We held our 9th Salon last Saturday. I was thrilled by our guests. Of course our guests are always special, but this time the Nymph and I were especially flattered. We didn’t know most of the audience. They had read the Peirene books, signed up on our mailing list and then booked a ticket for the Salon. And many came from far away. There was the lovely couple from Ealing who had picked up Beside the Sea and then Stone in Landslide in a bookshop. Then there was the lady from Oxford who has already bought 15 or 16 Peirene books. Then one of our twitter followers, a self-confessed reader of 19th Century novels. And another young lady, who has now been to two salons each time with four (different) friends in tow. And finally an American writer who said that for three years she’d been looking for a salon like this and now she had finally found it.
By the time most – but not all – the guests had left the whiskey bottle appeared on the table, Peirene was so happy that she decided to drink two whiskies rather than the one she knows she can cope with. Well, what can I say? She suffered the next day. And I spent all Sunday holding her hand and stroking her head.
That would have been fine on any other Sunday. Except yesterday we were busy. In the morning I was suppose to tidy up the party and in the afternoon I should have taken over from Maddy who was manning Peirene’s Roaming Store in Lauderdale House. Not to mention washing the family laundry and cooking a meal.
I rang Maddy in the morning. Without hesitation she took over my shift too. By the time I could finally leave the Nymph’s bed in the evening, the house had been beautifully cleaned by my husband and children. Frankly I am overflowing with love for all of them at the moment. If a party is made by its guests, a business is made by the enthusiasm and dedication of its employees and the family who supports it.
“So you are praising everybody except me?” Peirene is looking over my shoulder. She clearly has recovered.
“Well, for what would you like to be praised?”
“For being your alibi. After all it wasn’t me who had a bit too much to drink, was it?!”
Ok, I have to admit The Nymph is right. And let me now praise her for being such a lovely (near) fictional character in my blog.