Author Archives for Ellen

A crowded Sunday

A week ago i was pulling out thistles. I was using a small spade, sticking it in the ground close to the root, using the palm of my hand to push it in deep. I got a blister. I found out when i removed my gardening gloves. It was already open. It was a bit hurtful the first few days. I can still feel it right now, but the hurt is gone. The first few days i was a bit more careful getting out weeds. Still, my first blister! Something to be proud of.
Halfway the gardening time we walked to the big market square. There were big screens up where people could watch the Excelsior-Feijenoord game. Feijenoord is hopefully going to win the KNVB Cup. Not today though, they lost: 3 - 0.
People climbed all the structures places on the market square.
Mostly young people. And lots of beer.

Stadslandbouwkas “De Oude Beer”
Through a link on facebook i saw a movie about a big city greenhouse “De Oude Beer” in Dordrecht last week. The greenhouse has 4000 square meters inside and a 100 square meters outside space. No chemical fertilizer and pesticides are used. A lovely movie, about building up the garden, weeding and seeding and planting. And peppers!

More informatie about this project on their website: stadslandbouwdordrecht.nl/plattegrond/stadslandbouwkas-oude-beer

Published on May 8, 2017 at 6:00 by

A completed life

The Dutch party D66 is advocate of a law which will enable elderly to end their life when they believe their life is completed. The elderly are people of 75 years or older. This is different from the euthanasia law, which is build on a medical perspective.

In March 2017 in the Dutch program Nieuwsuur Alexander Pechtold was interviewed for almost an hour. There were also some people invited to ask a question. Martin Kock was one of those people. He has a death wish, but is still 18 years younger than 75. He wants to know why he can not make his own decision.

I saw this episode later on. For a couple of days this topic was trending in the news shows on Dutch television. I didn’t follow it at the time, but it did stick in my mind. Parts of me were puzzled by the question. It is also a strange topic for me. I don’t have any desire to make an end of my life. I enjoy it with all intensity.

I found another clip on youtube where Martin Kock talks to the camera and explains more about his wish.

Later on in the program De Wereld Draait Door there was a discussion between Pechtold and Segers, the list puller of the Christen Union.

The past few months this topic stayed with me. At one point i talked with my mother about it. Did she know anyone around her who felt her life was complete. No. This doesn’t mean all, of course. Most people will not talk about this. So you will not know it if someone does feel this desire.

An article in the Groene, Extra Bingo Is Geen Oplossing (1 June 2016 ). Decay, loneliness, loss. The ingredients of a completed life. A 2011 research of the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam showed that a hundred thousand elderly people in the Netherlands have a death wish or a diminished will to live.

What is a completed life? It seems to me a life full of accomplished wishes, full of life, work, friends. A moment in life where you look back upon it and feel happy with the work you have done. It can be big things or small things. It can be having had a family and enjoying your grand children or great grand children.

This is not the completed life which is meant here. Existential loneliness, is the term here. A feeling of uselessness, loneliness, a burden upon society, a burden upon your family, if you have any. Death seems the only way out. Death is more pleasing than the vision of being dependent on lowly payed young people leaving you sitting in your own shit for hours, if not days. Live is unlivable.

A major problem hinted at in this article and Voltooid leven vraagt ander antwoord dan dood is that older people feel themselves standing outside society. Not being included in, not being able to use your skills to help other people makes you feel unworthy. The distance between yourself and the working society grows with each year.

The articles i found today are very helpful and gives a lot more depth and background to my thinking.

Last Sunday i had a talk with Daniël about this very same subject. I was still a bit concerned about the question being asked. As if you need permission from the government to make an end to your life. I think there is a limit to the influence of government on the people. In the end, the life you lead is your own responsibility. Making an end to it is your own responsibility too. There are many ways to make an end to your life. Stop eating and drinking for one thing. To ask for a pill to make an end to your life is convenient, yes. But i don’t think politics goes into that area.

After reading the articles linked here, i am finding out there are many more issues involved here.

I am not able to give an answer here and now. I am seriously thinking about this. Weighing all the answers of other people, without getting to a definite yes or no. Balancing.

So i will leave this post here.

To be continued.

Published on May 5, 2017 at 6:00 by

Mailchimp

Today, i was thinking while i walked to the market. A short thought. The plugin i tried yesterday i didn’t like. I remembered seeing a Mailchimp plugin for WordPress. I do like Mailchimp. I just checked on their website, they started in 2001. I must have known about them since 2003, 2004? So yes, i picked Mailchimp. The free option goes up to 2000 subscribers, which seems plenty for me. And i do like the templates and the whole look of their website.

