A week has past since the Great Herman Debacle and life is gradually returning to normal at THQ. True, the walls around the boiler may never return to their original colour and there is a faint yeasty smell in the air which has proved resistent to even the most liberal daily doses of Febreze. We have been all but living on a delicious apple and cinnamon cake which issweet and  crispy on top and moist in the middle as a good cake should be. The bruise on my hip is fading and tomorrow we’ll pick up my coat, jacket and trousers from the dry cleaner – hopefully cakemix free.

Above all we got back in touch with some old friends. Rose calledfrom Canterbury to say that just when she thought her week couldn’t get any worse someone had played a horrible practical joke on her in the post. We declined to offer any further explanations but then Hannah rung from the Post Office, where she had been judiciously summonsed to explain why the morning’s mail bound for Fulham was all stuck together.

“If I hadn’t recognised your writing I would have called the police!”, she chided.

Finally, Olivia sent us this picture from Sailsbury of the package she received the following day:

Never underestimate the potential mess involved in sending live yeast in the post

If at first you don’t succeed: Herman arrives in tact (more or less)

I would hesitate to call the episode an unmitigated success. On reflection I think sending ANYTHING living in the post is probably best avoided. In this instance it seems the pressure of the gas given off by the metabolising yeast (like a frail shoot punches up through thick tarmac) was enough to cause lid and tub to part company somewhere on the tube, and then again in the local sorting office.

We have heard several mentions of Herman the German Friendship cake since then and each time we roll our eyes knowingly and swear that if anyone pulls that stunt again it’s going straight in the bin. You know, the one with the dent in it.

At last! Just when we were begining to question how long we could stretch this feature out, the final day is nearly upon us. I get out the address book only to find that I don’t have anyone’s current addresses. Several texts and a ball of string later and here we go:

Herman the german friendship cake ready to dispatch by mail to friends around the country

All wrapped up and ready to go…

I take the packages up on the train with me to London, intending to post them as soon as I can find a box. 4 hours later I’m still carrying them around like a lemon. The security guard at the Tate Modern gives me a token and a very funny look when I go to check them in. I notice a funny smell but put it down to the drains on the South Bank. We’ve still got the blasted things in the bag come the afternoon and we’re in Selfridges when I look down at my coat and notice something sticky. I go to wipe it off but it has the opposite effect. I look down at my shoes and the same sticky residue is evident there too.

Glancing behind me I see a thin trail of slime, stretching out like that of a monsterous snail. People are giving me funny looks and I realise what the smell is. All three mini-Hermans have exploded in their envelopes and are gaily leaking their contents all over the 5th floor.

Cake mixture leaks all over the floor

The 1st attempt did not go well

We managed to talk the management into giving us one of their smart yellow bags, shortly before we are thrown out. We do try to explain that it’s cake mixture but we don’t sound convincing, even to ourselves. We return to THQ with our tails between our now rather sticky legs and rethink our options.

Why you shouldn't send german friendship cakes by post

We repatriate the German friendship cake back into its container and prepare to resend it, this time in rather smudgy, sticky envelopes.