Dec 31: Best of Blog of
2005, Part I
Last day of the year, time for
reviews and reflection on the past year, reminiscing on all my minor
mistakes and major gaffes. But, as I'm always trying to be optimistic and
have a positive attitude, here's my personal selection of best blog stories
of 2005. This year, the readership of this blog has more than doubled, the
advertising revenue increased a lot and this daily publication has become
self-supporting. Many thanks to all of you readers, supporters and
There were quite a few good blog
stories this year, I hope, so I had to split the list into three parts. Have
a look below and click on the titles to read them. Please let me know if you
disagree with my choices and if your own favourites have been left out. I
might add them into this list as well!
wishes for 2006? Better blog stories, more contributors, more advertisers!
Best of the Blog
- Jan-Apr 2005
'30% of Lammaites
will do this on a Saturday night:'
I wish to complain in the strongest terms about your
methodical deprecation of the residents of Lamma!
'Life is for
Yes, Bobsy leaving feels a bit like the end of an era
in Lamma's history!
Heads & Chests
Last Saturday turned out to be a bit of a close shave
for a few folk on Lamma Island...
Spreading All Over Lamma!
lost again in this hauntingly beautiful music with the eerily floating,
mesmerising vocals by Dao Lang...
The Lamma Diet!
Are you "Broke on Lamma?" Now you can "Eat Well For
$20 a Day!!"
Passion Point or
Today, on "Sweets & Flowers Promotion Day", eh,
Valentine's Day, let's avoid the usual soppy, syrupy, sentimental
declarations of eternal love & devotion...
I DO enjoy her uninhibited passion, vulgar honesty and
sense of style.
Once upon a Time...
I think she has caught the 'Lamma Fever',...
the population size
of Lamma island (95-04)?
(including 74 Gweilo builders, 58 photographers and 28 drug dealers)
7,325 dogs, some snakes, and one ventriloquist.
Corrodes My Innards'
As the constables departed, Woo's unsettled stomach
rumbled. "Cursed gweilo food defies human consumption," he growled back.
Jay Scott Kanes
Fit! HK Magazine
Lamma resident launches fitness, health and beauty
magazine in Hong Kong.
'Sneaky-O/Bunnyrabbit Conundrum' Solved!
Have you noticed that some people get irritable,
irrational and moody at a certain time every month?
Long Live the
Some of the posters are intriguing, funny, creative or
sometimes baffling, like the trio above.
Paul Lau's 'butterfly farm' at Lo So Shing near Sok
Kwu Wan has no fences or enclosures. His strategy to attract a variety
of butterfly species is to plant the kind of plants that they like.
a Good Investment?
Looking for a flat on Lamma is
still a show-up-in-person affair, as none of the local property agents
has a website listing properties and not even active email addresses.
'I'm a Total
Life Addict & Dedicated Groupie'
From attending Life's first
anniversary I can tell you that Life is joyful, playful and? sexy!
Healthy food seems to be in fashion and to go hand in hand with
'Name the Bikini
Guy Miller: Sun Sea Sand & Sex,
Dare to Wear, Who Dares Swims, The Lamma Triangle, Bare Wear, Itsy Bitsy
Teeny Weeny, The Bikini Line, Tease to Please, Flash n' Splash, Lamma
Hear ye, all Lammaites! Your
favourite online community, ?My Lamma Forums? is to get another new
A Pair of
Chinese Opera Birds
A field report from L-G, newly
self-appointed Ornithological Correspondent for the Lamma Birdlovers
Dec 30: 'HK Electric
Finds Drastic Reduction in Rate of Return Unacceptable'
You might have heard the announcement
today that the HK Govt. is planning to change the guaranteed rate of return
for the power companies from 13.5% to below 10% on average in 2008 (end of
current "Scheme of Control"). This could potentially reduce the cost of
power to us consumers by over 10%.
As HK Electric will
increase their tariffs by 7.2% from next Monday, this was most
unwelcome and untimely news for them. Their very quick and responsive Public
Affairs Dept. issued a press release within just a few hours of the Govt.
announcement. Click below to read both of HK Electric's recent media
releases. They really speak for themselves and I'll refrain from commenting
'HK Electric Finds Drastic Reduction in Rate of
[30 Dec 2005, PDF file, not online on
HK Electric website
Shareholders Contribute over $700 Million to Limit Tariff Increase
Permitted Return Shortfall Recorded for 4 Consecutive Years [23 Dec 2005]
Here's the Govt.'s press release, plus
consultation papers & studies:
of stage II consultation on future of electricity market
[30 Dec 2005]
Future Development of the Electricity Market in HK - Stage II Consultation
Interconnection and Competition in the Electricity Supply Sector in HK
Dec 29: Slices of Life in the Fishman
Dec 28: The Self-Sufficient and
Peterson's brother Vyrn and sister-in-law Betty from Canada visited Lamma on
their first-ever trip to Asia in November and December this year. Here's an
excerpt from their follow-up email:
Vyrn & Betty Peterson - Lamma first-time
visitors (highlights by Editor):
to some notes on our first impressions for Lamma-Gung and the website,
here are a few:
To set the stage though a little background is in
order. We had of course seen photos and had paid several visits to
the website prior to our actual trip. They helped but could not
possibly capture everything, so our first experience was an eye-opener.
For starters, the day was clear and we got to
ride on an open portion on the upper deck of the ferry. Both of
these were more rare than we knew at the time. It turned out to be the
only ferry we saw with that kind of deck and we also learned that almost
unlimited visibility was also not the norm. In fact the next most clear
day was the one we left on. At least we had great views of the island
and village for both first and lasting impressions.
As we left the very busy but very clean concrete
and glass maze of Central with its constant human flow, we could see all
of the green of Lamma before us. Dan pointed out the windmill
from a distance and that struck a chord with me as our community has
had one for some ten years now as part of a larger venture. The one
on Lamma soon turned out to be the same as the stacks of the power plant
came into view. I looked closely in the clear air then as I would many
mornings from Dan and Sharon's patio for signs that they were even
operating as there were no visible emissions.
Very clean burning and obviously not a large
contributor to the haze that showed up on most days. Our ferry
then passed the village of Pak Kok and it appeared to be quite
picturesque, but I could not help wondering how the ferry could dock
there safely. We later learned about the head-on approach that works
As we continued toward our destination, Dan
pointed out that the climbing crane in the bay was probably a first, at
least for him. A sure sign of modern construction methods. By now we
could see both the ferry dock, larger than expected, and the massive
facility at the power plant. Off the ferry and through the honour
guard of bicycles lining both sides of the pier, making it look very
busy indeed. Couldn't help but notice the freshness of the sea smells.
