News, photos & stories from the Lamma Island community and its fascinating inhabitants. Edited by Lamma-Gung.
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Aug 31: The Smoke-Free, Health-Conscious, Spooky, Romantic, Feline-Dominated, Ferry-Riding and Artistic Chinese Forum!
Aug 30: Guess the Gadget Game
This is the first in a new occasional series of games
for this blog:
Quoting from the ads, brochures, website, manuals or any other stuff included when getting a new gadget, you'll have to guess what the product is. Simple!
First one up, from the introduction of a 86-page manual of a new gadget Lamma-Por just bought (highlights below are my own):
"Reach out and touch the lives around you with the new X. Graced with true classic elegance, it's a striking reflection of our distinctive character. Ever so dependable, its intuitive features are crafted for total ease of use, making every moment simply pleasurable...There's so much you can do with X. So reach out and uncover the possibilities."
Close to the end of the manual, the tone has definitely changed dramatically:
"The consumer shall have no coverage or benefits under this limited warranty if any of the following conditions are applicable:
The Product has been subject to abnormal use, abnormal condition, improper storage, exposure to moisture or dampness, exposure to excessive temperature or other such environmental conditions, unauthorized modifications, unauthorized connections, unauthorized repair including but not limited to use of unauthorized spare parts in repairs, misuse, neglect, abuse, accident, alteration, improper installation, Acts of God, spill of foods or liquids, maladjustment of customer controls or other acts which are beyond of reasonable control of X, including deficiencies in consumable parts such as fuses and breakage or damage to antennas, unless caused directly by defects in materials or workmanship, and normal wear and tear of the Product.
ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MECHANTABILITY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE DURATION OF THE FOREGOING WRITTEN WARRANTY. OTHERWISE, THE FOREGOING WARRANTY IS THE PURCHASER'S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY AND IS IN LIEU OF ALL OTHER WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED..."
Pheww, that about covers every possibility and impossibility of ever getting it fixed for free under this extremely & severely limited "Limited Warranty"...
So, what is this gadget? Easy! Click here to find out!
Aug 29: 'Ministers of Sausage/Ant Husbandry'
Our thriving forums are, besides great info sources on
anything Lamma-related, sometimes a surprising source of the weird &
wonderful. Without much prodding or provocation a sequence of "Magical
Realism"-like stories suddenly burst from the creative minds of some
long-time forum members last week.
Fortune Chan: "...we were strafed by what looked like a PLA-AF Sukhoi Su-27. It came out of the sun, west of the Power Station, and strafed us with its cannon on the first sweep and then returned to attempt to strike with its air-to-surface missile. I brought the twat down with a rock the size of a small pomelo..."
Beanburglar: "...The sausage flew into the air and brought down a Government service helicopter that was collecting ants for Donald Tsang's goldfish...Donald Tsang was so happy that he's made them ministers of sausage/ant husbandry."
Chuckm: "...The dragon boat teams are assembling in Vancouver harbour as I write this, ready to hand-carry said duck across the Pacific in a squadron of 120 boats, each one assigned its segment of the trip. They are carrying a huge radar-reflecting sign that proclaims "Lamma or Bust" to ward off wayward ships..."
It even includes a new Lamma song by our Official Court Poet & Tourism Ambassador, Mr Fortune Chan! Click on TALKBACK! for the full story so far. You're most welcome to join in and compose the next paragraph of this shared Lamma story!
Aug 28: Beer & Babble Bar
It's finally been revealed what B & B stands for in the name of this restaurant & bar. See their brand-new signs!
Yes, copious consumption of beer causes a lot of babble to be generated! Beer & Babble belong together...like Bread & Butter...like Baloney & Bollocks...
B & B has just joined the number of bars opening late on weekends (2am). What, another bar, you might say? None of them is making any real money, and another one joining the fight for the long-term shrinking number of regular drunkards, eh, patrons! Good luck to them!
B & B has been quite a favorite of Lamma-Por and myself for quite some time now. Below are some of the great & tasty dishes we've enjoyed there just in the last few weeks. I've been served some really badly burnt meals in B&B over the years, but their cook in the last few months was really excellent! The cooking, the spices, the presentation were really great value for money, at least during lunchtime on weekdays ($30-50). On weekend evenings, the prices for the same dishes almost double. Friendly service, nice & rustic atmosphere, colourful bar, great location, cozy decoration with antique Lamma photos, beach-side dining.
But recently, Lamma-Por and I were very disappointed with our lunches - Bland & Boring - extremely under-spiced, like so many Western-style HK cafes. We asked what happened: a new chef had taken over the same day, the old one leaving for a better salary in town. More than once I had sent special compliments to the chef for a great lunch. The old chef's food was so good & exceptionally tasty, the difference to the new average chef was really dramatic and unexpected. But other people's tastebuds might disagree with both of us...
We've never returned so far, waiting out this severe change in quality - from great to average - till the cooking improves or the chef changes once again. Cooks, managers and even staff in B&B seem to turn over every few months, sometimes every few weeks, hard to keep up with the names. Maybe that's why they're almost the only place wearing name tags?
Here's my photo gallery of fine B&B dishes, in memoriam, waiting for better times:
P.S. B&B management: If you read this, PLEASE let me know when it's safe to return and write another, more positive review! You've never been a Lamma-zine advertiser (and probably never will be), but I still like your place...
Aug 27: Power Station Chimney #4 Rising
Alert Reader & ex-Lammaite Lily sent in this photo taken from a friend's rooftop in Tai Peng. He's "the last surviving SaveLamma member still living on Lamma. ;-)". They're quite worried about how much higher this 4th chimney of the Power Station will rise. It's just been capped off with a huge, mushroom-like "hat". You can see it well from the arriving/departing ferry and from some of our hills, but not from anywhere around Yung Shue Wan or even the ferry pier.
Checking with HK Electric, they told me that "the height of the new chimney for the new combined-cycle gas turbine at Lamma Power Extension is 104m, about half of those of our existing chimneys (209m). It has a diameter of 19m.
The No. 4 Chimney is designed to contain three internal flues and one of them will be used for the new unit scheduled for commissioning in 2006. The construction of the chimney's concrete windshield has been completed and installation of the steel flue will soon commence, in line with the project schedule.
We don't have any firm plans for Chimney No. 5 at yet because we are only talking about Chimney No. 4 at the moment, which will partly be used for the new gas turbine unit. The construction of chimney hinges on future expansion plans which will be subject to Government approval."
Please refer to the latest press release on Lamma Power Station Extension and here's the latest monthly Environmental Monitoring & Audit report for July 2005, for more details on what exactly they're building right now over there.
P.S. Our Alert Reader has just added a great explanation for the 4th chimney to her own blog: "To break the bad 'three incense sticks' Fung Shui, HK Electric Company decided to erect a fourth chimney on Lamma Island."
Discuss Power Station Fung Shui by clicking on TALKBACK!
Aug 26: 'Who Are You Cowards?'
A poster from Diesel's blackboard on Main Street. Click to read the entire "Court Summons to Defendant" addressed to somebody charged with "obeying a call of nature at a public place". He's looking for whoever "coward" turned him in. Of course, this poster generated quite a few messages in our forums. Only on Lamma...
Aug 20: Plot Thickens Around Lamma Island Novel!
Aug 19: Lammaite Forever!
Aug 18: Beware of Hungry Ghosts!
No, I'm not talking about always hungry Gwailos (ghost men), like our new Official Court Glutton or myself. Today is the main day of the Hungry Ghosts Festival, the most dangerous day of the year to go outside at night, according to local beliefs. Lamma-Por insisted on me wearing a Jade amulet today to protect me from being devoured by a Hungry Ghost! Living in HK means honouring and celebrating local customs for me, and they're fascinating & great fun for the most part. Except today! Stay out of the bars after sundown! You have been warned!
Here's my own photo gallery of the 2003 Yu Lan festival on Lamma Island.
Aug 18: www. Graffiti Creator .net
Isn't the Internet the most marvelous & amazing time-wasting system ever invented? While researching the article above, I stupidly clicked on one of these ubiquitous Goooogle Ads, cluttering their search results. A few hours later I emerged from the website it linked to with several new Lamma-zine logos. See my "best" results below.
But beware and be warned! Don't go there! It's dangerously addictive! Forget I ever told you about it!!! You've never heard of it!
DISCLAIMER: www.GraffititCreator.net is not a Lamma-zine advertiser and this blog accepts no responsibility for any losses of massive & irreplaceable chunks of your time you might suffer by visiting the above site. You've been warned! "We're sorry for any inconvenience caused."
P.S. HELLLLLP! I can't stop! New "LAMMA ISLAND" logotypes keep popping up and up and up...
Aug 17: Late Ferries Postponed to Sep 1st
The 2-month trial-run of 3 additional late ferries was supposed to start yesterday, Aug 16, as informed by Lammadonna in July and reconfirmed by her to me and my interpreter on Aug 5.
No eagerly anticipated late ferries yet so far, so I did a bit of research today: The ferry staff and manager at the pier had absolutely no idea about any new late ferries, not today, not ever. No printed announcements could be found anywhere. Checking with HKKF's PR Manager, the start of the 2-month trial run has been postponed to Sep 1 the earliest!
The questionnaires by the Transport Dept. received several comments which HKKF has to answer first, before the Transport Dept. will confirm the trial run and starting date. The overwhelming feedback seems to have been positive. The PR Manager promised to inform me directly and all of us ferry passengers at least one week in advance before the actual start of the trial run. Watch this space for further news!
But I'll have to have another word with Lammadonna about this premature announcement, causing several people to query me today! Next time I'll have to double-check the info with other sources, as a good blogger should always do...
Aug 16: Official Court Glutton: Best Wonton Noodles?
I've been looking for a resident food critic for this blog for a while now and I finally got lucky! Welcome to our new "Official Court Glutton", a welcome new addition to our growing team of "Official" collaborators, from "Official Court Artist" & "Official Court Tourism Ambassador" to "Official Court Monthly Ferry Ticket Reminderer".
Here's the first restaurant review of what will hopefully become a regular bimonthly feature, written by a long-term Lamma resident and a lover of food, but not a foodie, who lets his tummy be his guide. Our shy Official Court Gourmet describes himself as the exact opposite of this photo: "not female, not thin, not fit & trim, not low-fat, has no highly-defined six-pack, doesn't like to wear sexy, white bikinis, but likes to look at ladies in sexy, white bikinis!"
Checking out "Old Friends" myself today and taking a photo of the dish, I also got their name card. Yes, they've got an English menu, but only available on request! Canned drinks at only $6. I can personally confirm the tastiness and deliciousness of their wonton noodles. I'd say probably the best ones in the village, and they can be found in such a little-known place. Check it out!
For more reviews & ratings of almost all restaurants on Lamma, click on TALKBACK! on the right.
P.S. "Old Friends" is NOT a Lamma-zine advertiser and will probably never become one. These restaurant reviews will be done impartially and independent of advertiser status.
Aug 15: Wind Whirl Plaza on Mt Stenhouse?
Mystery of the Day:
"LAMMA ISLAND: Population:
Station - Ling Kok Shan
Designfirst is an educational
design company promoting their business via this exhibition. This poster is
part of their "Windgathering" displays. The guy manning the
exhibition didn't speak much English and told me to
email them. But they did not respond to my repeated enquiries about
Is this a secret govt. plan unwittingly revealed or just a designer's flight of fancy? Another Power Station for Lamma, on Ling Kok Shan (between Sok Kwu Wan and Mo Tat Wan)? I can smell a secretive conspiracy and multiple cover-ups brewing & steaming! The very stuff of a Lamma-based political thriller in the making! This matter has just been escalated to HK Electric's publicity dept. for an official feedback! Let's see what they come up with, if they've got a sense of humour?
HK Electric's windturbine up in Tai Ling - basically a "windgathering" machine - has just completed foundation work; electrical & mechanical work is starting this very month. Is this mysterious "Wind Whirl Plaza" on Mt. Stenhouse (very windy up on the highest peak of Lamma!) a rival project by CLP or even a second, yet unannounced windturbine? The citizens of PIRL (The People's Independent Republic of Lamma) demand to know!!!
P.S. I: For a monthly update on the progress of HK's first windturbine - our very own Magical Spinney Thing - check out the reports on its very own website at lammawindturbine.hec.com.hk. The home page even sports a cute spinning animation of how it'll look like when finished by end of this year. HK Electric seems so proud of this windturbine that it got its own website already and gets mentioned in almost every one of their press releases.
P.S. II: I received a reply from HK Electric already and they're spoiling all my intriguing conspiracy theories above:
"Btw, we heard that the poster is just one of the many creative pieces by new graduates of the design institute, which is developed out of imagination and not hinting on anything real."
Well, I like my conspiracy theories above much better. Harrumph! I still think it must all be a sinister cover-up! The truth will prevail and be revealed some day!
Aug 14: Honoured & Honourable Contributors
Content contributions to this blog keep on pouring in, to my sheer delight & utter relief. The more contributions of text & pictures I get, the easier it is for me to put up an article every single day, including weekends.
The width and depth of some contributions is often amazing and wonderful, from promotions for worthy causes (Lamma Fun Day) over Sunset Photo contest entries to fun & unusual submissions (cat's diary, National Lammagraphic), plus the steady stream of local news from so many sources. There's really a great wealth of creative talent living on our fantasy island, plus a lot of creative talent (ex- & future Lammaites, tourists, people around the world interested in Lamma) reading & contributing to this blog.
My dream for the future would be to write just an occasional story, do a bit of editing & formatting, but otherwise hand over this free-speech soapbox, this community platform, this daily local newsletter completely to all contributors to air YOUR views, publicise YOUR causes, publish YOUR news, promote YOUR events, display YOUR artworks, tell YOUR stories, show off YOUR photos & videos! It might take a while to reach my long-term goal, but I'm not going anywhere. Thanks to the advertisers & sponsors at the top of this page and in the Lamma-zine, this website is self-financing and its future secured for the time being.
Aug 13: Garoupa & Friends @ Island Bar
It's been quite some time since the last local concert by any Lamma band. Some of them have gone to bigger, better things, performing in town in larger venues or even got into the HK finals of the World Battle of the Bands (NUDE, Sep 7, Hard Rock Cafe). So, do we have to wait till the next Lamma Fun Day on Sun, Nov 20, to hear Lamma bands perform on Lamma again?
No! Garoupa has come to our musical rescue and will be performing in the Island Bar tonight, to a fully packed house, eh, bar. To celebrate lead singer Alex's facial contortions, this blog is looking for photos of audience members with the best facial contortions! "Make a face like a Garoupa! Click!" should be the motto of the night! Email me your shots!
More news from other Lamma bands come from music organiser bbChris, also founder of new band "Guitars & Panties", debuting at Underground 11 on July 28:
"Thanks, L-G, for keeping up interest in bands Lamma related.
Nude were outstanding at Underground 11, a great way to start the night off - never seen so many people in a club at 9pm on a Thursday night and you would have thought the band was actually performing in the nude what with SO MANY PHOTOGRAPHERS fighting for photos of the band!! Hahahahahaa! As you can see from the Underground 11 page, they performed with PASSION!
Some people might be interested in my new band called "Guitars and Panties"? With a name like that, I couldn't find any guys to join so it's myself and 3 gorgeous Chinese ladies! Girls with guitars playing pop always seems to do well.
Well, a pair of red panties went missing that night! (Don't know if Garoupa had anything to do with that - they were spotted at Underground11 in the audience!)
Hope some more Lammarites will attend future Underground events and no doubt there will be more Lamma bands playing too!"
© PHOTOS Copyright 2005 Willem Van der Merwe.
