For a photo gallery of this
Chinese festival, as it is celebrated on Lamma, have a good look at: Mid-autumn Festival
My favourite discovery at
this year's festival were these mean-looking nuts, sold ONLY around
this time of year. They're called Water Caltrops, "Horned Water
Chestnuts" or Ling Gok in Cantonese.
Discovering them in a
mooncake tin at breakfast, I found some later at $5/catty on Main
Street. After cooking them they taste like a nuttier version of
water chestnuts. Learn what
terrible faith awaits me because I tasted one uncooked!
As a friend pointed out, the
initials of Ling Gok and Lamma-Gung are the same, so I adopted
this intriguing nut as my new personal icon and Avatar. Learn more
about Ling Goks by clicking on Talkback!
My 2nd step-daughter got
married today in City Hall! At the joyous occasion of the formal
marriage registration, so many of my Chinese relatives were present.
Being the only Gwailo, it was an interesting feeling to be ignored but
tolerated by most of them...
The photo shows both my
step-daughters' families. The two boys are my step-grandsons Man Hin &
Tung Lam, the ones calling me their "Gung-Gung" on Lamma, Lamma-Gung...
Mon, Sep 27: Do You Know Susan Sheers, Senior Lammaite?
Addressing mainly current
and former Lammaites today who know writer, poet, painter Susan Sheers,
who submitted this beautiful poem below: Sep 15: The Banana Tree?
If you do, please give her a
call at Queen Mary Hospital right now.
Email me for her mobile phone number, if you don't have it
already. I've met this great person today for the very first time when
visiting her in the Emergency Dept. She was helicoptered from Lamma a
few days ago. She's in OK spirits now, but would love very much to hear
from people who know her. Do your good deed for today and give her a
The Lamma-zine is an internet-based local
magazine, founded 2 years ago as an offspring of Lamma.com.hk,
the online community & discussion forums for Lammaites and people
everywhere interested in our fair isle.
32 issues have been
published so far and sent out by email to almost 1,500 (free)
subscribers monthly. Supported by local sponsors & advertisers (see ratecard), it's being
edited & published by Lamma-Gung, with the help of many non-regular,
occasional contributors, writers & photographers. Subscribe!
contributions are most welcome, hopefully shaping the Lamma-zine into a
community platform of diverse ideas, views and opinions, showcasing the
amazing variety of great local talents.
"Lamma. A softness, a
delicate space and place, which I have loved and lived, which has
offered me rest and respite, sanity and peace, beauty and hope. I
cherish my beautiful circle of friends there, the old beautiful house I
made my home (from 1996-2001), the sound of rain on those clay tiles.
Bring me back the big, slow ferries, and I just may return...."
by Madeleine Marie
Slavick, poet, photographer, editor and publisher living in Hong
Kong, whose latest book "delicate access" with 88 poems and
photos will be launched on Oct 6 - See Events Calendar.
Do you believe Lamma is
full of rent refugees, down & outs and other prosperity-challenged
individuals? Not at all!
Personally overheard yesterday in a local bar for the well-off,
discerning drinker, two people were comparing their domestic rent and
aircon bill is so high this summer, over $1,800!", complained one guy.
Reply: "Hah, MY aircon bill is higher than your rent! Even my gardening
bill is higher than your rent!" Stunned silence from the "defeated"
course, this reply came from somebody living up on "Millionaire's
put up a new page header for this site, designed a while ago, based on
the former bluish one, see below. This old one is still online in the
forums. Please send honest & constructive comments
to me! Onwards to redesigning the menus on the left
pretty amazing & rare butterfly photo has been submitted by Sheila
today. Our experts, the Flora & Fauna forum moderator and the
Official Court Lepidopterist-in-residence are still stumped to
identify it, classify it and stick a needle through it. Fortunately,
this one got away and only left us this photo as a memento of this rare
A very rare aerial shot of our harbour,
taken during the 1st phase of the harbour reclamation, ca. 1998. The
new pier & sewage collection hadn't been constructed yet.
The 2nd phase of the planned
reclamation - reclaiming the entire rest of the shoreline - was
successfully stopped. New, reduced plans have been drawn up and will
have to find a new govt. budget, which will take years!
rumours of Lamma as extremely fertile and a fantastic place to bring up
children are all true! Below is the latest picture I received today,
showing Aya Walker, 2-week old baby daughter of one of our
Laudable Lamma Luminaries:
Having seen Kumi jumping up and down at her numerous Drum
Jam events around town, I and all her legions of fans & friends wish
her and Aya (2nd generation Drum Queen!), all the very best! Kumi (plus
Aya?) will perform at this year's Rockit Festival in Victoria
Park again, of course, hopefully together with many other bands from
gallery of Rockit 2003.
