Giz a job.

Cartoon of a snake coming out of a lunch box
Again this has nothing to do with the post. I promise to make more of a stab at relevance next time.

The kids are getting on a bit now. I’m not sure I can sustain this staying-at-home stuff, before I’m required to do some actual housework.

Screaming ‘Don’t you oppress me you chauvinist bastard’ every time my husband asks if there’s any clean shirts, isn’t going to work for much longer. I think I’m going to have to either find joy in providing a clean, safe and happy home for my family or I’ll have to get a job.

So I’m on various employment websites when I am once again reminded of how unemployable I am. It seems like you take a career break and you break your career.*

I used to work for BBC News Online and in the six years since I left the BBC, the technology has moved on. I had a perilous grasp on what the hell I was doing at the time, I’d be totally in the woods if I went back now. Not that they’d even give me a job. Not unless they have a vacancy for: ‘Crazy woman required to wander around the building asking people where they keep all the tapes’.

I’ve not got any contacts to expand my copywriting business from its current client database of one (she’s delighted with me) and if I tried to take on more gardening work, I’d really have to invest in tools and medical supplies (90% of my work is thorn-based), which would bring my turn-over from ‘low’ to ‘pointless’. I might as well skip the gardening and lacerate my arms while burning fivers.

So what can I do? I hate to refer to that rather patronising job description of a housewife as, Chef, Cleaner, Taxi service, teacher, therapist etc. but it seems the only way to truly asses my skills at this point.  What can I bring to the job market?

1)      I can whistle through my teeth.- I haven’t yet worked out how I could apply this awesome talent, but the fact that not everyone can do it and that it is a skill which took time to acquire (I undertook an apprenticeship with a lad named Tony during a very dull rugby match), means that the market would certainly attach great worth to it. I need to think of practical applications. Touring’s out because I get sick on coaches, but perhaps a civic role like ‘town whistler’. I shall write to the government and suggest it.

2)      Charity shopping –  I do this quite a lot and it’d be good to make it into a full-time vocation. Maybe I could provide tips and advice on charity shopping for people who can’t afford to shop in regular shops but who can inexplicably afford to pay someone like me to advise them on how to save money. Unfortunately, my first advice would have to be to sack myself, so that might not be a sustainable business plan (ooh hark at me, getting all ‘Deborah Meadon’). Maybe making money isn’t the point. Charity shops are good for the environment, the community, poor people, students and people who need to cobble together fancy dress outfits at short notice. A team of professionals like me supporting this industry should really be state funded. Any government promising to encourage charity shopping in a practical level would be bound to win a landslide election on this single issue alone.

3)      Phone sex. –  This one is obvious. The kids are out of the house and I’m doing the housework, but I’m also earning a few bob at the same time.  Dirty talk while cleaning the oven actually makes a lot of sense, ‘What are you wearing?’ – ‘Rubber Gloves and a layer of sweat’, ‘What are you doing?’ – ‘Sponging up Mr Muscle’.  I’ll stop now as I don’t want to waste all my best material on you guys (call me), but you can see why this is genius. My only issue is whether many people phone sex chat lines during the hours of 9am- 3pm. Clearly it should be encouraged, the government should do something. Support working mums by giving tax relief to sex chat lines. Come on Cameron, get on board.

4)      Humiliating myself at weddings (can be extended to other social gatherings). There are some of us who have an entirely justifiable fear that when we go to parties, we’ll do something embarrassing. That we’ll get horrendously drunk and behave inappropriately, fall over or just generally be ‘The Party Knobhead’. For a reasonable fee, I could provide a service which guarantees that I will be that person. My client can enjoy themselves, free from any guilt or inhibitions, safe in the knowledge that my drunkenness and load bawdy jokes will be far more offensive than anything they will do. I’ll start congas at funerals, try to get off with the vicar over the christening font, I only ever wear white at weddings and even Miley Cyrus considers my dance floor moves to be inappropriate. This is something I know I can do. I have plenty of experience and can provide multiple references. My lack of tact is exacerbated by major social events and it would be nice to turn that into a positive by helping others to look like less of a loser in comparison.  It’s practically a charitable service I’d be providing and should probably be funded by the NHS or some other national provider, like the government.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head and if I say so they are brilliant. I don’t know what I was worried about. I would clearly be an asset to any organisation. Look at my skills and experience for crying out loud. It’s going to be a doddle getting a job, and I’ll work for anyone- except the government obvs.


