Author Archives for Ellen

What next?

Since last year i’ve been thinking about what direction i want my life to take, what i want to do with my life, how i want to live. I was lucky i could take that time out. I was lucky i had the money to do so.

I don’t have definitive answers. Nothing clear cut. I do know what i do not want. But i’m not sure i can live like that.

I do know i want to keep on working on It is not always my best work, but it is still a steady stream of work, thoughts, memories. Sometimes very little stories. Sometimes big stories. I still make five updates a week, published at six AM in the morning, CET.

I’ve been through my history. Through my old work from art school. Through my old work from It is a special sort of work, doing this each day.

I love the walks. I love taking photos. I love going out there and being all alone in the Dutch landscape or the Dutch city. I love going out at the beach, at the polder, at the water, at the harbour, at the river, the grasslands. Looking out and taking it all in.

I love the singing! I know, i need to learn so much! But i’m so happy i’m finally doing it. I’ve been singing for so long, but never for other people. And now i finally am able to sing. It’s sort of difficult to sing a cappella, there is no escape, nothing to hide behind. But i still love it. Even though i find it hard to listen to.

I do hope i will keep up, i do hope my best work is still to come. I do hope people will find me.

I do hope i will bring a bit of joy, for you.

Published on August 17, 2015 at 6:00 by


  • reading Dune, in book four now
  • enjoying the warmth
  • going to see my mum tomorrow
  • will walk from the train station to her house, an hours, hour and a half walk, will take photo’s now
  • love watching the Great British Menu, in week 2
  • love the Great British Bake Off series 6!
  • still thinking about my life, what road to take, i can’t just sit here and wait for something to happen, it’s hard though, i’m not sure what to do
Published on August 14, 2015 at 6:00 by

Female orgasm – a start

This week i came across an article This just in: There’s no “mystery” about the female orgasm written by Trisha Borowicz. Last night i found myself thinking about this article while i was trying to get some sleep. I turned on the lights and read it again.

I remember reading articles on this G-spot in the 80s. I remember various articles in which it was said women can have multiple orgasms. I remember reading there are many different ways for a woman to get an orgasm.

Reading this article on Salon did make me angry yes. It went against all the muffled information which got to me over the past 35 years. No G-spot orgasms, no vaginal orgasms. They are simply fringe information people like to talk about. The science is that only one type of orgasm which has been proven, has been studied, has been shown to exist. A clitoral glans orgasm.

Orgasm is the rhythmic release of the pelvic muscle tension created during arousal, and it is caused by sufficient stimulation of the penis or the clitoral glans/vulva area. It’s the same for all sexes, all genders, trans people, gay people, straight people, intersex people, you name it, if they got something that is like a penis or a clitoral glans, it can be stimulated to orgasm. Males generally trigger ejaculation at orgasm, but orgasms and ejaculation are two different things and can be experienced separately.

This idea that this G-spot is very important, a vaginal orgasm is the ultimate orgasm for women. That idea was inside of me. Not clearly defined, not like i talk about it or anything, but yes, it was. And now i read this article in which it is very clearly stated that that is no proof, no scientific proof for a vaginal orgasm.

Of course this doesn’t mean there are many different sorts of sensations. A kiss on the mouth, on the neck, on the earlobe, on a nipple, a touch on the belly, on the thigh, on your hands, on your face, on your vulva. The whole body is a sensitive area which, with the right person, can give huge amounts of pleasure.

When i masturbate i have different intensities of orgasms. Sometimes i’m simply more into it than other times. I’ve had years of not being very interested in masturbation at all. The times that i am into it it is fantastic.

I will be doing more reading about these issues. I’ll get back to it once i know more.

More info

Published on August 13, 2015 at 6:00 by

A slightly longer musical history 2005 – 2015

My music listening habits keep changing over the years. From vinyl and cassettes to CD’s to iTunes to Spotify. I remember the playlist i made in a playlist organizer for my birthday party. I don’t remember the name of the application. I had to connect my computer to my sound system with a long wire.

I wrote a post on called A short incomplete musical history in 2005. I will quote the entire post here.

timelineReading the Rip it up and start again-book made me thinking back lots, as i wrote yesterday. Being a witness of this period, but from such a distance it lost its depth. It felt like a watching a movie from the backrow. Reading the book makes me see it from behind the scenes, see unexpected threads connecting.

