Bloggers Uncensored: with London Meets Paris
Welcome to this weeks Bloggers Uncensored! If this is your first time reading a BU interview, this is my longest running blog series, and definitely my favourite. This series is a perfect opportunity to read your favourite bloggers' honest and uncensored opinions on real life topics, and to discover new bloggers to follow! This weeks blogger is London Meets Paris.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Helen Andreou. I am married with 4 children aged 25, 21, 18 & 16. I am an older blogger (I hate that term). I have a passion for cooking and the city of Paris. Hence the blog name London meets Paris. I love good food, restaurants and hotels/travel.
Why do you write?
I find writing therapeutic a bit like keeping a diary. Whatever I write even a text, it's long because I find I need to get my point across! I've always enjoyed creative writing but when I was at school, we didn't have GCSE's we were separated and some of us had to do CSE's and others O Levels which was unfair as it made kids feel inadequate that somehow they weren't as good as the O Level kids so I wasn't given the opportunity to fulfill my writing ambitions. I'm so glad that they amalgamated the two to form the now GCSE's. When I write I put my everything into the post whether it's about mental health, beauty or a hotel. I'm a perfectionist and I am very hot on grammar, is that bad?
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I found I was recommending restaurants and hotels to my friends on Facebook and I was being very descriptive and also writing about Paris on Facebook too. That's when I through perhaps I should start a blog? I felt that I was kind of boasting about it on Facebook and I didn't want anyone to feel that I was. A blog is acceptable, you're recommending hotels/restaurants/travel/beauty, it becomes your job.
What do you love about the blogging world/community?
It's like a family, everyone is so supportive of each other. I've got so much help from other bloggers from photography and how to start my blog. A very well known blogger even met me for coffee and gave me so much advice, I'm eternally grateful to her.
What do you hate about the blogging world/community?
Sometimes it's superficial. As someone who went through their teenage years with no mobiles, computers, internet and social media, we felt no pressure, no pressure to conform and no bullying and it felt good and free. Now I feel that people are posting to boast and sometimes when they're not, impressionable people can feel inadequate or feel that their life is boring and that's how there's more mental health problems now than there ever was. This is not real life, just a select few are lucky to make a decent living from vlogging/blogging. One day they will get older, looks will fade and what if they want to start a family? The blog will have to take second place.
In your opinion, who are the most underrated bloggers?
I don't want to name any of them but there are some pretty good bloggers out there who write really well who don't have a massive insta following but people only rate the ones who have over 10,000 followers including brands which is so unfair.
What are some hard truths you have learnt about life?
Life doesn't always turn out how you planned, how you like, how you thought. I don't want to be too cynical but it's the truth. Life is hard and when things don't go to plan, you have to pick yourself up and start again, resilience is crucial.
What does freedom mean to you?
To do what I like without constraints. I know this is shallow but money brings you freedom - I don't have much of it right now but I think it does. Freedom means I don't have commitments so that I can spend the whole day on the computer doing a post without being responsible for others ie my family and it isn't me being selfish, it's a reality. If I didn't have a family/commitments, I would be able to travel more and spend out without worrying I have to come home to cook!!
What are your thoughts on mental health and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I never thought I would ever suffer depression but I have. I wrote a post about it recently. I know what triggered mine and as question number 7 goes, when life doesn't go to plan, you can get down and suffer depression. Hormones can play a big part. Menopause and getting older can lead to depression. I'm so happy that is isn't taboo anymore. People are speaking out and in particular I love the campaign by the Royal's Heads Together for bringing attention to Mental Health but still more needs to be done.
What are your thoughts on feminism and how it's portrayed in today's society?
I'm going to be kicked for saying this, I am not a feminist, I hate the whole feminist thing. I find them to be frustrated men haters - sorry. On the other hand, I support equal pay and opportunities and the woman isn't to be at home with the kids but everyone has to make their own choices and decisions not what society deems right. I don't believe that women can have it all, something will take second place. I like to be wolf whistled I think today's woman is a different woman to the one from 20-30 years ago. When I was a teen in the late 80's life wasn't too complicated or politically correct as it is now, the world has gone a bit mad now I think. At the same time, there is no man out there better than me!!
What are your thoughts on 'Love is Love' and how it's portrayed in today's society?
Love is important but it isn't all rosy but how is it portrayed now? Through feminism we have become less tolerant and less lovable with some women totally bashing men. Love is love, it shouldn't be complicated otherwise it isn't love.
What advice would you give to someone who is fighting a mental illness?
It will get better - seek help and don't be hard on yourself. Take time to recover and if you have a particularly hard day if you are able to and you are at home, don't do anything, sit down, sleep, watch a film and don't feel guilty. Your mind needs time to heal.
What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied or harassed?
Don't entertain the bullies especially if it's on social media. Report it if you can, remove yourself from the situation if you can't fight back.
If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?
Hunger, disease etc...
What else do you feel strongly about?
Equality - not feminism but fairness and equality. Staying in the European Union, I am very anti-Brexit.
Let's end this with some fun 'This or That' questions:
Love or money?
Work hard or play hard?
Cups in the cupboard: right side up or upside down?
Right side up - the rims get dirty otherwise!
Chocolate or sex?
Definitely sex I think. There are no calories!
Plan everything or wing it?
I'm an organised perfectionist Virgo so I have to say plan.
Happiness or money?
Happiness - money doesn't buy happiness but it sure does help.
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