Nicholas Henderson, invariably referred to by the American Press as an unconventional diplomat, describes what life is like for a member of the Foreign Service in the modern age in a series of vivid diary sketches. He opens with a glimpse of the blighted existence behind the Iron. From there to Germany and four-power responsibility for Berlin. In France relations were coloured with Britain's coolness towards Europe and her poor economic performance. Henderson was involved in the Airbus negotiations and in promoting trade, including an evening of Haggis-tasting. Serving in Washington under Presidents Carter and Reagan, he was an eyewitness to the development of Mrs Thatcher's special rapport with Reagan. He was also closely engaged in securing US support for Britain in the Falklands War. He is not defensive about the role and responsibility of a diplomat today, despite the development of communications and of international institutions, the plethora of summit meetings and of ministerial visits. There is no substitute for the man on the spot, even if the nature of his work had greatly changed. Conversations are given as they took place. Many entries are light-hearted. The hazard and gaffes inseparable from the roller-coaster career are recorded without inhibition. The diaries are lit by the glitter of balls and embassies and banquets at Windsor Castle. The diary reflects the alternating currents of service and adventure inherent in membership of the Foreign Service.