Categories for My story

Now

Initially now seems a simple concept. Most people understand what it means. Now. This very moment. The time you are reading this. This. Point. Here.

And it is gone. Part of the past. There is another now. So hard to grasp. Hard to keep a hold on. Impossible.

For children their experience of now comes easy. Their past is so small, their future out of their reach. So they live in this now. And time stretches out for this feeling of an everlasting present. When they play outside, with their friends. Building a treehouse, or running through a field filled with weeds and grasses, playing hide and seek. Running around trees with friends. Laughing.

This is something we forget when we grow older. The joy of now. The joy of being in this world. With all its details and hidden corners and pleasures.

This is something i forgot.

Most people grow up. Grow older, learn to behave, fall in love, fall out of love, fall in love again, make children, watch their children grow up. Enjoy life with them. Watch their children experience life as they had, when they were young.

Now seems to be in a different country. This country we live in, with its insurances, its pensions, its tight schedules, its working weeks and time-off weekends, this country is a firm advocate of the future. The past is behind it. A time long gone. Ten years ago. Twenty. Fifty. A hundred. A thousand years ago. Another world. This past is old. Old fashioned. Dated. Not belonging to our new world. With its smartphones, its self opening doors, its fast driving cars, trains, its high flying airplanes. With us. Here. In this now we live in. All the time.

I like making photographs. Many posts on this site show you my photos. Some good, some simply a document of a time gone past. This click. And it stands. This current now. This current constellation of things existing in this precise situation. Seen from one angle, one viewpoint.

My first memory ever is one in which i am photographed by my father. My mother pointing to something behind me, i turn around and click, a photo is made. I can still feel the warmth of the stones below my hands. One year and a couple of months old. A memory which came back to me in a dream. And yes, the photo exists. Somewhere. I lost it.

Many people make photos. On holidays. On festivities. With family. With children. Catching the now. Catching our world as it is now.

To remember what you saw. What you experienced. Lived through. To share with the people who are not there to live through the same moment. To show on facebook or instagram or snapchat or twitter. To show the world your life.

This week, on Tuesday, i was making photos of the harvest in the garden on the Hofbogen. Yorinde asked me to make a photo of her sitting behind the harvest. After that i asked her the same thing, to make a photo of me behind the harvest. Wednesday morning i posted this photo on facebook. There were 32 likes. Some even thought the photo was great. And yes, i enjoyed this. For me, this is quite a lot of people. It feels good to be seen by my friends and to be liked.

This now we all live on, this ever present top of the wave of time we can not fall down from, this encompasses each and everyone of us. We are all living in the same moment. Some young, some in the strength of their lives, some old, some sick, some demented. The past is gone. Whoosh. The future is not here yet. The future is what we dream about, what we think about, what we wish for, what we work at. But our present is here, to feel. With all our hands and feet and eyes and mouth and ears. To be here now. To feel we are here.

So easy to forget. So easy to live your life in this humdrum monotony of years passing by. To watch the seasons flowing by. To watch the weeks pass you by. To watch television and movies and read books and disappear in them. Of course.

Of course.

It is hard to live in the present.

I am not sure about my own life. About the things i do. I know i love the things i do. Working in the gardens. Posting here on this website. Cooking. Walking. Thinking. Living.

This is not art. Even though i did go to art school. Even though some posts here are about the work i made then, about the work i used to make on lfs.nl. This is part of my life. A part i desperately love.

The last three posts had the date as title. Wednesday 4 October 2017. Tuesday 3 October 2017. Monday 2 October 2017. I didn’t plan to do these three days like this. But halfway through the week i knew this was what i was going to do. Not a present. Not a now, but a looking back. One day in the past. And this post is the end of it. Not here with me, not here in my now. But with you. In your now. Wherever you are. At what time you’re in right now. Your time. Your now.

Hey you there

Published on October 6, 2017 at 6:00 by

Wednesday 4 October 2017

16:05
The same breakfast as every day. The last couple of months anyway. Oatmeal porridge. Yum.

Played a little wow. Started a new character. A rogue. Like my main in retail wow. Leveled her from 5 to 6. Did some brewfest quests. Played for around 45 minutes.

