The sound of learning
15th January 2009
I have just finished writing a timetable for the children’s after-school activities. Just looking at it exhausts me. Leo has football three times a week and now that he has been put forward for the RAD Pre-Primary ballet exam (YES!) he has to take his …
Your equivalent of Mecca
12th January 2009
The other night we went to see a lovely film about the Moroccan 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta’s epic journey to Mecca. He risked everything to get to a place he had long dreamed about and which he felt would complete him as a person. It was not a q …
10th January 2009
Olivia and Bea continue to impress me with their high-tech abilities. Now they are ‘chatting’ to each other via computers. Here is a transcript of their latest conversation: Olivia Wright to Beatrice hi beatrice how are you? i love you but we need to b …
Expat Children Syndrome
8th January 2009
One of the things I noticed about coming back to Abu Dhabi was how much more settled (and nicer) the children are being. It seems to me that going home to Sainte Cecile and realising it is all still there and not about to go away has made them more set …
No school tomorrow….
6th January 2009
So I was watching the Murray-Nadal final when my mobile phone (on silent) vibrated. There was a message from an unknown number. “No school tomorrow” it read. This was good news. Jet-lag had set in and getting up at 6.30am was not a great prospect. But …
A grand day out
2nd January 2009
Can you believe it? We got home to Abu Dhabi after a long and rather hellish journey and headed straight off to a tennis tournament. Not just any tennis tournament. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in ONE AFTERNOON This is the tennis equivalent of buying …
Leo’s true identity
31st December 2008
As we watched Spider-Man reveal his identity to MJ yesterday Leo suddenly got a very serious look on his face. “Mummy,” he began slowly. “One day when I have a girlfriend, I will have to tell her who I am.” Leo/Spider-Man who obviously has girls on his …
28th December 2008
My father came for Christmas. He is 84 and wrote a novel last year which won a major literary prize in Italy in September. He is an incredible character. Despite the fact that we have never lived together (my parents split up when I was two) he has an …
I wish you a Merry Christmas
24th December 2008
For me this Christmas really began with Leo and his ballet performance at Abu Dhabi Mall to the tune of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’. Now we are almost there. It is Christmas Eve and I am sitting by a roaring fire with our Credit Crunch Christmas Tr …
Falling in love again
20th December 2008
How could I ever have left him? Or is it her? Actually I always think of Sainte Cecile as feminine, I suppose Cecile is. And as for selling up…..what a stupid, mad, cruel and short-termist notion. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be home. There is …
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.