That bond we need

Sunday was the 34th wedding anniversary of my parents and I wish them both joy, peace and harmony in their union.
Sunday was also my big cousins birthday. My love for sis lolly will never diminish because she is a big sister in deed.

Some hours ago I got fixated on Michelle Obama. After pinning many of her outfits I realised that it's not really the dress, it's the woman wearing it that makes each style, simple or sophisticated, stand out. Then I considered the source of that self assurance, and realised again that it would most likely be tied partially, to the bond.

There's a certain bond between Barack and Michelle Obama, that's almost a tangible force, almost a visible aura, when they are pictured together.
This force is more present when it's just the two of them. I can imagine what living in the spotlight can do to a marriage, but theirs survived two terms in office. Their partnership, their friendship seemed to get even stronger. They didn't seem to ever argue or fight, but I'm sure it's because they always presented a United front to the world. I'm also sure, that they both created a plan as to where they wanted to reach, and what they could do to help each other get there. They then followed it religiously, and adapted it if necessary, over the years.
Michelle is Barack Obama's partner, not shadow. When she glows his happiness is visible. Her joy is his mission.

I'm also pretty certain that they never ever allowed outside forces  (most likely including their daughters) come in between them.
They wouldn't ever slouch or sit back and let the other person take the full burden of running things within the family.
Their love and respect for each other is always evident in the millions of pictures of them.
They each made the other, their pillar of strength.
It's tough but they have shown that it is possible.

I pray we find such a bond to grow old with..... Amen

Summary of the week from 23.10.2017

True Iron Bloggers:

Adedayo Adeniyi (@daydah) in {‘Decades’: ‘Chunks of Time’} :
David Opati Aswani (@susumunyu) :
Christine Graf (@christinegraf) :
Hagen Graf (@hagengraf) :
David M.Wampamba (@idesignwebs) :
Dick Olsson (@dickolsson) :
Lena Roohnikan (@lerooco) :
Isa Schulz (@murgeys) :
Harry Tilley (@tilleyharry) in Tilley France Blog :

Cash register:

this week: -10 € (Adedayo did a good deed and Lena was blogging last week too)
total: 135 €
payed: 0 €
spend: 0 €


  • Adedayo Adeniyi (@daydah) – 20 € or 4 good deed
  • David Opati Aswani (@susumunyu) -20€ or 4 good deeds
  • Lena Roohnikan (@lerooco) – 15€ or 3 good feeds
  • Hagen Graf (@hagengraf) – 15 € or 3 good deeds
  • Harry Tilley (@tilleyharry) – 15 € or 3 good deeds
  • David M.Wampamba   –  15€ or 3 good deed
  • Christine Graf (@christinegraf) – 10 € or 2 good deeds
  • Dick Olsson – 5€ or 1 good deed

Previously retired (all debts paid – can come back for free):

  • Juergen Rinck (since 26.06.2016)
  • Daniel Roohnikan (since 17.04.2017)

Previously retired (must pay 30 € for the re-entry):

  • Joeri Poesen (@jpoesen)  (since 10.07.2017)
  • Osbert Mwijukye (since 03.04.2017)
  • Moein Rezaei (since 26.06.2017)
  • Jonathan Rukundo (since 13.03.2017)
  • Shedy Serem (since 16.01.2017)
  • Manfred Gosch (@1aolivenoel) (since 23.10.2017)

Web design vs Graphics design, my honest opinion

A few days a friend came to me with a question. I believe it was a result of looking a web design as a tough game. Since profound web designers have to pull off a lot of skills to be able producer an above average website.

Her question was. Of graphics design and web design which one is smaller than the other? Find what I answered below.

Though the answer I gave to her was brief, let me try to elaborate.

By definition.

Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving using one or more of typography, photography and illustration. – Wikipedia

Web design is the process of creating and updating websites.

Web designers may have some level of graphics design skill especially. Say they could use a graphics tools such as Sketch or Photoshop or Adobe illustrator to be able to create mock-ups which are the static none functional representations of a website, that to me doesn’t qualify web design as the bigger brother here. Rather it’s a symbol of a balanced ecosystem.

Further more, I consider graphics design is divided into primary categories.i.e. Screen and print graphics. Under the screen graphics branch I put sub branches like motion graphics, web design, video editing and animation to mention be a few whereas I put the would be printed at the end of the day like magazine and book publishing, calendars, flyers, brochures, business cards etc under the print graphics branch.



