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Mar 31 Lovely Lily Flirted With Lamma

Jay Scott Kanes  (text & photos)

After 17 years, the truth has emerged. One of Hong Kong’s best loved heroines twice flirted with Lamma Island until sudden twists of events diverted her affections.

Seeking refuge from the urban jungle, cartoonist Larry Feign, the creator of the popular cartoon strip The World of Lily Wong, and his wife Cathy initially favored Lamma as their place to live.

If Larry had chosen Lamma, then many of the adventures of Lily Wong, his cartoon heroine, would have been conceived here. Surely, Lily, too, might have become a Lamma regular. After all, “Lily was my alter-ego,” Larry said.

“Cathy and I used to go to Lamma all the time,” Larry said. “We knew the place, and it appealed to us. We liked the layout of the island, all the little coves and the beaches.

“In late 1989, we looked at moving to Mo Tat Wan, which was very attractive. But we decided to leave Hong Kong instead.

“After returning a year later, we stayed briefly in Western District. We’d decided to move to an outlying island. The only one we knew and liked was Lamma. So I took a trip to Yung Shue Wan to look around. All the accommodation that I saw turned out to be unattractive -- small, old and rundown with mildew on the walls. It must have been a bad day for real estate.

“I returned to Hong Kong Island feeling glum. Then a friend from Lantau Island invited me there for an evening. Right away, I noticed that Mui Wo had better shopping than Yung Shue Wan did.

“The next day a newspaper ad offered a 2,100-square-foot house with a garden for the same rent we’d paid in the city a year earlier. So I grabbed it, and we moved to Mui Wo.”

For years, The World of Lily Wong appeared daily in the South China Morning Post, and Lily starred in most of Larry’s 14 books. Twice, she received Amnesty International’s Human Rights Press Award. But as media self-censors assailed her in 1995, Larry lost his newspaper job.

“I got dumped by one newspaper and then blacklisted,” Larry said. So he pursued other opportunities. In 2001, he created Stvdio Media, an animation company based in an office at his home on Lantau.

Back in 1990, Larry quickly adjusted to Mui Wo. “Within days, the shopkeepers knew me as a new gweilo who spoke some Chinese,” he said. “If I came up short on coins, the shopkeepers said, ‘Oh, pay next time.’ When I first heard that, I nearly fainted in surprise. Then I realized, ‘Hey, this is a good place’, and we stayed.

“Now I haven’t been to Lamma for years,” he confessed. “But it was just providence that we ended up on Lantau instead.”

The Feign family, including children Ivan and Annika and mongrel dogs Toto and Otto, plans to move again soon. They’ve built a “dream home” in Mui Wo. For Larry, the new place means a larger office and studio. Cathy, Toto and Otto gain a bigger garden.

The entire family loves Mui Wo. “This really isn’t Hong Kong,” Larry said. “We have a different world here on Lantau. Living in Mui Wo keeps us sane.

“Although Hong Kong isn’t the most conducive place for what I do professionally, Lantau must be the best place in the world for us to live. It’s unique -- without cars, just getting around on bicycles, and with wildlife. If you want a dose of the city, it’s not far away. We couldn’t find anything like this in the United Kingdom. We looked in Australia and couldn’t find it there either. There’s nowhere better.”

Hmm! Larry sounds exactly like a devoted Lamma Islander, except that he’s fixated on the wrong outlying community. Presumably, Lily Wong feels the same way.

Lily Wong: almost a famous Lamma Islander?

Larry presses a pencil to paper at Stvdio Media’s headquarters on Lantau.

Family dogs Toto and Otto share Larry’s enthusiasm for life on Lamma’s rival island.

Larry makes a point: pencils remain the basic tools of animation.

Cartoon life emerges from paper, pencils and the creative process.

Images from famous cartoons decorate Larry’s Lantau home.

Mar 30 Respect for Animals -
a Life-Lesson too Rarely Learned

Jay Scott Kanes  (text & photos)

Primary-school teacher Phil Stride, from Hong Kong’s Lamma Island, easily pinpoints one of the most important lessons he ever learned, and it seldom appears in textbooks.

Three decades ago while growing up in Bristol, England, Phil realized that if he cared and showed compassion for animals, then dogs, cats and perhaps other pets would respond multiple-fold, giving him enormous joys and deep satisfactions that many people miss.

“Unfortunately, I witnessed many examples of animal cruelty and neglect going back to my early childhood,” Phil said. “My decision to spend a lot of time, effort and money to help on behalf of animals came from what I saw.

In 1999, he published GASP, A Guide to a Greener, Cleaner Hong Kong, a book about environmental issues.

“In Hong Kong, many parents can’t teach their children how to treat animals properly because they never learned themselves,” Phil said. “The school curriculum has nothing about animal welfare either.

“So children lack empathy. If they want puppies, they usually get them. Six months later, the puppies are big and get discarded. That’s why 20,000 dogs a year are destroyed in Hong Kong. Too many people regard pets as products, like toys, things without feelings or pain. The result is a lot of suffering.

“When I see my neighbors keep a golden retriever in a cage that I wouldn’t put a budgie in, my heart sinks,” Phil said. “Once I did some one-on-one teaching at an apartment where a husky lived. If the dog was lucky, the people took him outside once a day. When he peed on the carpet, they beat him with a stick.”

In the AAF’s Professor Paws programme, dog-owners take their pets to visit primary schools to show the merits of companion animals and to promote compassion for living creatures. Many of the students then greet or touch canines for the first time.

A former artist and businessman, Phil, age 38, arrived in Hong Kong 14 years ago. He conducted financial-industry training courses, started an environmental company and then became a schoolteacher.

After helping to establish Lamma Animal Protection (LAP), a charity that seeks homes for needy dogs and cats, Phil provided a foster home to “many cats”. In 2001, he sheltered Dot, Not and Pause, three kittens rescued from a rubbish bin. When adopted by another Lamma author, Jay Scott Kanes, that trio inspired a pro-animal novel, Dog-Gone Cat Case.

When Phil adopted his dogs, he named one Sam after the luggage brand Samsonite to reflect how they emerged from a suitcase when found by LAP’s founder Sheila McClelland. “The poor things were a mess, just scrawny scraps of love,” said Sheila. “Now they’re wonderful dogs.”

Phil’s book will provide the content for a future Website:, geared toward teachers and students. Then what he learned back in Bristol can continue to circle the globe.

When rescued, baby Patch looks a fright.

Young Sam needs cleaning and healthy meals too.

Soon Sam and Patch, the Crazy Adventures heroes, begin to prosper.

Happy together, Patch, Phil and Sam pose for a team picture at Lamma’s Power Station Beach.

Mar 29 The Crazy Adventures of Patch and Sam

Jay Scott Kanes:

When a conscientious school teacher like Phil Stride of Lamma Island hankers for a new book to promote learning, a foolproof strategy soon forms. He needs to buckle down and write it himself.

Phil enlisted co-author Jackie Leung and cartoonist Peter John Bolt to create The Crazy Adventures of Patch and Sam (2007, Sustainable Solutions, Hong Kong, 60 pages). This bilingual volume (English and Chinese) entertains children while educating them about animal-welfare issues and the need to care for pets, notably dogs.

