'Brigid writes like a dream ... fabulous' -- Joanna Lumley 20041101 'A wonderful picaresque take on the travails of expat life, and an absolutely delicious read ... There are not many books that have actually made me cry from laughing, but this is one of them' -- Katie Hickman, Sunday Times 20050220 'I found myself laughing out loud three or four times a page. Quite unlike anything else I have read: sad, touching, honest and observant.' -- William Dalrymple 20050220 'Thirty years of far-flung postings later, she has acquired enough farcical experiences to make this memoir irresistible.' -- Mail on Sunday 20050227 'She is consistently herself, an observant journalist with a beady eye for local eccentricities ... Life with Brigid Keenan could never be boring.' -- Country Life 20050324 'Vogue loves ... Diplomatic Baggage' -- Vogue 20050301 'The story sparkles, flies, delights.' -- Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 20041101 'Brigid's book is endlessly engaging, full of delightful details, very funny and sometimes rather sad.' -- Christopher Matthew, author of Now We Are Sixty 20041101 'It's the funniest thing I've read since Jilly Cooper stopped writing properly and turned to sex and four-letter words.' -- Mary S Lovell, author of The Mitford Girls 20041101 'Deliciously effervescent.' -- Times 20060701 'Perfect tone ... surprising, astute, brilliantly observed and very human' -- Ahdaf Soueif, The Guardian 20060701
When "Sunday Times" fashion journalist Brigid Keenan married the love of her life in the late Sixties, little idea did she have of the rollercoaster journey they would make around the world together - with most things going horribly awry while being obliged to keep the straightest face and put their best feet forward. For he was a diplomat - and Brigid found herself the smiling face of the European Union in locales ranging from Kazakhstan to Trinidad. Finding herself miserable for the first time in a career into which many would have long ago thrown the towel, she found herself asking (during a farewell party for the Papal Nuncio): was it worth it? As this stream of it-really-happened-to-me stories shows, it most certainly was - if only for our vicarious bewilderment at how exactly you throw a buffet dinner during a public mourning period in Syria, remain viable as a fashion journalist when taste-wise you are three seasons out of it and geographically a world away, make people believe that there are actually terrible things going on in paradise, be a good mother and save some of the finest architecture in Damascus and Brussels from demolition - seemingly all simultaneously.