Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

2014 in pictures

Happy new year! The end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 came and went like a flash. So much has happened within the past 2.5 blogless weeks, but I will fill you in on the details slowly as I organize the countless photos that have been taken. The arrival of 2015 signifies that the third year of Picture Worthy (PW) is about to end, with 11 more days of taking one picture a day. And this has been going on for 3 years continuously…wow. I had compiled summary posts of PW for 2012 and for 2013, where I chose one photo per month and wrote my comments and thoughts on it at the end of the year. So of course, this post is the summary for 2014. It may also be the final one as I am planning to end PW at the end of 3 years. It’s been a long run, and it’s gotta conclude somewhere. I intend to focus my time on some new projects after wrapping up PW, but more details on that in a few weeks. For now, please enjoy 2014 in pictures 🙂

January 30, 2014 – Eve: “On Chinese new year’s eve, dad decided to cook up a grand meal: king oyster mushroom with pea shoots; mixed stir fry with shrimp, chicken, char siu, and a variety of vegetables; steamed fish; fat choy (hair moss) with dried oyster and pork; stewed chicken and shiitake; and roasted duck. Happy new year!”

Comments: I went back to Toronto at the end of January 2014, a month after I had graduated with my PhD. Of course at that time I didn’t know that I would be leaving again near the end of the year, but that’s a story for a later photo. I was just in time for Chinese new year, and my dad, being the big family chef that he is, prepared a fabulous feast. I guess it doubled as a welcome back dinner as well because it happened the day after I arrived in Toronto. Home sweet home, and home-made food is always the best!

February 19, 2014 – Hot dogs: “Indulgence of the day – $1.50 hot dog and pop at Costco? Why not! With some mustard, ketchup, and relish, and add some fries and gravy to that, please.”

Comments: Yes, I realize that this is the second food photo already, and it won’t be the last. Costco hot dog and fries had almost become a ritual between me and my sister every time we went to Costco. Definitely not as meaty and juicy as the downtown street meat but hey, for $1.50 per hot dog plus drink, can’t complain!

March 04, 2014 – Not melting: “It’s March, the weather is getting slightly warmer day by day, but not warm enough to melt the snow in the backyard.”

Comments: They say the past winter was the worst in 20 years and I would actually believe that. During the years that I was absent from Canada, I was told that Toronto had some very mild winters. I guess Mother Nature wanted to surprise me with some nostalgia of real winters when I went home – it really was freezing! A few snowstorms and some rigourous snow-shovelling sessions later, when we thought spring was here, snow decided that it would just linger a little while, all the way into March. Well, what can I say except that the True North strong and free loves me too much?

April 13, 2014 – Indian wedding: “Today was my first time attending an Indian wedding, starting in the morning with the rituals and ceremonies. The bride is my good friend – isn’t she just gorgeous! It was certainly a super interesting experience watching the many elaborate traditions and procedures, even though I understood nothing as the event was held in…Hindi? Punjabi? Sanskrit? Some of the audience members whom I asked didn’t even understand. What an honour to be part of the special ceremonies 🙂 “

Comments: There have been several weddings and engagements and whatnot in 2014, and the most unique one woud have to be my friend Chahat’s Indian-style wedding. So much colour. So much bling. So much dancing!

May 18, 2014 – Field of dandelions: “The field beside the running track near our house is blooming with yellow dandelions, a very pretty sight!”

Comments: Dandelion season didn’t last very long, but in May, vast fields of yellow dandelions were a sight to behold. On a sunny day, you could hover through the grass and feel like you’re swimming in a sea of gold while the sunshine blesses you with spring. Yes, there was spring after all!

June 08, 2014 – Fans: “It’s bobblehead day! The first 20000 people who entered the SkyDome for the Blue Jays game today got a bobblehead of Jose Reyes, and boy was the stadium crowded! So much blue 🙂 “

Comments: I don’t attend sporting events very often. In fact I think I’ve only gone to baseball games and one hockey game in the past. And I usually only go watch live baseball when my friend Derek invites me. On bobblehead day, we lined up for a bobblehead of Jose Reyes, which should still be in my sister’s room…except that the head doesn’t bobble anymore because it fell off! Ironic?

