Author Archives for Ellen


My balcony before. An old wooden tray all curling up from the rain. Old plants in one of the rectangular planters on the railing. I'll get those out this week.
I cleaned up my balcony. The whole one square meter of it! First i wiped the whole area with a brush. Then i used water to scrub it clean.
I did some repotting and seeding. I started with my old laurel plant. I have it for around three or four years. I never repotted it before. So i am hoping the new, larger pot will give it a boost and new growth this year. In the earthenware pot i seeded catmint. I had already seeded it in the Peace Garden, but i'm pretty sure my cat Muis will love some catmint too. In the plastic pot i seeded rosemary.
In this planter i seeded basil. Lots of it.
Done. Apart from the fact my door couldn't close, so i moved some pots to the railing. Looks much better! Still to do: get more compost. Then seed a pot with rocket, a pot with thyme and a planter with coriander.
Published on March 28, 2017 at 6:00 by

A sunny Sunday’s walk

Today it was the Open Day at the Gandhi Garden. First i went to the Groene Passage Festival Market. I took home some self made compost from the Spirit restaurant. Also some magazine’s from the ecological Velt collective.

After that i walked past my home and put on a warmer coat. On to the Gandhi Garden next.

It was busy! The Maja Fietsclub performed. The first time i saw them perform, I liked it. Wijnand and Andreas, who both work in the Peace Garden, are the singer and the drummer.

Walking back through De Savornin Lohmanlaan. There is a vegetable garden there. I found it!

Half past five i was home. The sun still shining. One hour later than a week ago. Yay!

Published on March 27, 2017 at 6:00 by

The Hit Factory

In the late 80s, while i was studying at art school, i needed to be extremely frugal with my money. So i stopped buying many things. Records for one thing. In stead i went through the out of the charts box in the record shop. Singles were sold for one guilder. I also felt at the time my taste in music was changing. I was curious about many different music styles, especially the popular ones. Whitney Houston i was fascinated by. I knew she had a lovely voice. I knew she looked gorgeous. Not my taste no. But still. Lovely.

Stock, Aitken and Waterman were not my taste either. But i got into their music a bit. There is fun in their music. Of course. It is written mostly for young girls and boys. They could write a song in a couple of hours. And get a few girls of the street and make them sing it, record a video and yes, have a hit.

I did enjoy Kylie’s music a lot. I sang along with it. Danced in my house on it. And Especially For You, the duet between Kylie and Jason, was my favorite song. It still is.

Sometimes people can write a tune, write words which mean more than usual. I mean, it is more than I’d Rather Jack by the Reynolds Girls. Even though i always enjoyed that song too. Especially For You stayed with me for the last thirty years.

It was a bit weird that i listened to this music while i was at art school. Earlier, at high school and on the Delft University, i was into new wave – now known as post punk. It felt like i was looking for something opposed to the situation i was in. A small token of independence. I even bought the Smash Hits in that time. Reading it in the canteen of art school was not accepted.

The albums and singles i have are in this post. And at the end some youtube clips. One documentary to start with. A bit over enthusiastic of course.


The Hit Factory Documentary

Kylie Minogue – Got to be certain

Kylie minogue and Jason Donovan – Especially for you

Kylie – Hand on your heart

Kylie – Wouldn’t Change A Thing

Kylie – Never Too Late

Kylie – Better The Devil You Know

Bananarama – Venus

Mel & Kim – Respectable

Mel & Kim – Showing Out

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up

Sinitta – “Toy Boy”

Donna Summer – This Time I Know Its For Real

Princess – Say I’m Your Number One

Samantha Fox – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me Now

The Reynolds Girls – I’d Rather Jack

Published on March 24, 2017 at 6:00 by

An early spring walk

A walk through the Kralingse Bos. The weather was good today. Sometimes the wind felt a bit cold, but i never closed my coat.

I loved sitting in the park for a while and listen to the birds. A meditation. The drone of the cars rushing by in the distant. Never absent, no. I would like to hear nothing, but here in the west part of the Netherlands that is a hard bit to find. I did close my eyes and heard all the different birds around me. Singing their hearts out. Lovely.