I still have a couple of days to work on a template and do some tests. I will write the email myself. Using photos from the website, write a short bit or copy paste a bit from the text. Depends on the post. I will send an email out once a week, each Friday. It will have links to the five posts i made that week. So the first one goes out this Friday, 5 May. I will pick out a template and fill the email up over the week.

I am curious. I don’t expect that many sign-ups, but i do hope a few people will.

If you do want to subscribe to my new newsletter, please fill in the form below. You do not need to fill in your name if you don’t want to.




I will add this form to my footer. Hopefully sometime this week. I will make some other changes too.

Published on May 3, 2017 at 6:00 by

Standstill

I am working on setting up a newsletter for ellenpronk.com. A once a week sent newsletter with the five posts of the week, sent on Friday. Today i installed the plugin and did some tests. I do want to test it a bit further and see how i can get cron jobs to work good on my server.

In the afternoon i decided i needed more time, so i had to think of another posts for tomorrow. The I Ching popped up and i felt it was a good one to put up.

Just yet i sat down on the floor. Sitting quiet for a short while. Listening to the sound of the cars outside. My cat finding a place on the couch the lay and fall asleep. I had just given him his insulin. I only sat down for a minute or two.

Then i threw my coins.

I got some difficult signs. Obstruction is the first one, number 39.

Today i felt tired. I didn’t sleep well. Not that bit of a difference with other nights to be honest. But, i was really tired today. I did do some work on the newsletter plugin, a few tests. I also read A History of God written by Karen Armstrong. I enjoy reading this book. Halfway now, i’m curious to the more recent history of the last few centuries.

The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep, inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming them.

I do recognize this bit. Obstacles behind me and a dangerous abyss in front of me. The special lines all point to the same thing. All say the same thing.

Going leads to obstructions

The end sign is Standstill.

Withdraw into seclusion

Reminds me of the phone call i got today. Someone from an agency in Amsterdam got my name from LinkedIn. They were looking for people in the Rotterdam area for some clients. I wasn’t opposed to it, but i did say i wouldn’t want to work at a bank or a commercial company. I don’t think i will hear much from them. Still, you never know. I also said i worked in a garden for two days a week. Good for me.

😛

I watched the chess game i still have standing on my table. Two peons standing opposite each other. No idea how this game will go on. If it will. I do enjoy having it standing there though.

Time for me to get ready to go to bed. Enjoy today!

Published on May 2, 2017 at 6:00 by

A gardening Sunday

The harvest!
Most of the work done today was in our second garden. Same as last Friday. It really needs it.
More weeding done in the bed with the leeks. Planted broad beans in the middle of it. The ground near the train rails was emptied as well. We planted blackberries last year to make it grow there.
The blackberry bush
Newly planted broad beans
A bumblebee
Weeds still to work at
A lovely yellow flower in between the weeds. No idea if this can stay or should go.
And more weeds
Daniël hard at work in between the apple trees
Julien planting New Sealand spinach
An overview of the garden we worked on today
Published on May 1, 2017 at 6:00 by

A possible future

Hmmm

Yeah, right

OK

Since last Friday i have been thinking about writing and publishing this post. Someone in the garden said it to me. Dreams are good. No use in denying them. It triggered something in me. I have been dreaming about this post Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And then of course this post is altering the daydream. Changing the way it happens.

I’m a bit scared of writing about my daydreams. They are personal. Private. Mine alone. A world in which i can relax and control everything. My inner world. Nothing to do with anybody else.

I am not sure though this is true. Nothing to do with anybody else. All our daydreams, and i suppose nightly dreams as well, have to do with the world and its current lived in state. We all pick elements we like, we love. People we like, we love.

Moments of happiness.

Moments of sadness.

Moments of violence.

Moments of rage.

Moments of desire.

It seems to me someone is perfectly happy when he or she doesn’t have daydreams. When his or her life is full of moments needing attention. Too many to daydream. When nights are filled with much needed rest. Company of friends.

Daydreams have a function in your life. They give you a situation which you can escape to. Where you have all the power to make it the perfect act for your desires, good or bad, to play out their course.

Why the escape?

This world we live in simply moves incessantly through time and through space. For me, and i think for most other people, it seems like the world doesn’t care. Other people do not care. Each and everyone is trying to make this life work for him or her. To get the best out of it. To feel some sort of happiness. In work, in love, in friendship. Or sex. Or violence. But we all run into the borders set out by other people.

In the facebook update about the post Falling i said Falling through life. It felt so right for me. Gravity pulling you down, your hands desperately trying to catch some of the debris floating around you, the ultimate ending getting dangerously closer. A big splash. Kaboom. Dead.

First i want to apologize to the people involved in my daydreams. I’m so sorry. I can not escape myself. Always here.

I reread My dream life. Ooh. Almost the same as this post.

