Hadleigh Crystal

Ivan drove us to Hadleigh on August 14, 2018. We went to the Hadleigh Tea rooms for lunch with Ivan’s parents Denise and Ken. George had chicken tenders. Theo had one of his pouches. Ivan had a tuna baguette and I had an egg mayo baguette. Ivan and I decided to have a scone and tea.

Next, we went to the Hadleigh Farm. The farm has lots of animals like pigs, sheep, alpacas, goats, ducks, pigs and donkeys. George was too scared to let the goats and sheep eat food from his hand.

Ivan feeding the sheep at Hadleigh Farm

Theo did it a few times.

We played around the playground at the farm.

George playing on the slide at Hadleigh Farm

Everybody walked through the maze, but it was overgrown and there were prickly thorns that could hurt you.

Denise the butterfly at Hadleigh Farm

The farm had toy tractors the kids could ride around. Ivan and I pushed the boys around.

Me pushing the boys on the tractor

The boys had a fun time at the farm.

Everybody walked to Hadleigh Castle. We saw the ruins of the 1230’s English castle. The castle was used as a base during the Hundred Years War for defending the Thames estuary against French invasions.

Me and George at Hadleigh Castle

George liked climbing the tower. It’s a nice place to sit down on the grass and view the Thames Estuary and watch the train go by.

View from Hadleigh Castle

George and Theo went back to the house with Denise and Ken. Ivan and I drove to Southend.

Ivan and I went to the Chalkwell Park Fun Fair. We were thinking of taking the boys there. Went on the fast dodge ’ems (bumper cars. We went on the Waltzer. The ride operator made it spin and it was spinning way too fast. I wanted them to stop and I thought they were going to. I guess they took my screams for excitement so they started the ride again.  Don’t go on the Waltzer if you don’t like spinning so fast.

We went to the theatre to see The Festival starring Joe Thoams from The Inbetweeners. The movie was about a guy named Nick who gets dumped by his college girlfriend. Nick is heartbroken. His best mate Shane convinces him that he should come with him to a music festival to forget about his ex-girlfriend. The movie was entertaining. It was an okay movie.

Ivan and I walked to the Indian restaurant Keralam. We each got a glass of red wine.

Started off with rasam soup and a king prawn poori. Ivan really liked the rasam soup, but I thought it was too peppery. The poori was tasty. We shared the fish jalfrezi and a masala dosa with roti and rice.

Fish Jalfrezi & Masala Dosa at Keralam

Both main courses were so delicious. We love eating Indian food in England since it’s usually wonderful.

I wrote more for the blog on the morning of August 15, 2018. The boys stayed with Ivan’s parents. They all went to lunch with Ken and Denise’s friends Pat and Shirley.

Ken, Denise, George and Theo had lunch with Pat & Shirley

Ivan and I got the train into London. We tried for day seats for Frankenstein, but they didn’t have any good seats. No idea what to do, Ivan looked up things on his phone. He found something cool to do. Grabbed sandwiches and espressos at Pret a Manger.

The Crystal Maze

We took an Uber to The Crystal Maze Live Experience.  The Crystal Maze was a tv show where a group of people faced mental, physical and skill challenges. A Kickstarter project was started to raise money to build The Crystal Maze.

iJen at The Crystal Maze

We joined a work group of 6 people. Our group would be challenged with different mental, physical and skill games.

The 6 people had already picked a captain, which we didn’t get a vote for. It was one of the two other girls in the group who were dressed in fitspo outfits. Our host was Marvelous Mable. She was really energetic and cool. There were 3 other teams that we were competing with.

Mable would give us a choice of different games we wanted to do. Most of the time we had the choice of mental, physical and skill. Our captain would choose one and then Mable would ask who she wanted to choose to try to complete the game.

Ivan’s first game he lost. He was a bit wired from the espresso we had earlier which was really strong. My first challenge was to make pub names. The other team members could look in windows and help out. The boards were really heavy and had words on both sides. I was too slow and we lost that challenge. We did get a lot of the challenges and found the crystals which is the prize for winning each challenge.

Ivan had to build a cube out of different pieces for his second game. We all helped him out and he completed the cube! Very cool. My last game was a math challenge. Equations were written on the wall to be solved. I was too stressed to even do Math. Everybody helped me find out each answer. I had to turn wood pieces to choose the numbers. Everybody was stuck on the last one. I turned it to 1 and it opened and the crystal was waiting for me. I had no clue about the answer, I was just turning it.

Every person on the team got two games each. We were the first team to finish. We won 8 crystals. The other teams slowly came out. They all had 9 crystals each. We saw the other hosts and ours seemed like the best one.