Music after that.

I ate two sandwiches with peanut butter and sambal. Good too. The library next. Both my Hunger Games books finished. I took two new books. No idea how i will think of these. And then i watched one and a half chess game. Good games. Good to watch.

A quick hop past the supermarket and then home.

I cleaned up the hazelnuts i picked up last Saturday. Washed them.

Sambal next. The peppers i got yesterday in the Hofbogen garden will be great sliced. I baked a sliced onion and garlic and some sugar. With oil and the thinly sliced peppers this should be good enough.

And now here. Typing. The music playing.

A Tribe Called Quest — Buggin’ Out – Scrobbling now
Snoop Dogg — Drop It Like It’s Hot – 4 minutes ago
Talking Heads — I’m Not in Love – 9 minutes ago
Beastie Boys — Pass the Mic – 13 minutes ago
Beastie Boys — Song For Junior – 17 minutes ago
Janet Jackson — When I Think of You – 21 minutes ago
Lana Del Rey — Summertime Sadness – 26 minutes ago
B.J. Thomas — Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head – 29 minutes ago
David Bowie — Little Wonder – 35 minutes ago
Sam Cooke — (What A) Wonderful World – Remastered – 37 minutes ago
Killing Joke — Requiem – 2005 Digital Remaster – 41 minutes ago
Steely Dan — Do It Again – 46 minutes ago
Rihanna — Umbrella – 51 minutes ago
Eyeless in Gaza — No Noise – 55 minutes ago
S’Express — Theme from S-Express – 59 minutes ago
Roy Ayers Ubiquity — Everybody Loves The Sunshine – an hour ago
Young Marble Giants — Searching For Mr Right – 2007 Digital Remaster – an hour ago
Neneh Cherry — Manchild – an hour ago
Wire — The 15th – 2006 Digital Remaster – an hour ago
Justin Timberlake — What Goes Around…/…Comes Around (Interlude) – 3 hours ago
Christina Aguilera — Genie in a Bottle – 3 hours ago
Prince — Hot Thing – 3 hours ago
Talking Heads — Found A Job – 2005 Remastered – 3 hours ago
Drake — Hotline Bling – 3 hours ago
Kraftwerk — The Model – 2009 Digital Remaster – 3 hours ago
Scritti Politti — Absolute – 3 hours ago
Pharrell Williams — Frontin’ – Radio Mix/Club Mix – 3 hours ago
David Bowie — Golden Years – 1999 Digital Remaster – 4 hours ago
Steely Dan — Throw Back The Little Ones – 4 hours ago
Salt-N-Pepa — Push It – 4 hours ago
D’Angelo — Untitled (How Does It Feel) – 4 hours ago
The Beatles — Eight Days A Week – Remastered 2009 – 4 hours ago
Earth, Wind & Fire — September – 4 hours ago
De La Soul — Eye Know – 4 hours ago
The Beatles — Yesterday – Remastered 2009 – 4 hours ago
Massive Attack — Unfinished Sympathy – 4 hours ago
Steely Dan — Doctor Wu – 4 hours ago
Coldcut — Find A Way – Featuring Queen Latifah – 4 hours ago
Kygo — It Ain’t Me (with Selena Gomez) – 4 hours ago
Palais Schaumburg — Gute Luft – 4 hours ago
Sufjan Stevens — Casimir Pulaski Day – 4 hours ago
David Bowie — The Jean Genie – 1990 Digital Remaster – 4 hours ago
Jessie J — Bang Bang – 5 hours ago
Madonna — Vogue – 5 hours ago
Gary Numan / Tubeway Army — Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – 5 hours ago
Calvin Harris — This Is What You Came For – 5 hours ago

My favourite? Madonna with Vogue!!

I’m gonna go through the recipes i found yesterday for cakes with quinces. And bake one.