Being born halfway the 60’s, my earliest memories are a thick LP with a red label with Dutch children’s songs on it (“In de speeltuin”, “Toen onze mop een mopje was”). I also remember a double single from the Beatles, with a booklet inbetween: Magical Mystery Tour. That was fascinating to me, i used to leaf trhough it, it had such pretty colours, enchanting. I also remember a single from the Beach Boys, Good Vibrations. These were both from my sister. Her being nice years older than me, she was the most important influence on my childhood music memories. So its twofold, on one side the music from the charts: George McCray, Rock you baby, Boney M. on the other hand my sister’s music, American westcoast music mostly: Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Loggins and Messina, Little Feat.

A memory still clear: me watching ABBA perform at the Eurovision Songfestival. Being 10 years old, it was still exciting for me to watch it, comment on every song with the family, none of the campy sentiments surrounding it today. You actyallu wanted your country to win! But in 1974, i remember being swept away by Agnetha’s blue satin trousers and white boots, the little cap on her head, the long blond hair and pretty face. Long before i bought Dancing Queen the single at age 12, ABBA was destined to win, i was sure of it! Another mention goes to Jesus hrist Superstar, the first record i remember singing along with. My favourite part ofcourse Yvonne Elliman, I don’t know how to love you. I really don’t know how doing that affected my mental state, singing Maria Magdalena’s part that young. Not raised in an overtly religious family, but the Calvinistic tendency in Dutch society was felt throughout.

Some 20 odd singles later – Tavares, Heaven must be missing an angel; Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Make me smile; Fleetwood Mac, Go your own way. Inbetween the chart singles and westcoast music, suddenly Saturday Night Fever and Grease. On holiday with my parents on Tenerife, we tried to dance John Travolta-like in our appartments on the cassette i taped before we had left. I’m not sure what i made of the movie, only when i saw it again much later i relaised it was much more mature than i probably realised at the time. Grease ofcourse was happy fluff!

Another milestone: Seeing Nina Hagen on a Dutch televisionshow presented by Sonja Barend. I was hooked. This screaming shouting Unbeschreiblich weiblich singing, beautiful woman with her black edged eyes and black lipstick, her tightfitting shiny black pants in one smash made me enter adolescence in one night. Gone were the old west coast music, the charts singles, this was something i liked. Another irreverent Dutch band from that time, Gruppo Sportivo, making fun of the record companies, exposing some of the mechanisms behind charts music made for the perfect music for a 14-year old girl.

But still, a time without internet, the only available information for me still was the radio. Not having a radio of my own, it was Madness, the Specials and the Police, the alternative pick of chart music which ruled my world. Only a couple of years later, having a bit more money, access to information through Vinyl, a Dutch early 80s postpunk magazine, getting friends, going to gigs and listening to Spleen on the radio (or go to the live transmitions broadcasted from Parkzicht on the sunday afternoons in a sunny summer 1983). This, to me, was the most exciting period of my music listening live. Going to the record store on thursday afternoons, going through the ‘new releases’, going the to public library for some back cataloguing, but not much, cuz there was always something new to discover. From the poppy end, starting from XTC Black Sea, bought when i was 16, to the dark corners of Throbbing Gristle and Test Department, almost getting to Captain Beefheart, but not quite, there was Prince in the end, with ofcourse a romantic movie and music which made you wanna dance and be happy.

And then the final blow to my music investigating days – apart from me moving out of my parents house and having no money, something i will conveniently forget for now. Summer 1985, Scritti Politti. Most importantly, it was music that made me think, that confused me. It didn’t seem to lead to a definite conclusion, it questioned itself mostly, and boy did i like that. For a time i defiantly turned against the prominent music of the time and read Smash Hits in the canteen of art school, singing along with Whitney Houston and Kylie & Jason. Guess i somehow wanted to go against the grain one way or the other. I started to like music that made me feel happy, with a little bit of irony. I tried to listen with an open mind, forget any preconceived ideas i might have. Around this time i noticed the Pet Shop Boys, who i really really liked – i remember a rather fierce argument where i defended them, i doubt with any success…

The 90s went by too fast going over into the 00s, just some standard fare, a little of Beastie Boys, Massive Attack, Portishead, Radiohead. No real interest, a bit of Beatles and Beach Boys research, some soul music. At this very moment blogs spark my interests in dance, M.I.A., Girls Aloud, and i’m actually discovering the fun in listening to new music again. Oops, its the end of the line, seeya tomorrow! lfs, Ellen

The biggest change was in 2010 when Spotify entered the Dutch market. I did first have an account myself, but in 2011 i switched to another provider which had Spotify premium as a free service. Looking through my playlists i do think one of the first ones is the office one, a public lists where all my colleagues added songs they liked. This is huge tumbler with music ranging from jazz to rap to rock to soul to heavy metal to indie to pop. It’s still in my list, but its been years since i listened to it.