Mable was the announcer for The Crstyal Dome game. The teams would go into a Crystal Dome and try to grab gold coins. Whoever collected the most gold coins would win. Cheaters who took the gold coins off the beams of the dome and on the floor would be disqualified.

We were the first team to go in and we got a good amount of gold coins. The next team did a lot better than us. The third team blatantly cheated. The last team cheated and tried to cover it by putting somebody in the front of the dome.

Mable announced that the fourth team was the winner. Everybody was mad and some people started booing. Mable got a message in her headpiece and said What’s that Mumsy? The team cheated. Oh, they’re out then. Good! The third team won and we knew they cheated and weren’t happy. Mable got another call from Mumsy. They were also disqualified. Yay! We thought the second team won. But, again Mable got a call from Mumsy. The cameras showed that they had canceled as well. That meant that we won! That was really cool!

The Crystal Maze Live Experience is so cool. The games were really went thought out and done really well. They spent a lot of money and time to produce this awesome game. You should definitely do this if you’re ever in London.

Ivan and I walked to the Simmons Bar in Kings Cross. It was 5 pm and only a few people were inside. Simmons Bar is a cool bar with vintage wallpaper and they serve some of the drinks in teapots.

Simmons Bar Kings Cross

Ivan bought A Sex with a Lad drink. The drink came in a teapot and three teacups. We were meeting our friend Andy there. Ivan met Andy on Gumtree (English Craigslist) when he was looking for people to join him on his team for the first Rickshaw Run.

We had a table when Andy arrived. I’m glad we did since it got really busy later on.

Having fruity drinks at Simmons Bar with Andy

It was great to chat about our life, kids, work, and travels. The Sex with a Lad drink was fruity and yummy. Andy ordered a Barbie Ferrari for us to share.

Barbie Ferrari drink at Simmons Bar

The drink was blue and really sweet. Andy was heading to Newcastle for LEGO WeDo training which is science and technology education with LEGOs. We said bye to Andy and got the train to the Soho area.

Ivan and I went to the Indian restaurant Masala Zone for dinner. We got seats out front in the outside seating. I got the vegetarian thali with a green korma It came with an eggplant dish which was good, but way too oily. The spicy potatoes and dahl were delicious. I really liked my chicken korma. We had a good meal.

£¥€$ (LIES)

We went to the Alemeida Theatre for the £¥€$ (LIES) play. Ivan and I walked into the theatre which was a room filled with gambling tables. We were sent to tables right next to each other. I sat down next to a girl named Federica. The table filled up with 7 people and our croupier. The tables were named based on the name of the person who sat down first. Our table was called Los Federicos. Each table was a country with our own currency. We were the white team. It was Serge, Sozia, me, Federica, Liam, George and Tim at the table. Each person was their own bank.

We cashed in our money: £1 buys £1 million. I had to borrow 2 pounds from a nice guy named Tim. I hope I would be able to pay him back at the end. We started gambling. The risks were low at first. You could bet £1 million and if you rolled 3 or more, you doubled your money. Eventually, the risks got higher so you could win a lot more if you were lucky.

The middle of the room contained a rotating board which tracked each country’s global rating, the total money on the market and the exchange rate. Los Federicos started at a rating of C.

Our country was doing good and we went to C+ and then a B rating. Bonds were available to buy which was based on a country’s credit rating. You could also buy shorts.

Los Federicos was doing so well that we reached an A rating. I don’t really know much about the financial market. I was betting conservatively, but doing alright. Some people had lots of money. Liam was chosen as our financial advisor since he had the most money. I don’t think it was a good idea since he wasn’t the smartest guy.

Our croupier asked if anybody wanted to merge banks. Sozia next to me wanted to merge. I thought why not. Both of you roll dice when merged and the highest roll wins. We each got a gold die to roll. Fancy!

I’m not sure what happened, but our country went bankrupt. I can’t remember what happened. But the bubble definitely had burst. Four countries were doing badly. Three countries would go under and one would be saved. Agents from other countries came to sell bonds for really cheap. I wasn’t sure what to do at this point. I thought we should canvas to other countries to vote for us, but nobody did that. We voted for Los Federicos to be saved. Each bank counted how much money they had.

I thought we were going to be saved, but the green country ended up being saved. The game ended there. I thought it would go on and a country would win in the end. The croupiers started talking and sending a message that we should work, spend more, invest our money and trust.

In the end, our croupier gave me an IOU for £15.5 million.

My £15 million IOU at £¥€$ (LIES)

Ivan ended up with £2 million since he made some bad investments like buying a lot of Los Federicos bonds.

£¥€$ (LIES) was a wonderful play that showed the financial crisis in a fun gambling game.

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