“We wrote the book for the Animals Asia Foundation (AAF),” said Phil, who also likes to promote waste-recycling at urban housing estates. “It’s designed for students to increase their knowledge of responsible pet ownership.”

In the AAF’s Professor Paws programme, dog-owners take their pets to visit primary schools to show the merits of companion animals and to promote compassion for living creatures. “But I discovered that much of the AAF’s material had really somber overtones, all about the abuse of animals,” Phil said. “It’d leave you depressed for days. Educating children needs an approach that’s more fun.”

So The Crazy Adventures of Patch and Sam has cartoons and a story that begins with three puppies placed in a suitcase, toted onto a ferry and later tossed into a clump of trees. As the text says, “This is a true story. It is a story of happiness, a story of sadness, a story of hope, a story of fear and a story of love.”

In reality, Patch and Sam are Phil’s own dogs whose early lives resembled those of the cartoon canines. Mike, the book’s leading human, looks a lot like Phil too.

The real Patch and Sam are regulars in the canine crowd that gathers to play at Lamma’s Power Station Beach, where a “scruffy dog” in the story invites Sam to frolic: “I’ll try and bite your ears and you try and bite my ears. What do you say?”

Surprisingly, the story has several bursts of poetry:

“So if you find yourself on Lamma
Look out for Patch and Sam
Because when you see how cute they are
You might just make a plan
To adopt a homeless puppy
Instead of from a shop
And the plight of homeless mongrels
Help to put a stop.”

Admittedly, Phil’s no rival to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, but that’s forgivable. Maybe so is the careless proofreading that weakens the book as a tool to teach English.

More significantly, The Crazy Adventures of Patch and Sam is an activity book with 24 pages devoted to quiz-like questions and an educational card game. A carefully perforated section tears apart into decks of Dog-Fact and Dog-Need Cards. The fact cards teach things like: “Dogs should never be kept in cages,” “A nice bone will clean your dog’s teeth,” and “Walking a dog keeps us fit and healthy.” The need cards highlight necessities like a friendly vet, clean water, dog food, loving hugs and regular walks.

The book delivers valid advice even to children without pets: “If an unfamiliar dog looks scary and is walking towards you, do not run. Stand very still and wait until the dog goes away.”

Echoes of Phil’s work-a-day role in classrooms never vanish, but that’s a minor flaw. Ultimately, his book represents a worthy contribution to a noble cause.

The Crazy Adventures of Patch and Sam may not go on sale at many bookstores. Much of the print run goes to the AAF for distribution at its events. But copies soon should be available at a new Website:

For more information on animal welfare, visit

Closing Note: The Crazy Adventures of Patch and Sam made a favorable impression at the Animals Asia Foundation. Now the AAF has hired Phil to play a leading role in its educational programmes. He starts the new job soon.

Mar 28 Land of the Free-Roaming VIntP

Jay Scott Kanes - STBWFLA  (Soon-To-Become-World-Famous Lamma Author), the most prolific content contributor to the Lamma-zine. Thank you!

We're featuring a Lamma-zine Quadrilogy of Jay Scott Kanes stories over the next 4 days, today, Wed, Mar 28 - Sat, Mar 31.

Also, have another look at Jay's recent Lamma-zine stories - this year so far - and his own Cairns Magazine website, of course!

Wizened Main Street Pooch Made an Impact  (Mar 18)

Tough Time Turning Away From Tropical Turf?  (Mar 13)

Benefit Boosts 'Stunningly Beautiful' Bear Bottom and Buddies  (Feb 22)

BANGS AND FANGS: Fireworks Fan Unfazed  (Feb 20)

On Duty, on Alert, on Top in the Guarding Game  (Feb 16)

Jay Scott Kanes: Not long ago, the forums grappled with the question of whether any celebrities lived on Lamma Island. By international standards, the answer appeared to be a resounding "no".

But count our blessings. Lamma Island has something vastly better, an abundance of Very Interesting People (VIntP). Everywhere you look, from the pier to the football pitch, from the bakery to the Back Street, from distant Pak Kok and lofty Tai Peng to tasty Sok Ku Wan, there they are -- VIntP to the right, to the left, up front, and behind you too.

Although some VIntP display visible eccentricities, you can't always identify them on sight. In most respects, they look a lot like everyone else. The secret lies in starting conversations. Then many (perhaps most) Lamma people reveal VIntP characteristics. For example, they've led interesting lives. They tell fascinating true-stories. They work passionately for important causes.

By some lucky process, Lamma attracts people keen on activities other than chasing dollars. Equipped with wider-than-average interests, they become VIntP.

Lamma-Gung seems very appreciative that I've written stories for the Lamma-zine. The inspiration comes from meeting so many VIntP.

Although precise statistics elude us, Lamma easily leads Hong Kong (maybe the world) in the number of VIntP-per-capita.

Pausing, I peer out my office window. "There goes one now."


Jay Scott Kanes - Interview with ex-Lammaite Dr Julie (all photos by Dr Julie):

Car-Free Island Propels Bell to the Oil Industry

Every life holds rich ironies. For Dr Julie Dee Bell-Lanier, who recently moved to a London suburb from tropical Lamma Island, the ultimate irony surrounds her plan to work in oil exploration.

“Indeed, it’s ironic,” said Julie when interviewed by email from her new home in Eltham, a 20-minute commute from Central London. “But the fact that oil doesn’t play a major role in transport on Lamma is one of the unique qualities of life there.”

Attracted by Lamma’s serenity, Julie, originally from North Carolina, lived here during seven years devoted to securing a PhD from the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Earth Science. Her 1,210-page thesis, titled Properties and Genesis of Regolith, A Working Model For Hong Kong Hillsides, made her an authority on regolith, “all the unconsolidated material overlying rock”.

Julie enjoys academic “gown glory”.

After graduating in December, Julie moved to Britain in February. Now she aims to join an oil company. Her academic work leads to “a wholistic under-standing of the locations of oil and the ability to produce better and more detailed models”.

As one person who understands exactly what Hong Kong’s “made of”, Julie says: “The regolith on Lamma is very unique in that it’s a very old, weathered rock sub-surface with a very young material overlying. In general, Hong Kong has very deep weathering, up to 100 metres, above the solid bedrock.”

Although keen for new challenges, Julie regrets leaving the tropics. “Lamma doesn’t require an immense wardrobe,” she said. “You can wear shorts most of the year.”

Nostalgically, she recalls the summer Saturday when she first arrived on Lamma. Earlier, she lived in the Admiralty district.

“I understood that the sounds of piling and construction work represented the city’s heartbeat,” she said. “But once I got off the ferry on Lamma, I knew it was a place where I could stay. Most Lamma Islanders experience the same feelings of ‘welcome’. I liked the blue skies, low-rise buildings and ability to move normally without doing the Hong Kong-walk by weaving in and out of the crowd.”

On Lamma, Julie gained a new family, including three dogs, Laura, Sasha and Sammi, and two cats, Moshe and Yesha, all rejoining her in England. “The girls (her dogs) have a garden and part of the house, going from inside to outside via a magnetic door,” she said. “Still, I’m sure they’ll miss the daily runs on Power Station Beach.

