Author Archives for Ellen

A slightly sick day

Today i’m calling in sick. I haven’t been feeling too good since i got back. In the bus i actually threw up. I was so surprised. I had just eaten an apple. It just came flying out. I felt a bit better, but when i went down towards the driver it came again. The whole night i sat besides the driver. I didn’t get sick again, but i did need some fresh air at times.

Today it’s almost the same. I simply want to lie down on the couch and hope i don’t need to throw up again. I’m gonna get in early i’m sure!

Nighty night.

Published on February 11, 2016 at 6:00 by

Scritti Politti – Roundhouse, London – 5 February 2016

The gig
I arrived the day before the gig. Since i picked the cheapest way possible, a coach, which also took the longest time to get to London. Including the trip on the train – first time! – around 9 1/2 hours. It all went good, i knew how to get to the place i had booked through airbnb, a large sofa in Camden Town. Only a short five minutes walking away from the Roundhouse.

The next day i made a walk to Hampstead Heath, not too far away. I visited Kenwood House, had a soup for lunch and got back to the sofa around three. Time to get ready! A short shower, put on my new leggings, and i started to do my make-up. Nothing too much, basically what i wore for my new selfie. I also applied the Écorce Sanguine nail polish i took with me. Finally i put on my red dress. A great opportunity to wear it for the very first time! I used my hair straightener to try to fashion my bangs a bit. They do curl up really soon.

I had posted a small message on the facebook group that i was going to be at the Roundhouse around seven and was fine meeting anyone. Tschië replied she would be there.

The waiting began. I drank a gin and tonic, said a brief hi to Rhodri and Dicky from the band sitting in the main bar. I listened to a rap singer outside the room, chatted with Tschië about the upcoming gig. I felt ok. Sort of. A bit nervous.

I went inside. Supporting act Rory Butler was singing.

I had a great seat! A row or two up from the ground floor, looking straight at the stage. See the picture at the top of this post to see my view. The only picture i took. I didn’t want to record anything, i simply wanted to enjoy the show and not be distracted by it.

After a short break the lights went on and everybody got in to get to their seats. It was busier than i thought. Good thing!

The band came up. Green had some trouble getting the strap for his guitar on right. He got some help from someone from the back. I had to smile. They started to play. The “Sweetest Girl”. I love that song. Love love love it.

The set was a mixture of every stage, every decade Scritti has existed. Some new songs too! A day late and a dollar short i do have, but i haven’t listened to it that much. I liked it. Brushed with oil, Dusted with powder has grown for me over the years, great song. Jacques Derrida and Asylums in Jerusalem! Petrococadollar is one of my faves. And of course Wood Beez and Absolute. And, i have said it before, but will say it again, some new songs!

The audience got more enthusiastic over time. Some people even stood up and danced. The little stories Green told before each song were charming. I might have known half of them, but who cares about that. At the end, the band got a standing ovation. We knew they were coming back. I mean, i could see the pages with lyrics texts on his standing desk. They should come back!

Two new songs in the encore. Slow Deceit and Willard van Orman Quine.

And then it was over.

And now, yes …, pfff …, a bit of a wait. I bumped into Green’s wife Alys just outside of the venue. She actually recognized me. I did talk to her a bit when they performed in Amsterdam in 2006.

In case you don’t know, haven’t read any other articles on this website: i did want to give Green drawings i made thirty years ago, 8 February 1986. When i made these drawings, i was still studying at the Technical University in Delft. I only lived in my own apartment in Rotterdam for two months. I always felt i should give these drawings away. I had given them away twice before, to my then current best friend. They both gave them back, i’m sad to say. I remember talking with friends about giving these drawings to Green ten years ago. They adviced against it. I listened to them. I don’t think i was ready then, to be honest. But this year i do think i was ready, with me working again on lfs.nl and ellenpronk.com after that, almost unknowingly – just a tiny little knowing somewhere inside – preparing myself, going ahead with the things i want to do.

about-verse

It was nerve wrecking. I could see the people flooding him and asking for him to sign albums, asking him for a picture. I could see a sort of unease in him. It was very hard for me to approach him. I did get another gin and tonic. I tried to get to Green, but he was sidetracked by other people. I was thinking to myself, i could walk out. This was too much. I hadn’t calculated in all the other people wanting something. I realized i wanted something too.

