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July 31 Aug 8Lamma-zine on Summer Break

Instead of resorting to Silly Season Stories, this Lamma-zine will be taking a break. We'll be flying off to Switzerland from July 29 till Aug 9 for my mum's funeral.

This site will continue to run normally and the moderators will manage the forums. I might have a look at my own emails occasionally, or not...

I definitely won't miss the heat and humidity of our HK summer this year...

July 30 Escape to Lammatopia, Part 1

Suzie Wonton - Lamma Newbie

(Photos chosen by Suzie from earlier Lamma-zine stories, except Munch's "The Scream", courtesy of Yahoo Images)

I got off the ferry, dragging my ten-ton suitcase behind me. Its shitty plastic wheels protested the load. I tried to look nonchalant, like I knew what I was doing, where I was going, even though I inadvertently kept pulling my suitcase up onto the back of my flip flop and nearly tripping myself. By the time I got as far as the Island Bar, my acute self-consciousness had reached a deafening pitch. It was Friday night and the crowd of jolly and inebriated expats was spilling out into the street.

Suddenly I was 13 again, and not in a good way. I was the new kid in school, the geek, acutely aware that I had arrived on someone else's turf. They were the cool, popular kids who had all the fun; me, the dork on the outside of life, awkwardly stumbling my way past, always excluded from the hip and the happenin'.  As I slinked through the revelers, Anne Lamott's Radio K-FUCK played loud and clear in my head:

"Lookie here, at the latest loser to come to Lamma."

"What a wannabe."

"Silly city-slicker."

"Don't even think about stopping for a drink here. You'll never fit in."

"Keep walkin', sister!"

Such was the gauntlet of imaginary tormentors broadcasting their menacing messages in my head.

I allowed myself to exhale once I made it as far as the public toilets. My relief was short-lived. The gauntlet resumed, along with my anxiety, at the next seafood place, and lasted all the way down Main Street, past the Banyan Café, reaching particular crescendo by the Fountainhead and then again in front of Spicy Island -- something to do, I suppose, with what I perceived as mocking, drunken stares.

Why all of a sudden was I experiencing life as if I were the wretched character in Munch's painting 'The Scream'? Fresh out of Xanax, I purchased a six-pack of beer as a sorry substitute and proceeded to navigate the ratty maze that would lead to my home for the next six weeks.

The next day I emerged from my cocoon to find life beautiful and sunny and shiny like a new toy. I wandered into the village and was soon disabused of my intimidating notions from the night before. Were my delusions acting up again, or was there indeed a dark side to Lammatopia, a raw, Rabelaisian underbelly that peered out from time to time from beneath Lamma's flirtatious skirts?

No mind, it was a beautiful day. The village of Yung Shue Wan exuded loveliness and warmth and character. It struck me as a unique, almost surreal combination of elements I'm quite sure doesn't exist anywhere else on the planet - a backstreet, Chinatown version of a Katmandu - Santa Monica 3rd Street hybrid, French Riviera-esque in the way its cafes cater to canines along with their owners.

Admittedly, the island's dogs are far more appealing than their Cote d'Azur counterparts. Instead of purebred poodles, each one is a 'roll 'o the dice' genetic crapshoot; think "Lobert" (see left). Juxtaposed against their gritty and rough appearance, I observed a striking civility and tenderness between the noble canines as they passed each other on the street, greeting one another with a delicate sniff and an elegant wag. I suspected (and hoped) Lammatopian quadrupeds were representative of the island's bipeds, a gritty yet gracious breed.

I took my seat in a Main Street café, ordered a drink, and stared at the crop of passers-by freshly arrived off the ferry. It had been less than 24 hours, and already I had adopted at least one of the local tribal customs: I was already a full-fledged member of the Yung Shue Wan welcome gauntlet.

Tune in again for the next installment of "Escape to Lammatopia".

July 29Nature Photographers Should Wear Tin Hats

Anonymous_Guy - Master Wildlife Photographer:

Post a message in the Bee/wasp nest forum to leave your good wishes after reading this story

Nikon D200 w/Nikkor VR 70-200mm F/2.8 G;
2007/07/28 14:56:48
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Metering Mode: Spot
1/60 sec - F/2.8
Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV
Sensitivity: ISO 200
Optimize Image: Custom
White Balance: Auto
AF Mode: AF-C
Flash Sync Mode: Front Curtain
Auto Flash Mode: Built-in TTL
Auto Flash Comp: -2.3 EV

Was clearing some under-growth in the garden & came across this Killer Wasp Nest... except I didn't know it.

Before I realised what had happened, at least half a dozen had attacked the top of my head....... as I turned and ran headlong downhill, pulling them out of my hair, I stumbled on a root and plummeted into the base of a tree, twisting my ankle for good measure. Gathering myself I ran for the house still tugging my attackers away from my scalp. I reached the house & plunged my heads under the shower to get the last of them out.

I'm sitting here now with what seem like a hundred inter-connecting golf ball size lumps on my head, although in reality is probably only half a dozen or so. My head is throbbing , my neck has stiffened up from the poison, and my ankle is the size of a beach ball.

Anyway, went back & found the nest, but couldn't get a clear shot...... so needed to do a bit of gardening to get a better shot.
Found that every time I cleared a little foliage, the wasps would all troop out to check for intruders. Sending out occasional sorties in my direction.
I was a little squeamish by this time..... so this is about the best shot I could get, given the circumstances.... but I think portrays a little of their menace.

Moral of the story... nature photographers should wear tin hats.

July 28ZZZZ...

Nick the Bookman - Official Court Music Reviewer

(Photos by Mediahore)

It's Saturday evening (July 21, '07) and I've got to admit I'm a wee bit knackered after some 36 hours of relentless musical appreciation with a side order of work. However, Red Star Rising are back at the Wanch (on a double bill with Helter Skelter) and Steve has promised new songs and experimentation. I semi-snore my way to Central, amble into The Wanch and find about 18 people awaiting tonight's musical menu. Zoe's there. So is Liz, a former Lammaite, who works at the SCiMPy with Steve. Maybe hordes of salivating RSR-connoisseurs will trample down the doors at an(zzzz...)y moment, but somehow I doubt it.

The previous gig was something special and hopefully this will be as well as RSR have a possible pending regional tour. The set list appears to be more or less the same as last time. John Palmer wanders in. He's not filming tonight but takes time to introduce "the hottest band in HK - no Asia. Red Star Rising!" The eponymous opening track is augmented with a bass-synth drone that sort of reminds me of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush. Steve does his "fretwanking" bits over the top. Hugh is nicely minimal on drums, but Alex appears to have some trouble with his bass.

(zzzz...) I've missed "When Worlds Collide" and Slow Blues" and Steve is moaning about " a nasty bit of work, don't meet him" as a prelude to "The Man From Ma On Shan" which is handled with splenetic glee. Jagged riffs punctuate "$ Arcade" which is "a cross between Disney and Wanchai". The band are hitting their groove, humming along nice(zzzz...)ly. I'm zoning in and out (just checking my eyelids for holes) and (zzzz...

...zzzz) Oops, I've missed the end of the first set which comprised "Fade To Black", a new number "See Your Face" (which I can still look forward to hearing!) and "Finishing Line". I think I've got enough gas in the tank to get through the rest of the show. The audience has grown to about 25 people who are about to experience something special.

The opening tune is new. It's called "Shuffle" and Steve freaks everyone out (including his bandmates) by playing a sort of doo-wop barbershop quartet voice sample through his Roland synthesiser. He's playing guitar and voices are coming out! People shaking their heads as if to hear better and looking to see where the Munchkins are stashed.

The second tune is also new. "Red Claw" is heavy grunge bombast with a 5-bar repeating cycle. It's based on "a true story" which no one seems to get. Perhaps next time. The 3rd number is called "Megaphone Man" (without the megaphone) and is rough-n-ready rock-n-roll.  Definitely some early Ted Nugent/Amboy Dukes in the riffing. Koya, and the rest of Helter Skelter, have arrived and are listening with approval on the pavement. (There was room inside guys, and the bar is closer - though the nearby 7-11 is cheaper!) The major hits unfold in quick succession.

"Last Ferry To Lamma" keeps getting better with age (unlike  the last ferry to Lamma which always has wet floors and the crap plastic bucket seats that no one can sleep comfortably on. Perhaps that's the idea. No Slumberland Sealeyrite service at night. No one would go home) The band are going from strength to strength and "Escalator Girls" is a whirling, stomping rush and a fine companion piece to my favourite song "Shopping Malls".

Alas, this version doesn't scale the Olympian heights of the previous Wanch gig. Steve says later he was absorbed in watching the drum-n-bass interplay between Hugh and Alex to really concentrate on his backward guitar solo. The final track is a fiery "Walking With The Devil" a romperstomper ripsnorting rampage with Steve hollering "Don't ever walk with the devil" at the climax. I'm awake now, yes Sirree Bob!