What parting words does Julie offer to Hong Kong? “I’d like to stress the importance of taking responsibility and care for pets,” she said. “Be mindful that they depend on you. Lamma’s one of the few places in Hong Kong where people and pets can enjoy the fun and sun of a lovely tropical island with beaches and hills.”

Spoken like a true Lamma Islander.

Dr Julie Dee Bell-Lanier


As seen from the ferry pier, Lamma “welcomes” its people.


Julie leaves these tropical hills for a London suburb.


Near the Power Station Beach: a runway for dogs.

Adopted as a puppy, Laura the dog remains Julie’s ‘oldest girl’.


Sasha the dog enjoys final moments of relaxation on Lamma.

Julie digs for learning.

Mar 27 The Lamma-zine Needs YOUR Help!

To help the Lamma-zine and this website survive and prosper in the future, we need your help! To maintain our 365-days-a-year schedule of stories we need constant input from our readers and anybody willing to help to maintain this as a community website and make it better.

We need all kinds of content, stories, ideas, interview subjects, videos, sounds, animations, anything that can be used on a website, really. More correspondents reporting from their own Lamma neighbourhoods would also be most welcome.

Photos for stories and the Lamma Photo of the Day spot on the home page are always most welcome. So are the Lamma Wildlife and Lamma Artwork spots on the home page, open to anybody with a vaguely Lamma- or Lammaite-related photo, wildlife shot or artwork.

We also need more sponsors and advertisers to pay the running costs of this website. There's a very special deal for home page advertising available now, basically it's just $333 per month, all inclusive. Valid only till Easter, Apr 9.

Check out our special offer advertising rate card in English and Chinese.

Mar 26 Going Woolly for Woolley!

Nick the ReviewMan - "Official Court Music Reviewer of the Lamma-zine"

(All photos by Dan Peterson, click above to enlarge photo-montage)

Well, another interesting musical night at The Island Bar. Shep Woolley, an old-school English troubadour with a nice line in wry humour, is playing our lil' ole watering 'ole. Should be a good larf... It's 20:30, Wednesday, March 14. I've arrived to find a medium-sized crowd. All the usual suspects have been rounded up. Shep mentions "...the mike's cocked up." Cue successful roadie activity from John Hutton. Big thanks to Hot, Ginger and Dynamite. Saved the night with the kind use of their P.A. (Well, that's what it says here.)

Shep kicks off with "All Shook Up", segues sort of smoothly into a couple of Beatles tunes, including "Hide Your Love Away" and more or less alternates between American and British artists. Splendid version of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (the Band) into a more subdued "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor. Shep explores his Dark Side by going straight into "Your Cheating Heart" (Hank Williams. 1, 2 and 3 all do it.) The theme continues with an energetic "Bad Bad Leroy Brown". Ah Jim Croce. Another one who died prematurely. Wonder if we'll get John Denver?  Patsy Cline?  Lynyrd Skynyrd?

Spot an old mate Ray Dey sitting opposite. He tells me Shep's been here since Sunday. A mini-tour to follow his medi-tour of Australia. He's played at previous incarnations of The HK Folk Festival and doesn't mind coming... (oh, he's singing again. Sorry. On with the review.)

A couple of Irish tunes to get toes a-tapping, arms a-bending, throats a-gulping and legs, err, legless. The tempo is rising. More Beatles covers follow. "I Saw Her Standing There", followed by a slightly lost "Nowhere Man". Fiddler Davy is by me, part wanting to play as well. He's going to provide me with invaluable technical assistance later. Shep's into "Peggy Sue" now (Buddy Holly joins Jim). Kay is bopping behind the bar, pulling pints (it's frothy, man) and Shep blazes into "Summertime Blues". Eddie (yup, he's dead too) Cochran. Intense strummaging from Shep as he changes the chorus to "...ain't no cure for the George Bush blues."

The crowd is getting wilder (bearing in mind it's a week night) as "House Of The Rising Sun" starts. John Hutton provides a memorable audio cameo with a honking toot or six on a Swanee whistle. (thanks for the i.t.a., Davy). Sounds like a steam whistle. Or a theremin (wait, what's in this Kool-Aid?)  Kelly's arrives, sway-grooving and singing the refrain. Dan's snapping photos (see above). Rob and Alex are up front. Harry and John are discussing the finer points of tootling. Dave (minus Eva) is here with Frank (minus Jackie). Julie, Les and Jim are around. Kevin's at the door. People trundle off the 21:30 ferry. Shep gives us a rousing sing-along with "American Pie" (you know, the one with all the dead singers in it.)

I don't think any song he played was under 25 years old. Shep finishes, realises he's missed the ferry and stays another half an hour. Steve Cray pops in and tells Shep they come from the same town. Shep tells Dan he's not averse to coming back this time next year "in time for the Rugby 7's".) It's been another double top night. Thanks for sharing in the shit.

Reply from Shep Woolley, after Nick emailed him the review above:

Cheers, Nick

No mention of Pinball - Ray Day will be disappointed - good to have met yer - pass on my best mudguards to all, especially swanee whistle sid!!


Mar 25 Hog Heaven

On a sunny Sunday a while ago, I paid a visit to Keren and her private little "Lamma Zoo" up in Tai Peng. A veritable Hog Heaven, it's the home of the locally famous Sumo the Pot-Bellied Pig (above right) and his companion Peggy (above left). But it also features a koi pond, a kind of parakeet bird, dogs, cats, various little critters and a wide range of subtropical trees and plants, all in a beautifully landscaped setting with an amazing view.

Families with little children love to visit on weekends and some even bring kitchen scraps to feed this almost vegetarian pair of hogs.

Click here for the Hog Heaven Photo Gallery!

Mar 24 'Guided by The Senses from Pier to Eternity'

EILEEN - Resident of remote Pak Kok Village, leaving soon for the UK. This guide was published first in our Trees forum.

Don't be fooled by her Avatar, a fairy painting she chose to represent herself in the forums; she's just admitted to be a pants-wearing, 15-times grandma! So we should call her EILEEN15, which sounds more impressive than Lamma-Gung3.

Many local places of interest have been assigned widely used, funny or at least memorable nicknames. Eileen expands this cherished tradition and makes up a whole bunch of very creative new nicknames. If you live here, can you make out to which places they refer to?

Guided by The Senses from Pier to Eternity

Straight up from the ferry, past Foul-mouthed-Rip-Offrest (known to some as the Bent Estate Agent's Arms), you will be upon Blank-Stare Corner Bar (they have their own toilet block and Beer Garden) keep on going over the Troll Bridge towards the Seats of Shame were you can sit and drink SPECIAL BREW Shocked ... if you're hard enough.

Take the path along past the next big rip-off rest (not foul-mouthed this time) and onward to the Tree of Enlightenment were you can make a wish to eat your meal in peace without fag smoke or stinking sea water... but wish very hard.

If you're not eating and only out for a stroll then keep on along Rat Alley until you reach the Crossroads of Delight.

Here you will need to make a decision: do you want to go past the Hall of Fame for more blank stares) or turn right towards the Beach of Lecky Land were you may sit a while and contemplate either retracing your steps or making a day of it by heading off up into the Crags of Nomansland, where only the wild can survive. (The mild will get pushed off the path by wild hordes of yellow-t-shirted, bother-booted, stick-wielding grannies as they steadfastly follow their leader's yellow banner.)