Having only been in a few ocean harbours, they do not all smell so
Dragged our bags to the village with some
assistance from Dan and also from Sharon who had just met us on the pier
with warm greetings. These were not overnighters as we were planning for
a three-week trip. We stopped into the Island Bar for a coffee with
Kumar. This was the only coffee we would have there as we soon saw how
many fine draughts were on tap.
It must be noted that from the ferry and the pier
the village looked neat but mainly comprised of residential elements.
Even after marvelling at the scope of the live seafood display
and looking around while having our coffee, this impression persisted.
We finally made the move to get up the hill, not knowing just how far up
we were going. We eventually made the house and saw the view from there,
this certainly made the climb worthwhile. It took only moments to become
friendly with the dogs who also greeted us in fine fashion.
After a short break, we were game to go for a
"little" walk to the beach for lunch. Sharon gathered Spot and Toffee
and off we went down the stairs and incline which is really a hill
masquerading as a walkway. Noticed the stabilizing concrete on the
hillsides and the marker numbers which implied a great deal of order
existed here. Could not help but notice the above-ground water
systems and the style and types of lines and fittings. Saw no leaks
which is a very good indication that they had been well assembled.
Thought this was good as it would be a serious job to replace some of
the threaded sections that were partially embedded in the concrete
Finally began our walk through the Village and
could not help but be impressed with both the number and the look of
quality of the many stores, shops and restaurants along the way. The
sheer number of establishments certainly blew away my first impression
of mainly residential. We really enjoyed our walk-through with Sharon
answering all questions with the voice of experience and the tone of
someone who is both very familiar with and comfortable in the
environment which was so new to us. After a couple of side trips to
see the school and the fire hall, both of which are now in our photo
collection and both of which also happen to be on uphill diversions from
our path to the beach. We saw a lot on that first walk and were both
absorbing new things like a pair of sponges. It was great.
From the friendliness of the people to the
polite manner in which pedestrian, bicycle and small truck traffic
behaved we never felt for a moment that we didn't fit. Each
subsequent walk through the village unveiled new things to us and we
became aware of just how self sufficient and enterprising the village
really was. Had a great lunch with Dan joining us from a morning's
work, plus the first beer on the beach, and saw the famous Pigeon
restaurant up on yet another hill.
I seem kind of hung up on this hill thing
but that is not always true. We both enjoy walking but remember this is
our first encounter with the walking paths and it followed right after a
20.5 hour flight and a change in times and dates. We never had a bad
experience during our several days on the Island and thoroughly
enjoyed the people we met both at the bar and elsewhere. That just about
covers the first impressions only. Not all of the others that followed.
We live in a great community of about 4,000
ourselves (it's called Blind River in Northern Ontario - some of you
have the pins) and can certainly appreciate why people would choose
to live on Lamma. This was our first venture out of North America
and it was truly an enjoyable experience.
Betty's comment to friends back home is that
she would go back in a flash, and that says it all. We may have to
return someday as we just never got around to ringing the bell at the
Merry Christmas, Vyrn and Betty
Dec 27: Cheerful Children Christmas
Click here or above to view photo gallery!
Dec 26: Turkey-Feast-Inspired Artworks
=> Turkey Feast => Overstuffing Oneself => Stressed-Out Stomach =>
Nightmares => Artworks.
The creative inspiration
behind my annual series of Christmas computer graphics has finally been
We bought a very tasty
Turkey from New Holiday Mood for a traditional English Christmas
feast on a good friend's Lamma rooftop yesterday. Their old Chinese house is
beautifully decorated with artworks from all over Asia and, once again, a
lamp took my fancy (see right) and inspired me.
From this single photo, all
the images below and above emerged after a few hours of digital
experimentation the very next day. Together with the Dec 4 lamp graphics, I might soon have enough for my
2006 "Seasons of Light" calendar, to be published here on Jan 1st!
And I still have enough turkey left over for more inspiration...
Dec 25: Lamma Xmas Kids
& Wandering Minstrels
Dan Peterson - Island Bar co-owner:
Operation Santa Claus:
Lamma Xmas Kids 2005 - Island Bar
21 December 2005
Wednesday 21st December saw a group of wandering
minstrels, accompanied by a choir of children wending their way through
the village of Yung Shue Wan, in and out of various hostelries.
This talented group proved to be talented in more
than just musical ways as they collected an impressive $5,300 towards
the Operation Santa Claus appeal.
Although starting at the Island Bar, this event
was organized by Rie Wada, who not only gave singing lessons to
the children, but was responsible for gaining the support of the various
musicians, including some of our favourite regular players. Rie also
provided snacks afterwards. Rie's daughter Louie led the way with her
violin and throughout the village the group was a real hit, collecting
generous donations from different restaurants. The group even spent a
few minutes outside the police box, brightening up the evening for
Lamma's finest. A very good effort, and a big Thank you to Rie, the
musicians and the children's choir.
Christmas Eve at the Island Bar heralded the usual
hosting of the Christmas Carols for Adults. Led very ably by
Dan James (even though he claimed he had a problem with his voice)
the group got off to a slow start as the numbers initially were not
quite up to expectation. (Quite a few regular attendees were probably
the worse for wear after Penny and Oliver's At Home and were quite
unable to make it, either that or they reckoned Father Christmas might
arrive home before they did and that just would not do with little ones
underway, however, with Dan's mellifluous voice leading the singing a
good time was had by all. Not sure at this point how much was collected
on the evening since it went into several boxes. But people were
generous as usual. Special thanks to Dan who has led the singing on
Christmas Eve for quite a number of years now, always doing a fantastic
Next for OSC is the auction of one of Harry
Harrison's masterpieces and of a truly beautiful photograph donated
by Streetman. We thought a short break was in order, however, just to
allow people to get their breaths during this very busy season. Hope you
all had a Verrie Merrie Christmas. Wasn't the weather great? Watch this
space for auction details.
Click here or on the photos above for the photo gallery!
