30.12.18 — Journal

Blooper Reel: 2018

So here I go with my last post of 2018, and the last post which I shall put up before my site goes down for its big revamp – an exciting time all round! As mentioned in my previous post, this is the first in what I hope will become an annual series, and something which I‘d like to call the Blooper Reel. Herein we’ll recap some of the poignant moments from this year, and take a look at some hitherto unseen photos of the many outtakes along the way. Let’s get stuck in!


Back to Work

A new year meant flying back to Spain from England and back to the Erretres office, and what better way to celebrate my first day back than by customising a lovely piece of headgear that I found around the office?

Braving the Cold

Being back in my Madrid flat meant washing my own clothes again, but without the luxury of a tumble dryer available, I wound up resorting to hanging everything up in the chilly 3° air. Optimism or stupidity? You decide…

 Down to Murcia

I soon wound up on a train to the south of Spain, and from the 17th – 21st of January I spent a good few days in Murcia with my parents and auntie and uncle. Whilst by the sea I took the opportunity to brush up my nautical skills, setting sail from one of the beaches…

The Family

I also never featured a photo of the family when I posted my Murcia post, so here’s one I managed to dig out of the archives, taken just before we all headed out for an evening meal.

Cake Club Unite

I mentioned in my Eating in the New Year blog post that I made plenty of lemon cake, but I never posted a photo of any such events – and now you can see why: our group selfie skills definitely left a lot to be desired!


Back to the Office

Back in the office, I seem to have once again found myself more fabulous headgear to try on. Where does it all keep coming from?

Ollie Watches Football

I title this section as such because it’s quite a rarity for me, but I must say that I enjoyed our silly antics more than the match itself. First up, we’ve got Loredana getting frisked at the entrance, which for some reason we all found rather hilarious…

And then, during the match, we had a chance to demonstrate our horrendous selfie skills once again as I present my favourite part of the entire football experience: the hot dogs.


The Parents Visit

March saw the arrival of my mum and dad in Madrid, marking their first visit together. I’m sure my mum will be rather happy as I share this sneaky shot of her exploring the Museo Cerralbo

Attack of the Water

I also mentioned in my blog post about how we would up having to move tables after a jet of water suddenly began to pour down on us from a roof above – and here’s the carnage to prove how bad it was!

Missing Homely Food

At some point I also took it upon myself to try to make a scotch egg at home, after having so sorely missed them up until this point. As you can see, however, it’s quite a messy affair…

Battling Rain in El Escorial

During my first trip up to El Escorial, what you didn’t see was that as I arrived I was battling threatening skies which blighted my ascent with the occasional downpour. I wasn’t best pleased…


Little April Shower

The start of the new month took me up to see Kevin in Asturias, where he took me to the gorgeous coastal village of Cudillero. Missing from the blog post, however, was this photo of me avoiding the rain as I ventured into a spooky looking drainage tunnel cut through the mountains.

Big April Shower

Less than a week later and Kevin had come down to visit me in Madrid, but once again we were attacked by sudden rain, being forced to make refuge under a bus stop…

Cake Club Frivolities

The four of us who made up Cake Club also spent many an evening messing around over in Loredana and Heidi’s flat, making the most of their roof terrace for the odd (see: frequent) tipple.

Marathon Preparations

During me and Heidi’s secret preparations creating custom t-shirts to cheer Loredana on during her marathon, things seem to have gotten a little giggly and out of hand…

Doña Croqueta

Back in the office, now, where I was told I was the spitting image of Doña Croqueta, a comedy character from old Spanish TV. Do you see the resemblance?

Champagne Party

Heading home one day, I snapped this photo of a guy with six bottles of champagne just relaxing in the park. I’m not sure what he was up to, but I felt that if I knew him then we would probably get along.


Moon Head

May began with a whirlwind trip across England, as I returned for a few days for some birthday celebrations. Whilst in Liverpool, Ellie presented me with my card, beautifully adorned with her artwork depicting my “massive head.” Cheers…

Drinks in London

Whilst down in London, and just before I headed off to the airport to fly back to Madrid, a good portion of the designer gang were reunited over drinks.

