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Dawn Isaac

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Estate agents, Dora the Explorer and fallen walnut trees

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 05 Jan 2010 at 01:41 PM

I wouldn't make a very good estate agent.  It's not that I don't know the lingo.  After half a dozen series of Location, Location, Location and Property Ladder, I reckon I've got that covered.  However, there's no escaping the fact I have a slightly strange way of assessing properties.

Take New Year for example.  We were lucky enough to be invited to our friends' chateau in France where we had such a spectacularly good time it was actually worth the 28 hours travelling in a car with three young children (on that subject, I can heartily recommend portable DVD players and a huge stack of Dora the Explorer episodes - not only will it keep them quiet, they may also learn a new language).

One day I took my now Spanish-speaking son for a walk in their garden.  In estate agent terms I should have returned waxing lyrical about their architect-designed pool house, impressive courtyard or horses with paddock, but no, I stumble back into the kitchen and say "Ohhh, I love your fallen tree".

So, OK, it might not be listed in the house's particulars, but the wind blown walnut tree, fashioned into a children's climbing area was a gorgeous sight - and so much more appealing than standard play equipment.  I was told that the plan is to add a new feature each year - very much as President Mitterrand did for Paris.  So far there is a hammock, steps, platform and adjoining climbing log.  If I'm honest I'm not sure they were playing at the top of their game when they added the cast-off plastic pool ladder, but I'm sure some of 'Les Grands Projets" were less than successful too.

Best of all, the plant still thrives and produces a crop of walnuts annually.

Come to think of it, maybe there is an estate agent angle to this after all...

"Additional accommodation to the west of the property offers open plan living on two levels with spectacular views and the opportunity to extend." Fantástico! ¿No concuerda usted?


Paul Kettell said:

There's quite a move to more natural play which should be commended. RHS garden Wisley developed a new natural play area for children in the field beyond the new glasshouse this year which has been great. Unforunately, I don't think any of the structures produce walnuts!

on 06 Jan 2010 at 09:18 PM

Dawn Isaac said:

I've not seen the Wisley area yet - must check that out next time I'm down there.  Will bring my own walnuts...

on 07 Jan 2010 at 08:35 PM

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on 17 Jan 2010 at 07:25 AM