My new office
27th September 2008
I am in my new office. It is in the cafe of the Kempinski Hotel which is in the Mall of the Emirates. The luxury villa we have been lent by my old university chum doesn’t have internet access, so I have to come here to check my messages. There is an in …
Leo wants a Porsche
24th September 2008
When I was a teenager I had a friend who owned a Porsche. It was white, sporty and made a hell of a noise. A nice noise though. A sort of deep sexy roar. I vowed that one day I would have one. I don’t know if it’s being part-Italian, but I do like a fa …
Much more better….
21st September 2008
Things are, as Leo would say, much more better. It is a strange thing, but getting to grips with life here is notoriously difficult. When you tell people you have been here for a day, or a week or even a month they look at you as if you are recovering …
18th September 2008
I have just finished a book called Burned Alive by a woman called Souad. She was a teenager when her brother-in-law poured petrol over her head and set fire to her. Her crime was serious in “honour” killing terms among Palestinians; she was pregnant. B …
Special guest blog…..
16th September 2008
Here is the first of my special guest blogs, it is an email from Bea, aged seven, to her grandmother……. dear mormor i hope you will com to see ous in abu dabi i will com to see you soon if my sister in italy abu dabi is nice but its hot but it dasent m …
Do you speak my language?
14th September 2008
It is a well-known fact that no one outside Sweden speaks Swedish. I have found this particularly useful when it comes to dealing with the children. To outsiders they seem seamlessly polite, with their pleases and thank yous and please may I get down f …
Should we stay or should we go?
12th September 2008
This is the conversation the children and I had in Suda’s car yesterday. “Are you all happy to continue our adventure, or would you prefer to go home?” I asked. “I’m happy to continue my adventure,” said Olivia. “Abu Dhabi is my best village ever,” sai …
10th September 2008
Here I am again in the middle of the night wondering why I am awake. Yesterday was not a great day. The flat fell through. I would have wept but was unsurprised by the inevitability of it. Rupert, as always, looked on the bright side. He suggests we us …
Sunday is the new Monday
8th September 2008
Proof, if it was needed, that my neural pathways are well and truly blocked comes from the fact that I am finding it impossible to get my head around Sunday being Monday. Today (Monday), for example, feels like Tuesday and I woke up thinking about all …
How low can you go?
5th September 2008
I am hoping I have hit the low point. After yet another night of no sleep, a bean-bag exploding all over Amanda’s flat and no response from my high-powered contact, I was told the ballet class I wanted the girls to go to was full. I did what any normal …
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 Welcome to Smullö that will be published in spring 2020.
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.