ABOUT ME

I’m 41 years old and have been in Dubai since 2001, when I left university, decided there was more to life than what I had, searched for jobs abroad and found myself working as cabin crew with Emirates. Things have changed since then! I’m now a solo mum to two children – William, who’s 10, and 8-year-old Elin – and have gone back to my original career plan of writing. I was made in Iran (thanks to my parents for sharing that with me!), born in the UK where my family is from, and grew up in Norway.

WHERE IS HOME?

I was born in the South West of England, but grew up in Norway and then only spent nine years back in the UK before I left again and ended up in the UAE. Mum, my sister and her family, and my brother and his girlfriend (we lost my Dad 8 years ago) are all still in North Somerset, so that’s as close as I get to ‘home’.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER? 

I wrote in my school journal, at the age of about 8, that I wanted to be a midwife or a journalist. Given how utterly squeamish I am, and the fact I can’t even deal with a wobbly tooth, it’s unsurprising I ended up writing.

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a writer for a PR firm. I used to write features for newspapers and magazines but full-time permanent jobs in print media are fast disappearing and I have two children on my own, so I needed something with more stability. I do hope to get back to journalism at some point in the future – writing stories is my true passion – but for now stability for my family is the most important thing. I consider myself incredibly lucky that I do enjoy my job, and work with a great team.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITY TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN?

I work full-time and it often seems like I don’t have time to do much with them, so anything they really enjoy – whether it’s cycling with my son or a trip to the salon with my daughter – is a treat for me. My absolute favourite things with both of them are snuggling up on the sofa for movie night, or snuggling up in bed to read a story. Even now they’re 10 and 8 we all usually sleep together in my bed, and I love it when I get in and have a hand on an arm or foot each side.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR WEEKENDS?

When the children are with me I try to get us outside as much as we can; the beach or the park in winter, and a Privilee hotel pool in the summer. We like having breakfast out, and often have movie nights. On the weekends the children are with their father, I enjoy some much-needed me-time doing something like reading at the pool. I do treat myself to an adults-only brunch or a night out with the girls too; it’s nice to take a break from the responsibility of having the children on my own, and I only usually get around 4 nights a month to myself, so I try to make the most of them.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE?

I’m not really a huge movie watcher but I do have a few favourites; cheesy ones like Dirty Dancing and Ghost, dramas like Shawshank Redemption and A Time To Kill, and then of course the children’s movies that have so many adult references. I love Trolls and Madagascar!

IF YOU COULD EAT ONE MEAL FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Yikes. That’s tough. I LOVE food! I’d say probably something Thai.

WHO’S YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?

Matthew McConaughey has always been a favourite, but he’d need to grow a couple of feet before I’d swipe right. And I do like Kevin McKidd from Grey’s, but again, he’d need to stand on a box. 6’2″ and over, please. That bloke from Thor would do!

WHICH DESTINATION IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST TO VISIT?

I was cabin crew with Emirates for six years so I’ve been lucky enough to visit many places that have been on my travel list. I’d love to see the Grand Canyon and go to Santorini, but no matter how many times I’ve been to the Maldives, those stunning little islands will always be on my bucket list.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

I would say a particularly nice Cotes de Provence, but I don’t feel guilty about that in the slightest so that doesn’t count! So it would have to be an afternoon nap. Even pre-children, I loved snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket, a cat and a book, and just nodding off. These days it’s a complete luxury if I manage it.

IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’m pretty sure being able to zap people into oblivion – Superhero-style – is illegal, so I’ll go with being invisible. Or maybe being able to predict the future so I can guess the right lottery numbers and set up my own stray cat and dog sanctuary.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT LIVING IN DUBAI?

That we have so many options. We can have brunch at a five-star hotel, or we can eat at a tiny street restaurant in Satwa. We can spend the day at a beach club, or go camping in the desert. We live in a quiet residential area, but we can see the bright lights of the city. And over and above all of this, I love that the children go to school with children from all over the world, as I did in Norway. I love that they have friends of all different nationalities and cultures. You can’t put a price on that.