Chatting afterwards, Steve hints he may start dropping some of the blues numbers in future sets as the band are concentrating on writing and recording original material. That first CD is starting to sound like it will be something special when it's done. Speaking of which, I'm do(zzzz...)ne now too. See ya at The Next Gig!

July 27RIP, Tony Marsh

Graham Marsh - Tony's son  (see also the RIP, Tony Marsh forum)

(Photos by Graham Marsh)

Tony Marsh on his
70th birthday

First I would like to thank everyone who has called, or sent emails and cards expressing their condolences and support. If I have not yet replied to you, I will try to do so in due course.

The funeral arrangements are as follows:


Rm 402, Universal Funeral Parlour (in Cantonese: "Sai Gai"), 10 Cheong Hang Rd, Hung Hom, Kowloon Tel. 23624331.

How to get there:  (maps)

The building is North of the KCR station in Hung Hom near PolyU. See the attached ufp map below - on foot, follow the green line. When looking towards the building from KCR station or cross-harbour tunnel bus area, there is a huge Nikon sign, just head in that direction. As you enter the main entrance of the funeral parlour, turn left and take the lifts to 4/F.


Sunday 29th July, from 4:30pm onwards. We intend to do a eulogy at around 5pm so please try to arrive before then.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Tony's grandchildren Anton (11) and Nathan (7) will be there; if you wish to bring children you are welcome to do so.

We expect to stay until around 6:30pm at the latest.

Important: Please would you let us know if you are coming (and how many).
Also, some close friends and colleagues may wish to say a few words, please also let us know if you would like to do so, thanks.

I believe an announcement of Tony's passing is already posted in the Spicy Island Indian restaurant.

After the funeral:

The cremation will be held at Cape Collinson Crematorium on Monday 30th July at 2:45pm. See this CCC map - it should be a short ride from Chai Wan MTR station (upper right) to the crematorium (lower left). You are welcome to attend.

The following weekend:

We intend to have a gathering/ wake/party(!) on Sunday 5th August at Tony's family's house in Pak Kok Village, Lamma Island - more information on that later.

Graham Marsh
Tel: 9450 1504 (mobile);
2982 2899 (home); 9836 8584 (Julie)


One way or another, we've had two depressing death notices in as many weeks. The first was the venerable media figure, David Kerr, followed soon afterwards by retired HKU academic and longtime Lammaite, Tony Marsh. Each in his own way was a respected pillar of the island community, espousing and championing populist concerns and causes like ferry fare/timetables, clinic facilities and excesses of hawker-control minions.

The good news is that Tony, who opted to return to Hong Kong after fleeing to Britain shortly before the 1997 handover, will be survived by two generations of his clan, represented by his son Graham, and two grandsons who can be counted upon to keep the Marsh family flag flying in Lamma Island.

A big hurrah to that and our collective thanks for the fond memories we associate with the incomparable Tony M.


July 26Obituary for Tony Marsh

Graham Marsh - Tony's son  (see also the RIP, Tony Marsh forum):

I'd like to thank Lamma-Gung for posting the above information, and the kind messages. If Lamma-Gung could link to this thread from the main page I would be most grateful. And thanks also to my mum Cherry for helping with the obituary below:

My father was born in Burnley, Lancashire, UK, in 1936, the son of a chemical engineer and a tailoress. His schooldays were not particularly happy ones and although he obtained a place in a reputable Grammar School, he spectacularly underachieved, leaving with only two O-level passes. I mention this because, ironically, he was later to enter the field of education, spending a great deal of time in schools and higher learning establishments.

National Service still being compulsory, he served in the Royal Air Force as a Radar Operator. It was during this time that he decided to study in earnest and managed to pass three A-level exams in one year rather than the normal two.

As a young boy, he had attended elocution lessons, leading to an enduring love of literature, especially poetry. That, together with a natural acting ability, led to an application for a place at RADA, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Although he passed the audition, he did not take up the place as he felt uncomfortable in the theatrical world.

So it was that he instead took an honours degree course in Botany at Leicester University, followed by a Post Graduate Cert. in Education course. His teaching career spanned some 30 years, the longest period of which was as a lecturer in Biology Education at the University of Hong Kong. This post brought him into contact with local teachers and the HK Examination Authority as well as providing opportunities for consultancy assignments in mainland China. In addition he was the author of several books and papers.

Outside his work commitments, he contributed to the work of the HK Family Planning Association (FPA), the HK Youth Hostels Association (YHA), and the HK Red Cross, among others. With regard to the YHA, he was instrumental in securing the first youth hostel at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. For the Red Cross, he organised blood donation sessions at the family's apartment in Pokfulam, where he lived in University quarters since arriving in HK in 1972 until moving to Lamma Island in 1977.

Tony and his family lived in Po Wah Yuen from 1977 until his return to UK in 1986. In the early years, there was no mains water supply. Water was pumped to the houses from local supplies and was prone to running out in dry weather. He kept a large number of water barrels at the back of the house to cover for these occasions, and he was known to rig up various contraptions in an attempt to catch rainwater! The last ferry from Central was 10:30pm and it took 45 minutes. HYF, noodle soup, beer was available, no air-con.

After returning to the UK in 1986, Tony could not resist an assignment or two back in Hong Kong until finally retirement beckoned and he returned to the UK to focus on a lengthy restoration project of a listed property. Recently, he completed the text of a booklet about the history of this building which he has submitted for publication.

He was an avid collector of many things, especially early scientific texts and instruments. Many of these items were obtained in the Hollywood Road area of HK. He had an eye for items which were being sold cheaply but, with some loving care and repair work, turned out beautifully and were actually quite valuable. He was very skilled in the area of home decoration and repairs, taking a perfectionist approach to most jobs. This meant that tasks took a long time to finish but looked great and lasted longer once the job was done.

He had travelled extensively around the world in the 70's and 80's with his family. In his spare time he enjoyed walking, music, and gardening.

It is just over two years that he returned to HK to live again on Lamma, in the top-floor flat of his son's home in Pak Kok Tsuen. He immediately settled back in to Lamma life, involving himself with local people and in local activities, and procuring a property with renovation prospects in Tai Ping Tsuen.

He is survived by former wife Cherry, son Graham, daughter-in-law Julie, and grandchildren Anton (11) and Nathan (7). We will miss him very much.

Rest In Peace, Granddad!

July 25Very Animated Birds

Lamma's master bird-o-grapher, HarryLi, has gone one better with his bird photos, animating them! See below and click here for more of his still photos in the Lamma's top 10 birds forum.

Pond Heron (not shot on Lamma) - Immature White-breasted Waterhen (Lamma)

July 24The Dark Side of the Gung?

The anniversary yesterday created almost no feedback at all, as is usual with most stories on this website. Like in print, people like to read but not to become active and respond to anything they read, except when they're upset about something and would like to rant about it, firing off a Letter/Email to the Editor.

I mentioned this in a simple, short message in the 5th Anniversary forum, that I was frustrated about the usual, almost total lack of any feedback, good or bad. My message created quite a bit of feedback, finally!

toddy - Lamma Newbie (see her forum avatar below):


Lamma dwellers, we have upset Lamma-Gung with our sloth and apathy (see the Lamma-zine thread). Let us take some time to write in to celebrate the 5th anniversary of, and to show some appreciation for his five years of ass-busting labour.

I'm not recommending that you do this, Herr Gung, but I bet you if you took the website down for 48 hours, you would hear so much whining about it, that you'd be assured of the centrality of the über-blog to the life of the Lammanese.

As depraved humans suffering from a collective entitlement complex, we have come to take the website for granted, and tend only to show signs of life when it is taken from us. Please forgive us for our ingratitude.

Now c'mon you schlepps, write in, or face the Dark Side of the Gung!

Nancy - The Frog Lady

Looking through before moving to Hong Kong was the thing that convinced us that we should live on Lamma Island. I am so thankful to be living here in this community rather than trying to scrape together friends in a high-rise somewhere.

L-G, this is a great resource and "place" to come together and many of us appreciate it. Thanks.

Marc Antony:

Steady on L-G dear chap, I only just saw the post!

You do a great job of running this forum and magazine, and most folk on our fair isle have little idea what a grim and thankless task such a job can be. But some of us do know, (and I count myself among that number) - and 5 years is a real achievement.

The trick now is to pass your wisdom on to an apprentice so that you can put your feet up and contemplate the next adventure. I'll be a Lamma freelancer again soon, and will look forward to discussing the oddities of island life when we meet after my summer hols...

Spinoza1112 - Official Court Poet of  (newly appointed)

ODE to Lamma the Gung

(To the tune, again, of Bonny Dundee)

For five weary years he's managed the queers
Who post to this network after too many beers
He's put up with Spam, he takes it with jam
And this is an ode to Lamma the Gung.

Come fill up my cup
Come fill up my can
Come fill up his servers with your Nigerian spam
He works night and day so our song we can sung
Three cheers and a tiger for Lamma the Gung!