Dec 24: Military Arts & Other Enterainment
by Isends Brarch
For an idea of
what to expect this afternoon, see the photo gallery of the last similar
Mid-Autumn Carnival - including Lamma's famous
Dec 23: Island Treasure Hunters
Another great & successful
Treasure Hunt in aid of Operation Santa Claus has been organised
by the charity-minded Island Bar. All the photos are courtesy of
Streetman, a new frequent contributor of fine event photos. He loves
taking candid people shots and is getting some great results (click to
Dan Peterson - Island Bar co-owner:
6th Annual Island
Bar Treasure Hunt - Island Bar, Lamma Island
18 December 2005
Following an annual tradition, The Island Bar in
Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island organized a Treasure Hunt for Lammaites
who each contributed $200 per team to race around the hills and dales in
search of silly clues.
Twelve teams of between 3 and 9 persons
(depending upon how many children accompanied each team) traipsed around
in search of ridiculously difficult to find plants and following
instructions to find "quaint signs" and out-of-season decorations. The
latter resulted in one house being somewhat bombarded with people asking
what their Halloween and Chinese New and Lanterns were doing on display
together. Fortunately the inhabitants of the house in question were good
friends of the Treasure Hunt and Operation Santa Claus.
Every team received a prize either for its efforts
in collecting points or its imaginative team name (the winner was
Korean Farmers on Tour, narrowly winning out over A Bit of a
Gaggle), or for its creative costumes or simply for joining in and
being good sports! Sponsors included various local hostelries, Corona
Beer and the mysterious donor of a good quality computer which was duly
auctioned off for OSC.
The final tally was approximately HK$5,500
raised for Operation Santa Claus, bringing the total so far to
just under HK$10,000.
Dec 22: 'We Always Have Our Own Interests
Lamma's shops, bars & businesses are gearing up for the
holidays. There are the usual little promotions & freebies - for example a
yummy chocolate Christmas log from Ah-Can for his regular customers. Thanks!
But HSBC's Christmas activities struck my fancy and I'd like to highlight
A few people have been
complaining about HSBC recently, mostly about the long queues because of
their alternate-days-only opening hours. One local celebrity has even been
seen storming out of HSBC recently, shouting
"You're all corrupt & incompetent!", because they wanted to
charge him - not being an account-holder -
$100 for changing money, 11% of the total amount. That was a bit
harsh of him and not in the true Christmas spirit. Tsstsss...
Personally, I've rarely had
anything but very good experiences with the staff in our HSBC branch. I
consider them having one of the best & friendliest services of any bank
branch I know in HK. But some of The Bank's policies definitely suck, for
Charging me $80
every month for not being rich enough, not having a big load of cash in my
account at all times - without paying any interest, of course!
Shutting down my
Internet banking account because I didn't receive their little security
gadget, introduced after a phishing attack some months ago. A long-time
Lammaite was charged with being centrally involved in stealing money
online from HSBC account holders.
Depositing my cheque
- from a brand-new, long-term Lamma-zine Blog advertiser - today not by direct transfer, even though I
explicitly requested it! So I'll have to wait till tomorrow night before I
can do any Christmas shopping for my 2 Chinese step-grand-children!
Maybe I better stop now
before I also start ranting & complaining about HSBC, like quite a few other
people these days...
why can't they open EVERY DAY as there are enough people and
businesses to keep them busy every weekday, as the ONLY bank in YSW !!!
Well, my ranting above was
actually just a "short" introduction for this story. The title is a word
play on "We Always Have Your
Interests at Heart".
This is the actual slogan of
HSBC's latest publicity goodwill campaign in all their fast-shrinking number
of branches all over HK: "Thanks Days".
From my own experiences, it should say, "We Always Have Our Own Interests
Going into HSBC these days, you receive 3 "Soap
Flowers" in a heart-shaped plastic box, together with a heart-shaped paper
folder (see left, click to enlarge). You're supposed to write down
your wish(es) to Santa Claus, put the paper into one of the big red
Christmas stockings in any HSBC branch (see above, click to enlarge)
and they'll expedite it to "Santa Claus Village in
Finland", where Santa Claus and his elves workforce will
supposedly be doing a lot of overtime to make all the received wishes come
Don't laugh, it's really that
daft, not even a charity angle involved! Of course, Lamma-Por and I were
daft enough to actually do this. We fully expect all our wishes to come
true! I'm expecting a long, happy &
healthy life for Lamma-Por and another doubling of the Lamma-zine
readership next year, like this year! Not so sure about the feasibility of
Lamma-Por's wish for World Peace...
If these wishes won't come
true, I'll be lodging a formal complaint against HSBC, maybe even sue them
for non-fulfillment of both our wishes! As a multiple offender myself of
dressing up as company Santa Claus, I should know...
Dec 21: Operation Santa Claus Quiz Night
Photos & montage by Streetman.
Dan Peterson - Island Bar co-owner:
(Island Bar key
people: Dan, Peter, Sharon, Cathi and Kumar)
OSC Quiz Night at the Island Bar
Five enthusiastic teams of keen quiz enthusiasts
gathered for the monthly Quiz Night at the Island Bar on Lamma Island on
Thursday 15th December. This was the official kick-off activity for the
pub's annual effort on behalf of Operation Santa Claus.
Spirits were high during a merry evening with a
truly Christmas focus. Quizmaster Jason did a superb job of preparing
six rounds of quiz questions all related to Christmas. Want to know how
many reindeer Santa really has, or who supplies the great Christmas Tree
for Trafalgar Square, or what important role the North American
Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) plays in Santa's epic journey each
year? You could ask Jason, or, better yet, you can make a donation to
one of the Operation Santa Claus boxes in The Island Bar and find out.
Other fun activities included cryptic Christmas
carol titles, identifying Christmas songs and scenes from classic
Christmas films, and naming the celebrities photographed wearing Santa
hats. Snacks were catered by the neighbouring Village Bakery, who
did a great job turning out a yummy variety of eats which were enjoyed
by all present. The Operation Santa Claus boxes have not been emptied
and counted, but we estimate that more than $2,000 was raised in
this initial effort.
Dec 20: 'May the Winds of Joy Bring You a
Greener and Happier Holiday'
Electric: "Renewable energy powers the world through...
Solar power... Hydropower... Wind power...
and we are developing wind power
to provide green electricity to our consumers
the Winds of Joy Bring You a Greener and Happier Holiday"
Click on the animated
Christmas e-card from HK Electric above to view the entire Flash animation.