18:24
Spiced quince cake

water 1.5 litres
caster sugar 150g
quinces 3, medium
lemon 1

For the cake:
self-raising flour 250g
ground cinnamon 1 tsp
mixed spice ½ tsp
bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
salt a pinch
golden syrup 200g
butter 125g
dark muscovado sugar 125g
eggs 2
poaching syrup from the fruit 240ml

You will also need a round cake tin, measuring 24-25cm in diameter

Pour the water into a large saucepan, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Peel the quinces then cut them in half, rubbing the cut sides of each with the halved lemon to prevent them browning. (They are worse than pears for this.) Lower the quinces into the sugar syrup, turn down the heat to a simmer then let the fruit cook for a good 40 minutes or until it is thoroughly tender. Remove the pan from the heat and let the quinces cool a little in their syrup. Line the cake tin with a piece of baking parchment. Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4.

When the quinces are cool enough to handle, take them out one at a time and use a teaspoon to remove the cores. Reserve the syrup. Drain the fruit briefly on a piece of kitchen paper then arrange them, hollow side up, in the base of the cake tin.

Sieve together the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice, salt and bicarb. Put the golden syrup, butter and muscovado in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. When the mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat.

Break the eggs into a bowl, pour in 240ml of the quince cooking syrup and beat gently to mix. Remove the butter and sugar mixture from the heat and pour it into the flour and spice, stirring smoothly and firmly with a large metal spoon. Mix in the syrup and egg. The mixture should be glossy and a little runny, not thick and creamy like the usual cake mixture and with no traces of flour.

Scoop the mixture over the quinces and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes until lightly firm and springy to the touch then remove from the oven and leave to cool before turning out and removing the paper. Serve in thick slices with crème fraîche or cream if you wish.

I didn’t have any golden syrup, so i simply used less sugar overall. Seemed a bit much to me anyway. The cake is in the oven now. I am curious to how it will turn out!

20:53
The cake is lovely. Compared to previous recipes it is light and fluffy. And i love the quince.

I’m gonna go to bed now. After i picked the right photos for this post. I’m tired. Tomorrow i will finish my post Now. After my three dailies i did this week. Felt good.

Have a lovely day. Bye bye!

Published on October 5, 2017 at 6:00 by

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Today's harvest
As someone said a week ago, a photo with me!
And another one
The grass
Moss and small plants
More small plants - i do like the way this looks
Yep
Yellow flowers
Peppers from the Oude Beer in Dordrecht Richard brought along
Quinces, will look for recipes the next week!
Published on October 4, 2017 at 6:00 by

Monday 2 October 2017

9:45
I get out of bed. I did sleep a bit during the later part of the night. But i was lying awake for a long time. Two times i read. The Hunger Games. The first book. Played a little. Solitaire on my iPad. Thought about this new post i want to start writing today. Didn’t think at all about what i would write for tomorrow. But then i did.

So here it is. A retelling of the day. Like the one i did on 22 July 1997.

My oatmeal porridge is still cooking. I gave my cat food. I cleaned up the catty litter box. I went to the toilet. And now i’m sitting behind my computer typing the start of this retelling.

Gonna eat my oatmeal porridge. Read a bit more.

Hmm… not sure what i will do next. Let’s wait and see.

11:38
Sheeran — Shape of You – Scrobbling now
OutKast — Hey Ya! – 5 minutes ago
The Beatles — The Long And Winding Road – Remastered 2009 – 8 minutes ago
Scritti Politti — Brushed With Oil, Dusted With Powder – 15 minutes ago
The Temptations — Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone – 22 minutes ago
Curtis Mayfield — Move on up – 30 minutes ago
Liaisons Dangereuses — Los niños del parque – 35 minutes ago
Jewelz & Sparks — Motor – Radio Edit – 39 minutes ago
Portishead — Strangers – 43 minutes ago
10cc — The Wall Street Shuffle – 46 minutes ago
Tiffany — I Think We’re Alone Now – 50 minutes ago

13:18
Going out for a walk to the Central Station to exchange the UK money i still had. Of course, it costs money to exchange. So in stead of the twenty five euros i expected i got 16 euros and something. Sigh.

I walked back and bought Allison bread at the Albert Heijn. Then i went to the Jumbo and bought some milk and two cans of cat food. And then i went past the pet doctor and bought more ProZinc for my cat for his diabetes.

