My nymph, I am afraid to say, has gone of the rails! She thinks she’s a star now – a film star – living in Belgravia, hanging out with the Gucci and Armani crowd.
Yesterday evening saw the launch party of Peirene Title No2, Stone in a Landslide by Maria Barbal. We went to town for that event, I have to admit. We left behind the big bleak Archway tower, descended into the Underground and emerged at Sloane Square. There tucked away in a quiet road my fellow country woman Barbara Schwepcke owns Haus publishing and runs bookHaus, a delightful little bookshop. She opened her doors for us, allowed Peirene to take over the entire shop and kept the wine flowing all evening long. And guess what: Peirene had a whale of a time. She not only managed to persuade Claire Skinner – THE actress from Outnumbered – to read excerpts from the novel and invited 80 people to join in the party –she also enticed two camera teams, Catalan TV 3 and the Catalan News Agency, to film the big night and even do an interview with the two of us, herself and me.
The nymph of course overstayed her welcome. The event finished at 8.30. By 9.15 I had to drag her by the hair out of the shop, as poor Barbara was exhausted and wanted to lock up. Skipping along by my side, she then made me stop at every shop window in Sloane Street, nagging me to buy her – just once - a cute Chloe blouse or perhaps some tiny weeny Gucci handbag. Because, hadn’t she done well at the launch? It wasn’t fair not to reward her, she lamented. I stayed firm.
Today she’s been useless. Utterly useless. She’s uploaded the pictures of the evening onto Facebook and the website and is waiting for the film crew to send her the news reel so she can put it on Youtube. She says she has to prepare herself psychologically for fame which she claims is imminent.
I am seriously wondering if I should give her the boot. I am not very patient when it comes to people and creatures who don’t pull their weight. That’s not how you run a publishing house, is it? I’ve also been trying to tell her if fame were her goal she’s in the wrong business. We are in this for the love of the text, aren’t we. She just shrugged the shoulders at me – shameful but true. Love for the text alone won’t put the bread on the table, she said, took her coat and left. I guess she’s down in Belgravia again, searching for glamour and richess.
Well, what can I say? I am sure she’ll be back soon. And in the meantime let me bury my envious grudges: I do understand her. A bit of showbiz and glitz makes a nice change to life at the desk.