We have sexy cool avatars from grannies in Blighty
We have Tjungaryi and Nobby almighty
We can read our Spinoza and ask, "says he wot"
"I can't understand bugger all this Yank matelot!"

Come fill up my cup
Come fill up my can
Come clog all his servers with pictures of bugs
He works night and day so the unseen is sun
Three cheers and a tiger for Lamma the Gung!

And if it ever goes permanently down
And you type www.lamma dot com
And get a DNS error or blue screen of death
You will miss the hard work of Lamma the Gung!

O, come fill up my cup
Come fill up my can
Come blast out his servers with Nigerian spam
He'll just keep on working to keep us *au fait*
With what the hell happens when we shite where we ate!

Wonderer - Lamma Newbie:

I for one greatly appreciate your efforts.

You deserve to make, and I hope you are making, a decent living for you and your wife from this site [Not yet at all, but who's counting - Editor L-G].

Your impassioned commitment to showing sentient beings across the universe that civilized life forms can exist in relative harmony with nature on a small island off a concrete jungle is exemplary, and convinced me to try out life in your little slice of paradise next month.

Having been fully informed thanks to this mountain of information, almost all of which I've already read with interest, I feel confident that Lamma is a place where life will taste good for me, and I expect that will apply to many other readers from across the cosmos.

Given that it wouldn't be a bad thing to see your population swell by a few thousand new souls, to boost the vibrancy and diversity of your community, the fact that this site has this enticing effect towards outsiders must be deemed the ultimate accolade for your tireless efforts.

Here's to the next 5 years, and I for one have no doubt that, come 2012, this community will be thriving both online and off as more enlightened beings, empowered by the Internet, dare to deviate from the mainstream and discover that human beings can only find true happiness when they merge with and cherish the natural world, not when they isolate themselves from it and despoil it.

Thank you for opening up a (1024x768-pixel) window onto a better world.

July 235 Years !!!!!

Click above for the forum.  Let us know your thoughts about this
major, momentous, monumental milestone in Lamma's history! Or not?

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July 22Maximum Spike Current of 90,000 AMPS

This might happen to you or has happened to you already:

A thunderstorm surprising you at night and a power surge taking out your PC, TV, home theatre system. Fuses inside good power bars might protect your electrical equipment from some of the rare power surges. But what about your Broadband line where a power surge could literally fry your modem, router, LAN card, even your motherboard.

This happened to me a few weeks ago for the very first time in 6 years on Lamma, during an unexpected nightly thunderstorm, when I hadn't unplugged my Broadband modem (because of a backup download of a client's entire photo galleries website in Europe that took half the night). After a quick modem replacement by PCCW, we still couldn't connect to the Internet. As I need to be online for most of my work and business, not just this website, downtime literally means lost income.

A visit from my computer guy after the Internet-less weekend revealed that I had to get a new LAN router and a new LAN card as well, see former story. Three devices damaged with one single power surge through the Broadband line. Fortunately, the very expensive motherboard survived even though the fried LAN card was a part of it.

I looked for options to prevent this in the future and got this nifty, high-tech power bar below, the Belkin SurgeMaster Surge Protector. It's not just protecting from power surges, but also electrical surges, spikes and "harmful electrical imbalances" (sounds nasty!!) through your phone and Broadband lines, your LAN cables and even your TV antennae, an infrequent but expensive problem during thunderstorms. It's kind of luxurious at several hundred bucks but who else has got a power bar, eh, SurgeMaster Surge Protector with:

  • Differential Toroidal Coils and High-Frequency Capacitors

  • 300V Oversized Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs)

  • Gold-Plated Aerial Cable Connections

  • Sidactors, Ceramic Arresters and an Impact-Resistant ABS Case

  • Able to resist 3,240 Joules and a Maximum Spike Current of 90,000 AMPS

Yes, I admit to being a nerd sometimes, and proud of it! Old habits die hard and as a former "Regional IT/Telecom Manager - Asia" I still get seduced by technology occasionally...

Click on the illustration below for more details. $560 from Andy the "All-round IT consultant on Lamma", cheaper than another unprotected lightning strike...
And if it fails anyway, they promise a "Connected Equipment Warranty - Lifetime Product Warranty" of HK$50,000 in cash! Who could resist such an offer? Not me!

While we were upgrading my home office setup, I got this monster copper contraption below. Andy glued it on top of my Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, after gutting my quite new PC. It's basically a heat sink, removing excess heat from the PC's brain, replacing two of the very strong and noisy fans that made my PC sound like an aircon before. All quiet now, aaaaah! My PC's got a cool brain now and so do I. I can think freely now, coming up with more silly, irreverent and inconsequential stories like this one...

July 21The Philosophical Phenomenology of NOW Broadband Marketing

Spinoza1112 - His reaction to the recent infestation of Yung Shue Wan by a swarm of NOW Broadband salespeople.

This is also the first-ever Lamma-zine story with ten annotations. Click on the (number) to read them. Click here for the forum about this topic.

I confirmed that the NOW broadband offer does not include BBC or Cartoon channel, only lame-ass CNN, Star World, HBO, an expense of spirit in a waste of shame (1) unredeemed by The Sopranos and a few other decent shows which I can buy later on DVD. It also includes two Chinese channels, one of which is apparently nothing but Jackie Chan boom boom kung fu fighting and the other probably for the old folks, with Guan Yin weeping under the sea. That's cool, but not enough.

"You know, I don't think there's any such thing as TV" - Laurie Anderson

"'See if there's anything good on...'. 'Why bother?'" - Robert Crumb, "Plunge into the Depths of Despair!", circa 1970

Seriously...I have been ruminating of late of the temporal and spatial phenomenology of television but not being able, yet, to make it through Husserl's Logical Investigations (hi Robert!) I may yet do naught more than reinvent a wheel.

The spatial phenomenology of TV was noted by me when TV entered my world as a lad. Yes, there are people amongst us who remember a time before TV. Sure, Britain had TV as early as 1939, but "the Telly" came as a sociocultural institution to Britain after it came to my land in 1954, and my South African chums tell me that they had no TV as late as 1975, the *apartheid* government not wanting the homeys to Get Ideas from American TV shows such as The Jeffersons, where egregious Yank blackfellows might talk back to whites.

In TV, we learn to bracket out an ovoid and reduce it to a rectangle. No clever-devil Yankee has successfully created a TV with an eye-shaped ovoid such that this could fill our eye and become the reality, meaning that our dismissal of our lifeworld (*Lebenswelt* (2) and a tip of the hat to my German friends) is something we rehearse continuously.

If as I think Husserl saw, emotional and cognitive cannot be disambiguated, then in watching TV we are continually practicing the act of tuning out and dismissal of part of lived reality.

(Do I reinvent the wheel? Did American anti-TV pundit Jerry Mander say this in the 1970s?)

Certainly, Modern Life is replete with what may be isomorphs of the act of tuning out. "Son, I would like to talk to you about the Playboy magazine I found in your room, and to give you advice about the peoplehood of the women therein, and also borrow it too". "Aw gee Dad I'm watching television".

"Honey, me Bunny, I need to talk about Us." "Why certainly, Darling Dora, my Mouse...wait a minute...wait a minute...pass it, pass it to Beckham you bloody handless haw hey we're the wee boys!"

"Ah'm not interested in the Blix team's investigation. Just tell me if we can put this turkey over and go to war against Iraq. Cut to da chase."

These are isomorphs of the spatial act. The temporal tuning occurs when we learn (cf Foucault so I don't have to) to structure our time into work and leisure (3).

We find the leisure segment further subdivided insofar as we retain an interest in High culture, whether by High culture you mean *Alles schön und gut* (4) e.g. that which is Improving, or getting High.

Thus, culture "vultures" of my acquaintance find that after watching BBC Shakespeare they want madder music and stronger wine, and switch over to the latest Reality show, even as a Russian count of the 19th century might start his evening at the ballet, fall to studying thighs and glimpses of Bolshoi buttocks, and end his evening for this reason amongst Cossacks and Gypsies who steal his money.

Count Tolstoy may have seen how "the evolution of productive relations" in Tsarist Russia, in increasing the smorgasbord of Choices available to the aristocratic man about town or *haute* bourgeois, had unstructured the leisure of his class so as to create a spiritual crisis (5).

The ceremony of innocence is drowned (6): we're "distracted from distraction by distraction" (7). 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 and 1,024 cable channels and we're basically in the same boat as the American couple of 1970, who could find "nothing good on" in Chicago of that year, even though they had American Choice of ABC, NBC, CBS, WGN (the local station with the Cubs) and Channel Eleven educational programming, the precursor of Public Television...yet to be debased by fund raising and only partially redeemed by The Teletubbies from Britain.

"'gain, 'gain, want watch 'gain" - The Teletubbies

This is warmed over, but I think nourishing, McLuhan. The REAL Marshall McLuhan was a critic of media and not its fan, and in The Mechanical Bride, he saw that the media (primarily film) of his day objectified people starting with the gals. But unlike most Anglo, American, Canadian philosophers, Marshall acknowledged the power and necessity of media: if we simply get rid of it we are not saved, but become instead Unabombers.

