Welcome to the third instalment in my Girls on Film series. Today I am joined by one of my closest friends, Becky Macklam. A Leeds native Becky and I grew up together as teenagers and even though distance gets in our way we have remained close- in fact, I don’t think outside of family anyone knows me better. This was such a lovely interview to conduct and we had a hoot taking the pictures. I really hope you enjoy this one because it is very special…
BP: Welcome to Girls on Film, are you excited ??
BM: A little bit
BP: Have you ever been interviewed before?
BP: Well there is a first time for everything
BP: So I have known you … How long have I known you?
BM: Since Year 8
BP: How old were we? Is that 12
BM: 12, yes !!
BP: So that's 11 years, because oh my gosh we are 23
BM: Yes, that's quite scary isn’t it?
BP: No it’s nice because it is almost half a lifetime. I don’t think you have changed that much in the time I have known you
BM: I don’t think I have either, I’m a very
BP: You’ve always had, I've always thought of you having a really strong work ethic and you’re really clever and you’re also no nonsense. Also, you’re probably the only person I have never had a row with
BM: I am very easy going
BP: Yes you are
BM: You did once slap me for not wearing the colour mint
BP: Ahahaha I did, it was the statement colour of 2011/12. I was quite fiery in my youth. What do you put your down to earthiness to?
BM: I don’t know? Probably having a sister like Helen probably! She is very scatterbrained and a bit all over the place isn’t she.
BP: Lovely but intense
BM: Yes very high maintenance - OFF THE RECORD, obviously
BP: Obviously !!
BM: But Hilarious, witty and beautiful as well as clever
BP: All those things !!
BM: Yes all those things !! When I was at primary school I was quite the opposite, I didn't really do much work. Seeing Helen working really hard, and I don’t really like the idea of failure anymore.
BM: So I have to work hard
BP: I remember when we were doing our A-Levels you knew all about open days. I remember sitting next to you one day and asking you what an open day was! Everyone was talking about them, I just asked ‘What is that’. You sort of said why don’t you know about that
BM: You were very against university at the time though
BP: I was, very anti university
BM: Then you felt bad that everyone see was going, so you applied for drama
BP: Got places then panicked and pulled out. Whereas you were really set on doing it. When did you decide? You did Radiography - have I said that right - Radiography?
BM: Yep, Radiography
BP: You did that as your degree, when did you decide what you wanted as a career? Initially, you were thinking of forensic science
BM: Forensic science yeah, but when I realised I couldn’t get the grades to do forensic science
BP: I thought that fewer people were doing it and there wasn’t any money in it anymore
BM: Yes, there was some sort of legislation change that meant that there were less forensic scientists and there was going to be more competition and yeah my mum suggested Radiography, did a little bit of work experience, really enjoyed it and that was that
BP: So for those that don’t know Radiography are the lovely people that take your X-Rays if you break a bone, or swallow a teaspoon
BM: Swallow a teaspoon yes!! Need a CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, work in theatres in surgery all of that.
BP: So you went to university, not where you originally wanted to go
BM: No- grades were an issue, I’ve always worked hard but, I worked out how to revise too late and then I had to resit everything all at once -doing two years all at once
BP: You still did really well
BM: I did really well considering, but not as well as I felt I could have done with the amount of effort
BP: I don’t know if we weren’t taught well
BM: I don’t think we were prepared for the jump between GCSE and A-Levels
BP: GCSE science was super easy, A-Level biology was ridiculous, and so hard
BM: Completely different
BP: I failed the first exam so badly. Did you fail the first exam too
BM: Yeah I got a U, or very close to it, like an E
BP: I got something like 17%
BM: They don’t prepare you for it. When we did exams for GCSE we hardly had to do any work
BP: It's different now
BM: Yeah now I think A-levels wouldn’t feel like such a jump up because GCSE’s are so much harder. We had resit and we didn’t have to resit a year
BP: We only had to resit a term's work, whereas now it's all different
BM: So they didn’t prepare us for it.
BP: Going to university- you really enjoyed it?
BM: I found university a lot easier compared to how hard I had to work for my A-Levels. If that makes sense. I’m glad I went to university
BP: You wouldn’t change it?
BM: I wouldn’t change the university I went to or any of the decisions. My cards that got played out, I wouldn’t have changed that, I wouldn’t change Teeside University. I think it's a brilliant university for radiography, it’s perfect vocational course for what you’re doing. Compared to some of the universities that are more academic. Teesside’s very good because you know exactly what you are going to be doing in your job.
