16.05.19 — Journal

Erretres Moves & Family Visit

To begin, I’m well aware that I’ve left my blog somewhat abandoned for the past month. The standard excuse would be to say that I’ve been way too busy, but in this case I promise – and I’m sure you’ll see just how busy – that this excuse does indeed hold water.

I have, however, found an opportunity to get this blog post on the go, and so today I write to you from the train which forms part of my new and extended commute to our new office – but more on Erretres’ big move in just a bit!

We begin proceedings with a weekend spent in the city, and a trip for some of the city’s best tacos with Bogar. The sun has begun its attack over the last month, and with daytime temperatures now hitting over 30°, I can confidently declare that summer is beginning – this time for real. This meant that we were also able to spend our spare hours wandering the streets of the city, marking the beginning of the era of Madrid’s favourite summer pastime: terraceo, or drinking and eating on tables in the street. 

A photo of me sat behind a table full of tacos.
Clothes sit on a rack on the side of a sunny Madrid street.

Another consideration for the weekend of a few weeks ago was the need to buy myself a semi-formal shirt for my friend’s wedding. I may or may not  have mentioned it on here before, but if I have, I’ll recap anyway: Soyoung (an ex Erretres colleague) bestowed us with the amazing farewell gift of an invite to her wedding ceremony! This was to actually be the second wedding ceremony to be held, with the first being celebrated in Seoul.

Anyway, there’ll be much more on the wedding (as by time I write this it has actually already happened) coming soon, but at the time to which I’m now referring there was only one priority: finding a nice shirt for a reasonable price.

This search took me to Las Rozas, a fashion outlet in the north of the city, and a place which was definitely only designed to be accessed by car!

After arriving at the nearest train station, I soon found myself walking up pavements which seemed to line slip roads, squelching through boggy ground as I tried to find shortcuts, jumping over fences, and generally feeling like I was going to end up walking to the edge of the city and winding up in another region of Spain.

Where does this terrifying abandoned escalator lead to?

Thankfully I didn’t end up in other territories, but rather I stumbled upon the shopping complex which was rather strangely themed such that it reminded me of the Citywalk at Universal in Florida. There, and after much searching, I settled on a plain linen shirt and headed back home ready for the next day: the first day in our new office!

The morning began with my first run of the new commute, which now consists of an actual train rather than a metro, and then a bus followed by a ten minute walk. It takes a lot longer than before, but I’m hoping that with time I’ll get used to it and figure out how to speed things up.

Anyway, the first day began without any major problems, with the best moment being lunch, during which we were all treated to a delicious paella feast!

Paella, beers, and other food spread out on a table.
An arial shot of the team tucking into a paella lunch.

Once we’d spent a good hour eating, chatting, and drinking a few beers, it was time to crack out some wine. We made good and proper use of the extensive new outdoor space, lying on the grass for a spot of sunbathing and sitting around on the terrace to catch up on all the latest dramas.

A bottle of wine on a table amongst foliage.

An afternoon drinking wine by the pool was very welcome.

The second day at the new office marked a little excuse for a celebration: it was my birthday! My parents had sent over a lovely gift package that I opened in the morning, and which contained a few cards and some excellent Ru Paul memorabilia.

A Ru Paul card and Ru Paul Pocket Wisdom book.

Once at work, it was time for further celebrations, and my colleagues treated me to a trip to my favourite haunt in Spain: Mercadona, a low-cost supermarket! There, I bought some supplies to keep me going whilst in the new office, and a huge chocolate cake to share between everyone after lunch.

Me stood outside Mercadona, holding a cake in one hand and a bag full of shopping in the other.

That same afternoon also marked another bit of excitement, for my auntie and uncle were coming up to visit! We’d planned that they’d stay with me for a few nights on their way north to catch the ferry during their annual return trip to England from their part-time home in Murcia (southern Spain). As they have a car, they made their way straight to the new office, and once reunited with them, they were free to chill outside and soak up the sun whilst I had to get on with all the work that had to be done!

My auntie and uncle stood in the garden of my new office.

That evening, we headed out for a meal and a few drinks in my neighbourhood to celebrate my 24th, and then headed back to my flat for a relatively early night.

The next day marked the start of Easter holidays in Madrid, and so the three of us were free to engage in a bit of light exploration of the city centre. I’d booked us in to have lunch at a secret garden on the roof of a shop – you may even recall that the last time I visited the spot was during my dad’s visit during my internship over three years ago!

A bright pink flowering plant on a green roof terrace.
My auntie and uncle sit with their food at the Secret Garden.

Once we’d enjoyed a lovely meal on the terrace, we proceeded on our way to have a few more drinks and generally take it easy for the next 48 hours, even stumbling upon some street parties which were in full swing in the Malasaña district.

The two-and-a-bit days I spent with my auntie and uncle were absolutely lovely – there’s nothing quite like relaxing with my family in the city I love, and it was especially nice to be able to put them up and act as hostess for a while after years of them selflessly offering up their apartment for use by me and my parents.

All too soon, however, it was time for them to hop back in their car and continue their trip up to Santander and the ferry port, but my Easter holidays weren’t to be over just yet – I had a wedding to go to!

The quantity of photos and anecdotes to be shared from said wedding mean that it is best left for a second post and another day – but I hope not to be too delayed in bringing you all the updates. I guess tomorrow morning’s commute will be spent writing my next instalment!

Until I get round to that one, I shall be back soon…