A walk in Rotterdam: the Kralingse Bos

A walk in the Kralingse Bos today. It did start to rain a bit halfway, i was happy to have a hood on my coat.

I went through some parts i never visited before.

First i walked through the children’s farm. I had seen it before, but went around it then. This time i looked at the rabbits, the chickens, the ravens outside looking for the food of the chickens, the goats, the sheep, the ponies, a cow, the birds. There was a huge grey bunny, sitting there washing himself. Huge!

I went to the Heemtuin after that. This is sort of a botanical garden, with a focus on communities. The Heemtuin was close to the water, with long curvature paths all through it.

I walked past the lake towards the golf terrain at the east side of the forest. It started to rain pretty hard then. I did remember the shepherd telling me there were orchids flowering near the golf terrain. But that is in summer. Even though i could see new plants coming up and buds on the branches, because of the unusual warm wether the past weeks, orchids need a bit more warmth i suppose.

I walked out of the park, went up the Laan of Nooitgedacht. Discovered the tram, as of today, would not go this far because of work on the roads. So i walked up to the tube at the Voorschoterlaan and went home. Two and a half hours it took me.

Some people said hello, some said good day, some said nothing, didn’t even look my way.

When i entered the tube station a woman sitting across on the other platform was watching me and smiling while i looked into a mirrored wall and slightly adjusted my hair. I smiled back.

I remember sitting on a bench and watching the city skyline. The sounds of far off cars was all around. I don’t think you can find a silent spot anywhere near the big cities in the Netherlands.

I also picked up a worm crawling on the asphalt path. I set it down in the grass. No idea if i helped him with that. It just seemed to me to be a better spot for the worm. Ground to dive into.

Enjoy the photos i made!

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Published on January 5, 2016 at 6:00 by

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Last week, in my one week off, my one week holiday, my one week of not thinking about posts, what to write, photograph, sing or make, last week i went to a movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In Cinerama, on Wednesday 30 December 2015, starting at 14.10 CET.

I told in The world is terrible i did see the original first movie in 1977 in the cinema. I went together with my nephew. We went out to eat a Big Mac in the new McDonald on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam, before or after.

What I did not mention, i never saw the two upcoming movies in the cinema. I was into new wave music, read less science fiction, and i didn’t go to these blockbuster movies anymore. So yeah, even though i was a sci fi fan for quite some time, that did disappear too for around ten years.

I did enjoy the movie. Especially the beginning. Some parts i was puzzled by. Some parts i felt were taken very lightly.

I will talk about this after the break. Completely spoilerish! So please, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, stay away from that part!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

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Published on January 4, 2016 at 6:00 by

The world is terrible

A morning in December 2015 i saw the episode Botox from the Dutch television program Keuringsdienst van Waarde [1]. One of the presenters asked a lady, about to have some botox injections, if she was aware that botox is a poison.

“Zo zou ik het niet willen noemen.”

“I wouldn’t want to call it like that.”

It is a poison. Botulinum toxin. Botulinum is the most acutely lethal toxin known. I didn’t make up the previous sentence. I copied it from the Wikipedia page [2].


My mind crossed over to the sinking boat disasters [3] happening over the past years. Specifically, the one in Italy and the one in South Korea.

“Capt. Lee Joon-seok of the Sewol, the South Korean ferry that sunk last week, has come under heavy criticism for abandoning the ship while hundreds of passengers remained on board. Dozens of them died and more than 200 were still missing Monday”

“Witnesses said Schettino jumped into a lifeboat to flee the ship, even though hundreds of passengers were still on board. In his trial, the captain said he fell into a lifeboat when the ship listed sharply.”


“You’re a faker!” the lady on the train berated me while my two small children looked on. “If you can read that book, you aren’t blind.”

I have never thought about the issue of the cane for visually impaired people. To face this seems to me almost impossible at times [4].

It also reminds me of scenes in The Big Bang Theory [5], in which Leonard walks into a wall or a pillar. He is supposedly completely blind without his glasses on. I have always thought this weird. I wear glasses myself, -5 and -3.5. But the world is simply a bit more vague and blurry without them. And with movement and depth, the world is perfectly navigable without glasses as well.


