I’ve built and/or re-built my PandA gallery multiple times over the years. I started a basic version early on in HTML; then a slightly larger ASP-generated query version; another basic one manually in WordPress but wasn’t satisfied; another significant version through SmugMug but integrated into WordPress that gave me some challenges when it got too big; a newer even larger version through a plugin (NGG) in WordPress, etc. that let me host everything on my WordPress site until the system crashed at one point and I was disinclined to try to repeat all of that work to fix it. And then, finally, I said screw it, and built a brand new one through Flickr a few years ago, mostly because it handles my video files so easily with the rest of my photos, and without any relevant limits to what I’m sharing.
But after a website meltdown a few years ago for my website hosting (there’s a class-action lawsuit going from clients, that’s how bad it was), I ignored my photo gallery for a while while I concentrated on other things.
This past month, as I uploaded my photos for the recent trip to New England, I really wanted to start embedding my photos from my Flickr gallery again. I have one gallery from 2002 from a conference I co-organized with other students, but the real “collection” of photos starts in 2005.
In January, there are four photos of Andrea’s outing to skate on the canal. But one in particular has an awesome Ottawa-centric backdrop.
February had four galleries — roses at the office, and Andrea’s trip abroad with stops in Bangladesh, Bangkok and London. Of the four galleries, I’ve chosen one of Andrea meeting with partners and clients in Bangladesh.
In March, there wasn’t much going on for photos. I have a single photo in the gallery of our new couch.
For the month of April, Andrea and I took a trip to Quebec City and Montmorency Falls. One of the photos from the trip that stands out for me is a shot of Andrea in front of frozen falls.
May only had one gallery, including the Tulip Festival and a trip to Peterborough and the cottage. I have several great photos from the month — tulips, the Liftlocks, some really clear water shots at the cottage, and sunsets, but I’ve chosen another of Andrea, this time sitting in the tulips by Dow’s Lake.
The month of June collapsed to a single gallery, but it’s a big month with wedding showers, some sunsets and the Blue Panda, our first car. I was tempted to go with the car photo, an obvious choice, but instead, I chose a sunset photo from the Gatineau Hills. After we picked up the car, we went for a drive out to Kanata just tooting around (Richmond Road to Kanata, and some exploring), and then up to the Hills, somewhere we hadn’t been able to go easily without a car. It was a good day.
In July, things were starting to “heat up”. We had a covered bridge that we visited in Chelsea/Wakefield, going away parties and the Malcolm Olympics at the cottage. The covered bridge was a hit for the month, so I had to go with it.
For August, we had two galleries — professional fireworks at Lac Leamy and Duncan and Julia’s wedding at the cottage. While the fireworks were impressive, I can’t NOT include a wedding photo of the beautiful bride, now can I?
Now it is time to move on to September, which was a huge month for us after an already busy summer. We decided to do a two-week trip to the East Coast and then scurry back to Ontario so we could attend Cam and Courtney’s wedding at Courtney’s family’s camp. Up until this point, when there has been multiple galleries per month, I settled for a single photo, but September really needs two — one from the trip and one from the wedding.
For October, things were a little simpler with Thanksgiving, a SocAss weekend, and Becky’s bachelorette party (spoiler alert — there’s ANOTHER wedding this year!). There are some amazing sunset photos from near the cottage at Thanksgiving, but come on, how could I NOT go with the photo of a sleeping baby during the Sociology Association reunion weekend?
In November, things were a bit quieter. We had a Remembrance Day potluck at our house on Parkdale, held our friend’s new chair hostage at work, and went to Niagara Falls for Dean’s bachelor party (remember, there’s another wedding coming!). I thought of picking a photo of Niagara Falls, or even one of the table of food from our potluck, but one of the photos has more backstory than you would expect.
In the photo below, there are five people — Andrew, a friend I met through another close friend; Mary Ellen, who Andrea met through french training; Paul, who was ME’s relatively fresh new beau and who we were meeting for the first time that night; and Alexandre and Liam, both friends from CIDA and who knew each other from university. Apparently, Mary Ellen had worried that Paul wouldn’t know anyone at the party, since she herself barely knew anyone beyond Andrea. But as we were setting up, the doorbell rang, and I asked someone to answer for us, as we were tied up — and when the door opened, Paul and Andrew came face to face and basically went, “Hey, I know you!”. It turned out that Paul and Andrew knew each other already, having no idea of the connection to Andrea. In addition, Paul also had met my brother at some point in the military. In the end, he knew more people than Mary Ellen!
That story was told with far more panache at their wedding (see future albums) as they considered it a good omen that they didn’t have to blend their friends, they were ALREADY blended. Sure, it’s one- or two-steps removed from a MEET CUTE origin story, but I really find it heart-warming.
For December, we had the standard Christmas-y events like gingerbread, our PandA Christmas in Ottawa, some Christmas pics in Peterborough, and pics from the family cottage in the winter. And just because there hadn’t been enough for the year, one more wedding — Becky and Dean’s. Outside. In December. In Ottawa. Yeah, Andrea told her she was crazy during the Maid of Honour speech. As an aside, while there was really no doubt that I would choose a wedding photo, I was surprised as I was building the gallery for the rest of December as I found some photos I didn’t even realize I had. Just the other day, I was wondering what the first photos were that I ever took on a phone, and at the time, I was thinking, “Okay, so I have my iPhone, and before that I had two Android photos, likely one of those.” For timelines, I would have guessed maybe 2010 or a bit later even. I would NOT have guessed 2005 when I had a Palm Treo and took a bunch of low-res photos (the phone didn’t have much memory). The photos themselves are practically thumbnails, not big enough to enlarge without massive pixelation. But it was interesting. However, I digress. On to the snowy wedding photo!
And that’s it for the year. It was fun wrapping it all together, and I’m happy to have it all embedded in my regular website.