Be warned: To walk these crags alone without a big stick is only wise to do if you have been sitting in the Seats of Shame and had a tin or three Wink If you keep on going you will come to the Land of Plenty there you will be met by Hordes of Foodlums who will not let you past unless you sit a while and fill up on what they have to offer. It is wise to obey, as what they have to offer is plenty and filling and, who knows, if you refuse, you may never ever be seen or heard of again...

Mar 23 Historic GvR Pillar Mailbox

There's been renewed interest in HK's rapidly dwindling heritage in the print media recently. An SCMP article ("Keep historic mail boxes in service, experts urge") mentioned that there are only 56 historic mailboxes left in all of Hong Kong, which originate from the reign of King George V of England, 1910-1936. See the royal insignia GvR (George V Rex - Latin for King):

WKC, a regular Lamma-zine reader, informed me that one of them was located on Lamma Island, in Sok Kwu Wan. He wondered if someone from the Lamma-zine network will be able to find this endangered heritage. We managed to locate it (behind SKW Main Street). I got a local off-duty police inspector to take a few snapshots for the Lamma-zine. Many thanks, Mr "Local police inspector who prefers to remain anonymous"!

These mailboxes were orginally sporting a beautiful dark-red (see photo from WKC), but got all painted green just before the Handover when the Post Office changed their corporate identity and colours to green and blue.

Mar 22 Inside the New Drainage Channel

Following up on the progress of the new drainage channel under construction from the footbridge to Tai Peng into the harbour, here are a few brand-new pictures I shot today. While snapping away, I met the Site Agent of the construction co. in person which was quite illuminating. Check out our Yung Shue Long drain proposal forum for the latest news on this project. The Main Street temporary footbridge over the channel outflow seems to be on hold at the moment, pending some objection letters...

(Click any photo below to enlarge)

The middle section of the channel under construction -
View from the Footbridge to Tai Peng towards the harbour -
Over 2 metres wide and deep

Channel construction works in progress -
Temporary cover to avoid any locals falling in

The footbridge to Tai Peng, as seen from the Refuse Collection Point, the channel starts here going into the harbour -

A VV driving over the footbridge, as seen from the Lily Pond. This upstream section will be preserved (after a long fight was won against the govt. 5 years ago).
But about 10 metres from the bridge upstream, the vegetation and a few palms will be cleared, making room for the raising of the paths to Tai Peng and Yung Shue Long by 0.4 metres, above the rare, most extreme flooding levels.

Mar 21 Shops We Do & Don't Need on Lamma

Spinoza1112 - Inmate of the Island of the Ghost Teachers

(This list has been posted first in our What kinds of shop you like on Lamma?? forum. Add your own wishes for new shops there)

We need

An English, Chinese and Tagalog bookstore (Nick's stall and Bookworm aren't true bookstores but great to have anyway)

Artist's supply shop and stationer's

Newstand carrying International Herald Tribune, Economist and New Yorker, dammit. That lovely lady is great to see on the other side of the dark water but I for one am tired of scratching my nuts and reading the South China Moaning Pest on the inbound trip.

Small movie theater with popcorn called Tivoli showing movies like The Set-up, Out of the Past, Lady from Shanghai, and old mysterious black and white Kung Fu movies from the 1940s, with special effects painted on the film stock, and starring female fighters who become goddesses through suffering, who lose their children and live under the sea.

A couple of hookers

A ferry boat that takes a full hour to get to Central with a bar and cafe and an onboard band

Lamma International Airlines: one flight: to Central: inflight entertainment consisting of 5-minute Chinese Opera performed by the flight attendants and flight engineer if possible.
Stick the airport on pylons in Yung Shue Wan bay, and bring back that old Kai Tak feeling of kiss your ass goodbye. I have never experienced Kai Tak, but I am certain somehow it was cheap psycho-analytic therapy.

Joe's American Bar

We DON'T need

Borders, Virgin Books and Records, Starfuck's, 7-11, White Hen, Steak and Shake, Bed Bath Bazonger and Beyond, Louis Vuitton, or Billy Bob's Guns

...for the coffee and the veggie roll at Green Cottage tastes wonderful precisely because it is unique to the Green Cottage, whereas the misery of being told exactly what to do is the taste of Starbuck's, the death of laughter, surprise, and "Waiter, is fly in my soup! - We no charge for fly."

Mar 20 Local Construction Is Booming, It Seems!

(All photos below by Lamma-Gung, like ALL uncredited photos in the Lamma-zine.
Click any photo below to enlarge)

Lammarina luxury housing development on Tannery Beach below DickStock Residence

Old and new styles of Village Houses - Fish-eye view of new Village House under construction

Hung Shing Yeh beach just received a Bobcat earth (sand) mover - Scaffolding metal frames

"New Territories Exempted House", max. 700sqft and 27' high -
Left-over construction machinery in Wang Long

Out-of-service earth mover, rusting away in Wang Long Village and behind Lung Wah Rest.

Out-of-service cement mixer, outside and inside

Mar 19 Christie Flowers - Junior Lamma Artist

Click above for a selection of the best of Christie's sculptures,
mixed media, paintings and sketches:

The Lamma Artist of the Month of March 2007 (click for his art gallery) is the youngest one I've ever featured in the Lamma-zine. Just 9 years old, but already such an impressive multi-media artist, talented in so many artistic endeavors, from drawings and sculptures to poems and photography. What an amazing grown-up artist he might become some day! (Click to read Christie's 2 photo poems below):

Christie is a prime example of Lamma being a great place for artists of all ages working in so many different media and subjects. He has kind of a "home advantage", being the son of famous artist Katie Flowers. She's been encouraging him to become creative from a very early age, nurturing his budding talents and she's obviously setting a great example for Christie. Many artists of many types have been featured in the Lamma-zine over the years, but there are so many more out there!  Contact me!

There are no age limits to become a Lamma Artist of the Month. You can send me the best artworks of YOUR child... or your grand parent!

Some of Christie's many artistic friends presenting their own artworks:
George, Alix and Kira, part of the KKK: Krazy Kids Klub!


Christie Flowers - Lamma Junior Artist (all photos by Katie Flowers):

I am Christie Flowers, 9 yrs old. I like playing with my friends and my Game Boy stuff. I like listening to poems and music, especially Shel Silverstein, Mozart, Crazy Frog and The Beatles.

I like making models using just about every arty-farty thing in our house!!! My favourite model is the alien that I made for school. It’s made of boxes, tissue paper and wire.

I’ve taken a few photos here on Lamma and some in Mai Po and Sai Kung. My mum’s teacher, John, gave me a camera. That’s what got me started with photography.

My favourite artist is Leonardo… you know who!!! Because he was like me and did drawings, paintings, models and was a scientist, inventor, botanist and even an architect. I like doing experiments in my kitchen to try and create potions.

Currently, I am planning to make a Warhammer scene called Skulls Pass.