Aug 12: The Cancer Diaries
I've just found out why our Official Court Artist, Andy Maluche, has been so uncharacteristically quiet these last few months. After "dropping the ball", he's battling testicular cancer and has just started chemotherapy!
In his usual life-affirming & ironical attitude to life and its problems, he decided to "write about my personal experience with the only thing that scares people more than George Bush' propaganda.".His Cancer Diaries offer a day-by-day account of his chemotherapy treatment. Just two weeks so far and he's already shedding his trademark blue hair. It's fascinating but heart-rending to read his chronicles, so far removed from morbidity and depression, still full of self-deprecating, great humour. All the very best, my friend, keep up your daily blog as it surely can be considered great therapy!
Aug 11: Bishop Zen & the Poor Clare Nuns of Lamma
Did you know that today is the Feast Day of St Clare, who died on today's date, 752 years ago? "Saint Clare of Assisi: Virgin, Foundress of the Poor Clares. Patron of: Embroiderers, eye disease, eyes, goldsmiths & gold workers, good weather, laundry workers, telegraphs, telephones, television & television writers"
Lamma's Portiuncula Monastery, just above the Lady of Lourdes Kindergarten, home of Lamma's Poor Clares Sisters, was hosting Bishop Zen last Sunday. As the spiritual leader of all Catholics in Hong Kong, he held a mass to celebrate the anniversary of St Clare's death, as he did last year (Bishop Zen Visiting Lamma feature story & photo gallery).
A Filipina friend alerted me to this year's event one day before. I joined in the bilingual mass given by Bishop Zen and a group of Franciscan priests inside the Catholic Kindergarten. This was my first Catholic mass in over 3 decades and it was much less formal and more cheerful than I remembered. None of the dressing up in suit & tie, kneeling on wooden benches, separated by sexes and age, endlessly patronising & moralising sermons, getting bored and sick from the stench of myrrh & incense in Latin-language Sunday mass - as I remember unfondly from my own childhood. There were over 200 locals from many nationalities, but mostly Chinese and Filipino, with less than a handful of Westerners.
There was even a free buffet after the mass and a kind of cheerful carnival atmosphere all around the celebration. Have a look at my captioned photo gallery! Amen!
Aug 10: Rachel Ip - Chinese Artist of the Month
Aug 9: Best of the Chinese Forum - July 2005
Aug 8: Lammadonna Hugging a New Tree
You'd like some good news on a Monday morning? You've come to the right place! Remember my story (Population Baffled by Felling of Trees) about the pretty flowering trees being cut down behind the Library? Two new pine trees have been planted to replace them already!
Lammadonna (right) called me personally to make sure I spread the good news to all of you, including a little photo shoot with her touching the young sapling. Such a quick reaction! Could my naughty little story have helped to speed up these tree plantings? I might hope so, but I'm probably deluding myself again. Anyway, Lammadonna's "face" is saved now and she's redeemed herself this time, I think. Thanks for doing a good job!
By the way, there are some more notices on the boards about planned tree fellings in Tai Peng and beyond the Clinic. So we're getting informed in advance now and can complain before the fact, if necessary. Great!
Last but not least, doesn't she look really fetching with her flaming-red trousers, accessorised with her mobile and a hot-pink umbrella during another steaming-hot'n'humid Lamma summer day? Imagine her strutting down our local catwalk, the ferry pier, waving her umbrella to the audience of incoming tourists...
Plus a nice story from the Ming Pao Chin. newspaper, from April 16, featuring Fun Tse!
Aug 7: 'Lamma Island – Where East Meets West'
Quite a number of TV crews have been traipsing around Lamma these last few weeks & months, startling & amusing the locals by filming TV soap operas, documentaries and even property-related programs. Tonight, TWO of these programs will be shown on local terrestrial TV, the Chinese-language ATV Home: a history of Yung Shue Wan and a feature on our 2 Herbolads, Gary & Gavin!