It was submitted by an Alert Reader who commented,
"Amazing how the wind turbine has changed their image!"
This is by far the most
elaborate and sophisticated Lamma e-card I've ever seen, including a Lamma
flyover! There's even a bird (and lightning bugs?) flying towards the
Magical Spinney Thing!? View it - be patient! - be duly impressed and
then have a smiling & hearty belly laugh, like Santa Claus. Ho, ho, ho!
So when will the actual pole
of the wind turbine be decked out in holly and mistletoe, like above? That
would be a great photo opportunity!
To learn a lot more about this entire latest flashy, green PR
effort - the
Smart Power Campaign - click here! This e-card is just the
Lamma Fun Day
is listed as part of the campaign. Here's a "Smart Power" e-card that YOU
can send out to your eco-friends: the completed Lamma Power Station
Extension in a few years, including chimneys #4 (completed) and #5.
Click here or on the e-card.
Dec 19: Merry Christmas, You Tool
Walking through Yung Shue
Wan, it's finally starting to look a little like Christmas.
Moving from Europe to Hong Kong just before Christmas 18 years ago,
Christmas HK-style was a big disappointment to me on many levels. Basically
an empty & meaningless consumer frenzy. It's gotten worse over the years and
we stopped celebrating Christmas altogether. Bah, humbug!
on Lamma, Christmas is so much more of a community event, full of fun &
charitable events, family-oriented & children-focused, arts &
crafts-inspired, retaining a cheerful & often irreverent Christmas spirit.
See the posters (click to enlarge) and Lamma Events Calendar below to
demonstrate what I mean so much better than my own feeble words:
full list of Lamma events this week, from our daily updated
Events Calendar. Send me info
about any more events you'd like the Lamma community to know about! Click on
events below for detailed info:
Dec 18: The Great Green Christmas Treasure
Hunt Buffet Lunch
For a photo
gallery of last year's Treasure Hunt, click on the photo below:
Dec 17: 'Lamma
X’mas Kids 2005'
Rie Wada - Mother of violin child prodigy Louie:
Many people still remember
Louie the Violinist prodigy, a student of the
Academy of Performing Arts playing Christmas music with her mum and Big
Uncle "Fiddler Dave" for Operation Santa
Claus last Christmas.
(Many thanks to the many
people who helped us to sing together last year!)
This year, first we'll sing
2 songs (Lamma Kid's Blues - see right - and Silent Night)
at the Island Bar, then start walking & singing thru the village (for
Operation Santa Claus).
The choir will then return
to the Island Bar for a full choir concert, where the kids will sing
10-11 Christmas Carols, most of the classics, accompanied by all the
musicians below. Songbook available from Rie or Lamma-Gung.
Conductor - Sue Neilson
Choir coordinator - Elizabeth Gould
Alastair - Rudolf the
Mike Chegwin - PA
Louie Wada - 3/4
violin, 8 years old
Gwenllian Spink - 3/4
Cello, 9 years old
(Thanks for playing for kids!)
John Hutton - Guitar
David May - Fiddle
Sergio Monteforte - Guitar
Mr. B - Saxophone
Louie’s mum - piano
Matt Steel -
Dec 21st, 2005, 7pm
Dec 16: 'The Chef
Walking through Yung Shue
Wan's High Street with open & curious eyes, you always see something new,
interesting & often hilarious.
Choosing a different place
for lunch on many days, Lamma-Por and I especially take note of the daily
specials and food displays outside the wide range of restaurants along High
The daily set menus outside
"Beer & Babble" have dried herbs sprinkled all over them. "The Chef Who
Sprinkles" is back - as Lamma-Por dubbed him spontaneously:
He has returned a while ago, replacing the formerly excellent
cuisine of master chef Ramond. Remember, I was
heaping outrageous praise upon Ramond a few months ago? The food is
back down to "OK" nowadays under this new chef. I created a little logo for
him above, like a nice big button.
But don't try to cool down
your hot food by blowing at it - like my tasty baked seafood spaghettis
above. This would create a dust storm of dried herb sprinkles - as Lamma-Por
found out, unfortunately - and this could start a messy food fight,
Dec 15: Talking
Lammaites are a well-travelled
lot, but instead of being package touroids they get into all kinds of
exciting adventures. But few could be considered more unusual and exotic
than Lammaite Su's experiences in Thailand. She's been a pretty
famous "Pet Psychic" and even a "Horse Whisperer" for the Jockey Club
before, but she's stopped doing this now and focuses her energies on
exploring new areas...
She went to Thailand to talk
to elephants, making one of her childhood dreams come true, according to the
HolisticHongKong website & e-zine, created & run by Lammaites
Peter & Sleiman. It's also featuring some of the beautiful and
multi-faceted artworks of Lammaite Annie Knibb, our next "Lamma-zine
Artist of the Month."
Click on the photo above
(courtesy of HolisticHongKong) for the full verbatim transcript of the
talk. Did you know that “Elephants sound as if they
are laughing and singing at the same time”? They also profess to
love us humans and want to "thank us for sharing
the joys of the planet with us." Wow!
I love elephants as well, but
when I was riding one in Phuket a few years back, I couldn't hear it laugh
or sing or say a word... and I almost fell off a few times...
Dec 14: Annoyingly
at his new photos above, our
Official Court Artist Andy is back in fine form, having fully
recovered from his cancer and all the zillions of treatments, including the
successful chemo therapy. Wonderful news!
the happy ending of his "The Cancer
Diaries". Celebrating Christmas early, he's also started painting
again, calling his latest work "Annoyingly Happy
Floating Oeme", see right. This self-portrait (?) seems to
describes his mental state these days, with a perma-grin affixed to his
face, see left.
I took this "Laughing Buddha"
photo on the left during DickStock 2005. "I've
survived cancer, so nothing can annoy me anymore!", the happy guy
seems to be thinking. He's damn right!
Dec 13: Lammaites &
Visitors Enjoying a Fun Day
The "official" Lamma Fun Day
photos have all just gone online in the photo galleries of
www.LammaFunDay.com. 5 pages filled with hundreds of photos from
Allan, Lucy & Sonya. Find yourself and your friends
pictured! Click on any photo below to go straight to the photo gallery page
The record fundraising figures have just been published here.
Dec 12: Korean
BBQ @ Deli Lamma @ Sunset
11: 500% Service Charge!