And now i’m home again. Gonna make me something to eat. Some baked tofu quickly soaked in a soy sauce on bread spread with tahin. Yum 🙂

15:47
I almost slept. After lunch i read more in the Hunger Games, and my eyes fell closed. I stood up and went and lied on my bed for a short bit. So tired. That is what lack of sleep does to you.

21:11
I finished the Hunger Games. I had planned to do a bit of work. But i felt tired. So reading it was today. Early in the evening i watched a bit of tv. De wereld draait door. Koken met van boven.

I am thinking about this post i want to write. I know. I know. I should start tomorrow. I do need to get into it. Most things are clear in my mind, but i want to make it a full post. It is about something which is very dear to me. The moment of now. This ever present but so hard to catch moment we all experience. Children experience this moment naturally. Their time is a long stretched infinity in a moment. Tomorrow i will start writing more. Sketching almost. Trying to get all the thoughts i had the past days out of my head, so i can think further and make it more telling.

I don’t know if this post is the one i’m brooding on for so long. It could be. It is clear in my mind. It is important to me. It is a simple subject, but also hard to describe.

Well, that is it for today. I wish you well.

Salute!

Published on October 3, 2017 at 6:00 by

Talking

Last Sunday when i came home i was so tired. I did make a new post, but it was only the photos. Actually, the next day, when i checked, i saw my post wasn’t published yet. It was scheduled to be published the next day. I was that tired.

I had talked so much. About my father. About the memory dream i had when i was around twenty. The dream which i knew had happened, since i had the photo of that event. About Scritti Politti, the best band in the world. About this website and my fave content on it, the video clips. And some songs too! And the cakes i will bake this week for Anne’s birthday. And how i sat in the wheelbarrow, with beer in my hands, my feet towards the fire, looking around and enjoying myself. Yay!

So yeah, it was a good evening. An excellent evening!

It took me a while to get back to my normal self. More than a day. Getting there now. I still hope for a good night sleep. One in which i cuddle up against someone. We chat a bit. Smile. Kiss. And then fall asleep.

One day. You never know. Still my biggest dream. Something i talked about as well. How i am holding this off, but also dream about it. Falling in love. Trying to get it to work. And it doesn’t. Not yet anyway.

Published on September 27, 2017 at 6:00 by

Time

Two weeks ago i had a talk with Kaat. In the garden. I was having these cramps and was squatting at the vegetables beds. We talked about the experience of time. How for her time was going faster. As it goes for most people.

It is different for me. I said. My experience of time has slowed down. I remember most things that happened to me clearly. Some more than others, of course. Not in a grand story kind of way. But in a chronological way. One after the other. To me, a day is long. While it happens. I don’t think of the future that much. Well, not as much as i used to. Not even at night. Well, sometimes i do. I still don’t sleep to well. I can lie awake for hours. Tossing and turning. Sometimes i turn on the light, read a little, or watch some youtube clips. To try and get tired. But during the daytime, especially when i go outside, for a walk or to a supermarket, i’m simply there. Smiling at people. Feeling good. Apart from last Monday of course. Walking like a ghost. Oh well.

I was thinking about this while i watched a youtube clip from Vera Camilla. For her, this summer was not great. Not any real warm weather. Gone too fast.

I was surprised. This was completely opposite my own feelings about this summer. Yes, there were some wet days. But that is only good for the garden. There wasn’t a single day i needed to wear a coat. Yeah, some days it was around twenty degrees Celsius. But that is my favourite temperature. It is also hard for me to generate a thought about this summer. It is too long. Three months. Or more even. I remember the night we celebrated the solstice. The evening we went to the beach. The talks we had in the garden. The fun we had. How the new greenhouse is slowly being built again. The day i saw the burned down greenhouse. Somewhere in April? May?

What i am trying to say, is that for me my life is slowing down. Over the past three years, its speed is turning into a crawl. I sometimes find myself sitting at home, reading, and a sound drops in. And i completely hear it. The sun shines on the trees standing in front of my house, and i completely see it. I see the green change from a dark greyish green to a bright full sunny green.

This post came into my mind somewhere this morning. A post on brainpickings.org called The Shortness of Life: Seneca on Busyness and the Art of Living Wide Rather Than Living Long seems to be related to this. I read it earlier this week.