Green sort of stepped in my view and said something to me. To be honest, i don’t remember what he said. He looked a bit tired. But it did give me a lift. Of course straight after that other people confiscated him. But i felt a bit happier. Alys stood close by. I told her: “I want to give Green a present”. I took the box out of my bag. She looked at it.

And there he was again.

I said to him: “I have a present for you.”

I gave him the box.

“Should i open it?” That is what he said. I think i opened it for him. My mind is a bit blurry.

It is like, you have these dreams about what you want. Little dreams inside your mind, you can hide inside. Hide away from other people. Little dreams nobody knows about. All for yourself.

This moment, it was nothing like one of those little dreams. It was more. It was really happening. A bit uncomfortable. A bit out of it. A bit sidetracked. Real.

Old drawing of EllenI could sense his surprise when he saw the first drawing. And the second. And the third. He then stopped looking. He asked for my e-mail address. I got a card from my bag. An old card.. On the back i had already written my new website url. I wrote my e-mail address above it. “Is that you?” he asked. I think i nodded. He talked about sending me some drawings he had made.

And then it was over. I walked up to the bar and ordered another gin and tonic. A double this time. I walked back and saw Tschië sitting at one of the tables on the side. I sat besides her. She had seen what had happened. There was a half bottle of white wine standing on the table, which i grabbed. Just before a bartender wanted to get it. He smiled. And we got a glass of champagne from Rhodri. And then the bar closed.

Mission accomplished. I have actually done it!

Encore
A little encore. Yes. When i got back to the place i was staying, there was a gate, closed. I was told about it. I tried to open the lock, but there was a metal plate before the keyhole. I went over it with my fingers, couldn’t feel anything. I shook the gate. Damn.

I walked back to the Roundhouse, thinking i could call Nana from there. I have no service on my phone in the UK. When i got close to it, i saw some people walking from it. Rhodri was there. I sort of hooked up. Not sure what i was thinking to be honest. We ended up in a cafe closer to Camden Town, where Green was already. He actually tried to talk to me, but i was a bit thrown by not being able to open up the gate. I think i scared him away. Sorry Green. When the bar closed, two girls went along with me. They couldn’t open up the gate either. One of the girls, Virginia, said i could sleep at her place in Highgate. So yes, that is what i did.

The next morning i walked back, it was only an hours walk, not that far. Of course, the gate was open now. I did check the lock. And now, in clear daylight, i saw there was a tiny flip which made the metal sheet move up.

*sigh*

inbetween

Setlist

  1. The “Sweetest Girl”
  2. A Day Late and a Dollar Short
  3. Die Alone
  4. The Word Girl
  5. The Boom Boom Bap
  6. Jacques Derrida
  7. Oh Patti
  8. Brushed With Oil, Dusted With Powder
  9. Asylums in Jerusalem (first ever live performance)
  10. Skank Bloc Bologna
  11. 28/8/78 (first ever live performance…)
  12. Medley [I Wrote This Song For Today, You Don’t Love, Hair Pull, Slyday Morning, Two Years Ago, Mother Succubus, I Wrote This Song For Today (Reprise)]
  13. Petrococadollar
  14. Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)
  15. Absolute
  16. Encore: Slow Deceit
  17. Encore: “Willard Van Orman Quine”

Clips
The “Sweetest Girl”

The Word Girl

Oh Patti (Don’t feel sorry for loverboy)

Reviews
The Guardian
slightly shambolic, wholly endearing
From freshly minted synthpop to punky B-sides from the 70s, Green Gartside celebrates his band’s eclectic repertoire in a gleefully ramshackle show

Blackcountryrock
It was one of the happiest gigs I’ve attended in a long time.

