Categories for My story

Old works and photos

Last week i showed all the contact sheets i could find. This post i will post some works i made with these photos. It is about choices i made then. I don’t know if i would make the same choices today, most likely not. But i can not go back and change what i did then. So it stands.

I don’t have my work set out chronological. I do know i miss some pictures. Some works i really disliked. Other works puzzled me. And others i enjoyed. As with most work really.

The work shown at the top of this post is my final examination work. I’m not sure what to think of it to be honest. This work falls in the puzzle-section.

As for why i made this photos. Well, it did start out as assignments i got at school. But i did continue. Partly because they worked for me. I could see something in there i could use. I also did see i was kind of pretty, but really, i don’t think i was after that.

Ellen1
This is one of my fave photos. I was 24 years old. There is such a sincere look on my face, and a calmness and quietness. I didn't do anything with this photo while i was in art school, but i did publish it on lfs.nl, in Au secours!.
Ellen2
The Truest Artist Is The Most Feigning. This is what i wrote when i published this picture on lfs.nl July 10 1997. It is a transcript of a line from Shakespeare, from As you like it, Act 3, Scene 3 line 15. I did publish this picture before, in a minor exhibit while i was still in art school. I don't think it had a title then. The text from lfs.nl is about the pose, the exhibition of myself. The careful smile, the hand lightly touching my face, the hair brushed away, the lips brushed with red lipstick. The look of knowing on my face is a question at the same time. It feels like an invitation.
Ellen3
This photo is part of my final examination work. I love this one. The slight smile, the finger against my face. It is one i made at home, with one flash light on the camera. A Canon AE-1. I still do have this camera. Not sure i will ever use it again though. Maybe.
Ellen4
Also part of my examination work. This picture was also shown on lfs.nl. The title there is flexibility - complexity - duplicity. Not sure i would use this picture now. A bit too sweet.
Ellen5
This photo i used halfway, i'm thinking the third year. It is a very different photo from most others. Strong, in your face. I'm much more hesitant than this photo. Very rarely do i get out and know what i want and get it too. Almost never.
Ellen6
I think i would have picked this picture now, in stead of the first picture in Feel me. And yes, i do see i'm actually rather pretty. I was still young. Those eyes. Wow. When i look in the mirror, my eyes are much more blue grey, not this bright blue. It must be the light.
Ellen7
An old photo. I don't think i have it in the contact sheets. I should look for it. I did use this photo for an early work. Still liking it.
feelme-fuckme-freeme
So, my final work on art school. As i said with the second photo above this one, i would have picked that one now. I do like the second and third photo though. The text. I remember someone from my class, Nanouk Leopold, saying to me at an earlier exhibit that she wanted me to be more fierce, more outspoken. I listened! The text on these photos came there because i worked with two masks, in the completely dark room for colour photography. I enjoyed working like that. Of course now its completely different, with photoshop and computers and printers. I do enjoy that i worked like this. I wouldn't do it again though. So expensive!

I used these photos on lfs. Actually, when lfs was still home.luna.nl/~ellen/preview.html. Which to my complete surprise, is still online! I do know a bit about the company Luna, which still exists. I closed my account in 1999, 16 years ago. But, anyways.. i used the photos mostly in the Retrospective part. My first steps online. Yay!

Published on July 13, 2015 at 6:00 by

Science fiction

Reading was my most treasured pastime from when i was able to read. I read fairy tales, myths, and all kinds of books from the library. Each week i went there. It must have been from my 8th, 9th. Sometime around that age. I bought many books. You can read my post about my teen books if you wish to know about those.

My favourite writer was Tonke Dragt. She is not in that post. That is because her books are still in my bookcase in the front room. I even bought one of her books in the 90s. Her books were my introduction into science fiction. I must have been around 12 years old. From that age until i was like 17-18 years old, scifi was the best!

So yeah, i did loose sight of the major developments in scifi from the 80s on. I got a bit more in fantasy, i bought some scifi books later on, some of them i liked, some of them i didn’t. It is a major escape for me, i can still pick up a book or a series and simply dive into it. Right now i’m reading The left hand of darkness by Ursula Le Guin. I came across her name a couple of times on brain pickings. So today i picked up the book once more and started to read.

