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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Day Job: Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2006
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
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
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
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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on 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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on 7 May 2011
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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on 20 August 2015
A good funny tale - well structured and great sympathetic characterisation. I guess there's a bit of embellishment in the story but it's very well done - one of those books to keep and read more than once. Set in the early 80's - would make a good TV serialisation.
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on 15 January 2015
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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on 12 December 2014
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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on 14 April 2014
This author is always a good light read.
If you haven't read 500 mile walkies then treat yourself. Very funny and an excellent guide if you're thinking of walking the south west coastal path.
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