15.10.17 — Journal

Lazy Sundays, Crazy Mondays

This weekend hails the end of my second week here out in Madrid, and as you’d expect I’ve been using my time to explore and see what I can see. We begin things last Sunday, where me and Heidi headed into the city and have some coffee. Heidi had plenty of reading to do for her masters course so I took a book along with me to just draw and watch the world go by. Here’s the beginnings of a little typographic doodle I managed to rustle up…

Coffee and typography

In further procrastination, I had heard that world famous architect Norman Foster had an exhibition on in the city centre, so we headed to the Fundación Telefonica and took a look at Futuros Comunes, an exhibition dedicated to exploring the infamous buildings designed by Foster + Partners. The coolest exhibit for me was a scale model of what the new Apple campus, Apple Park, will look like.

Apple Park

Unfortunately Heidi had to head off, and so I didn’t get a chance to take as much time as I would have liked to look around, but I’ll be sure to return and bring more photos and updates from the exhibition soon.

Later that evening I found myself down at the Matadero, visiting the design centre who were running a poster series themed around the phrase “Madrid: La Cuidad Ligera” or “Madrid: The Light City”. This was open to interpretation so there were posters with all kinds of concepts, however my favourite one just read: “mi cuidad es ligera cuando saltamos todos al mismo tiempo”, translating to “my city is light when we all jump at the same time”. Genius.

A reminder of how to move around the Matadero

I was thankful for this helpful reminder of just how to use my legs.

Sundays soon turn into Mondays, but that didn’t bother me so much however as I was looking forward to getting stuck back into the design projects at work. There my desk is starting to become overrun with post-it notes, I think I should work out a better system for keeping track of all the new vocabulary – it’s starting to feel like college Spanish lessons all over again!

Another day, another word

At the studio a busy couple of days soon ensued, and so on Tuesday night I did a spot of therapeutic cooking after work, creating a huge batch of the cinnamon-flavoured Spanish treat torrijas for everyone to enjoy in the office the next day.

Cooking away
Walking to work

With last Thursday being a national holiday as the Spanish celebrate the “Day of being Spanish” on the 12th October, we went out for some celebratory drinks on Wednesday night after work. We all headed a few streets down from the office where one of the restaurants has an outdoor terrace with a beach bar area, and so we all clinked glasses and chatted for hours over the sand.

Heading to the "beach"
Watching the sun go down

I feel like everyone just uses any excuse to sit outside and drink gin.

Gin and tonic all round

Having stayed out on Wednesday night to the early hours of the morning singing karaoke and meeting tonnes of new people, my Thursday off was spent dozing around in bed and doing some housework in my flat, however things perked up on Friday as it was time for an aperitivo at work on the terrace as we bid goodbye to a couple of the team.

Food, glorious food

A few beers and hugs later it was the weekend once more, and I spent Friday night in the city watching the sun set over the lake at Retiro – a gorgeous sight.

The sun sets over Madrid

This weekend has been a little less busy than last weekend, however I did manage to head out yesterday with my friend to try the burgers at a place I have been meaning to visit since I first came to the city – Goiko Grill. I ordered one with fried breaded Monterrey Jack cheese, mushrooms, bacon, smoked bacon mayonnaise and lettuce. The portion size was huge and the burger was to die for – I’ll definitely be back again soon!

Burger heaven

Today is another calmer day as I’ve just whipped up some pisto, a Spanish dish of vegetables flavoured with paprika in a tomato sauce, and I’ve to get some washing done and try to dry my shoes. That doesn’t mean that it’s not an exciting day though, as I’ve now got two exciting events coming up very soon in my diary!

First up is that my friend Amber is coming to visit me in less than three weeks to spend a very long weekend relaxing in the city! It’ll be lovely to have her again after she visited last time, and I can’t wait to have a good catch up and do what we usually did back in England – sit around with a glass of wine and put the world to rights until the bar closes.

The next little trip I’ll be going on is back up to the north of Spain to see Kevin once again in the beautiful city of Oviedo! Me and Kevin met whilst he was studying Erasmus at Leeds University, and last time I went to Oviedo just a few months ago I had an absolute blast. It’s only a Friday evening until a Sunday evening, but I know that with Kevin’s plans we’ll squeeze so much in to the two full days that it’ll feel like a two week summer holiday all over again!

Anyway, I can hear my pisto sizzling away in the kitchen and it’ll soon be time to head up on to the roof of my block to hang my washing out to dry, so I must dash off. If you need me, I’ll probably be sat on the roof next to my washing, looking over the city and sipping on a can of Mahou from the corner shop. ¡Salud!