House Renovation: Stripped to the bones

The last update I wrote about our house renovation in the south of France was when we finished building a wall. In the meantime, with the help of our globe-trotting family, that wall has reached many more floors and is in fact done. On top of that, they managed to empty the entire house of…

Holidays in Jordan

Since a few days we are traveling through Jordan. We visited Amman, Jerash and Madaba and now I am sitting in a very posh hotel at the Dead Sea, feeling bizarre when hearing the muezzin calling for the evening prayer and western music from the outside pool at the same time. Jordan is a very ...

The post Holidays in Jordan appeared first on Christine Graf.

recipe testing: wild rice soup

Just a quick one today as I’m heading out soon to have dinner with my parents and my sister.

I discovered this website a while ago and am a fan of their easy, but very delicious recipes. As winter is approaching and I wanted something to stay warm, I had this very comforting wild rice soup last week.

I don’t have an instant pot, so I went with the stovetop version, which worked out fine. I made a big pot of it, so I had four meals plus one batch for my sister, who traded one portion of her stuffed pumpkin with my soup. Win win!

I couldn’t find pure wild rice, so I had to go for a mixture, as opposed to the suggestion in the recipe. But for me, it was very delicious nevertheless. The only thing that came a bit unexpected was that my soup had turned in a risotto the next morning, as the rice had soaked up all the liquid overnight 😀

So not a soup anymore, but still very nice!


Wir fahren seit ein paar Tagen mit einem Auto durch Jordanien 🇯🇴. Von Nord nach Süd. Es ist so interessant und mein Kopf ist voller Bilder und Geschichten. Die naechsten 2 Tage bin ich in einem “Luxus Resort” am Toten Meer und habe Zeit zu lesen 📖 . Dann geht es weiter in den Süden. Mein …

The post Urlaub appeared first on Hagen Graf.

10 manieren om brood te kopen in Frankrijk

Als we in Frankrijk zijn denkt men meestal aan de lekere authentiek gebakken bagetten. Die zijn ook super lekker, wel opletten dat je bij warme bakker gaat kopen om de echte te proeven!! Hier ons lijstje met France broden.
1. La baguette: Tuurlijk, een Fransman koopt ‘une baguette’. Dit is inderdaad de manier om een ‘gewoon’ stokbrood te vragen, het witste en eenvoudigste in zijn soort. Het goedkoopste ook (minder dan een euro) en volgens de Franse wet standaard 250 gram zwaar en gemiddeld zo’n 65 cm lang. Maar let op, dit is meestal niet het lékkerste stokbrood… Dat is de tradition.
2. La tradition: (of baguette de tradition) Alleen stokbroden die ter plaatste zijn gebakken en waarvan het meel geen kunstmatige toevoegingen bevat, mogen in Frankrijk baguette de tradition heten. Deze stokbroden ‘zoals vroeger’ (à l’ancienne) zijn vaak ook langer gekneed en gerezen. De prijs is dan ook hoger (€1,10-€1,20), maar je kunt ook vaak al op afstand zien dat ze meer smaak hebben en knapperiger zijn dan de reguliere baguette, die er over het algemeen direct naast staat.
3. Le pain: Sommige Fransen kiezen liever voor un pain. Dat is in principe van hetzelfde witte meel gemaakt en even lang als een baguette, maar wel twee keer zo breed en dik (400 gram). Dus het heeft in verhouding meer zacht brood (mie) en minder korst. Heet in sommige regio’s pain parisien.
4. La ficelle: Een extra smalle baguette, even lang maar de helft van het gewicht (ca. 120 gram). Veel korst dus, weinig zacht brood. Wordt meestal ‘nature’ verkocht, zonder iets op de buitenkant, maar bestaat ook met pavot (maanzaad) of sésame(sesam). Verwarrend: in sommige streken noemen ze een ficelle (wat draadje betekent) ook een flûte (fluit), terwijl een flûte in andere streken voor een gewoon formaat stokbrood wordt gebruikt.
5. Le pain de seigle: Brood van roggemeel (zie hierboven) dat traditioneel geserveerd wordt bij oesters. Dit is meestal het donkerste brood bij de Franse bakker (al haalt het bij verre na niet de zwarte kleur van ons Nederlandse roggebrood) en Fransen noemen het daarom ook wel pain noir. Overigens heb je ook pain au seigle, brood waar wat rogge aan het tarwemeel is toegevoegd, maar in kleinere hoeveelheid dan bij het pain de seigle (minstens 70% rogge).
6.Le pain de campagne: Het klassieke Franse boerenbrood, ook wel pain paysangenoemd. Grote stevige broden met een dikke korst zodat ze langer vers blijven. Op basis van tarwemeel met een beetje rogge of volkorenmeel en vaak ook wat zuurdesem. De kleinere broden gaan per stuk (als boule of pavé), terwijl de grotere op maat worden afgesneden – à la coupe heet dat. Je betaalt een pain de campagne dus vaak au poids, op gewicht.
7.Le pain au levain: Dat laatste geldt ook voor puur zuurdesembrood. Het bestaat in alle Franse regio’s, maar veruit de bekendste variant is die van bakkerij Poilâne in Parijs. Die hebben altijd de vorm van grote ronde met meel bestoven broden (van bijna 2 kg!): les miches. Daarvan koop je de helft of een kwart. Tranché? Vraagt de bakker je dan, gesneden? Zodat je die lange smalle tartines(boterhammen) krijgt.
8.Pain complet of pain intégral: Volkorenbrood van diverse meelsoorten en grof gemalen granen. Tegenwoordig lang niet meer zo moeilijk te vinden, zelfs op het platteland verkopen kleine bakkers ze, je moet er soms alleen vroeg bij zijn. Een ander ‘gezonder’ Frans brood is pain au son, bruin tarwebrood met veel zemelen.
9.Pain aux céréales: Meergranenbrood waaraan een melange van ongemalen granen en zaden is toegevoegd, zoals bij ons. Grappig is dat vooral de donkere varianten (met rogge erin) dan ook vaak ‘Noord-Europese’ namen hebben zoals Le Viking of Le Nordique.
10.Brioche: Dit zijn zoetere broden (soms mooi gevlochten) van wit meel waaraan suiker, eieren en eventueel melk is toegevoegd. Broden die qua smaak lijken op brioche zijn het pain viennois of pain au lait. Die eerste heeft vaak de vorm van een stokbrood, maar doet qua textuur denken aan onze zachte witte bolletjes alleen dan zoeter.
Handige woorden bij de bakker Tranché s’il vous plaît: Gesneden alstublieft Bien cuit: donkere korst (voor een baguette) Pas trop cuit: niet al te donker gebakken Une demi baguette: een halve baguette (kan altijd!) Avec ceci? (dit vraagt de bakker aan jou): Anders nog iets? Avez vous du pain sans gluten? Heeft u glutenvrij brood? (glutèn, in het Frans nadruk leggen op tweede lettergreep. In Parijs word je bij deze vraag al lang niet meer vreemd aangekeken en op het platteland vaak ook niet meer.