Ollie’s Getting Old

Once back in Madrid, Luis presented me at work with a little birthday gift, featuring the lovely message “la Ollie se hace vieja” — Ollie’s getting old!

More Office Headgear

It would seem as though 2018 was basically a year for finding fun things to put on my head, putting them on my head, and then taking photos of them being on my head. Here’s me and Luis’ contribution for May.

Ollie Watches Yet More Football

This time I wasn’t at the Atlético de Madrid stadium, however, but rather supporting Loredana as she played one of the other teams in her league. As you can see, though, I still wasn’t overly keen on the whole affair…

Bun Fail

As I’d invited everyone around to my flat to watch the royal wedding, I decided to whip up some butterfly buns to mark the occasion – the only problem being that I didn’t have a moulded tray to bake them in. No worries, I though two myself, I can just emulate one using tin foil!

This did not end well.

Let Me Just Take a Photo of This Façade…

It may be said that sometimes my friends got a little fed up of me taking photos of old signage and pretty façades, and I think they made their case in this photo, posing in front of it such as to ruin my shot taken whilst we wandered the streets together.

Hyper Times

One time we all gathered in Heidi and Loredana’s flat for a cheeky tipple, and without even getting drunk we all ended up rather hyper and taking photos on my camera with a full flash. Here’s a couple of the less silly ones…


Time to Shape Up

June saw the departure of many a good friend from Madrid, and so I decided to pull up my bootstraps and get myself into shape, seeing as there was now no excuse left as there were less people nagging me to head out for tapas. Don’t I look happy to be heading out for my daily jog?

Fiesta Asturiana

One weekend I headed up to Asturias once again for fiesta time, and I just rediscovered this gem of a selfie of me and Kevin as we try to look sober during the carnage of the street parties.

Speaking Yorkshire

Back to the office now, where I had to explain how my Yorkshire roots mean that I have alternative words for “everything” and “nothing”…


God Save the Cured Ham

I particularly enjoyed this bit of street art which combines the most British of sayings with Spain’s one true love.

Wait, More Headgear?

Oh look who it is with stupid stuff on his head once again. This time I’m modelling a lovely headband which Luis had gifted me for the pride celebrations which were coming up.


I didn’t really mention what we got up to at the pride celebrations in any length on my blog post, and that’s because I didn’t doo all that much and I didn’t take all that many photos. I did head out one night with some friends, though, and at the time I was a bit too embarrassed to share this horrific selfie – enjoy.

Luisa and Woody Visit

And one of the first selfies we took during their visit somehow managed to capture the worst angle of every single one of us. Amazing!

A Spanish German Beer Festival?

During my road trip with Kevin, we accidentally wound up having a big night out (pretty standard for the two of us), drinking beer in a German-style beer festival which I talked about in one of the blog posts. What I didn’t include was this selfies, taken a couple of pints in and a little worse for wear…

The Great Blackpool Disappointment

During my summer holidays back in England, I visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach with Ellie and Johann. I didn’t include any photos of the three of us, however, so here’s a photo of Ellie looking upset that the Valhallah ride wasn’t open.

The Great English Summer

Whilst back home in Burnley, everyone had taken to sunbathing in the “heat”, whilst I still found myself quite chilly. Here I am “soaking up the rays” and looking rather happy with all of the shenanigans.


Street Party Time

Something I never really touched on was the many street parties which took place across Madrid in August, so here’s a photo of me and Bogar as we took to the streets and bopped along to Los Chunguitos

Politeness First

I have no idea what was going on here, but I found a post-it on the floor at work that just said ‘please’. Please what? Was someone begging for mercy? We will never know.

Beach Party

During yet another Asturias trip, Kevin and I spent a long afternoon relaxing on a beach in Lastres. Here’s a selfie I omitted due to some horrific angles and lighting – call me vain if you want – but which I now find funny as you can see Kevin in the background as he panics whilst realising he has no idea where to catch the bus back to Oviedo.

