Author Archives for Ellen

Friends from the garden

A few weeks ago i got the idea of making a new video about the people working in the gardens. I even talked about it with Ronald, who works in the garden irregulalrly. Last week i changed this plan. Making photographs is a bit less invasive. Last weekend i made a few, first with the idea of publishing it straightaway, but after a few minutes i decided that would be too quick.

Right now i’m sitting at the edge of the platform of old train station Hofplein. It is busy here. I hadn’t realised there were more things going on here. People are having a picknick in the general area and walking through the garden and making photographs. The weather is good. Not too warm, a bit of sunshine, a bit of wind.

I made a draft for this post earlier this week. And i selected the category Friends for it. I simply clicked it on. Within a second i knew what i was doing. So yes, that is how i feel. Now, after working for more than a year in the garden. Friends. Not that i know everybody intimately. But still, working together, talking about all different things generates this feeling of friendship. I don’t know how long this will last, but for now it feels good.

So i took the photos. Close up. I did ask everybody if they wanted this. Some said no. Which is fine. Everybody has his or her own reasons. I decided late last night i will write the texts underneath the photos myself. I will let everyone read it and change it if they want that.

The first three photographs are from Daniël, Rutger and Jorinde. They are the driving force behind the gardens. Rutger has the all the seeds, the plan for the gardens ingrained in his mind. Daniël is the building man. The greenhouse, the chicken coop. And the coffee! Jorinde works with them since the start of this year.

Daniël is the coffeeman! He builds the structures needed around the garden. He has studied medicine for four years, but decided not to become a doctor and focusses his energies on gardening in stead.
Rutger has studied International Development Studies at Wageningen University. He also decided to work in urban gardens, around eight years ago. He knows a lot about seeds, agriculture and gardening. He writes articles for Het Potentieel and Stadslandbouwtijdschrift.
Jorinde has traveled a lot. In the autumn she goes to France to help pick the grapes. I love to work with her.
Julien is a musician. He works a lot in the garden and knows a lot about seeding and herbal teas and everything to do with gardening.
Ronald is our anarchist garden worker and tax consultant. He loves stroopwafels and Permablitzing.
Wijnand is a musician. He is a busker and plays music in the street as Wah Ananda. He also sings in the Maja Fietsclub and in Buzz King. He works hard in the garden and gets the water from the Rotte when it is a dry period and we really need it.
Carlijn is an illustrator and does body work. She makes lovely drawings.
Giulia brings along figues and water and is also working on a herbal spiral in the Peace Garden together with Carlijn.
Ben is studying here in Rotterdam. He is from Germany. Great guy 🙂
Diamela is from Columbia and loves gardening.
Diana works in the fruit garden at Station Hofplein. I'm still getting to know her. Very active!
Alex i only saw once or twice in the garden. Still happy i made a photo of him. 🙂
Published on June 12, 2017 at 6:00 by

You’re so vain

You’re so vain, written and performed by Carly Simon.

This song got stuck in my memories a few weeks ago. I’m gonna sing this song! I said so while i was sitting in the car with Daniël on our way back from the beach. I have been rehearsing this song for around two weeks. I still don’t know it by heart, but i’m getting better.

I’ve known this song for a long time, probably around the 70s. I never thought much about it, simply accepted it. I did always like the chorus. You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you. Clever. Very clever.

So here i am singing this one. I hope you enjoy it.

You’re So Vain – Carly Simon
You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically tipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as
You watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner
They’d be your partner, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain,
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Well, you had me several years ago
When I was still quite naive
When you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse, naturally, won
Then you flew your learjet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend,
Wife of a close friend, and

You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You’re so vain, you’re so vain
I’ll bet you think this song is about you
Don’t you?
Don’t you?

Published on June 9, 2017 at 6:00 by

My old links

I said it last week on the Superbad post, i will go through my old links and see which ones still work. Yay!

I did do a search for any link which had stopped working. Some have moved. Some have scripts which don’t work anymore. I don’t care. I’m happy with any little thread i found. I’m also a bit sad that so many websites have disappeared. 🙁

A newer links page on is still online.

  • Beliefs
  • ASCII World (
  • Cybordelics
  • Open source
  • The trap collection (
  • Asynchronous vs. synchronous update (| Difference Between Synchronous and Asynchronous | Asynchronous vs. synchronous update
  • The first name of ‘Ellen’
  • Personality Test (
  • Symbol © (
  • Heart (
  • Archeology of the Frivolous
  • The finger (| Other link, not sure about this one
  • Handy Board Assembly Tips (
  • Quilt Blocks Page
  • Cybertower (
  • r a z o r f i s h | This still works, no idea if this is the right stuff though – still fun
  • Losing an Architect of Change (
  • The Adventures of the Boy with Immovable Hair! ( | And just to leave you scratching your head, our final link is the Adventures of the Boy With Immovable Hair (, a series of comic strips drawn entirely in ASCII. And you thought those semicolon winky faces on e-mail were irritating. (Source:
  • Shift
  • Else’s Wepdisein (
  • Mr Ping vs Mr Pong! (
  • T A G R A P H I C (
  • 16 Color cinema
  • Antimath ( | robotwisdom | robotwisdom2
  • Paper Folding Project (
  • (e)co-operatief capitalisme (
  • flip flop flyin’ (
  • (
  • Niemandsverdriet
  • Sub-Pixel Font Rendering Technology
Published on June 7, 2017 at 6:00 by