I’ll give you a list of the books in my scifi and fantasy bookcase.

Top row, fantasy

  • some warcraft novels
  • Raymond E. Feist – ok books, basically exploration and magic and adventure books
  • Robert Jordan – Wheel of Time series, i still need to read the last book!

Second row, fantasy

  • L.E. Modesitt Jr – a favourite series, very specific magic system, not just bolts and whooshes, love the stories
  • Robin Hobb – adventures with some magic and swords
  • Eric Brown, Helix – quite new, don’t remember too much about this book tbh
  • Tais Teng, Cepheide – from the 80s, no recollection whatsoever
  • Amber Benson, Death’s daughter – Amber played Tara from Buffy the vampire slayer, i do like her books, and i do like her!

Third row, science fiction

  • Frank Herbert, Dune series – one of my old time faves
  • Asimov, two robot detectives – love these ones too
  • Jack Vance – these have faded a bit
  • Robert Heinlein – nice
  • Russel – frankly, i don’t remember much about this book
  • Ursula Le Guin – one of my faves, three books i have, like them all
  • Kate Wilhelm – sort of a feminist scifi book, should reread it
  • Ballard – like this one 🙂
  • Turner – mwah
  • Simak – ok
  • A.E. Van Vogt – ok
  • Ehrlich – this one had sex in it, enjoyed it 🙂
  • Bradley – sort of generic scifi
  • Coney – sort of generic scifi
  • Thijssen – scifi adventure, whoosh!

Fourth row, fairy tales, myths and science fiction

  • some books with games, some with cats, two old books and some fairy tales and myth books – ok
  • Ian M. Banks – some more recent purchases, i tried to read these, but it’s hard, might try again soon, or other option: simply forget about them
  • Neil Stephenson – also a book i couldn’t finish, sounds interesting, but sort of a bit too long for me
  • Peter F. Hamilton – i bought these in London on recommendation of someone who lived in the same flat as me, very space opera, fun
  • Zelazny – too long ago since i read this book, it is completely wiped from my memory
  • Pohl – good
  • Vera Chapman – more fantasy type books
  • and then towards the end some short stories books
  • at the end, Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy – i haven’t read this one yet! but i did see the movie 🙂

Sometimes when i’m in a bookshop, i wander over to the scifi and fantasy section. I might go soon once more, to get that last Wheel of Time book, which was released years ago. Reading is my most treasured form of escaping yes. Something about being all by yourself with just text which lets your imagination run wild with stories. More than watching movies and tv series. But i enjoy those too!

Ooh.. i did buy the first four ebooks of A song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I got into the second book. Maybe it is the ebook format which doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it is the long threads and many many many people in the books which keep confusing me. Not sure. But yes, not finished reading those either. Loving the tv series though.

And another ooh, at the bottom two rows of this bookcase, magazines. Which are not scifi. Still need to fill up these rows with some magazines which are still in the attic. I know, i am a hoarder. But! the pile of magazines on the right are going to be thrown away.

Bye bye!

Published on July 9, 2015 at 6:00 by

Self portraits

Drawings i made 26 October 1988, for an assignment of art school, first class. I did find this in a map with old school work. Even some work from the TU Delft, where i did water colour presentation classes. There are some other portraits too, but they are different. For this post i only include the ones with this date.

And no, i don’t smile here. It is hard to smile when you are working hard and try to get something on the paper.

I do still like these. It has been years since i tried to make a self portrait. I did make a few drawings in the beginning of lfs, when i was still the Architect of Change. But those are very different, much more girl teen book illustration type drawings. When i made these drawings i was much more a fan of Giacometti. 🙂

Enjoy!

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Published on July 8, 2015 at 6:00 by

Contactsheets

When i was at art school, making self portraits was a custom assignment. I had one in the first year. I made many many drawings then. None of them really looked like me. But i didn’t mind, that much anyway.

I did a year of painting and graphics. I got a zero for painting, so that was it. I wasn’t that troubled really. I remember when i got back at school i still had to sign up for another subject. I chose monumental and photography. Monumental was a part of free arts 3D, it had more to do with making installations and stuff.

So i got an assignment for photography to make a self portrait. And i kept on making self portraits. Till they finally transfered to monumental, where i started to make posters with text and pictures of me. That ended up in my final work for school.

