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.
Brigid Keenan has worked on Nova, edited sections of the Sunday Times and contributed a regular column to Punch and Sainsbury's Magazine. The author of four previous books, she is married to the EU's man in Brussels.