Oh yes, I’ve been famous already as a stand-up comedian in my school and for reading poems in a shopping centre and being on Karin Bergen’s TV show!
[Editor: Karin Bergen hosted the TVB Pearl Report for many years, featuring Christie and his mum separately.]

Ok, gotta go and eat a flapjack.

P.S. Christie's proud mum already sent this story to a bunch of his teachers as well as to his relatives. One teacher has printed it out already and posted it on the bulletin board in the school cafeteria!! Christie has also just been featured in the Island School's online zine "The Dragon's Gazette", being quoted right below the gazette header and his "Swamp Monster" poem re-published. Great!

Mar 18 “Lobert, a Lamma Legend, 13.03.07.”

Jay Scott Kanes - Newly appointed Official Court Pet Correspondent of this website (all photos by Karin)


Sadly, Lamma Island has lost one of its most familiar and respected residents. Lobert (alias Robert), an ancient-looking dog of typically mysterious breeding, died on March 13 after devoting most of his life to hanging out on a section of Main Street in Yung Shue Wan.

“This marks the passing of a great and much-loved Lamma icon,” said Samson in our forums.

Lobert’s favorite spots at the outdoor Man Fung Seafood Restaurant and The Island Bar meant that almost no one arriving on Lamma missed seeing him when strolling into the village from the pier.

With Lamma attracting thousands of day-visitors from the hotels and housing blocks of urban Hong Kong each sunny weekend, Lobert became familiar to urban-dwellers and to visitors from overseas too.

Aged 16 or so, he succumbed to age and related deterioration. No longer able to eat or walk properly, he was euthanized. His departure drew tears from the restaurant’s staff.

As a tribute, The Island Bar’s management plans to hang a commemorative plaque for Lobert, an honor afforded to very few of its human customers. The plaque will read: “Lobert, a Lamma Legend, 13.03.07.”

Absolutely, he qualified as a celebrity, the most famous among Lamma’s animals. Such elevated status never went to Lobert’s head. He always looked somber, thoughtful and maybe a little sleepy while observing people, dogs and occasional cats strolling past. Never hostile, noisy or overly friendly, he became the ultimate pedestrian watcher.

“He showed a lot of character in his features,” said Vicky Baker, a Lamma artist and photographer.

In recent days, much of the chatter and woofing along Main Street mentioned Lobert’s illness and demise. Here are some of the comments:

“You can bet that if you asked 10 Yung Shue Wan residents on the street for
a shortlist of their Lamma icons, Lobert would appear on at least nine lists. The same applies with regular visitors to Lamma.”

“Patrolling his beat from the Man Fung Restaurant to The Island Bar, the sitting-out area (across from the bar) and the roasted-chestnut stand, Lobert gave many years of faithful service to his community.”

“Lobert had more character than some of the Lamma characters who surface
from time to time.”

“He asked for little, just some fresh water set out and a small treat now and then, but he gave much to this community.”

“Too bad he didn’t get royalties from the many photos taken of him over the years.”

Nick the Bookman, a rival Lamma icon who occupies a favorite corner down the street from Lobert’s turf, said: “Lobert had a good life. He lived through much of two decades in two centuries and two millennia.”

Lobert’s human friends soon posted tributes in Lamma-zine’s public forums.

“I miss Lobert very much,” said a writer nicknamed Honey Moon. “When I first came to Lamma, I saw this short-legged dog with a funny face. He was really cute. I always called his name, and he’d wag his tail. He was nice, the icon of Man Fung.”

“Sad news indeed,” wrote another person. “Now the Man Fung needs a new mascot and clearer of scraps.”

Lobert spent so much time stretched out among the restaurant’s seaside tables that local people considered him part of the Man Fung’s management. He rarely “missed a shift”. If the eatery opened for business, that’s where Lobert could be found. The staff encouraged him, fed him and protected him from cold weather with thick shirts or gaudy overcoats. Diners deemed him a curiosity, proof of the “craziness for pets” prevalent on Lamma.

“Usually, Lobert was the first one I said hello to when coming home to Lamma every day,” said Gisela, another Lamma-zine reader.

Seldom spry even when younger, Lobert rarely wandered away much beyond The Island Bar adjacent to the restaurant. He made friends and became a regular there too.

Online writer Dusty Mop called him “one of the more interesting characters” around the bar. “He’ll be sorely missed.”

An online tribute from Eileen addressed the deceased: “Being the wise dog you were, you hung around The Island Bar where you would be sure of a pack of nuts or crisps given by the bar punters. I think that whoever made the choice for you to go must have looked down and saw what a welcome addition you’d be to the place where one day some of us will meet you again, and perhaps you’ll offer us a paw.”

Lobert proved “spry enough” to procreate a few times. “He fathered one of my dogs, Shye, who died several years ago,” said Nick the Bookman. “Lobert was your basic Lamma short dog, and Shye stood much taller. I often wondered who the Mommy was, and how they did it.”

The dog’s double name (Lobert / Robert) emerged from different pronunciations by his human friends of assorted mother tongues. Some spoke Cantonese, others English or other languages. Maybe the proximity of The Island Bar, and some of the slurred speech there, contributed too.

“Lobert hadn’t looked well in the past week,” said Samson. “But the last time I saw him, he crippled towards a fellow Lammaite who had called out to him. Although restricted in movement, he wagged his tail and looked very happy.”

Then Samson delivered the most suitable parting words:

Samson - Official Court Translator & Chin. Forum Moderator:

Robert was a Lamma icon, perhaps even a landmark! Affectionately known as the “hippo dog” by some, Robert’s appearance – those dreary eyes, the dull-yet-cute facial expression and those short legs made us laugh and forget our stressful off-island lives.

From enjoying his scrumptious seafood feasts at Man Fung, to pub-crawling at the Island Bar and simply lazing around in his own distinctive way, Robert had been a part of our daily lives. Definitely, he’s sealed his place in the Lamma collective memory.

Farewell, old friend. Ain’t no other dawg’s gonna replace yer.
Rest in peace, Robert!

Check out more comments in our English and Chinese Lobert forums, or post your own remarks or photos!

Mar 17 St Paddy's Nightmare A Happening

Celtic Viking - Senior forum member #100. A true story:

On New Years Eve 1995, I met a wonderful Indian girl in Tsim Sha Tsui, with whom I enjoyed an all too short relationship. She had long been planning a trip around India with her parents. Her dad, being attached to the Indian embassy in London, wanted to see India once more, and her mum, being half-Burmese, finally had an opportunity to visit family in Rangoon (now Yangon) where she hadn’t been allowed to visit for so long. I couldn’t possibly stand in the way, and she left for Calcutta on the 13th March that year. In Calcutta, she would introduce her parents to Mother Teresa, for whom she had devoted three months of each year to working as an accountant to the charity in the slums of Calcutta. She is a mathematician.

I was working as a locomotive operator/organiser and assistant to the chief engineer on a large tunnel project. Things were going well, and I received several pay scale rises. I was down to see her leave, and decided the only thing to do was drown my sorrows, and go on a 'bender'. Copious amounts of things went down over the next three days. At about 2 o'clock on the morning of the 18th March, I can’t remember leaving 'The Watering Hole' in Tsim Sha Tsui to go back to a room I shared with a friend and work colleague. I wasn’t wearing Irish green, and I recall not being able to open the next bottle of red wine. My friend dutifully took over the task and it was the sound of the cork popping that brought me around slightly. We guzzled the wine, and I appeared to have contracted an instant 'cold'. We left at about 2.30am to go back to the pub. I remember thinking 'don't go out in this state, you'll get bloody shot'! We wobbled along to the lifts, I knew I wouldn’t be at work in the morning.

