#ThisNorthernGirlCan Interview With Rachel ‘Horts’ Hortina


Our latest #ThisNorthernGirlCan interview talking about Cheryl Cole, Geordie accents and strong women.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.

A. My name is Rachel Horton – but everyone calls me Horts. I’m ‘The Culture Vulture’; I’m a cultural adventurer and champion for all things lush and cultural happenings in the North.

Q. What have you loved about growing up in the North?

A. My Dad worked a lot when I was little but Sunday was always our day – we’d always go adventuring and all over the North. Museums, castles, the coast etc; – I loved it! My Dad taught me a lot of things but he taught me how important it was to get out and about, see things and have lots of experiences. We went all over – every week; loved it!

Q. Did you have any challenges growing up in the North?

A. Do you know- the biggest challenge I’ve had is with my accent. I’m a proper Geordie but I don’t have the accent. People assume I’m not “properly” Geordie – but then out of the area, I don’t quite accent wise fit in there either. I always just make the joke “Yes I’m a proper Geordie – but unfortunately, I don’t sound like Cheryl Cole.”

Q. Have you or do you face any challenges being female?

A. My grandad taught me the power of education and ensuring I have experience – any challenges I have faced, supposed barriers etc; – I’ve creatively leap frogged them.

Interestingly as a woman over 30 who is single, freelancing and yet to buy my own house – I’ve had men presume that I’m literally going to pop out a child like a ticking time bomb and a male mortgage advisor told me, just to wait until I meet someone because it will be “much easier”.

Q. What or who inspired your journey to where you are now?

A. I grew up inspired by strong, unconventional women – I’ve always had fire in my belly, too. The thought of just getting on life’s treadmill, getting a graduate job, wearing a suit, getting married, having children etc; etc; – literally filled me with dread. All the women I idolised or felt inspired by, very much made their own way in life. I lived my teens trying to suppress my headstrong self, desperate to just be “normal”, then into my 20’s I got too caught up in what I “should” be, as opposed to what I “could” be.

And now, I’m 32 and right where I want to be. The Culture Vulture is exactly what I wanted to do!

Q. What advice would you to give to girls growing up in the North?

A. I feel more things are possible here – we are surrounded by opportunities, so take them all. There is a fantastic willing and empowering community for all types of women in the North – whether science, entrepreneurship, animation, culture  – once you find your niche, you can surely thrive!

Q. How do you think we can encourage more young people about the importance of gender equality?

A. By championing it in an overtly positive way – being a feminist is a brilliant thing; it’s about championing everyone’s values, freedom of choice  and differences. But with young people, it should be about engaging them, having dialogue and enabling them to make sense of what equality really means whilst challenging certain types of behaviour.

Q. Tell us some of your favourite Northern places.

A. Big fan of Northern cities – I love the buildings, the vibe, the cultural happenings. I love Ouseburn – full of independents, galleries, street art etc;

I live in Gateshead – I love Gateshead – especially the open spaces and the countryside – like Saltwell Park, Thornley Woods etc;

Q. Who are your favourite Northern people (alive or dead?)

A. Big fan of Lauren Laverne – her fashion sense and shirt game is amazing.

Very proud of Northerners like Nadine Shah – we want to school together and sometimes see her out and about – she had the aspiration to make music when she was a young teen and I’m always inspired by people who make things happen. Every time, I see her in the paper, hear her on the radio – I think ‘gan on lass, well done!‘

Q. Explain your love of the North in one sentence.

A. The longest, most fulfilling & exciting relationship I’ve ever had.

Q. What would you like to see the #ThisNorthernGirlCan movement do?

A. To champion and empower this generation and the next.

If you want to be become part of our growing #ThisNorthernGirlCan movement then you can join over 1,2oo like minded women and men in our Facebook group. We’d love to see you there!

Read our previous #ThisNorthernGirlCan interviews. 




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