I wasn’t sure at the time why i made this self portraits. I know i enjoyed looking at them, but i don’t remember only seeing a pretty girl. They were all of them very different. Some series were better than others. Some of them i didn’t like at all. But, they were all part of a learning process.

I still don’t know why i made so many photos of myself. But i like it that i have them. Today i made pictures of all of them. One i had scanned in, like 17 years ago. That is the the one at the top of this post. It is one of my favourites.

They did get to me today. I got fierce. Almost angry. I still am a bit. I realized i love this pictures. All of them. I love the series. I love all the different emotions on my face. In another post i will post some of the choices i made then, the ones i printed bigger. I see other choices now. I do think i see them in a different way now. With a bit more distance.

Read more…

Published on July 7, 2015 at 6:00 by

Teen books

I have a room in the attic. It is a place to store stuff. Four apartments have a room there. When i went to London, fifteen years ago, to live there for a while, i put a lot of boxes with all my stuff there. It was stacked. After like 7 months, when i got back, i left a few boxes there. I might have taken a quick look to see what was in there, and thought that i didn’t need any of it.

Well, for like once a week i’ve been going upstairs and looked around. I took down a box full of books. The books i read when i was like 8 till 14 years old. Some of them i was even older.

The past week i read some of the books in there again. Which gave me a lot of pleasure!

Yes, i first read the Bouquet series books. This series is still available. It was like… 30 years that i last read these? The earliest one i have is number 62, which was published in the Netherlands in 1976. I was twelve then. I admit, the first books in these series were rather prudish. It was kissing mostly, feeling excitement yes, but no sex until you were married! Which usually happened at the end of the book. The later books were a bit more free in that aspect. Some had real proper sex, yay! I definitely had my favourites. There is one i still remember, which i sadly don’t have anymore. I also liked some writes better than others. I still got little red ears while reading a few of these.

I also have a lot of series. Billie Bradley i enjoyed. I didn’t know the series was published from 1920 through 1932. I also have Anne-Marie, a Dutch series. Katy and Zaza are Dutch too. Zaza was the best!

I also have some other Dutch series: Merel, Isabel and Annemieke. Not sure which one of these i liked best. I did like these books, but i don’t think they were my favourites. Some single pocket books, a couple from Leni Saris. I’m readng these again right now. They are different from the Bouquet series, which are mainly about a man – woman development which goes to the ultimate end. These Dutch books do have more of a story in them. The one i’m reading now, the Wingerdrank ( in English it’s well.. wingerd rank), is about a girl who is a journalist whose parent betrayed friends in the second World Was. There is love in there too, of course. It is a romance.

I do know i had the Enid Blyton series too. I now have only a few single books of these series. I think i have given away some of these books. Silly me! I remember the Famous Five. Sometimes i see this as a series on television and i still watch it when i come across it.

In the box there are also some other books, some of them i don’t remember at all. Not sure how i got them.

Well, that is almost it. The pictures are next. Still not sure what to do with them. My bookcases are quite full, but hopefully i can find a proper place for them. It’s good to have these books back in my little house!

Also, after making this post, i will make another post about my books. Lots of sci-fi, fantasy, literature, young adult, art and philosophy. Reading is not a huge part of my life, i do have periods i read lots, but also periods i don’t read anything. Ooh.. and magazines! Pfff.. so much more to come! 🙂

Read more…

Published on June 23, 2015 at 6:00 by

Cupid & Psyche 85

Today, the day i write this post, it is thirty years ago that Cupid & Psyche 85 by Scritti Politti was released.

10 June 1985

I completely missed this release. I didn’t even know Scritti Politti. I vaguely remember an interview from 1982 in the Dutch magazine Vinyl. I just didn’t buy the record Songs to Remember then. I was happy listening to Prince, 23 Skidoo. I was getting more into dance music, away from the experimental music i used to listen to, like Captain Beefheart, the Residents and other bands i have forgotten about.

A month later i stayed in a house in Rotterdam centre for a month, taking care of the cats of friends while they were away on holiday. The guy was dj’ing in his spare time, he had loads of music. He had made tapes with hip hop which i loved! And yes, he had bought Cupid & Psyche as well.

