My day as a Swiss scrub-nurse
21st February 2007
I know now why surgeons wear green. It’s to match their faces. I have just got back from “scrubbing in” as they call it in Grey’s Anatomy. I am at the La Prairie Clinic just outside Montreux researching my next book and having a perfect time. This plac …
Avoid the pain and take the train
19th February 2007
As far as I can make out, the only upside to flying is you might bump into Ralph Fiennes in the loo (Daily Mail article). I am at Heathrow, dishevelled and grumpy, having been put through something they call a “random personal search”. As I stood in th …
A tale of two cultures
17th February 2007
I am often accused of writing about stereotypes. Sometimes I get really nasty letters from grumpy readers who call me things they can’t spell like bigoted and offensive. But the fact is that people from different parts of the world are DIFFERENT. Howev …
The disappointed artist
16th February 2007
I am in Paris filming for Tonight with Trevor McDonald (ITV 8pm this evening if you’re bored). As it’s the school holidays I am with my daughter Bea (aged 6) and my stepdaughter Julia (aged 12). I decided that I would introduce them to the museums of P …
Parental truths number One
14th February 2007
This is a new series, and I’m sorry if I’m boring those of you without children but one day you may have them or you will at least know someone who does have them and so you can warn them. If you don’t I’m sure the same applies to pets. The other day i …
Dangerous or just desperate?
12th February 2007
This evening we were having a late dinner alone (the children had already eaten) when Olivia came rushing into the kitchen. “Please come downstairs and watch the film with us, it’s scary, there’s an evil man on the roof.” The film she was talking about …
11th February 2007
We’ve had a lovely weekend. Yesterday wandering around IKEA (a rather strange Swedish habit) and Montpellier. Montpellier is a fantastic city; it always seems to be sunny and there is lots to do. The only glitch was trying to visit the newly re-vamped …
Where is my PR?
9th February 2007
I am just finishing off my truffle omelette (like you do) when I get a call from a charming young journalism student. As part of her final year project she is publishing a Swedish newspaper. She has read my articles in the Mail, knows I am half-Swedish …
8th February 2007
Yesterday I spent the day in Toulouse with Denise Epstein, the daughter of Irene Nemirovsky (see ‘We’ve never had it so good’ blog below). Ever since I heard about Irene being carted off Auschwitz in front of her two daughters and read her brilliant bo …
The greatest living Englishman
5th February 2007
I am at Stansted Airport, a strange place to be at 4.30 am but my flight leaves at 6 am. Yesterday I had one of those days that make me wonder why we ever left England. I went for a long walk first thing in the morning, watched the mist rise over the s …
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.