The PGB system in the Netherlands is a personal care budget. It has worked well for around 15 years. People who needed it had a budget to hire the right people to help them. This year this system has changed. Now the SVB, the Dutch Social Insurance Bank, has taken over. Since the beginning of this year the bank was behind paying the budget. The money involved with implementing the new rules has tripled. It is not €50 million, but €150 million. The administration for this budget is so much work, i heard on television someone say that her mother was going to leave the PGB in January 2016.

People who have talked about the pgb-chaos are actually told by the SVB to not talk to any press, with a fine of € 35.000 if they do [6].

The National Ombudsman has concluded, in August 2015, that all human interests have been completely lost with the implementation of this new law [7].

The main driving force behind the changes in this system is that the government wants to cutback this way of budgeting. It is supposed to be susceptible to fraude, administrative difficult and expensive. Many people, who have a PGB now, will be cut out of this system eventually.


I am not a nun. I do feel admiration for people choosing this way of life. But i am not overtly religious myself. I still like to find someone to share my life with. Reading about people still choosing this life does perk me up though. It does seem very ancient, not of this world. But that is only a story to make this world seem smaller and narrower, a story many people believe [8] [9].


I love sci fi. I went out with my nephew to see Star Wars, in 1977. I was 13 or 14 years old. We got ourselves a Big Mac. In the McDonalds on the Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Which is still there, even though it is completely rebuild this year.

I love to watch sci fi movies. The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, Harry Potter, Looper, Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Solaris, Alien, Back to the Future. TV series: Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, Enterprise, Voyager, the original series. Firefly is one of my all time favourite tv series.

I love to read sci fi books. When i was around 12 years old, i read my first sci fi book, Torenhoog en Mijlenbreed [10] written by Tonke Dragt [11]. This was the start of me reading Dune by Frank Herbert, books written by Jack Vance, Robert Heinlein, Asimov, Simak, Ursula LeQuin and many more. In 2000 i discovered Peter Hamilton’s books. Pure space opera. I loved it.

I don’t know how this works in Hollywood. I don’t know who decides what script will be made into a movie. I don’t know who decides which director will make the movie. I do know after two big movies, Joss Whedon [13] decided to stop working on them.

“He remarked that not having created his own fictional universe in over five years felt wrong and intended to use the proceeds made from Avengers: Age of Ultron for such ventures.”

Most of these movies give a pleasurable rollercoaster type experience. They work. Definitely. But these movies are also picky in their choice of scares and nightmares and oppressions [13].


We are doomed.

We are all guilty. We try to live a carefree live, with a multitude of pleasures.

The food industry is providing us with meats, sweets, superfoods, bags of special herb selections for a good curry, soda, milk, fish. The news stories about horse meat sold as cow meat scare us for a few days. Then it slides away. Another news story is there to frighten us.

We watch the tv shows. True Detective. Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead. We love to get frightened. For an hour. Love to think of our society being transformed by a unnatural disease into a bloodthirsty mob of zombies, chasing us into a corner and eating our necks and eyes and hearts and legs.

Our world is collapsing.

We stand today on a precipice of annihilation that Nietzsche could not have even imagined. There is little reason to hope that we’ll be able to slow down global warming before we pass a tipping point. We’re already one degree Celsius above preindustrial temperatures and there’s another half a degree baked in. The West Antarctic ice sheet is collapsing, Greenland is melting, permafrost across the world is liquefying, and methane has been detected leaking from sea floors and Siberian craters: it’s probably already too late to stop these feedbacks, which means it’s probably already too late to stop apocalyptic planetary warming. Meanwhile the world slides into hate-filled, bloody havoc, like the last act of a particularly ugly Shakespearean tragedy. [14]

This post, We’re Doomed. Now What?, from 21 December 2015, made a big impression on me.

Between self-destruction and giving up, between willing nothingness and not willing, there is another choice: willing our fate. Conscious self-creation.


