Cyprus Mail
A minute withLife & Style

A minute with Les Palin, artist

Where do you live?
I live in Barnet and in Cyprus I live in Paphos. I used to spend four months a year on the island but recently because of health reasons I have to spend less time, I would like to spend more time on the island

Best childhood memory?
I was brought up in India, I was there for the firs 16 years of my life. My best childhood memories were when I was at school in Bangalore. It was a boarding school that was very well regulated, I had got over my malaria and felt very happy there, lots of work, lots of games, lots of outings.

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish?
The best restaurant for me in Paphos is just round the corner from where I eat when I have a high day or a holiday. I enjoy Cypriot food very much, especially stuffed vegetables. They’re delicious. The thing that really delights me though are the Cypriot potatoes.

What food would you really turn your nose up to?
Any meat dish, I don’t like eating meat. Being brought up in India I have always been a vegetarian.

What did you have for breakfast?
I don’t eat very much, just some tea and toast.

Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
A day person. My day in Cyprus consists of getting up early, having a cup of tea and going to the bania in Paphos for a swim, staying for a couple of hours and then having some coffee and a very nice Cypriot pastry. In the evening I go out and sit on the water front and have a drink. While I am at the bania I make drawings of the people who are also there, and then I translate them into paintings. Some of these are in the exhibition opening this week.

Best book ever read?
One that made the biggest impression on me is War and Peace. All human behaviour and all human emotion is encountered. There are so many characters in it and every one a living creature. There is not a single boring word. It is probably the greatest novel that has ever been written. At the same time I like to read Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey for the same reasons.

Favourite film of all time?
I would say again a film like Gone with the Wind, a great piece of art always has one of three elements – war, love and death. You get all this in Gone with the Wind

Favourite holiday destination?
Cyprus because of the sea, the beauty of the countryside, sitting having a beer in the evening overlooking the sea, the water is lovely and clean. The best holiday I’ve ever had was in Cyprus. Second best in Venice where I do a lot of painting, I was there just last year

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
I can’t drive! I am hopeless when it comes to anything mechanical, I’m not too bad with a bicycle

What is always in your fridge?
Good Greek yoghurt

Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
I have a passion for the sea, I would buy a place that overlooked Coral Bay.

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
Tolstoy would be marvelous to go out with, he has an inner life, a spiritual existence which communicates itself to whoever he is addressing. I would hope that some of it would rub off on me and make me a more fulfilled and a nicer individual

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
Settle up my affairs such as they are, have a reasonably good meal and go to sleep

What is your greatest fear?

Les Palin
Exhibition of the artist’s paintings and sculptures. Until May 14. Diachroniki Gallery Ledras, 84 Arsinoes Street, Nicosia. Open daily: 10am-7pm except Sundays. Tel: 22-680145


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