Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse (Brigid Keenan)

Still two outstanding posts on films to finish and post. So The Family Friend and Orchestra Seats (on in the QFT at 18:45 every day from Friday 6th to Thursday 12th) should appear during the week.

Looking back over the small pile of recently read books (which is rather poxy in comparison to the boxes of unread ones), I came across Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse by Brigid Keenan.

A cross between a travelogue and an autobiography, it’s the memoir of a European diplomat’s wife. As fashion journalist for the Sunday Times (amongst other papers), Brigid didn’t set off to trail around the world, following her husband (always referred to as “AW”) from one hot spot to another: Nepal, Ethiopia, Brussels, Trinidad, Barbados, India (New Delhi), Gambia, Syria (Damascus), Kazakhstan. But it happened, and she grew to enjoy the idiosyncrasies of each new posting, as well as endure the less comfortable aspects of juggling protocol with family life and unknown cultures.

It’s a fascinating peak behind the curtains into the life of a diplomatic household and the ex-pat community around the world. A fun book to read on holiday. No doubt it’ll be a contrast to Sir Christopher Meyer’s memoires (former British ambassador to Washington and chairman of the Press Complaints Commission) which are gathering dust, unread on a bookshelf nearby.

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