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

Tomorrow i’m going for my second appointment with social security. I haven’t subscribed myself to five temping agencies. I haven’t written fifteen job applications. I do feel i need to be honest about this. Tell them.

And then i just keep on going here. Here on ellenpronk.com. Because this is what i want to do. This is the one things from which i learn. The one thing in which i can talk about my life. Smile. Be honest. Working here is what i love love seriously.

Published on September 7, 2017 at 6:00 by

A request

The past two weeks have been stressful. Yes, i took a holidays. I did celebrate it.

But there was also a not so pleasurable reality i had to deal with. My lack of money. The past three months i was not able to pay any of my monthly payments. Not for the mortgage, not for the energy, not for the healthcare, not for the internet and tv, not for my travel card, not for my municipal taxes. Or any other bill. Apart from food, for which i had cash money set aside. Also my bank credit was withdrawn for both the accounts. That was an extra 2000 euros i needed to pay back.

So i did finally cave in and applied for social security. And i had a talk with my mother who gave me enough money to pay most of my debts.

I am still thinking though. I don’t want to let this get to me. And it is trying hard. It does feel like a blanket is spread over me, clouding my vision. I still need to fight back.

Today i worked on completing the copies for a request from the municipality about my house, about my debts and about my business. I did set my autograph underneath an agreement about me writing fifteen applications before 7 September. About me registering with five different temping agencies. I am still thinking.

What sort of work would i be willing to do? Something to do with gardening? Something to do with taking care of older people. Something with taking care of children? Or back to front end development? Not my favourite, i admit.

What i did decide was to talk about this. Here on this website. To use this to fight against this mechanism employed by the Dutch government to keep people inline. Not that i’m saying this is all bad. No. But for me, now, this is bad.

I dpn’t know why people do not see what i am doing here. Maybe it is because this is a blog. So simple. So many other people have it. To me it is clear i want to do this. Because it is simple. Which is exactly the reason i love this. Because i want to talk to people, show things to people. About all the things on my mind. I don’t want to make things difficult. I don’t want to hide behind anything.

Of course i know many posts here have failed. But there is always another day, another post. It is so obvious.

I need to be honest. So this is what i wrote in a letter about my company. I know it will fall on deaf man’s ears. But still. Honesty rules.

De afgelopen twee jaren is het steeds rustiger geworden.

Ik ben zelf voornamelijk bezig met mijn eigen website, ellenpronk.com. Op deze site maak ik vijf updates per week. Het onderwerp varieert van koken, mijn eigen verhaal, wandelingen die ik maak rondom Rotterdam, het tuinieren wat ik doe sinds anderhalf jaar, het werk wat ik op de kunstacademie maakte, mijn gedachtes over de wereld en Nederland, en nog veel meer.

Ik ben online bezig sinds 1 juli 1997. Sinds 2006 is er een lange pauze geweest in mijn werk online. Oktober 2014 kreeg ik een realisatie dat ik weer verder moest gaan, door mij omschreven als een mokerslag. Sindsdien heeft dit voor mij de hoogste prioriteit. Ik ben toen verder gegaan met lfs.nl, de website waar ik sinds 1999 op werk. In januari 2015 heb ik de laatste ‘present’ gemaakt. Twee weken daarna ging ik verder op ellenpronk.com. Vijf updates per week, gepubliceerd om zes uur ’s ochtends. Eenvoudiger, ja, een blog, ja, maar nog steeds al mijn aandacht opeisend.

The past two years it has become quieter.

My main work is my own website, ellenpronk.com. On this website i have five updates a week. Subjects range from cooking, my own story, walks i make around Rotterdam, the gardening i dosince a year and a half, the work i used to make in art school, my thoughts about the world and the Netherlands, and much more.

I am working online since 1 July 1997. Since 2006 there has been a long break in my work online. In October 2014 i had a realization that i needed to work again. Refered to me as my sledgehammer moment. I went on with lfs.nl, the website i have been working on since 1999. January 2015 i made the final present. Two weeks after that i continued on ellepronk.com. Five updates a week, published at six in the morning. Simpler, yes, a blog, yes, but still demanding my full attention.

