Where do you live?
I live in Peyia with six rescue dogs and a lot of hair. My oldest dog is Blister, a Kabul street dog I took home in 2006. She has been with me ever since and is quite possibly the best-travelled dog to come out of Afghanistan.
Best childhood memory?
Trying to convince my Nan that I could run in slow motion like the Bionic Woman.
Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish? What do you turn your nose up to?
Meraki Café, Paphos, because they do a mean vegan cheesecake and every plate is a work of art.
I turn my nose up at a lot of food. I’m not fussy. Just vegan. In Vegan Land, tofu is the no go area for me.
What did you have for breakfast?
Cereal with coconut milk. And coffee, lots and lots of coffee.
Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What is your favourite night out?
I’m very active during the day – I have two horses – so you might assume I’d be a day person, but I’m not. It’s at night that my brain settles down to think and I get to work writing whatever I need to be writing. While working with my creative writing students, I try to encourage them to find that point in their day where the creativity starts to flow and to set that time aside purposefully to start to write.
My favourite night out is anywhere with good friends and Guinness on tap (now it’s vegan).
Best book ever read?
Born Under a Million Shadows… Why? I wrote it! On the other hand, one knowledgeable critic has said it is the best written book on the subject of life in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime ever. That aside, my all-time favourite is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez… the writing is so rich and clever, it’s a joy from the first page to the very last.
Favourite film of all time?
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. I like stylised violence, a good soundtrack and cowboys.
Favourite holiday destination?
I’ve travelled a lot during my career as a journalist for national papers and I’ve been to some wonderful countries, but the place that really took my breath away (perhaps because I visited on a good summer’s day) was Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire. I simply found it beautiful.
What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
A compilation of indie tracks including songs by James, Soko, Asaf Avidan and Haley Bonar. I’m still struggling with teenage angst.
What is always in your fridge?
Carrots and apples for the horses. I may starve, but my animals will never go without their treats!
Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
I love where I live now. I feel very safe and the house has a protecting vibe about it. But if we were in lottery territory, I would have a modest house set in enough land for stables, paddocks and an indoor arena. Oh, and a granny flat for my parents because someone needs to play with the dogs while I ride all the extra horses I’ve bought with my winnings!
What is your greatest fear?
Living a mediocre life. When I go, I want to know I lived the life I wanted to live.
If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
The actor Travis Fimmel who played Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings. Because he’s hot,
Tell me a joke?
Write Cyprus runs creative writing workshops every Saturday morning in Peyia, Paphos as well as one-day workshops across the island and basic journalism skills courses. For more information message Write Cyprus on Facebook or contact Andrea on 99 914351 or [email protected]