And our tranquil moment of disembarkation right here on this Isle of Cythera (8) is marred, I say. It is marred by desperate "students", Taliban who are made to wear yellow and black golf shirts in the heat and bully-ragged into wasting my time promising me BBC and Cartoon Network to make their numbers, a promise they could not keep.

Of course, my Pater also railed in this way.

"I think I see my father." "Where, my lord?" "In my mind's eye, Horatio". (9)

And my Grandfather also railed (and railed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also railed). (10) Grandfather railed against our constant watching, our grim and unsmiling childish suveillance, of The Three Stooges, because Grandfather had hired men like Moe, Larry and Curley, desperate men of the Depression when it wasn't funny to not have money to pay for a baby, poor little parisher aye that he be.

The PCCW infestation was a beachhead. Normally the scene at the ferry is curiously absent of the heraldry of corporations, the green and white of Starbucks and the red and white of Circle K, in their own way as frightening, as hegemonic, as double headed eagles in the forests of Bosnia. The black and yellow of the week just past was bad news.

I am most relieved that it will not take much will power to resist NOW cable since it doesn't have BBC or Cartoon Network.


(1) Shakespeare, Sonnet 129: "An expense of spirit in a waste of shame/Is lust in action..."

(2) As far as I can tell, "Lebenswelt" is used in Phenomenology to refer to life as lived, not as partitioned for academic convenience by the professors and schoolmen, nor as commodified by the men of the market.

(3) Just kidding about Foucault. He is most readable and tres amusing. He teaches us that we have been schooled (nice work if you can get it, remedial education) to use our leisure to improve ourselves in ways that are socially useful, but that we cannot easily "stop the world". That is, I LIKE to run, AND it socializes me so that I can go to work and not leap overboard from that grim Ferry which carries across the waters of Lethe, to work.

(4) "Alles schön und gut" was used by German philosopher and public intellectual Theodore Wiesengrund Adorno to refer to what we are taught in school: about Higher things: that then must be remedied, whether by Sergeant Major or at Work, so that we don't expect more than our share.

(5) I was thinking of War and Peace, in which Pierre, disordered by his bastardy and the openness to him of aristocratic Russian society, finds his social life devolved and debased. This was Tolstoy's biography and it is continuous with life today.

(6) Most readers will know that "the ceremony of innocence is drowned" is good old Yeats in the Second Coming: "mere anarchy is unleashed upon the world."

(7) Slightly rarer, T. S. Eliot's 1930s Londoners are, in his Four Quartets, "driven from distraction to distraction by distraction" in a "twittering world" which he describes, using onomatopoeia, using the names of London suburbs: "Hampden, Clerkenwell and Putney": he foreshadows Malvina Reynolds, the American folksinger who in 1960 beheld Daly City as "little boxes, on the hill". Time has been kind to neither for the homes in my own Rolling Meadows were well-maintained and are excellent value today. Nonetheless, the idea of borrowing money to be suburban still fills me with horror.

(8) The Isle of Cythera was a French theme of the 18th century, as painted by Watteau, a pastoral in which the high-born lovers could return to Arcadia and, I'd hazard, get lucky. We are in a sense pastoral on Lamma, trying by means of the ferry to keep the world at bay: but as in Poussin, "et ego in Arcadia": for as the shepherds of Arcadia discover Death in the painting, we get cable.

(9) "I think I see my father." "Where, my lord?" "In my mind's eye, Horatio". Hamlet, of course.

(10) "And wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed". Allen Ginsberg was dead by September 11 yet in Howl he saw as in a prophetic vision "trees, clocks, radios, tons!" when "they [my relatives in New Jersey! Dead now! Lung cancer! Stress!] broke their backs lifting Moloch to heaven!"

July 20More Brazilian Beach Babes...

Grinleeper - Updating us on all things Brazilian on Lamma!

I read with interest your post about Lamma's attraction to Brazilian babe cyber searchers. I think Lamma has other links with Brazil, babes and otherwise, as I'll explain below.

There is a small community of Brazilians here in Lamma, such as George and Leandro the football coaches and Barbara who teaches Brazilian Portuguese and does Portuguese-English translations. Barbara is cultural promoter who is hoping to organize a Brazilian film festival in Hong Kong. Between the three of them they have produced three offspring - or should I say Brazilian babes. There is a also a Brazilian capoeira teacher who visits Lamma on Saturdays to teach this beautiful martial art/dance/acrobatics to us gringos. It is an art which only the fittest of the fit - babes or otherwise - can ever truly master.

I lived in Brazil for four years and had a Brazilian baby there (see below). So, like Ronnie Biggs, I can now not be extradited, should I go back.) I blog about it at

 …not much reference in it on Brazilian babes, but lots about Brazilian culture, Brazilian bureaucracy, Brazilian economy, Brazilian politics, Brazilian education system, Brazilian tourism, Brazilian computing. My latest posting is all about how my laptop was pinched at Shenzhen railway station last week. On my laptop was a series of writings about Brazil.

I used to run a Brazilian restaurant in Brazil, and now I am looking for a partner to open a Brazilian restaurant/bar/cafe here in Hong Kong, in China.

Here's an idea to further boost Lamma-Brazil links: Let's persuade the Hong Kong SAR Government to twin Lamma with a small island community in Brazil, then we can all go on government junkets to Brazil, develop harmonious cross-cultural understanding with Brazilian, babes and otherwise, and further stimulate web traffic.

My suggestion would be the idyllic seaside town of Paraty, where I spend many happy weekends in 2001-2005, while living in Sao Paulo. I think this small seaside town has affinities with Lamma Island as I will explain.

Brazil has many pleasant seaside towns, but Paraty is something special; it is a perfectly preserved 18th century city centre, which like Lamma fully is pedestrianised. Like Lamma it also has some interesting history; Brazilian gold was once embarked and slaves disembarked on their way to their mines in the interior. These days, Paraty lives on its tourism,  location is ideal, set in a bay with plenty of islands, many privately owned by rich Brazilians such as Amir Klink the explorer, and a few miles inland the steep hills are full of perfect waterfalls set in forests filled with fruit and hummingbirds - perfect for cooling off after a morning on the schooner.

There are plenty of nice cheap hotels there with secluded swimming pools, and hearty breakfast buffets. Like Lamma, Paraty is popular with artists, photographers and writers - it hosts various cultural events such as an annual literary festival in July. In short, it is one of the very few places in the world where the quality of life can be compared to Lamma.

July 19Brazilian Beach Babes

Are you one of those people who prefers to watch the commercials on TV instead of the programming? With the quality of most of the programming... that's not a big surprise. It seems to apply to websites as well, even this one. What do you think why people visit Certainly not to read my fluff & guff!

This website is showing up first, as the #1 for all Google searches on "Lamma" and "Lamma Island", but we're also popular for Brazilian bikini lovers, it seems. These are the top search terms - according to our detailed website statistics - that web users search for and then find this website via their search engine:

Top 100 of 1,243 Total Search Strings on



  Search String


1 54 2.53%

  brazil bikini

2 24 1.12%

  bikini brazil

2 23 1.08%

  brazilian bikinis

4 22 1.03%


Lamma Band "nude" or just plain nude?

5 20 0.94%

  brazilian beach babes

6 17 0.80%

  life cafe hong kong

7 16 0.75%

  brazil butt

What's a "Brazil Butt"?

8 16 0.75%

  music graffiti

9 14 0.66%

  wind turbine

Yesterday's news...

10 13 0.61%

  keith flint


11 12 0.56%

  elyse sewell

America 3rd-to-next Top Model was the former top search term, because she's got a hugely successful blog and the Lamma-zine published 2 stories on her.

12 12 0.56%


Fit HK mag, founded by a Lammaite

13 11 0.51%

  lamma island

Why not #1 in this list?

14 10 0.47%

  brazilian butt

15 9 0.42%

  bikini butt

Yes, too many Internet users are keenly interested in butts...

16 9 0.42%

  brazil beach babes

17 9 0.42%


18 9 0.42%

  brazilian butt lift

Available at Jax? Ask them!

So why is this website so popular with aficionados of Brazilian bikinis? I blame Jax! You know, the cute shop on Back Street, G/F, 55 Tai Yuen Village, on the way to the beach? They've started advertising their bikinis and Havaianas sandals recently, causing an influx of fans of "Brazilian Beach Babes"! I made them a little animated ad banner (see right) and it seems to generate a lot of wide interest in their fine products!

Jax is a really amazingly quick advertiser. Within the space of a single afternoon, she asked about an ad on this home page, I quoted her and created the ad banner from photos she sent over and she paid by instant bank transfer! I just adore clients like her!

By the way, this bikini photo does NOT show Jax herself! Jax definitely looks much better than this!

For being such a quick and repeat client, I promised her a little free advertorial, which is usually reserved for top-of-the-home-page, long-term advertisers. And here it is, this story is her freebie, promoting her shop and its great beach-related products. Check it out on your next trip to the beach, click on the ad for directions and a catalogue!