Most restaurants do not have
any service charge in Yung Shue Wan - at least not for regular customers
during the week - so I was quite amazed to come across this absolute record
500% service charge recently! And it was even in print! Click on the poster
on the right, if you don't believe me!
Well, double-checking my
facts as usual, by asking Prafull ("Praf the Fool") revealed it to be
a little joke, as expected, for the Deli Lamma's 13th anniversary!
Wow, 13 already! The Deli's turning into a teenager! I thought that teenage
behaviour has always been permitted in there, even encouraged, especially
Wasn't it just yesterday that
we celebrated the 10th anniversary in this place which serves the best
non-Chinese food in all of Yung Shue Wan, in my humble opinion! A
Korean BBQ - a first for Lamma, I think -
at just $50 (and NO service charge!)! What are you waiting for! See
you there on Sunday afternoon, after 3pm! And if I see you
there, your mugshot might grace this home page tomorrow! But don't worry, I
will NOT be there after midnight to document any wild teenage behaviours...
If you're still hungry
after the Korean BBQ, try one of the quite new "Debbie's Sunday Roasts"
in the Deli Lamma!
Or try the longstanding weekly
Sunday Roasts in Diesel's ==>
Or the latest addition to
Sunday roasts in Yung Shue Wan: Vegetarian Nut
Roast in the Bookworm
only available on the 4 pre-X'mas Sundays (Advent) every year, kind
of a popular Lamma tradition. Click the ad on the left for details. Great
value for a 5-course set meal! Main course ==>
P.S. The 3 restaurants mentioned above are Lamma-zine
advertisers and their roasts are definitely worth trying! I personally did
and luv'em all!
Dec 10: Superb
Another new Lamma band is making its debut tonite
in the Island Bar, together with Lamma oldies but goodies Garoupa:
Sat, Dec 10, 9pm, Island Bar:
"Greetings, one and all! Consider yourselves invited down to ye olde Island
Bar, this Saturday, for an evening of musical entertainment courtesy of
Garoupa and Transnoodle, the freshest, tastiest new addition to Lamma's
Things kick off at around 9, so get
there early, and remember -- the more you drink, the better we'll sound.
See you there."
Band member Gary Hill
is a new project featuring Lamma boys John Saeki (guitar, lead
vocals), Magnus (drums) and myself (bass), along with our non-Lamma
guitarist, Andrew. I believe we'll be joined for a few numbers by the
lovely and talented Mr Samuel Bruce on trumpet.
playing all original music, penned by the good Mr Saeki, and I guess it can
best be described as Lamma-inspired Ska with Latin roots. This will
be our debut gig, and there are no pics as yet, but hopefully we'll
get some good action shots on the night.
Transnoodle will be playing first, knocking out about half a dozen tunes,
followed by Garoupa.
scant info, I know, but the best I can do at the moment. Come along and
check it out. Thanks for your superb promotional tomfoolery."
Thank YOU, Gary, for a great title for this
article today! Tomfoolery, moi? Never! Well, um, err, maybe
occasionally, but only very very rarely...
Could he be referring to all the things I've done to
their photos in the name of my misguided creativity (see and click on the
Could he be referring to my little
"Make a Face Like a Garoupa!" contest last August, inspired by
Alex's legendary facial contortions?
Could he be referring to this little series of computer
graphics I created from a photo of him performing?
"Going Nuts with Photoshop!"
Could he be referring to me renaming Garoupa repeatedly
"Pheromones of Musical Creativity" in jest?
Could he be referring to etcetera, etcetera...?
Well, OK, admittedly there's been a bit of tomfoolery
involved in promoting Garoupa since their founding almost three years ago.
Well, I'll do free promotions for any Lamma band and many local events, but
I like to have fun while doing so! Let me know about your event!
Garoupa is such a great, fun-loving, cuddly, soft
target with a big heart & a great sense of humour, it's great fun to
"tomfool" them. And they play really great music, too! Their new official
band slogan sums it all up nicely: "The more you
drink, the better we'll sound!" Here's the last photo of
them, performing at Power Station Beach during the last
Lamma Fun Day on Nov 20:
But all the "Superb
Promotional Tomfoolery" doesn't seem to have done the lads any
harm so far, having become one of the Top 20 Lamma bands by now (yes, there
are *almost* that many!). But there were a few people who asked them why
they've adopted such a strange new name ("Pheromones..."), hehehe...
9: Birdwatchers vs. Barflies
Something unprecedented in
Lamma's long history (over 3,000 years) has just happened, something so
incredible and atypical of Lammaites that it's truly hard to believe!
But here are the astonishing facts:
The main birdwatching topic ("Lamma's
top 10 birds") in our forums has just beaten the
"Index of Bars & Restaurants" (with reviews & ratings): 8,194 views
vs. 8,002 views. It has now become the Most Popular Topic of ALL
forums on this site!
The sizable local contingent
of devoted barflies almost fell off their little round bar stools when
hearing about this. "Trumped
by birds, not the human kind, but wild birds! Bird watching more popular
than hanging out in bars? What's Lamma coming to! The gold old days are
truly over!", they're muttering...
But there's such a wealth of
fantastic photos of Lamma's wild birds and other fauna & flora displayed in
our forums by now. They're covering a major portion of Lamma's extremely
rich & diverse natural life and are just a joy to look at.
Check it out!
Not being blessed with the
amazing patience, ruggedness and 300mm+ lenses of our devoted local flock of
almost-professional bird-o-graphers, any bird I ever manage to take a decent
picture of is of the domesticated variety. Like this rooster sitting almost
still on a fence, soaking up some warm winter rays, letting me get as close
as 1 metre for a nice portrait shot. He even refrained from killing me by
coughing at me! Nice birdie! But for the really good photos you'll have to
visit the #1 topic in our discussion & photo forums: "Lamma's top 10
dedicated feature introducing Lamma's talented birdwatchers in person will
follow soon. Guy Miller seems to have uncovered a small flock of
Till recently, they were too
shy to showcase their photos, but Guy's shooed them out from hiding in the
bushes and now everybody can see them soaring through the gentle Lamma
skies, showing off their brightest plumage of beautiful bird & wildlife
photos on this website!
We're proud & glad to host
them here, hopefully providing a friendly environment for all nature lovers,
be they hikers, bikers or shrike photographers...