"A ferry ride from
high-rise Hong Kong, Jonathan Margolis discovers an offbeat,
car-free island with dreamy scenery, sublime walks and secluded
The Lamma power
station makes a trip to the island rather like a date with a
beautiful woman who has one major flaw, such as calamitous ears or
regrettable teeth. One the plus side, the power station isn't
polluting or noisy, so there's a case for living with it...
To me, though,
Lamma is so very wacky, so supremely charming and such a
spirit-elevating place that I forgive it this one eyesore."
Lammaites couldn't agree more with this sentiment!
Thu, Sep 16:
Original Harry Cartoon Artwork For Auction!
Famous cartoonist Harry (SCMP and many
other magazines) has donated the original artwork above for auction
to benefit the production/hosting costs of the Lamma-zine and this Blog.
It was originally created for the Lamma-zine Sep 2004 issue.
It shows the old cliché of Lamma Island as a Hippy
Haven & drug-addled place. The "rival" island of DB (Discovery
Bay) might think we'd love to have a drugs supermarket on our fair isle.
We've recently been doing a little online survey what kinds of shop local residents would like
on Lamma. Nobody but Harry's fertile imagination came up with an idea for a
To bid for this unique original artwork (A4, art
paper, ink & water colour),
contact me for enquiries or bid online by clicking on the Talkback!
button on the right.
Wed, Sep 15: The Banana Tree:
Poem & Photo by Susan E. Sheers, Lammaite
(Click above to enlarge)
sent me this beautiful, heart-felt poem today, for publication
here and in the Lamma-zine, even though she's not on email or internet
yet and we've never met before. She had only seen my ad flyer and called me up. Wonderful
to gain new contributors like her, hoping for many more!
her know what you think of her poem!
Click on Talkback and I'll forward your feedback to her!
Legislative Council Elections are over, with a few hiccups like not
enough ballot boxes for the record voter turnout. European countries
would love to have problems like this, with their voter apathy and voter
turnouts of not even half of HK's almost 60%!
everybody's surprise, especially the concerned parties, the formerly
largest party, the Democratic Party, lost votes and seats (9), while the
pro-Beijing, "anti-democratic" "Democratic Alliance for the Betterment
of HK" party won seats, up to 12 legislators now to become the biggest
party in HK's Legislative Council. Their posters all over Lamma have
been "adorned" with photocopied stickers to gloat, eh, celebrate their
surprise achievement. Well, the voters have spoken...
Today - 9/12 - Election
Day for HK's Legislative Council
I shook the hand of a
REAL-LIFE LegCo candidate on Aug 22!
bolt of lightning went through my body when touching the candidate and
now I have this irresistible urge to vote for List 7, DAB, the
Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong! Go, DAB, go!
DAB, DAB, hurray!!!
I'd only be a registered voter and permitted to vote...
posters (right) are all over Yung Shue Wan, sometimes 2-3 on the same
building, all numbered by hand. Lammadonna, our District
Councillor, Village Representative and DAB member, told me personally
that NOBODY has ever been fined for putting up a poster or flyer on
Lamma, even though the official fine is $1,500. Lucky for them...
Lammadonna took her party's LegCo candidates and a swarm of volunteers
through the village, a sea of gold and red, sashes, flags, banners,
flowing through Main and Back Street, greeting almost every shop and
restaurant owner, shaking hands, "kissing babies", and smiling,
smiling, till their jaws hurt... I was sitting innocently in Tropicana
having a late lunch, when the DAB swarm descended upon us, some of them
even entering the place.
DAB is by far the dominant party on Lamma Island, but seen
as anti-democratic - despite their name - and Beijing-friendly. So
they're expected to lose a lot of votes to the democratic camp in this
election. They're resisting the tide of public opinion against them by
sounding more and more "democratic" themselves.
even got an English leaflet (very rare in HK politics) from the
sashayed candidate who blessed me, Mr Leung (right on the poster
above). The DAB caravan made it all the way to Sha Po Village, turned
around, rushing to catch the boat out of here (see below) to the next
leaflet made fascinating reading. It's here:
sounds so amusing & satirical, but I suspect that they actually tried
to be serious:
Title: "Stability to Advance
Harmony to Build Tomorrow"
Point 1 of the Election Platform: "Advance
Democracy; Listen to the People"
"Key Roles of the DAB: ..., Champion of
Quote: "Fueled by our love for China and the
Hong Kong SAR, our quest for
democracy, our unified spirit and
our commitment to build Hong
Kong, we will press ahead..."
couldn't make it up as well myself...