July 30, 2014 – Sushi and sashimi: “Boat of sushi and sashimi for our VIP guests during the grand opening of the restaurant – so beautiful and appetizing 😉 “

Comments: July was the month when I was fully involved in working as a server at Yamamoto Japanese Cuisine. It was a part-time job and my first experience as a server, one that was more than interesting, to say the least. Of course, I had plenty of exposure to sushi…not that I could eat it all the time 😦 Sometimes sushi preparation is an art, and the colourful presentation is enough to make me drool before I even dig in. Oh yes, third food photo already. Hungry yet? Maybe it’s time to visit The Food Gallery? It’ll just make you hungrier though…

August 30, 2014 – Bee #4: “I absolutely love photographing bees, and the contrast between this one and the purple flowers is just incredible. Not as close and sharp as I had liked it to be – that’s a job for a better lens – but I liked the way this one turned out. Click on the image for a better, full-sized view.”

Comments: Toronto offers a plethora of photography opportunities, especially during the summer and fall months when colours paint the city. During my stay in Toronto, I went around exploring the city I call “home” and discovered so many places that I hadn’t known about previously, creating memories of me and my city before I left her again…

September 27, 2014 – Korean BBQ: “I’ve had Korean barbecue (Chinese-style, I suppose) plenty of times, but today was I had my first authentic Korean BBQ experience at a real Korean restaurant. The dinner was planned by my awesome group of friends (9 excluding myself) for my birthday tomorrow, also as sort of a farewell before Scotland. The food was great and the company was even greater. I am certainly going to miss these guys a lot!”

Comments: It’s been a few years since I had spent my birthday in Toronto with my friends, and I was so glad to be with them for my 27th birthday. Soon thereafter I would be leaving them for another x years, so a final get-together was a cherished time and one that I was very thankful for.

October 12, 2014 – Crothers Woods: “This afternoon I finally got around to hiking in Crothers Woods down in the Don Valley. Through layers of fall foliage, I explored the meandering trails that cut across the woods and the valleys, meeting many hikers and mountain bikers along the way. Coming to a fork in the road, one must decide to continue onto the easier path or the harder path. Which path would you choose? 😉 “

Comments: Autumn is my favourite time of the year and especially in Toronto, the foliage is exceptionally stunning. One of the greatest kept secrets and most precious treasures that I discovered was the network of hiking trails scattered around the GTA. Crothers Woods, along with some other hiking trails in the GTA, was on my list of places to go before leaving Canada. It would have become my favourite hiking spot, if I didn’t find Moccasin Trail Park afterwards. The silence and magic of the trees amidst the hustle of a busy city brought me so many surprises and so much peace.

November 17, 2014 – Night campus: “Leaving the campus late at night, all is quiet, and it looks just as magical and mysterious as it does during the day.”

Comments: Glasgow. A city that a year ago, I never thought I would end up in. But alas, I am here and here to stay for a few years, at least. Being able to work in the elegant University of Glasgow is itself a blessing, and I look forward to many more beautiful adventures in this still unknown city.

December 13, 2014 – Art and taxi: “The Floating Taxi, created by Glasgow’s local artist Rogue One, is a rather famous piece of wall art situated in the city centre. After failing to find it the first time, I finally found it today on Mitchell Street (not Mitchell Lane, where I went last time). A real taxi was passing by at the perfect time for me to take this photo, although it of course wasn’t floating like the one in the mural (those balloons remind me of the movie “Up”). There are supposedly lots of these murals scattered around Glasgow, many drawn by Rogue One. One of these days I will go on the “Mural Trail” – a real path – and find them all 😉 “

Comments: I am only beginning to discover the art scene in Glasgow and will definitely take more time getting to check out what the city has to offer. After all, this the new “home”, after Toronto, after Waterloo, after Bordeaux, after Louvain-la-Neuve…

As I had mentioned at the beginning of the post, this will be the final summary post in the “year in pictures” series. And 2014 really was a year of beginning and ends, but as Mitch Albom said, “All endings are also beginnings; we just don’t know it at the time.” The end of PW will be the beginning of something new. For now, I will finish year 3, and let’s just call it…mission accomplished 🙂

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