A year and a month on
2nd September 2009
Today was the first day back at school; “la rentree” as the French call it (with an accent which I cannot find here). In France it is akin to Christmas in importance. It is something you prepare for weeks in advance. I remember once a French friend of …
Going back to school feeling
30th August 2009
We leave the day after tomorrow. In fact Hugo and Rupes left yesterday. We are staying on until the last possible moment to let Olivia’s ear infection clear up and also to enjoy some last-minute walks around the green fields. Yesterday we spent the day …
27th August 2009
We have been in touch with the owners and we are meeting them tomorrow to discuss the price. It is exciting and scary at the same time. Of course it is always scary to leave something that you love and that is secure. But at the same time I am keen to …
The lady of the lake
21st August 2009
While we were still at the lakeside hotel in the Savoie last week Olivia and I had an interesting conversation. “Mummy,” she began. “Not that you’re very old, but when you die would you like to be buried or burned?” “I think probably burned,” I said. ” …
Where is home?
19th August 2009
Today as I was about to board a plane to Stockholm my mother sent me an email saying “safe flight home”. It made me think, as the concept of home has been uppermost in my mind over the past few days. Sweden is clearly no longer home. I love it here. I …
The talking hedge
13th August 2009
We drove over to dinner last night with my friend Regine and her husband Jean-Claude. The children stayed with Norrie and Mary. The drive was beautiful; I am more and more taken with this region. We had the GPS plotter leading the way and when she said …
Running in the rain
10th August 2009
This morning I went for a run around the lake, not the whole way round, it is 18 kilometres, but for about 15 minutes. Suddenly it started pouring with rain. My instinct was to shriek and call a taxi. But then I thought; rain, there’s a novelty, let’s …
A very silly girl…and a very nice airline
7th August 2009
So we showed up at the airport last night at midnight, ready for our 2am flight to Geneva and our holiday. “Geneva?” said the young man at the Etihad counter. “There is no flight to Geneva tonight.” “Ha ha,” I said. “Very funny.” Sadly he wasn’t joking …
Where’s the cup?
6th August 2009
I remember being shocked in France when our childminder, among others, would tell the children things that were plainly not true in order to calm them down. So, for example, if I dropped them off before I was due to go off on a trip and they started cr …
Miss Landmine – right or wrong?
3rd August 2009
I was really heartened to read today that there is a beauty contest for victims of landmines called Miss Landmine. Not only does it raise awareness of this dreadful weapon (which costs about $15 but ruins a life in less than a second), but it also mean …
Helena Frith Powell was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Italian father, but grew up mainly in England. She is the author of eleven books, translated into several languages including Chinese and Russian. She wrote the French Mistress column The Sunday Times about life in France for several years. She is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Tatler Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.
Helena has been the editor of four magazines, including M Magazine, a supplement for the Abu Dhabi based National Newspaper and FIVE, a high-end fashion glossy, also published in Abu Dhabi. Helena was also editor in chief of 360 Life, a quarterly glossy magazine published with the Sports 360 Newspaper in Dubai, part of the Chalhoub Group. She writes a beauty blog www.beautyorbeast.uk.
Her third novel, The Arnolfini Marriage, based on a romance that evolves around a van Eyck masterpiece came out in 2016. As well as contributing regularly for newspapers and magazines, writing short stories and studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, Helena is also working on a thriller called The Longest Night that will be published in spring 2019. Her latest non-fiction work Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles came out in hardback in 2016 and came out in paperback in April 2018.
Helena was educated at Durham University and lived in the Languedoc region of France for eight years, where the family still have a home. She lives between there and London with her husband Rupert and their three children.