18.02.21 — Journal

Bike Trips & Pancake Parties

As you may know I’m now back in Madrid and back to the daily grind, as we start the year off strong with plenty of projects to work on over at Erretres. Since landing back from England nearly three weeks ago, I’ve not had chance to stop, but I’ve been filling my free time with as much gallivanting as possible!

I kicked off my first weekend with a wander around the city centre, taking in the sights that greeted me on my first visit to Madrid all those years ago. After pottering round Sol in the centre, I headed up to a Mexican bar in the northern neighborhood of Malasaña, where I enjoyed a couple of margaritas and some delicious (albeit rather spicy) grub with some friends.

I forgot to take photos of the three of us or the food, but I did like this light fitting.

I ended the week with a chilled movie night in bed, after having wheeled my TV into the bedroom like a secondary school teacher who’s already fed up of teaching a week before Christmas and who’s decided to put on a film. All jokes aside, putting some 6€ wheels onto the bottom of my TV stand was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had!

During the week, I spent one evening trying my hand at making bread for the first time. It wasn’t a fully fledged sourdough loaf or anything of that caliber, but after having missed the trend of people baking in lockdown, I finally found a Greek bread recipe that I fancied attempting. The feta-and-spinach-filled bread pockets came out quite well, but I made way too many, and didn’t consider the fact that they’d fall apart if left uncooked in the fridge… Yikes.

Soggy dough disaster aside, the next weekend soon came around, and with it a day out that I was very much looking forward to: a day out at IKEA with Luis. As he’s moved to a lovely new flat a mere ten minutes saunter down the road from me, the two of us hopped in his car and went on the hunt for some intelligent lightbulbs. It seems like my penchant for filling my flat with way too many coloured lights is catching!

Who wouldn’t want their home to look like something out of a Disney dark ride?

Another working week then rolled around, and with it the near conclusion of an exciting packaging project that we’ll be revealing to the world soon – it’s been a challenge but the end result will be worth it! In a blink, however, the next weekend arrived, and with it a lot of cycling around the city.

The first trip was an impromptu journey with Jhosef to his office as he needed to pick up some headphones he’d left, and after which we took the opportunity to pass through the centre and buy a few bits – I treated myself to a Chromecast for my TV and a fluffy new throw for my sofa. I know I’m an adult now that I have a selection of more than one blankets for times when I’m mooching around on my settee!

The next day I headed out for a solo trip, where I covered quite the distance! I turned the electrical assist down and first headed off up to the city centre, stopping for a while outside the Royal Palace for a drink and to soak up the sunny atmosphere. I then headed right up to the northern edge of the city centre, after which I carried on further still, finding my way down onto a green cycle path I found a few months back.

Here I took it easy, keeping an eye on the remaining battery in the bike as I knew I’d quite the climb back up to the city centre later on. I made a few stops along this path, exploring little wooden bridges that led to hidden allotments and small islands in the middle of the rather fast-flowing river.

I then came to the end of the cycle path, which spat me out onto a bridge which crosses one of the principal motorways bringing traffic in and out of the north of the city. Caught off guard by such a sudden transition, I stopped for a moment to take photos over the city and the mountains beyond. It was then that someone called my name, and I found myself taking to Pablo, a photographer I’ve worked with on several projects in the past. What are the chances on a Sunday afternoon on a bridge over a motorway!

After this lovely little surprise, I headed back to the centre and made my way very slowly up the steep incline and back to the city centre to buy some stamps and drop off a package destined for Murcia in the south. With this little errand complete, I then cycled leisurely back through the centre and home, where I arrived in time to pick up some bread for 30% off and make myself a sandwich with some Spanish omelette that I’d made the day before. This bocadillo de tortilla is a Madrid classic and is absolutely delicious!

And with that we arrive at this week, which has been a short three-day working week for me, as I’d a couple of holiday days to use up from last year. This doesn’t mean that I’ve not already been busy, however, as Tuesday night meant an evening of pancakes for tea for us Brits! I invited Jhosef over to experience his first Pancake Day, and we spent the evening washing down our delicious meal with a glass of pacharán, a very traditional Spanish drink made from sloe berries.

A very decent flipping technique for a first-timer!

With that we arrive at today, the first day of my exciting four-day weekend, where I’ve arranged to have lunch with Napo and then go out searching for a new frying pan – it seems like the pancakes were the last straw for the remains of the non-stick coating of my current one! I’ll be using these days to also work on my new website design and other exciting things, more details of which will be coming in due course!