Over the years i added many private playlists. I went through all my vinyl, cassettes and cd’s and added the albums i could find. I have another group of lists called albums in which i add new and old albums which are drawing my ears. There are some playlists i am subscribed to. Which i don’t listen to enough! Some greatest hits playlist: The Pitchfork 500, NME 100 tracks of the decade, Lowlands 2011, Top 2000 editie 2011, John Peel.

One playlist i have listened to this year The Needle from the user The Sounds of Spotify. You can read about these lists on this blog furialog.

So put the needle on the record. The things people are listening to far away only seem weird because “far away” used to matter. You used to have to go to Estonia to hear what people were listening to there. Estonia used to be a “there”. It’s still partly a “there” for licensing reasons, as not all of the songs in all of these lists will be available in all the other regions. Art and joy always move faster than law. But eventually we always catch up. Everywhere can be a here now. Or tomorrow, or next week.

Another site he made is Every Noise at Once, which makes me stare at it with a huge silence in my mind. And then i start clicking and listen to the fragments. Even the category ‘levenslied’ is stuck in between all the other ones.

Another user which caught my ear was Sasha Frere-Jones who listed his Perfect recordings last year which i discovered through I used to listen to his playlist when i was in the train headed to work last year. Nice 🙂

Lastly, i’m building my own mixtapes. I used to have quite large breaks between lists. It went from October 2010 to May 2012. A couple in 2013 and in 2014. From October 2014 till now each month i added a lists of songs i liked. Some old favourites, some new favourites, songs which i like, songs with memories, songs i love. I just made a new lists in which i copied all these songs, which is added below this post. It’s the main list i listen to right now.

I do know i miss an awful lot of music. I wish i had the time to listen to it all. I was listening to a lot of music the past year, but still the quiet is what i like the most. You gotta make choices. I’m still happy with the few playlists which have caught me and made me learn music i didn’t know yet. Curious as to what i will discover next.

Published on August 12, 2015 at 6:00 by

That’s Entertainment

That’s Entertainment is a song from The Jam‘s album Sound Affects. I think i bought this album around 1981, maybe even 1980. I liked it!

That’s Entertainment
The Jam
A police car and a screaming siren
A pneumatic drill and ripped up concrete
A baby wailing and stray dog howling
The screech of brakes and lamp light blinking

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

A smash of glass and a rumble of boots
An electric train and a ripped up ‘phone booth
Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat
Lights going out and a kick in the balls

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Days of speed and slow time Mondays
Pissing down with rain on a boring Wednesday
Watching the news and not eating your tea
A freezing cold flat and damp on the walls

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Waking up at six am on a cool warm morning
Opening the windows and breathing in petrol
An amateur band rehearsing in a nearby yard
Watching the tele and thinking about your holidays

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Waking up from bad dreams and smoking cigarettes
Cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume
A hot summer’s day and sticky black tarmac
Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight
Two lovers missing the tranquillity of solitude
Getting a cab and travelling on buses
Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

The original

Published on August 10, 2015 at 6:00 by

Coffee break

I like coffee. I don’t drink any at home at the moment, so once or twice a week i go out and drink some coffee. Usually i go to the Coffee Company, close to my house. Occasionally i go to the Urban Espresso Bar, a bit further on. Charlie’s Kitchen is close by too, but that is not my favourite.

So what makes the Coffee Company my favourite? Well, i do enjoy the coffee. I usually have a medium latte. Sometimes with cake or tart or a cookie. But what i do love is the view. Its terrace is situated at the top of the Meent. You can see the aqua color of the high rising Beurs building at the Coolsingel. People coming and going, talking, eating, checking their phone. Just doing their stuff.

I do read the newspaper when i drink my coffee. Usually the NRC Next. I had a subscription to the NRC for around twenty years. I did stop over a year ago, price being one reason. Another reason was that i didn’t read it fully each day. So all the time i get a phone call or i walk into a person on the street trying to sell me a subscription to it, i politely say no. No thanks. It’s always hard to get away from them, they are trained to make you think, make you want. But a no is a no. Usually. I do sometimes chat with them. I once had a chat with two young people with the Volkskrant, that was a lot of fun. But still, no.