I remember one warm day where i was lying on the floor, the sun shining through the window. Listening to this music. I simply couldn’t resist. I did play other music during that time, yes. But most of the time it was scritti on the record player. I even told the DJ that i should get him a new copy of the record once they were back. I thought i had played the record grey!

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I tried to write about my fascination for this music, for the lyrics. For how the music made me feel. The happiness it exudes. I did write a paper about scritti on art school. When i was done i wasn’t happy with it. I couldn’t explain my feelings. I couldn’t put this record in an art historical context. The teacher Jeroen Chabot talked with me about this paper over dinner. It was a great evening, but it didn’t make me much wiser.

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Many people write about the music. Marco Raaphorst wrote a post today about Cupid & Psyche. He is a musician, a soundmaker. This article on Wales Arts Review does say a bit more about the big change from post punk to the polished sophisticated mainstream pop music.

Even the intro of ‘Wood Beez (Pray like Aretha Franklin)’ represented a huge leap forward in confidence: sledgehammer drums, keyboard stabs and bursts of white noise; a synth bass and precision-engineered hi-hat part; and a guitar riff that owes more to Shalamar than any of the post-punk bands Scritti Politti were usually bracketed with. And this was all in the first sixty seconds.

To me it felt like a giant plaything which simply bursts out of its box with joy.

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I did look at the packaging. When i made a post of my most favourite album covers, this one wasn’t part of it. I was thinking of adding a scritti cover, but i didn’t know which one. So i left it out.

I actually bought another Cupid & Psyche a few years later. I gave it away as a birthday present to a friend. I regretted doing that so many times! It had the US version of Perfect Way on it. And, i’m not sure about this, but i do remember gold letters on the cover. If it had, i simply can not believe i gave it away. Grrr!

I do like this cover. But it is weird to me. It’s not what i would have designed myself. This is a design where many thoughts have gone into. And it does work well. But my work is very different. I have learned this over the years. One of the reasons i do like blogging is the daily stream of little thoughts. They do add over time. This is very different from making music. Many details, lots of work, months, maybe years of thinking, making decisions. Blogging comes down to the same details, but its all out in the open, plainly visible. With faults, days off, mistakes. All clearly visible. In the archives 🙂

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Later this evening i will play the album. The old vinyl yes. Well, if my record player still works that is. I haven’t used it for years. But its still standing in my front room. Right now i have the youtube playlist embedded at the end of this post on with all the songs of the album. It’s been a long time since i heard the entire album.

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Over the years i have tried to pick my favourite song of my favourite album. The last couple of years i settled on The Word Girl. I love all the songs, but this one does make me feel extra happy. Absolute of course too! And ooh.. A Little Knowledge! But that song is saved for my funeral. 🙂

Listen to the entire album on this youtube playlist. Enjoy!

Published on June 11, 2015 at 6:00 by

Love

Love. It is very hard for me to say anything sensible about love. I do think it has been mostly missing from my life. But, there are many different versions of love. Family, friends.

I have love from my family. It’s old. It has its place.

I’m not sure i have love from my friends. I’m also not sure i have love for my friends. It was hard for me to realize that it was so easy to leave my friends behind. I didn’t contact them. They didn’t contact me. For years. Their lives kept on growing. They got children. My life stopped a bit. I made some friends in World of Warcraft, but that is limited in scale, usually. I got to know some people i like. But friends? Not really.

I did get back in touch with my friends the past months. Part of me wants to get back with them, but another part wants to stay alone. I’m not angry. No. The hurt is gone, mostly. It’s more a memory. Some friends do leave more painful memories than others. I do see my own faults, feelings i am not proud of. Those feelings have faded away, bit by bit. I do think i finally am capable of thinking about a relation, feel what i feel, and not act straightaway. Not run towards somebody and ask for forgiveness. Not run and try to make things better. Now! I am finally able to leave something behind. To see it is not right, to accept that. And see if there is a given time in the future to talk about it reasonable. Or not.

A day like yesterday, a happy day. I felt so happy. When i walked outside, i was so focused on everything i saw. The houses, the shops, the people. The sky, the trees, the green, the wind, the sun. I’ve had these days before. These feelings. But not sure it was as vehement as this.

