Peter Skipp obituary


My pal Peter Skipp, who has died aged 66 of a mind haemorrhage, was a translator and interpreter of English, Bulgarian and Russian who labored with nuclear engineers, authors, historians, journalists and politicians.

His convention, delegation, parliamentary and governmental deciphering included work for the EU, Nato, and several other Bulgarian presidents; for Bulgarian tv, it was primarily of present affairs and main occasions, together with the US president Joe Biden’s inauguration and several other worldwide soccer matches.

His translations into English included poetry by the celebrated Bulgarian poets Dimcho Debelyanov, Elisaveta Bagryana and Lyubomir Levchev; and works on aviation, a lifelong ardour. He wrote creatively too, however was particularly happy together with his final main translation into Bulgarian, of Michael Frayn’s 1999 novel Headlong.

Peter was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, to Lev Maydachevksky, a Kyiv native, and Maria (nee Tzaneva), each singers. His dad and mom had divorced when, in 1971, Maria, additionally an interpreter, married the British geophysicist Bryan Skipp, and he or she and Peter, then aged 15, emigrated to Britain. Bryan’s son, Gerrard, my closest childhood pal, had died aged 14 in 1970: Peter and I turned associates as quickly as he arrived at Forest Hill faculty in south-east London.

Surrounded by Bryan’s mental Communist get together associates in Brixton, Peter immersed himself in English language and tradition. After he graduated from the College of Hull in 1978 with a level in Russian research, visiting Bulgaria was not possible as he risked detention for army service. In London, Peter labored in journal publishing and promoting gross sales, was a print union store steward and met Jill, his first spouse. In 1994 he was shot at whereas driving a Convoy of Mercy aid lorry to Bosnia.

Following their divorce and the autumn of the dictatorship, in 1995 Peter returned to Sofia to pursue his metier as an interpreter, translator, editor and media fixer (together with for the Guardian, BBC, and Channel 4 Information). Whereas deciphering for Bulgarian nuclear engineers visiting the US in 1996, he met and married Galina (Galya) Tsvetkova. They returned to London for his or her son Radi-Gerrard’s major schooling, then to Sofia for secondary faculty.

Peter may very well be each humorous and explosively offended – particularly at Putin’s warfare in Ukraine, the place he maintained household ties. He cherished travelling: in January, Radi-Gerrard, now an airline pilot, flew them to Sicily. Peter commuted between Sofia, London and Bolton, however was happiest at their nation cottage close to Tryavna in central Bulgaria, having fun with lengthy woodland walks, ever watchful for bears.

He’s survived by Galya and Radi-Gerrard, his stepbrother, Stefan, and Galya’s son, Miro.


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