Real talk with my brother over brioche

This is by no means the most aesthetically pleasing post. It wasn’t meticulously planned or brainstormed two months ago in anticipation, and it’s not the most outstanding. It is, however, a post that is exceptionally close to my heart and honest about one of the most important relationships in my life.

Briochie Pasquier contacted me a few weeks ago wanting to collaborate on a sponsored post. Being the chubby queen that I am, there was no way I was going to turn down a whole box of brioche. “But how do I make this content engaging”, I thought? How do I make brioche relevant to myself and my audience, rather than just saying “I’m passionate about pastry, support me!” Knowing that the purpose of the campaign is to #ShareAMoment – promoting the value of spending time with the people who matter over good food – my first thought was to hijack somebody’s lovely house, decorate it to high heavens and go super luxe, magazine styley. But then something dawned on me. Whilst I am aiming for that aspirational, double spread aesthetic, something about sharing a moment really made me want to take it back to basics. To just be honest, instead of planning and fussing and not really sharing any quality time at all. And that’s where my brother came in.

I’ve spoken about Joe a lot on my blog (even bigging him up in this post about why having an older sibling is the best). We’re close siblings, but I must confess that over the past year as my blog has taken off, I’ve finished uni and we’ve both been tied up with work, we haven’t been able to just hang out as much as we used to. So when the Briochie Pasquier campaign came along, it proposed the perfect opportunity to chill, eat, and have a proper conversation. To really share a moment, perhaps (see what I did there?). If you’re interested in some good old family chat, then keep reading, and if not, go and buy a croissant. Either will warm your heart.

Before we get into things, introduce yourself…

I never really know how to introduce myself, either professionally or socially. Usually I go with something like ‘Hi, I’m Joe’. That seems to blow most people away.

Lots of people comment on how close we are as siblings – in fact, I always say that you’re my best friend (no matter how annoying you are). Not all siblings are as close as we are, so where do you think that closeness has come from?

I’d say we probably grew close through both similar adversity, and because we have a very similar sense of humour. I think, speaking for myself, that I always assumed from an early age that you would be the bane of mine. I never anticipated that I’d (as parents always say) would need you. Not only that, I didn’t ever foresee myself wanting to spend most of my time with you. Yet I do. I’m not sure what I’d do without you. Time is a strange thing.

What is your favourite or funniest memory of us?

That’s a tough one. I don’t really think I can pick one, they seem to all have mixed into one big blur of comedic genius. The funniest thing I have seen you do, is run full on into the washing basket, taking yourself out in the process and breaking your fingers. That still makes me chuckle. That Mumford and Sons gig in Bury was good as well wasn’t it! Or should I say ‘Bury good’.

One of the things I admire most about you is your passion and strength for the things that you believe in. You’re very resolute – you know what you think and that forms quite an important part of you as a person. Where do you think this part of your character stems from?

Cheers, would be nice if you said some of these things to my face though .. (jokes don’t come across that well on here I’m aware). I don’t really know to be honest with you. I have always felt the need for social justice and peace in the world. This passion hasn’t always been well directed though. I voted conservative in 2010 so you know .. I can also recall a time when I thought the solution to all our problems in England is to eject Johnny Foreigner. What changed me from a right wing yobbo, to a liberal leftie, is a mixture of education and travelling. Travel truly does broaden the mind. If everyone within the working class was afforded the proper educational opportunities I doubt we would have voted Brexit. I think it’s important not to become so militant in your views that you can’t change your mind though. There’s enough fundamentalism in the world without me adding to it.

And, in true narcissist form, what quality of mine do you admire most?

There are quite a few things I admire about you. Your drive to achieve your ambitions is second to none. Once you set your mind on something you get it, or you tear the competition a new one until you get it. You’re very intelligent, you form well rounded opinions on things that are usually very hard to judge. I also think you have the same passion for social justice I have, but you channel yours much more efficiently. Not many working class girls from Ipswich, Suffolk start their own business based on something they love. I always get the feeling that along with Feminism, Classism is something that drives you.

Your industry of choice is the museum sector, which is definitely a little different to what most 20-somethings are doing. How did you get into this line of work, and where did your love for history come from?

I think actually, if given the proper opportunity many more of my age group would work in Museums. They are going through a transition at the moment, certainly, I am among those who believe that working for a museum or even in the heritage sector as a whole is an unattainable unless you are Middle Class, Female, with a first class degree in Museum Studies. There is no real representation of the population museums claim to serve. The days of seeing someone with a tweed jacket hiding in a store are gone now, or are certainly going. I think the best part of working with Museums, or history in general is that they are the gift that keeps on giving. You can never learn too much. You know everything about the Ancient Egyptians? So move on to Greek Mythology, or Anglo Saxon Archaeology. Or trace the line of accession through the different periods of the Monarchy. Lessons could, and should be learnt from humanity’s documented past. Otherwise, what was the point!? Also in light of recent .. erm.. political *tragedies*, history is a bit of a comfort blanket that no one can take from you.

I know you’ll love this one – favourite historical character and why?

Hehehe. This is easy. Anne Boleyn. One of the first Feminists that didn’t rely upon her looks, but her wit, intelligence and charm to gain power. People are divided generally because of Henry VIII’s promiscuity. He bedded many different people. But to gather not just his lust, but his heart, and to make the guy flip the country upside down for you requires much, much more than a simple flutter of the eyelashes. What Anne was able to was nothing short of a miracle and I respect her hugely for it.

Where do you think both of us will be in the next 10 years?

I hate this question. Especially in job interviews. I am not applying for the position of mystic meg, why should I have to answer this. But just for fun, you’ll be in a position of power, maybe in government, maybe as head of a business, and I’ll probably be working for you or be dead. If I could choose, I’d like to be married to a royal duchess.

Quickfire: the place you’d most like to travel to, band you would most like to see and book you would most like to read?

Iceland. Kenya. Sri Lanka. Australia. Haim. Mumford and Sons (again). Kings of Leon. I’m finishing ‘The Philosopher and The Wolf’ as we speak. I have a whole bookshelf of books I’m yet to read, so I’ll stick to them.

And finally, let’s end on a positive note. Tell me something bloody wonderful about yourself that you like.

If you’re at work, at home, on the toilet, on a plane, on a desert island .. if I’m with you I can guarantee you won’t be bored. I didn’t say you won’t be annoyed also. It’s balancing act.

This post was sponsored Brioche Pasquier, but all thoughts and imagery are my own.


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