I am delighted to announce that Peirene has decided to stay in this country. You might remember that last week she was about to pack her suitcase and head back to her ancient Greek home turf. Well, there is no more talk of that.
The week didn’t start off well, mind. On Monday we received an email from Notes & Letters festival at Kings Place in London. Our author Alois Hotschnig will appear there on the 9th of October with the composer Thomas Larcher. Larcher is a world-renowned Austrian concert pianist and composer. His latest concerto premiered at the Proms in August and Alois and Thomas have collaborated on a piece for soprano and orchestra. Two amazing, creative and intellectual heavy-weights. The email on Monday informed us that the event has spare tickets – while the Saturday event with Will Self has nearly sold out.
“I just don’t believe it.” Peirene was hyper-ventilating, fanning herself frantically with one of our catalogues. “Will Self is everywhere, appearing at every street corner. He can’t possibly say something new each time. Why on earth are people flogging to see him and ignoring our creative geniuses, including a modern day Mahler. I just don’t believe it.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday the Nymph’s attitude deteriorated. I forwarded to her a couple of thank you emails for our last salon. I thought they might cheer her up. Far from it.
“Here we go again!” She was leaning back in her chair, rolling her eyes at the ceiling.“People are always amazed at the extremely high standard of our Salon events. Dah! Don’t they ever stop to think why? We bring to them world class writers. They have things to say, know how to write, how to think, how to entertain an audience. Our first-class events aren’t accidents.”
For most of the week, I tried to ignore her spiteful comments. But when I walked into the office on Friday morning and heard her exclaim: “Oh my God!” I was about to threaten deportation to ancient Greece when she looked at me with a huge smile. “Look at this!” She pointed at the computer.
The fashion illustrator Badaude had been asked to design a series of posters for the US online fashion retailer 203040. The poster shows an ultra-sophisticated young woman dressed in the latest style. The comment at the edge of the design indicates that the “London Girl” is on the way to…a Peirene Salon. Where else! Maddy and I had no idea about this advertising campaign. We’re thrilled and so, too, is the Nymph who believes she bears a strong resemblance to the figure in the picture.
Needless to say, Peirene’s mood and tune has changed. “I always knew that people eventually will recognize how hip and cool I am. The ultimate fashion icon really. And my books the ultimate fashion accessorize.”
In due time I shall drop a hint that it might be useful to take a lesson or two in the fine art of English understatement. But for the moment I rather not disturb her good mood.