|Miss H. (Look at the colors of Beirut!!)|
Slowly the days are getting cooler, the evenings pleasant, and the light soft. I once went to a photography course, and the instructor called it the Golden Hour, the hours just before and during sunset. The light is diffused and – indeed – almost golden. Beirut gets quite pretty at that time of day. And that is quite something, because Beirut is not a pretty town. Due to lack of building laws (or the implementation of them), the exorbitant prices of land, engineers that design buildings rather than architects, and the local preference for Saudi Chic have morphed entire parts of this city into a veritable ‘concrete jungle’. While at sea yesterday, I counted 33 constructions cranes in the sky-line of Beirut.
|Miss T. (What a fantastic skyline, if I say so myself)|
But during the hours before sunset, especially during fall, the colors of Beirut make it suddenly beautiful. Particularly from a distance. It is odd how distinct the seasons are in this town. Unlike Holland, where the seasons blends into one another, and where it can be cold during summer, hot in fall, mild in winter and freezing in spring, this place sticks to its seasons. Hot in summer, mild in fall, cold in winter and fresh in spring. Fall has started and like clockwork, this place is (slowly) cooling down.
|Miss H., Miss T. and Miss I., future Lebanese Olympic medal winners|
I went out and took my daughter and two other prospective Lebanese water-ski champions out to sea in the afternoon. There was supposed to be this big demonstration downtown against this movie, but I think people have slowly figured out that creating anymore scenes (pun intended) over something that probably will win a Golden Raspberry Award is probably as senseless as the entire movie. The demonstration sort of fizzled out. And so it was nice and quiet.
|After the training . . . .|
|. . . they need to EAT!|
I am all inspired. After seeing that photo, I've got a new project. I am going to bring back some real glamour to this place. Not the botoxed and inflated beauty queens and groaning and panting husky singers, no, I have some lean-and-mean-female athletes in mind that are going to kick some serious a$$ in competitions all over the world. I am planning to create a new Lebanese Olympic Female Water Ski Team.
All beginnings are difficult, and right now I am dealing with three capricious girls who are discussing their Hollywood plans while I am trying to get them to focus on the skiing, but with the right style (aka USSR Olympic Team approach), I’ll get them there.
“Lebanese water skiers are skillful and a little on the harebrained side. This one has come hell-bent through the needle’s eye in the Grotte aux Pigeons, the Pigeon Rocks.” (From Life, January 7, 1977)
Lebanese can water ski quite well. We used to have an international water ski championship here in the Saint George Bay (Zaytouni Bay these days) beginning in 1955, but the war (1975) brought an end to that. Seems like it is time to bring that back as well.
Just check out LIFE magazine from January 7, 1966. Apart from all the clichés, we’re described as ‘skillfull water skiers' – ‘if a little on the harebrained side.' (pages 52 and 53, check out the caption under this photo!)’ Yep, that’s us; harebrained! This journalist knew back in 1966 already that the Lebanese were slightly out of whack. Right on the money, I’d say.