BP: It certainly made you really employable because you got a job straight out of uni, and you have worked every minute since you finished your course.
BM: I think that's because of the type of person I am, I’m very dedicated when I've got my eye set on something there is nothing stopping me
BP: I've always looked up to you for that reason, I've always thought of you as such a sensible person
BP: No, you are really sensible. If you want something you get it. There is never a case of well I might, it's I'm going to do that and you do it- you are very driven in that sense. In terms of being driven, what do you do to keep yourself motivated there must be driven within you.
BM: I think the drive comes from the fact that I don’t want to fail. The thought of failure is much greater than - it's a difficult one… - if I don’t want to fail I try my hardest I will get what I want and not fail. I want to be the best that I can - I’m not a half hearted person. If I do something I’m going to give it my all.
BP: I think a lot of people could take a lot from that. It simplifies what can worry a lot of people and spend ages trying to have a strong work ethic. However, if you look at it in a way and say if you don’t want except failure you will always push forwards.
BM: Yes completely
BP: It’s such a good attitude to have
BM: Everyone has to fail, and I have had my fair share of failure. You get kicked down for a bit but it just makes you get up and try even harder each time.
BP: I think as well with the way the world of work is right now, there are fewer jobs that are a great attitude to have. If the powers that be decided, I am sure you could quite possibly take over the world and it would be a very safe world.
BM: It would be a very organised world
BP: YES !! As a fellow Leo, you would take charge, it would all be listed
BM: There would be a lot of spreadsheets and diaries going on
BP: and Post-it notes for EVERYTHING
BM: Yep, list books all that kind of thing
BP: So obviously you work a lot, what do you do when you are not working?
BM: I socialise, spend time with my friends, see you
BP: ME? Who knew !!
BM: See my sister, family, do stuff with John (Becky’s boyfriend of 6 and a half years). I recently joined a gym
BP: How is THAT going for you?
BM: I went to a yoga class with Vera recently. That was a treat, basically laying down in the dark and wiggling about
BP: Not very intense
BP: Have there been more intense ones?
BM: There's been body attack which literally attacked my body. I felt like somebody had run me over.
BP: Good first-hand experience there
BM: I couldn’t straighten my back for a good 10 minutes after waking
BP: Oh my gosh
BM: It was rather intense. That's a way to release stress. Reading, I love to read.
BP: Any good recommendations? My recent Autumn Reading list has had me inspired, have you got any thing you recommend. I definitely read more in the colder months. Is there anything you have got your eye on for this autumn.
BM: There was one I read on holiday. I found one I liked by an author I liked, and then you know on Amazon the suggested bit
BP: I love the suggested bit !!
BM: So I got three of them! The Silent Fountain by Victoria Cross. I like Kate Morton books too.
BP: What are they like?
BM: Like Stately Home kind of things, someone finds something now and there is an old house and someone goes and investigates…
BP: Oh nice
BM: Sometimes there is a crime in there, a bit like a Marple thing
BP: Nice and easy then
BM: Nice and easy reading, but you get involved
BP: I’ve just read some err
BP: Graphic, Graphic Novels by Pierre Lemaitre and they are kind of like thriller noir but also incredibly violent. I would recommend them because they are thrilling
BM: Makes you keep reading
BP: Yeah I have read three in just under a month, they are real page-turners as my mum would say. My mum is sat with us, maybe I will interview you one day Mum, would you like that?
BM: NO hahaha !!
BP: Okay!! So obviously Becky when we get together we like to go shopping. You are a keen shopper
BM: I like a bargain, a bargain hunter if you will
BP: So that means you prefer shopping in real life
BP: you aren’t really a big online shopper are you?
BM: I shop online when I’m looking for something specific because when you are wondering around on the high street you can’t always find it, so if it’s something specific like a shoe or a bag I will tend to look online for wider options. However, I like going into the shop and seeing and feeling the materials. Sometimes you see something online and it looks better on the person than it will on you.
BP: Yes very that
BM: Plus the hassle of having to go to the post office to take it all back, I feel I don’t have the time to do all of that.
BP: I feel that I spend lots of my life doing that
BM: I just don’t have the time !! At least if I’ve got a day go shopping, try it all on
BP: Where are your favourite places to go for clothes, fashion?
BM: I Quite like New Look
BP: You used to be a big Primark fan, not so much now?