Instagram

#scrittipolitti #arethafranklin

A video posted by Jason (@marabous) on

Green Gartside said this has never been played live before last night #scrittipolitti #roundhouse

A video posted by Emily Bowling (@ebowphoto) on

#scrittipolitti #petrococadollar #whitebreadblackbeer #livemusic

A video posted by Wei Lian (@crepdeck) on

#Scrittipolitti #theroundhouse #greengartside #absolute

A video posted by Ross (@ross_jones) on

#scrittipolitti #wordgirl #theroundhouse

A video posted by Andy Flatman (@nonsuchandy) on

#scrittipolitti #woodbeeze #arethafranklin #roundhouse

A video posted by Dermot James (@stereofuture_uk) on

First outing for 28/8/78 with redone vocal by Harriet Cass (who is in the audience!) #scrittipolitti

A video posted by Enda Guinan (@eguinan) on

First ever live performance of Oh Patti! #scrittipolitti

A video posted by Enda Guinan (@eguinan) on

Published on February 10, 2016 at 6:00 by

London

Today, Monday 8 February 2016, i got home again. Parts of me were very happy to see Rotterdam again. To see my cats. To sleep in my own bed. Other parts are amazed about how quickly it all went and already misses London.

First of all, i had booked an apartment through airbnb. I searched for a nice place around the Roundhouse in Camden. This place, a Large Sofa in Camden Town, drew my attention. The photos of the place look great, the reviews on their place are glowing. I did worry about the lack of a private room, but decided to leave that feeling and made a booking. So glad i did!

2016-02-07-09.35.02
The round curved mirror in the center of the house.
2016-02-07-08.30.47
A look into the biker place setup.
2016-02-07-08.30.04
A view from my bed on a sunny sunday morning.
2016-02-07-08.29.48
The big brown bear sitting at the end of the sofa.
2016-02-07-10.21.10
Nana and Paul and their cat Kuti.

I made a few walks during my stay. On Friday i walked up to Hampstead Heath. I got into a conversation with a dog walker, Simon. When after a while i said to him i was going to a Scritti Politti gig in the Roundhouse, he mentioned the Sweetest Girl and quoted a bit from the song. Great! Up on Parliament Hill i went for Kenwood House. I had visited this house before around fifteen years ago. Afterwards i got a leek and potato soup with bread and cheese in the Steward’s Room, part of the house.

2016-02-05-13.20.05
A great tree somewhere on the Hampstead Heath.
2016-02-05-10.54.23
On the top of the hill (i think 🙂 )

Sunday, the last day of my visit, i went to Liverpool Street and made a walk past my old apartment, Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, where i got a Cream cheese and smoked salmon filled bagel from the Beigel Bake, up towards Arnold Circus, Hoxton Square, up north along Hoxton street and then a walk past the Regents Canal up until Angel.

2016-02-07-11.16.39
The old place i lived in for seven months in 2000/2001, Wentworthstreet 37b.
2016-02-07-12.10.02

Tomorrow a post about the Scritti Politti gig! Yay!

Published on February 9, 2016 at 6:00 by

My ten favourite 2015 posts

It’s been a year since i started writing on Ellen’s blog. A good time to show my favourite posts.

In no particular order:

Sex
A highly condensed, but still truthful story of my life.

A walk from Scheveningen to Hoek van Holland
I made many walks the past year. This one remains one of the best. Over the beach.

The world is terrible
My Christmas speech. I know, i should think more, deeper. I should talk with other people! But still, i do like this one, lots.

A new selfie
A new selfie. I like my choice.

Let it go
My favourite song of 2015. I do need lessons in singing though!

Snow White
One of my favourite fairy tales.

Rotterdam – The people
One video clip. I could have picked any to be honest. I do like this one though. Happy and sad.

Vanilla Ice Cream and Salty Caramel Sauce
Deliciously wicked dessert.

Contactsheets and More Contactsheets
I love these portraits.

Walking the tightrope
I still do this every time i walk there. I do need to make a sidestep, because the new outlet there sets a writing board too close to it. But it’s ok.

Published on February 5, 2016 at 6:00 by

A trip to London

Today, Thursday 4 February, i am sitting in a bus. The bus all the way to London. The cheapest way i could find. Tonight i will arrive there, on my way to Camden. I’m sleeping only a block away from the Roundhouse.

Tomorrow i’ll make a walk. Maybe i will go to Hampstead Heath, or to The Regent’s Park. I’ll go where my feet will lead me.

And tomorrow night i will go to the Scritti Politti gig. Yay! I am a bit nervous, but still pretty good.

Bye bye!

Published on February 4, 2016 at 6:00 by

Reading

Still in a bit of a in between world right now. An easy post, about stuff i read.

