The Day Job : Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener Paperback
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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288 pages
- Publisher: Cornerstone
- Publication Date: 06/07/2006
- Category: Autobiography: general
- ISBN: 9780099472674
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Review by GeraniumCat
Unable to sell his scripts, Mark Wallington decided that the best way to earn a modest living while keeping enough time available for writing would be to take up gardening. He didn't seem to know a great deal about it, but was fortunate in his first client, who needed help because her arthritis had become too sever for her to manage her large garden alone. Under her guidance, Wallington seems to have managed to wing it, doing mostly maintenance work during the summer, gaining clients by word of mouth and being lucky enough to find Mr Gold, owner of an extensive string of properties let to non-gardening tenants. Mild excitement is provided by his rivalry with Powergardeners and by the author's lack of any real knowledge about gardening - will he be unmasked as an imposter?I was kept reading by the fact that there is nothing to object to - Wallington and his friends are an amiable bunch, and his adventures mildly amusing. The writing is chatty and eveything moves along at a fairly rollicking pace, summer reading if ever I saw it.