Nicola McFadyen answers my Sprout questionnaire

She calls herself a small, angry Glaswegian but she isn’t afraid to admit she is terrified of processed cheese

Brussel sprouts

There are some people that you know you are going to like even if you’ve only ever met them over Twitter. Some people crazy enough to volunteer for this Sprout questionnaire before they’ve actually seen the questions. Some people with the same weird sense of the world as yourself. Or rather, myself. Meet Nicola McFadyen. She signed up to the challenge without any arm twisting on my part. And she totally smashed it, as they say (especially on TV talent shows). She calls herself a small, angry Glaswegian but she isn’t afraid to admit she is terrified of processed cheese. Read her bio below, check out her blog, follow her on twitter.

The world needs more Nicola McFadyens.

Nicola McFadyen

1. You can have one piece of James Bond-esque special equipment to ease the challenges of day-to-day life. What would it be and why?

Something that would style my hair for me. I only have about 5 inches of the stuff but nothing causes me more trauma on a daily basis.

2. You have a cocktail named after you. What’s in it?

15 types of rum and a cocktail umbrella. Maybe a fruit juice for some vitamins.

3. Berkwickshire High School pupils recently put their school (buildings, contents, full use of all the staff and radioactive duck pond) up for sale on ebay. The highest bid was £50 000. What unique feature does your old school have that would make it equally appealing to the North Koreans?

My old tech teacher, that man could take down an entire continent on the force of his gaze alone.

4. Police were called to check out life size dummy of John Goodman in a car parked outside Bill’s Tool Store in Glasgow a few weeks ago. It turned out to be an art installation. What everyday situation have you mistaken for an art work?

I pass UCL every morning on my way to work who have a huge statue of a hulking bald man in their window. Because it’s their art department I thought it was someone’s final project, until I realised it was so they didn’t have to pay a night security guard to stop folk nicking their stuff. It’s absolutely terrifying.

5. A cat in North Carolina walked 12 miles back to his previous owners after they gave him away, only to have them give him to an animal shelter and ask them to put him down. Have you ever misjudged a situation quite this spectacularly?

I once tried to be charitable and hand a homeless guy a quid and then bent down to stroke his dog. The man was not homeless, he’d just crouched in solidarity next to his dog while it went for a poo.

6. Naruto the monkey who took a selfie on someone else’s camera has been told by US courts that he doesn’t own the copyright. Has your creative flair ever been similarly stifled?

I was in my school production of We Will Rock You, aged 15. I was asked to stand up the back away from the radio mics for being ‘fat, talentless and useless’

7. In the compost heap, which beastie are you?

Some form of absorbent slug. I don’t want to have to work to earn my nutrients.

slug abbey-lee-426549-unsplash
A slug (which probably isn’t absorbent)

8. A Kickstarter campaign has been launched to fund the development of prepacked slices of tomato ketchup. In your opinion, what food invention should have never got past the development stage?

I mean, the idea of those prepacked slices gives me the fear. I’m terrified of processed cheese, so anything like cheese strings, cheese slices, babybels etc should never have been anything more than a bad dream.

9. What’s your favourite word?

‘Stramash’ – I can’t think of a more nonsensical word to perfectly describe what it’s describing, I must use it about 80 times a week.

10. On May 1st, the Beltane Fire Festival lit up the Edinburgh skyline in a re-imagining of the ancient Celtic festival to mark the start of summer. In your opinion, what other events could be enlivened by dressing up in silly costumes and playing with fire?

Making it through a hangover on a Sunday, an act worthy of an entire parade.

Nicola Mcfadyen is 23, short, blonde, angry and Scottish. She’s currently the latest arty bod at the National Gallery, where she spends her lunch breaks dodging pigeons, school children and a terrifying giant Pikachu. When she’s not sticking her foot in it, complaining about her hair or sleeping, she’s writing a series of haikus about her neighbours marquee and trying to steal their cat. You can find her whinging about her commute, expressing her love for David Tennant and charting her experiences as a small, angry Glaswegian in London at:

@mcfadyen_nicola or at


Image credits

Brussel Sprouts by Keenan Loo on Unsplash

Slug by Abbey Lee on Unsplash

Author: Helen M Taylor

Author of The Backstreets of Purgatory

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