Meet the Flockers: Jessica Vautier

August 12, 2021

Our Meet The Flockers series is where discover just a little bit more about our flock. We take a moment to ask the hard-hitting questions, and get the answers to what makes us team tick.

From favourite ice creams, to age-old secrets, this series sheds a light on the A to Z of our SLHQ bunch.

Introducing Jessica Vautier, Solicitor, data protection expert, and qualified scuba diver! Take it away Jessica...

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I found a diary the other day which I kept when I was 6 or 7. One of the entries mentioned that my mum had come home with a box of ex-library books, and I’d spent the day pretending to be a librarian… so there’s that! I still probably wouldn’t say no to owning a bookshop.

I have been acting and singing since I was young, and I love musicals. When I was picking A level subjects, it was a toss-up between the law and the West End as my preferred career. I have two left feet, which rather put paid to my musical aims, and I decided acting was easier to do in my spare time than law, so here I am! I still take part in theatrical productions when I get the chance though, and I’m the one weirdo who will happily sing karaoke sober.

What’s your favourite book and why?

This is such a difficult question, because I love books and it is impossible to pick just one favourite. I’ll go for a book I really enjoyed recently instead!

I rarely re-read books because I have so many on my to-read list, but I have now re-read Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams several times. I picked it up at a train station, expecting it to be light and fluffy, because it was being described as a more up-to-date Bridget Jones, but it gets pretty dark in places as well as being funny. I was gripped from the first page, because there aren’t many books which start with the main character texting a friend their thoughts while getting a smear test!

The book has so many layers too, picking up on sexism and racism. I’m ashamed to say I must have glossed over a lot of the racism the first time round, because it really hit me when I read it again during the pandemic, following the murder of George Floyd. I would recommend it to anyone looking to broaden their horizons, as well as for a great story.

What’s an interesting fact about you?

I got certified as a scuba diver when I was 12. My dad dived in his spare time and I thought it looked cool, so when they lowered the age restriction to 12 I jumped at the chance. My instructor was a police officer called Craig, who I cheekily nicknamed “PC Okey Dokey” on account of his frequent catchphrase, and I mostly learnt in a swimming pool. I got the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which included a theory exam – apparently I was the sort of kid who volunteered to take exams (come to think of it, I don’t know how many people that would surprise!)

I got to dive in Antigua, and on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as a teenager, which are experiences I will never forget. Unfortunately I haven’t been anywhere exotic enough to want to dive in recent years – it’s way too cold for me here! – so I have let my knowledge lapse.

What was your first job?

My first paid job was appearing in an advert for a local bike shop. I think I was about 15, and it involved standing at a bus stop on a weekend in my school uniform, and looking bored while waiting for the bus. I believe the idea was to subsequently look annoyed when the bus drove past us, followed by someone on a bike, but I recall a certain amount of difficulty in convincing the bus driver not to stop. I was paid the princely sum of 20 quid by the local TV company! Unfortunately, it failed to be my big break into showbiz, though it did show up on TV for years afterwards.

After that, I worked weekends at the Co-op. At the time the uniform included a rather sexy floral shirt, green trousers, and a matching tabard, with the look completed by a green fleece about 10 sizes too big. Not exactly what you want to be seen out in as a self-conscious teenager, but a shade better than wearing school uniform on a weekend, and at least it paid more than £20!

If you could own any animal in the world, what would it be?

I am a big animal lover, and in particular I am something of a crazy cat lady. I am currently owned by three rescue cats, so I’d probably better choose them! As I am working from home, they frequently turn up on Zoom calls, and yesterday one of them managed to delete all the emails in my inbox by sitting on my keyboard (don’t worry, I’ve since retrieved them!) I love cats so much that I also find the time to cat-sit for other people.

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