Back to the Coffee Company. I love sitting there when it’s sunny and not too cold, on the terrace. You are able to look far away onto the Meent. I love listening to people on the terrace. Today there was a young mother with her baby girl and a friend. Lovely.

I feel calm, at ease. Simply looking at the people around me. Sometimes a few words are said between me and someone else, usually i just sit there quietly by myself. Easy going yes. A nice coffee break.


Read more…

Published on August 7, 2015 at 6:00 by

Flower nails

Yesterday i started to read a bit on Rookie. It says of itself that it is an online publication for teenage girls featuring writing, photography, illustrations, videos, and more from our lovely contributors and readers. I did add the magazine to my rss feeds, but there is a whole backlog of articles to dive into. I do like the tone of voice, the style, music and beauty things. A few years back i did read the Style Rookie by Tavi Gevinson, but i stopped when she started Rookie and stopped working on her own blog.

Anyway, i found this article about painting flowers on your nails, Painted Flower. Which i loved. I went through my collection nails polishes and first tried to find all the reds (a few) and pinks (none!). I than switched to a darker theme, with a red flower with a yellow centre and a darker background. But no! i went for a green background with the yellow / pink-red flower. So i started out.

First i had to remove the old polish. Then i remembered my remarks of a week ago about my cuticles and decided to use Lemony Flutter from Lush and my Shea Butter Ultra Rich Hand Cream from L’Occitance. Then i put on the Nail repair from Trind.

After some time thinking and picking out colours, i decided to do each nail the same with these colours. At the utmost left the Nail repair from Trind, at the right the top coat.
I started out with the green with a golden shine as a base.
The Mimosa yellow made a dot in the middle.
This was a bit trickier. I did find out i couldn't wait too long to get into the red dot with my tiny brush and draw them to the yellow middle. To give the yellow a bit more shine and hide the red stripes into them, i put a little bit more yellow over them. After all this, when it was all dry, i added the top coat.
Published on August 6, 2015 at 6:00 by

Joy of Baking

One of my favourite youtube accounts i’m subscribed to is Joy of Baking. Cookies, candies, tarts, pies, ice cream, pancakes, puddings, all kinds of recipes you can find here.

Stephanie Jaworski is an excellent explainer of the right way to approach a recipe. She is calm, knows the ins and outs of the recipe, knows the difficulties and explains them patiently. Her website has been online since May 1997. There are many many recipes online.

I will list a couple of my favourite recipes from the site.

You can check the playlists on her youtube account.

I was subscribed to other cooking channels on youtube, but after a time i got a bit tired of those too happy faces, the recipes in which i wasn’t interested and the obvious commercial content.

Last week i watched a long clip about how to make French Baguettes. It was amazing. It made me wanna do it! Which i didn’t. But yes, i will bake bread. Soon! I do need to look up a good recipe. Sour dough or yeast? Plain flour, spelt, rye? Sunflower seeds? Pumpkin seeds? Anything else? I will need to do some research. My favourite bread at the moment is a spelt rye bread from the Marqt, so that would be a good place to start.

Another favourite which i should start working on is macarons. Hmmm 🙂

There are a few other cooking sites which are in my rss feeds. These two are the best for me.

  • 101 Cookbooks, a natural foods recipe journal. Not as busy as it used to be, but a great resource of all types of vegetarian recipes. I actually do have two of Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks myself, Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day
  • David Lebovitz, a former professional cook who devotes his life now to his website, his books and his love for Paris, where he lives. Excellent blog. He does focus on sweets in his books mostly.
Published on August 5, 2015 at 6:00 by

My world map, phase 7

Stanley Kubrick
stanley-kubrickThis week i watched Dr. Strangelove, released in the year i was born. I remembered parts of it. The former mad Nazi scientist played by Peter Sellers. I liked it better now. Lolita i’ve seen too. I also read the book written by Nabokov. Like 20 years ago, maybe even longer. I should watch it again. It’s been sunken deep away in my memory. Lolita, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut i’ve also seen. I’m thinking of seeing them all once again. The older movies up until Spartacus (1960) i don’t think i’ve seen. Spartacus i’m not sure about. But i should watch that one too.
Honestly, i think i’ve always known Kubrick to be a well respected director. Reading a bit more about him, i didn’t realize how he lived, what type of films he made, the wide range of genres, the perfectionism with which he made these films. So yes, i am gonna watch most of his movies once again. I might get back to you on this once i’ve done this.
PS. I watched The Shining last Saturday. It did get to me a lot better than previous times i saw it. For instance the title, which i had never thought about before. Shining is what the little boy Danny does. He asks for help from the cook who he has spoken to when they got int the hotel on their first day. The pedaling of Danny through the endless corridors of the hotel, the immediate fright that called up with me of seeng those two girls. The room 237 which he should never enter, the cook had said.

