Author Archives for Ellen

A house with a garden

A dream that is coming up more often is a house with a garden. I don’t know where. It could be here in Rotterdam. Somewhere in the northern hemisphere. Within the climate i know and have lived in my whole life. Maybe a bit warmer. Or colder. A large garden would be best. With vegetables. And a greenhouse. A planting and seeding area. A cold frame. An area for flowers. Roses. Nasturtiums. An area where i can sit down and read. Smell the herbs. Drink a glass of wine with friends. Or tea. Eat some self made courgette cake.

A garden like Alys Fowler has and which sshe writes about in her book The Edible Garden. Not straight lines, not beds all perfectly in rows. But curvy, with vegetables and fruits mixed up together. A couple of trees. Berry bushes to the side. Some asparagus. Some artichoke.

That is a dream i have. That is what i love to think about. Crazy!

Published on September 25, 2018 at 6:00 by


A proper Dutch apple tart. Delicious!


  • 200 gr soft butter
  • 160 gr light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 300 gr flour
  • bit of salt
  • 1 egg
  • breadcrumbs

Apple filling

  • 100 gr raisins
  • rum
  • 1 kilo of Elstar apples
  • 100 gr walnuts sliced coursly
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 bag vanilla sugar


  • Rub a 24 cm wide springform in with butter and cast flour over it
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C.


  • Whisk the butter, light brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Sift the flour over it with a pinch of salt and add one egg
  • Mix to a supple dough and leave to rest in the fridge for at least fifteen minutes
  • Divide in three parts, one part for the bottom, one part for the side and one part for the top
  • Roll out two parts and put this in the springform
  • Divide the breadcrumbs over this

Apple filling

  • Put the rum over the raisins and leave them be – i did this at the start of making the cake
  • Peel the apples and cut into course pieces
  • Put in the raisins, decide for yourself if you want to sift out the rum (i didn’t)
  • Mix the apple, raisins, walnuts, sugar, vanilla sugar and cinnamon

Put together

  • Put the apple filling in the springform
  • Roll out the rest of the dough , slice this into small ribbons and cover the cake with them
  • Break an egg, scarmble this and cover the ribbons with it
  • Bake the cake in 60 minutes
  • Let the cake cool a bit
  • Serve with some powdered sugar and whipped cream if you like this

Published on September 21, 2018 at 6:00 by


Last week i had this day scheduled for filming. In the center of Rotterdam. It was difficult this morning. A bit sleepy. I still don’t sleep continuously. I do wake up regularly during the night. But i did go out. Around one o’clock.

It was partly clouded, but still lots of sunshine. I did wander around a bit. Went for the small park in front of the Laurens church. A family was sitting in the grass. Two small girls. The father had this bubble thing with which he made soap bubbles floating over my head. I filmed them for a short time. I walked to the Markthal, sat there on the low stairs for a bit. Filmed people walking by.

Towards the center. The thought came up to go into Donner, the main book shop in Rotterdam. Not sure, i hoped the rebuilding was done for a bit. Yes! I walked through the shop.

I bought a book. Kate Raworth‘s book Doughnut Economy. It is a year old. I remember seeing her on television went it was published. I did do a search for it in the library, but all books were lended out. So i bought this rather cheap English version. On my pile of books i want to read.

That is it for today. Back tomorrow!

Published on September 20, 2018 at 6:00 by

Gathering Together

47. K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion)


The lake is above, water below; the lake is empty, dried up. Exhaustion is expressed in yet another way: at the top, a dark line is holding down two light line; below, a light line is hemmed in between two dark ones. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. Thus everywhere superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men.


OPPRESSION. Success. Perseverance.
The great man brings about good fortune.
No blame.
When one has something to say,
It is not believed.

Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they; befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate. He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself. No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about goof fortune and remains blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words.


There is not water in the lake:
The image of EXHAUSTION.
Thus the superior man stakes his life
On following his will.

When the water has flowed out below, the lake must dry up and become exhausted. That is fate. This symbolizes an adverse fate in human life. In such times there is nothing a man can do but acquiesce in his fate and remain true to himself. This concerns the deepest stratum of his being, for this alone is superior to all external fate.

° Nine in the second place means:
One is oppressed while at meat and drink.
The man with the scarlet knee bands is just coming.
It furthers one to offer sacrifice.
To set forth brings misfortune.
No blame.

