The Great Park

On August 8, 2018, Ivan, Ken, Denise, George, Theo and I drove to Westcliff-on-Sea for lunch.

We went to the Waters Edge Cafe for fish and chips. Ivan had the grilled fish, while I get traditional fish and chips.

Fish and Chips at Waters Edge Cafe

George had the fish fingers and chips while Theo had the paella food we brought from home.

Lunch at Waters Edge Cafe

We walked along the beach. It was a nice sunny day.

Beach at Westcliff-on-Sea

Ivan, George, Theo and I drove to Harlow to see Neal, Dee, and baby Zak. Zak was sleeping a lot.


We went to Harlow Town Park. George and Theo had ice cream. We walked to the playground.

Playing at Harlow Town Park

The kids had fun playing on the slides and swings.

Dee didn’t feel like going out to dinner. So, we walked to the Indian restaurant Bengal Cottage in Old Harlow. Ivan and I shared the spinach balti and the chicken dupiaza. The food was so tasty!

It was a rainy day on August 9th. Ivan and I chilled in the house before heading up to London.

We got the train to London. Ivan and I walked into the Playhouse Theatre and were transported to an Afghan refugee camp. it was time to see the immersive play The Jungle based on a true story. It’s set in Calais, France.

Cafe in The Jungle

Our seats were located in the AFG Flag cafe. A lot of people in the audience had chai tea. Unfortunately, they ran out and we didn’t get a cup. Too bad since I love chai tea.

This play was quite powerful. It felt like we were part of the action. We were sitting in the cafe and Ivan was given some bread. I love immersive theatre since it feels like you’re part of the play. The acting was really good. It shows all the struggles and craziness of the camp filled with people from all over from Afghanistan, England, Syria, Sudan and more. I recommend going to see this play if you’re in ever in London.

We got the train to Peckham. The tv show Fools and Horses was set in Peckham. Peckham is a rough part of London which is ethnically diverse. Ivan and I had time to waste before our next event. We went to Bar Story for drinks. London is full of cool bars. Ivan and I each had a Jamaican Mule and Hard Times drink. The drinks were good.

The Great Masked Ball

We walked to The Great Masked Ball. It’s crazy that a fancy ball like this was in Peckham since Peckham isn’t a very nice area. Almost everybody was dressed up in black suits and fancy dresses. I felt a bit underdressed. Ivan and I forgot to buy masks. Most people had masks on. It would be annoying wearing a mask for me since I wear eyeglasses.

It was a little warm in the venue. Good thing it was a rainy day, otherwise, it would have been boiling inside.

Ivan and I sat down on a long table on hard benches. A big stage was in the middle of the venue. I ended up dancing with one of the actors and an American girl from New York while Ivan was buying Black Swan drinks.

The story was Black Swan. The Queen was looking for a bride for her son. I’m not sure why The Queen looked the same age as her son. One of the Queen’s minions asked if I was interested in the prince. I said I was for spoken for.

There was a live band playing. Dancing was only for 10 minutes. We wish there was more dancing.

The Queen asked Ivan if he would give me away. He said yes. She asked why is she a good candidate to be a princess. He said that I’m short and sweet. He was too tired to think of anything funny.

We were served a small drink of vodka and cream. The band stopped playing while we had our dinner. The food was all sharing for 10 people. The Queen’s Mother pelmeni appetizers came out and there were exactly 10 pieces for everybody. You had to be quick or you might not get a piece. It was not the feasting we were promised in the description of the ball. Ivan and I had the vegetarian option which was vegetables in a tomato sauce.

Macarons at The Great Masked Ball

Dessert was rhubarb, almond and rosemary macarons and it was exactly 10 pieces. It was really tasty.

The Prince danced with a girl from the audience. The Queen was set on The Prince marrying the Black Swan. They danced on the stage.

The Black Swan and the Prince

The Prince was in love with a peasant girl. The Queen and the Prince disappear.

The audience was moved to a theatre in a different part of the venue. The seating was hard benches.

Swan Lake at The Great Masked Ball

The ballet dancing was cool and beautiful. It was the Black Swan tricking the Queen, Prince and the peasant girl he liked.

The ballet ended and somebody announced that there would be disco music in the other room. It would have been more fitting to keep the classical music to fit the Swan Lake Masked Ball theme.

Ivan and Jen at The Great Masked Ball

The Great Masked Ball was alright. It could have been more food, dancing and interaction.

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