A small yellow flower
White flowers against a blue sky
Trees covered with ivy
Most trees are still bare. Only buds point at the upcoming leaves.
Tiny white flowers
A bit closer up
Cut off tree trunks covered with moss
For around fifteen minutes i sat on a bench. I listened to the birds. Lovely.
Directly opposite the bench i sat on.
Young growth. No idea what type!
Published on March 23, 2017 at 6:00 by


Today i felt tired. Not as happy as i usually am. Walking slower. Not as talkative.

Yesterday, Monday, i brought Mieke to the vet. Her dead body. I walked up there with her in an old shoe box. It felt like walking a dead man’s march. After that i went to the Groene Passage and treated myself on a cappuccino and a carrot cake.

It will get better. For now the memories are still so fresh. This little white cat was a part of my life for the last twelve years. Mieke and Muis were pals. Lying together so many times. Me and Muis are together once more.

See you tomorrow.


Published on March 22, 2017 at 6:00 by


In 2002 the first album of the Dutch artist Spinvis was released. I got hooked. The melancholic and intricate music enchanted me.

I’ve missed out on his later albums. I did buy the second one, but it didn’t hook me as the first one. Still, he has a soft spot in my heart. This song, Bagagedrager, is on my MIXtape Spotify playlist. I do love the lyrics of this song. A bagagedrager is the back bit of a bicycle, on which you bind your bag. The part about biking through the white and cold, with the wind blowing through your gloves. Your fingers are cold as stone. And there is always something that paralyses you. Pot or booze. I don’t know what you make of it.

An excellent title.


Spinvis – Bagagedrager
Je droomt wel vaker van een feest
maar hier ben je nog nooit geweest
iedereen kijkt naar voetbal
en een vent zeurt aan je kop
wat wil die man in hemelsnaam
hoe kom je hier
hoe kom je hier vandaan
en als je wegkomt
waarheen wou je dan wel gaan
hij praat maar door maar jij dwaalt af
dus je weet niet wie de wedstrijd wint
als je luistert naar de wolken
als je luistert naar de wind
je agenda en je zonnebril
wat doen die hier nou
maar je ligt weer in je eigen bed
in je eigen lot
en opeens staat alles stil

een motor draait
de baby huilt
een vogel schreeuwt
de dag begint
en de snelweg suist

tis altijd wat en altijd spijt
van al het geld en alle tijd
op de onverharde wegen
die je naar hier hebben geleid
de ochtenden zijn wit en koud
en hoe je ook je stuur vasthoudt
de wind komt door je handschoenen heen
je vingers zijn versteend
zo is er altijd iets wat je verlamd
en is het niet de wiet
dan is het wel de drank of zo
het spookt maar in je hoofd
het was lang geleden een eeuwigheid
je fietste op de afsluitdijk
ik weet niet wat je er nu van vindt
als je luistert naar de wolken
als je luistert naar de wind
als je luistert naar de wolken
als je luistert naar de wind
als je luistert naar de wolken
als je luistert naar de wind

Lowlands 2012


Published on March 21, 2017 at 6:00 by

A lovely Wednesday

Work work work. The final bit of the job. I voted as well. I went to the dietitian. Which turned out to be the wrong day for it. I do remember the call, i did change the date in Calendar on my computer. But it wasn’t synced to my phone. So i got the normal warning yesterday and i didn’t think about it and i went. Not realizing it was postponed to next Tuesday.

It wasn’t that bad though. The weather today was extraordinary. Lovely. Sun shining. Fifteen ÂșC. So i slowly walked back home. Dressed a bit too warm!

More work. Music in the background. I sometimes sang along, sometimes danced a bit behind my computer or even standing in the front room. Yay!

This evening i will watch the results program of the vote today on the Dutch television. I’m curious. I might zap a bit, in between.

Next week i’m fully back here, on Yay!

Published on March 16, 2017 at 6:00 by