If you also might be interested in our summer special advertising offers (till July 31 only!), check out our advertising rate card. Your low-cost ad could be online the same day, like Jax's!

I'm leaning back now, awaiting even more hits from Brazilian bikini lovers, caused by this story which will make this site even more prominent in bikini-related search terms on the search engines like Google. We might need to publish some more bikini-related stories for this new, additional readership and target demographic. Any ideas, dear readers?

July 18The Old Man and the Sea

What has Lamma-Gung been doing tonight in Victoria Harbour on a sampan, the most unstable and constantly moving type of boat in HK's waters? Have I been:-

  1. performing research on marine traffic flow in HK's ever-shrinking harbour?

  2. preparing another ever-popular shipspotting photo gallery?

  3. testing how much it takes to become seriously seasick, bobbing up and down, back and forth, left and right in a sampan?

  4. checking water and wave conditions for another Lamma ferry story?

  5. doing a photo shoot of a champagne and buffet sunset/night junk harbour cruise of Audemars Piguet, the Swiss luxury watch company?

I used to get extremely motion-sick as a child/teenager within minutes in anything moving, even a cable car. After years on the Lamma ferry I seem to have become immune to seasickness. This has been proven beyond any doubt after spending 1.5 hours nonstop on a sampan in Victoria Harbour during marine rush hour tonight. All these huge waves rolling our tiny, round-bottomed sampan wildly in all directions, the erratic movements never stopping, not even for a split second.

This makes picture-taking almost impossible, even with my dSLR camera. And it was night during most of the shoot... and the junk I was following and taking pictures off had no lights at all on deck or on the sail, so it turned into an all-black silhouette... and I don't have one of this very expensive image-stabilised ultra-zoom lenses yet...

So, what did I accomplish, besides filling a 4GB SD memory card with often dark and blurry photos? Well, not much, as this was probably the worst professional photo shoot I've endured so far. I hardly dare to show any of the resulting photos, but let's see if there are a handful of OK ones among the gigabytes of crap shots.

This might maybe seriously damage my new, burgeoning career as a professional photographer, denting my so far pretty good reputation for difficult, short-notice, low-cost photo shoots. Here they are, the worst of the worst of this photo shoot, straight from the camera, with only minor Photoshopping. My paying client is only getting the very best photos, of course, and he's never going to see any of these terrible, terrible shots below (except if he's having a look at this website).

Please pardon me now, I feel like an old man now after this ordeal on the high seas of HK. I need to lie down now and wait for the world to stop moving up and down, back and forth, left and right...

P.S. Yes, that's the Duk Ling Chinese junk above, available for rental and great fun harbour cruises. Check out their website at

July 17Danger! Swarms of Salespeople Invading Lamma!

A swarm of summer students in PCCW's yellow/black polo shirts have descended on Lamma for a full ten days! Over 50 of them were spotted this evening, from the Central and YSW ferry piers, along Main Street and swarming through YSW in small groups of around 8 people, stopping passersby and knocking on doors.

Yes, it's a real-life invasion of salespeople covering most of the village trying hard to sell NOW Broadband TV to every single household with an existing telephone land line and/or Broadband. "NOW TV has landed on Lamma Island with a wide variety of world-class TV channels", shout their flyers.

Here are some fine quotes from our lively discussion forum, called NOW Broadband:

Gisela: "I think they swarmed the island today, I just want to get a handout to study but there were none. We're offered different prices as I talked to different people. There is even a phone call from them as I walked into my house, creepy."

Marc Antony: "Swarmed indeed! We came under attack at 8pm... the dog saw them off."

Nobby: "There were about twenty of them loitering on the power station road yesterday, but everyone was whizzing past on bikes. Wouldn't surprise me if PCCW issues spike strips in the next few days so they can catch the cyclists as well."

Spinoza1112: "TV is a distraction from more important Lamma activities such as photographing frogs, attending Wild Teenage Beatnik Parties, midnight butt-naked swimming, chowing down at Bookworm, rolling into the sea in an old tyre, and creative forms of self abuse."

Toddy: "Like, OMG, Spinoza dude! FOX is like so the only reason for getting NOW TV."

Alan: "We had another two salesmen come knocking (separately) on our door after 9:30 PM.
My wife gave them an earful.
I can hardly imagine the profit on a few dozen contracts would be worth a couple of salesmen spending days here, let alone the swarm we've been afflicted with. They must all be on zero salary, all commission rate, which explains their desperation and lack of scruples."

Lamma-Gung: I'm fed up, frustrated and angry after doing some research with several salespeople and their supervisors today, on the phone and in person. Their stupidity and incompetence is staggering and each one is telling you a different story, contradicting each other on even the most simple and basic facts. Their sales stories change from day to day, getting conflicting news and instructions from their headquarter, it seems.

The amazing lack of internal co-ordination in the swarm is interesting to watch, spreading out seemingly at random and visiting the same households repeatedly, missing many others. Swarming locusts do a better job...

If you're interested to learn more, here's my very detailed review about the NOW TV offer, or check out our NOW TV forum, with 28 posted messages so far.

July 16 Inappropriate Content in the Lamma-zine?

As the editor of the Lamma-zine, I rarely get negative feedback, even though I'd appreciate it to help me to improve it and tailor and adapt it more to the preferences of the readers. But somebody found the "Angel David" illustration on July 13 "inappropriate", because David was not a religious man. This made me think and write a lengthy reply, outlining the editorial policy of the Lamma-zine which is quite different from a print newspaper.

Actually, I publish many stories and stuff that I personally do not agree with. The Lamma-zine intentionally does NOT have a uniform voice or editorial policy, as it's not the editor's personal soapbox but hopefully reflecting the views and opinions of as many people as are willing to express them and send them to me. Even submissions that I do not agree with will be published, reflecting the multitude of views and personalities on our island home. My opinion is just one of many, everyone has one and mine is not any better or more relevant than anybody else's. We Lammaites disagree (often passionately) on many topics and this should be reflected on a public community platform like the Lamma-zine.

I'll merely clean up the submissions, fix the typos, grammar and punctuation, maybe shorten it a bit, add an editorial explanation if necessary and format it to look nice and readable on the home page, adding pictures if available. That's about it. I do NOT make any content changes at all. It makes my job easier and sometime I might go for an entire seven days of articles without having to write anything myself - if I'm lucky and get enough usable submissions.

There's also very little censorship (swear words are fine if used for effect and not gratuitously). "Crazy", "inappropriate" or unintentionally funny submissions (I love those and love to add gently-teasing comments!) are most welcome. This is a "Placeblog", not a print newspaper, so the usual journalistic rules and deadlines are relaxed a bit. But I try hard to follow Western journalistic ethics, rules and fact-checking. But opinions are opinions and can be voiced freely here, especially if they're controversial!

But candid photos of a passed-out, top/bottom-less guy (pubic hair showing prominently) in drag sleeping in plain view in a public place at 8am - which made the rounds in the village recently - didn't get published. No point in embarrassing and shaming the guy even more, he's probably hiding off-island for a while now?

In general, the Lamma-zine has definitely a strong preference for positive stories, encouraging my writers and photographers to focus on the positive news and stories - except for negative stories that need to be told, for example political and environmental issues. But a good rant about the ferry service, local construction projects or your fellow Lammaites is always welcome! Send me one, or send a few paragraphs about any Lamma- or Lammaite-related topic!

For more info and background about the Lamma-zine, read the FAQuestions About This Website.

P.S. Just to prove that I'm not easily distracted by criticism, here's another artwork from Sara: Angel in Disguise.

July 15Sooo Cute...

After a few somber stories recently, let's continue the "Cycle of Life" on Lamma by featuring a few new arrivals, beloved by many Lammaites: new-born puppies!

Introducing two new animal companions, all-white Jack and all-black Kiwi, photographed by master pet photographer Leggova. Both of them - and many more - are all up for adoption at the LAWC Center in Sha Po Old Village (

Click on any photo below to see more of Leggova's amazing photos:

July 14War Child, Bookworm Cofounder & Ecopreneur

from HK Magazine, July 13, click to read:

See our ironical forum about this "enlightening" in-depth interview: Bobsy = God?

July 13'Blessed are the pure in heart'

This pictorial tribute has just been submitted by Lamma Artist Sara Sene.
It's probably the only piece of religious artwork ever published exclusively on this website in its almost 5 years (July 23) of earthly existence. Well, any suitable artwork is welcome for publication in this community magazine. Click to zoom in on the painting of David's face, based on the photo published yesterday.

P.S. At least one reader objected to this artwork above, finding it "inappropriate".
David was not a religious man and he might have objected?  But David's sister in the US thought he'd probably be amused at being portrayed as an angel.
As this artwork was a heart-felt, sincere tribute by a close friend and a very religious artist, I accepted and published this artwork and stand by my decision.

July 12Eulogy for David Kerr

(Ian Watson's favourite photo of David. They go back 40 years, to '67-'68,
when they both worked for the Toronto Globe & Mail.)

Eulogy for David Kerr from Christy McCormick
Delivered Hong Kong Funeral Home, North Point,
Hong Kong July 10, 2007

I would like to say a few words about our friend David Kerr before our lives resume without him. I am not sports fan, but I know what hockey meant to David. And just as some of us are born to parents of celebrity, so was David Kerr. He was the son of the legendary Dave Kerr, the goalie of the New York Rangers whose shutouts won his team the Stanley Cup in 1940 and won for himself the cover of Time magazine.

"Goalie Dave Kerr"
March 14, 1938 - Fifteen Cents

David was a sub editor much of his working life. And when you think of it, sub editors and goalies are in much the same business. Both work to ensure against negative outcomes. Both must be nimble and quick in the fast flowing play on the rink or when facing a daily newspaper deadline.

While David greatly loved the game of hockey, and something of a partisan when it came to his father's reputation, he was essentially a man of the counterculture. He loved jazz, and reveled in the history and antics of the fabled Beat Generation of the 1950s and was something of a hippie in his younger years in the '60s and '70s.

Above all, our David Kerr wanted to set his own agenda and did the exciting thing for a boy growing up in strait-laced Toronto in wonder years of the 1960s. He came to bohemian Montreal. That's where I met him, but we could never set a date. Looking back, we were laughably provincial even in Montreal, and hardly the credible representatives of Left Bank Paris we fancied ourselves to be. Yet we aspired to that intellectual style, that air of the 1920s Montparnasse literary, of the artistic and literary scene, tempered, of course, with the downbeat hip and cool rhythms of the Beat Generation. He loved to talk with people -- our late friends in Montreal -- who actually knew Jack Kerouac of On the Road fame Jack Kerouac and that crazy New York poet, Allen Ginsburg.

And much of this activity focused on a bar called the bistro of which David and his friends was so much a part, and can take credit in contributing to a style that took over much of the world -- even here in Hong Kong. Bars in Canada, even in French-speaking Quebec, unless a part of a hotel, or all-male taverns in Quebec or entertainment-providing nightclubs or sexually-segregated beer parlours in the rest of Canada, ruled what roost there was rule. But the bistro brought the first North American sidewalk cafe, which dominate the scene today, but were then largely confined to continental Europe.

And in a small way at first, but to a considerable degree, this Left Bank spirit was manifested in Montreal as the city approached Expo '67. And it was this world in which David Kerr played an important role, often as a court photographer, shooting pictures not only in the bistro itself but also at its many outside social occasions.

And it is curious that this stylistic triumph, the North American sidewalk cafe, started first on Mountain Street, then spread to the neighboring streets, becoming what is still known as the "Crescent Street Scene", and then spreading throughout the world. It looked much like a roomier Lan Kwai Fong. And it is fair to speculate that Hong Kong's Allan Zeman, father of Lan Kwai Fong, who grew up in Montreal in the 1970s, came to Hong Kong and modelled his creation on his home town's success story, which started with that one place, the bistro.

The pub was called the bistro had something of the ambience of Club 64. It had something of the same ambience. I say it was "called" because the bistro was not its real name. But even its most loyal denizens could not remember its real name if they ever knew it. The place, known to its owner and to Revenue Canada as Chez Lou Lou des Bacchantes, was such an exact copy of a French bistro, with a narrow standup zinc bar, marble tables mirrored walls and columns, that the bistro name stuck.

David gravitated to this life of the boulevardier, and he was central to that development at its very beginning, one of perhaps 50 people who made the bistro what it was, made it a place to emulate, across Canada and around the world. As Montreal began to deny opportunities to those who did not speak French, he came to Hong Kong and immediately loved it. And he hoped others would love it too, always encouraging them to visit. Perhaps for a few days, perhaps a few years, perhaps for a lifetime.

David was always generous with his time and with his concern for others. He was always willing to take them on walks along the trails and beaches of Lamma Island -- though few were up to the task of climbing to heights of Mount Stenhouse with him. He had, as one old Montreal friend said, "hockey genes".

From Mr DickStock, showing David at the Press Club Ball at the now closed
Furama Hotel, ca. 1995)

Most of us will also remember him as a devotee of The International Herald Tribune, I think partly because it too, was a beloved civilised remnant of the old Paris of yesteryear. One of our enduring memories of David is finding him sheltering behind its pages at the Spicy Island sidewalk cafe observing the outpouring of the Lamma Ferry or intensely reading it during his daily ocean voyages to and from work.

David Kerr was above all a friend you could rely on. Whatever was asked, you could depend on him to see that it was supplied. He always did his very best to make people's problems go away.

And now we come to say goodbye.

May I ask for a minute's silence to reflect on the life and death of David Kerr, our friend.

Spencer Elliott - Vancouver BC, Canada
Subject: My best pal is in the Kingdom of Love and Peace

Hello, Sir Lamma-Gung,

I live in Vancouver Canada and my very best friend in this world, "David Kerr" who has lived on Lamma Island for the past 20 years or more went to The Kingdom of Love and Peace on Wednesday of this week. You may not know him, but many of the residents of your lovely island do. It would be a wonderful way to show Lamma's respect for one of its own if you could put a few words of honor in memoriam to an outstanding citizen who always gave more than he took from our world.

His name is David Kerr and he lived at 2/F, 98C Tai Peng Tsuen, Lamma, Hong Kong. We were the best of friends since 1968 in Montreal, Quebec, and after moving to Lamma he spent 20 years working for the HK SCM Post in their editorial department. He ate regularly at one of the waterside restaurants, so those in that area knew him well. I would be glad to supply you with more detailed information that is yours for the asking.

The only recent photo I have is one of "Hippo" his house frog. He is a resident and I am sure he misses Davey, too. Dave and I have been very close friends since 1968 in Montreal and especially over the past few years our soul bond became closer. We have been in touch via Skype 2 or 3 times weekly for the past 2 years plus and I am really going to miss that since medical problems keep me close to the pad I have on Jericho Beach, Vancouver.

There are many people who should be thankful for Dave's kind help over the years in Montreal. He was a quiet guy who did what he could to lift his friends up when they were down and out, never expecting anything in return.

Nick Bradley - New Delhi
We only Knew David for few short years, but cannot begin to think of counting the ways this gentle soul touched our lives.

In a world of complications, David offered a constant reminder of the importance of life's simple pleasures.

The look on his face as he slathered ketchup on a hot-dog revealed more gusto than a line of gourmets eating foie-gras; his expression as he downed a cold beer or shared a simple glass of wine with friends betrayed more relish than a sommelier in a fine old cave. But that's not to say that he wasn't a sophisticate, because he was.

He could bounce from Oscar Wilde to Tom Waits without a pause, but never used his wit to wound, he never stooped so low as to use his quickness to offend.

Generous to a fault, "Mi casa es tu casa" [My house is your house - Editor] wasn't just a chic sounding phrase in a foreign tongue for David, but a creed to live by.

I guess we must all now count the ways we miss him.

A gentle man, a noble soul. A noble man, a gentle soul.

So long David,

Nick, Dharmi and Krishna

John and Caroline - Ex-Lammaites living in Slovenia

Well friends,

It appears that David has cracked his last joke, and isn't around to hear all this, which is a shame because he'd have really enjoyed it. Friends, a gathering, conversation and conviviality… "What more could you ask for?" he'd have said. That's where he excelled and it's in such circumstances that we'll always remember him… surrounded by his friends and having a good time.

Mind you, it's hard to suppress a bit of a sniffle when you think that this must be the first time he's ever checked out of a party before the end!

We'll miss him

Alan Hustak - The Gazette, Montreal

Newspaperman cut his teeth as man about town
in Montreal

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

David Kerr, the genial newspaperman who cut his teeth as a man about town in Montreal before he went to work as an editor for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, was cremated this morning.

Kerr was 62 when he died Wednesday of lung and liver failure in Hong Kong. He was the son of Dave Kerr, the 1940 Stanley Cup-winning New York Rangers goalie.

Although born in Toronto in January 1945 and educated there, Kerr spent much of his early adult life in Montreal, where he worked for the Midnight Globe newspaper. He was a familiar figure with an impish sense of humour who frequented the Bistro bar on Mountain St., one of the happening bohemian nightspots in the Montreal of the 1960s and '70s.

Kerr moved to Hong Kong 20 years ago. He held a number of editing positions there with several publications and was the centre of the island's Montreal social colony.

"David was a sub-editor much of his working life," said former Suburban editor Christy McCormick, who delivered the funeral eulogy in Hong Kong.
"And like his father, goalies and sub-editors are in something of the same
business: Both do their best to ensure against bad outcomes. Both must be nimble and quick in the fast-flowing play on the rink or facing a daily newspaper deadline.

"Most of us will also remember David as a devotee of the International Herald Tribune, I think partly because it, too, was a beloved civilized remnant of the old Paris of yesteryear.

"He was above all a friend you could rely on. Whatever was asked, you could depend on him to see that it was supplied. He always did his very best to make people's problems go away," McCormick said.

Known for his wit, Kerr had a reputation for writing breezy headlines that captured the mood and meaning of a story. He once said of the craft:
"Headlines are the easiest things to write - once written," meaning that they appear simple once finished, but very hard to compose if the story is complex and has to be summed up in three short words.

Kerr loved jazz, was a talented amateur photographer, a naturalist and lover of the outdoors. He was especially fond of Lamma Island, the southern-most island of the territory on the South China Sea, where he lived most of the time since he arrived there in the early 1980s.

He loved to walk its trails, climb its hills and mountains and was widely thought to know more about its geography than almost anyone else.

Kerr is survived by an elder sister, Barbara, in Arizona.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007

July 11Name the Little Grey Newsreader Guy

Names entered so far for the Little Grey Newsreader Guy:

Martin Galveston
Chutney Pellow
Facto MacNews
Indefatigability Smith
Harpoon Wan
Graham Exeter
Graysom Champer
roswell, liddle dan
Dim Blather
- Dan Rather's cousin nobody in the family likes to talk about.
Rudyard Dimberly
- another distant relation to a great news icon, the public school nickname of this dyed-in-the-wool imperialist unpatriotic running dog that was Ruddy Dim.
Comrade Caine!
Halter Kronkite
(HK to his mates)
Ruat Caelum
Matter Grey
Audie Sapere
Cogi To
Greyson Swift
H.K. O'Pourke
Clare Ti
Helium Knispel
- well, that would explain the voice.
Earl Grey
Iffly, Tom, Grey, Henry, Bruce
Ned the News
Donkey Hotung
Cardinal K Lee, Carnal Kid Lee
"Anal" Dirk C Lee
Def Copy
Humid Tuna
Persimmon Mayo
Intuition Benefit
Flannel Yucky

Add your own name here!  Prize to be won! Deadline this weekend!

July 10A Montessori Kindergarten on Lamma?

Carolyn Lau - "Email to the Editor" from a concerned Lamma mother:

Dear Editor,

In the past few months, I have been attempting to organise a new bi-lingual kindergarten on Lamma. The idea is to make it a Montessori kindergarten, because this opportunity presented itself and because this type of kindergarten seems well-suited to our Lamma community. We, the organisers, have had an excellent response from parents of more than 20 children. This includes many queries from Lamma's local Cantonese-speakers.

On the flipside, however, we've had comments from people saying that they disagree with the Montessori philosophy. Other comments have been that this Lamma kindergarten will not be a 'real' Montessori kindergarten because it will not be registered with Montessori. We've also had critical difficulties securing premises for the kindergarten because some residents are scared that children in their neighbourhood will disturb them.

But, you know what? This kindergarten is not about any of these issues. It is about working together to provide a much-needed resource for this wonderful community of which we are all a part. I feel that this resource will be invaluable in improving our community's way of life. It will not compete with what we have, only increase our choices. And, at the moment, this window of opportunity is closing.

So this letter is an appeal to the community to keep this idea alive, to ask people to take an interest in this project and play any part they can to turn the potential into a reality. It is not important what form the kindergarten finally takes. It is just important that it happens.

Yours sincerely,

July 9'Hey, I Saw You in the Lamma Website!'

Elizabeth Briel - Lamma Artist, The Cyan Studio:

Hi LG,

I'm just rushing off to finish the mural today, but wanted to give you a hearty "THANK YOU" for the fantastic story on Sara, and thanks also for the generous "virtual column inches" on the studio/my work, as well!

The layout, the photos, everything looks great. We were glad you two came to this party, a pair of long-term Lammaites...

Several people have come up to me saying, "Hey, I saw you in the Lamma website!"

It's been a great opportunity to be featured there, and I really appreciate it.

Gotta run to Shek Kip Mei and paint!

Submitted by Sara, using my photo below: "See the Banana Republic Presidente!"

July 8Crafty Cartoons & Cunning Caricatures

from left to right: 2 friends of Sara, a freelance journalist, Sara Sene himself in the center (of course!), Roy (Elizabeth's hubby), Marjaleena (first-ever Lamma Artist of the Month, Finnish wife of Nick the Bookman), Elizabeth Briel (The Cyan Studio).

Most of these people would make great caricatures, don't you think?

Today, there was an exhibition of Sara Sene's artworks in The Cyan Studio which has just opened last month. They're showcasing a different Lamma-based artist every month. Elizabeth Briel is also using her studio to create her sunlight-developed Cyanotypes on paper and cloth.

Sri-Lankan multimedia artist, political cartoonist and caricaturist extraordinaire Sara was showing off his caricatures and sculptures. A journalist did an impromptu interview and quite a number of Sara's many friends showed up as well, supporting him and uttering words of encouragement and even praise, making the not-shy-at-all artist blush (I think so).

Elizabeth Briel - Lamma Artist working and exhibiting in The Cyan Studio:

(The "Wear it" story below right comes from a recent BC Magazine)

Dear Artists & Aficionados,

Tomorrow The Cyan Studio will feature Sri Lankan artist/political cartoonist, Sara Sene. Stop by the studio from 2-6pm to check out striking sculptures and caricatures, sample traditional Sri Lankan food, and meet the man himself. Many of the subjects he portrays are larger-than-life personalities, rather like the artist, who has led a life that's nearly as fascinating as his work.

See a selection of his cartoons and projects here:

Hope to see you then!

PS: on the following Sunday afternoon - July 15th - The Cyan Studio will have a Portrait Party from 4-6pm. For just HK$250 you can relax with a glass of wine (or tea) and learn the basics for expressive portraits of yourself and others. All levels of artists welcome, from beginners and beyond.

The Cyan Studio, 6252 6839.

2/F, 21C Back Street,
Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island,
Hong Kong S.A.R.

Marjaleena and Elizabeth relax on the sunset-view rooftop of The Cyan Studio

If you're interested in getting a fantastic full-colour caricature of yourself, your family or a friend, contact him. He's very friendly, pretty fast (several decades of cartooning experience) and offers professional but affordable fees.

He can make you look really impressive, like a hero or like a villain, a specialty of his. It would be a great and unique birthday or corporate gift! View some celebrity samples below, click to enlarge. Contact Sara or Elizabeth.

Christy McCormick - press release

(First photo by Angela Leary, 2. and 3. photo by Christy; last one by Mr DickStock, showing David at the Press Club Ball at the now closed Furama Hotel, ca. 1995)

Respected journalist, easy-going David Kerr dies suddenly at 62.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 10, at the Hong Kong Funeral Home, 679 King's Road, North point for David John Kerr, a long-time journalist, who died suddenly Thursday July 5, after coping with illness for several years. He was 62.

A short service will be held at 10.45am at the funeral home next door to Harbour Plaza Hotel. Cremation will follow at 12.45 at Cape Collinson Crematorium. Friends are invited to gather at the Deli Lamma Lan Kwai Fong after the funeral.

Born and educated in Toronto, Canada, he spent much of his early adult life in Montreal, where he worked for the Globe weekly series, Mr Kerr was widely known as a keen amateur photographer, a naturalist and a lover of the outdoors.

He has held many editing positions in Hong Kong and was employed at The South China Morning Post when he died.

Visitation will be at the North Point Funeral Home from 5-10pm Monday and again from 9-11 am Tuesday. Cremation will take place immediately after the service at Cape Collison.

A jazz enthusiast, Mr Kerr was especially fond of Lamma Island, the southern-most island of the territory on the South China Sea. It was here he lived most of his Hong Kong life since he arrived in the early 1980s.

Known for his quick headline wit, that so perfectly caught the mood and meaning of a story in the limited space allowed, he once famously said:
"Headlines are the easiest things to write - once written," meaning that they appear obviously simple once finished, but very hard to compose if the story is complex and must be summed up in three short words.

Mr Kerr worked for the both The Standard, before and after its Hong Kong iMail incarnation, and the South China Morning Post where he served with the Young Post staff.

While a valuable man on any desk, Mr. Kerr will be mostly remembered as being the centre of a Montreal social colony in Yung Shue Wan on Lamma Island, which took in a great many who had never been to Montreal and many nationalities.

Above all, Mr Kerr loved to walk the trails and climb the hills and mountains of his Lamma Island home, and was widely thought to know more about its physical geography than most anyone else, having walked its trails and beaches for more than 20 years.

Mr. Kerr certainly had the legs for it, a legacy of his famous hockey player father, Davey Kerr, the New York Ranger goalie, whose contribution to the 1940 playoffs won the team the Stanley Cup in 1940, and himself the Time magazine cover picture.

While many his age had given up long walks, Mr Kerr continued to trek from one end of Lamma Island to the other, climbing its mountains and fording its streams.

But his robust activities were deceptive. While his legs could carry him, his liver and kidneys had been deteriorating since 2000, when doctors said he might not have long to live.

