MEET MY FRIEND: NIKKI MCMULLEN

Way back in 2016, my friend and blogger extraordinaire Nikki was kind enough to interview me all about my travels on her blog.

I absolutely loved it as it meant that I simultaneously got to share some of my experiences while feeling like a minor celebrity.

As I feature quite a few photos of my friends on this blog, I thought it would be nice for you to get to know them a little better. Plus, I genuinely didn’t know the answers to a lot of these questions so I get to know my friends better in the process too – WIN WIN!

Since Nikki inspired me to start this ‘Meet My Friend’ series of blog posts, you’ll be meeting her first ❤

I met Nikki back in 2009 during our first year of university – the first time I met her, I remember being confused/in awe of someone who could survive a night out in Jesters in heels (if you know, you know).

She was the person who introduced me to Instagram (thank you sweet angel), helped me complete my stats coursework out of pure kindness (she wasn’t even on my course and I definitely would have failed without her), did the New Girl chicken dance with me when we went out out, is always the most efficient at replying to messages, does every random quiz and answers every pointless question I send her.

Oh, and you have her to blame thank for me starting a blog!

Hi Nikki, tell us a little about yourself.

Hello, I’m Nikki! I live in Bournemouth and I’m a writer for a charity. I run a blog (nikkimcmullen.com), I watch an awful lot of films and I’m prone to eating my own body weight in chocolate. I also spend a lot of time on Pinterest looking at interiors, as I’ve just bought my first home! At the moment (downer alert) my time is taken up with all things health-related, as I got diagnosed with a chronic illness in November 2019. Hopefully I’ll be on the mend soon!

It’s currently week 6 of the UK lockdown, how are you doing and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?

I feel like a lockdown pro, as I’ve been stuck at home since December! I’ve been teaching myself to draw digitally using my iPad and an app called Procreate, I’m watching everything there is (from marvelling at Unorthadox to replaying The Office for the thousandth time) and I’ve started using TikTok. It makes me feel elderly. I think I’ve got a bit obsessed with Instagram Stories too – I like feeling connected to everyone! Pub quizzes on Zoom and Houseparty hangouts have definitely helped too.

What are you most looking forward to doing when freedom is upon us again?

Seeing my friends, I miss them so much! And little things like being able to get a hot chocolate in a cafe, buying fresh flowers or eating in a restaurant. Oh, and the beach! I can’t go outside yet. But when I can, I’ll be straight to the seaside.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

I wanted to a ballerina to begin with. Did I do ballet? No. But I had ambition. I also wanted to be an author and an illustrator which a little more in line with my modern day self.

What is your proudest achievement?

Probably becoming a writer. I was unemployed for a bit after university and spent a few months being laughed out of every Job Centre meeting! Honestly, everyone thought I was seriously reaching beyond my means. There were a few moments when I was tempted to give up the dream and just get an admin job. I kept repeating a line from The Office: ‘It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than halfway up one you don’t’. Thankfully it worked out.

If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?

Oh no, movies have taught me to never go back in time and change things! What a palaver that Marty McFly went through!

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

Most important: I hope I’m healthy and happy! I’d like to still be living by the sea. And I hope I’ve written a book by then, which is my life’s goal.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

Is it lame if I say I’d like the power to heal people? Both physically and mentally. I’d like the ability to just make everything better for everyone. Failing that, teleporting sounds handy – especially if you’ve got inflammatory bowel disease. Any of my IBD sufferers in the house? No?

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Does scary count? If so, going to the doctors/hospital. Honestly, it’s the most terrified I’ve ever been! I won’t blink if you throw me off a bridge on a bungee jump or out of a helicopter on a free fall after this. That’s nothing.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

I feel like other people will answer ‘shark’ or something and I’m over here thinking about when I used to dip my Mini Cheddars in Coca Cola before I ate them. I remember it being delicious.

Do you have any unique habits?

I always have a podcast playing when I go to the bathroom and shower. I can’t deal with the silence and boredom otherwise. It’s usually a vintage Russell Brand Show podcast from 2008.