Even some of the barflies
have recently come to admire the photos, in-between drinks...
any topic below to view it:
Dec 8: $145,156.10!
fundraising results from the Lamma Fun Day on Nov 20 are in, see below! An
amazing figure, even better than last year's! Many many thanks to everybody
who gave and/or helped as a volunteer, from me & the other Fun Day
More of my
own photos have also just been posted today in the photo gallery (click here to view),
plus a lot more from the "official photographers" will be posted later this
week on the official Fun Day website.
Sonya - Fun Day Chief Organiser (text
colours & formatting by Sonya):
couple of weeks of number crunching and re-checking figures we are proud
to announce that this year's Lamma Fun Day raised a gross total of
with a net profit of
This amount exceeds
last year's Lamma Fun Day and Funkraiser combined!!
A huge THANK YOU!! to all those who
attended as well as to the numerous volunteers who helped to make this
day a HUGE success!
Please pass this around to share our THANKS!
We look forward to seeing you
again at the annual Funkraiser,
to be held early 2006.
For photos of this year's event
and further information on this great day, please visit
For further information on the Child Welfare Scheme please visit www.ChildWelfareScheme.org.
Dec 7: The Mighty Summariser Strikes
enjoyed the monthly updates from Samson - our Mighty Tai Peng-uin -
summarising what's going on in the Chinese forums for several months now.
I liked his hip, quirky & promotional writing style so much that I asked him
to do a similar summary for the English forums. Being the cool & cheerful
guy that he is, he obliged with almost no arm-twisting necessary!
Samson - "Official Court Moderator of All
Chinese Forums" &
"Official Court Summariser of All English Forums":
2-Month Trial... and Error?
We got the trial, and then the verdict – the
Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry Company decided to discontinue the
overnight ferry services between Yung Shue Wan and Central, as the
2-month trial had been loss-making. But us Lammaites think the
cancellation is a real error and we aren't simply taking No! for an
HK$ 1,500 Fines in the Afterlife?
The Hell Banknotes scattered on the hillside
near Po Wah Yuen after a burial left
Ed Banger wondering how many HK$
1,500 fines should've been issued.
[Summariser's note: Well, paying off
the fines shouldn't be a problem – there are zillions all over the
Meanwhile, our Senior "Wu Joe" Inspector
addressed Yu Lai-Fan by her Lamma.com.hk nickname – Lammadonna!
[Summariser's note: In Cantonese, "wu joe"
means dirty... no offense, Inspector...]
[Inspector's note: You are under arrest for severely disrespecting a
senior officer of the law!]
[Editor's note: Leave him alone! You have no jurisdiction up here, "wu
Pak Kok Alsatians
They're wild! They're free! They attack other dogs! They're the Crazy
Alsatians of Pak Kok!
The Chinese article about the residential
property in Nga Kau Wan has revealed a much much bigger
plan for “developing” Lamma...
Bars and Cafes on Lamma...
Lamma-Por say good-bye to their favourite café in Yung Shue
Wan, Kiwi Café; and Y2Kea is now RICKea...
Read more about Kiwi Cafe...
Read more about
Big Brother – Lamma
dear wannabe-Lammaite chuckm suggested installing a 24-hour all-weather web-cam on
Lamma for people who have never been to our fair shores. Could this be
the beginning of Lamma reality TV? We still need a few other bits and
pieces to make this happen... Read more...
The Lamma Photographers Society!
you want to join this exclusive club, or view the club members'
stunning photography, which includes a huge variety of birds (some
even in flight!), other animals, insects, plants, other creatures, and
life on Lamma in general, check out these busy forums:
about Pictures & Movies...
Read more about
Flora & Fauna...
Lamma's hyperactive social activities in November
kicked off with DickStock! If you don't remember what happened that
night, you were probably there. See the picture galleries to find out
what went on during the partay of the year!
Lamma Fun Day 2005
annual fun-and-sun-filled event was again a great success, and funnily
enough, our Official
Tourism Ambassador asked why Lamma Fun Day is a funny day...
Please, Mr. Postman...
Lam Ma Ma sent
in the Christmas airmail deadline of the post office, while
us a lesson in the delicate art of letter-writing! Perhaps it's high
time to send one of them delicately crafted letters to Santa!
Dec 6: 'Downtown Vancouver's Favourite
degrees Celsius? On Lamma? The coldest weather this year has hit us
sun-spoilt, heat-loving islanders. People here are adding a second woolen
shawl and gloves to the faux-fur-lined, heavy coats they've started wearing
when the thermometer dropped below 20 degrees a few days ago. Coming from a
snowy country myself, today is still T-shirt weather!
Just in time, TWO of our
readers in Vancouver sent us weather updates from their hometown. Like
Lammaites, Vancouverites aren't really used to "cold" weather and start
behaving in strange & funny ways. These stories might also be of interest to
the many Lammaites with family connections in Vancouver. Chuckm writes:
"Here is my significantly less-than-great verbiage on recent nasty winter
weather here in Vancouver. You may choose to toss it in the trash, depending
on your level of courage :-)"
Is that a
challenge? I love challenges! To be published uncensored, as usual:
Chuckm - Future Lammaite, still
residing in Vancouver:
Dear Lamma Readers:
Further to the press coverage that our recent
spate of early winter weather has managed to achieve, I feel it
necessary to reveal more information so that anyone planning a winter
visit to lovely Vancouver will be forewarned ...
Not reported were the dozens of expensive Lexus,
BMW, Hummer, Mercedes, Volvo and other assorted up-scale vehicles left
abandoned on the streets due to the unusually heavy snowfall of
almost one-half centimetre.
White-knuckled drivers, unaccustomed to this sort
of meteorological abuse, simply gave up trying to move their vehicles
through the huge piles of slippery stuff. When asked why he had
abandoned his Hummer H-1 in the middle of a downtown street, one clearly
frustrated yuppie driver was heard to say "...and why should I take a
chance on getting my shiny SUV dirty?"
And where were the snow plows when we needed them?
Well, Vancouver has a magnificent fleet of three (count'em - three!)
snow plows. One was busy clearing off the runways at the airport, one
was on rental to a city east of here which *really* needed it, and the
third was seen parked in front of a Starbucks waiting for driving
conditions to improve. Have these drivers no courage at all?
Several hapless home owners were seen trying to
clear off the sidewalks in front of their homes, not realizing that lawn
mowers are designed to throw grass clippings, not snowflakes.