Our news stories repeatedly tell the same story over and over again. About failings. About murders, refugees, attacks, wars, accidents, suicide missions, disasters, bankruptcies, etc. etc.

nu.nl, thursday 24 December 2015

  • Police agant stabbed to death on a German station
  • Surely 50 deaths with bus accident in Afghanistan
  • Deaths and wounded after car road into an English coffee bar
  • No driving in Rome due to smog
  • Mosque in Berlin gets send half a swine’s head
  • Ninth suspect assault Paris detained in Brussel
  • American assault airplanes attack goals in Afghanistan
  • Surailie I. detained for deathly shooting Waterfront in Amsterdam
  • Syria wants to join the peace talks



The world is terrible.

The world, our world, is also extraordinarily stunningly exquisitely beautiful. Awe inspiring breath taking away gorgeous. Filled with live bursting from every pocket, from the poles to the deep seas, from the marshes to the forests to the rivers to the mountains.

NASA had a press conference this year. They had found water on Mars. Some people are thinking about colonizing Mars. Because, well, our earth is full? We want to start again?

Our planet is quite a rare planet in the universe. Our sun is not too small, not too big. We are set in a outer spiral arm of the Milky Way [15]. A quiet neighborhood. Our planet is accompanied by a rather large companion, the moon. A quarter of the size of earth. The matching of apparent visual size of the moon and the sun is a coincidence [16]. A coincidence.

There was an asteroid slamming into our earth, around 66 million years ago [17]. It wiped out around three-quarters of the animals and plants. Which made it possible for mammals to rise to dominance.

Of course there are other planets in the universe with the same sort of coincidences and accidents as on ours. Not that many, but still, if only a 0.0000001% of all the existing planets can bear life, that means, ooh man, i don’t know, several hundreds? thousands? tens of thousands of planets out there in the universe with life on it. Maybe on some the dinosaurs weren’t wiped out. Maybe on others evolution got stuck on reptiles. But i’m also guessing that on several a human like form evolved.


I know many people are working hard to make this world a better place. I hope to do the same thing. Hoping doesn’t make it any easier to find the right thing for you, fitting with who you are, what your talents are, fitting with what you really want to do.

For me, personally, i realize i took a really long time trying things out. Science, design, drawing, painting, photography, typography, html, flash, actionscript, javascript, writing, singing, making video’s.

I also took a long time doing nothing. I’m not sure why. But i do feel it is part of the process.

I have found a few things. I’m happy to say.


Our world is beautiful. It is a place to treasure. To take care of. With animals to love, to enjoy, to be careful of. With all the knowledge we gained over the years.

Not a world to own, to milk of every juice we can get out of it, to change to suit our needs as we please.

I’m thinking, what do we really need, truthfully?

I’m thinking, what it boils down to, what, in the end we do need, is love. Love of the earth. Love of nature. Love of all animals. Love of all people.

Love. Truthfully.



  1. Keuringsdienst van Waarde
  2. Botulinum toxin
  3. Abandon ship? In recent maritime disasters, captains don’t hang around

  4. What a white cane really means

  5. The Big Bang Theory
  6. SVB: monddood om pgb-ellende
  7. Overheid faalde volgens ombudsman aan alle kanten bij pgb’s

  8. I am a hermit

  9. The modern hermit living in an end-of-terrace house

  10. Torenhoog en Mijlenbreed

  11. Tonke Dragt

  12. Joss Whedon
  13. The Topics Dystopian Films Won’t Touch

  14. We’re Doomed. Now What?
  15. Solar system
  16. Moon
  17. Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event
Published on December 25, 2015 at 6:00 by

The best of 2015

My music listening this year was mainly with spotify. The past week i’ve been reading best of lists, on Pitchfork, the Guardian, Youtube, Spotify. The best news was today, that the Beatles are entering the streaming services as of tomorrow. Yay!

My favourite new star this year is Jess Glynn. I love her voice. I do like her singing on Tinie Tempah’s song Not Letting Go. This music right now makes me feel very happy.