Last week, Mr Kerr awoke with flu-like symptoms and did not go into work. Not feeling better after a few hours of fitful sleep, he was persuaded to be taken by ambulance to the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital where he survived in the intensive care unit little more than 24 hours, losing consciousness shortly after arrival and never regaining it.

Mr. Kerr is survived by an elder sister, Barbara, who lives in Arizona.

P.S. David was a dear friend and a contributor to the Lamma-zine. There'll be a follow-up story with personal memories, tributes and photos in 1-2 weeks. If YOU have something, anything, to contribute, please email me.

I've also started a new discussion forum topic in David's honour.

July 6HK Photography Club Goes to Lamma

Leggova - (Cheer)leader of the Hong Kong Photography Club:

(photo by Iman*, serial photo below right by Leggova)

The 24th of June was the Hong Kong Photography Club's 14th outing.

The Hong Kong Photography Club was starting in April 2006 by 3 photography lovers who were searching for an English speaking photography club. None was found, so we decided to start one for ourselves. Armed with a new website and a free ad in HK magazine, the enquiries started to roll in. 14 months later and we now have over 150 people on the mailing list and a regular core group of around 20 people who come to most outings.

It is a very multicultural group with a mix of photographic abilities. On the last Sunday of every month, we travel to somewhere in Hong Kong. This month it was LAMMA ISLAND.

We first started off in Pak Kok and walked through the village and up Heart Attack Hill until we reached Tai Peng. After buying a drink at the shop to try and rehydrate, we continued through Tai Peng village to the Cable Path and up until we reached the hill above the windmill overlooking the beach, the power station, the ferry pier, with a view all the way to Lantau Island and beyond.

From there we waited until sunset and were rewarded with a stunning view! If you are interested in the club, we welcome all people, of all ages, of all nationalities and of all photographic abilities. For more information, please go to

For more photos, visit the Flickr pool of the HK Photography Club.

"HKPC Goes to Lamma #2" by Iman* "Sunset Paparazzi" by Leggova

"A Window and its History" by La Princi "Lullaby" by almostheRENI

"Window Silhouette" by e.briel "HKPC Goes to Lamma #5" by Iman*

"Sunset" by slobo_hk "Crooked Lock" by e.briel

"Limoncello Sunset" by La Princi" "HKPC Goes to Lamma #6" by Iman*

"Great Clouds Leapt Forth Out of Her Cloud-Machine to Battle the Sun" by il Seth

July 5SARAsene @ The Cyan Studio  (Sunday, July 8)

SARAsene - Multimedia Artist, Political Cartoonist and Lammaite:

Sir Salman Rushdie, recently knighted

SARAsene, a professional multimedia artist living and working for the past 36 years in 16 major international cities around the world, finally settled down in Hong Kong for the past 22 years and is having a solo exhibition of his recently done multimedia work including controversial caricatures, illustrations and sculpture work.

He will display some of his printed and published editorial political cartoons which helped him to win the Amnesty International Press Awards in 1996, 1997 and 1998 in HK.

He had over 16 solo exhibitions all over the world, including famous galleries in USA, Queen's Theatre in the Park in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Rome, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nepal, Teheran and Colombo.

He is a controversial political cartoonist whose works were commended by Queen Elizabeth II, former US President Bill Clinton, ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Chris Patten. He is still in exile from his native country of Sri Lanka as he has toppled many corrupt government officials through his published political cartoons and caricatures.

Visiting his website at will help you to gather more information and see his work.

Map of The Cyan Studio  (click to enlarge)

His solo exhibition at The Cyan Studio, Lamma Island, Hong Kong will be on the 8th July 2007 and open to the general public. Drinks and Sri Lankan snacks will be available.

The Cyan Studio is located at 2/F, 21C Back Street, opposite Best Kebab Rest. It's open every 2nd Sunday afternoon for visitors, displaying artworks by Lamma artists. Contact gallery owner Elizabeth to attend and/or exhibit yourself.

July 4Lamma-Gung Savagely Attacked!

Your humble correspondent/editor/publisher has become the victim of a vile, unprovoked, savage attack by the most infamous pests on Lamma (no, not property agents)! After almost 6 years of avoiding these creepy, crawly critters, one of them finally got me! AIEEEEYAH!

I was sitting innocently and peacefully outside the Green Cottage Rest. yesterday afternoon, doing a Lamma-zine interview with Lamma newbie Dr Marcus about his valiant and successful fight against excessive noise during the construction of the new Tai Peng footbridge-harbour drainage channel.

Sipping my favourite XXL-sized coffee, suddenly I felt a sharp pain at the top of my right foot. Looking down, an orange-black, 2-inch-long centipede had crawled on top of my sandal-wearing foot and attacked me without any obvious reason or provocation, savagely biting my foot! I sweeped it off immediately with my bare hand, made my apologies to Dr Marcus and rushed to the Lamma Clinic right away, no time for a photo.

Having read all kind of horror stories about severe centipede bites in our Lamma forums (Centipedes, RIP, Creepy Crawly, Centipede Reloaded, Centipede, Cockroach, Freak of Nature?, Centipedes), I didn't want to take any chances and get the painful bite treated professionally right away. Would I lose my toe, foot, leg or even my life? I've rarely traversed the village at such speed...

The doctor just had a quick look, smiled and said "Very common on Lamma!" Checking me for any allergic reactions (none), he gave me their standard drug cocktail (skin cream, pain killer and antihistamine tablets). See his Consultation Summary below, backing up my story. The note is composed in that mysterious language called Doctor's English:  C/O RT FOOT PAIN,NO SOB

Having endured this very first bite of the Lamma Initiation Ritual - albeit involuntarily - I can finally consider myself a true Lammaite now, after almost 6 years of living here. Many other Lammaites didn't have to wait for so long, getting "initiated" early on in their residence, the (un)lucky guys, sometimes within mere weeks of moving here. It's the one thing many Lammaites have in common, the Bite Mark of The Beast (see disgusting photo of my foot below).

Today, the morning afterwards, I feel fine, no more pain or swelling. I've survived, narrowly escaping my untimely and painful demise! Woe and death to all Lamma centipedes! Lamma-Gung the Stomper is out to get you from now on!

Check out our forums above for some sound and detailed advice on how to keep these vile beasts out of your home! For a really graphic account of an attack by another "wicked ugly disciple of the devil", read tjungarayi's bedtime story.

(Photo by Anonymous_Guy)

July 3Improving a Sunset Photo?

Another pretty sunset tonight! Let me try what can be done to "improve" this quite ordinary photo. Here are the results of two hours of playing around in Photoshop with this single image, generating a sequence of image manipulations.

Click on any image to zoom in:

Yes, I realise that I've probably failed to "improve" the sunset. Well, it's almost impossible to "improve" the beauty of a sunset... but it was fun to try...

July 2The End for Lamma's Green Turtles?

Lammaite Dr Andy Cornish, Conservation Director of the World Wildlife Fund HK, has emailed me about a story on Lamma's Green Turtles he's published on the WWF website. South Lamma's Sham Wan beach is the ONLY remaining site in HK where this officially endangered species (Chelonia mydas) has been nesting regularly in recent decades. The restricted-access period lasts from June to September.

© WWF-Canon/Jason RUBENS

But since 2003, no Green Turtles have been nesting anymore at this secluded, protected beach. Are they going extinct in HK and why? Read Dr Andy's article to learn a lot more:

Green Turtles Face the End of Line in HK

Dr Andy has agreed to answer questions from Lamma-zine readers about this topic. Email your questions and comments to me, I'll be happy to forward them. Best Q&As will be published.

July 1 - HK SAR Establishment Day So Far, So Good...

...said the man passing the tenth floor while falling off a skyscraper.

(Photo courtesy of HK Air Cadets.

Click above for a photo gallery by HeliAds' Donna)

That's how Lamma-Por and I felt in the first few days, weeks, months after the Handover ten years ago. We thought our remaining time in HK would be limited and we were getting ready to get out as soon as it would change so much for the worse that we wouldn't like it here anymore. We gave it a maximum of two years before the heavy hand of our new masters would transform the HK we loved so much into a place where we wouldn't want to live anymore.

Ten years later, we're still here, and have no more plans to ever leave this place where Lamma-Por was born and has grown up in and which I also call home by now, after almost 20 years in HK. To our astonishment, our new masters let us common people alone, to continue our lives uninterrupted and unchanged. HK is still a great place to live and work and have fun. Nothing really major has changed dramatically in the daily lives of HK people. Evolution, not revolution, thankfully. Some things improved, others have become worse, c'est la vie.

We're still free to fight for our dreams of democracy, cleaner air, a better society and a better future for ourselves and our families. The major upheavals of the last ten years were not triggered by our new masters but mostly by external forces and influences. Many of them have been handled or overcome by now. HK still stands, even stronger than before and is still THE best place to live in Asia, in my humble opinion. And that's a real reason to celebrate this anniversary!

So far, so good...

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.

Contact Lamma-Gung with anything relevant to Lamma that you'd like to see published on this home page!

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