Frozen

Friday evening i saw Frozen for the first time. Sunday i saw it again. It’s lovely. I especially love the songs. I did some research. I’m of course very late in appreciating this movie. It came out late 2013 and already received an Oscar for Animated feature film and Original song Let it go sung by Idina Menzel. I don’t have kids!

It is a Walt Disney film. I did speak of Disneyfication in the post where i read aloud Repelsteeltje. I don’t have the distance yet to comment on this. It is a divergence from usual fairy tale tropes that the story is essentially about two sisters and their love for each other which does save the town and themselves.

The music is wonderful. I didn’t realise Let it go was such a big song, selling over 10 million copies in 2014. It was also the song that changed the film. Elsa was originally a villain, the songwriters Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez saw her differently. “The minute we heard the song for the first time,” says Jennifer Lee, the film’s co-director and screenwriter, “I knew that I had to rewrite the whole movie.” This is a good thing to read. A song with a different point of view can change the way other people see characters and how they develop.

It is something to think about seeing how fairy tales rule my world the last few weeks. I always liked fairy tales, but it was years ago since i last read one. In films i do enjoy fantasy and sci-fi, i guess that is close to fairy tales. I don’t worry about it too much though. All i can say is that it makes me feel happy!

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Published on May 25, 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.

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Published on May 22, 2015 at 6:00 by

Read aloud: Snow White

I will be reading the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. The English name is actually Little Snow-white. But i stick with the Dutch title: Sneeuwwitje. Hmm, while i’m writing the Dutch title, it’s dawning on me that it’s the diminutive of Sneeuwwit. The appendix -je or -tje in Dutch means ‘little’. The same goes for -let in English and -lein and -chen in German. It’s actually in my first name, Neeltje. Which nobody has ever used! I mean, my name has always been Ellen, but officially my name is Neeltje Ellen Pronk. It’s in my passport.

German is close to Dutch, or better said, Dutch is close to German. The Dutch word for fairy tale is ‘sprookje’, the German word is ‘Märchen’. The Dutch word for girl is ‘meisje’, the German word is ‘Mädchen’. A better English translation is ‘little maid’. The English word Dutch is coming from the word Diets, a precursor to the modern Dutch. In the Netherlands we use the word ‘Nederlands’ for the word Dutch. Dutch to us sounds more like how we call the Germans, Duitsland, and how they call themselves: Deutschland. I do like how these words get mixed up and change meaning over time.

OK, an end to this digression. Back to Snow White. I did do a search for analyses of this fairy tale. It was hard to find decent ones. So many movies have been made, from Disney’s 1937 ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, the 2012 ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’, the TV series ‘Once upon a Time’ and so many more. There is this rather nice article on the newyorker.com ‘Snow White: Beauty Is Power‘. In this article it is said the most important theme of the story is a generational sexual rivalry in a world where beauty – and youth – is the main asset of a woman. This does remind me of our current world still. Not strict, but the young are so beautiful, and it does give them power. Look at people like Ariana Grande, or Miley Cyrus. It’s not that they are not capable of what they are doing, but their beauty does add to their enticement. It’s not the only path a woman can walk, but it is still a very tempting one for the young and gorgeous people.

The seven dwarfs in Grimm’s version are not named. Also Snow White does not clean up their house, but eats a bit of their food, tries out their beds before she falls asleep in the one bed that fits her. The dwarfs in Grimm’s version are hard-working. They state very clearly from the outset the Snow White can stay at their place, only if she is willing to work. “If you will take care of our house, cook, make the beds, wash, sew, and knit, and if you will keep everything neat and clean, you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing.” Snow White needs to grow up and take responsibility of her own life.

I won’t go into any more possible analyses of Snow White. I leave it up to you. Enjoy!

Snow White

Published on May 21, 2015 at 6:00 by

New eyeshadows

Making up my eyes yesterday did put a thought in my head. This morning i was thinking about what i would do for todays post. I had no idea, but then i thought about my MAC palette, what i wrote yesterday and i decided to go to the Bijenkorf and buy three eyeshadows and make my palette complete.

Yesterday i wrote about the colours i was thinking about. I want warm orangey colours. I did get one i wrote about, Coppering. It’s a beautiful deep warm orange with a frosty shimmer. I did check the other colours i wrote about, Rule, Red Brick and Expensive Pink, but i was tempted by another beautiful cool red colour i had been reading about for years, Cranberry. It’s an absolutely gorgeous cool berry red with a pink shimmer. The last colour i bought was Nylon, a warm golden shimmery light yellowish off white. It’s also gorgeous.

So i’m happy my palette is complete. Until i get the next one. Then this process will start all over again 🙂

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On my arm from left to right: Coppering, Cranberry, Nylon
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My complete MAC pro palette!
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I did make up my eye this morning, a lot simpler though than yesterday. I added Lingering to my eyebrows. A dark line above my eye done with a eye pencil, with a bit of Typographic and Sketch to blend the line and give it a bit of colour. Just now i added Nylon at the inner corner, Coppering on the center of the eyelid and a bit of Handwritten on the outer part. I also put a bit more Charcoal Brown on the crease. That's it!
Published on May 20, 2015 at 6:00 by

An eye make up

I went for quite a dark eyelook for this post. Because, well, i do enjoy putting it on! First i’ll show which colours i have in my small collection.