Sat, Sep 11:
Lamma band BAHOUKI won
"Best Acoustic Band of Hong Kong"!
Email from "Laudable
Lamma Luminary" John Hutton:
"I thought it might be of interest to
you that Lamma band, BAHOUKI won the Tom Lee "SoundBase"
competition in the Ko Shan theatre last week. This was a music
festival to find Hong Kong's best acoustic band...and we won!
Bringing it home to Lamma, indeed. You can get a hold of some
photos at the Tom Lee website, though when I tried to find that link
today it was gone. I'll send you a photo anyway. (above and right)"
"Also, our instrumentalist, Olie Quinn
from Ireland, joint won best individual performance...so all in all a
nice night's work.
We re-arranged an old song called
"Istanbul, not Constantinople" dressed up in giant fezes and
pretty much brought the house down. We were also the only
non-Chinese finalists out of 77 bands! The members were:
John Hutton (lead vocals and guitar)
Oliver Quinn (Bazouki, Bodhran,
Low Whistle, backing vocals)
Dave Green (Acoustic Bass,
Fri, Sep 10:
Hong Kong's first
commercial-scale wind turbine
Received the press release
and more pictures from HK Electric by email this morning. Here's a nice
artist's impression of how it'll look like from HK-side, from the East
The SCMP has also picked up
the HK Electric press release today, AFTER it has been published in
this Blog already last night (below). Here's a link to the full SCMP
story full of interesting facts and opinions:
Artist's impression of the proposed wind
turbine viewed from Tai Ling Pavilion, end of 2nd Cable Road,
overlooking "Mt. Panorama" and North Lamma
HK Electric (HEC) has issued
one of their rare press releases yesterday, announcing the construction
of a wind turbine in Tai Ling - above Tai Peng - to start in early
2005, completion by early 2006: "EIA Report on Wind
Turbine Submitted to Government". The press release gives a
good overview and background of this hot-topic project and claims that
"By erecting a wind turbine on an otherwise barren hilltop, the project
will boost Lamma as a tourist spot with educational and environmental
They promise to "maintain a
close dialogue with the local residents." Having established a good
working relationship with HEC, this Blog, the discussion forums and the
Lamma-zine will publish turbine updates & news as soon as they'll
The executive summary of the
will go online for public inspection early next week for public
consultation, comments & feedback for one month.
I've published 2 Lamma-zine
stories about the wind turbine project so far:
Discussing this project in
some detail with HEC recently, they confirmed to me that this 600kW
turbine will be sufficient for 3% of total power consumption of
Lamma residents. Unlike the power station's
output (which flows to HK Island and back to Lamma Island for technical
reasons), it can feed directly into the local power grid. But we'll
need about 33 wind turbines, just for Lamma's local needs.
Quoting from the only
website by a Lamma-based property agent:
"With its serenity
through havens of nature, Hong Kong's third largest island is
attractive in many exciting sort of ways. Only 30 minutes by ferry
service either from Central District pier or Aberdeen and you can
throwback to a more leisurely pace. Both Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan
are well known for their sunshine and beaches during the day. Country
park trails offers light exercise for hikers and joggers.
As night falls, sounds of jazz, laughter and
celebrations created from the many fine dining eateries gathers the
people on the Main Street. There is only a fistful of places in Hong
Kong where magic
and romance remain. Lamma Island is one of them."
The tourism board should
reward them for promoting Lamma so creatively & poetically!
But where's this jazz place
And, more importantly,
where's the "magic and romance" hiding???
One of the members of
Lamma.com.hk responded that they must have gotten confused and actually
meant "filth and pestilence"! But this was the same Lammaite (Granola
Eater, see his avatar below left) who did his own very best to
attract more tourists to our fair isle with the following promotional
words of wisdom in our discussion forum What we like
about living on Lamma:
"Of course there is much more than this on
Lamma. You can take a cable car to see the big Buddha. There is a great
revolving restaurant at the top of Mt. Stenhouse (3 Michelin stars).
The waterslide park at Heung Shing Yeh is a favorite with the
kiddies. And of course, in 2005 Disneyland opens where the current
football pitch and playground are. Tell your Ma, tell your Pa, Lamma
rocks, wah wah."
