Fiona Duff: Friends have talent but not washing up

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Tonight I am going to fundraising dinner. So what, you may ask, but the slightly odd thing about the evening will be that the guest speaker is a very old friend of mine.

I went to university with Will, shared a house with him and several other displaced Scots when in London and have attended numerous parties when we would all dance into the wee small hours.

Throughout the years the one thing about Will is that it is fairly rare for him not be speaking. In fact, there have been times aplenty when his other friends and I would have paid good money to have him shut up for a while.

Yet there are quite a number of sane people who are all forking out £100 a head to hear him blather away to his heart’s content. I’m not one of them as he is taking me as his guest, knowing perfectly well that I may not be particularly sane but not mad enough to pay a tonne for the pleasure of a bit of supper.

Of course, I am being disingenuous because Will is a very successful boy indeed – obvious when you think about it as no-one would be paying to listen to some no-hoper spout forth – and one can’t help but be happy for him.

It’s odd when friends who one has seen in the most compromising situations gain positions of power and glory. Of course, when we all meet up they are just the same as the rest of us, except with better teeth and faster cars.

Their worries might be slightly different – problem with the ski chalet roof compared with me wondering where I can get a new filter for the vacuum cleaner as the model I have doesn’t seem to be listed on the Vax website; their houses and tax bills much bigger yet they still have to tie their own shoe laces and no doubt burp now and again.

So for once I shall sit back and listen to Will without interrupting. But I’m still going to remind him that he was rubbish at washing up.