The end

This is it. The end.

The thought came upon me earlier this week. Tuesday. I cried. I didn’t want to do this. But yes. I am gonna finish working on ellenpronk.com. For several reasons. First, i don’t have the money to pay for the hosting. So this place will be up and running only for a couple of weeks more. Second, my house will be sold. Next week the real estate agent will come by. I’m lucky in that sense. My house will not be auctioned, but sold regularly. Which hopefully leaves me with enough money to last me three or four years.

This is difficult. But i will be fine. I will still post photos on instagram, post updates on facebook, talk a bit on twitter. I won’t be gone. But this place will be finished. Also, because i feel i have done here what i set out to do. Thinking. Working. Looking. Writing. I found a few things i really like. Singing, yes. Filming, yes. So i have gained an awful lot.

Ending this blog does hurt a bit. I’ve said here multiple times how much i love to work here. Each day was a different day. Some very unexpected, others not that much. But all together the past three years felt amazing.

I’m not sure why i’m ending this now. Well, apart from the practical reasons i mentioned. Also, i do want to stay in control, not feel overwhelmed by what is happening. Compared to what happens to other people, my life still is quiet and not very exiting.

The final page i will give you is the chronological page, with every post i made here linked on it. Enjoy!

I will leave you with what to me is still the best i made here, the video clips.

Finally, as a wave goodbye, one of my favorite songs, Let it go.

Let it go
The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation,
And it looks like I’m the queen.

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in, heaven knows I tried!

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door!

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all!

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me I’m free!

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry!

Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on!

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back,
The past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!

Goodbye for now,

With love, Ellen

Published on November 10, 2017 at 6:00 by

Grond

No, not the battering ram from The Lord of the Rings.

This one time it is a Dutch title, Grond. Or in English, ground. The solid surface of the earth. Soil, a narrower defined word. The upper layer of the earth in which plants and trees and shrubs grow. Dirt. A base. A rational motive or basis for a believe or conviction. Grounds for divorce. Common ground. People sharing some common understanding.

For a year and a half i have been working in the garden the Vredestuin. The Peace Garden. Extremely enjoyable. I have met many new people. I have baked many cakes. I got to know the community surrounding the communal vegetable gardens in Rotterdam more. A bit.

The story of the one small garden close to the Erasmus bridge, which had to close down, because the project developer was going ahead with its plan for a building. The Tuin op de Pier, facing the same destiny. The grass field next to the Markthal, owned by a project developer. But the grass field is so nice, gives space to the area and gives children something to play on.

A year ago i walked close to the Markthal and got into a conversation with a girl from art school, just across the road. Her subject matter was the lack of any arbitrary not owned ground. In the Netherlands every piece of land is owned by a person, a foundation, a company. Every piece of land has a purpose. There is no land simply lying there doing nothing. It can be waiting, sure. But there is always a sense of purpose. Even if it’s a barrier. Like the land besides the train rails.

To me, then, this was obvious. The sense of the world. Everything is owned.

But she did have a point.

I have written a couple of posts here about the world. The world is terrible. Life is wonderful. The truth. Language. Living. Now.

These posts are important to me. I am not done, i do not have a completed world view, a plan ready to save the world. But i am thinking. Thinking hard. Trying to get it out of my mind.

I kept on saying it. To my family. To my friends. Not always clearly. But i was trying to tell them. I am thinking. I don’t have time to work. I don’t have time to make money for my pension. I don’t have time to keep on buying food and things and watch television. I am thinking. About me and the world and where we are heading to and where the world really is and what we are and also what i am. And i needed to get away from it all. My normal life. The world most of the Western European people live in. Our spoiled lives.

This post is about a plan which came to me a couple of weeks ago. Buying land. Ground. Earth. For urban farming first of all. Here in Rotterdam first of all. Because this is the place where i live.

I don’t have the money. Not yet anyway. But this is a plan for when i do have money, what will i do with it. I think about this. Honestly. What will i do when i am a millionaire. With all that money.

