18.07.21 — Journal

Outside to Inside

Today’s blog post, although covering the last there weeks of mischief here in Madrid, is a rather short one. This is because I write to you after nearly two weeks of illness form which I’m just beginning to recover, but I’ll get into that at the end of the post.

For now, we begin up in the city centre, where Sara and I had arranged to meet up for a Mexican meal at Gracias Padre, a spot which I’ve visited a good few times in the past and which I always enjoy. We over-faced ourselves somewhat with our order, including a melted cheese and chorizo starter and then quesadillas and pulled chicken flutes – but it was all delicious!

A Saturday of lovely food with great company in fabulous surroundings.

The next day saw me out in the city for a spot of rare clothes shopping. After nipping by Uniqlo to pick up a few new goodies, I wandered up to Chueca, where I had a spot of lunch and nipped into Lush before cycling through the city and back home to spend an evening sunbathing and relaxing by the river.

Well, that was the plan, until I got a message off Laura, a friend who moved to Miami a couple of years back, saying that she was back in Madrid for a month! Seizing the opportunity to spend a few hours with her that evening, I cycled up to the Templo de Debod, one of the best spots to watch the sun set over the mountains in the west, and we spent the evening catching up with another friend of hers.

After work the next day, I headed back down to the river, as I’d enjoyed the summer ambience down there the day before. I spent a few hours catching some rays, chatting to my family over the phone, and having a cheeky drink whilst I watched a group of dogs playing. All but one of them left with their owner after a while, so I snuck in to take a photo of its blond hair in the golden rays of the evening sun.

With the heat rising in the city, the rest of the week was spent mainly indoors, where I enjoyed the sunset one evening before adjusting the colours of my lighting to create a series of coloured indoor gradients. These were, however, interrupted for an evening after England got through to the final of the Euros – I had a little celebration at home after Ellie called me to share the atmosphere of the pub she was in!

Shortly thereafter, however, I fell ill with a mystery stomach bug. After a while trying to sort it out at home, I eventually ended up in urgent care with severe stomach pain whilst I should have been watching the final of the Euros. This marked just the start of a rough week, which has included a scare with the possibility of it being coronavirus.

After various phone calls with my GP and another trip to urgent care which nearly turned into an overnight stay, I’ve finally had a concrete diagnosis and have started a round of antibiotics, so I’m now on the mend and hoping to be back at work and out and about as soon as possible. It can’t come soon enough, as next weekend I’m hoping to escape Madrid for a few days and be reunited with Kevin and Cami back up in Asturias after nearly three years!

I’d like to end this post thanking my friends, family, and colleagues who have been very supportive and have helped me out through a rather rough week with this illness. My endless admiration and respect also goes to the healthcare professionals here in Spain who attended me – they were as compassionate as they were speedy in getting me diagnosed and on the mend. Public healthcare is a marvellous thing, and we should fight to protect it whilst we’ve politicians doing their best to undermine it.

I’ve a few days of rest and recovery ahead of me, but I’ll be back soon with whatever I manage to get up to – I hope not to disappoint!