BM: I do quite like Primark but not as much as I did. Where else do I go? I don’t really do that much shopping anymore
BP: You don’t have that much spare time
BM: No !! I quite like House of Fraser because it is lots of things all under one roof. Miss Selfridges, I used to love Miss Selfridges, but the shop closed down in Leeds which is sad. Topshop is quite nice, I have to be quite picky though because the sizes make me feel sad.
BP: They are cut small and, in terms of in the industry Topshop sizes are very small
BM: So I have to be careful. I do struggle in there and that makes me sad
BP: That's the thing everyone can have self-esteem problems no matter your size
BM: Yeah, like I feel really good as a size 10 and then I go in there and I’m like a 14.
BP: They make me feel RIDICULOUS. If they make thin people feel like a heffer then they are not nice people. I also am not keen on the way Toppers merchandise things, it's very thin.
BM: It's targeted at a skinny market. I do like Joy
BP: Sadly going through some issues. They are laid out nicely though
BM: They do nice clothing
BP: Quite expensive, good in the sale though. You like a sale rail
BM: I wouldn’t go in if there wasn’t a sale
BP: So when you are not shopping for clothes you like a homeware
BM: yes LOVE a homeware, love HomeSense, Zara Home
BP: Zara Home- very expensive
BM: John Lewis, love a John Lewis
BP: Zara Home- their website is evil. You will see something and think that it’s reasonably priced but when you get there it costs more. Like their cushions, they look great but then it's a price range. BED LINEN, that starts at £8.99 but that is just £8.99 for a pillowcase. Then there is the duvet and the sheet, like Zara Home why can’t you just be upfront with us
BM: H&M home is nice and reasonably priced
BP: Again evil, I can lose myself to that website- I have to be really controlled I can be so impulsive.
BM: Selfridges in the Trafford Centre, Manchester have their own little H&M home section- which is really good.
(tucks into a biscuit)
BP: Enjoying a nice little biscuit there?
BP: What do you do if you want to treat yourself? Do you have little rituals if you have for example a crap day at work?
BM: They all tend to be food related!!
BP: They can all be food related- I do the same!
BM: I will get a cake or to cheer myself up. Sometimes I like to get a birthday cake when it's not my birthday!
BP: That is incredible. We are adults so no one can tell us not too
BM: If anyone asked me what my favourite type of cake would be, it would always be Birthday Cake.
BP: What are we talking when we say birthday cake
BM: Victoria Sponge
BP: Fondant Icing?
BM: Yes always!
BP: It’s a classic and it cannot be messed with!!
BM: Not a buttercream, it has to be a fondant
BP: Obviously not every day
BM: No!! As a treat. I like a nice bath
BP: Candles? You love a Lush product
BM: With a bath bomb from Lush, candles, yes I love a Lush product
BP: I’m not a fan of a Lush product
BM: Why? Is it the scent?
BP: Should I give in?
BM: Is it the colour?
BP: I feel like they are quite overwhelming. I like just a normal bubble bath
BM: Why don’t you try a bubble bar from Lush
BP: Do they make nice bubbles
BM: Really good bubbles, you don’t use the whole thing, you just crumble of a bit under running water and you get lots of bubbles and it smells nice
BP: Is it fewer for sensitive skin, I’ve always been worried about my skin with their products - glitter and colour
BM: I have a sensitive skin issue - I bruise like a peach and I get quite rashy sometimes. I’m allergic to the sun as well
BP: She says as she is sat in the sun
BM: Most of me is covered
BP: That is very true, sorry
BM: I have never had a problem with them!!
BP: I will try
BM: Give them a go
BP: Can you recommend any Lush picks
BM: I had one like a rocket the other day, that melted down and changed colour and left little stars in the bath that was cute. The Christmas ones are good like the Christmas puddings are nice
BP: The only thing that I know I like is a hand cream bar
BM: The lip scrub that they do is really good
BP: Is it now? When I was on Roaccutane I had really peeling lips - it would have been really good
BM: It’s like sugar that coloured that you just rub on your lips, and then you can eat it afterwards
BP: That's incredible it's a meal and a beauty treatment all in one. These are the things we should be looking for, they are alternatives, lunch on the go.
BM: Really good because it helps with the peeling-ness and you can lick it off
BP: That is literally all I need in my life
BM: A tasty treat for you right there
BP: PERFECT!! Now time for some quick fire questions !!