Yesterday i read this post What World Are We Building?.

It’s easy to love or hate technology, to blame it for social ills or to imagine that it will fix what people cannot. But technology is made by people. In a society. And it has a tendency to mirror and magnify the issues that affect everyday life. The good, bad, and ugly.

It does remind me of the early days when i was online. I started around October 1995. At my work we had bought a modem, which i took home with me over the weekend. I loved it. Looking around, reading stuff. I was intrigued by muds and muses. One of the first ones i entered was MicroMuse. The first person i talked to was a journalist living on the west coast of the US. A far cry of the biollions of people being online right now.

This afternoon i went into Donner, the biggest bookstore in Rotterdam. I went after a book from Frissen. I asked someone there working at an info box. Frissen. He was on television in the book program Boeken (Books). He walked up to it straightaway. Het geheim van de laatste staat. The secret of the last state. I don’t know if i agree with him, but i do think the book will give me lots to think about. I will take this book with me to London. A book to read in the bus on my way over there.

Published on February 3, 2016 at 6:00 by

An in between day

This morning i did some shopping in the Albert Heijn. I bought food for my cats, catty litter, Tony Chocolonely milk chocolate, toilet paper and milk.

I also cleaned up my house, i wiped the floors in the kitchen and in the hall. My neighbour came by so i could tell er what she would need to do for my cats once i’m away over the weekend. I looked around my house and realised i needed to clean up!

I also baked a bread. My sixth already! Still doing the rye and spelt bread. I love the taste. Since it doesn’t rise that much, it’s no use kneading it that long. I will try other breads eventually. But for me, for now this bread is great.

Tomorrow i’ll go to the market. Not that i need that much, some more fruit to take with me, some vegetables for a miso soup. I did make a chicken soup Saturday, which is lovely. I still have one cup of that in the fridge.

Wednesday i’ll start packing. I might fit some clothes tomorrow. I need to decide if i’m gonna buy a new legging, or wear one i already have, or wear a pantyhose. Not sure yet.

The perfume i will take with me will be Portrait of a Lady. I bought this one almost a year ago on my birthday. Love this scent.

I also need to pick my ten favourite posts of the past year for my post on Friday. Tomorrow i will start going through them. Looking forward to that!

That is it for now. Kiss!

Published on February 2, 2016 at 6:00 by

Hello Goodbye

I’ve known the Beatles the whole of my life, i guess. My sister had a double 7″ single, with a booklet in the middle. I remember going through it. She also had a single from the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations. Yes!

Last December the songs of the Beatles were released to all streaming services. In the weeks since then i listened to them lots. I decided to sing a Beatles song, but it was hard to pick the right one. I do enjoy the earlier songs, like She loves you and Can’t Buy Me Love. But i ended up picking up Hello Goodbye. I love the lyrics. Extremely simple, a conversation between two opposites, a yes and a no, a high and a low, a goodbye and a hello.

Let’s just keep it to the fact i’m essentially a simple person, very much. Enjoy!

Hello Goodbye – The Beatles
You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello

Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello

Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello

I say high, you say low
You say why and I say I don’t know
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello

(Hello goodbye, hello goodbye)
Hello, hello
(Hello goodbye)
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello

(Hello goodbye, hello goodbye)
Hello, hello
(Hello goodbye)
I don’t know why you say goodbye
(Hello goodbye)
I say hello

Why, why, why, why, why, why
Do you say goodbye?
Goodbye, bye, bye, bye, bye
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello

Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello

You say yes
(I say yes)
I say no
(But I may mean no)
You say stop
(I can stay)
And I say go, go, go
(Til it’s time to go)

Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello

Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye I say hello
Hello

Hela, goodbye hello
Hela, goodbye hello
Hela, heba helloa

Published on February 1, 2016 at 6:00 by

Revolution

I’m throwing three coins to ask a comment from the I Ching.

I did use this book many many times when i was younger. As you can see on my diary pages. I have always enjoyed this book, but its use has grown less over the years. The last time i used it was 31 October 2015, only a few months ago. Before that 19 October 2014. Before that 17 February 2009.

I use the three coins to get the numbers. The easiest one. Heads gives a three, tails gives a two.