The best song is Let It Go from Idina Menzel for the movie Frozen, a couple of years ago. I was thinking of singing this song again, this time with a video, but no, i decided against it.

This past year of 2015 is one the best years of my life. It was a year of discovery. The singing. The video’s. It was a year of beginnings. And endings. The end of lfs.nl. The start of ellenpronk.com.

It was a year in which i felt myself going through dreams, thoughts, wishes. I still don’t know where i will end up. I still feel that my life could be a silent life, a quiet life, a life working on my own. But i also know it could be a full life, a busy life, a tumultuous life. There are many things i wish for in the busy life. Friends. Someone to love. But you never know, it could be in the quiet life as well. And maybe the division is simply a way for me to make a decision. Maybe the division is not real. Maybe the lifes are the two sides of the same life.

I do remember thinking this year that i was just a normal person. This is not true. I’m extraordinary. I’m not the only one. My friends are extraordinary as well. Everybody i know tries to lead as good and as right a life as they possibly can. Within the means of this world we live in. I’m not sure how wide those means are, how flexible they can be. I’m thinking it is time to try to find that out.

As i said last week, next week i won’t be posting anything. A week off! One more post, tomorrow.

I’ll be back 4 January 2016.

Love and kisses!


Published on December 24, 2015 at 6:00 by

Vanilla Ice Cream and Salty Caramel Sauce

Today i made Vanilla Ice Cream. I searched for a good recipe. I do not have an ice cream machine, so that is something to keep in mind. On the BBC website i found a good recipe, vanilla ice cream with only double cream, yolks, sugar and vanilla as ingredients. Great!




  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 500ml cream
  • 70g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks


  1. slice the vanilla pods lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds, keep the seeds apart
  2. add the pods to the cream, heat it up till it boils, add the sugar and stir it until the sugar is dissolved
  3. whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl, slowly add the cream mixture
  4. add the vanilla seeds, keep on whisking till it cools down, pour into a freezer-proof container and freeze for 2-3 hours
The cream with the pods slowly shimmering.
The hand mixer i took with me when i left home thirty years ago! I did a search for the brand, Ruton, but i found nothing. Nothing. This hand mixer could be from the 60s. I don't have a stand mixer, but this way works pretty good, with the lettuce sieve on its head on a towel, and the mixer standing on the sieve.

Keep the egg whites apart. I might make a meringue later in the week.

For a Salted Caramel Sauce i used Nigella’s recipe. I did look for golden syrup in the supermarket today. I had seen it before, but it was sold out. I decided i was going to use honey.


  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g golden syrup – honey in this case
  • 125ml cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, any type you want


  1. melt butter, sugars and syrup or honey, let it simmer for a couple of minutes while swirling the mixture
  2. add the cream and the salt, taste to see if you have enough salt – please cool the mixture by blowing on it, it can be quite hot!
  3. put the sauce in a glass pot to save, keep it outside the fridge until it is completely cooled
This pan i got for my birthday around.. hmm.. counting.. 27 years ago? I did get it from friends from art school. I was really happy with this present.


When i made my Vanilla Ice Cream and Salty Caramel Sauce, the ice cream wasn’t completely set yet. I wasn’t going to wait! So i twirled the mixture a bit. The sides were frozen, the bottom was too. The middle was still a bit fluid. When it was all mixed i scooped out a bulb of ice cream and added the salted caramel sauce. Yummy!

Published on December 23, 2015 at 6:00 by


I do enjoy the late December festivities. It is part of the yearly cycle of celebrations. The long nights, the cold, the lights inside the houses and outside on the streets, they do create magic. It’s not that i have a Christmas tree all decorated, but yeah, i do have some Christmas lights wrapped around a small chest. Paper cutouts of geometric Christmas trees turned around a candle.


