't get too excited).

Anyway, this post is essentially fluff to surround my most recent attempt at an animated photo (above) that I made this morning while waiting on the ferry. I'm really happy with how this one turned out - I think it sums up our relationship pretty well. I might post a little tutorial about how to make these things soon. After posting my first attempt, I received a few requests and I think I'm getting the hang of it. I don't even know if they have a proper name. Moving photographs? Living photos? Harry Potter pictures?

That swimming pool has given my left ear one hell of a beating. Can't hear a goddamn thing.

Goodbye 2010

Hello! Happy new year! After a small festive break away from bloggington, I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things and to take my humble wee website 2-tha-nxt-lvl (see, already started). If all goes according to plan I'll be posting more interesting things, more often, starting NOW. I also hope to get a little better at actually writing stuff too - as you might (may?) have noticed, I'm a bit clunky.

The photo montage above is the third instalment of the chronological 12 photos / 12 months thing I do every year (2008 is here / 2009 is here). A trilogy! Not bad going. As always, it's not strictly 12 pictures to a month, mainly because of a few camera issues that meant I had to shuffle stuff around. The photos aren't great either but they're not really supposed to be - just silly wee snapshots from my silly wee year.

2010 was great. Quite a quiet one, but that's ok. It wasn't bad work-wise, pretty good home-wise. No complaints. How about you? I hope you had a good one. I'm really excited about 2011 now though. It's all creaking into motion and, fingers crossed, it'll be THE BEST YEAR THERE'S EVER BEEN.

Hello 2010, you're looking well x

100 Tuesdays

Close to two years ago I asked Alex to go out for dinner with me on a Tuesday night in Glasgow. She said yes. It went well, we had a good night, so I asked her out again. The best day for both of us, by chance, was the following Tuesday. Another restaurant, another good night. I was feeling pretty smooth! The next again Tuesday also found us out in a restaurant eating a meal - a pattern! - and there and then we made the decision to try to go out to eat every Tuesday from then on.

Today is the 100th Tuesday from that night. We're still going. I have seen Alex every single Tuesday since our first date. Not bad considering we don't yet live together. If I were to guess, I'd say we'd made it out to a restaurant, cafe or bar on 90 days out of those 100. We've maybe had 5 take-aways and bought in food to cook or had a picnic on the remaining 5. There have been no real hurdles, problems or mishaps. Actually, a schedule clash sometimes makes for the best nights - my Newcastle trip was purely to avoid missing a Tuesday.

How's it been? It's been great. We've eaten some really nice food in some really nice places. We used to joke about how we turned Tuesday (the most boring day) into the best night of the week. I guess it was expensive at first, but we learned to tone things down pretty well. We've learned where to get a good deal if we're tight for cash. I only wish I'd kept a diary or something so I could remember more specifics, but I make enough bloody lists.

You could say this is our 'date-night' but I dunno, that implies all sorts of things about trying to keep the magic in a relationship and spending some quality time together - things we don't particularly need to work on. We're doing fine. This is more like a joke that got out of control (in a good way) or a weird game. I'm just happy I've never had a slap or a glass of wine pored over my head. Nobody's gotten food poisoning and we've never even argued. I've probably moaned a bit, but I do that all the time. Alex has been great.

So tonight, Tuesday 100 (Alex and her friends call them 'Dave Tuesdays', but I ain't about to get into that), we're going to one of our favourite places. Wilawan in Stirling. A place I'll full heartedly recommend if you ever find yourself nearby and fancy some Thai food - the best place to eat in town, by a mile. Pro tip: it's all about the starters in that place. Damn.

As for the future, who knows? We're planning our move to our own place soon which might change things up a little. Maybe not. There's no sign of stopping anyway. 100 became a goal to aim for a while back and I'm very happy to have reached it today. What's for tea?

Farewell 2009

Today, Monday 11th of January, is my first 'real' day of the year. After the whole Christmas thing, the whole New Year thing and a little holiday in Arran, this has been the first chance I’ve had in ages to get myself some juice and have a sit down.

Now, is it too late to reflect back on 2009? Are all the lists done? Does everyone know who made the best film and who sang the best song? How skinny should my jeans be? Oh, I don’t know! Damn. I imagine all that stuff is long in the recycle bin but hey, like I said, my year starts today. If there’s a dead horse lying around, I’d sure as hell like to give it a kick too.

Last year was fun. Lots happened, lots didn’t happen. I got to go places, meet people, see things, eat, drink, draw, laugh and muck about. I got engaged! I went on about 50 bloody holidays! It snowed! Over the next week or so I intend to post a few top 10 lists and things but on the whole, 2009 gets a thumbs up from me. Yeah, I know the world got itself in a bit of a state but jeez, lighten up. In the grand scheme of things; I went to Oban.

That image above is a chronological montage of my year, like the one I posted last January. It doesn’t cover everything, because I left my camera at home too often, but it’s a good enough place to start. I hope everyone else had a good one. There’s 480 unread blogs in my reader that I need to catch up with. Maybe they’ll let me know what’s up.