So here is my plan. I will set up a foundation called Grond. And this foundation will become the owner of the land i buy. First of all the gardens i work in. The rest of the Hofplein train rails. The grass field besides the Markthal. Any other piece of land owned by a project developer or anyone else where it is possible to make a community garden.

Starting here in Rotterdam, branching out to other cities here in the Netherlands. Because to me, this ground is important. It is our earth, the ground we walk on. The solid surface of the earth.

Right now, this is a completely imaginary scenario. Very unlikely this could happen. Other people told me the past two years this will never happen. I am insane taking this seriously. And yes, they are right. In one sense. In their sense.

For me, it is about being honest. About being close to myself. About having faith in myself. About looking in this world and trying to see my place in there. About where i can fit in.

Because i haven’t found my place yet. I’m still in a provisionary house, in a temporary city, trying to live my life. I am falling from one crowd into another. Making friends along the way. Loosing friends. Trying to make sense of this place. Often not succeeding.

I am still not sure of where i am heading. I do hope i will meet some friends along the way. As i feel i am doing now. As i feel i have done all that time, all through my life. I have learned so much.

Created, sang songs, made videos, wrote my heart out, made photos, made drawings, gif animations, flash things. For more than twenty years.

I am blessed.

Thank you for visiting ellenpronk.com. I hope you will enjoy yourself here. Find some pretty things. Maybe even things to think about.

Salute!!

Published on November 9, 2017 at 6:00 by

Spinach quiche

The New Zealand spinach, parsley and thyme picked today
The greens picked last Friday: rocket, chervil, turnip greens
From the freezer five pieces of puff pastry. Once defrosted i put all five on each other and used a rolling pin to spread it out. Next time i will make a quiche i will make a quick pastry for the crust. Butter and flour basically. For now i wanted to use this puff pastry, which i bought over a year ago.
Three eggs. I didn't use the leek. And i used one more egg.
The puff pastry spread out and in the tin
The filling. Four eggs, a bit of whole milk, salt and pepper, four cloves of garlic sliced thinly, cayenne pepper and all the greens cooked in a bit of water and sliced roughly. No cheese, i didn't have any in the house. It would be a good addition though. No cream either. Would be nice too.
A close up of the cake once it is finished baking. For an hour in a 175ÂșC oven. I did put some aluminium foil around the tin. I noticed some leaking of the filling. I like the way the filling looks. Packed with greens.
One quarter for dinner. The rest in the fridge.
Published on November 8, 2017 at 6:00 by

Sunday 5 November 2017

I still feel extraordinarily happy. In the garden i welcomed everyone i knew coming in with a big hug. And with the apple and pear cake i baked this morning. We worked on the other side of the garden most of the afternoon. Half weeded the cabbages and kale. The other half started on clearing the courgette/zucchini beds and digging out the paths between them. We got a fair bit done. Not all of it, but we can finish it next week. Weeding the next bit, clearing the other bit of the courgettes, and filling up the paths between with wood chips.

It was a good day!

Published on November 6, 2017 at 6:00 by

Following

Today wasn’t a productive day. This entire week wasn’t that productive, to be honest. I felt too happy. My mind was racing. I did get new ideas for posts. New ideas for the future. But not yet the time to write them down. I will, of course. But yes, getting a bit quieter in my mind is important. So today i simply read a bit, washed myself thoroughly, with warm water. A friend came by with dumpster dived bread, with raisins and nuts. Lovely! And i watched Star Trek Discovery. I quite like it. I do hope i am getting ready. Well, like i have been over the past fifty three years. It does feel to me to be so obvious, so clear. Looking back on my life, the way i have felt before, living it. All the feelings i have hidden away. All the adjustments i made, trying to fit in. I just never really did.

Well. I threw the I Ching. Following. With a changing second line, bringing me back to the Joyous. Good signs. Being the youngest daughter, this sign always felt close to me.