I enjoy the television. Lots of movies to watch. Harry Potter. Again. Cooking shows. Of course. I do enjoy them. Even though the sweet tones and angelic smiles can be a bit too much for me. Simply Nigella i like, yes. But please show me the bloopers more. I simply can not imagine anyone whisking and cutting and blending with that continuous smile. Still, with all the tv and the cooking shows and the ads on the streets and the Christmas lights up, with all the commercialism and the money making and the people playing for the camera’s, it is still a magical time. I will go to my family this Saturday. Have a little bite to eat. Hopefully it will be nice, we might play a game, we might watch some tv, we might listen to some music. It is not going to be an all festive glamorous time, but still. It’ll be nice.

I'm happy to say i don't drink any soda. These ads from Coca Cola don't do anything for me. Apart from annoying me a bit.
New Year is also around the corner. So is the New Years lottery. Which i actually did do. Once a year. A few years ago i did stop doing this.
Published on December 21, 2015 at 6:00 by

The final bit of 2015

This week i’m working on two jobs, which is good, moneywise. Otherwise good too. A bit of work to keep the mind straight. A bit.

I have made some decisions this week. I will be taking a short vacation after Christmas. A week of no posts, to relax and unwind.

The last post, the one on Christmas day, next week Friday, will be the post i started last week, The world is terrible. I haven’t written anything more, but it’s been on my mind every single day. I’ll start writing Saturday and give myself a short week to get it to my liking.

I’ll be doing one more food entry, Vanilla Ice Cream with a Salted Caramel Sauce. Yay!! Really looking forward to that one.

I might be doing a video clip. Not sure, i’ll have to see how it will work out. I am thinking of doing Let It Go. That is my favourite song of this year. I might sing it live into the camera. I’ll see how that goes.

The other posts, i don’t know yet. It’ll make itself clear.

Have a good weekend.

Published on December 18, 2015 at 6:00 by


The past months i’ve been making salads for bread. So far i have made egg salads, tuna salads and celeriac apple salads. I did buy mayonnaise in the supermarket. Last week i started to look into the recipe for a homemade mayonnaise. Terribly easy! And i knew that, i have made it before. Pfff.

The ingredients

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar, apple vinegar is good, so is white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 ml of vegetable oil, sunflower oil in this case
  • lemon, juiced (optional)

Place the egg yolk, the mustard, salt, pepper and vinegar in a bowl. Whisk them, either by hand or with a hand mixer. Start adding the vegetable oil very slowly, only drops and keep on whisking. After a while you can pour in the oil in a slow stream. You end up with a thick mayonnaise, you can save in the fridge for around 5 days.


Egg salad
Extremely simple. Cook three eggs. Put them in cold water and heat up. Once they are cooking, turn down the fire and let them stand for five minutes. With a timer! When done, peel the eggs and squash them with a fork. Add around two tablespoons of mayonnaise, a bit of extra salt. Today i added some chives to the mix.

Another idea is to add some baked bacon to this salad. Or onion. Or cheese.


Celeriac and apple salad
Great salad. Best tool to have for this is a mandolin. For apples Granny Smith’s are the best, fresh green apples. Use a medium width slicer for the mandolin and set the distance to around 1 – 2 millimeters.

Slice the apple on the mandolin. Slice around a quarter of the celeriac. Add around two to three tablespoons of mayo, depending on taste. For the salad on the picture i added some chopped walnuts and raisins, making it more like a waldorf salad.


Tuna salad
Very simple. Open a tin of tuna and squash it with a fork. Use three to four small gherkins and slice them in small squares, around 5 millimeters large. Add two to three tablespoons of mayonnaise and mix. Done.

Crab salad
I will make this salad next week, for around Christmas. I saw a box filled with crab meet in the Marqt, the shop where i buy bread, butter and eggs. The easiest recipe for this is the crab meat mixed with the mayo, with some chopped chives.

A search gave me more ideas. Avocado, onion, bell peppers, scallions, parsley, cucumber, garlic, celery, these can all be added to this salad. I’ll go with the simple one first.

More salads…?
There are so many more salads you can make. Chicken, spicy chicken, ham and leek, salmon, cucumber. Depends on what you like yourself, what is in season, what is the cheapest to buy.


Published on December 16, 2015 at 6:00 by