Under a week in Lockdown 2.0 and this is what it’s come to…
During the first lockdown, you may have read/taken part in my ‘Meet My Friend’ interviews which aimed to:
1. Introduce you to my friends – so you can learn a bit more about them because they’re awesome.
2. For me to find out more about them as I didn’t know all the answers to the questions either!
3. Finally, to provide a bit of light entertainment (everyone who took part seemed to really enjoy it and I didn’t even have to pay them to say that) and to keep myself busy during lockdown.
Most of my friends who took part asked if I’d be doing the interview as they wanted to know my answers to the questions too, so this is for my tiny fanbase – Ayoade on Ayoade style (but less erotic).
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m Queenie. I grew up in a sleepy little seaside town in Devon which was lovely but even from a really young age, I knew I wanted to live in a city with a bit more hustle and bustle. A few months after graduating, I moved to Hong Kong where I taught English for 4 and a half years; I absolutely loved living there. I was incredibly happy to have saved up enough to travel for 7 months (the best 7 months of my life so far) before making the decision to leave Hong Kong in November, 2017. In Camberley, I became a support worker for just under a year, while living with one of my best friends. Now I live in London with my boyfriend James, who resembles a breadstick and enjoys virtual fishing on his PC. He does cook a mean steak though, so I keep him around.
I currently work as an Assistant Manager at a charity shop that I’m so proud of. In my spare time, I love rummaging through charity shops (because working at one just isn’t enough) and I’m a huge advocate for shopping second hand and reducing the amount of perfectly good clothing that goes to landfills every year. My passions include eating copious amounts of food, travelling and taking photos of and blogging about said food and travels. My other interests include reading, cooking, swimming and visiting art exhibitions (especially photography ones).
It’s currently the second lockdown in England, how are you doing and what are you doing to keep yourself occupied?
I feel awful for those who are struggling in these times, whether it be financially, mentally or both so my heart goes out to them.
However, I personally feel incredibly grateful to be on furlough and have set myself the goal of learning 5 new recipes and reading 9 books this month to beat my previous record of 8 books in May. Wish me luck!
What are you most looking forward to doing when freedom is upon us again?
Seeing my family, eating out at restaurants, travelling and belatedly celebrating my 30th birthday with friends.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a cartoon voice actor as I thought that it would be easy as all you have to do is talk. My other goal was to either be a character at Disneyland or sell candy floss at a stall there. The ironic thing is that I’m not even one of those people that loves Disneyland. The only time I’d been as a child was to Paris and it was cold AF. If you know me, you’ll know that I HATE the cold.
If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
I’d like the power to heal people, mentally and physically.
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
If COVID also wasn’t a thing, I’d take my family and friends travelling. I’d also buy a beautiful, modern house in a hot country, sit by the pool and read all day.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement would probably be saving up to go travelling for 7 months, especially visiting the Whitsundays in Australia which had been at the top of my bucket list – it was even better than the photos I’d seen online! I remember my second teaching job in Hong Kong being incredibly tough in terms of the hours and I felt burnt out a lot, but it was all worth it in the end.
If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would it be?
Probably ending my first relationship before things turned sour.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I always find these questions incredibly difficult to answer because I have had no idea where my life would go since I graduated. This is probably why I’ve seen quite a few careers advisors and changed careers 3 times in the last 7 years. I think I’d like to be successful and passionate about whatever I end up doing – it would be brilliant if it involved social media, sustainable fashion and charity – something that helps those less fortunate, as well as the environment and using the power of influencers for good.
I’d liked to have visited a lot more countries! Maybe married but I don’t want a big wedding unless I marry a multi-millionaire because I’d rather spend the wedding money on travelling. Maybe a baby too? I’ll just see how it goes…
Most importantly, I’d just like for myself and my loved ones to be happy and healthy.
What’s the best gift you’ve been given?
I’m a big fan of experience gifts so I loved mine and James’ trips to Santorini, Venice, Barcelona and the Lake District.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
Probably going on Space Mountain in Disneyland Hong Kong as I hate drops in rides and there were a LOT of drops. Fair to say, there was a lot of cursing involved.
Do you collect anything?
Postcards and photos of good times.
If you were the ruler of your own country, what would be the first law you would introduce?
Free higher education for all.
A genie gives you three wishes: what are they?
- World Peace (I know, Miss World here I come!)
- Free education for all
- On a more selfish note, I’d like £10 million please.
Which celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a hot chocolate?
I mean, if you’ve known me since 2010, this should come as no surprise…
What’s the most interesting thing that you can see out of your window right now?
Someone walking up the road in double denim – big fan.
What is your earliest memory?
My first day of pre-school when my mum dropped me off and I kept clinging onto her and crying. When she left, the teachers made me put my feet and hands in paint to stamp onto paper. Even as a child, I remember thinking how messy and pointless it was.
