31.12.19 — Journal

Blooper Reel: 2019

This time last year, I launched the first edition of my Blooper Reel posts, and I noted how I hoped that it would become an annual series. Well, good news to past me, as I’m here with the second instalment, recapping some funny moments and unseen moments from the last twelve months! After another year of travels and other shenanigans in Spain, let’s not dilly nor dally as we dive straight in with the first month of the year…


Day Tripping

The year began and I was still back in England, which meant the occasional day trip out with my parents. My mum, however, didn’t seem keen on me taking photos of lovely windows that I’d seen along the way…

My mum ruins a photo of a window.

The Web Coding Marathon

After wrapping up my new website design, it was time to spend a few weeks surrounded by sketches and code in order to code my first full WordPress website – the very one you’re on right now!

The walls of my room are covered in coding notes.


The festive period is all about overeating, and there’s really no greater pleasure in the world than a good loaf of bread with some good butter. This was my meal one night…

I eat a loaf of bread.

An Overdramatic Patient

Just before my big move back to Spain, I had a minor operation on my toe, which really didn’t affect me all that much. I did take the opportunity, however, to over-exaggerate the amount of rest I needed and the delicacy of my foot, insisting that I should always have it raised as though I’d had a leg operation or something…

I hold my foot up on a bin.

Pickle for Tuppence

One of the last photos I took before leaving Burnley was of something which you could only see in the UK – mini pots of pickle for just two pence!

Pickle for tuppence.


A Lie Down

The start of February brought with it my first day back in Madrid! Whilst running some errands in the city centre before my first day at work, I discovered some swanky new furniture on the renovated Gran Vía, and was sure to make good and proper use of it.

I lie on a street bench in Madrid.

They Know What I Like

My first day back in the Erretres office saw me gifted with a very suitable present: a big bar of chocolate. They sure know me well!

I eat a large bar of chocolate in the office.

Dining on the Floor

With Bogar moving into a new flat, there wasn’t even a table to eat on whilst I helped him out with his move, and so we wound up buying in some Chinese food and having a feast on the floor of his new place.

Chinese food on the floor.

My Turn to Move Flats

Soon thereafter I moved in to my new place, and it wasn’t long before I was measuring out the space to see what kind of sofa I could fit into the space…

Sticks on my floor mark out the position of my sofa.


Is My Spanish That Bad?

Something seems to be off as I always say “Ollie” and get handed a receipt reading “Ori”. Okay.

A receipt with my name spelled O R I.

Office Life

After settling back into the daily routine for a month, it was business as usual for me and Luis in the office.

Me and Luis salute the camera in the office.

My Favourite Place

After moving into my new flat, my new bed soon became my favourite place in the whole of Madrid, with the lovely lighting making the sheets look even more inviting…

My bed is lit by spotlight.

Seems Legit

I’m not so sure if I’d be that keen on getting the part if I was to be confronted by this jail-like mini door when heading for my casting…

A sign marked "casting" on a small iron door.


Paint Me Like One of Your French Girls

A preview trip to the new Erretres office provided the rare opportunity to take some stupid photos on the dry pool bed…

I lie on the dry pool bed of the Erretres office.

Filter City

During the big move to the new office, Helena and I decided we’d rather play around with Instagram filters than shift heavy boxes…

Me and Elena through a face-deforming filter.

I am a Meme

After some stupid Instagram stories I posted in Portuguese became popular on a Facebook group in Brazil, I soon found myself being made into memes…

A screenshot of me laughing with a subtitle in Portuguese.

A Birthday Trip

As a little birthday treat, my colleagues took me to another of my favourite places: Mercadona, a low-cost supermarket. Whilst there, I naturally had to pick up a great British birthday tradition: cake.

I pick up a cake in a supermarket.


A Rare Bath

I had a great time attending Soyoung and Pablo’s wedding in Valencia, but I was also sure to make the most of the presence of a bath!

A bath with a beer.

Ironing Queen

This trip also saw me act as mother, as I found myself ironing Helena’s dress a mere hour or so before the beginning of the ceremony. As last minute at it was, I’ve never ironed with such a nice view!

An ironing board set up on a terrace overlooking the sea.

Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag

May was also the month of visits, with my parents being some of the first to come over. Whilst on a picnic in Retiro, we were joined by some peckish little birds, and my dad did his best to entice them into a nibble of his sandwich.

My dad tries to feed a bird by the lake.

Dirty Kebab

After heading to the concerts of San Isidro with Bogar, there was nothing for it but to grab a kebab to soak up some of the many beers that had been consumed.

I eat a kebab.

The Making Of

I took one of my favourite photos of the year in Tenerife, which was a shot of the sunset seen from above the clouds upon one of the slopes of El Tiede, the island’s volcano. Camila sent me a photo of me taking said photo…

I take a photo of the sunset in Tenerife.

Lady of the House

When the three Cake Club girls came to visit, they all stopped by my office to check out our new pad, and I wound up leaning out of the window of one of the meeting rooms in order to welcome them in.

I lean out of a window.

Questionable Selfies

Whilst at the office, many questionable selfies were taken, with the one below being one of the most acceptable…

Me and Heidi in a garden.