Published on August 29, 2017 at 6:00 by

The story of my life

The past four weeks i have been working towards an important post on Friday. The idea for each weeks post i got the week before. When i had posted Friday’s post the idea popped in my mind. The same goes for this post. Last Thursday, lying in bed, the idea came to me. Of course. So simple. The story of my life.

I have told parts of this story before. Here, on this website. To my old friends, years ago. Parts. I never told the complete truth. Hiding away from it. Ashamed perhaps. Not believing it. Not a full 100%. Thinking, i am a normal woman. With a normal life. Running away from it. But still. A memory that never faded.

That Saturday, 8 February 1986, the day i drew these six images in the evening, i still remember parts of it. I remember i started on a A3 size water colour drawing book. I had divided the paper into eight parts with pencil. I started to draw. With a wooden drawing pen en ink. No pencil sketch first. Straight in with the ink. Water colour paint to fill in with colour.

I was still studying Industrial Design at the Technical University Delft. I had water colour lessons there, for presentation drawing. I loved it.

The first two drawings have faded from my mind. But the last six would stay with me. I remember staring at them when i was finished. Silent. A bit stunned. I don’t remember when i made the seventh one, the one with the text.

Here’s a verse for nothing
An introduction
To the way the world will be
Now we’re apart and alone
Mustn’t be unhappy
When you remember
Lovers never lose each other
Oh
Such a lot to be learned

The final chorus of the song A Little Knowledge from Scritti Politti.

The next day i made the box to fit in the drawings.

That Tuesday, i went through records in Haddock, a record store in the centre. I wasn’t looking for it, but there it was. Songs to Remember, from Scritti Politti. Their first album. I bought it. Happy i drove back home on my bicycle. And yes, i loved it. When i heard the last song “The Sweetest Girl”, for some reason, i threw the I Ching. I got 13. T’ung Jên / Fellowship with Men with a changing line on the fifth place.

Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.

I remember sitting on the ground, in front of a seat, reading these lines.

I knew.

I knew for sure. This was true.

I also knew there was nothing i could do. Nothing i wanted to do.

The rest of that week is vague. I was completely overthrown by these drawings and that weird premonition. I gave away my drawings, the next week or so. I knew i had to give them away. So i gave them to a close friend, Iris.

She gave them back to me, a month or so later. I stared at the drawings when i was in her home. I didn’t ask for them back. But that is what she did.

When i applied for art school in July that year, i didn’t bring these drawings with me. I was further along, of course. Into Giacometti at that time. I thought about these drawings on the application day. Lucky for me i didn’t need them. I got in all the same.

Life goes on. Friends come and go.

In the 90s i gave away the drawings once more. Another close friend. But she gave them back, after a month or so. This time i saved the drawings in my sitting room. To wait.

In 1996 or 1997 i met Erika Chang online. She had made a website about Scritti Politti, “the Archeology of the Frivolous”. We got into a email conversation. She was the one who told me about superbad.com. We met in London two or three times.

And then in January 2006 news of a Scritti gig came by on the Yahoo scritti group. In a pub in London, under the name Double G and the Traitorous Three. I didn’t say a word to Green. I watched.

I did talk with friends beforehand. The thought of giving the drawings to Green did pop up. But they gave me the advice that it would not be any good. I agreed.

Time does seem to go faster when you grow older. The past seventeen years seem to have flown away. I do remember them. But it is like, your life reaches a plateau. You work. You have a few friends. And another year is gone. Wham.

The sudden sledgehammer moment in October 2014 will stay with me. It did upset my life. I was awake and confused for months, years even. Talkative. Looking out. Seeing and thinking all sorts of things. Some right, some wrong. And i started working again. On lfs.nl. I felt it. The quiet time was over. Back into gear.

Looking back on the previous eight years, it made me sad. I saw myself struggling with it. Playing World of Warcraft. Making semblances of friends, at a distance. I wanted to work, but nothing came to mind. Nothing. I saw myself grow quieter. Forgetting what i used to do. Simply living on. Day by day. Watching television series. Most i downloaded through tvtorrents.com – now offline.