These dreams are all connected. They move forward slowly. My current dreams are so different from a year ago.

I am observing my dreams. Letting them happen is one thing. Thinking about them is another. That is hard. The dreams are my ultimate fantasy, my ultimate life, the things i wish for most.

I dream i am invited in a television show. The last week i see other shows, but i usually pick De wereld draait door. The past day i had a dream i started to sing. Do Re Mi. From the Sound of Music. I did sing My favorite things a few months ago.

I am invited in De Wereld Draait Door. Next week Thursday. 4 May 2017. It will be about this post, the one i am writing now. A possible future. I am nervous and anxious. But also happy. It worked! I got in! Yes!

We, me and Matthijs, we talk about my website. About the more than 500 posts on here. About the many topics i go through. It goes well. Hanneke Groenteman is the table lady. We had talked a bit before in the afternoon, while i was sitting with the visagist. I shook her hand when i came to the table. As i said i would do.

Then Matthijs says Scritti Politti. My all-time favourite band. He looks at me curiously. But of course i know what he will say next.

Because i am writing it here! Making it up as i go along!

The people working on the program have called Rough Trade to get a number of Green. They did contact him. And he is there. I turn around my head and watch the side. I feel my turn a little red. But also a smile comes at my face. I feel so happy! He walks up to the table, with a guitar. He will sing a song! Ooh, The Word Girl maybe? Ooh. He has written a new song. About me. Not entirely finished, but still. He plays it. I’m like transfixed. Sitting there, watching Green and listening to the music. It is wonderful!

After … or before maybe? We talk about the drawings i gave Green a year ago. He has them with him. He puts them on the table. I sort of touch them fleetingly. Matthijs asks if he can see them. I look at Green with a question on my face. Of course, he says. Matthijs likes the drawings.

I am completely there. Not daydreaming, no. So many things are happening, it is too busy to daydream. Just as when i work in the garden…

Oh terrible terrible terrible

Stop it!

I actually walked away from my computer. I listened to Steely Dan albums: Aja, Katy Lied, a part of Gaucho, then Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. I made something to eat.

Writing down that daydream is painful. Very different from dreaming away about it. It makes it one dimensional. Simply a dream to wish true.

And that is not what i want. I understand my daydreams. I get inspiration from them, things to make posts about. Maybe a small part of me wishes parts of my daydreams to come true. But that is not my life. And yes, i do wish to be heard. I do wish to talk in public. Of course. And i do wish to fall in love. And the person i fall in love with to fall in love with me. Of course.

But i do know these things are out of my control. I can only work on myself, right now. Which is what i am doing, for the past two and a half years.

I would so much like to talk about my ideas about how we should live in this world presently. My thoughts about money, about buying stuff, about what we should do to learn, about the food we eat, where we buy it. Schools should all have a garden for their students to work in. Not my idea alone. Of course not. Shared vegetable gardens should be much more prolific. More ingrained in the city planning. And if not, that is where i want to put money in. To buy ground, to pay people to work there. To give money to small scale projects for people and animals all over the world. If i had money. To talk with people all over the world to make a move towards a better world. A world we can all live in and work in.

And no, it will never be paradise. It will be hard work. Things go wrong all the time. But the banks and the companies and the politicians and the news are all making this world seem like it should be like this. And that is wrong.

My mind is jumbled up knot of strands and planes of all different sorts and kinds. Personal stuff, politics stuff, world stuff. And songs and music and stories. Working on this website gives me an opportunity to dig it all out. As much as possible.

This post had three titles.

  1. The ultimate dream
  2. A possible future
  3. An impossible future

I made three swithches. The last switch was back to number two A possible future.

I don’t know my future. People around me say i should take better care, worry more about money, live safer. I simply can not do that right now. I hope it will turn out good for me. That something will lift me up, make my life in this world actually possible in a good way. I really do.

And if not, i will still continue to do what i do now. Keep working on ellenpronk.com, keep working in the garden. Find a way to make some money to keep on going. Because i believe in it with my whole heart.

Working for a possible future.

Published on April 28, 2017 at 6:00 by

Seedlings

A few weeks ago i planted seeds in big pots on my balcony. I ran out of compost, so i took two afternoons to seed all the ones i had. Thyme, rosemary, coriander (cilantro), basil, rocket, catnip. And last week i seeded the Nasturtium seeds i bought on the market. Those are still deep in the earth. But the others, hopefully, are growing well. Some i’m not sure about. It could be a weed growing there, but i’ll find out soon enough.

Little basil plants
Coriander (cilantro)
Rocket leaves
Thyme (i think)
In the rosemary pot, not sure if this is rosemary or a weed
Catnip plants
Published on April 27, 2017 at 6:00 by

Chronological

Published on April 26, 2017 at 6:00 by