Categories for My story

A present

A week ago, in the post London, i wrote that i will be going to the Scritti Politti gig on February 5 next week Friday. I have a ticked, i booked the bus and a place to spend the night, only a block away from the Roundhouse.

I did write about a dream i have in The world and the people.

I gave these drawings away, twice. First time i gave them to Iris, who was my friend when i made these. She is actually on the first drawing. The girl dancing with the yellow hat. After a time she gave these drawings back to me. Maybe because, if i remember correctly, i was looking at the drawings a lot when i was at her home.

The second time i gave them to Femke. She gave them back too. I don’t remember what she said. But i have the feeling she felt it was too much.

After that i kept these drawings. I actually almost forgot about them. Until the sledgehammer moment. I got them out of the cupboard. I made a photo of the seventh card, which has only text on it, which is the last part of the song A little knowledge by Scritti Politti.

I always felt that i shouldn’t keep these drawings. I was actually thinking of giving them to Green in 2006. I talked about this idea with friends, who advised against it. I do think they were right, then.

Now, I actually would like to give these drawings to Green.

No strings attached. Well, apart from my crazy dreams, but hey!

This could go many ways. First, of course, is that nothing will happen. Which seems most likely to be honest. But i hope not. And there are of course a million other ways this could go. Yes, i have thought about this too! For many many years. And its scary. Yes. But i do feel i gotta do this. To sort of liberate myself? Maybe? And i know i could let it go. Which is what i said two days ago. No i won’t write. No no nononono. I have my pride. I’m not gonna do this.

But every dream i have comes to this point. And i can’t get around it. I always get stuck. I change things, twist them, but it always happens. And i don’t know why.

I’ll miss my drawings. But i do think they will go to a good home.

Hopefully.

I will take the drawings with me. I will try to talk to Green. I will try to give these drawings to him. I don’t know if he will accept them.

I could fail hopelessly.

I hope i will keep myself together. Sometimes i think that it is just a small thing. These are simply small drawings i made almost thirty years ago. But to me they are not small. They have been a part of my life for all those years. And their meaning has grown for me.

I did write to Rhodri, who is in the band, in November 2014. I did send links to the pictures with that e-mail. He would ask Green about it, but warned me that he was not very good in replying to e-mails. He never did.

This is difficult for me. I hope i can make this work, somehow. I know i have grown over the past year. That will help me.

I am scared, yes. I don’t see how i could not be. One part of me wishes this was over and done with. Another part wishes to run away and lead my own life. Another part wants to stay here at home forever. But even though this is scary, i know i will go to London and i will try to give these drawings to him. I can only hope he will accept them.

Published on January 25, 2016 at 6:00 by

London

Holidays in the traditional sense are not my thing. I did go with my family. First in the Netherlands, in a little house in a forest. With swimming pools close by. Then, from when i was six years old, we went abroad. Spain. In 1970. Alicante. Torremolinos. After a few years we went to Tenerife. Playa de las Americas. Those holidays are very much a part of my life with my family.

My last holiday was in 1993. I went to Crete with a friend for three weeks. Walking with a backpack, wild camping, a few nights in a room. It was a good holiday. On the whole. But yeah, my last.

I did go to London several times the past twenty years. At first to meet some people from a Scritti Politti get together. I did go in 1999 for sure. I made three presents then: Clouds, Refrigerator Poem and Sky. I think i went the year before as well, but i couldn’t find anything about that.

My big thing happened in 2000. Around April i got an email with the question if i wanted to work in London. I went over for a day and well, i didn’t need that much time to think about it, i said yes. I rented my house to my stepbrother and the beginning of August, off i went.

It was hard.

Thursday November 16, 2000
18.08 GMT

Its been a while. I could write something long here, about how difficult it is, especially work, on which i don’t seem to get a grip. But i won’t. I just hope i’ll get the energy to start working on presents soon again, and maybe that will help me through work as well.
Untill that time, it’ll be quiet here.

Its funny here at work though, all these people on their mobile phones walking through the wide midpath (one day i’ll post a picture of the office, in secret… ). I hardly use mine, its just convenient to have one here in London. Not sure what i’ll do when i go back, it has its uses. Its just that i forget i have it with me, and that would be horrendous in a cinema. Email is another thing here, i’m getting used to it, but it still feels funny emailing someone who sits just 10 metres away from me. Oh well, its welcome to the big modern world, miss ellen.

Anyway, i justed wanted to write something. Just say hi basically. Next time i’ll do that in a more visual way, promiss!

love
Ellen

I felt a complete failure. I didn’t realise that the company i worked at was about to go bankrupt. I didn’t realise i was actually lucky. I got paid for all the days i worked. Other people, who heared after Christmas that they were all without a job, were not so lucky. I used my website to ask for another job in London, and wow, i got one. A job to make a website for a television program, Shipwrecked. It was in Holland Park, i had to work all through the Christmas period – oh well ok, i had two days, in which i played Tekken and read Harry Potter the first three books.

After that i gave up. I went back to Rotterdam. I was tired. I got some freelance work from London. I went back to London for a couple of weeks at the end of 2001. I stayed with Danielle, with whom i became fast friends. I got freelance work from my old employer in Rotterdam, and a year later i got back to work there. Really, i felt a failure.

In 2005 i went back to London. I stayed with Danielle once again, at her house in Maygrove Road between West Hampstead and Kilburn.

A year after that in the Scritti Politti Yahoo-group there was message Green was performing in a pub in a band called Double D and the Traitorous Three. For the ones not knowing, Scritti Politti hasn’t performed life since 1980. So this was sort of huge event. For me anyway.

I posted a message on the board and asked if there were Dutch people who were interested in going to London if there was a new gig. Two people replied, Marco and Ernst. So when that gig was posted, for 5 February 2006, we did go. We pulled an all-nighter, were extremely tired when we got home, but hey, we had seen Scritti Politti play!

On 30 March that same year Scritti played life in Paradiso, Amsterdam. And in July that same year they performed in the Scala in London, where i went to myself.

In 2009 my sister asked me to go to London with her and her two kids. I happily went along, and even though the experience was a bit mixed – i am not used to teens doing their own thing for sure – it was good to be back in London once more.

That is 7 years ago.

And now, in three weeks time, i am going to London once again.

Yes, Scritti Politti is performing in the Roundhouse in Camden on 5 February, London. And i have bought the ticket, booked the bus, since it is the cheapest way to go, and booked a sofa through airbnb, only a block away from the Roundhouse. I will leave on Thursday 4 February and come back Sunday, or rather Monday morning 8 February. Giving myself the time to look around in London once again. On my own.

I still have the dream to go away from Rotterdam one time. I lived here for thirty years. I do love this place, but well, honestly, i could happily live in another place. London is really expensive though. So i don’t know how i would manage that. But it is number one on my list of favourite places to live.

Published on January 18, 2016 at 6:00 by

Two thousand fifteen

This past year has been wild. For me. Not that anybody will have noticed. I’m outwardly quiet, friendly. I smile a lot. At home, alone, i work, i read, i sing, i dance, i watch tv. And i blog.

This year i discovered so many new things. Things i love to do. Not that i’m particularly good at them. The singing. I don’t play any instrument, so it’s a cappella for me. And yes, that is difficult. It is hard to keep it all in the same tone, it is hard to remember all the details of a song, the ooohs and aaahs, the lalalala’s and the sighs and sounds. But i do love it.

The video clips. Closer to me, closer to what i’ve been doing the biggest part of my life. I had a first discovery wild energetic go at it. Now it’s a bit more controlled. I do like the mixing of the singing and the video clips. Excellent.

This year is also a year of looking back. The books i read, the works i made, the thoughts i had. I don’t know why i stopped working in 2006. But i do feel better now. I’m not all quiet and serene, not at all. But i have ideas of what i would like to do mostly.

Getting it done is something else. Making it my work, with which i can earn a living, is something else. But that is what i wish for the most.

I have a bit more time. I got a bit of money, still. I’m not there yet.

I don’t understand where i get this trust from. I know it’s made up, by me. At times i do feel worried extremely. But it always passes. On the whole, i’m feeling entirely happy. Wonderful. Great!

I’ll leave you with this. Enjoy your weekend. Smell the fresh air. Make a walk. Drink tea. Eat a cookie. Smile.

Published on December 11, 2015 at 6:00 by

Daydreaming

This last year felt like a storm running through my life. Daytime was ok usually, making a new present, walking, buying groceries, working if i had some work to do. Making photos, writing texts, reading, listening to music. And the last months making a video. Filming, editing, choosing the music track.

Nighttime was different. I don’t remember a single night in which i didn’t wake up. Many nights in which i couldn’t fall asleep. Many nights filled with daydreams. Basically the same daydream, but with small changes occurring over time. I know that everything i daydream will not come true. The mix of events is limitless though.

I wrote about My boyfriend a year ago.

I got a list of names, but there are many more people whose name I don’t know. And of course I got dreams. I just move another picture of a face on my boyfriend. I give him another name. Easy. It’s hard to make me not do that. Might even be impossible.

One of the themes of my daydreams is marriage. Yeah. Embarrasing. I actually do watch Say Yes to the Dress on TLC. Not every day, but when there is nothing else on, i zap to it and watch it for a short time. It is fascinating. And horrible at the same time. I don’t recognize myself in the women searching for the right dress at all, but it is still fascinating to watch. I don’t even really want to get married myself — still, a special festive day just for me and my boy friend would be truly nice.

I will be horrified if anything i daydreamed would happen to me in real life. But daydreaming doesn’t care about these culturally refined attitudes. They are about wish fulfillment. Marriage does seem to suit my needs.

The state of daydreaming is a kind of liminal state between waking (with the ability to think rationally and logically) and sleeping.

Another theme in my daydreams is fame. More specifically, the question if i could handle becoming famous myself. Up until now i haven’t been able to answer this question with a definite no or yes. When i look at my own life, i don’t see fame in itself as something i strive for. But when i look at my work, i do see the complete openness of it. From my posts here on ellenpronk.com on my past work, to the nine years of work on lfs.nl. It is all freely available for anyone to go through.

It does all boil down to the question about my futures, public or private. I should have realized that it really is not a easy question to answer. I can be almost childlike in my enthusiasm. But i do feel i need to answer this question seriously. Especially if i am asking this myself.

Of course my own objections are first in my mind. I’m too old. I’m too fat. I’m not beautiful. I’m simply not good enough.

But these are my own insecurities speaking up. Denying myself the time to really think about this question and giving me an easy way out. All circumstances are pointing that way, the way out, the way to a private life. The life i’ve lead my whole life. But i haven’t answered the question, i’ve simply pushed it behind all my personal hang-ups.

It is very tempting to daydream about options which could open up for me. Suppose i were to become famous. Simply assume this were to happen, theoretically. Someone Lisa Eldridge or Pixiwoo could put the right make-up on. I’d love that! What if they could put me in dresses especially made for me. What if i could really sing. Not like i do now, in my iPhone 4, done in an hour or two, but really sing at my best. That would be amazing! I’d love that! I can lose a few kilos over that for sure. Or not. 🙂

I am scared.

I could easily wipe away these questions. I have done so in the past, i can do it again. But i know the life behind me. It is OK. Sure. But i feel i will regret it if i stick with it. For comfort. Because of course, i’m not good enough.

So the question is not if i could handle fame. The question is if i wish that for me. An exciting life. A life full of people, friends and enemies. A life with days crammed with work to do. In which i will be tired at the end of the day.

To that, my answer is a clear YES!

Published on November 10, 2015 at 6:00 by

Please

I woke up last night around four. I felt this hurt inside. The feeling i have failed in what i had set out to do.

What was that? To get out in the world. To become known. To meet people, talk to people. Like i do now, in Rotterdam, on a smaller scale. The woman i met on my walk to the Rottemeren. The woman i met when i ate a chip with mayo sitting on the side of the market. The woman i met today in the pharmacy. The man i met on the beach while i was walking from Scheveningen to Hoek van Holland. The man i talked while he was brushing sand into the joint on the Binnenrotte. Simple everyday meetings, everyday talks.

I enjoy that. Lots. I try to smile to people i walk by. Not all the time, no. But usually i do. Some people smile back, some say goodday. Some look angry, or surprised, or scared. I am careful.

I feel it does matter. It is important.

I do not know this world. I do follow the news, but i do not trust it. It has a tendency to focus on the bad stuff. It shows half the world. Or even less. Even here in Rotterdam the place is not like it is portrayed. In promotion video’s you see the best places, from the best sides, in the best weather. It is not like that.

But i digress.

What did i set out to do? To become known, to get to know the world and the people living in it a little bit better. As i said two days ago, to save the world. Which is a big thing to say! I don’t mean as in the world is set out to fail and i’m the one person to set it right. But it is also not that whatever you do doesn’t matter. It does matter.

I was born in the 60s. The 50s seemed like a lifetime before. Seemed like it was an all together different time. Now i think of my niece, who is born in the 90s. The 80s must mean the same thing for her.

But the world is still the same. Moving through time in the same pace. We, the people, are simply staying here for a short time, trying to be happy, trying to live. Through the last century, the one before that. Before that. Before that.

For me, and i think for most people, the past is like a million years ago. A time you can not get to anymore. Vanished. Disappeared. The future is not here either. It is a definite unknown. Even though you know you read this in a time after 4 November 2015, the future is still not there. You travel with everybody else in this ever present now.

It is also easy to forget. It is easy to have a pension, to have an insurance, to say you will work until you are 65, 66, 67. It is easy to set boundaries around your life. This is the time you work. This is your free time. This is your time for sleep. This is your time to eat. This is your time for sex. Everything in its own box. To live your life as you think you should, as you think everybody else does.

This world is more and more set. Defined. Compartmentalized. The first world. The third world. The rich world. The poor world. The rising world. Countries are all defined and constricted. This is mine and that is yours. Language is a maze of different meanings. What do you say? What do you mean? What is this all about?

I don’t know what life i will be living. I don’t know how long this life in western Europe will stay like this. This rich. This scared. But also loving and caring. I don’t know for how long our money will be worth what it is now. For how long you can buy the food you eat in the supermarket. We assume it will stay like this. But i’m pretty sure it won’t. Things are changing every day.

I do long for a public life. But it might be different from what i imagine.

No, of course it will be different.

What i dream, what i imagine, is settled in myself and in my past. What is new, what is the future of me, is still unknown. And i want to get to know it. I want to get to live it. I truly do.

Please.

Published on November 4, 2015 at 6:00 by

Terribly happy

Worked on the Rotterdam clip today. Calling it Buildings and bridges. I like that name. First i thought of the name Two bridges, but well, there are three bridges in it, and also many buildings. So i will not use that name. I do need tomorrow to get the order of the clips right.

Already thinking about the next clip. I’m thinking of filming people. Brrrr. A bit scary. But still, i think i can get it done. I’ll start tomorrow with filming. And saturday on the market. Sunday in the centre. And next wednesday the Drie dwaze dagen (Three foolish days) will start at the Bijenkorf. It’s busy usually. I just checked the opening times, on Wednesdays the shops open at 8.00. So yeah, right now i think i should be there and film.

I don’t know what i will be doing after that. It depends on how my next video clips will be received. So far it’s pretty quiet. It is difficult for me, really. Because to me it is not quiet at all. I feel totally enthused about these clips. I can not believe i only started making them halfway September. To me it feels like so many things are coming together. The music, the filming, the editing, the ordering. I love it. I do know i’m still at the start of this. I do know i’m not young anymore. But i do know with every week i’m making a step forward. Absolutely.

So yeah, i’m happy. So terribly happy.

Published on October 15, 2015 at 6:00 by

A walk through the Kralingse Bos

It does feel like this journey i set out on a year ago is finally getting somewhere. The clip i made last week is not the best ever, but to me it is the first clip i ever made. The first of many. Yes! It was such a joy working on it. Over the weekend i slept a bit better. I also do start to feel different. Happier. More at ease. Not sure how to describe it really.

So today, monday 21 September, the very first day of autumn, i spend walking through the Kralingse Bos. Taking clips all over the place. Of the trees. The leaves. The sky. The mushrooms. The water. I spend some time talking to a person sitting in the car close to the sheep herd. I saw that herd the last time i walked through the forest, a week and a half ago. The thought that crossed my mind then was that i liked seeing the sheep there. I felt it was like a different kind of keeping the grasses and other plants a bit shorter. This time i walked up to them. I saw the sheep, the dog sitting besides the car and a man sitting in the car. We talked for a short bit. It was indeed what i suspected, the sheep were rotated through the park and grazed the various lands they were put on. The goal was to get them all around the park for two or three times. Sometimes when a land was flowering a lot they were not allowed there. Or other plants they – pretty sure they are the forest keepers and other people supervising it – don’t want in the forest that much. He said the name of one such plants, but i confes, i forgot. He also said there are orchids blowing in the forest. Close to the golf course. A place i haven’t seen yet. Another plant he also named was the leper lily, the kievietsbloem in Dutch. A flower which is extinct in Belgium and only grows in a few areas in the Netherlands. So yeah, it’s pretty special it is growing in the Kralingse Bos. He also talked a bit about all the different sorts of people he meets walking in the forest. Some are looking out for birds, birds of prey even, others look out for flowers. Yes, I did learn a bit!

I also sat at the water for a while. There was a bit of sunshine, only high clouds. I listened to the water lapping. I looked at the water’s continuous change of shapes. Mesmerizing.

When i got back home again, i made me some tea. I did copy the clips from my phone to my computer. All 72 ones. I also picked the music. Classical this time, from Rudolf Escher. Tomorrow i will listen to some other pieces from him. I do want to get the right piece. But anyway, i will work on it for the rest of the week. I do hope it will be done by Friday, but i’m not sure of course.

Time to go to bed now. Good night sweeties!

Published on September 22, 2015 at 6:00 by

Me

Working on a video. With music! Something is working right. It’s not perfect, but the clips i filmed work, the music works. But i do need a bit more time to get it right. Till the end of the week anyways.

I am tired now though, i haven’t been sleeping well the last few days. So i’m giving myself a day off.

Bye bye!

Published on September 16, 2015 at 6:00 by

Dreams

This morning i woke up around four. The cat was miaowing outside and scratching the door. I do close it the last weeks because litle Mieke does like to wake me up in the middle of the night with her little paw with those sharp nails. After a while i do go out, walk to the kitchen, stroke her and let her eat some dry cat food. This morning i got out too. And walked to the kitchen.

I went back to bed and put on the light and got my iPad and read a little. Then i got my book and read some more. Modesitt‘s Recluce series now, the books i have. Then i tried to fall back to sleep a bit more. I often fail! At nights i think. Sort of dream awake. No dream is ever the same as another. It is usually the same situation, but each time with a different scenario. Slightly different.

The last couple of days i do fall asleep again in the morning. This morning i had two dreams. Which i remember! This is new, because usually i don’t remember my dreams anymore. But today i did. I made drawings of them. Not terribly successful, but they are still images connected to those dreams. They were not pleasant dreams.

dream-boat-fish-water
I step on a boat. It is dark. There is water in the boat. In that water is a fish. A flatfish. I'm scared.
dream-hut-walk-outside
I'm standing in a building near a grassfield. I watch the door. Through the door i see a person, a military man. People are walking into the building. They are standing out of sight of the military man. I'm scared.

I don’t know what these dreams mean. But i do see i’m scared in both of them. The last one reminds me of a dream i had much earlier, when i was around 20 years old.

I’m in a building in the Shell swimming pool area close to my parent’s house. There are people lying on a sloping curve, their faces visible. There is a gel like substance flowing over them. Only the people at the top survive. They stand up and walk down over the dead people. It is really frightening me. A nightmare.

Another dream i remember is one i had the night i read The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. The book is so much better than the film. The dream is around 35 years old.

I’m running down a street. I do see the street building up as in run from a grey background. I keep on running into the greyness, but i never fall into it. I do remember walking into a house at one time, but that’s very vague.

The last days i’ve been very tired. I do think a lot too. Nothing fancy pancy, nothing dreamlike. I think i’m on the brink of making a decision. Soon.

Published on September 9, 2015 at 6:00 by