17.07.19 — Journal

Pride, Parties, and Photoshoots

As mentioned at the end of my last blog post, upon my return to Madrid from Murcia it was time for the city’s pride celebrations! I kicked things off a little early, heading out for tea at La Casa Tomada. My friend is lucky enough to work there, and so he used his staff discount to grab us a free round of onion rings and the city’s best sandwiches!

A bowl of onion rings and dip.

The next event in my calendar involved a concert by an artist from Asturias! If you have kept tabs on my blog over the past couple of years, you’ll know that I have grown rather attached to the region in the north of Spain – in fact, check out my travel page for my visits to both Oviedo and Gijón, two Asturian cities.

A few months ago, I discovered a certain Rodrigo Cuevas through Spotify, and immediately got in contact with my friend Kevin. Kevin was sure to give me the low down: Cuevas is a singer from the region who mixes Asturian folklore, traditional song and dance, covers of Tino Casal (who was an iconic artist from the region), and very modern sounds. After obsessing over some of his work on YouTube for a while, I knew that a free concert by him in Madrid was definitely not to be missed!

I mentioned that I was going to my colleague María at work, as I thought she’d have heard of Cuevas as she is also from the region. After confessing that she didn’t, I rushed to show her a clip on YouTube, and very soon thereafter she was hooked and it was decided that we’d go together. Before we knew it, we were all gathered in the Plaza de Santa Ana and ready for the show to begin!

A screen displays Rodrigo Cuevas, with the singer beneath on a stage adorned with flowers.

Well, all I can say that Cuevas, who in the past has been likened to the genius of Freddie Mercury, did not disappoint! We spent a good few hours dancing, screaming, and flailing our arms in the air as we sang along as best we could and listened to Cuevas’ hilarious jokey comments about the region, its language, and its people. There was even a fabulous moment when he made his way into the crowd, during which Maria and I turned into the biggest pair of screaming fans!

Rodrigo Cuevas singing in the crowd.

Todos me miren de llau, y dicen “neña, que guapa yes!”

As you can see, the whole concert was one big gay affair, which set the tone quite nicely for the following weekend’s main event: the pride parade! For this, I grabbed some beers with my friend Leo, and we headed down an empty Gran Vía and to the parade route along the city centre’s widest street, La Castellana.

A rare, deserted Gran Vía in Madrid, Spain.
A selfie of me and my friend Leo at Pride, Madrid.

We were soon joined by more friends, and we stood by as the trucks eventually made their way through the crowds, blasting music and shooting foam and confetti all over the shop. We had a blast, and ended the night with plenty of food, before I realised I’d have to walk home due to the night buses being cancelled due to the parade. A small price to pay!

The next week at work began with a rather fun little outing, where I headed around the business district in the north of Madrid, directing a photo shoot alongside a client and photographer. I saw some pretty cool architecture that I’d never come across before, and even had the chance to make my way half way up an office building, meaning I could snap an arial shot which I would have otherwise never seen.

A staircase leads up to a modern building in Madrid.
A Madrid office building with a wavy-shaped series of sun screens.

The week at work also involved Erretres’ summer party, where we invited ex-colleagues, clients, and friends to come and celebrate the new office and inaugurate the new pool! I was so busy chatting away during said party that I didn’t remember to take a single photo, however I did grab this one of the rather warm following day, where we made the most of the leftover pizza and beer whilst hanging out in the garden…

I simply have to end this post with an absolute gem thought up by my colleague Borja, who had the ingenious idea that I should engage in a spot of ‘balconing’ – a word the Spaniards have created to describe British tourists’ habit of throwing themselves off balconies whilst drunk. As the only Brit in the place, I simply had to do the honours, and I can think of no better way to end this post than with the photo evidence.

Long live old Blighty!