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.


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


Little Feat is a band i got to know through my eldest sister, Marja. A memory i have is that she came home with a new album from Little Feat – could have been The Last Record Album or Time Loves a Hero – and telling me i would really like it. I did. For a few years anyway.

Only very much later, only a few years back, i learned Lowell George was a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. A bit surprised by this at first, it did make me realize that the music world is a tightly knit world.

Willin’ i always liked. I went through my four Little Feat albums and i was actually surprised i don’t have that song. It is on the album Sailing Shoes. It must have been one of the albums i sold when i was around seventeen years old. Something i started to regret twenty years later: i sold Stevie Wonder, Al Jareau, Supertramp, and so much more. I could have kicked myself for that.

Anyway, today i was lying on my couch and listening to some music on my headphones. Get up! first caught my ear. But then Willin’ came up. This is the one! Yes!

Enjoy 🙂

Willin’ – Little Feat
I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
I’m drunk and dirty, don’t ya know?
And I’m still, willin’

And I was out on the road, late at night
I seen my pretty Alice in every headlight
Alice, Dallas Alice

And I’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn’t get weighed

And if you give me, weed, whites and wine
And you show me a sign
I’ll be willin’ to be movin’

well, I’ve been kicked by the wind, robbed by the sleet
Had my head stoved in but I’m still on my feet
And I’m still, willin’

I smuggled some smokes and folks from Mexico
Baked by the sun, every time I go to Mexico
And I’m still

An’ I’ve been from Tuscon to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonapah
Driven every kind of rig that’s ever been made
Driven the back roads so I wouldn’t get weighed

And if you give me, weed, whites and wine
An’ you show me a sign
An’ I’ll be willin’, to be movin’

Live version

Another live version

Published on January 20, 2016 at 6:00 by


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!


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

The Compensation

I fell into this program this afternoon, De Tegenprestatie – The Compensation. It took me quite a search to find a good translation of this word tegenprestatie. It is a combination of two words: tegen ~ counter, and prestatie ~ achievement.

I found the following words:

  • Amends ~ Compensation for a loss or injury; recompense; reparation
  • Indemnification ~ The act or process of indemnifying, preserving, or securing against loss, damage, or penalty; reimbursement of loss, damage, or penalty; the state of being indemnified.
  • Compensation ~ Something, such as money, given or received as payment or reparation, as for a service or loss.
  • Exchange ~ To give and receive reciprocally; interchange: exchange gifts; exchange ideas.

In the evening i opened up my Dutch – English dictionary and looked it up. I settled for compensation. I’m still not sure.

The Dutch word is a very specific word in this context. It is a term used by the government for a return for a social security finance you get when you are unemployed. It is a new development, set in motion from around 2015. This evolves around a new term, participation, which is in high use in politics right now. In Rotterdam, the city where i live, this is performed in a vehement form. The program De Tegenprestatie is recorded in Rotterdam. It is a repeat of the transmission in October 2015.

I just came home from doing some grocery shopping. My new bread dough was still in its first rise. I had to wait for a while before i could knead it again, so i turned on the television. As i said in the beginning of this post, i fell into this program.

The language used by the people working at the social services department in Rotterdam is immediately recognizable. You can hear the politics behind it seeping through. The only objective is to get people out of social security as fast as possible, with any payable job possible.

While watching the talks i felt a cold indignation, an anger frowing inside of me. I also felt sorry for the people sitting there, working there. You can feel the training, the days of working together to get the tone right. The computers, the papers, the signatures. It is a world in which i really don’t want to get involved in. It is a dehumanizing environment. With names for talks, De Werkintake, De Inspanningsperiode, names for homework people have to do. This is the civilized shape of slavery. Nobody carries the responsibility for this system. It is shaped by civil servants and politicians in meetings and workshops and symposia. People are not physically hurt, no, but they are hurt by the way they are approached, by the complete lack of humanity with which they are treated.

I’m not sure i have found the right words to express my feelings about this system. I do know, I will rather do any cleaning work, than get involved in this system. I hope it will not get to that. I hope to be something else entirely. I’m working my ass of to achieve that. With this website, ellenpronk.com.

I’m sorry for the people who do not understand Dutch. The entire program can be seen on the human.nl: 2DOC: De Tegenprestatie.

A 31 minute part of this program.

About ‘De Tegenprestatie’

Published on January 15, 2016 at 6:00 by

A new selfie

Today i colored my hair. I had decided to go a bit lighter. I used a dark blonde or light brown color over the past years. This summer i used a medium golden blonde. One of the reasons is that i am turning grey. At the roots it was a lot lighter, a mix between grey and dark blonde. The lighter shade blended quite well. So last Friday i decided to even go a shade lighter. I chose Light Natural Blonde, 9N from John Frieda.

After my hair dried mostly, i blow-dried it. I used a style rod to straighten my bangs. My bangs always curl up. I had cut them a tiny bit after i had coloured my hair.

Over the past weeks i was thinking about the portrait i use for social media. I do like the picture, but it is five years old. Time for a change.

I started to make myself up, nothing too much.

  • a tinted moisturizer Extra Light Tint from Bobbi Brown
  • my Mac eye shadows, Nylon on the inner eyelid, Wedge in the crease, Handwritten and Typographic on the outer side to lift up my eyes a bit
  • Chanel Inimitable Waterproof mascara
  • Mac eye brown pencil Lingering
  • Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Berry Sheer Tint

And then, just before the sunset, the sun shone in my room.

I took several photos of myself, around twenty. I opened them all in Photoshop and closed the ones i didn’t like. I will try out four on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and whatever more sites i got an account on.

I did use a small color correction on all the pictures. The ones in the straight sunshine were a bit too yellow, i pulled the blue-yellow curve so that my face would be a bit more pink. I finally picked four photos i can choose between.

I admit, i am a bit vain. Even though i’m 51, i do like to look my best. These photos are the best i’ve taken in a few years. And i love the blond hair!


My favourite. I like the look on my face, slightly taken from above. Yes, i can have a double chin! There is quite a lot of shadow. But it is the slight smile which works for me.
I do like this picture a lot. The shadow, the expression. But in the end, i do think it is too dark. Social media portraits are used tiny. This portrait has too many details to work good small.
I like this one. Too bad the chin is chopped of, but it could be used.
A good one, sure. Just imported this one on twitter. My favourite had too dark a shadow. Let's see how this one works out.
My old social media selfportrait, made in 2010
Published on January 14, 2016 at 6:00 by

Erwtensoep, or Split Pea Soup

Yesterday i was a bit thrown off my regular day rhythm. The news of David Bowie’s death on 10 January did make me sad. I did read facebook posts a lot more than i usually do. I also watched a late night documentary David Bowie: Five Years, read online articles and obituaries. It was hard to stay away from. I didn’t know the man. I only bought a greatest hits album and Earthling in the 90s. I liked that one. Still do. But i did like him. He actually was in my daydreams. He was the man i talked with about my byciclerepairman.

Today i was in better form. I did went out to the market and bought some remaining vegetables to make a split pea soup. Or rather, a Dutch erwtensoep! Haven’t made this many times, i do usually by a tin, i admit.



  • green split peas, i used 250 grams, half the packet i bought
  • 1 large onion, cut in small pieces
  • 1 winter carrot, cut in small pieces
  • a few bits of celery, cut
  • bacon, in small slices
  • garlic, around 4-5 cloves, sliced in small pieces
  • 2 broth cubes, i used vegetable, you can use beef, or chicken if you want to
  • potatoes, also cut
  • half a celeriac, cut in small pieces,
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • a bush of celery, the spice
  • a Dutch smoked sausage, this is a hard one to get if you don’t live in the Netherlands, i guess any type of smoked sausage will do, cooked and sliced in small slices


Start with the onion sweating them in a bit of vegetable oil. I went through my herb and spices drawer and added some caraway and coriander seed. After a few minutes i added the carrot, garlic and celery. One and a half liters of water added to this, the two broth cubes and the split peas. Let this simmer for 45 minutes.


After 45 minutes add the potatoes, leeks, celeriac and celery. Let the soup simmer on for around 30 minutes.
Prepare the sausage as needed, either warm it up in hot, not yet boiling water or cook it till it is done when it is a raw sausage. This will take around 15 minutes. Slice the sausage in small pieces and add these to the soup.


The soup is done once the peas are cooked through.

Serve the soup in a large bowl with either bread with butter or with smoked bacon, katenspek.

I honestly enjoyed this soup. It was a lot fresher than the ones bought in tins. I could have used more split peas, as most photos online are usually of a very thick soup. But i don’t mind that really. There are so many vegetables in this soup that it is a very rewarding meal. Enjoy!

Published on January 13, 2016 at 6:00 by

David Bowie, 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016


Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now

Look up here, man, I’m in danger
I’ve got nothing left to lose
I’m so high it makes my brain whirl
Dropped my cell phone down below

Ain’t that just like me

By the time I got to New York
I was living like a king
Then I used up all my money
I was looking for your ass

This way or no way
You know, I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Now ain’t that just like me

Oh I’ll be free
Just like that bluebird
Oh I’ll be free
Ain’t that just like me

Published on January 12, 2016 at 6:00 by