We entered the lift on the 12th floor. The doors opened again at the 10th, and in walked a young guy who was in something of a 'state' himself. He was about 18, and 5ft 5 inches, and slightly built as is the like of his countrymen. He looked at us with very glassy eyes, and I swear his hair stood on end. He spoke. "Where are you guys going,” he asked none to politely. "Back to the pub", we answered together. Being polite and happy, we asked the same question. I can never forget his answer. "To kill some f***ing Chinese bast***s if they give me any more f***ing shit tonight," he said. He sported a British accent. "With this," he added. Pulling up his black T-shirt, he revealed a handmade sheet metal sword. It still had the red oxide paint on it and we could see the grinder marks where it had been sharpened. Neither of us spoke again, we just stared forward at the doors. We felt the lift reach the ground floor, and when the doors opened, all hell broke loose.

There, standing with big smiles was an attractive blonde woman of maybe 25 years. She wore a very skimpy, low-cut boob tube, Irish-green, I recall, I think, hot pants as well, and adorned in multi-coloured glitter. Behind her stood a six-foot or more muscle-bound boyfriend, resplendent in his tight-fitting Nike vest, and Reebok shorts. Sun-tanned and shiny, with either oil or sweat, and a big smile, he was turning sideways to flex his muscles, and show off his physique, there was a good 17 stones of him! The young lad took one look and grabbed at her boobs, she jumped back startled and let out a reflex scream. He wadded into her with punches, kicks and a head butt. He ripped at her clothes as she went backwards and down.

The big boyfriend did something totally unforgettable. He shouted "RUN!" and dashed into the opposite lift, and began frantically pressing the interior lift buttons. The last I ever saw of him was his hand coming through the closing doors, and then pull quickly back before they caught his fingers. His girlfriend was screaming and bleeding as the young man proceeded to rip at her hot pants, by this time (all in a few seconds) he took out the sword from under his T-shirt as I feebly stumbled onto his back, pushing him to the floor and kicking the sword away. I helped the hysterical and bloody girl into another one of the four lifts, and pressed any button to close the doors and send her up, anywhere would do.

The young guy was getting up and, snarling manically, he grabbed at his sword which had been knocked from his hand. I heard voices from behind, and the second shout of "RUN!", this time from my friend, coupled with "There’s five of them!"  I couldn’t blame him, it was the sensible thing to do. I turned to see five men of the same descent as the attacker, virtually blocking my way. A quick scuffle broke out, with one of the men, a portly looking gent exclaiming "No trouble, no trouble, please walk away!" I did, and due to my more than stunned state, I stupidly turned my back and tried to walk away!

As I walked, a punch landed on the back of my head. I turned just as the sword, in a downward stabbing motion, and wielded by the manic youngster, was closing in on my head. I managed somehow to block or deflect the weapon, and arched my back, but not enough. The sword caught me in the left side of my ribcage, breaking two ribs and entering my body, slicing into my colon and stomach. I crashed to the floor, crunching my head on the concrete. All the men fled, and as I somehow managed to stand up, and grabbing the sword handle with my left hand, I began pulling it out. More happened next than I can write here; but if you ask me, I’ll tell you! In court, he was prosecuted under a ridiculous name, I'll tell you that too!

More raised voices of alarm were followed by scuffling feet as I began to pass out, feeling the blade moving from right to left inside me. I again crashed to the floor under the weight of something, and the sword, now most of the way out, was plunged back into me. This time puncturing my diaphragm and coming perilously close to my left lung. I collapsed.

I remember the wonderful lady in the ambulance, she saved my life. She wouldn’t let me close my eyes. She kept shouting at me to look at her and focus on her eyes. She was asking me if I had taken any drugs, or just alcohol. I knew I was doomed, in more ways than one. "I've been drinking heavily for three days, no drugs." I also recall arriving at the Prince of Wales hospital, ironic as we have the same one in my home town. I helped build the baby care and x-ray units there. I also remember being shaved from my neck to my knees.

I will never be sure, but I think I recall a tunnel, not the one I had been working on, but a brightly lit one, or was it the lights of the operating theater? I don’t know, but I may have seen my grandfather, standing aided by his walking stick, and not smiling, but wheezing from the pneumonoconiosis and emphysema which ended his days. I will be able to understand this when I do die, I may be met by my younger brother Steve, whom I lost this year. I wonder if he will be wearing Irish green, he was a fun guy!

Sorry if this has taken 11 years to write, and sorry if I show an utter lack of fear of big muscle-bound guys. Also, please accept my apologies if I'm not to be seen, emerald-clad, and tripping the light fantastic on the 17th of March this year!

Mar 16 Tough Training & Fantastic Fun!

Adie - Publicity Liaison of the Lamma Dragons (Men's) Dragon Boat Team:

(text and pictures by Adie)

Walk past Yung Shue Wan harbour on the weekend and you may hear the sound of drums and see a team of men in blue shirts paddling in unison. With the Dragonboat season already well underway this year, the Lamma Dragons Men's Dragonboat Team have been on the water, training hard every weekend since early February.

Lamma Dragon Boat Festival logoAs well as regular local races such as Stanley, this year the Lamma Dragons Men's Team will travel to Boracay and Singapore. In addition, 2007 sees the first Lamma Dragon Boat Festival on June 10.

Always on the lookout for new recruits, the team train on Saturdays at 3pm and Sundays at 10am. Think you have what it takes to join the meanest paddling crew of men for the new season? Join them on the weekend, where they meet before each training session at the garden seating area (Beer Garden) opposite the Island Bar, Yung Shue Wan. What are you waiting for? Learn more and sign up for a season of tough training and fantastic fun.

Interested? Either call Oliver on 9139 7305, visit, or meet them at training. See you there!

Our dragon

Timing & Technique!

Mar 15 Scum, Sludge & Soakaway Pits

Isn't that a cute mosquito trying desperately to get into a septic tank? It even wears shoes! This cutesy illustration comes from the cover of a govt. leaflet that was distributed to Yung Shue Wan households the other day, informing us of "MOSQUITO PREVENTION IN SEPTIC TANK". The sewage treatment plant for Yung Shue Wan is still a number of years away - officially announced in a village meeting a few months back but no date confirmed yet. So we'll have to live with sometimes smelly septic tanks under our houses for a while longer.

For more free and often unintentionally funny, bilingual govt. leaflets and other info about what's going on in the village, check outside Lammadonna's office on Main Street and on the G/F info desk in our City Hall, opposite HSBC. I visit these places at least once a week and always find something new of interest. They've even got free candy and calendars!

This mosquito leaflet is very informative, if you'd like to know what's down there below our feets and how to avoid it becoming another mosquito breeding ground. There's scum, sludge and soakaway pits down there, below the manhole covers. Click on the illustrations above and below to view the entire bilingual leaflet.

