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The Day Job: Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener [Kindle Edition]

Mark Wallington
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Mark Wallington has a dream. He is going to change the face of British comedy.

Unfortunately for the residents of north London, he's going to finance this dream by becoming a gardener.

The result is The Day Job, an account of a year spent working in other people's gardens: people like Mrs Fleming who is convinced there is buried treasure in the bottom bed; Mr Walters who is trying to create a fascist state policed by gnomes in his well-guarded plot in Gospel Oak; Mrs Glover who is probably the most attractive woman living in Britain; and poor Mr Nugent, who likes to save his urine in jam jars and pour it over his compost.

Over four seasons Wallington crosses Hampstead Heath from job to job. He survives brushes with the evil contract gardeners who keep trying to knock him off his bicycle. He strives to impress literary agent Herman Gapp who might represent him - depending on what sort of job he does on Gapp's Alpine Terrace. He even finds time to fall for a housecleaner-cum-actor named Helen, as he becomes part of a strange band of artistes, each with a day job of their own, all waiting for that first break.

This is the story of long nights spent in the back room of a pub trying to write unsolicited scripts, and of much longer days spent trying to understand the British and their strange obsession with gardening.

Product Description


"An affectionate account of a year he spent fleecing the residents of north London as a jobbing gardener... Likeable and generous" (Guardian)

Book Description

Mark Wallington's incompetent early career as jobbing gardener to the middle classes, hilariously revealed in this comic memoir.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 960 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0099472678
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital; New Ed edition (19 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Mark Wallington was born in Swanage in Dorset in 1953. He worked as a comedy scriptwriter for many years with Dick Fiddy, before publishing 500 Mile Walkies in 1986, an account of a hike around the South West Coastal Path with a London mongrel. This was followed by Boogie up the River and by two novels, The Missing Postman and Happy Birthday Shakespeare both of which he adapted for TV. The Day Job, the story of his time as a gardener in London, followed in 2005. In 2012 he published The Uke of Wallington, an account of his journey round Britain's open mics with his ukulele. He has a new book out in October 2013, The Auto Biography, the story of the cars in his life, starting with the Ford Pop which brought him home from the maternity ward.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very amateur gardener 14 Jan. 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In 1980, Mark Wallington was struggling unsucessfully to break into the world of comedy scriptwriting, so he decided to earn a living meanwhile as a jobbing gardener. The one small drawback was that he knew nothing whatsoever about gardening. However, he decided optimistically that he could learn on the job. so during the mornings he gardened, and during the afternoons he and his friend Dick wrote scripts and sent them off, and had them promptly returned.
Mark Wallington describes his adventures gardening in North London very amusingly. He works for a variety of mildly eccentric employers, like the man who's obsessed with women's tennis, and the lady who is equally obsessed with cricket. And there's the very military major who wants his plants counted and kept in strict order, and the mysterious house that may, or may not, belong to Rod Stewart. And then there's the dastardly behaviour of the professional gardening team who apparently try to sabotage his efforts. As he works Mark Wallington mostly succeeds in disguising his complete ignorance of garden matters, until the day comes when one of his employers organises a local Gardeners Question Time, and insists that he should be on the panel. Will he be found out?
This is a very amusing book, you don't have to be interested in gardens (I'm not) to enjoy it. Like Mark Wallington, you will probably find yourself getting quite fond of some of his employers, and you will be entertained by his efforts to maintain a professional image in spite of his hopelessly amateur abilities.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cutting hedge humour 13 Nov. 2008
In a way that is reminiscent of Gervaise Phinn's books about his life as a school inspector or James Herriot's vet books, in the Day Job Mark Wallington tells us about his experiences whilst he was a jobbing gardener in North London.

As with Mark Wallington's previous books this is laden with of good, slightly old fashioned British humour and is an undemanding but enjoyable read.

More cutting hedge than cutting edge.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Greenhorn Gardener develops sketches as he hoes 25 July 2006
By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE
A good light read. Easily read in a weekend. Ideal holiday reading.

Entertaining & pleasant; I shall probably read more from this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Read 26 May 2012
By A . J . Reynolds TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have had mixed experiences with Mark Wallingtons books . I read Five Hundred Mile Walkies years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it . Re-reading it again recently was like re-visiting an old friend . I then read Pennine Walkies and couldn't get on with it at all , I just got lost in all the northern geography and northern placenames - bloody southerner that I am !!

The Day Job , Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener has restored my faith in Mark Wallington . This is a delightful book , well-written , with nicely observed characters . I didn't need a GPS system and an atlas to read it . When I had finished reading it , which was all too soon , it nearly convinced me that jobbing gardening might suit me as a life change !!! A thoroughly enjoyable book .
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Day Job 21 May 2009
"The Day Job" won't teach you anything about gardening except, perhaps, that castor oil keeps moles on the move (as well as humans).
It is, though, a highly entertaining description of the mixed bouquet of people, rich and poor, who need the services of a gardener.
As with all Mark's other books, you just don't want it to end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Day Job: Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener 7 May 2011
By maminet
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Mark Wallington writes so naturally and he always manages to make me laugh. I discovered his books only recently and bought them all! If you want cheering up, or just enjoy light hearted books, then this is for you. Don't expect to learn anything much about gardening though!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read 15 Jan. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Reading this book at the moment it is extremely well written the author bonds so well with his customers as well as his readers and shows great understanding in capturing moments in the lives of others without offence.
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An excellent book, which I thoroughly enjoyed and wished was longer! Finding this book was like finding a lovely flower in amongst a bed of brambles. I shall read Mark Wallington's other books now!
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