Asturias, Patria Querida

This shot was originally from a video, but I am still too embarrassed to share the full shouting-singing horror with you all. Here we’re in Lugones, singing along to the anthem of Asturias at 5am after polishing off quite a few bottles of cider. This has to be one of the highlights of my entire year!


Ellie and Johann Visit, Are Tired

September kicked off with a visit from Ellie and Johann, who were quite tired upon their arrival, and who weren’t shy on sharing said tiredness with the rest of the city.

Ollie Versus the Spanish Healthcare System

After catching some kind of infection, I had to present myself at the medical centre for a checkup, but a confusing paperwork situation meant that I was in for a bumpy ride as I tried to see a doctor. I eventually managed to sort everything out, though, and here I am “enjoying” some time alone as a victor in the waiting room.

Typography is My Passion

Back in the office, I had made myself a sarcastic new desktop background (set in Times New Roman, no less). Here it is featuring Elena in the background, displaying what I can only assume is the face she uses when trying to attract men. Takes all sorts, I guess.

Those Northerners

Just a day later I was back up in Asturias, where Kevin had once again dragged me out for some drinks and partying in the streets. Here he is in the northern Spaniard’s natural environment: surrounded by big plastic cups full of cheap beer.


A Rocky Arrival in Norway

One of my favourite trips this year was to Oslo to visit Heidi, but I found that the weather’s frosty welcome nearly killed me as I wandered the streets wrapped in only a hoodie! Here’s a photo of the moment when I decided on the bright yellow coat that I haven’t really taken off since!

Our Seagull Friend

Whilst atop the Opera House in Oslo, me and Heidi made a friend called Dave, a seagull who featured in a selfie I posted. What I didn’t share, though, was this photo of Heidi getting even more up-close-and-personal that I ever dared…

Outtakes on the Ski Throne

In my Oslo blog post I did actually post a photo of Heidi sat on this so-called “ski throne”, but I found this outtake photo which I much prefer and so I have to share.

Apple Pie Heaven

Whilst up on the ski slopes, we ate at a lovely traditional restaurant, but for some reason I never shared this photo of myself with the best part of the meal – a towering slice of apple pie!

Leaving My Flat

One of the biggest moments in 2018 for me was the decision to leave Erretres and return to the UK, and a week or so before my last day in the office, I moved into a new flat temporarily. Here’s proof that I live with very little – my entire world packed into a suitcase and a little backpack.

Leaving Erretres

Late October sadly marked my last day working in the Erretres office, and this photo must be the most somber of the ones I’ve posted – my desk all cleaned away at the end of an era.


Chips and Curry

November saw me back in the UK, and what better way to kick things off than with this big tray of chips and curry sauce that my mum bought to make a sandwich for herself. British cuisine at its absolute finest!


Stuffing Myself with Pancakes

This photo comes courtesy of Luisa, who caught this snap as I shovelled Nutella-covered mini pancakes whilst at the Manchester Christmas Markets. Well, it’s not Christmas until you’ve had a tray of the sickly sweet treat.

A Fabulous End to the Year

My last photo comes from our Boxing Day walk just a few days back, and is an outtake from a session where I tried to get my sister to take a serious photo of me in front of the reservoir. She randomly shouted some random obscenity at me from behind the camera, catching what turned out to be a lovely off-guard pic.

And thus I conclude my overview of some of the highs and lows and mishaps of 2018. It’s been a year of big changes, from having good friends move to the USA to my return to the UK, but I’ve had a great time, met some wonderful people, and definitely had my best year yet.

So now, as I sit here in the short days of Burnley and count down the hours until the New Year’s Eve celebrations begin, I look forward to what 2019 might bring. Looking to the short term, I’m hoping to launch my new website over the coming weeks, and as far as long term changes are concerned, I may just have some exciting big news to share with you all very soon!

Until then, I’m now signing off my blog until the new site launches! Do be sure to read anything you’d like on here pretty soon, as I anticipate that the whole site may be down for quite a while whilst I undertake a complete overhaul of the backend – during this period you can check out my Facebook page for updates.

That just leaves me to wish you all a Happy New Year, and I hope to be back with plenty of updates and news before too long!