There has been a run on reinforced umbrellas at
local department stores. Apparently many of the more adventurous among
us have found that standard umbrellas cannot withstand the added snow
Downtown Vancouver's favourite blood sport,
running down bicycle couriers in heavy traffic, had to be cancelled.
Most car owners found themselves sliding into coffee shop windows rather
than knocking over cyclists, greatly annoying the patrons sipping their
expensive lattes. There was a marked increase in the number of people
riding bicycles to get around the traffic gridlock. Bike riders clearly
have more courage than local car owners. Come to think of it, they need
courage even under ideal conditions.
As for me, I am staying home, working via the
Internet, sitting in front of my cozy gas fireplace, dreaming of a
life on Lamma. So far the added snow load on the cable into my home
has not impaired network traffic, but I'm praying that normal continuous
winter rain will soon return :-)
"Day 2 - Vancouver Blizzard 2005 - Revenge of the Commuters"
the spoof email (forwarded by Tricia in Vancouver) that inspired
Chuckm's story above. Sounds almost like Hong Kong at below 20 degrees:
Chilled Vancouver commuters
faced their second day of winter hell today, as an additional ¼
centimeter of the peculiar white stuff fell, bringing the lower mainland
to its knees and causing millions of dollars worth of damage to the
marijuana crops. Scientists suspect that the substance is some form of
frozen water particles and experts from Saskatchewan are being flown in.
With temperatures dipping to the almost but not quite near zero mark,
Vancouverites were warned to double insulate their lattes before
Vancouver police recommended that people stay
inside except for emergencies, such as running out of espresso or
biscotti to see them through Vancouver's most terrible storm to date.
The local Canadian Tire reported that they had completely sold out of
Drivers were cautioned to put their convertible
tops up, and several have been shocked to learn that their SUV's
actually have four wheel drive, although most have no idea how to use
Weary commuters faced soggy sushi, and the threat
of frozen breast implants. Although Dr. John Blatherwick, of the Coastal
Health Authority reassured everyone that most breast implants were
perfectly safe to 25 below, down-filled bras are flying off the shelves
at Mountain Equipment Co-op.
"The government has to do something,"
snarled an angry Trevor Warburton. "I didn't pay $540,000 for my one
bedroom condo so I could sit around and be treated like someone from
|Tricia - Nostalgic ex-Lammaites living in Vancouver these
days, remembering old friends and "their colourful behaviour":
Hi from Vancouver.
Not often when I see something and say to myself I
should just send this through to you guys to do with what you can, but I
thought this recent Vancouver weather statement was rather fun seeing I
am a bike courier and still wearing shorts and riding 8 hours in the
I have watched your site with interest over the
past years and as I resided on Lamma for a few years before the takeover
and 20+ years on Hong Kong Island so it is fun to search for familiar
faces and to see the changes that are happening.
I do hope Jenkyn Hyle is still doing OK as
I do not see his picture anymore at any of the functions.
Keith Hassett and I are in contact on a
regular basis and I catch a little update from him as I know he is
always on the site.
Hope Linda and Alan have resolved their
problems as well. [Editor's Note:
6 months jail time for Allan, fine for Linda. Click
for SCMP story.]
I catch a little news on the site but not a lot of
follow-ups. When I resided on Lamma: Alan and Linda ...Nick Lovatt,
Linda selling her homemade Pizza and Cakes on the
Jenkyn always like clockwork, as everybody would always know
where he would be at a set time,
Jonathan Gray who was a dear and loving friend where for over two
years we sat for at least two hours a day in his home or on his roof top
having the most wonderful conversations,
Pinky and her interesting behaviour,
Keith Hassett, well, Keith, as you know, is Keith...
and so many more where I have forgotten their
names all with their colourful behaviour. Not a day went pass without
some excitement happening in the village with these guys.
I miss the Island and always will. I am
sure many people whom I miss still reside there, so keep up the good
work as it is an excellent site and credit goes to all that make it
Note: Many thanks in the name of all Moderators & Court Officials,
advertisers & sponsors, writers & photographers, contributors &
collaborators, proofreaders & cheerleaders!]
Dec 5: 'Enjoying Life Through Digital
Asia show in the Convention & Exhibition Centre the weekend before
last. "Enjoying Life Through Digital Imaging", their slogan, sounds a
lot like what I'm doing every day, carrying my camera with me wherever I
I was trying to catch up with what's new in the world
of digital photography & gear, pretty important for an amateur like me who's
doing an increasing number of photographer's jobs. Admiring all the great
but unaffordable hardware, I was struck with a serious case of camera envy,
gazing with glazed eyes at all the professional cameras, huge lenses, and
tall, fancy flashlights that most of the show's visitors were showing off,
often more impressive than what was shown by the vendors. But do I really
need to spend HK$10K+ for a serious zoom lens to be taken seriously by
flabbergasted & amused me most were the hordes of visitors crowding around
any booth with skimpily clad (female) models showing off the latest (camera)
models. The sheer bulk of photo/videographic firepower and raging geek
hormones in a frenzied jostling for best viewing position, zooming in their
long, massive, erect lenses on the perma-smiles of the skinny models holding
up their sponsor's products awkwardly. It was really a crazily memorable
sight to behold.
kind of exotic sights and weird experiences you might not find on Lamma, but
they're only a short ferry ride away...
Dec 4: 'We Are Clean, Quiet and Nice!'
What is this weird picture,
you might ask. I think that it's somehow mysterious & mesmerising but also
mischievous at the same time. (Click to see full picture).
Well, my latest computer graphics above was actually inspired
by the state of the Lamma Island residential property market, believe it or
I've tried for 2 years to get
the local property agents to advertise on this website, utterly
unsuccessfully so far. None of them has a website of available property or
even an email address for off-islanders to contact them. Enquiries about
renting, letting and buying flats on Lamma is one of the most frequent
enquiries I receive and our free classifieds
section is pretty busy with Rent & Let ads. The title of this story is a
quote from a couple looking for a flat in our classifieds,
describing themselves as the ideal tenants!
There are lots of flats
available right now and very few people are buying property on Lamma these
days, same as all over HK. So the property agents are getting less reluctant
to try new ways of promoting their big stock of flats, even considering the
formerly unthinkable: pay for advertising!
Out of the blue, I got
contacted by a property agent recently who wanted me to do a photo shoot of
one of his flats for sale RIGHT AWAY! The ad and photo gallery I designed
went online the very next day, see left.