* Wow that’s a brilliant slogan. I should be a slogan writer, I don’t need experience, training or relevant qualifications. As I recall it’s what Darrin from Bewitched did, and I watched that loads. I’m pretty sure that’s all any reasonable employer would require.


What’s in a name?

Not sure the wordpress logo wasn’t already taken by Waterstones.

There are many things I struggle within the realm of blogging:

-Making sure I post regularly, but also trying not to post any old crap just so that I’m posting something.

-Hitting the delicate balance between ‘That’s so funny I do that too’ and ‘Oh My God that’s weird and disgusting, I’m contacting the police’.

-Making sure I heavily disguise anything I’ve stolen.

-Ensuring that I don’t post anything when angry or drunk regardless of how much it may hinder my chances of posting anything at all that month.

-Coming up with a picture to illustrate my post which isn’t totally irrelevant but won’t get me sued.

-Remembering to write about people I know because people I know is my main demographic, but at the same time not writing too much about people I know because people I know know where I live.

-Not resorting to lazy blog-lists instead of actually writing something coherent.

But the absolute number one blog nightmare for me has to be….

Naming the damn thing.

When I started this blog, it was really to create a place I could refer potential employers if they wanted a quick peek of past articles I had written, so I called it Jenny Laville. Job done, move on.

A bit later on though when I thought it might be a good idea to try and actively get my blog out there I noticed that there are very few blogs named after their authors. Instead you get a) superhero style pseudonyms, b) random made up/unconnected words c) thoughts of…./ notes on…/tales from…etc. Suddenly having a blog named after yourself seemed a bit stand-offish, maybe even arrogant bordering on twatty.

My blog name had to be something memorable, representative of me, able to encompass a variety of subjects and crucially, available free on wordpress.

Here are some of my initial ideas. – Funny- cute- Yorkshire- like it. Damnit it’s taken

Tiredandemotional – Not bad – memorable – represents me pretty well I think. Damnit it’s taken

Tired&emotional – Damnit it’s taken

Threehundredandsixtyfive – The hook being I’ll do a post a day, everyday for a year, high concept, Like it. Damnit it’s taken

Threehundredandsixtyfivedays – Oh, come on.

Yorkshirelass – not so great but what the hell. Bloody taken

Jiggered – taken

Dazed – taken

Dazedandamused – taken

Then I began to try putting random phrases together to see if I could score a hit. Bit like looking for googlewhacks.

Greenhorse – taken

Angryhamster – taken

Doorajar – taken

Hiddenwardrobe – taken

Cryingbear – taken

I’ll stop now as I’m sure you get the point, although I can tell you that at the time of writing houseofcustard and dickyknee are available.

My growing sense of indignation overweighing my usual laziness, I actually checked and out of all these taken blog names only two were current blogs. Another hadn’t posted for over a year and a fourth not for four years. The remaining blogs were totally unused. The only point of their existence was to prevent me from using their name. I really liked fat rascal too.

So I decided to stick with jennylaville if only to avoid having to get both the people who subscribe to my blog to update the address, in case they didn’t.

However I have now decided to start a new blog, which will focus on by burgeoning preoccupation with all things horti and indeed agri, cultural. Thereby keeping the focus of my main blog on the trivial daily dilemmas of a chronically indecisive parent (that’s me) with the occasional spin-off adventures of The Tactless Wonder (me again).

However if you do fancy learning about my struggles with broody chickens and neglected allotments or you want to look at some pictures of weeds then Ladies and Gentlemen, please make your way to because yes, I found a name.

It was the first one I thought of and by some glorious miracle it was available which I took as a sign that it was meant to be and not that it was such a stupid name nobody else wanted it.