It’s been a busy week. First, I revised 800 Latin vocabs, four times over with my daughter who is studying for her AS exams. Then, I learned all about Edward I, Edward II, Llewellyn, William Wallace and Robert de Bruce with my son. And finally I had the pleasure of refreshing my knowledge of The Crusades, again courtesy of my son’s upcoming end of year exam in history.
Once on a roll to broaden my mind, though, I didn’t want to stop there. So on Friday at 2.45pm I decided to leave my desk and head to the Freud Museum in Hampstead. They are showing an exhibition of selected works by the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois. The exhibition is coming to end soon. Bourgeois is one of my heroes and I knew I’d be terribly upset if I let this opportunity slip.
But the highlight of the week was still to come: My first swim of the year in the Hampstead Women’s Pond. It’s a natural, big, deep pond in the middle of Hampstead and I swim there from May to October. My ambition in life is to make use of the pond all year round. But I usually chicken out when the water temperature drops below 13 degrees celsius. At the moment it’s a refreshing, energizing 16 degrees.
And Peirene? Did she make me feel guilty for leaving her on her own? Not at all. In fact she behaved beautifully. She took this opportunity to prove to me that she can run the show on her own. On Tuesday I received a phone call from Mel, our London sales rep. She had a great meeting with Waterstone’s about Peirene books and future plans. On Thursday an email landed in my inbox with a quote by Lionel Shriver, the author of bestseller We need to talk about Kevin. She commented on Beside the Sea: “”A harrowing evocation of mental illness, and of one woman’s terrifying inability to bear the burdens of motherhood. A sustained exercise in dread for the reader, but a surprisingly sympathetic portrait nonetheless.” And over the weekend our Roaming Store was out and about Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I only manned the store Sunday. Friday and Saturday were attended by Isabel and Natalie, who, with Kelley, have become our three new Peirene booksellers.
I could almost believe that my duties towards Peirene have been full filled. I brought her up well, she has now become a capable, responsible enterprise. Well, my instinct, however, tells me, I ought not to rest on my laurels too long. As with my children, I suspect Peirene will need my devoted attention before too long.
Drawing by Louise Bourgeois 1995
P.S Peirene is off celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee over the Bank Holiday. So I’ll be back here with her news of her latest adventures 2nd week in June.