Still a bit too tired

I still don’t sleep too well. I do hope it will get better soon. Lying awake a big part of the night. Last night i had the photos in my mind i made during the day. For a new post. Photos of people working in the garden. I made a draft for that post today. Changed the title to Friends of the Peace garden. And i added it to the friends category. It still could change. But yes, it could be my first post in this category.

I still need to make more photos. Not everybody was there yesterday. There is still tomorrow, Friday and Sunday. So i’m hoping i will catch most. I like the photos i made sofar. Text will be simple. The name. A single paragraph, or a line, why the person is working in the garden. Maybe a profession, anything they value can be added. A link to their website, to their facebook page. Still a week to prepare!

I did sing a bit more today. I have a playlist with most of the songs on this website. Only for some songs i need the lyrics, many i know by heart. I cried with one song. Not sure why. It is not one of my faves. I Would Stay from Krezip. I choked. It is a sensitive song, written by someone young. About living, growing up.

I’m still growing up myself. I’ve learned lots, yes. But each day there is something new to learn.

And then the I Ching.

Old favourites. 56. Lü / The Wanderer. One which i got loads of times before, one of which i thought hmmmm, might that one fit me?. Pretty sure now it does. The top tow lines are changing, and there it is: 31. Hsien / Influence (Wooing). Well-known signs to me. Feels a bit like coming home.

See you tomorrow.


Published on June 6, 2017 at 6:00 by

The garden

The man playing the saxophone is back!
Into the garden
Today i finally planted the nasturtium in their place. Curious if this will work out. Fingers crossed!
The table
The harvest - most of the strawberries we ate the minute it was picked 🙂
Published on June 5, 2017 at 6:00 by

A simple day in my house

I had high hopes for today.

None of them came true. But, i did some other things. I spend an hour or two sitting on my balcony. My tiny balcony. I moved some of the basil plants. In some places it was crowded, in other places there were none. So i spread them a bit more. I also moved some thyme plants. Away from the narturtium, which grows in the same pot. And also one rosemary plant was moved. At least, i hope it is rosemary plant. Bit early to tell.

I also planted four pots with new seeds. Last Tuesday i spend at the Peace garden, after the Hofplein Station garden was finished and planted eight herbs for the new herbal spiral we’re gonna make soon. Four of these, dill, lavender, sage and garlic chives i seeded today in the four pots i brought home from the garden a week ago. The pots the blackberries came in, good high pots. Curious to see how these will do.

Spend some time talking to my neighbour. Or rather, listening to her. I don’t talk much. It’s fine.

I had the plan to sing a song today. I practised yesterday. But i didn’t feel like singing it today. Moving it to next week. Still some days to practise, think about the clip i will make with it. No, i won’t tell you which song! Some things hidden here, for now.


I’m searching for quietness in myself. Not always there. Sometimes.

I hope it will be soon. But i know that hope is a delusion. Hard to put aside though.


Published on June 2, 2017 at 6:00 by

Elon Musk

Today, Tuesday 30 May, i worked in the fruit garden. The temperature had dropped, but it still felt warm and a bit moist. We worked on making a strawberry bed around the cherry trees. I wasn’t much help. But i did do some odd jobs. Getting all the grass cuttings on the compost heap. Getting everybody water. And talking!

I got into a conversation with Daniël about Mars. Me, i don’t buy into it. I know there is a project, but i think it is ludicrous. There is no oxygen on Mars. There is no way to come back to earth. I think it is insane. Daniël thinks different about it. Then the name Elon Musk dropped. I said i didn’t like his reason to set up his project to go to Mars. He seems to have given up on earth and wants to colonize Mars. As a plan B. Because he has given up on earth. Daniël didn’t know anything about that. Than i said i would look things up about this. I do know i have read this. I would make a post about it. So here it goes!

He is the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-chairman of OpenAI; founder and CEO of Neuralink. He was previously co-founder and chairman of SolarCity; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal. As of May 2017, he has an estimated net worth of $15.2 billion, making him the 80th-wealthiest person in the world. In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People.

Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multiplanetary” by establishing a human colony on Mars.

In addition to his primary business pursuits, he has also envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a VTOL supersonic jet aircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet.