Do you collect anything?

Postcards. And good days.

If you were the ruler of your own country, what would be the first law you would introduce?

Don’t be a dickhead. And that’s why I’m not allowed to run a country.

Which celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a hot chocolate?

What an excellent tricky question! Maybe Phoebe Waller-Bridge. But I might be starstruck into mutism.

What’s the most interesting thing that you can see out of your window right now?

Empty streets. What a time to be alive.

What is your earliest memory?

Being in the bath as a toddler and asking what would happen if I fell down the plug hole. I’ve always been a cautious citizen of the world.

What would be your ‘death row meal’?

Starter: chicken tenders with a BBQ dip

Main: a roast dinner (with loads of crispy roast potatoes) and a side of sourdough pizza topped with prosciutto. That’s not cheating, right?

Dessert: chocolate soufflé with proper vanilla ice cream.

What’s your favourite quote from a tv show/film/book?

‘Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.’

You’ve Got Mail.

Yes, I’m a true sap.

Do you live by any piece of advice or motto?

I very much enjoy: ‘what other people think of me is none of my business’. I think our Lord and Saviour Ru Paul said that.

A genie gives you three wishes: what are they?

  1. Let me be healthy and pain-free until I die of old age. (Bloody hell, Nikki. Ruin the mood. When you get ill this is what you obsess over.)
  2. Make sure my loved ones live happy lives.
  3. Can I be a happy and successful author who lives by the sea, please?

That was surprisingly selfish. I forgot to mention world peace. Maybe I’ll sacrifice my third wish for that.

What’s your most prized possession and why?

Probably my phone. Isn’t that terrible? But it contains my notes and photos and memories. It’s like a second brain!

Ideally, how would you like to spend your birthday this year?

In an ideal world, I’d recreate my perfect day which I’ve written about on my blog.

However I know I’ll be in self-isolation so that’s out of the picture! Instead I’m going to put on a pretty dress, commission a marvellous birthday cake and host the smallest party ever in my garden. So, essentially, it’ll be me dancing alone outside.

What makes you angry?

Intolerant people are the worst. I am, ironically, not very tolerant of them. I get quite frustrated by slow talkers too. Life is too short to talk slowly.

What personality traits do you share with your relatives?

We’re all very stubborn.

Which of your personality traits are you most proud of and why?

I’m always there if someone needs me and I hate letting people down. I will go to great lengths to make sure my loved ones are happy and help them with problems. (Admittedly I do have a limit, where if people keep having the same problems and repeating the same mistakes, I want to shake them and tell them to sort out their lives. So I’m nice until my natural frustration kicks in.)

What’s the first thing you look for in a partner and/or friend?

I’d usually go for cleverness and confidence but I find myself increasingly drawn to kind and gentle people. And funny people, always.

What is your favourite memory of ours?

Running around Old Town, Poole, taking photographs on doorsteps and feeling like top models!

Favourites

Colour: I never know the answer to this! I quite like dark teal and warm blush pink at the moment.

Animal: CAT. I love cats. Red pandas and penguins are also great.

Season: I’m a big fan of autumn but increasingly fond of spring.

TV Series: The Office (US), Gilmore Girls, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Fleabag, Friday Night Dinner, Gavin & Stacey, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Cuckoo. Did you just want one? Tough.

Film: Paddington 2, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Mary Poppins Returns, The Birdcage, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Legally Blonde and Carrie Pilby.

Book: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Drink: Pink lemonade

Food: Pizza from Baffi, specifically a Margherita with prosciutto.

Type of cuisine: Italian

Subject at school: Drama (this always surprises everyone)

Country that you’ve visited: France because Paris is my favourite place (other than where I already live)

Instagram accounts: @prettylittlefawn, @autumnrainn, @rachmartino, @katie.one, @thelittlemagpie and @florencegiven. Plus my pals @jayerockett and @livhuson.

Thank you so much to the wonderful Nikki for being my first victim interviewee!

If you’d like to hear more from Nikki (you should) – check out her blog and Instagram for beautiful words and photos galore ❤

xxx

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