The flat had just been fully renovated; plastic covers on the
high-tech, computer-controlled shower hadn't even been removed yet. A
beautiful G/F flat I'd buy myself if I could afford it. Still available, for
But what really struck my
fancy were the lamps. I included some of them in my comprehensive
The next day, I started thinking about my yearly hobby project of creating
artworks for my monthly calendar for the coming year.
I returned to one of the lamp
shots from the flat. Some of you might remember my "Christmas
Tree Huggers" series/calendar from last year?
around with this single lamp photo resulted in the very preliminary draft
images below for my 2006 monthly calendar. The first image in this story is
my favourite image so far. Lots of fun & creative work still lies ahead to
shape & extend these images into a worthy 12-month collection...
(Click to enlarge):
Dec 3: The Perfect
10 from the Chinese Forum
Samson - "Official Court Moderator of All
November had certainly been another active month for the
Chinese Forum, with some serious discussions, and, of course, some
silly ones. Here are the top 10 topics:
No More Overnighters...
As the overnight
ferries trial ended, bunnyrabbit suggested to have a party on
the last ferry from Central to commemorate the occasion! Of course, we
also discussed the campaign for re-launching the overnight services.
Thanks, HKKF Staff, But No Thanks...
gave kudos to the staff at the Yung Shue Wan pier for
jacket, while we also discussed some of the "bad habits" of
other ferry staff, like the megaphone captain who says "ching hak sau
suen" (clear the passengers) – sometimes even before the gangway is
property lowered! Read more...
Bike Owners, Beware!
With another round of
bike clearing at the uncovered section of the pier corridor, the
Chinese members tossed a few creative ideas about where to park your
bikes – the always witty Gisela suggested tying the bikes to
the bridge-way with a rope, then simply hang the bikes down!
On Thursday (17
November 2005) evening, the local emergency vehicles and ferries came
out to the pier with a fantastic showcase of flashy blue and red
lights! The real drama was that a man had jumped into the sea! He was
later found half-soaked in water near the library... though we're
unsure which half... Read
Upon reading the
article on the seven Lammarina-type projects, the members discussed
how life on Lamma would change. Devilfung wondered where the
sea turtles would lay their eggs if Sham Wan would be developed, while
Samson suggested that, well, maybe it's a sea turtle holiday resort... Read
Flying High? Apparently not!
Have you noticed
that more aircrafts have been flying above Lamma at a lower altitude
in recent weeks? According to our small-scale investigation, aircrafts
had to fly above Lamma because of the prevailing north-easterly winds.
If the noise is bothering you, contact the Civil Aviation Department.
Pak Kok Alsatians
Them wild canines
have been roaming around Pak Kok, and there's even been a recent
sighting of the unruly bunch near Lammarina!! Imagine the Lammarina
multi-millionaires paying HK$ 7,000/sqft and then getting bitten by an
Without A Trace... or Two
missing man and a still
missing missing cat. Perhaps time for the Lamma episode of the
TV series, Without a Trace?
For the folks who
simply hung out, or the stall-holders who made a little money, like
Devilfung and awesomeviv, the annual social event was great
fun! Um, the Moderator very embarrassingly failed to generate wind
power with the wind turbine model at the HK Electric stall... Read
Water Lantern Festival
The annual celebration of the Thai
festival was held in mid-November, and the Official Court Moderator of
All Chinese Forums shared his experiences of the dinner gathering at
Man Fung... Read
There you have it,
folks – the Chinese forum update for Nov 2005. Until next time... Oh,
and an early Merry Christmas!
Dec 2: 'Accommodation Shortage or
"What do you reckon?
"Will there soon be a whole tent village mushrooming in the pier, pitched up
by Hong Kong's nouveau cheapskates willing to rough it in the wild to save a
few bucks? These guys even tried catching their own seafood!
they don't drink beer they won't need the sweet services of Lamma's
hospitality industry for anything so... is this the beginning of the end?"
wonder, how did Petri find out about this tent, as it must have been there
for just a few hours, between the last and next morning's first ferry? One
can only speculate if these tent people were in fact Petri's own poor
relatives whom he didn't want to stay in his own home?
anti-globalization protesters, streaming into HK these days from all over
the world, getting ready for the WTO conference in mid-Dec? Our police chief
mentioned that 200 South-Korean farmers had arrived in Cheung Chau recently,
preparing for some probably violent protests? None on Lamma so far...
Also, coming Sat morning,
Dec 3, the govt. will be clearing up the entire length of the ferry pier
once again, removing all bikes, trolleys & anything wheely, early in the
morning. If the tent is still there by then, will they'd include it in their
rapid cleanup operation, maybe even including the illegal squatters?
Dec 1: Name the Windmill & Win Cash!
Launch of the The TURNING Point • Lamma Wind
Power Station Naming Competition
(Mr. Tso and Mr. Poon celebrate the launch of Smart Power Campaign 2005/06
with more than 20 students from three local schools.)
HK Electric's well-oiled
public relations machine is gearing up relentlessly and starting to spin at
typhoon windspeed for the official launch of the Lamma windmill. They've
just launched a naming competition, with cash prizes from $1,000 to $10,000
for first prize! See the abbreviated media release below (full
version is here). Here are the details of the
competition and the online entry form. We expect some of these
prizes to be won by Lammaites!
But don't they like any of
the nicknames our very creative forum members came up with so far. We've
(Magical Spinney Thing), Quixotine (Don Quixote Guillotine), Le Moulin
Blanc, and many
HK Electric - Competition introduction::
The TURNING Point
Lamma Wind Power Station Naming Competition
Hong Kong will soon enter a new era. In early
2006, our city's first commercial-scale wind turbine, constructed by
Hongkong Electric on Lamma Island, will formally come into operation.
To mark this occasion, Hongkong Electric is proud
to announce "The TURNING Point • Lamma Wind Power Station Naming
Competition." Through this competition, Hong Kong people will have the
chance to name the Lamma wind turbine and exhibition centre, which is
expected to attract thousands of visitors every year. Suggestions should
be concise and easy to remember, and they should reflect the uniqueness
of the wind power station.
The wind turbine will have a rated power capacity
of 800 kilowatts to generate about 1 million units of “green
electricity” a year. We believe this pilot project will contribute to
the development of renewable energy in Hong Kong.
Act now — enter the competition and be a part of
this important chapter in the history of power generation in Hong Kong!