I’m not screaming though. I’m quiet. I don’t see if other people feel the same way as i do. I do try to look most people in the eyes. Most people simply walk past me, not looking. Some do look. Some say hi. Some smile. I still walk on the little curb i made a post about. So few people watch me do that. In all those months, only one person smiled and said something about me. That is it. But that is living in a big city. In western Europe. It’s cold.

When i visited and old friend a few weeks ago, i said that i want to stay my separate self in a relationship. I don’t want to change. I still live my own life, try to do as best as i can. But yes, i still would like to find my boyfriend. I’m not sure how i mean that. I do think there are few people in the world i could really fall in love with. Have sex with. Yay! I’m not thinking there is only one person around for me. But, i would like it to be somebody who is cautious with himself.

When i think back about my past I do see a development. I do see myself learning all the time. Trying, failing, crying, laughing, enjoying, feeling sad, working, trying. And my final years, being alone.

I still feel like i may fail terribly. I’m nowhere near perfect. I am this person, living here in Rotterdam, with very few friends. I desperately would like a little bit of happiness. But it is very hard to find it.

It is hard to let go of the fantasies. I am trying. Today, i felt myself thinking more reasonable, straight forward. It does make me feel sad. But i didn’t cry.

It is very hard for me to be truthful. Here on this blog, in this post. I hope i can be it for you a bit. I mean, i am doing my best.

My mind is too full of feelings and i do think i am rambling on too much.

But still. Still trying.

Published on June 5, 2015 at 6:00 by

Memories

My earliest memory came back to me in a dream. Around my twenties i dreamed i was crawling on a short stairs with maybe 2 steps. It was warm. I felt the warmth in my hands which were resting on the steps. I felt the warm stones beneath my fingers. My mother was sitting in front of me. She pointed to somebody behind me. My father. He was standing there with a camera in front of his face. He clicked. I had the photo. Somehow i lost it. I searched for it quite a few times. I still hope it’s somewhere in a book or a notebook. Somewhere hidden. I do love this memory. I can still feel the warm stones. I was like a year, a year and half old.

When i walked to the kindergarten, i was scared by the door with a message on it and a drawing of a skull. I think it was black and yellow. I remember walking around it.

When i was six i got a cold. I was only a few weeks at school. I remember my mum going out on the balcony. I was standing in the kitchen looking out. My mum told me not to get outside. That evening it got worse. We didn’t have a phone, so someone went to the neighbours and made a call to the doctor from there. I had pneumonia and croup. I was carried outside, going down the stairs. The ambulance was driving fast with the siren on. Red lights seemed to spin around me.

In hospital i did say to the nurse that i didn’t like carrots. She still gave them to me. I threw up. Mushed orange carrots on a pale blue blanket.

I loved my teacher in the fourth and fifth class of the lower school, meester van der Staay. I was 9 – 11 years old. One day i dislocated my ankle in a school break. He carried me upstairs.

In the first class of high school, one day, a friend was hit in front of my house. I walked with her to school. But halfway, when i realised i was going to be too late, i went on my bike and let her walk alone. I shouldn’t have done that. A teacher said so to me in front of the class. Everybody hated me. It seemed.

I think in the final year of high school, one day, the first spring day, me and a couple of friends went outside to the park and walked in the sunshine. When we got back, we were called by the dean. When we said where we had went and why, he couldn’t hold back a smile.

After my exams, i went on a holiday with a good friend and her family. We were going with the train. We went to Italy, in the north part close to the Alps. Aosta was the town close to where we camped. The day we left, i called her on the telephone. She didn’t answer. I got in a panic and walked up to her house. As it turned out, i was calling the wrong number. Stupid me. The whole time we were hardly talking, until one evening we had a huge fight. I left the next day, or the day after. Afterwards she gave me the photos with me on it. I never saw her again.

When i studied at the Technical University one day in spring i went to ‘t Platenmanneke in Delft. I listened to Tracey Thorn’s then new album Plain Sailing. For the most part i had my eyes closed. When i bought the album, the person behind the counter looked at me. Like she or he might have looked at me while i was listening. I was swept away by that record. I still love it.

