Where do you live?
I live in Nicosia with my wife Emilia
Best childhood memory?
My best childhood memories have to do with summertime in my father’s birth place, the magic village of Agros! I am always in pursuit of an answer as to why life in Agros, then, brings in my mind the mysterious and unexplorable depths of the oceans. A great silence and also an echo and pure, unadulterated light – in absolute contrast of the darkness of the depths.
Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish?
I have a favourite cook, my wife Emilia! I would turn to the complete series of all not very healthy dishes which are always the most tasteful.
What did you have for breakfast?
Coffee and “kritsinia almira” from Vienna bakeries (this is a free promotion) and Quaker Oats with milk and honey for dinner! But you will be surprised to see what and how much I eat and drink at lunch.
Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
You must be joking. I cannot be classed. I go to sleep early at night and I wake up before dawn. ‘Night out’ is a very rare thing to me and then, again, very rarely ends after midnight. I read and write during daytime. A ‘perfect day out’ for me would be to the sea or mountains reaching at last, at 12.30 exactly, a secret place with loukanika pafitica or pitsillisima and halloumi on charcoal and a good red wine from anywhere in the world, not excluding Cyprus.
Best book ever read?
This is a difficult question. But I can speak of two most impressive, unforgettable books: The Bible on the one hand for goodness and The Good Old Days, a most terrible and evil book where perpetrators, victims and bystanders describe the unsurpassed horrors of Nazi actions.
Favourite film of all time?
High Noon, for the loneliness of real fighters and Casablanca for scenario, dialogue and perfect cinematic technique. Sorry for being an old timer, but old time is always the best. Even Homer says that!
Favorite holiday destination? What’s your dream trip?
I went to the Seychelles for the purpose of writing my book Ten Thousand Bees. A horrible place, Seychelles. Looks like a tourist photo. The place is very damp and when I stepped into its sea I felt most unsafe. Nothing like stepping into Cypriot sea, which is like stepping into your home. My dream trip is to go back to Agros, in the mid 50s.
What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
I am not a music man, though I am very much touched by Mauthausen by Theodorakis and Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz. There is one song I like: Alexiou’s ‘Ta lefta mou ola dino gia ena tango…’ In the car I mostly listen to Radio Astra to exercise my nerves, keep on the alert and keep in constant touch with the plight of all those innocent Cypriot people expressing their “opinion”, which is the product of hard, ruthless work upon them by Anorthotikon Komma Ergazomenou Laou (AKEL).
What is always in your fridge?
Cheese and beer. Milk also.
Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
It is like a house with seven fig tree varieties, on a rocky beach at Nea Dimmata, between Polis and Pomos.
If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
At this age I would pick Dionysios Solomos and meet with him daytime in his garden in Zante. I once tried to look into that garden climbing up a old stone, half-ruined wall. I saw among wild vegetation and desertion a beautiful marble table.
If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
What is your greatest fear?
Totalitarianism, absolute deprivation of freedom of thought and expression.
Tell me a joke…
All jokes are bad jokes, even if I laugh at some of them. Life is not a joke. In fact I am not in favour of the habit of collecting and telling jokes. I feel horrible about myself when the occasion calls it to repeat a joke I heard and managed not to forget.