Wed, Sep 8:
"If Hong Kong were the
then Lamma Island would be San Francisco."
"It’s a free
place, where you can do what you want, and you know everyone by name or
nickname. It’s completely laid-back." — Nick Lovatt Book seller (left,
click for his website)
The story mentioned a few
local restaurants like Sampan, Green Cottage, Bookworm Café and Lamma
Hilton in Sok Kwu Wan.
But only a single shop made
it: Lamma Celebrity Nadia's
D&N Second-Hand shop (right). The editor of this story contacted us
here on Lamma.com.hk to get the name and contact details of this nice
shop. I helped him and he sent me dead-tree versions of several heavy Budget
Travel magazines (by registered mail!). Thanks, J!
Tue, Sep 7:
Contribution of the
Visiting Lamma for the very first time
Gaye in Sydney: "...from someone who is
already planning their return...
What a beautiful place! I was there last week, and now look back
from the city of Sydney, home again, work again, BUT:
There's something about Lamma Island that stays with you. It's an
atmosphere, a feeling, rather than a visual picture in your mind.
Hard to get out of you once you are "somewhere else".
aware of it when I arrived onto the Island - this time by ferry into
Yung Shue Wan. It's like changing worlds, from the bustle
of Hong Kong to a ferry pier, a walkway, and that sense of intimacy!
Following the path as it winds around... The various notices for
accommodation available, etc., make you aware of the community
island feeling. You instantly want to rent something immediately
rather than get back on that ferry again. Unfortunately, this time I
couldn't but I will next year. I will know where to find the
little cafes on the pier are welcoming, and at night the lights provide
an atmosphere not unlike a Greek island.
The Island Bar full of locals, with information and
gossip, and there is a true sense of belonging... the networking
and once again the sense of bonding and being a part of everything.
commuters return by ferry like anywhere else in the world from "out
there", and suits appear and disappear up the walkways.
Further around as you wander through the High Street, you become aware
of the village feel. Once you go up the Back Street and meander across
to Hung Shing Yeh beach, you feel the tropics.
really can't ask for a lot more from life in one place, other than time
to get to know every inch of this beautiful Island of Lamma. Perhaps
not every inch - but, hey, thank goodness it is not PERFECT - or
the whole world would invade.
thanks to Shelley, Carolyn and Marcus, little Miranda, and Mercy
for their wonderful company (Shelley's farewell) and a group of the
friendliest people I have met for a long time. Says something
doesn't it about lifestyle..."
Thank you very much, Gaye! We Lammaites know
all too well what you mean.
If YOU have a story to tell
why you like Lamma (or not),
email me and YOU might be published here!
Mon, Sep 6:
Lamma Fun Day:
Looking for sponsors & volunteers!
The Child Welfare Scheme is organising
the 5th Lamma Fun Day on Nov 21. I've joined the
organising committee recently and we're still looking for more
volunteers with various talents. Former main organiser Laudable
Lamma Luminary Doggy has handed over all his many former duties to
us. This should become the best & most successful Fun Day ever, we
hope! Fundraising target: HK$50,000!
We've already found some
sponsors, but we're always looking for more, especially cash donors!
There are many benefits for donors, depending on their contribution.
In the meantime, have a look at the website
of the Child Welfare Scheme (right) and the old official Lamma Fun Day
website, which I'll soon be updating comprehensively!
was published on Sep 4, 2002. 31 issues later, the Lamma-zine has grown
from a single-page, text-only, weekly newsletter for 56 registered
Lamma.com.hk members to a 50+-pages, heavily illustrated,
monthly magazine for almost 1,500 subscribers.
It owes a great debt of
gratitude to many supporters & contributors! Click here for a free,
subscription. The very first issue was written by Lamma.com.hk
founder webdog and the 3 initial moderators, including myself.
Since then it has grown from a little labour of love into almost a
full-time, 7-days-a-week home office job for my alter ego: semi-retired
The currently active
moderators of the Lamma.com.hk forums
- plus their families - got together in Diesel's for drinks and
a truly delicious chicken roast dinner - see above right. It was
prepared by owner Lucy herself and paid for by the Lamma-zine
editor/publisher, myself. Being a moderator on Lamma.com.hk has its
privileges... Most moderators are frequent contributors and
proofreaders of the Lamma-zine as well, but some of them met F2F for
the very first time, hitting it off very well!