My future

I just reread the post My futures.

My life has been very solitary so far. On the whole i didn’t mind that much. I enjoy my own company. But i would like to have friends. I would like to cook for more people. More people than just me. I would like to laugh a bit more. Talk some more.

I do listen to music a lot these days. I actually do sing along too. I like that. But it doesn’t fill the void.

I know the private life. I have lived it for the past thirty years. It’s difficult and hard work. There is peace and quiet. And loneliness.

So, if i have to make a choice, i’d rather choose a public life. It will be equally hard work, it will be equally difficult. But it is also filled with friends. I will not have complete freedom in choosing the things i do. But on the whole, i think i will be happier. A bit messier too. But that’s alright.

Ooh, in both scenario’s i will continue with Of course. It’s what i do. I love this place. Truly.

I do still love this place, I am not sure though, how long i will continue with it. I can envision a couple of possible scenario’s. It could be my life stays still. I can see myself having less updates then, but still regularly. Or it could be my life explodes. Then i see myself working here with five updates a week for quite some time. A couple of years at least.

I do think the choice is not entirely up to me.

Today i had this feeling of my life narrowing right now. Like i’m entering a rapid. My money issues are of course a part of that. Choices i make now seem to make a bigger impact on my life. And i know i want to continue the way i do. I know i’m not done yet. Nearly there, but the most important things i still need to make and post here.

This is not about me proving myself. This is not about me winning in any way. There is nothing to win, nothing to loose. But it is about me being truthful to myself, with all my heart. Doing the things i love to do, with all my heart.

Yesterday i saw the television program VPRO Boeken, VPRO Books with an interview with Jonathan Safran Foer. About living, making choices, being the person you are, being the person you want to be, being the person you can be.

These past two years i have grown. I still have the rest of my life to learn how to be in this world without it breaking me.




55. Fêng / Abundance [Fullness]

Chên is movement; Li is flame, whose attribute is clarity. Clarity within, movement without-this produces greatness and abundance. The hexagram pictures a period of advanced civilization. However, the fact that development has reached a peak suggests that this extraordinary condition of abundance cannot be maintained permanently.


ABUNDANCE has success.
The king attains abundance.
Be not sad.
Be like the sun at midday.

It is not given to every mortal to bring about a time of outstanding greatness and abundance. Only a born ruler of men is able to do it, because his will is directed to what is great. Such a time of abundance is usually brief. Therefore a sage might well feel sad in view of the decline that must follow. But such sadness does not befit him. Only a man who is inwardly free of sorrow and care can lead in a time of abundance. He must be like the sun at midday, illuminating and gladdening everything under heaven.


Both thunder and lightning come:
The image of ABUNDANCE.
Thus the superior man decides lawsuits
And carries out punishments.

This hexagram has a certain connection with Shih Ho, BITING THROUGH (21), in which thunder and lightning similarly appear together, but in the reverse order. In BITING THROUGH, laws are laid down; here they are applied and enforced. Clarity [Li] within makes it possible to investigate the facts exactly, and shock [Chên] without ensures a strict and precise carrying out of punishments.

Nine at the beginning means:
When a man meets his destined ruler,
They can be together ten days,
And it is not a mistake.
Going meets with recognition.

To bring about a time of abundance, a union of clarity with energetic
movement is needed. Two individuals possessed of these two attributes are
suited to each other, and even if they spend an entire cycle of time together
during the period of abundance, it will not be too long, nor is it a mistake.
Therefore one may go forth, in order to make one’s influence felt; it will meet
with recognition.

62. Hsiao Kuo / Preponderance of the Small

While in the hexagram Ta Kuo, PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT (28), the strong lines preponderate and are within, inclosed between weak lines at the top and bottom, the present hexagram has weak lines preponderating, though here again they are on the outside, the strong lines being within. This indeed is the basis of the exceptional situation indicated by the hexagram. When strong lines are outside, we have the hexagram I, PROVIDING NOURISHMENT (27), or Chung Fu, INNER TRUTH, (61); neither represents and exceptional state. When strong elements within preponderate, they necessarily enforce their will. This creates struggle and exceptional conditions in general. But in the present hexagram it is the weak element that perforce must mediate with the outside world. If a man occupies a position of authority for which he is by nature really inadequate, extraordinary prudence is necessary.


Perseverance furthers.
Small things may be done; great things should not be done.
The flying bird brings the message:
It is not well to strive upward,
It is well to remain below.
Great good fortune.

Exceptional modesty and conscientiousness are sure to be rewarded with success; however, if a man is not to throw himself away, it is important that they should not become empty form and subservience but be combined always with a correct dignity in personal behavior. We must understand the demands of the time in order to find the necessary offset for its deficiencies and damages. In any event we must not count on great success, since the requisite strength is lacking. In this lies the importance of the message that one should not strive after lofty things but hold to lowly things.

The structure of the hexagram gives rise to the idea that this message is brought by a bird. In Ta Kuo, PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT (28), the four strong, heavy lines within, supported only by two weak lines without, give the image of a sagging ridgepole. Here the supporting weak lines are both outside and preponderant; this gives the image of a soaring bird. But a bird should not try to surpass itself and fly into the sun; it should descend to the earth, where its nest is. In this way it gives the message conveyed by the hexagram.


Thunder on the mountain:
Thus in his conduct the superior man gives preponderance to reverence.
In bereavement he gives preponderance to grief.
In his expenditures he gives preponderance to thrift.

Thunder on the mountain is different from thunder on the plain. In the mountains, thunder seems much nearer; outside the mountains, it is less audible than the thunder of an ordinary storm. Thus the superior man derives an imperative from this image: he must always fix his eyes more closely and more directly on duty than does the ordinary man, even though this might make his behavior seem petty to the outside world. He is exceptionally conscientious in his actions. In bereavement emotion means more to him than ceremoniousness. In all his personal expenditures he is extremely simple and unpretentious. In comparison with the man of the masses, all this makes him stand out as exceptional. But the essential significance of his attitude lies in the fact that in external matters he is on the side of the lowly.

Published on October 25, 2016 at 6:00 by

A day in the life of Ellen

Waking up this morning around half past eight. I slept through the night. A good thing! Usually i wake up around four in a dreamy world with dreamy thoughts. Not last night. I open the door of my bedroom and let the cats in. Mieke jumps on the bed straightaway. She lies down for a bit, but soon stands up again and sit next to my face. Her little paw with sharp nails carefully tries to touch my hands, my arms, my face. I’m hungry! By this time Muis is sitting on the cupboard next to my bed. Looking at me. So yeah, food!

I get out, open a tin of catfood and give Muis a generous portion. A little bit for Mieke, as she is not a huge fan of wet catfood. She likes the dry cat food better. I go back to bed and get the iPad from the cupboard. Going through my rss feed i jump at an post on the about a video with Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch playing Jenga. I enjoy the whole clip.

Around ten i get out of bed. I still have batter for pancakes in my fridge and bacon. So i make two pancakes. Yum! I watch a bit of television, but i turn it of soon. Nothing much to see. I sit myself behind my computer, and whoah! i start writing this post.

Now i will unzip World of Warcraft 3.3.5a and starting it up and try connecting it to Dalaran WOW. I’m curious!


The leaves are turning yellow.



I just played World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King. Definitely my fave expansion. Made a blood elf paladin and leveled up to 5.

Now it is time for some food, dressing up, going out to the garden to empty my compost bucket and get to the shop to get me some cleaning vinegar.. and maybe some more bacon for tomorrow mornings pancakes. 🙂



I forgot the bacon!

But, i did get some red wine. And i ran into Soto. We talked a bit about zero waste and detergent.

While i was walking i thought about today and about me writing. I could write the whole day! But i wont. I could talk about all the things i want to make for here. A post about Life is wonderful. Which i already started in February, but is lying undisturbed. I thought about these weeks, the weeks before my money runs out. I thought about me becoming known. Or famous. I don’t know which one it will be. I know i am the only person believing this will happen. Other people will think i am crazy. But still, i am the only person i can believe. Of course i could be wrong. But if i give up now, than i’m sure i am wrong. So i will continue. Not manic. But easy.

I will make a video for Robin Hood. It is just, i have trouble importing the sound into iMovie. It quits each time i try. So i need to find another way, maybe through a movie. It’ll be done for sure, next week!



I just watched Escape to the Country while i mended two leggings. A dark grey one and a lighter grey one. They all get holes near the crotch. So i mend those holes, with thread and a needle. I have a olive green one which i need to mend too, but now i will start on my soup and my laundry detergent. I want that done today!

The photo is of the garden. Most rows are seeded for the second time this year, with later veggies. Some beans, lettuce, amsoy, and quite a few other things are slowly appearing. We also weeded the surrounding hedges. Sunday we started digging out the pathways. We will get more woodchips and throw it on them. Lovely how it looks now!


OK, no laundry detergent today. Tomorrow! Making the soup took a long time, with cutting up all the vegetables. I decided to cook the white beans i had in my fridge since last friday. They still have an hour to go. The onion, leek, carrot, celery, bell pepper, tomato, basil, chives are all cut quite finely. Halfway i added around one and a half a liter of water, two cubes of stock, freshly ground black pepper and a teaspoon of salt. I checked all the other veg i had in my fridge, they were mostly dried out, so i put them all in my compost bucket. I also did a bit of washing up and cleaning. I still have at least a whole day before i do my next wash, so its fine to do it tomorrow.



The day is done. It was calm. Pleasant. I enjoyed meeting Soto by chance. I enjoyed the soup i made, plenty for at least two more days.

I don’t enjoy Expiditie Robinson as much as i used to. I don’t enjoy the voting out of a person. And most participants are very young. But i still watch it. Not sure for how long really.

Tomorrow i’m gonna work in the garden. Looking forward to it! I should look into insects hotels a bit more, find a way to make the really easy ones, small ones. But i also found a large one which didn’t use any nails and hammering, just a simple setting of stones on each with parts of wood. Will search more!

Have a good weekend.


Published on October 21, 2016 at 6:00 by

Pancakes and soap

A lazy day today.

I did make pancakes this morning. Pannenkoeken. With this recipe: Pannenkoeken zoals het hoort (Dutch only).


  • 2 cups flour / 220 gram – i used spelt flour
  • 2 cups / 500 ml buttermilk
  • 2 -3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons molted butter

I did put the flour and the milk together yesterday and let is soak for more than twelve hours. This morning i added the eggs, salt and butter. I baked the pancakes next. Not as thick as American pancakes, but with the buttermilk a bit thicker than usual for Dutch pancakes. And this evening i baked some more! With apple and bacon and maple syrup. Great!

I also went into town this afternoon. I was a bit dreamy. I did go to Lush to get a soap. I checked at home and saw that that was the next thing i would need. First i did go through the shop and looked at all these things. It was busy. The smell was a bit overwhelming. Finally i did ask someone to help me with picking a soap. Lots of oil, not too heavy a smell. She suggested two soaps, one from the Christmas collection and one called Sultana of Soap. I bought 98 grams of this soap. It does feel very fatty. Good.

I do feel tired. Gonna lie on my couch, watch the Great British Menu and the Great British Bake Off, one after the other. Yay 🙂


Published on October 20, 2016 at 6:00 by


I felt quiet today. I woke up, made my breakfast. Rye spelt bread with an omelet. I watched a bit of tv. Koffietijd, Koken met van Boven. I do have a quick look at Homes under the Hammer, but it doesn’t grab me this time. I turn the television off.

I don’t feel like doing anything productive yet. So i get my iPhone and headphones, lie on the couch and turn on Spotify. I am in my Scritti listening week still, ending up at the compilation Absolute. I have listened to this a couple of times. I do know all the songs on it though, so it wasn’t a huge revelation. The two new songs past me by i’m afraid to say. Listening to A Day Late and a Dollar Short does make me appreciate this song better. But halfway this song i get a phone call.

I have a short talk. About work, and last week, and that i am going shopping this afternoon, going to the market, going to photograph waste containers, going to the Gimsel. A good talk!

So after this conversation i don’t go back listening, leaving the last two songs for tomorrow. I brush my teeth and dress up. I had been thinking about what i should do for today’s post. This idea of photographing the waste containers does stick. A follow up on yesterday’s post about Not Yet Zero Waste – with all capitals! I look outside. It’s raining a bit. So i get my umbrella, my old bag i got in Belgium while i was there for work, 2009 maybe?


I only have an empty bottle of wine and a empty glass jar which used to be filled with mango chutney. I walk past the Action shop to the glass waste container and throw in the bottle and jar.

I walk up to the middle of the road and make a photograph. I look to the side. Damn, so much litter lying around here. Empty plastic wrappers, plastic bottle’s and caps. I make a photo of that too. *sigh*



I walk to the Gimsel. First i enter the Van Binnen shop. I do like this shop. It is in my shops around my house video, in which i drool a bit on the stuff they sell here. I don’t buy anything, but ooh man, lovely things! I do see drinking containers. Put that on a list. The Gimsel next. I walk past the vegetables. No. To the end of the shops, where the bulk section is. Rice, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds. You can make your own peanut butter here. And i do see paper bags to put everything in. Last time i was here there was only plastic on the window hanging. I guess then the paper bags were finished. I make a note on my internal list to get stuff here more. I do have everything i need in my house, so i don’t need to get anything.

I walk further, past the cosmetics section. Looking for a good soap. I do like the Traay Roses soap with calendula, but decide against it. Does deserve a marker though. Past the tea, the tea herbs, the spices, the dried sea vegetables to the cleaning section. Hmm. Waste bags. Need to think about that. Compostable bags. Hmm. Ooh, lunch box things. The round metal boxes which fit together. A box the size of a soap. Aah. Tick tick tick. Drinking containers again!

I decide later this week i will go past Lush in the center of Rotterdam.

Before i go to the market i walk past the Jumbo. I make a photo of the plastic waste container standing next to a clothes and shoes container.


I walk to the market. I would like a doner kebab bread, but i don’t see my usual kebab place about. The place is being reworked now, so all the stalls are someplace else. I go for a chips war instead. Mayo, peanut butter sauce and onions and sambal. Yum.

When i sit besides the library eating my chips slowly, a girl appears next to me. She is like – hmm, i don’t know how old she is, not sure how old she looks – she is like five years old maybe? Very open, talking to me. I give her a chip with mayo. She had said she doesn’t like peanut butter sauce. I ask her where her mother or father is. She points to the end of the library. The lady in the white coat. Behind the pillar. We talk a bit. I ask her name. She did say it, but i only remember how people call her, Angie. I give her another chip. With a bit of sambal. Hot!! Her grandma calls her. I smile at her when she is standing besides her grandma.

When i have finished my chips, i walk past her. She introduces me to her grandma. Her grandma asks me if i believe in God. No i say. Sorry. She is nice. Angie gives me a little present. A woodstick box with inside it a seashell with a pearl pasted in it. Do you know you are a pearl in God’s hand? I like her presents. I look inside my bag and give her a card with a drawing i made like twenty years ago: Ellen, Architect of Change. With my website on the back of it. If you are watching this Angie: Hi!! Wave!!!


On the market i buy some vegetables. Another soup upcoming. In the shop Marqt i buy buttermilk, maple syrup, sugar bread. Tomorrow morning i will make pancakes, with buttermilk. I did look up recipes beforehand. One recipe Pannenkoeken zoals het hoort – Pancakes as they should be – said to put the flour and buttermilk together and let it sit for twelve to twentyfour hours. So i will do that! The recipe will follow in tomorrows post.

The rest of the day is spend working on this post and watching television: De wereld draait door and the Great British Menu. Ooh, and i slept a little between half past five and a quarter past six.

Bye bye!


Published on October 19, 2016 at 6:00 by

Not yet zero waste

The past couple of months i’ve been watching youtube video’s about zero waste.

Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. No trash is sent to landfills or incinerators.

Over the past years i have worked slowly towards making more myself. My body butter, handcream, cleaning stuff, laundry detergent, toothpaste, all these i’m making myself. I love to search for recipes, search for the proper basic materials to make these from.

Watching these video’s makes me more aware of all the unthinking i do in my life. I do buy things wrapped in plastic. Only one or two months ago i changed my catty litter grit to wood, so i can throw it in the compost in the garden. Only six months ago i started a special bag for the plastic waste container near the Jumbo. I have been throwing away my paper and glass in the proper containers for years, OK. But other things were simply passing me by.

Zero Waste Home is the website from Bea Johnson.

Since adopting the Zero Waste lifestyle in 2008, my life and that of my family have changed for the better. We not only feel happier, but we also lead more meaningful lives based on experiences instead of stuff.

This blog and my bestselling book, Zero Waste Home, have launched a global movement, inspiring thousands of people throughout the world to live simply and take a stance against needless waste.

I propose a simple guideline, my 5R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (and only in that order).

Another website, which i discovered through its youtube video’s, is Trash is for Tossers.

How do I define ZERO WASTE? To me, Zero Waste means that I do not produce any garbage. No sending anything to landfill, no throwing anything in a trash can, nothing. However, I do recycle and I do compost.

Gittemary is a Danish girl who makes video’s about food, make-up in a zero waste manner.

Hello everyone! My name is Gittemary and I am 22 years old. Two years ago I switched out impulse buys, fashion week and must-haves for a zero waste and plastic-free lifestyle! Now, I create inspiration, recipes and guides on how to get started reducing trash and finding non-materialistic values.

So yes, plans on my own internal list of things to research and do:

  • do research for a shower bar, at the Gimsel or Lush
  • look for a metal container for these bars, Lush has them, but maybe there are some second hand ones
  • go through all my trash each day and look for alternatives
  • start buying things in the bulk section in the Gimsel, save cotton bags for it, have a talk in the shop first though!

I do see so many things thrown away on the streets. Plastic wraps, plastic spoons, bottles. Yes, a small part of that will be gathered by the people working on the streets, of course. But it is all such a waste.

I am starting this trip of mine. Looking at myself and all the things in my life and in my house with a critical eye and determine if i want to keep something in or not. It will be a slow process, and i will make mistakes, but this is something worth fighting for.

For my body and hand butter i simply use the same amounts of shea butter and coconut oil.
Cleaning the old pots for my body butter and toothpaste in boiling water
Warming the coconut oil and shea butter au-bain-marie
Mixing the body butter with an old electrical whisk i took with me from home, thirty years ago. It must be from the 60s!
Whipped body and hand butter and toothpaste
Published on October 18, 2016 at 6:00 by


56. Lü / The Wanderer

The mountain, Kên, stands still; above it fire, Li, flames up and does not tarry. Therefore the two trigrams do not stay together. Strange lands and separation are the wanderer’s lot. When a man is a wanderer and stranger, he should not be gruff nor overbearing. He has no large circle of acquaintances, therefore he should not give himself airs. He must be cautious and reserved; in this way he protects himself from evil. If he is obliging toward others, he wins success.

The Wanderer. Success through smallness.
Perseverence brings good fortune
To the wanderer.

A wanderer has no fixed abode; his home is the road. Therefore he must take care to remain upright and steadfast, so that he sojourns only in the proper places, associating only with good people. Then he has good fortune and can go his way unmolested.

Fire on the mountain:
The image of THE WANDERER.
Thus the superior man
Is clear-minded and cautious
In imposing penalties,
And protracts no lawsuits.

When grass on a mountain takes fire, there is bright light. However, the fire does not linger in one place, but travels on to new fuel. It is a phenomenon of short duration. This is what penalties and lawsuits should be like. They should be a quickly passing matter, and must not be dragged out indefinitely. Prisons ought to be places where people are lodged only temporarily, as guests are. They must not become dwelling places.

I had this sign many times before. And even though i haven’t moved places, at all, i have only lived in three houses in my entire life, i still feel connected with this sign.

I am working on a Scritti song. But the video is taking a bit longer than i anticipated. I do expect this video to be online somewhere next week.

Enjoy your weekend. I wish you peace and quiet.


Published on October 14, 2016 at 6:00 by