My face most likely resembled this:
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
It’s not unusual in Hong Kong but I guess by English standards, chickens’ feet, intestines, beef tripe, other kinds of offal, a cricket’s leg in Vietnam (I don’t know why but I couldn’t bring myself to eat a whole cricket, despite not being a fussy eater).
If I were to come around to your house for dinner, what would you cook for me?
James and I have been watching a lot of Come Dine With Me recently and I’ve been thinking what I’d cook if I had my friends round for a dinner party so I’m going to base it on that (as opposed to trying to win points/money on the show).
Starter: Steamed Siu Mai (pork and prawn dumplings) and Har Gou (prawn dumplings) with a side of chili oil
Main: Linguine vongole
Dessert: Lazy Eton Mess (chopped up strawberries, meringue and cream)
What would be your ‘death row meal’?
A fresh seafood platter – I’m talking mussels, clams, scallops, crab, lobster, oysters and prawns. I’d like a side salad just to balance it out. For dessert, I’d like this tiramisu that I had in Venice, thanks.
Do you live by any piece of advice or motto?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine
What’s your favourite quote from a film/ TV show/book?
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
“Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” – The US Office
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
What’s your most prized possession and why?
I don’t think I own anything so precious that I can’t live without it or get it replaced so I’d probably say my phone as it’s my most useful possession.
Ideally, how would you like to spend your birthday this year?
As it’s my 30th this year, I ideally wanted to spend it in the Bahamas and see the pigs on Big Major Cay! Or anywhere hot where I could sunbathe, swim, read my books and eat good food.
However, as that won’t be happening, I’d be happy to have some nice meals out with James, my family and friends in London.
What is your biggest fear?
Rides with big drops, injections, things going near/in my eyes, horror films, attempting to park in a busy car park with a queue of cars behind me and public speaking.
What makes you angry/biggest pet peeves?
What’s the silliest argument you’ve ever been in?
I wouldn’t say that I’m a particularly argumentative person so the only silly argument I can remember having is with my friend Sarah’s ex-boyfriend when I said that My Neighbour Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies were released in Japan on the same day and he was adamant that they weren’t. He later messaged through Sarah to apologise.
Don’t mess with my limited Studio Ghibli knowledge.
What personality traits do you share with your relatives?
I’d say I’m 60/40 in terms of having similar traits with my dad/mum, respectively. I have my dad’s sense of humour and wanting to make people laugh; generally being quite chilled out but also efficient when things need to be done. I like to think that I’m kind and someone that a friend can rely on to help them out.
The personality traits that I share with my mum are probably preferring to work in silence and always having an eye for a bargain. We’re also quite organised and use a lot of kitchen utensils when cooking, but my mum is definitely more extreme in both cases.
Do you ever wish you were raised differently?
I think my parents raised me in a way where I knew that I was unconditionally loved, which I think is the most important thing. However, I do wish that they’d pushed me a little more when I decided to quit things like ballet and learning to ride a bike after I said I didn’t want to very early on (very unstereotypical Chinese parents, in that way) .
I’d have also appreciated my mum being a little less strict when I started dating and going on nights out, but other than that, I’m happy with the way that I was brought up. My parents left their business to spend more time with my brother and I when I was in year 4 so I was always very grateful for that, especially since my main love language is time.
Which of your personality traits are you most proud of and why?
I think I’m quite good at making people laugh and remembering to check up on friends if we haven’t spoken in a while. I’d also like to think that I’m quite thoughtful and inquisitive though I’m sure my friends can get tired of all of my questions, haha!
Do you have any unique habits?
- When I’m at home, I always cut up my food in the kitchen so that I can just use a fork to eat on the sofa.
- I always take the hair out of my hairbrush and put it in the bin as soon as I’ve brushed my hair.
- I pick my eyebrows and eyelashes when I’m watching stuff on TV.
- I always move my pillow about 2 inches away from the headboard of the bed before going to bed.
- I can’t remember the last time that I slept through the night as I always end up getting up to go to the toilet at least once.
What’s the first thing you look for in a partner and/or friend?
The first thing I look for is kindness and second is a good sense of humour.
TV series: The US Office
Film: About Time, Parasite and (500) Days of Summer
Book: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton and This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay.
Animal: Pandas and quokkas (though I’m gutted I never got to see one when I was in Australia)
Drink: Passionfruit Lemonaid
Food: Fresh steamed mussels, very closely followed by sweet shrimp sashimi
Type of cuisine: Cantonese (mainly my mum’s cooking)
Subject at school: Sociology (and Art during GCSE)
Instagram accounts: @best.dressed, @imjennim, @zoesugg, @alicecatherine, @pameluft, @rosielondoner and @gideonk1.
Country that you’ve visited: Hong Kong, Thailand and the Whitsundays in Australia
Thank you if you’ve made it this far and hope you enjoyed your reading experience!