Mar 14 Enduro-ing  5 Hours of Sweat and Pain

As we all know, Lamma Island is a major tourist attraction. On Sundays, even the hills come alive with the sounds of... not music, but with these sounds:

Bikes speeding, brakes screeching, fans shouting encouragement, bikers breathing heavily and occasionally swearing, bones cracking (sorry, I made that last one up.) Have you ever seen such an overcrowded Lamma hill like in this photo above (thanks, Zep!) It was taken last Sunday, Mar 10 2007, in Pak Kok Shan during the Lamma Enduro 2007?

Well, at least these people stayed away from Main Street, leaving it for the tourist crowds, made up of mere pedestrians who will never enjoy the adrenaline rush and muscle burn of the true daredevils of the hills, the mountain bikers.

The Lamma Enduro event seems to have been an overwhelming success without any serious accidents and just a few bruises and blisters. Besides 120+ riders, the photographers were out in force, dotting the hills (photo by nicole_kam):

It was a really rugged, difficult race, narrow dirt paths, up steep hills, down sheer drops and even the Graffiti Ghost House was part of the circuit (photo by Ben Lun of MTB United):

There was great infrastructure and organisation, including most important and crucial facilities like extensive signage, a "marshal dog", the BBQ and even a ladies' toilet (all photos by nicole_kam):

Some of these very experienced guys from MTB United have been riding in HK for a very long time. See photo below and note the 80s hairstyles (click below for more historic photos collected by Ben Lun):

Last but not least, several fine photo galleries from the Lamma Enduro 2007, so you can recognise some of your Lamma friends of whom you might not have known that they are serious and very competitive mountain bike racers:

More photos in our Lamma Enduro forum

Miu's photo gallery

4 comprehesive galleries from the organisers (photos by Ben Lun):

Mar 13 Moving From Lamma to Slovenia?!

Jay Scott Kanes  (all text and photos)

(Jay seems to love alliterating titles even more than I do)


Why would anyone abandon a tropical island, a place where they’ve enjoyed happiness and an idyllic lifestyle, in favor of chilly mountain slopes?

John Newson and his wife Caroline Biebuyck, journalists and publishers originally from the United Kingdom, must explain to puzzled friends why they’re relocating to a tiny village near Bovec, Slovenia. The move in the spring of 2007 will take them far from Lamma Island, their Asian home since the mid 1990s.

John and Caroline’s Lamma home (foreground) keeps the big city at bay.

“One needs a change every so often,” said John, relaxing on a covered veranda outside the couple’s Lamma home, located near a scenic hillside and caressed by ocean breezes. “We’re moving to a different kind of exotic, but we leave with more than a few regrets. Lamma’s the most relaxing and interesting place I’ve ever lived.”

A 35-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong’s Central business district, Lamma has only a few thousand residents, plenty of trees, no motor vehicles, cleaner air and a more leisurely pace than the nearby big city. It’s a paradise for pets like John and Caroline’s beloved dogs, Lucky and Hebe.

“You can’t beat the laid-back atmosphere, the remoteness from people and the proximity to nature in a part of the world where such privileges are rare,” said John, a man known on Lamma for seldom wearing shoes or a shirt. “Maybe I’ll never go barefoot again, which is appalling!”

Caroline moved to Lamma in 1993. Two years later, John arrived. They married in 1999.

Although Lamma people come and go, the long-term residents move away only reluctantly, and many return. How could a snowy mountain village in Eastern Europe gain the upper hand?

“As the jungle claims our garden on Lamma, we’ll start hacking back the forest there,” John said, pledging to become more active in “the processes of life”. He envisions chopping wood, growing vegetables, hiking lofty trails, wielding a chainsaw and driving a tractor.

John and Caroline roamed “hemisphere to hemisphere”, from Tasmania and Thailand to elsewhere in Europe, seeking somewhere superior to Lamma. “The place we chose seems to offer exactly what we wanted – an Arcadian retreat where tradition and the 21st century co-exist,” John said. “The housing will be more comfortable. In summer and winter, the alpine scenery will be dramatic, and the way of life should be sufficiently different to keep things interesting for a good many years to come.”

Slovenia’s two million people share a territory slightly larger than Wales. Bovec, near the Italian border, has about 1,600 residents, plus grocery stores, several restaurants, hotels and guest houses. The area offers rafting, skiing and mountain-biking.

Five kilometres from Bovec, John and Caroline’s new village, home to a few hundred people, is smaller than Pak Kok, where they lived on Lamma. Caroline will continue as a writer and publisher while John builds and manages some apartment units for tourists.

Lucky and Hebe have always lived on a tropical island. “It’ll be a shock for the dogs,” John said. They’ll meet new wildlife, like bears, wolves, deer, wild goats, lynx, badgers, foxes, hares, squirrels and otters.

Slovenia’s people may be reasonably warm and welcoming, but not the climate. “Long johns are the answer,” said John, the long-time Lamma Islander.

Wearing a cold-weather cap, John practises keeping his ears cosy.

Looking ahead, John visits Slovenia on the Internet.

As leader of the pack, John briefs Hebe and Lucky on the big move.

Lucky the dog may need to abandon football for skiing.

Constantly cultivating, John keeps his Lamma garden growing.

Slovenia’s rugged beauty defies easy description.

Unchopped wood awaits John’s arrival in Slovenia.

P.S. John just sent these new pictures from Slovenia, titled "This is NOT Lamma":

Mar 12 "Lamma Ladies' Rudeness Endures"

I've just received a wonderfully self-deprecating email from the Lamma Ladies dragonboating captain, Gina. The subject line of the email is the title of this blog story. I would never dare to compose a title like that as I'd be afraid of being tarred, eh, pinked and boa-feathered in retaliation for not treating them as the pure, innocent ladies they truly are with their refined, polite manners. They say so themselves: "We are very prudish and shy."

OK, enough of my brown-nosing, on with the story:

Gina writes: "I am afraid that I’ve come to you rather late with this bit of information. But perhaps better late than never!

Putting fun back into fundraising"

The party is already over (Mar 3 in a "Private Location" with a dress code of "Sexy Sultry/Plunging Necklines") and I wasn't even invited, how rude! It was women only and – very strangely for them, unheard of – they decided that privacy was the utmost value of the evening. Amazingly, no photos were taken at all and they even chased one photographer away! Gina writes, "Sex is so Politically Correct these days!" Well, check out their blog with the full saucy story by clicking on the fundraising link or their poster above.

We Lammaites are hoping that they'll be making Lamma proud again this year, winning even more than the 3 Gold Cups they captured last year in Cheung Chau, Boracay, The Philippines, and Stanley (photo below by Lamma Ladies):

One more picture below, taken by myself on March 3, 2007: The Dragon Ladies practising hard every Saturday afternoon in our harbour. They'll surely prove again that they have "the fantastic ability to OUT PINK, OUT PADDLE and OUT PARTY" all the other HK teams!

