The rooftop pad

Although we’ve been living in our apartment for almost a year now, the building as a whole is still unfinished. The owner of the building is in the process of fitting out a gucci megaflash duplex apartment on the top two floors. The pad will include a horizon pool looking out to the Mediterranean, two separate elevators, and sloping panoramic windows looking out across Achrafieh to the snow-capped Mount Lebanon chain in the distance.

It’s really quite impressive and I like popping up there occasionally (on Sunday when the workers are away) to see how the fit-out is progressing. “Slowly” is the answer.

Last week I jumped in the lift and headed up, spent a while exploring around taking a few pictures. It was only then that I realised there was no button to call the lift back, just some wires sticking out of the wall, and all the fire escape doors were locked. The dude was stuck eleven storeys up.  Luckily after a plaintive phone call Sheridan got into the lift at our floor and came to the rescue.

Anyway, when this joint is finally finished I’d love to live there.

View from the terrace View from the terrace View from the horizon pool The unit, from inside the pool Panorama windows Panoramic view Bedroom view Toilet view

A nice walk on the Corniche

After the horrible weather of last week, this weekend has been lovely – sunny, no wind, and crisp cool air. And what better way to enjoy such weather than a nice walk on the Corniche?

Beirut’s corniche has recently been renovated. Before our extended return to Australia the pavement was horribly pot-holed, covered in litter and bits of discarded gutted fish, and generally an unpleasant place to walk. (Though in true Beirut fashion it didn’t matter what condition it was in, people would still walk along it all weekend because there’s nowhere else in Beirut that you can walk without being run over!)

Now it’s got new pavers, new light poles (without lightglobes – a minor problem), new palm trees and new railing. Of course it’s a mystery who paid for all this, as the government’s been paralysed and bankrupt for some time. A typical Lebanese mystery!

Beirut coastline, looking east Beirut corniche 080202_corniche04.jpg Corniche walkies I’ve just bashed my face

Brrrrr! It’s mighty cold!

Hooley dooley, it is seriously cold over here at the moment. For the past couple of days it’s been stormy with gusting winds, thunderstorms (thunder is never welcome when you’ve had two car bombings within a month!), mega amounts of rain and frequent hail storms. Snow is falling as low as 500 metres altitude, which over here is the outer suburbs of Beirut. In fact, on my way to work this morning I was overtaken by a car with big clumps of snow on top of its roof and boot.

Kind of surreal in a mediterranean coastal city.

I had Mitchie in the car this afternoon and there was a steady downpour of sleet (is it correct to say that it was “sleeting”??) which was very pretty as it accumulated on our bonnet, but I was sure glad we were in the nice warm car and not on foot. This sort of weather is especially unpleasant in Beirut, as the few drains that there are tend to be blocked, so the roads turn into rivers. It is impossible to walk around and not be drenched up to the knees – and remember that I’ve got long legs!

Of course at this point it will be very obvious to many readers that we’re Australians and still completely overwhelmed by a marginally cold climate. One of these days we’ll have a posting to a genuinely cold country and will think nothing of driving to work through metre-deep snow drifts.

Happy Australia Day!

So how do you celebrate Australia Day in Lebanon? Afterall, over 20,000 people in this country hold Australian citizenship.

Well for us it’s a pretty low key day. We’re off to City Mall for a bit of a shop around the remainder of the post-Christmas sales (still lots of goodies are 50 percent off), then perhaps around to Matt and Tash’s place for Oz Day drinks this arvo. Otherwise there’s not much happening in our patch. No National Day function this year, given the political and security uncertainty (talk to any Lebanese about what’s going on and they’ll roll their eyes about “the situation”). Probably just as well, as yesterday’s car bombing in Hazmieh might have resulted in a last minute cancellation.

What are you up to?

Christmas in Beirut

Here’s a few photos from the Christmas period. Little guy’s grown a bit during his time in Australia. Still likes cake though…

Buche du Noel 071230_floorboys.jpg 071230-floor.jpg 071230_tiles.jpg

And of course like all two year olds he always likes to play on the floor – cold hard tiles or not. Mummy reckons that Mitchell and Daddy play a bit too roughly. Especially when she finds herself being headbutted by the little guy when they’re playing on the bed. Let me tell you, he’s got a hard noggin.

PLEASE STANDBY

As you can see, we’re in the process of substantially updating (and slimming down) our sherlex.com website. All the old stuff is still available for the time being, at http://www.sherlex.com/sitebackup/ But in the coming week or two I’ll be migrating photos etc over to this blogsite.

So why the change? To be honest, the old site was pretty dull, and it was a fairly involved process to make updates. Now that I’ve installed wordpress on our server it will be heaps easier to add blogs – which hopefully means we’ll update more often!

That’s it for now. Watch this space and soon it’ll be filling up with photos and stories of our life here in Lebanon.

Cheers

sherlex