25.10.19 — Journal

Working & Playing Hard

When concluding my last blog post, I mentioned that we’d been working hard and playing hard in the office recently, and promised that I’d elaborate on said statement in my next blog post. Here I am, faithfully as ever, to explain what’s been going on down in Guecho 35

The Friday after my auntie and uncle left, we spent our afternoon at work celebrating 5×10, an event in which five of us have ten minutes to present a project, work-related or personal, to the rest of the team. There were plenty of interesting things shared, but the real fun lay in what came next: cider and empanadas!

We stand around a table drinking cider and eating empanadas.

This little gathering was our way of saying our farewell to the summer season, drawing to an end our time splashing around in the pool and picnicking in the garden. It also brought back great memories of many a night spent partying with Kevin and co. in Asturias, as the cider and empanadas (a bit like pies) are typical of the northern region – in fact, they had the empanadas shipped down especially!

Cider and empanadas on the table

Once they began to pour the cider, it didn’t stop flowing…

We all had a lovely time, involving lots of chatting without the stresses of working, plenty of food, and even an impromptu vogueing class led by María! A group of us stayed behind a little longer, but I soon managed to cut proceedings short after in incident whilst opening a bottle which left me with quite a nasty cut down my hand…

Me, Luis, Carlos, María, and Mario at work.
Buildings near Plaza Mayor in Madrid.

Once I’d slept off the cider and my bandaged up my hand, I could think of no better way to kick-start the weekend than by attempting to cook a full English breakfast for myself and Bogar. It’s been well over 8 months since I moved back to Madrid, and so roughly the same amount of time will have passed since I last enjoyed a proper fry-up with all the trimmings.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was as close as I was going to get.

An attempt at a full English breakfast with orange juice.

As you can see, the sausages weren’t the right ones and the bacon was never going to be the proper British stuff, but I did managed to get hold of some baked beans and make a pretty decent fried egg, so not all was lost. In the end, it was just the beginning of what was to become the weekend of decadent breakfasts, as the next day I whipped up a plate of French toast, topped with lashings of authentic maple syrup that Megan had brought over when she visited from Vermont!

A plate of French toast with maple syrup.

These culinary adventures then carried on over the next couple of weeks, during which I even dared to try to make ramen, one of my favourite Japanese dishes. I initially judged that I’d included too much ginger, but this actually worked in my favour, as it helped alleviate some of the symptoms of a nasty cold that I’ve been battling since the seasons began to change.

A bowl of pork ramen with egg.

It hasn’t all been home cooking, however, as one night me and Bogar also braved the cold (said change of season has been very, very sudden) to head for some typical Madrid grub at our favourite local bar. We ordered a plate of chopitos (fried cuttlefish, a Madrid classic), and one of my favourite albeit simple dishes, huevos rotos con jamón (chips with fried eggs and cured ham).

Me posing with a plate of huevos rotos.

I look terrible, but at least I appear in a photo on my own blog for once.

But now back to work, as I notice that I’ve gone on a food-related tangent here, and for once I’d like to try and at least conclude my blog post in a manner faithful to the title of the thing!

As ever, there’s not much I can say due to confidentiality, but I’m full-steam ahead with two big projects. I’m hoping that we’ll soon see these published on the Erretres website, but for now I can only present you with this photo of a moment of divine intervention…

A selfie of me in which the sun is illuminating my hair.

Another exciting work-related moment recently was the launch of Collision, a design mentorship network which Erretres Open Lab (part of Erretres, the design studio where I work) has developed in collaboration with BBVA and local creatives. I was lucky enough to be asked to participate as a senior designer in its inaugural year, and so I attended the launch event just the other evening.

Proceedings kicked off with a presentation by my colleague Blanca (with whom I attended our friend Soyoung’s wedding earlier this year), and Brian Farrell, Creative Director at BBVA. Sergio, a fellow designer at Erretres, then presented the visual identity for the programme, and then it was time for us to find out who we’d be working with!

Sergio presents the visual identity for Collision.

Once I’d been introduced to my pair, with whom I’ll be working on a project over the next 8 months or so, the pizzas arrived and the beer began to flow, and I got chatting to all sorts of people from all different creative backgrounds. We all ended up so engaged in these interesting chats that we wound up staying way past the supposed 10pm end time, but the difficult start the morning after was definitely worth it!

With that, I think I conclude this little overview of what’s been going on both whilst at work and at play. As I said, we’re all rather busy in the office at the moment, but I’m sure that this will mean that I’ll soon be able to share the fruits of said labour with you guys – exciting! Until then, I’ll be back soon with more updates on my adventures in and out of Madrid!