BP: Countryside or City
BM: But that depends
BP: Carry on then, Countryside for what
BM: If I am having a weekend off then I want to go to the countryside to do some walking. However, after work in the evening, I like the city for cocktails and a nice meal. It really depends on what mood I am in.
BP: Leather or Lace
BP: More flattering and you do like a lace
BM: I don’t think I own anything in leather, that's a lie I have a leather jacket, sorry pleather jacket !!
BP: Talking of jackets, I love the yellow raincoat you are wearing in your images that go along side this interview.
BM: My Joules coat- that was a little splurge of mine-
BP: It’s good though
BM: I had been eyeing up for a while
BP: It always rains in Leeds, I have never been there when it's sunny and dry !!
BM: yeah its true there is always a bit of drizzle going on
BP: Favourite Disney film?
BM: Big Hero 6
BP: WHAT, Big Hero 6- that is your favourite Disney film? I did not expect that. Any princesses in that?
BM: No or maybe the Mini adventures of Winnie The Pooh
BP: I'm stunned, didn’t expect that !!
BM: AHAH, or the little Mermaid. My instinct went to Big Hero 6
BP: I've never seen it, is it good?
BM: Oh my God I love it. You can come round and we will watch it
BP: I should definitely do that
BM: It's quite funny
BP: I will add it to list
BM: Add it to the list, what other ones, I quite obviously love Cinderella both the live action and the cartoon. Quite like Mulan too, all that girl power
BP: They are doing a live action of Mulan too, there are no songs which is sad
BM: Not sure how I feel about that, however, Jackie Chan is in it
BP: I like me some Jackie Chan, my Jackie Chan memories are from, did you ever watch the annotated series with the talismans, Rachel and I l used to love that
BM: Yes I feel like I did
BP: The Jackie Chan Adventures !! Okay, that was a tangent !! Three things that you love
BM: Stationary, Homeware, Family and John.
BP: Three things that you hate, I can answer one of them
BM: People walking in front of you really slowly
BP: Hate is a strong word…
BM: Dislike, we’ll say dislike.
BP: It's hard isn’t it
BM: I don’t what the third one would be
BP: What annoys you? If I was going to answer it, I hate social media gloaters
BM: I just don’t know, definitely cats because I am scared of them, and people walking slowly is irritating
BP: Maybe you don’t need three things because you are such a happy harmonious person you don’t need to hate three things
BM: Ah, people putting things not where it came from
BP: I feel there is an anecdote here
BM: No, but if there is a specific place for something to go and it goes back elsewhere, and you then spend ages looking for it because it's not where it should be
BP: So irritating
BM: “You know where it lives, why has it gone back here” That kind of thing, like I’ve got a fruit drawer
BP: A fruit drawer?
BM: In the fridge
BP: Oh I see, I thought you just had a random drawer somewhere
BM: In a nice cupboard ??!! No in the fridge there is a fruit drawer and a veg drawer
BP: That makes perfect sense
BM: John puts it on the shelf above, why not put it back in the drawer
BP: The drawers are there for a reason so that meat cannot get on fresh food and contaminate the food. It's all about fridge hygiene- I learnt that at school !!
BM: I just like things to be put back properly
BP: General Laziness !!
BM: Yeah, Tidy up time
BP: Tidy up time haha!!
BM: That's just because of my organised self !!
BP: Top 3 Biscuits
BM: OOOOH, Custard Cream
BM: and Chocolate Digestive
BP: WOW, I would pick all of that, it’s a really good selection
BM: Oh but Party Rings have to go in there, we will add a fourth section
BP: Swap in swap out, that's totally fine. If you could give advice to anyone what would it be
BM: Totally depends on the situation I am advising
BP: Just a piece of a general piece that would make their life a little bit easier. Something you know now but wish you knew 10 years ago.
BM: I've got lots of advice
BP: Just a sage Becky Macklam quip
BM: Always remember that an expert was a beginner once
BP: That is INCREDIBLE, such good advice
BM: Lots of people when they get to a really high level look down their nose at beginners, but they were beginners once
BP: It's admitting that everyone once
BM: Started somewhere, yeah
BP: Even Madonna was no one once
BM: and look what she has become. That's what I like to live by. It is an inspiration to work hard
BP: That is truly wonderful, well on that note I thank you for being my third guest - thank you very much
BM: You are very welcome
BP: I have had a nice time,
BM: Me too
BP: Thank you, thank you !!
BM: You are so welcome
BP: That's it !!
BM: I enjoyed that, I’d be interviewed again
BP: aha hah (…)