Since becoming a mum I have found a whole new blogging community and was delighted to be interviewed by top blogging mummy Lisa Cornwell on her blog Mummascribbles. You can read the original post here.
Mummascribbles meets…Ekaterina Botziou
This week we meet the wonderful Ekaterina from Ekaterina’s Greek Expectations
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family
Hello all! I’m Ekaterina, I live in Wimbledon and I joined the wonderfully topsy turvy world of motherhood in April. With a bouzouki-loving father hailing from Greece and a ballerina mother with roots as mixed as a Tequila Sunrise, I spent much of my childhood learning that every word comes from the Greek language and am now passing on this biased wisdom to my son. Three years ago, I did the one thing that my mother had always warned me not to do. I married a Greek man; a Greek-Cypriot in fact. And said goodbye to life as I knew it! Prior to becoming a dutiful (!) Greek wife, I was diagnosed with Acute Legal Disillusionment after completing a Law degree and dabbled in film and television while moonlighting as a PA. I recently returned full time to my ‘day’ job in the finance industry after maternity leave.
What do you like doing to be you, when you are not parenting, working (if you do), or blogging?
Besides the above, I have always had a passion for writing and published my first book, ‘Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing’, a semi-autobiographical comedic tale about surviving life in the Greek community, in 2013. Narrowly escaping the wrath of my Greek relatives I released my second book the following year entitled ‘Theseus & the Mother-in-Law and Other Myths & Legends’, a parody all of the original Greek myths and legends. In February 2015 I published ‘Seraphina’; a short experimental story written in verse that I wrote during pregnancy, as my ‘potentially last piece of coherent writing before my brain turns to baby sludge’. When I’m not annoying the older Greek generation by publishing all their secrets, I also write for fashion and lifestyle magazines and run networking group The Greek Wives Club (www.thegreekwivesclub.com). Of course I have only returned to writing and blogging in the last few months. Prior to that it took me a long time after the birth to pick all the pieces of my brain out of the bin and find the ‘ON’ button to my laptop.
In February 2015 I published ‘Seraphina’; a short experimental story written in verse that I wrote during pregnancy, as my ‘potentially last piece of coherent writing before my brain turns to baby sludge’.
When I’m not annoying the older Greek generation by publishing all their secrets, I also write for a few fashion and lifestyle magazines and run networking group The Greek Wives Club (www.thegreekwivesclub.com).
Of course the last few months have seen me do absolutely sod all and only in recent weeks have I started picking pieces of my brain out of the bin and managed to find the ‘ON’ button to my laptop.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Finding the ‘ON’ button to my laptop…and giving birth to the most amazing little man.
From your own experiences, what do you find the hardest part of parenting and what is the easiest/most rewarding part?
AAll aspects of parenting are hard – the sleepless nights, the time that is no longer your own, the constant irrational fear that your child is ill / not breathing / hasn’t pooped enough, but for me the hardest part and the part that I completely underestimated was the fact that I don’t ever want to be away from him. Now I’m back at work it has been very difficult to resist the urge to sneak him in with me and hide him under the desk! The most rewarding part is seeing his little smile every day – no matter how hard the day has been, his happy face makes it all worth it.
Parenting in itself is no mean feat; how do you juggle everything you need to in order to get everything done on a daily basis?
II don’t believe anyone can juggle everything! Of course, my mother was the exception. She always looked immaculate in our childhood photos and our house was spotless AND she still found time to teach ballet. Her secret: absolutely no ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ and handing me a mop and bucket at the age of 6 months.
Why did you decide to start blogging?
I initially began my blog in 2011 as a little hobby. It was a place where I could unleash my inner voice, where I shared stories about my Greek showbiz dabbling life and the odd Greek recipe. I had seen examples of blogs by friends of friends and wondered where on earth they were getting the inspiration (and website knowledge) to create such work. So I did a bit of research, signed up with WordPress, and then blindly started building the world that I would retreat to in moments of literary madness. It took a while to get the hang of things, but soon there was no stopping me and before I knew it, a book was also forming from the little snippets I had published on my blog. Months spent planning (or rather, being subjected to other people’s plans) for my big fat Greek wedding, had left me with more than a few frustrating yet hilarious tales and I just had to get them off my chest. Since then the blog has become a platform for all my career goals – I continue to write about Greek life and post articles about my experiences within the film industry, reviews and promotions on theatre, film, books and magazines, videos, and collaborations with other bloggers. Basically the blog fulfils my all consuming need to share my rants, raves, recipes, and general Greek philosophy about life with the world and hopefully gets a few laughs in too.
Tell me a bit about your blog?
My blog is a lifestyle blog with a main focus on Greek life, but I also write theatre, TV, film and book reviews, beauty and fashion posts and recipes. And I also re-blog relevant posts from fellow bloggers. It’s a total mix designed to appeal to all readers, but everything has a Greek twist to it. Now of course I have had to add a baby section!
What do you want your blog to achieve and where do you hope to see it go as it grows?
As a promotional tool, you can’t beat having your own blog, it’s a great way to network and meet like-minded people and share your work. I regularly re-blog, re-tweet and share stories on facebook from my fellow bloggers and they in turn do the same for me. I try to keep the blog as varied as possible but with a common theme so that people can dip in and out whenever they like. I already write for a number of newsletters and magazines both in the UK and abroad so it would be amazing if my blog leads to more freelance work. I also hope to help other bloggers promote their own work, particularly those who have ties to the Greek community so that we can all become one big fat Greek blogging family! Due to the birth of my new Greek master, this year has seen a significant reduction in my blog posts, but I have recently re-designed my entire blog and have lots of new ideas which I hope to put into action when my brain pieces itself back together. In the meantime I am VERY VERY slowly working on a children’s book…which probably won’t be finished until my son reaches the age of 18. But the idea is there!
What advice would you give someone who is thinking about starting a blog?
If you are a budding writer or blogger, but just can’t motivate yourself, the answer is simple: get inspired. Read other people’s blogs or books. Write about what you know, or maybe even what you don’t know, what annoys you, what makes you happy. Go with your gut feeling and let the pen be your salvation, for it is far mightier than the sword.
If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
1. My husband – he hasn’t taken me out for a while.
2. My nan – who sadly passed away too young in 2011 – she was the greatest inspiration for my writing and I dedicated my first book to her. I’d love to know how many grammatical errors she would have found!
3. Aidan Turner aka Ross Poldark. Enough said.
Tell me three random facts about you
1. During my short yet varied film ‘career’ I’ve met Madonna, Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg. BUT I HAVE YET TO MEET AIDAN TURNER!!!
2. After declaring it ‘weird’ to begin with, I’ve become a huge fan of ASMR – those YouTube videos where people whisper at the screen…they send me (and my son) right off to sleep!
3. My first name has two meanings: according to some sources it means ‘pure’, others state that it means ‘torture’. My husband has concluded that the official meaning is therefore ‘Pure Torture’.
Along with her blog www.ekaterinasgreekexpectations.com, you can also find Ekaterina at her author website www.ekaterinabotziou.com , at www.thegreekwivesclub.com/ and over on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest.