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
4 thoughts on Old friends
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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.
Helena contributes regularly to UK-based newspapers and magazines and holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. She is working on a thriller set in Sweden as well as a novel about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield called Sense of an Echo.
In 2022 her short story The Japanese Gardener came second in the Fish Publishing Short Story Prize. One of her stories was also shortlisted for the Bridport Short Story Prize. When she’s not writing, she works as a headhunter for the media and entertainment industry for the Sucherman Group.
Helena, who was educated at Durham University, lives in the Languedoc region of France 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
How very sad & what a waste for the poor parents. In my experience, and I have seen it time and time again, young people find it impossible to cope with having everything. One must struggle, if only a little, AB.
Well, it just proves that when people talk of “having everything” they only think of material welfare. It’s love and attention that makes a child happy.
And sound advice from grandparents!
Parents so easily fall into this trap only to discover they have created young people who feel entitled. They have no appreciation of the virtue of working for something. I was by no means deprived but one learns the virtue and necessity of hard work growing up on a farm.