10.02.18 — Journal

Bringing the North to the South

So my last post may have been a little heavy for some of you all, and thus here I return to the usual programme of day-to-day wittering, starting with the really boring news that my new pair of shoes finally came. Okay, I shall try to make the rest of this post somewhat more interesting…

Things really took off as I quite literally took off on the train from the northern station of Chamartín, heading further north once again to visit my second Spanish home of Oviedo. Kevin was once again so gracious as to host me for a few days, but with the weather promising to be pretty shocking and me being tired from a few busy weeks, we decided to take it easy for the weekend and spent most of our time lazying around, eating and chatting into the early hours.

Wandering to the train station
Leaving the city

Once I arrived we set off to have dinner at our friend’s house, where we were treated to a dish she called Mexican lasagne, which turned out to be a delicious cheesy concotion. Once we’d had our fill and had chatted away into the night, we headed back and were up bright and early the next day to get some breakfast in the city!

Okay that’s a total lie, we slept in until the early afternoon and then had to grab pasties on our way to the second bus after missing the first, winding up in the city in time for Spanish lunchtime (around 2:30pm, they’re crazy). We booked a table at an amazing spot and we were soon gorging ourselves on an array of delicious Asturias dishes, including a plateful of pork and more delicious chorizo cooked in cider like the one I had up in the Basque Country.

Once we were bursting and fit to pop we headed back towards the city centre, making a surprise stop along the way when Kevin noticed that the nunnery had opened its doors and was selling some of the infamous biscuits.

Walking through a cold Oviedo

If you haven’t before heard the tale of the nuns’ biscuits, I shall explain based on what I was told when I discovered the legend during my first ever trip to Madrid. Basically a lot of the nunneries in Spain produce their own selection of delicious sweet biscuits, especially seeing as some nuns take a vow of silence and so dedicate any spare time to carefully perfecting their baking craft. They are renowned for being crumbly and delicious, and also extremely hard to get your hands on, as they’re made in small batches and you have to persevere in order to arrive at a time when a nunnery is open for business.

Anyway, Kevin was super sweet and bought me them as a gift to take back to Madrid (I have since managed to eat them all, oops) and we headed home for the evening. Once there we were joined by Sara and Rocío, and began having drinks and chatting away into the night, putting the world to rights and reminiscing about all the fun we had whilst in Leeds together. It was a lovely evening, and we managed to remember to snap a selfie to remind us of the occasion…

The four of us

The next day we stayed true to form and didn’t rouse from our beds until at least midday, whereupon we chatted and ate leftover pizza until it was sadly time for me to head to the station and grab my train back down to Madrid. Once I’d passed through the mountain range separating Asturias from the rest of Spain, I was in for a shock – Spain had turned white.

A snowy vision of Spain

I was particularly taken aback as I’d never seen snow here, and I didn’t even manage to take a half decent photo in the area where the snow was thickest and most complete – I was obviously too busy straining my neck and admiring the frosty downpour to take a photo. I’d seen on everybody’s (literally everybody’s) Instagram stories that it had been snowing somewhat in Madrid, but it didn’t look nearly as dense as the coverage which we were passing through on the train.

Sure enough then I wasn’t too shocked when the snow began to disappear as Madrid drew closer, and I didn’t see a single snowflake as I trudged back to my flat late on Sunday evening – but Monday morning was a different matter.

Mercilessly the snow didn’t start until I was comfortably inside the heated paradise of the office, but when it did come, it came down at a surprisingly rapid speed. Soon the skylight windows of the office were completely covered, and heading out for lunch with Dani became a perilous journey as we waded through some pretty slippy slush on the way down to the food court in the train station.

The train station is topped with snow

By the following day however all the snow had been cleared away by the reliable Madrid sun, but another surprise lay in store for us all as Dani arrived at the office with a box full of churros and porras (like a thicker version of a churro) as it was his birthday! Having devoured most of them for breakfast, it was back to the grind with lots of new projects coming in and plenty of interesting work to get stuck into.

Although last weekend was a lovely chance to relax with fabulous company, this weekend I have decided to have a little me time, opting to have a glass of Baileys and embark on a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon instead of heading into the city. I’ve been admiring the view from here too, as in just two weeks I’m excited to be moving flats – but more on that when the time comes!

The city from my flat

For now it’s currently 10:30pm, I’m two Pirates of the Caribbean films in, and I reckon I can squeeze another one in before I turn in for the night. Time to light my vanilla IKEA candles, pour a glass of coke and tuck myself in for some swashbuckling entertainment – drink up me hearties yo ho!