The first year at art school, in the first weeks, we got an assignment to go outside and, i’m not sure, but i think draw. It was in September, late summer. The sun was shining through hazy thin clouds. The light was warm golden. The trees had lost their freshness and were turning yellowish a bit. And the smell! I smelled it again later on in that same period. I cannot describe the smell in words. It’s too subtle. For me anyway. I felt so happy.

In 94, while i was working temporarily at a printer, i knew they were looking for another DTP person. I didn’t think about myself. At all. But one day i was working there, and they were guiding this person around who was applying. I remember thinking then “He doesn’t fit here at all!”. And then i thought “I might! If i would just say something?”. It dawned on me i could simply get the job if i wanted it. I had to think. I knew it would mean i would leave behind art. It would be my first real job. So i took it. The next five years were hard work. The hardest of my life. It was also a lot of fun. I actually did sing at work. Chatted with my colleagues. Some of whom were friends. It did wear me out. After five years, i couldn’t keep on going anymore. But those five years will always be a special memory.

It does seem to me memories in later periods of my life have grown less. I do think it also has to do with me working on lfs.nl. On that site i mostly make things, i talk about music and memories and such. Also, the things i made are connected with my dreams a lot. So to me it feels like my dreams are already out there, like for instance Dancing Queen.

The past eight months are really special. They still are. I do know i’m closing in on the end period. I’m still not sure what i will be doing with my life. I am in for a change.

*hugs*

Added monday 14:00

My first volunteer job at the Rotterdam Film Festival, i think in 1992. It was a Saturday morning. It was so crowded! In the newspapers there were photos of the cues! I worked at the Lumiere cinema check out. A small round glass building with i think 4 or 5 check outs. I tried not to look at the people in front of me. I was happy there was glass between us and the rows and rows of people in front of us. It was mad! At one point i think i simply felt i needed a bit of break, not sure. But i did turn around and looked at the check out person sitting there. She stood up, took my place and told me to go outside for a bit and get some rest. I cried. I did go outside and stood against the door and took some deep breaths and tried to regain a bit of control of myself. Than i went back inside and started working again.

The farewell party from my job at the printer. I never said it’s name! It’s Tripiti, in the centre of Rotterdam, the area called Cool. I always enjoyed that name. It’s also the name of the main central road of Rotterdam, where the city hall is situated, the Coolsingel. You don’t say it like you are doing in English. It’s pronounced as ‘coal’. But, getting back to the memory, my farewell party. A client helped with making the snacks. We bought a shiny disco ball to hang up high above the printers. My friends came, Pieter and Rens from 75B were there. Jelle van der Hijden was there, Femke and Martine. Jeroen en Han. And i got way too drunk! I actually at one point sat outside and threw up. They put me in a cab and sent me home. But it was glorious!

Published on June 1, 2015 at 6:00 by

My diaries 1973 – 1987

I’ve kept a diary for the most part of my life. My first page is when i was nine years old, 1973. The last page was 2006. The last nine years of my life i didn’t keep one.

In this post i show you some pages from my diaries up until 1987. The first page is from my oldest one. I photographed this page before for Homebase, a project from 1998, but so much smaller, it was hardly readable.

The next pages are from my diaries i kept from 1985 until 1987. I wrote a lot during that time. Multiple times a day sometimes. It’s bewildering reading those diaries now, in 2015. It’s so much, so many thoughts, crazy, wild, messy. I was desperate trying to find some peace, some rest. In those days, i couldn’t find it.

I didn’t read the diaries very thoroughly. Part of why i want to show them is the look. The handwriting. Some drawings, doodles in the sidelines. And i did use the I Ching a lot in those days.

I do feel a lot quieter now. More peaceful. And happier! The past nine years have worked out good for me. Even though my thoughts are still racing, it’s not racing in circles. My thoughts are still changing daily, moving forward.

Like today, my initial thought was to write about February 11 1986. I was going through my diaries to look up what i wrote. It is in this post. But i decided that, since i had already written about that day, i would show you the pages themselves. And some more.

I did translate some sentences in the captions. But it’s too much to translate. Still, enjoy!

Edit May 22 17:15 – I am translating the pages now, adding it to the captions.

Read more…

Published on May 22, 2015 at 6:00 by