Speaking about the theme of the film, Kubrick stated that “there’s something inherently wrong with the human personality. There’s an evil side to it. One of the things that horror stories can do is to show us the archetypes of the unconcious; we can see the dark side without having to confront it directly”. (Duncan, Paul (2003), Stanley Kubrick: The Complete Films)

David Lynch
davidlynchTwin Peaks was huge in the late 80s. I was still at art school. I remember getting together with friends and watching episodes together. With donuts and coffee. And beer and wine too no doubt. The show is still on my list of shows and movies i want to see again. Especially the first season, the first eight episodes. The beautiful people in the show were a bonus. Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn and in the second season Heather Graham were totally gorgeous. The music by Angelo Badalamenti was wonderful.
This show is enough reason for me to ass David Lynch to this list. But there are also his movies. A guilty pleasure, Dune. With Sting! The Elephant Man i liked too. Blue Velvet was a weird movie with a lot of violence and many strange happenings. As Lynch himself said “a dream of strange desires wrapped inside a mystery story”.
One movie i forgot was directed by Lynch, The Straight Story. I saw this movie on the sneak preview in Lantaren/Venster in Rotterdam, when it was still in the Gouvernestraat in the centre. Mulholland Drive i need to watch again and read about.

Tonke Dragt
tonkedragtThe first book i read written by Tonke Dragt was Torenhoog en Mijlenbreed. It is a science fiction book for people 12 years and older. The main lead, Edu, is a planet explorer stationed on Venus. He is drawn towards the Venusian woods, but they are dangerous to all man made materials, like artificial cloth and plastics. He does go into the woods himself, finds the Venusian people living there and discovers he can read minds like they do. Years later i found out there was a sequal to this book, Ogen van tijgers. I did buy this book then, not sure when, but longer than 10 years ago.
De torens van Februari is another of my favourite books. The shape is a diary by someone who has lost his memories. Slowly he regains bits of them. He has managed to get to a parallel world of our own. He left our world 29 February 1964. Only a few days after i was born. 🙂 He used a word. The book told that you could guess the word if you read it carefully enough. Which is what i did! Multiple times! I thought it could be something with the word ‘verschrikkelijk’ (terrible). But i wasn’t sure. I never tried it anyway. Brilliant book!
I have more of Dragt’s books. Verhalen van de Tweelingbroers, De brief voor de koning, Geheimen van het Wilde Woud, De Zevensprong, Aan de andere kant van de tijd. All are a mixture of fantasy or science fiction. Some are more realistic than others.
I also just found out the book The letter for the King (De brief voor de koning) was just translated and released in the UK a year ago. Enjoy!

Philip Pullman
philip-pullmanI learned about Philip Pullman in 2003, when the BBC had the Big Read, a popularist reading ranking vote, in which his main book His Dark Materials came at number three. I was surprised that this book was rated above Harry Potter (at number five) and got it in our local book store Donner, a three in one edition. His Dark Materials consists of three books, a coming of age fantasy story about a girl, Lyra and a boy, Will. There are many parallel worlds in the books. Lyra lives in a Victorian kind of world, Will lives in our world. The main drive in these books is a war on God, the first angel who has proclaimed himself above the other angels and is ruling the worlds. Dust is a special elementary particle which is attracted to grown up people. The church believes it is related to the Original Sin.
I love these books. I am rereading them right now, for most likely the fourth time. There are still many details i have forgotten, little nooks and crannies which have slipped my mind.

J.K. Rowling
jkrowlingAt Christmas time in the year 2000, i lived in London in a shared apartment on Wentworth street, close to Spitalfields Market. I was alone there for Christmas time. I had found a job to do after i got fired at Oven Digital. Only a month before they got broke. I was making a website for Shipwrecked, a reality program on Channel 4. I had bought the first three books of Harry Potter to read during the break, all three in a box. Very fast after this i bought the fourth book. I don’t remember that, but it was released July 2000, so it’s most likely i did. I loved these books. Over the years i bought the follow-ups. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows.
I do enjoy the movies as well. Whenever they are shown on television (quite a lot!), i liked to watch them.
I never read a lot about Rowling herself. I’m not sure what i think of her. I have never really thought about that. But i do like her Harry Potter books.

Published on August 4, 2015 at 6:00 by