The King’s new Clothes.


We will credit this year as the year of the Spanish Politics. The year when we have been through a full election, the supreme judgement that nullified the whole election, the back to the drawing board by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and the other half election………which many, including the IEBC themselves felt it would not happen.

We have also been insulting each other on social media, in public rallies, in television stations etc. We have also killed each other, physically, we have jumped over the blood of our neighbours and friends. We have falled to be our brothers keepers. So our state has gotten worse and now seeks repairs. The international journalist who have made camp here since we first went to polls finally had something to cover.

Have we ashamed ourselves? yes. Do we deserve pity? Yes we do. We are now being covered by international media,… they have finally had their last laugh. We stand on the same road leading to different direction, with selfishness and injustice we have been crippled. Who cared now which revolution is being televised? Is it the true revolution?

So a home that enjoyed the peace and calm a few days before elections finds itself in need of shelter, food and other very common basic needs. The society has been robbed, while we watch with our naked eyes. So we pick the side of the king, and ignore the servant under the table. Whom the king feeds like his dog. So let’s say,…..long live the King.

When you find that the King is naked – and there are all kinds of them, of first, second and third rate – do not exclaim:

“He has no clothes on him! No clothes!”

Do not ask why he is naked.

Instead, ask yourself and inquire with prudence: why is it that no one says “He is naked!”?  Why don’t they tell him?

This must be a lonely king. Most probably he is unable to keep a trusted adviser, of a fool who dares to tell him the urgent truth. He needs one. Maybe he does not know how to use advice or is incapable to listen.

Second thought, this folk do not find a way to speak to their king; are they afraid or just awkward? They may need to find a clever way to tell him or to let him know without words. There are means to help people speak to their kings.

Finally, this may be a bad king who deserves to be left naked. In this last case, keep your tongue, remember: don’t do the wrong thing right!

When a king is naked there is judgment to use.

The donations towards the victims in Kawangware can be dropped at Naivas Westlands, Riruta and Greenhouse. Be your brothers keeper.