‘So, you are taking two months off this summer?’ Peirene pulls an unhappy face.
‘No, not exactly.’ I correct her. ‘I’m taking my annual two months summer blog break. Otherwise I’m going to be quite busy.’
‘With a family holiday and a two-week writers retreat?!’ Rolling her eyes skywards, Peirene puts her right hand to her forehead in a state of lady-like distress.
I smile at the Nymph. ‘Yes, that too. But I will also prepare for print the first two titles for 2016. I will make headway with our 2017 programme which might include a Romanian novel. I’m also hoping to eat healthily and take plenty of exercise. ’
Peirene tries to interject
I raise a finger to indicate that I haven’t completed my list. ‘And Clara and Sacha will finish the next edition of our newspaper and Jen and Gianna will run stalls throughout July.’
For a moment the Nymph appears non-plussed. Then she says: ‘I agree, that sounds busy. However, let’s face it: there is always a chance that you might not return from your holidays. And then I will have to run this show on my own. For ever.’
I furrow my brows. ‘Not return from my holidays?’ We are going on a 12-day cycle trip through Romania and into the Carpathian mountains. And although I’m looking forward to the adventure, I know that nearly two weeks on the bike and sleeping most nights in tents will be enough to make me want to return to Peirene with open arms. I have no intention of staying in Dracula’s country for ever.
‘You will be eaten by packs of wolves or maybe marauding bears.’ Peirene’s lower lip begins to tremble.
‘Oh, Peirene!’ A warm feeling of love for my Nymph sweeps through me. I put the arm around her. ‘We will be careful,’ I promise. ‘And by the way, wolves don’t eat humans and the bears are little brown bears and as long as we don’t keep food in the tents they won’t bother us.’
‘How do you know?’ She looks at me inquisitively.
‘Because I, too, was a bit scared,’ I admit. ‘So I did some research.’
I turn back to my desk, ready to continue my work. Suddenly I hear Peirene say behind me:
‘Perhaps I can come with you?’
I swivel around on my chair. ‘You want to cycle 7 to 8 hours a day?’
‘No. Of course not.’ Peirene looks at me indignantly. ‘I will sit on the back of your bike. You will become fit. And while you pedal I will read Romanian novels to see if they might suit our 2017 programme.’
Peirene and I will be back on this blog at the beginning of September. We hope you have an inspiring summer and a relaxing holiday.
This blog was originally published as part of Peirene Press‘s series Things Syntactical. The Pain and Passion of a Small Publisher on 30 June 2015.