Friday, 13 March 2015

Blogging, Bristol and bananas: My #bristol52faces University of Bristol interview.

Having loved following the #bristol52faces campaign for months, I was both shocked and honoured when an email popped into my inbox asking me if I'd like to be one of the faces featured.

The social media campaign was inspired by the multi award-winning Humans of New York (if you don't already like them on Facebook, get on it ASAP) and has thus far featured a super interesting range of people making up the University of Bristol community - from the porter of the Wills Memorial Building (a beautiful building where we study, have lectures and graduate *gulp*) to particular interesting alumni.

I'm really proud to have been one of 52 faces of the University of Bristol so thought I'd share my interview with you all here. Hope you enjoy it!

Name and Association with the University of Bristol:

‘My name is Rachel Hosie and I’m a final year French and German student. I’m also the Online Editor of Epigram, the University of Bristol’s student paper, and in my free time I write my own blog, ‘Handbags and Cupcakes’. It’s quite busy and a bit of a balancing act, but everyone is really busy this year. Most of us have this mind-set that final year is your last chance to get involved in societies and because the degree work steps up a lot, I’ve realised that you have to pick and choose carefully what you want to do because there isn’t time to do everything.’

Do you think this mind-set was accelerated after being away on your year abroad?

‘It’s really different abroad which did make me appreciate the British student culture - and especially student culture here in Bristol - more. We have such great opportunities outside of studies: so many societies, events and fun things going on. We’re really lucky to have it. I was teaching English in Germany and I taught my sixth form students about how we have societies like the Harry Potter Society and the Tea Appreciation Society. They all thought it was hilarious but amazing. They suddenly all wanted to come to university in the UK!’

Favourite place in Bristol:

‘I love Bristol, I love it so much, especially on sunny days. It sounds way too obvious but I’d have to say the Suspension Bridge. It’s really striking and it’s really beautiful and seeing the fireworks over it was stunning; it was like it was raining glitter. It was really moving. Also, I’m not a scientist, but it blows my mind how it stays up!’

You’ve won awards for your blog: ‘Handbags and Cupcakes’, when did you start it?

‘Nearly five years ago now, but it took me a while to get it really going. I started it because I liked writing and wanted to practice; I wasn’t that bothered whether people read it or not, it just seemed like a fun thing to do.

‘I hate looking back at my old blog posts though, I cringe so much. For example my photos from my early blog posts are horrendous. But it’s also a fun thing to see; to see how you’ve developed over time and how your interests have changed. It’s hard to start a blog knowing what your niche is before you start doing it. My blog actually started as a style blog before I realised that I wasn’t as fashionable as I thought I was nor as interested in it as I thought! I now think of it as a lifestyle/ food blog: lifestyle because I just write about whatever I want, and food because, well, food features heavily in my life!’

Do you have any tips for other bloggers?

‘People often ask me how they can grow and develop their blog. I’m no expert, but as a general rule I’d always say that it takes time. I don’t think you can expect to get a million blog views overnight even if your content is amazing because it takes time for people to share your articles and for word of mouth to get out.’

‘The best way to write your blog is also to write about what you know. I think that’s the only way to come across as authentic. People always ask me: ‘how do you make your posts so positive and enthusiastic?’ and I always respond like: ‘really? I didn’t even realise I was doing that’…. I guess I just get really excited about a lot of things and that comes across in my blog posts!’

Favourite UoB memory:

‘The Arts Ball in second year. That’s another thing British Universities do so well: balls. This one was in the Bristol Museum, so a gorgeous location, and all of my friends were there so it was really fun. But actually one of the reasons I remember that night so fondly is because it’s one of my most cherished memories with a former course-mate and friend, Anna Crossman, who sadly died suddenly at the end of second year before she went on her year abroad to Paris. I do look back on that night fondly as I spent a lot of my time with her and we had a lot of lovely pictures taken together.’

Question from the last person, Jason: ‘If you had to eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?’

‘I’m going to say bananas. They are very versatile: if you freeze a banana you can whizz it up into ice cream, you can mash it up for something different, you can dry it out into crunchy chips and also, depending upon the ripeness of your banana, it can have so many different levels of sweetness. I’m all about the bananas!’

Do you have a question for the next person?

‘What is the most important thing that studying/ working in Bristol has taught you?’

What do you think of the campaign and my interview? Do let me know!


  1. You look so happy and healthy in your photos!

    1. Thank you, Bethan, that's so lovely of you to say. x


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