22.10.17 — Journal

Abandoned Bread & Other Nonsense

As today is Sunday and my third week working here comes to an end, it’s time for me to swing by and update everyone on the latest nonsense that’s been going on during the week. Naturally we kick things off at the office, where we’ve been having fun with a special mat which is used by Japanese children as they learn to draw the complicated strokes and forms of the Japanese alphabets.

Japanese letters and an elephant

My little mascot the Beefeater has been watching over me in the office as we work away on our many projects. I brought him with me as a gift that Amber got me when we met up before I left! Speaking of Amber, she’ll be here in less than two weeks, so I’m busy working on the 5th version of the Madrid Guide I made for visitors when I was last here!

Keeping things in check

I was also given another gift by the guys at work during the week, in the form of my very own set of business cards. I am very happy with them as I am quite a fan of the dark blue and every designer cannot resist a good bit of spot foiling…

I’ve got my own business cards, so I feel like a real adult now.

I feel like an adult now

After work last Wednesday I headed over to visit Heidi’s new flat, and brought along some ingredients and the cake tins I had brought over (little luxuries, eh?) and we attempted to create a Victoria Sponge. I say attempted as we didn’t have a whisk, any kind of measuring equipment, or even a proper mixing bowl, so everything was roughly thrown together in a big pan and stirred with a fork until I thought it looked kind of okay…

Making cake, or trying to

Once the mixture was done it was time to put it in the oven, at which point we discovered that the wear on the knobs meant that we couldn’t see exactly what temperature it was at – great! Roughly estimating the 180° mark, we eventually put it in and hoped for the best. All seemed to be going well and we were getting a good rise on it, until I realised the oven was on the wrong setting and we had to change it, meaning the air escaped and the cake collapsed quite spectacularly. Damn!

We cooked it through though and eventually had something resembling a cake put together. We cut it up and tried a little, and in the end it actually tasted quite nice, albeit a little too sweet for my exacting sponge cake standards. Maybe next time things will go better!

It was by no means a wasted evening however, as we also took time to catch up over a glass of wine and admire the lovely views from the rooftop terrace just above their fourth floor apartment.

Looking into the Writer's Quarter

As ever the next day it was back to Príncipe Pío and to work for me, however on the Thursday we had leaving drinks as one of my colleagues celebrated her last day, and gin and tonic at one’s desk is never something to moan about…

More gin
A good view over Príncipe Pío
Friday afternoon means aperitivos

Seemingly within a blink of an eye it’s now the weekend again, and yesterday I met back up with Heidi and Loredana to have some food in Lavapiés before heading out to a rather special event, called Luna de Octubre or “The October Moon”. This is a huge festival of nocturnal light installations which takes over the city once a year, very much like previous Light Night events which I have attended whilst at university in Leeds. In fact, my very first blog post ever was reporting back on the very first Light Night I attended back in 2013 during my first year of uni! Wild.

Autumn arrives in the city

Anyway, back to current events, I have plenty of photos and videos to share of Luna de Octubre so I shall have to let those wait until later on in the week when I have a bit more time to organise them all. For now though, enjoy another photo from Heidi’s flat, this time during the evening when a gorgeous pastel sky set over the city. I swear I could spend hours on end watching the city from that place!

A pink sky

In other news this weekend, I just got back from the Apple Store where I was worried about my unresponsive iPad, and where they confirmed that it is indeed completely dead. Turns out, however, that when I bought it I took out insurance and so I am basking in the relief that once they get some more in stock it will be replaced at no cost. Phew!

Whilst the iPad is out of action, I have been increasingly doodling with actual pens and paper, and after my little bit of typography last week I thought I’d try another style this week. These lettering doodles may end up filling the whole black paper section of my notebook – maybe I’ll have to eventually upload it here to my website as a little personal project!

Twisty like Blackpool Rock

I’ll share more progress on this doodle as I finish it off – I’ve since added some nice blue highlights and a couple of illustrations of the sickly sweet Blackpool Rock I used to eat as a child. For those who don’t know, the so-called “rock” is actually a stick of flavoured hard boiled sweet which is usually twisted to create a spiral pattern along it’s side, which inspired the twisty lines of the typography above.

Anyway, as I round off this post you might be wondering why it is called “Abandoned Bread & Other Nonsense”, and I shall indeed explain. Last Sunday evening and after writing my previous blog post I went for a wander in the local park, and what should I discover along the way but a lone baguette perched atop a bollard down a quiet street in my neighbourhood. As a huge fan of bread, and given the quality of the stuff here, I was absolutely distraught that it had been left forgotten and forlorn. I leave you with a picture of it – I am not joking when I say I have been thinking about that wasted loaf of bread all week…

A lone loaf sits atop a bollard, forlorn and forgotten.

Alone and forgotten