This pictures a state of inner oppression. Externally, all is well, one has meat and drink. But one is exhausted by the commonplaces of life, and there seems to be no way of escape. Then help comes from a high place. A prince – in ancient China princes wore scarlet knee bands – is in search of able helpers. But there are still obstructions to be overcome. Therefore it is important to meet these obstructions in the visible realm by offerings and prayer. To set forth without being prepared would be disastrous, though not morally wrong. Here a disagreeable situation must be overcome by patience of spirit.

45. Ts’ui / Gathering Together [Massing]


This hexagram is related in form and meaning to Pi, HOLDING TOGETHER (8). In the latter, water is over the earth; here a lake is over the earth. But since the lake is a place where water collects, the idea of gathering together is even more strongly expressed here than in the other hexagram. The same idea also arises from the fact that in the present case it is tow strong lines (the fourth and the fifth) that bring about the gather together, whereas in the former case one strong line (the fifth) stands in the midst of weak lines.


The king approaches his temple.
It furthers one to see the great man.
This brings success. Perseverance furthers.
To bring great offerings creates good fortune.
It furthers one to undertake something.

The gathering together of people in large communities is either a natural occurrence, as in the case of the family, or an artificial one, as in the case of the state. The family gathers about the father as its head. The perpetuation of this gathering in groups is achieved through the sacrifice to the ancestors, at which the whole clan is gathered together. Through the collective piety of the living members of the family, the ancestors become so integrated in the spiritual life of the family that it cannot be dispersed or dissolved.
Where men are to be gathered together, religious forces are needed. But there must also be a human leader to serve as the center of the group. In order to be able to bring others together, this leader must first of all be collected within himself. Only collective moral force can unite the world. Such great times of unification will leave great achievements behind them. This is the significance of the great offerings that are made. In the secular sphere likewise there is need of great deeds in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER.


Over the earth, the lake:
Thus the superior man renews his weapons
In order to meet the unforeseen.

If the water in the lake gathers until it rises above the earth, there is danger of a break-through. Precautions must be taken to prevent this. Similarly where men gather together in great numbers, strife is likely to arise; where possessions are collected, robbery is likely to occur. Thus in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER we must arm promptly to ward off the unexpected. Human woes usually come as a result of unexpected events against which we are not forearmed. If we are prepared, they can be prevented.

Published on September 18, 2018 at 6:00 by

A memory

During the early 2000’s i remember having a talk with friends about the upcoming war on Iraq. I didn’t like Saddam Hussein, i remember saying. Like, i thought it was a good thing if he was removed. My friends were very much against the war. I didn’t know.

Reading The Shock Doctrine i am changing my mind. Right now. There were no good sides. There was no evil versus good side. It was all murky. Drab. Terrible.

The last three days i have been watching The Lord of The Rings trilogy. The good people are kind, friendly. They look human, the elfs, hobbits. The evil people have bad teeth, terrible skin. It is immediately clear who are the good ones and who are the bad ones. Sort of anyway. This world we live is not like that.

Reading The Shock Doctrine does shed new lights on past events. Many things i didn’t know anything about. Other things i was thinking differently about at the time.

It is staggering to see how influenced we all are by the news. By what other people say, write. Think and talk about.

Something to think about. Deeply.

Published on September 17, 2018 at 6:00 by

The Shock Doctrine

The past few weeks i am reading the book The Shock Doctrine written by Naomi Klein.

Some things written about by this book i have known about. I remember the football world cup in Argentien in 1978. Neerlands Hoop was against the Dutch football team joining this world cup as the regime then in Argentine was a totalitarian one. I knew about the Chili coup. And then of course the Berlin wall, the fall of the Soviet Union empire, the Iraq war. But these were all separate events to me, not linked to each other.

I am not sure about the general story in this book. But still, it gives me so much to think about, so many things to question, not take for granted. I am happy reading this book right now. It gives me plenty of new areas to explore. Naomi Klein’s other books first of all.

Central to the book’s thesis is the contention that those who wish to implement unpopular free market policies now routinely do so by taking advantage of certain features of the aftermath of major disasters, be they economic, political, military or natural. The suggestion is that when a society experiences a major ‘shock’ there is a widespread desire for a rapid and decisive response to correct the situation; this desire for bold and immediate action provides an opportunity for unscrupulous actors to implement policies which go far beyond a legitimate response to disaster. The book suggests that when the rush to act means the specifics of a response will go unscrutinized, that is the moment when unpopular and unrelated policies will intentionally be rushed into effect. The book appears to claim that these shocks are in some cases intentionally encouraged or even manufactured.

Source: Wikipedia

Articles about The Shock Doctrine

Published on September 13, 2018 at 6:00 by