Ooh… there is one more thing. My father died in October. My mother called my last Saturday and told me. She had read it in a newspaper. He died 16 October 2017. He was 88 years old. I hadn’t seen him in almost thirty years.

My father was the person who pushed me away. And now he is gone. I haven’t cried a tear over him. He has been out of my life for so long. So yes, now he is gone. He left me with a few happy memories. But most are not. Goodbye daddy.

Published on November 3, 2017 at 6:00 by

Groceries

I do need to be really careful with money. These are the items i bought today. In the supermarket food for my cat, milk for breakfast (oat porridge), a carrot for my spaghetti and minced beef and tomato sauce, sauerkraut for next week. At the organic butcher i bought the minced beef. Which was more expensive than everything i bought in the supermarket together.
The two receipts
The spaghetti, onions and tomato pasta sauce i got this weekend from a friend from his dumpster diving activities. The leeks are from the garden. The bread i found in a plant standing outside of the butcher, a bit old, but still completely packaged and not eaten by anyone at all.
My dinner this evening. I will have more sauce for at least two more days, maybe even three more.

I still need a couple of things from the supermarket which i will get tomorrow. Butter and sugar. I do try to minimize the sugar i eat for my diabetes, but i do like around one tablespoon in my oats porridge in the morning, together with a bit of butter. Butter i used to buy in the market, but the price has been going up lately. In the supermarket it is cheaper right now. Eggs i still buy at the market, together with some vegetables. Last week i only got onions there.

It is a challenge living within such a tight budget. Quite enjoyable, for a limited time.

Published on November 2, 2017 at 6:00 by

A good day in the garden

Mushrooms growing in the wood chips pile. No idea if they are edible. So, when in doubt, do not eat!
A worm in the wood chips
Emily shows it's good
A portrait of the wheelbarrow
Bob working on decimating the nettles and thistle
A centipede in the compost
And a bug - no idea what sort this is
Building the compost bin
Straight!
Screwing
Down there
And filling it up
Dancing and stamping and jumping!
Published on November 1, 2017 at 6:00 by

Stranger things

I still feel ridiculously happy. After a fab weekend with two parties, today was a bit quieter. I watched three episodes of the new season of Stranger things. I watched the first season a year ago. I love the kids playing the lead part. Eleven is wonderful. And of course i know the 80s well, i lived through it.

I’m only halfway the new season episodes, it is hard for me to have a clear perspective on it. I do enjoy it. Thoroughly.

Later in the day, after i updated the operating system from 10.8 to 10.13, i watched an episode of the Filosofisch Kwintet. How do we deal with the current technological giants and their commercial use of our data? Is there a good way to deal with it? On a personal level, a social and a political level.

The episode is in english with dutch subtitles.

I’m gonna watch some more Stranger Things for now.

Enjoy your day!

Published on October 31, 2017 at 6:00 by

Wintertime

Friday late in the afternoon i got my computer back. Fast! Fast! The solid state drive feels like, superfast. Of course, now i realize my old hard drive was so slow because of the problems with it. Photoshop now starts up in ten seconds. Not five minutes. The smaller size means i had to put older files on my external hard drive. Not a big issue.

Yesterday, Saturday evening, i had a party. I baked a quince cake to bring along with me. And there was live music. Which was great. Excellent. A proper music jam, with anyone willing participating. With violinist, a vibraphone, keyboards, guitar, several different banging instruments. Lovely. The gin and tonic did get me down. I do remember walking back home not in a straight line. And falling asleep!

And this Sunday evening there was Samhain in the garden. I made a potato and onion adn thyme dish which cooked on the fire. And a salad – with all green harvested in the garden. And music too! I sang along for a bit. Good.

Now i’m home. Tired. Not as drunk as i was yesterday. I’ll hop into bed after i have written this post.

Happy! So happy!

Published on October 30, 2017 at 6:00 by