So I discovered the happy medium the night before last. Two glasses of good champagne and one glass of wine. So pleased was I with my discovery that I drank rather more last night and now remember why I hate drinking. I spent the moderate night with my friend Floss. Back in the days when we all hung out in the King’s Road in our late teens she and I were best friends. We would go everywhere together. In those days this mainly involved going to nightclubs. There were a few other girls in our gang but it was depressing to hear from Floss what has happened to them. One of our close friends was a girl I was always rather jealous of. She had everything I longed for. She was at public School, her parents had a big mansion in Chelsea. She was beautiful; a buxom, raven-haired, startlingly pretty girl with lovely skin. Her sister was a very successful model until she became a drug addict. The sister died of an overdose when I was at university. Floss told me the other night that our old friend was a heroin and crack addict. Another friend of ours called Claire died a couple of years ago of alcoholism. Floss herself has been in recovery for sixteen years and now helps other drug addicts. Two other friends, Billie and Ben, are still drug addicts and Floss doesn’t even know if they’re still alive. These were all rich, beautiful, well-educated kids. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t have everything they had and so was forced to get myself to university and get a job that saved me. Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007
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.
More France Please, we’re British; Gibson Square 2004
Two Lipsticks and a Lover 2005; Gibson Square (hardback)
All You Need to be Impossibly French; (US version of above) Penguin 2006
Two Lipsticks and a Lover; Arrow Books (paperback) 2007
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (hardback) 2006
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (paperback) 2007
So Chic! (French version of Two Lipsticks) Leduc Editions 2008 (also translated into Chinese, Russian and Thai)
More, More France; Gibson Square 2009
To Hell in High Heels; Arrow Books 2009 (also translated into Polish)
The Viva Mayr Diet; Harper Collins 2009
Love in a Warm Climate; Gibson Square 2011
The Ex-Factor; Gibson Square 2013
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles; Gibson Square 2016
The Arnolfini Marriage; Amazon Kindle December 2016
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles (paperback); Gibson Square spring 2018
The Longest Night; Gibson Square spring 2019