I don’t know where the sledgehammer moment came from. Well, apart from the most obvious answer.

Me.

The past week i have been thinking about this post. Ideas popped inside my head. Whole paragraphs i thought beforehand. In the end, it comes down to this single point.

Me.

I have thought so many things, my entire life. And yes, most things i have kept to myself. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Like i said, i am a normal woman with a normal life. Then again, to me, i am not normal. I am rather special. I know all the ins and outs of my mind. All the ins and outs of my fantasies. My deep night imaginations. My wishes. My dreams.

I never really understood the latest work i made in art school. Making self portraits seemed a bit narcissistic. A bit self absorbed. I still did it. But it was hard to continue making self portraits after i graduated. So i tried other things. Which didn’t work.

Only a few years later, when i started working online, i looked back at these self portraits. The earliest photo i used in Selfportrait on 10 July 1997. Another photo i used in Watching myself on 16 July. Then another one on 17 July, a big picture in Watch me. The titles of these works made sense to me then. They still do now.

For years i rarely made any photos of myself. Most failed. The ones i made in 2010 were OK. I picked one and used it as a profile picture on several websites. Only the last years i have been making more good photos of myself. I am happy with them. I am older, yes. But i still like the way i look. I am no stranger to a bit of vanity.

So.

It is late in the evening now. A washing machine is on upstairs with the neighbours. Centrifuging. Sounds form the outside drift in. People talking. Birds whistling. Cars driving.

I wrote a piece called An empty life a few months ago. It was not my choice to have my life still this empty. But it happened. Not that i feel unhappy. Not at all. The last two and a half years i feel truly happy. Joyous. Active. Open. Working again on lfs.nl and later ellenpronk.com is the most important reason for that. Especially the work i do on ellenpronk.com makes me feel good. The walks. The gardening since last year. My videos. The singing. The food i cook.

I love this place. I love thinking about new posts to make. This week i enjoyed making the summer borshch, reading aloud Allerleirauh, making a walk to the garden the Enk. I love it to do all these things. They make my life special.

These stories which have filled up my life, they have stayed with me. I treasured them. All by myself. Stories are important. Their structure makes sense to us. A beginning, a middle, an end. The beginning is usually sudden, unexpected. Something happens outside of the normal course of events. The middle is the boring bit. A long time of work. Repetition. A slow change. The end is equally sudden. But with more preparation. A grand finish. Kaboom!

In our lives these structures are everywhere. People fall in love. People have children. Children leave the house. People grow old. This is all part of a story structure.

I like my personal stories. I have one main one. And many minor ones.

Giving the drawings to Green Gartside last year in London is a memory i will treasure for the rest of my life. It makes me truly happy. Looking back on it, i don’t know where i found the courage to do this. But i did it.

And then of course, my life moved on. The garden came into view only two months after it. A whole new bunch of people connected with that. Now this fills my life for half. The rest is mostly for this website.

And then there is this world. Grrrr.

Well, this post is not for that. That is a whole other issue.

I am living my own life. As much as i can. Money is an issue. I don’t have lots of it. I’m behind paying my bills. But i am not giving up. No sir.

There is something i want to say. Something i want to make clear. We all live here on this world. For better or for worse. We are all responsible for our own lives. And our children, until they are grown-up. We pick what we want to do. If we don’t, the world will pick something for us. Usually not to our liking.

This work i do here is extremely important to me. I try to make it easy. Easy to read. Easy to watch. With purpose. I like to communicate. So it makes no sense to make things difficult.

I know art is not the best environment for me. It is still in my past, but it is not where i see myself grow. So it is hard. What i can call myself is a blogger, an occasional vlogger, a still not too good singer with some potential, a video-clip maker, a gardener, a cooker and a walker. I love this.

There is no end to our lives until the day we die. Each day is new. Each day you wake up and you should think of what is the best thing to do. To make things a little bit better. Me, at fifty three years old, i still feel young.

I’m telling you this.

Shall we begin?

DAENERYS TARGARYEN Game of Thrones S07 E01

Published on July 21, 2017 at 6:00 by