3 x tails 6 lines-6
2 x tails, 1 x head 7 lines-7
1 x tails, 2 x heads 8 lines-8
3 x heads 9 lines-9

As you can see in the picture at the top, i threw 7 – 8 – 7 – 7 – 7 – 6. You start building up the sign at the bottom of the image. 6 and 9 are special lines, which make them switch to the opposite. In this case you get two signs, a start and an end sign, with the special lines giving comment on the start and change.

This gives the starting sign 49. Ko / Revolution ( Molting).

The changing line 6 is at the top.

The end sign is 13. T’ung Jen / Fellowship with men.

49. Ko / Revolution (Molting)
The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an animal’s pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From this word is carried over to apply to the “moltings” in political life, the great revolutions connected with changes of governments.

The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in K’uei, OPPOSITION (38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Tui. But while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of revolution.

THE JUDGMENT
REVOLUTION. On your own day
You are believed.
Supreme success,
Furthering through perseverance.
Remorse disappears.

Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them, prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims and must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to regret.

Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.

THE IMAGE
Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION.
Thus the superior man
Sets the calendar in order
And makes the seasons clear.

Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.

Six at the top
The superior man changes like a panther.
The inferior man molts in the face.
Starting brings misfortune.
To remain persevering brings good fortune.

After the large and fundamental problems are settled, certain minor reforms, and elaborations of these, are necessary. These detailed reforms may be likened to the equally distinct but relatively small marks of the panther’s coat. As a consequence, a change also takes place among the inferior people. In conformity with the new order, they likewise “molt.” This molting, it is true, does not go very deep, but that is not to be expected. We must be satisfied with the attainable. If we should go too far and try to achieve too much, it would lead to unrest and misfortune. For the object of a great revolution is the attainment of clarified, secure conditions ensuring a general stabilization on the basis of what is possible at the moment.

13. T’ung Jen / Fellowship with men
The image of the upper trigram Ch’ien is heaven, and that of the lower, Li, is flame. It is the nature of fire to flame up to the heaven. This gives the idea of fellowship. IT is the second line that, by virtue of its central character, unites the five strong lines around it. This hexagram forms a complement to Shih, THE ARMY (7). In the latter, danger is within and obedience without—the character of a warlike army, which, in order to hold together, needs one strong man among the many who are weak. Here, clarity is within and strength without—the character of a peaceful union of men, which, in order to hold together, needs one yielding nature among many firm persons.

THE JUDGMENT
FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open.
Success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
The perseverance of the superior man furthers.

True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed—a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram means clarity; the outer, strength.)

THE IMAGE
Heaven together with fire:
The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN.
Thus the superior man organizes the clans
And makes distinctions between things.

Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things—that would be chaos, not fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.

Well, what does this mean to me.

I do know the situation i’m in right now can not last forever. I don’t have work, i do not have a steady income. I have bits of money yes, but it won’t last.

The thing i set out for myself to do, next week, is to give my thirty year old drawings to Green. That is very important to me. It is extremely personal. I’m almost embarrassed to do it. But i know it is what i want to do.

I simply hope i can do it right. Honest.

I’ve been working again, for myself, for over a year. Starting again on lfs was magical. I don’t know where i got the sudden energy from. I know i was in love at the time, but that was more like a byproduct. Ending lfs, felt strange. I didn’t know then what i was going to do next, but i knew the post About was going to be the last present on lfs.nl. I didn’t realise i was going to start a new blog that soon, on 9 February 2015.

This blog is the joy of my life. I have played around, made walks, sang songs, made video clips, wrote about my past work, about myself, cooked. And more.

I know something has to change soon. I can not think about that yet. It is like my life pivots around next Friday, 5 February. I know i am doing this myself. Nobody else is forcing this on me. It is like i can only think up until that day. After that it will be like another life.

I am doing great now though. I feel wonderful. I know i need to worry about money, but i don’t. Sometimes i think i am crazy, but i am not. I am a bit besides normal life though. And yes, i do know that can not last. But for now it’s fine.

In the end, it comes down to that question i asked myself. Do i want to live a private life, in quietness and solitude; or a public life, in fullness.

That is what i think these I Ching signs are pointing to.

Published on January 29, 2016 at 6:00 by