Mar 11 Birdo Breakfast

Miranda, the dynamic leaderess and cheerleader of the HK Photo Club, on the right

The leader of the birdwatchers flock, Birdo Breakfast organiser/host and Flora/Fauna Forum moderator, on the right

Once every 1-2 months, during the bird migration season, the very active flock of Birdographericus Lammariensis assembles on a rooftop in the middle of the forest in the distant and remote mountain village of Tai Peng - like birds on a wire. They congregate for some socialising and chattering about their favourite hobby. Some fly in from far and wide for this event, even beyond Lamma Bird Island. They usually bring along their latest, expensive hardware:

professional dSLR cameras (don't show up with a pocket snapshooter, you'll be mercilessly ridiculed!), huge, long, heavy monster lenses that require their own tripods, digiscopes, professional monopods and fancy filters. They converse in their own language full of all the latest optical, electronical and image processing techno babble, trying hard to impress and trump each other. But in the end, it's just the quality of the resulting photos that counts and Anonymous_Guy is still top dog, eh, bird! But he has some worthy "rivals" and they're learning fast, eager to de-throne him!

But there are also a few non-birdwatching friends like L-G and ladies are invited (see above) to lighten up this informal brunch of all-male amateur birdwatchers. It's usually a very friendly, funny, light-hearted event, where one can meet new friends, query the experts present, and even learn a thing or two from each other.

If you're interested in joining in (no fees or membership required), just email me.

Mar 10 Saturday Afternoon in Yung Shue Wan

Sampan entering YSW harbour in front of Fishermen's Village Petition by Lammadonna to keep nurses in the Lamma Clinic Palm leaves in front of Pizza Milano Ferry pier Wall painting on Lamma Store at Ferry Pier Lamma Dragons Men's team practicing in front of Lammarina Lamma Dragons Men's team practicing in front of Lammarina Lamma Dragons Women's team practicing in YSW Harbour Lamma Dragons Women's team practicing in YSW Harbour Lunch in Pizza Milano Lunch in Pizza Milano

Click on individual photos above to enlarge (all photos shot by L-G on Sat, Mar 3)

Mar 9 Temporary Footbridge on Main Street

Graffiti marking the location of the temporary footbridge (see below)

Several Lammaites, including myself, sent in objections to the Temporary Land Allocation of the Lands Dept. It was triggered by a public notice that the sandy beach in front of the Green Cottage Rest. will be used for 3 years as a work site for the drainage channel in progress coming from the Yung Shue Long valley.

We've all got a reply from the Drainage Services Dept., including the DSD project web page two illustrations below and a detailed Power Point presentation (80MB, 2-3 minutes to download).

Temp. bridge outside Green Cottage Rest. during drainage channel construction

The Drainage Services Dept. basically promises that there'll be no permanent building or structure erected on the beach and no stockpile of construction materials and demolition wastes will be allowed in the beach area/Yung Shue Wan Main Street. The target dates are:

  • Handing over of additional land: end March 2007

  • Diversion of traffic onto temporary footbridge: May 2007

  • Re-opening of reconstructed footbridge to public: August 2007

  • Reinstate and vacate from additional land: September 2007

This is how it's supposedly going to look like after the completion of the drainage channel and the bridge reconstruction. We'll be holding them accountable to this illustration and publish actual photos in Sep 2007 in our Yung Shue Long Drainage Channel forum.

Restored permanent bridge and expanded drainage channel 

Mar 8 Free Money!

Mar 7 Christie, Eric & My Mum

Mar 6 Lamma Enduro


Next Sunday, Mar 11, expect many (120+!) cool dudes/dudettes with ultra-fashionable, figure-hugging lycra outfits and those funny, grooved, mushroom-shaped helmets on their ultra-high-tech, ultra-expensive, neon-coloured mountain bikes in Yung Shue Wan and also in Pak Kok Village!

There's a nice sporting attraction happening on Lamma on the hills of Pak Kok Shan (far end of Pak Kok Village). Our local mountain bikers have been clearing trails up there for years, practicing hard on weekends for their little mountain biking endurance get-together, the Lamma Enduro!

Solo, mixed teams and women events will be held, informally and just for fun, by the HK Mountain Biking Club, starting at 11:30am (not pm, unlike so many other Lamma activities!). Just an informal, non-commercial event for and by biking enthusiasts. Could be quite some fun to go on a little hike up there and watch - without any accidents, hopefully.

Click above for the detailed map to print out, plus the poster with the bilingual details. Click here for more info and the biking forum. There's also a great, really well-produced video of last year's Lamma Enduro!

Sounds like another great opportunity for my Nikon D80 with a long lens...

Mar 5 What's All This Commotion in Sok Kwu Wan?

in progress... 

Mar 4 Wind Turbine-Shaped Sweet Dumplings

Today is the last day of the 15-day Lunar New Year festival period, the so-called Chinese Lantern Festival. HK Electric volunteers celebrated by hosting a party for single-parent families, teaching them how to make sweet dumplings for the Festival. Very nice! So nice that they immediately sent out a media release and photos about it, of course.

Below, we can admire some sweet dumplings "shaped like blades of a wind turbine". Yes, it takes a little bit of imagination to see it, but you have to admire HK Electric's never-ending dedication to plug Lamma Winds in almost every media release, no matter how little it has to do with Lamma's favourite cute little windy tourist attraction. HK Electric writes:

"'Caring, Always' is Hongkong Electric's latest community programme aimed at giving love and care to the needy, particularly during festive occasions. As part of the programme, volunteers visit underprivileged groups and prepare traditional foods for them using electrical appliances."

Awww, giving love and care to the needy, by using electrical appliances...

Hongkong Electric volunteers and one of the winning families proudly present their "wind turbine" sweet dumplings.

Mar 3 Singing Carnival

A yearly event for the local Chinese community, especially if you're over 65 years old, organised outside Ngau Kee Rest., in the so-called "VV Parking Lot" opposite the Deli Lamma. It's a lion dance, Karaoke carnival with presents for all Golden Oldies, or "Elderlies" as the HK Govt. calls them. Photos below by Gilman, one of Lammadonna's two capable assistants:

Mar 2 Swamp Monster

Mar 1 Congrats to Award-Winning Prof Red Star

Lamma's "Photojournalist, Rock God and Biblical Scholar", Prof Red Star, has just won the best science news reporting award in the annual Hong Kong News Awards. The SCMP writes today (paid online subscription necessary for this link):

"Steve Cray won the best science news reporting award for his series on British physicist Stephen Hawking. He also received an honourable mention for another science story."

Pictures to follow after the awards will have been handed out in an official ceremony in a few weeks!

In the meantime, sincere congratulations to Steve, who's now been officially re-nicknamed to "Award-Winning Prof Red Star" for Lamma-zine purposes!

Will we ever have the pleasure to hear on Lamma again, or will he rest on his laurels from now on? It's been a while since we've seen a picture in this august publication of his (now award-winning) tonsils while singing his heart out on stage.

P.S. Steve just can't stop winning more prizes, it seems! He's just been shortlisted for an amnesty press human rights award for his photo series/video slide show (with original music) on Ma Cha lepers' village up in Yunnan, eastern Himalayas. A truly amazing, warm and inspiring feature story with interviews.

Steve actually flew back from that assignment the night before DickStock 2006 where performed to great acclaim.

Click to view the slide show!

Read last month's stories...


Lamma-zine Blog started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events or photos.

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