21st February 2016
As I sit in my rather comfy bed on Madrid’s main central road, Gran Vía, I am absolutely exhausted after what may have been one of the most hectic but fun-filled weeks of my life thus far! As you are probably aware by now, I have just moved out to Madrid, Spain, to begin working on my dream placement with Erretres – which I never in a million years thought I would get!
Everything began when I returned from my spontaneous trip to Barcelona, and the crazy three days of unpacking, trying to condense my life into 30KGs, and re-packing began. Ellie managed to sweeten the whole deal with an amazing parting gift, however, which sits at the intersection of two of my favourite things – chocolate and photography… I love it.
Before I left I nipped back into Burnley Youth Theatre to say my goodbyes for the next half a year, and me and Amber bagged a lovely selfie before the “Ladies Night” event began!
Way before I had the time to sit and process what I was about to do, I was stumbling through security at Manchester Airport (they were not impressed by my bag-packing skills) and boarding a one-way flight to the centre of Spain.
Arriving late at night, I was tired and nervous as I trundled my heavy bag along the airport’s terminals to the Metro, where I sat and nearly nodded off en route to the hostal I’d booked to get me going with accommodation here in the city. I finally emerged from underground, only to be greeted the joyously familiar feeling of rain on my face. Way to break me in slowly, Madrid.
Anyway, after marching (I was not in the mood for adopting the leisurely Spanish amble in the rain just yet) up the main street to my hostal, I was greeted by a lovely lady who turned out to be from Bradford! I was shown to my room and resolved to leave all unpacking until the next day, snapping a photo of my amazing view of Gran Vía before collapsing into bed for the evening.
The next day, the Sunday before I began work on the Monday (panic stations), I headed out shopping for some basics like deodorant and shampoo (I went out in a hoodie), and then once I had cleaned my disgusting self I headed back out to bag myself some luxuries like decaffeinated coke and jamón flavoured crisps.
Once stocked up on everything I could possibly think of and store without a fridge, I put all my cans of coke on the balconet to keep them cool – no Spanish sol just yet – and got to unpacking my little collection of clothes and home comforts. After this it was time to whip out the trusty iPad and start brushing back up on my collection of design-related vocabulary that I had collated in preparation for my interview in January!
This turned out to be an absolutely brilliant catastrophic failure with my groggy tired head, so I went to bed instead, and then all too soon it was time to actually try and get some sleep in for the coming day – my first day at Erretres! At 7:30am the next morning I woke up, dragged myself into the shower and collated everything I might possibly need for my first day working in a Spanish design studio – including, of course, a box of Yorkshire Tea.
I rocked up to the studio about 15 minutes early, and so ended up sitting around for a bit, but was soon greeted and welcomed into the office – and I really cannot do it’s awesomeness justice with a set of blurry photos from my phone, so I will have to post some at some other point.
Naturally I cannot reveal too much about what I have been up to or have started working on, but I am really happy to be working with such an amazing and hilarious team of talented people! With a communal breakfast at 9am upon arrival, a 2:30pm lunch over the Spanish trash-TV show “Corazón Corazón”, and plenty of light hearted chatter and plenty of interesting work in between, I have really settled in my first week! (Except for the late meals, which may take quite a while to adjust to…)
The whole team over at Erretres have been more than welcoming, and even if I am still adjusting to everything happening in Spanish at about 100mph, I have still had an absolute whale of a time and gotten stuck straight into some exciting work! I even had my ugly mug photographed for their website – you can see my bemusing expression over at the Erretres website here, or have a nosey at my face in glorious HD below – if you dare.
Working all day and organising a new flat all evening, however, has served to knacker me out good and proper every night, and so until just this weekend I didn’t have chance to go exploring the more beautiful areas of the city and eat some amazing food – however just yesterday I put that right with a stroll around the Parque Del Retiro, the city’s main (and stunning) park, containing the Palacio De Cristal…
I also saw the best thing I have seen for quite a while as I ambled out of the Crystal Palace (no prizes if you managed to translate that), which was a group of turtles chilling out on a deck in the pond and catching some rays. Sorry about the relatively naff photo quality, but it was too cute not to put in…
As the day wore on I began to look for something to eat as a lunch/dinner/tea combined meal kind of thing – I still haven’t gotten round to adjusting to the Spanish 5 meals malarky, but I have managed to abandon the English timetable. Anyway, recklessness aside, I ended up having one of the best burgers I have ever eaten at a nifty little place called Bacoa, just off the Puerta del Sol in the middle of the city! I took lots of photos there on my last trip if you want to have a nosey…
With the delicious burger and chips with salsa brava sat nicely in my stomach, and 23k steps walked with a distance of over 18km, I think I deserve some horizontal time watching Spongebob Squarepants in Spanish for now…
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? ¡Bob Esponja!