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The Day Job: Adventures of a Jobbing Gardener

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This is the fourth book of Wallington's I've read so I suppose I'm bound to compare it to the others. 500 Mile Walkies made me laugh out loud, but The Day Job is more of a warm, wry look at the various people he used to garden for before he "made it" - not that that makes it worse. It's still got an element of humour and good nature running through it and it's an easy cosy read.

 

I remember seeing this advertised a few years ago so I was quite surprised to find out that it must have been set in the 70s/80s because this isn't immediately apparent. It's the price of things that gives it away. £50 for terracing a patio seems extraordinarily cheap and I'm sure £1.50 for an hour's gardening would be slave labour these days.

 

It's the characters in the book that give it its humour. As he flits about, gardening around Hampstead, he describes each of the gardens and their owners. Wallington has a knack of describing them to make them seem like eccentric comedy stereotypes, but real, warm people all the same. He's not judgemental about them, for all their foibles, and the whole book leaves you feeling that everyone has a place in this cosy world.

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