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My parents have lived in the same mansion block flat (condo) in North West London since I was approximately 6 years old. Prior to moving to their current flat, they rented another flat across the street . The flats are beautiful, red-brick mansion blocks and are over 100 years old. Famous residents include the composer, Sir Adrian Boult and various Du Mauriers of literary fame. There are two large communal gardens for the exclusive use of people living in the flats. From time to time the board hold social functions. One of the highlights of the summer is one such function, the summer garden party.

When I was a child the garden parties used to be fairly low-key with a mixed assortment of nibbles (including lots of peanuts and the odd home-made Victoria Sponge cake) and ancient bottles of drinks donated by the largely middle-aged to elderly residents. There are lot of younger people with children living in the buildings now, so for the past few years the board has hired face-painters and entertainers to keep the children occupied whilst the adults schmooze. We usually take my niece to the garden party. It’s an event she looks forward to all summer. Since she often visits my parents and has made some friends via frequent trips to the garden and the annual Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Trick-or-Treating, she knows a number of the children who attend.

The Entertainer at work

The children playing a game! It was girl's against boys and of course the girls won!

Balloon sword-fights on the bottom lawn!

Every inch of the garden was full of children!


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