01.12.23 — Journal

Work Shenanigans

Now back in Spain after my trip around the US, there was no rest for me as I was straight back into work on Monday, the day after I landed. This was all well and good, but then I’d to leave Madrid once again that same Thursday as I’d been invited to an event.

This little trip would take me to Cuenca, a pretty and historical city to the east of Madrid famed for how its old architecture meshes with some striking natural features to create some impressive sights. I’d made a quick day trip to the city with my colleagues a couple of years ago, but this time I’d be staying overnight.

Just when I’d got comfy in my own bed, I was off to sleep elsewhere.

The event in question was put on by AUGAC, the Association of Communication Professionals from Universities and Research Centres within Spain. The event was orientated at sharing knowledge about visual communication and promotion within the education sector, so I was drafted in to go over the rebranding project that we at Erretres worked on for UDIT.

Disaster almost struck as the trip began, as once again I was caught up in the confusing mess that is the redirection of trains from Madrid’s southern train station to its northern one. As with Murcia at the start of this year, I managed to get to the correct station just on time. The train ride was then quick and smooth and I hopped into a taxi with another of the event’s speakers in order for us to head to the lovely hotel that they’d reserved for us.

The hotel was rather grandiose and rather lovely.

Once I’d unpacked I left the hotel again and made my way to a restaurant in the city centre where I’d been invited to lunch. The weather was pretty dire, with rain and wind aplenty, but the walk offered some nice views and the food was absolutely top notch. Cuenca is a great place for foodies!

From the restaurant we headed to the event space and before I knew it I was up on stage talking about the process of tackling a project to brand an affiliated design school for its transition to an independent university. I was joined by some other really inspiring speakers who I had a chance to get to know during the wine tasting session after the event and then over a lovely evening meal at another restaurant in the city. A fabulous day all in all!

The next day I didn’t get up on time for breakfast and then nearly missed my train as the taxi I booked to the station took forever and a day to show up. Once it had arrived, the driver really stepped on it and I made it onto my train back to Madrid in the nick of time. Quite the week I’d had…

There were more work shenanigans to be enjoyed the week after, however. For a special internal event celebrating our rebranding, I spent a while assembling a gift pack for the team, including a funky card with an elastic band we used to fire bits of paper at each other over a team breakfast.

A couple of days later I was off for a day trip with my colleagues to visit another one of our clients. They had a stand at the Global Mobility Call, an international event bringing together key players in the mobility and transport sector. We enjoyed a morning there snooping around, learning about the latest about the future of mobility, and even had chance to try out some of Madrid’s new bus stops.

To finish that week off I had a rather busy Friday. Hugo had bagged some free passes to go and watch Bailo Bailo, a musical celebrating the life and work of Rafaella Carrà, whose music I’ve always been a fan of. As much as I was enjoying the show, I had to leave during the interval as I’d to cross the city centre to be at another theatre by 8pm where I’d arranged to watch another play with Nacho, who was visiting Madrid from Prague.

In the end our evening turned out to be rather different than we’d expected, as they advised us at the theatre that the show was a whole four hours long. Nacho had to head back home just after midnight as he’d an early flight, so in the end we decided to ditch the show and instead went out for a meal so we could actually chat and have a proper catch up. We were joined by one of his friends and in the end we had an absolutely blast!

I leave this post here though, as the very next day I had some visitors arrive and what we got up to warrants its own blog post…