Trudy Tyler is WFH

‘You cannot cancel a date at Friends Fest!’

Trudy Tyler had long looked forward to introducing her goddaughter to London, but not at the expense of a date with Glenn the postman. By Christine Manby

Monday 12 July 2021 00:01

It’s been a busy week. Shortly after I received my copy of her dossier for the newly-appointed health secretary Sajid Javid, my goddaughter Caroline – the aspiring Tory MP – asked if she might come and stay with me for a couple of days. I was delighted. When Caroline’s parents Hannah and Matt asked me to be her godmother, back when she was called Coraline after the character in the Neil Gaiman book (which she hates), I had fondly imagined the day when I would introduce her to the wonders of London.

Unfortunately, when Caroline’s mother called to finalise the dates of the visit, they clashed with my putative date with Glenn the postie. He’d invited me to spend Thursday afternoon at Friends Fest – the festival/collection of burger stands and gift stalls dedicated to the cult nineties’ comedy, which had sprung up on the fairground on Clapham Common. I’d walked by it a few times and tried to get a glimpse of what was happening through the gaps in the fence. One afternoon, I caught the final bars of a Phoebe tribute act playing “Smelly Cat” to a crowd of six. Perhaps it was just a sound check.

I’d watched Friends, of course, but it hadn’t grabbed me to the extent that I could imagine spending the best part of thirty quid to look at “real props” from the show, which was what a glowing review promised. However, I did very much like Glenn and since he’d told me he was thinking of moving to Devon, I felt I had to grab the opportunity to spend time with him somewhere other than on my doorstep where our conversation would inevitably be gatecrashed by Brenda from across the road. On the other hand, for how much longer would my goddaughter want to spend time with me before she gave up on me because I still use Facebook?

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