Hymn to Maddy

Maddy has left us. For three and a half years she was Peirene’s marketing director. Without her neither the Nymph nor I would be where we are today.Danke. Image by AlicePopkorn

Maddy set up our coffee mornings, supper clubs, experience events and roaming store. Thanks to her we received two arts council grants and PEN funding for the Nymph’s first ever UK tour. When Maddy joined, we didn’t feature on twitter, had possessed ten facebook followers and our subscription model wasn’t even conceived. Now we can count ourselves lucky with thousands of social media fans and readers who have already subscribed to Peirene books up to the end of 2016.

Maddy ran a Peirene treasure hunt in partnership with bookshops across the UK each year. She masterminded Peirene’s marketing internship scheme. Our hugely successful reading guides were inspired by her.

On Wednesday we said goodbye in style. Clara, Sacha, Maddy, the Nymph and I headed downtown. Only Jen was missing. She was ill in bed. We watched Michael Bourne’s Swan Lake at Sadler’s Wells, followed by a meal in Covent Garden. And then we hit the bars in Soho.

The Nymph was in seventh heaven. ‘This is what life should be like. At least once a week. I feel young again.’ She drank white wine and red wine and Amaretto on ice and smoked a few cigarettes. But – an ancient Greek Nymph is not a young goddess. She paid the price. As we headed home at 2am, she looked very pale indeed and we had to stop the taxi a couple of times so she could catch some fresh air.

She’s been in a foul mood ever since. Especially during lunch time.

‘I don’t like your soup,’ she pushes the plate away and folds her arms like a child in a huff. ‘Maddy’s lunches were so much nicer and tastier.’

For a moment I stare silently at the Heinz tomato soup in my bowl. What can I say? The Nymph is right. Maddy cooked us beautiful fresh vegetable stir fries. Then I sigh, before I pick up my spoon. I, too, will miss Maddy.

Thank you, Maddy, and good luck.

Image by AlicePopkorn.

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