I do appreciate Musk, i do admit. He is an intelligent man who works hard and thinks hard. It is his desire to establish a human colony on Mars which cast doubt.

… reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multiplanetary” by establishing a human colony on Mars.

Or as it also says on his wikipedia page:

An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct.

We must expand life beyond this green and blue ball – or go extinct.

The absence of any noticeable life may be an argument in favour of us being in a simulation…. Like when you’re playing an adventure game, and you can see the stars in the background, but you can’t ever get there. If it’s not a simulation, then maybe we’re in a lab and there’s some advanced alien civilization that’s just watching how we develop, out of curiosity, like mould in a petri dish…. If you look at our current technology level, something strange has to happen to civilizations, and I mean strange in a bad way. … And it could be that there are a whole lot of dead, one-planet civilizations.

With this i completely disagree. I do think our earth is a miracle place. A treasure in the universe. With the billions of other galaxies in this universe, it does seem likely there is life on other planets. But the structure of this universe, expanding right now, means the distance between planets with life possibilities can be beyond our traveling capacity. Thousands of light-years away from each other. I do think it is our planet is rare, at this distance from its moderate sun, with its large companion by its side, the moon, which protects this earth from asteroids, makes a high- and low-tide possible with the daily movement so important for life on this earth.

I’m not saying terraforming Mars is a hopeless case.

Terraforming Mars would entail three major interlaced changes: building up the magnetosphere, building up the atmosphere, and raising the temperature.

I would never send humans to Mars though. Of course, there are always people willing to go. Excited by the adventure, willing to make a final move to the edge of their imagination. But it is a death trap, right now. Maybe someday somewhere way back in the past, there was a situation on Mars in which bacteria could grow and start changing the atmosphere. But it didn’t happen. We’ve seen The Martian, we can imagine living in a dessert type environment and going out with protection clothing only and working on a vegetable garden inside, sure. But Mars is not a dessert as we know it. Mars has only 0.145% oxygen in its environment. If we want to terraform Mars, we need to prepare it with robots and ammonia and hydrocarbons and whatever technical help we can find. It will take hundred of years, i think. And it seems to me a project in which this whole world, all the countries on it, needs to work together. And really, we do have other pressing issues right now. Right here on this planet we call earth. Home.

This thought of ourselves living in a simulation, in a sort of matrix, can lead to thoughts it doesn’t matter what we do. If we are watched by others, if we live our lives in this make believe world, it doesn’t matter what we do. But we don’t. This is the magic of our lives, on this planet, in this universe. It rolls on with time continuously. We make up stories of the past. Some are truish. Others are false. We make up gods, we make up stories about lands and families and money. But we all live now, in this world. We do not live in the past. Or in the future. Now. The most special time there is. The time so difficult to grasp, so hard to be in. Now. And we can let our lives be ruled by past stories, or we can move on and try something new. We have complete freedom in the way we set out our life. Which is so hard to see, so difficult to feel. Now.

We are subject to risk, everywhere on this planet, anytime in this world. An asteroid could hit our planet. Ride through the cover of the moon and hit us hard and make life extremely difficult. Of course. It has happened before. Millions of years ago. But we can not make a life with this risk in our hearts. We simply need to make the best of our lives as it is right now. Start to build a better world. A greener world. A world in which all the people born on it can make a life for themselves. For some it will be more difficult than for others, but that is the chance of being born here on this planet. Your life here is a chance to build something, to work on something worthwhile, to love people around you, to have a family, to maybe have children. To make the future a better place to be. To make this world cleaner. To make this world a better place for our children and all the children after that.

I believe this is the essence of our life.

All the people trying to make us move in the way they want to, all the people making money over our backs, all the people making us work so hard and earn so little, all the people hiding behind the curtains and not being visible.

All these people i don’t believe.

I work in the garden. Three days a week now. I love it.

It is a small thing to do. I’m a small person on this planet.

This website, with its five posts a week, is a place in which i can channel my thoughts, make them grow. A place in which i can think. With all the liberty i can feel in me. Right now.

I’m not saying i have all the answers. I’m saying i want to talk with you. About many things. About supercouples. About making walks. About working in a garden. About music. About food. About your personal life. About movies, books and television. About terraforming Mars. About our planetary system. About the universe.

There are many things you will know better than me. And some things i know better than you.

I’m afraid Elon Musk had to step aside for a bit. This post may be about him, about some of his thoughts. I’d love to talk with him about them. Even though i will be really nervous if this would ever happen.

In the end though, this post is about me. Why i maintain this website. I have so many thoughts in my mind. They do keep me awake at night. And yes, some of them are about me, about wishes i have for myself, dreams i would love to come true. Others are about this world, about our lives, about my sadness, about my friends. About this stupid and miracle world we live in. The world we destroy because we can.


Published on May 31, 2017 at 6:00 by