Another Photo Shoot

Em and Lincoln also came over to visit in May, and a lovely sunset and backdrop in Retiro meant that yet another photoshoot ensued…

Em and Lincoln in Retiro park, Madrid.


Outtakes with Ellie

When Ellie visited, I was often instructed to take photos of her in front of this pretty monument or that, but it’s some of the outtakes which I like the most. Here’s a couple: one from our sunset evening and the other from a bout of snacking and napping down by the lake.

Ellie sorts her hair as the sun sets in Madrid.
Ellie eats a croissant by the lake in Madrid.

A Glimpse of Home

During one of my visits down to Murcia, I found this wall of British snacks and treats, but somehow managed to resist the urge to buy the lot…

A collection of bags of British snacks and chocolates.

The Best Mockup

Borja at work has always been famed for his mockup skills, and the one I posted of me jumping off the balcony in the office is one of my favourites. There was a second, however, in which my “big head” was somewhat exaggerated – enjoy the work in progress and the outcome below…

Borja edits a photo of me at work.
A faked photo of me with a huge head jumping off a balcony at the office.



This ridiculously long name is that of the beer festival which I attended with Luisa and family this summer, and from which there are way too many hilarious photos to choose from. Find a few below…

A selfie with sequins and a flower in my hair.
Me and Luisa at the beer festival.
The Smith family, Steven, and me at the beer festival in Germany.
Me and Luisa in our coats ready for the beer festival.

Old Ollie

I didn’t quite like this glimpse into the future as the infamous ageing app was tried out on everyone in the office…

A glimpse into what I might look like when older.

Stealing Sunglasses

Drinking on a school night? Never. Well, if you drink with your colleagues, it doesn’t count. Here’s a photo of me and María after I stole her glasses for a while.

Me and María in a bar.


Magnetic Piercings

During the summer heatwave at work, it occurred to us that we could use the magnets for attaching sketches to the wall as stand-in piercings too. What innovation.

A selfie of me with magnets for earrings.

An Interesting Cinema Snack

Usually people snack on popcorn when at the cinema, but not if Bogar has anything to do with it. When we sat down to watch the Lion King, he produced two boxes of tequeños (Venezuelan cheese sticks) from his bag. Deliciously unconventional!

A box of cheese sticks in the cinema.


The Poultry Massacre

At some point I took the plunge and decided to cook my first ever whole chicken. All was going rather well until it came time to dissect the cooked chicken, whereupon I realised I had no idea what I was doing…

Chicken pieces lie all over the counter of my kitchen.

Old Ladies of the Metro

After what I am assuming was yet another IKEA trip, me and Bogar wound up taking more selfies in the window of the empty (I hope) metro train…

Me and Bogar in the reflection of a window on the metro.

Yet More Plants

As if the constant IKEA trips weren’t enough, I also started splashing out on the lovely plants from my local flower shop. Here’s my excited face after having just picked up another…

I am excited to have bought a new plant.

Hello Hedgehog

Whilst on the bus to work one morning, I noticed that this little hedgehog had appeared on one of the bus stops. I’m not sure why it was there, but I am happy that it was.

A photo of a hedgehog is attached to a bus stop with a ribbon.


An Ugly Eater

During one of my pizza dates with Elena, she took plenty of photos of me enjoying my dish, but not all of them made it – for obvious reasons…

Me eating pizza.


During our “Goodbye to Summer” party at work, I had an accident whilst trying to open a bottle of beer, leading to some nasty cuts in my hand. The ensuing drama wound up with Luis, Sergio, and Marco accompanying me home, where we took this lovely selfie after I’d bandaged myself up…

Luis and I with my bandaged hand.

A Useful Mirror

I simply had to to take another selfie in this super useful mirror that can be found on the wall of the toilets in my office.

The top of my head in a high mirror at work.


Old-Time G&Ts

One evening, me and Luis wound up having a gin and tonic in one of our haunts from years back: El Café del Rey! This little spot was located just behind our old office, and I’ve many memories of lunching there with the team.

Me and Luis have a Gin and Tonic.

King for the Day

At one point, and as part of her regular little gift packages from England, my mum sent over an inflatable crown. Not sure what to do with it, I took it to work, where it’s still making the rounds to this day!

Me in an inflatable crown.

Pinchos for Days

When Thuy stopped by Madrid for a few days, we went out for some Basque food to catch up. One of the highlights was this bao-style dish, which contained a whole crab!

A pincho containing a whole crab.


The Big Breakdown

When our car broke down on the side of the motorway on our way to Manchester, I was reminded by my safety-conscious sister that we should move away from the car without delay. Once the tow truck showed up, however, I was free to take a selfie by the wet and cold roadside.

A selfie by the roadside.

British Haute Cuisine

Whilst back in England for Christmas, there was no way I could leave without trying one of the grossest foods that we have: the battered sausage!

A battered sausage.

And so we conclude the second instalment documenting some of the highs and lows of this great year of 2019. A year of new adventures and familiar faces with my return to Spain, it’s been yet another amazing year spent with some incredible people.

This evening I shall count down the hours until 2020 in my flat, as I’m now nearing 25 and feeling more and more like an old lady every single day! I wish everyone a happy and prosperous year, and can only hope that everyone is welcoming the new decade with as much excitement as I am!