Our diligent "Official Court Translator" has once again offered his more and more indispensable services and translated the summaries from the Chinese ATV Home website. Samson has become so helpful for the forums and this blog, I might have to promote him soon ("Official ROYAL Court Translator", maybe?). But don't let him know yet, please!
There's a consistent & sustained stream of interesting & fun messages in the Chinese forum - still many more per day than in all English forums combined. Great! I'd love to make this Blog much more bilingual. Chinese contributions are most welcome and will be published as received! We'll also have them translated for the Lammaites of many races & nationalities who can't read Chinese; even though English might not be their mother tongue. It's not mine, either.
Aug 6: Roadshow Launch Photo Gallery
Aug 5: Home Security & Anti-Burglary Roadshow
This Roadshow is coming to Lamma, from today till Sunday, Aug 7, 10am-4pm in our City Hall (Lamma North Rural Committee Office) on YSW Main Street, besides the Policebox. The show is coming from Cheung Chau and will move to Peng Chau after the weekend.
This is a very timely event, as recently there's been a new spate of local burglaries in Tai Shan (behind the Clinic), after it's been quiet for many months. Official police statistics list only 16 burglaries in all of Lamma last year - all of them violence-free - but quite a number remain unreported.
I've seen this Roadshow in Cheung Chau already and it's really worth your time. There was some really helpful and practical info there, hands-on, not just theoretical. The show includes companies with stands selling affordable home security products. Plus lots of souvenirs and handouts! Stop by before or after a weekend meal in Main Street!
Aug 4: Celebrity Sighting of the Day: Long Hair
At the ferry pier, on Tuesday afternoon, we met Long Hair (Leung Kwok Hung), famous and most unruly Legislative Council member, just arriving on Lamma. He was nice enough to stop for a photo. Notice the new style of his trademark Che Guevara T-shirt (click to enlarge).
He also left me his contacts, including his email address (for the Lamma-zine!) and his own, very interesting blog (in Chinese): www.longhair.hk
He said that he was on Lamma not on business but just to visit friends. Will he be attending the Roadshow? ;-)
Aug 3: Chopping Down Incense Trees
We've got another new contributor for this community blog where everybody is welcome to tell their stories! This is a really fascinating story about a new crime trend on Lamma. Our new contributor claims to be a shy and retiring type, but I really hope to hear more about Lamma police-related matters from him very soon, maybe even some more general Lamma stories? Enjoy!
Aug 2: Sunset Photo Contest: 2 Winners!
A tie of 2 first-prize winners in our little contest: The Lamma.com.hk forum members online voting resulted in a tie:
Congratulations to Ingmar & zep!
I hope that moderator Guy has 2
of his sponsored "toilet & bathroom set" prizes left over? The winners can
contact him directly for pickup instructions! If there's only one set left,
they might have to fight it out for the prize.
One of the winning photos above demonstrates how easy it is for the truly talented amongst us to shoot prize-winning photos. Some of us amateur photographers (like myself) climb to rooftops in the 97%-humidity, 33-degree heat, set up our tripods, fiddle with the manual camera settings & lenses and use a timer to get a decent, shake-free shot. Meanwhile, natural talents like Ingmar just shoot hand-held in automatic mode from their couch at home and win first prize (see the window frame in the photo above)!
You can see all the entries, including the winners: Blog, July 25
Aug 1: National Lammagraphic: What You See Is What You Take
Continuation of our new National Lammagraphic series, about the frequent Trials, Tribulations & Triumphs of a wildlife photographer on Lamma, our intrepid Pictures forum moderator Guy Miller:
"Now, lets see what the new & just released "Bontempi Polyagamut Eyeglasses" can really do...
With its built-in "straight corner" software it takes those pictures you thought you could only take by registering with the "My Satellite Co. Ltd" at huge expense.
But now all you do is press the shutter button, sit back & relax, and, hey presto, what you see is what you take!"
Our Vancouver correspondent, chuckm, joined in, in his ever-ironical way:
Click on the curious Magpie Robin or the female Orange-headed Thrush (Zoothera citrinus) for more great Lamma bird photos!