26.03.21 — Journal

March Mayhem

It’s now been a whole month since I last dropped by here to update you all on the latest goings on from Madrid, and boy has it been a busy month. In between plenty of work, I’ve not really had all that much time to do anything too exciting, but I’ve certainly been out and about in between times to appreciate the arrival of spring in the city.

We kick things off with a work-related evening of fun, which involved research in the form of a padel match! Without revealing too much, one of our clients deals with the sport, and so I headed off to play en evening of matches with two of my colleagues and Jhosef. I headed down to the sports centre on the bus with Jhosef, and we met up with Zoe and Cris on the courts themselves, where hilarity ensued!

After some rather competitive shenanigans and a kebab to end the night, I was left with aches and pains all down my right arm from so much wild swinging on that Monday evening. This didn’t stop me heading out later in the week, however, when I headed off to Citynizer to check out their new space on their opening week. The Central House, a new hostel in the trendy Lavapiés district, is a longstanding client of ours, and I worked on the branding for their bar and restaurant (Citynizer) last year. It’s a pretty cool space, and it was great to see my work printed and applied all over the place!

As the week concluded, it was time for a bittersweet moment, as María left Erretres to move on to an exciting new project. To give her a decent sendoff, we headed down to El Toril Gourmet, where we enjoyed some delicious burgers and stayed out late on the terrace reminiscing the best moments from her time at the company. We’d soon see each other there once again, but that’ll have to wait just a moment…

That weekend, as if one evening of food and drink out wasn’t enough, I also spent an evening out in the charming La Latina area of Madrid with Sara and Jhosef. After searching in vain for a table in one of the main squares, we tottered down a side street and to a Mexican restaurant where we held the Erretres Christmas party just over a year ago. There we tucked into tacos and margaritas aplenty, had a great lot of laughs, and wound up having to grab a taxi back home in order to comply with the 11pm curfew!

I began the Sunday after with a bit of a heavy head – apparently after a year of the pandemic I can’t handle a mere three margaritas – and then headed out to the river to have some drinks with Hugo, Bogar, and Sergei. We also took the opportunity to take a super-tacky tourist photo at the new “Madrid” sign that they’ve erected down by the section of the river which runs past the royal palace and cathedral.

The week after ended with a rather exciting chance to reconnect with my alma mater, which took the form of a Q&A conducted over Zoom with the students graduating this year from the course I studied. After a quick chat with my former tutors, I was joined by Izzy and some other alumni who have gone on to do some really great and interesting things, and had the chance to respond to some intriguing questions from the current students.

Once the call was over, and as I hinted at just a moment ago, I headed out for another trip to El Toril. Here, María had been surprised with a birthday meal that she didn’t know was happening, and my arrival signaled that it was time to present her with her birthday present: a tattoo machine that we all pitched in for!

The day after I was back out again, when Luis called and invited me to have a quick gin and tonic with him and some friends down by the river. This then turned into another gin and tonic and some food down by his house, where we caught up on all the latest shenanigans going on in each others’ lives. All of these great distractions were fabulous, but they were just that: distractions; meaning that the day after I had to run all of the errands that I hadn’t bothered to do during the previous couple of days!

After rewiring my desk, cleaning my flat, and heading out to buy some supplies for the coming week, I had a full five days of work to keep me busy. The weekend that followed – just last weekend – was therefore a welcome break, and I made the most of the springtime sun to visit some of my favorite spots in the city, namely two of the city’s parks: Parque del Retiro and Parque de las Delicias.

This past week was quite quiet, with just one chill evening out with Bogar to break up the working week. On Thursday we spontaneously decided to surprise Hugo at the restaurant he works at in Chueca, Ramen Shifu, and headed there to eat a delicious bowl of ramen with gyozas for starters. Full of tasty Japanese food, me and Bogar then said goodbye to Hugo in the kitchen and headed back home on a bike, after I convinced him to sign up to the city’s public bike system that I use so keenly!

I sit here now on my sofa, glass of wine in hand and some trashy YouTube videos playing in the background, and it’s pretty obvious that the weekend is beginning! I’ve plenty to get sorted this weekend, but I’ve some holiday days coming up next week and the week after, so we’ll have to wait and see what kinds of nonsense I get up to…