In the top photo you see my Chanel palette Mystic eyes which i got for my birthday a couple of years ago. You also see the MAC Soft Ochre paint pot which i use for a base, the Dipdown fluidline for an eyeliner, the Clinique high lengths mascara, the Lingering eyebrow crayon and the Clarins concealer for around the eyes.

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My MAC pro palette

  • Vanilla
  • All that glitters
  • Satin taupe
  • Wedge
  • Charcoal brown
  • Handwritten
  • Sumptuous olive
  • Club
  • Blackberry
  • Sketch
  • Copperplate
  • Typographic

There is still room in this palette, but i’m not sure what colour would be good with it. Sometimes i think about Carbon, the black. But sofar Typographic was enough of a dark for me. A light shimmery colour would be good too, but i do have those colours in the Chanel palette. With my blue grey eyes, an orange colour will be good. I read good reviews on Expensive Pink. Red Brick matte and Coppering veluxe pearl i will check in the shop soon. And there is Orange matte too. I might even get two different finishes. I do like a bit of shimmer, just not all over my eyes. I’ll let you know once i bought new colours!

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Published on May 19, 2015 at 6:00 by

Read aloud: Repelsteeltje

In my previous post i mentioned the book Grimm. I’m still reading it, i’m only at one third of the book. I do remember most fairy tales, but i have forgotten many details. With these tales, originally told and retold and remembered and changed all the time over the years, there are many different versions.

I am also a victim of disneyfication. I have seen Snow White, Cinderella and other movies. Reading the Grimm fairy tales now, i am surprised by the details, the different endings, beginnings, middle parts. Not every fairy tale ends in a happy way.

This blog is in english. But this time, i’m afraid i do read aloud in Dutch. I try to read as slowly as possible, but it’s not likely that people who do not speak Dutch will be able to follow the story. I will look for fairy tales translated in English, so maybe one day i will read one aloud in English. And then there are like 7000 other languages in the world. Sorry 🙁

The fairy tale i do read aloud this time is Rumpelstiltskin, in Dutch Repelsteeltje.

Sidenote: this fairy tale hangs together with lies and deceptions. The father lies about his daughter’s skills to make himself seem more important. The king is a gold lusting murderous man who threatens the girl with death if she doesn’t spin the gold in one night. The girl can’t actually spin gold. What daughter, or son, can? After a year, she stays inside the castle and lets her servant hunt for the name of the little creature. The only one capable of spinning the gold is this strange little imp. Who in the end tears himself in two. I did read some analyses of this fairy tale online. What is up with Rumpelstiltskin? and Story and Analysis of Rumpelstiltskin. The father and the king are the bad man in this story. The father pimps out his daughter. The king wants to get her to spin the straw, a worthless material, into gold. The imp is a nature spirit, a devil. Knowing his name will give power. But, the imp could be after the girl’s virtue. As does the father and the king of course. The fairy tale is a morality story. To be honest, even though Rumpelstiltskin seems like a nasty creature, he’s much better than the other two men. He actually helps the girl.

Repelsteeltje

Published on May 18, 2015 at 6:00 by

A free day

Something i completely forgot. When my mum called me, around eleven this morning, she reminded me of it. It’s Ascension day. An official free day in the Netherlands. Not that it matters a lot. The shops are still open. A bit later than usual, that’s all.

I read a fairy tale out loud from my Grimm book: Cinderella. It’s different from the Disney version. I will read some more. I have that book since the 70s. I drew some girls on the first pages. Put in my address. The pages are still good, but the cover is worse for wear. I still remember my favourite fairy tales. I know most with their Dutch titles only. There are the famous ones, like Cinderella. Assepoester in Dutch. Snow White, Hans and Grietje, Doornroosje. I also liked The six swans, Vrouw Holle, De ware bruid. I also loved the illustrations in the book. There are the ones made with tiny dots. And the ones with clear lines. I liked those the best! I’ll read the tales in the book and maybe i’ll write a bit more about it.

Ice cream! When i went out to get some food for my cats, i wanted to have a small ice cream. There was long line of people waiting at the IJssalon. I had planned for a single lemon cone, but while waiting i saw they also had a lime-basil ice cream. Yummy!

Back home i sliced an onion, a few cloves of garlic, one leek, some celery sticks, a cucumber and a half. I boiled some water and added it with chicken stock cubes. They are softly boiling right now. Later on i will blend it with a stick blender, add dill and chives, half a cucumber sliced in small pieces with the seeds out. And then add some crayfish i bought this morning. Yummy!

This evening i plan to watch Pitch Perfect on television. I haven’t seen it yet. I do know number two is out now. I won’t go there though. Curious about Mad Max: Fury Road. But hmm.. not sure i will go there. Not even been to The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I do need to take care of my money a bit.

