Caveat Emptor

This is going to be an interesting week.

Let me begin it by reproducing for you the introduction to Memoirs of a Dilettante Volume One, where I make a declaration of purpose and intent.


Most of what follows is true. Well, sort of.

Okay, some of what follows is true. There. That’s better.

Except where I’ve exaggerated, embellished, romanticized or out-and-out made stuff up. Whether for the sake of narrative, or because the bitter pill of truth is always easier to swallow with a candy coating of pretty lies, I may have blurred the lines between truth and fiction.

Consider this a cowardly confession; I find it easier to tell certain autobiographical tales if they are dressed up in another set of clothes. While I will never reveal what is word for word and what is complete fabrication, I will leave it up to you to decide just how much (if any) you are prepared to swallow.

My hope is that you will be entertained, and if you are moved to laughter, tears or anger by my words, does it really matter what is fact and what is flourish? If you want to read “I got up, I drank my coffee, I got dressed, I went to work, I had lunch, I worked some more, I went home, I wrote a bit, I had some Chinese takeout, I went to bed, I got up the next morning and did it all again,”then you’ve come to the wrong place, darlings. What follows is life turned up to full volume, in HD full technicolour – remixed and re-mastered – Life (the extended dance remix). So put such pedestrian labels like fiction and non-fiction (as if there really, truly is such an animal outside of a science textbook) out of your head, grab a couple white chocolate macamadamia nut cookies and some chocolate milk (or your favourite non-dairy alternative if you’re lactose intolerant) and sit back and enjoy the ride, darlings. Be sure to keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times, and if you find yourself occasionally slipping into the archaic cockney accent of a certain Dickensian street urchin, don’t be alarmed – the Countess tends to have that effect on everybody.

With great affection and much gratitude, I remain


Your favourite dilettante,


Helena Hann-Basquiat


7 responses to “Caveat Emptor

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