I also saw Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea’s new single Pretty Girls. Initial thought: OK! Let’s see how that one develops.

Kisses! Enjoy your weekend! Bye bye!

Published on May 15, 2015 at 6:00 by

A walk from Amersfoort to Leusden

A visit to my mum on wednesday. My mum Nelly and her husband Jan, who live in Leusden. It’s an hour by train from Rotterdam. Usually they pick me up at the train station with the car, but this time i was going for a walk. Beforehand i checked the map and saw it was around 5 to 6 kilometers from Amersfoort to Leusden. An hours walk.

I took the train around 10 from Rotterdam. In Amersfoort i started walking. I knew which way i had to go, but i wasn’t looking at all the street names to see if i was going right. I went through the Vlasakkerweg and the Bergstraat past the centre of Amersfoort. At a roundabout i saw the bike roadsign with the name Leusden on it, happy i went through a lovely street with old houses. I walked past the Albert Cuijpstraat. Then i came to a large roundabout with like 6 streets going from it and with lotsa work going on. On one lantern i saw the bike road sign with Leusden on it. The problem was that it was pointed to one of the streets on the roundabout, i just didn’t know which one.

I took a chance and walked into one of the streets. Midway that street it was completely broken up and there were signs no bicycles were going through, so i went to a side street called the Bosweg. I got a feeling i wasn’t walking in the right direction anymore. At a bus station with a map i tried to find where i was. An older man walked past and i asked him how i should walk to Leusden. Yeah, i had to turn around, go through the works going on, which should be possible and follow the signs there leading me to Leusden.

I went through streets named after gemstones. The Emerald street. The Diamond way. The Sapphire street.

I turned on the Dorresteinseweg. That is not a gemstone, it’s a name. The street wasn’t named after a single Dorrestein though, else it would have the first name too. I walked past some nice houses and saw that it was a dead end, but not for bikes and walkers. At the end were some flats the Eemgaarde.

I walked further on the biking path and saw a tunnel under the freeway. I had to pass the freeway to get to Leusden, so i took it.

The road went on. Suddenly i was out of the city of Amersfoort and in the countryside. Behind me the cars speeding. In the fields besides the small road sheep and lambs were lying about, eating a bit, some asleep. At the turn a forest started. I stood there reading the signs, thinking what would be the quickest way to get to my mum. I asked a man who walked behind me and who was planning to go into the forest. He said he was going for a special walk in there. He said that if i wanted to get to Leusden quickly, i should walk past the road, than a bit besides a small freeway and then enter Leusden. I followed his advice. It was a pleasant walk, on sort of a broad path beside the road. I wasn’t sure it was a path to be honest. It was walkable though.

I crossed a small bridge and saw the freeway further on. I followed the mans advice and walked past the way on the bike path. Later on, when i showed my mum how i walked, i saw that it was shorter to cross the freeway and walk over the Burgemeester de Beaufortweg. On the other hand, i would have missed walking the Lisidunalaan and going on the footpath besides the water. The footpath was lined with elderflowers. Ducks were on the path and in the water besides. It felt like a magical path in the midst of Leusden.

I turned on the Burgemeester de Beaufortweg and ended up in the shopping-centre De Biezenkamp. I knew i was close, but i didn’t know exactly where my parents house was. I walked on, started to recognize a bit of the surroundings and there it was!

It did take me around an hour and a half to walk. I didn’t walk the planned route, but i didn’t mind that. I do enjoy the walking. Even though i was red faced and a bit sweaty when i arrived at my mum’s.

You can see the map after the read more link.

I didn’t make any photos this walk. All the more reason to try and describe my walk as best as i can.

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Published on May 14, 2015 at 6:00 by

How to cook perfect food

The Guardian food & drink pages are a weekly visit. So it was a big surprise to me when i found out i missed a part of the site all along, the How to cook the perfect... The past days i spend dreaming away with the basic and sometimes not so basic recipes which are part of this section.

The following recipes are simply the ones my eye fell on first. It’s nowhere near a complete list.

Felicity Cloake is the writer of these articles. She goes through all the ingredients for the recipe, talks about the different approaches other well known chefs have and takes sides. You get a feel for what is the main taste of the recipe and what would technique would work best to get the final result.

Today i set myself the task of making one of these recipes. The Mackerel pate!

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Published on May 13, 2015 at 6:00 by

A walk in Rotterdam: the Kralingse Bos

It was a warm day this monday. The sun was shining, a light breeze. So i went out for a walk. Not too long, around the Kralingse Bos, again. A slightly different route this time. I took the tram and got out closer to the forest.

It was wonderful. Birds were singing, usually there was a great smell of green and flowers. Sometimes it was a shitty smell, but hey! that’s also part of it. It was adorable.

The leaves all felt so delicate, so fragile. I took some pictures of them. It was simply amazing.

Some pictures after the break. Enjoy!

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Published on May 12, 2015 at 6:00 by