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Dec 31 Lamma Island King and Queen

The planned and scheduled Artist of the Month didn't come through with his info and drawings (no naming names) this month, despite numerous reminders, so we're inserting another arts feature this month:

Below is a new work by a former Artist of the Month, Derek Erskine from Australia who's been visiting Lamma Island for several days last year. He writes:

"The mural below has been inspired by my stay on Lamma Island. I have done about 100 pieces inspired by Hong Kong. At this point, I'm not having a show in Hong Kong, but do plan to return to make a film next year..."

(See above, his new mural "The King and Queen of Lamma", click to enlarge, currently being displayed in Melbourne) - Derek's Website.

Derek Erskine - former Lamma Artist if the Month - media release:


A 15 metre drawing inspired by Lamma Island

Derek Erskine is best known for his near-abstract landscape/figurative paintings, in which he discovered, in the words of one critic, 'a way of making the diversity of the Asian landscape seem viscerally igniting.' Those who have experienced a long journey by car or train through rural Australia will immediately recognise where Erskine's imaginative landscapes derive from: he paints the endlessness and vastness.

Erskine's achievement, though, is to convey the awesome scale and distance of such seemingly uninteresting country. He typically painted a muted background over the whole canvas, in a colour like tan, ochre, silver or grey, then covered it with dense, flecks of oil or lines of paint to suggest the forms of trees, fire-blackened logs, or ferns -- with everything viewed as if from the air or from a dream. Filled with light, air and a sense of openness, these often sparse paintings are absolutely truthful in capturing the silent emptiness of the Australian landscape, yet also beholds an elegant, reductive beauty.

If Erskine had never painted anything else, this work would be enough to secure his fame. But this Hong Kong drawing inspired by Lamma Island in 2007 Derek Erskine is now reminding collectors that there were many other facets to his art; and that, like all great artists, Erskine is an individual who even in his early career constantly strived to extend the boundaries of his work.

A large number of the works here were first publicly exhibited in Hong Kong in an early-2007 touring exhibition, organised in conjunction with the Australian Consul General.

Erskine is a very hard-working and organised artist who has kept all his preliminary studies, sketches and drawings, prints and many unexhibited and unsold paintings produced since the late 1990s -- which has added up to a large archive of work. He is an artist who concentrates on abstracted landscapes and also painted such careful naturalistic studies of people will come as a shock to some viewers. Another great surprise of this Asian inspired work -- especially coming as it does immediately after the muted, austere works of the late 1990s -- is the way Erskine expressively applies his impressions of a wonderful island in Hong Kong known as Lamma Island.

Dec 30 Tricky Trails Test Hikers on Mount Stenhouse

All photos by Jay Scott Kanes and Holger, click to enlarge.

Here's a QuickTime video with a 360-degree view from the very top, shot with the latest Nokia N95 5Mpixel mobile phone! Many thanks, Nokia-Holger!

Jay Scott Kanes, Intrepid & Valiant Mountain Explorer, writes:

Having lived on Lamma for seven years, I decided to finally take one of its toughest tests.

On December 26th, I joined a five-member expedition with my European friends, Simone and Holger, plus our respective dogs Gail and Eric, to climb Mount Stenhouse, a 353-metre peak, Lamma's tallest.

Simone, Holger and Eric had made the climb once before, but they'd misjudged Stenhouse and struggled mightily along the uneven, treacherous and overgrown trails. They wanted a rematch.

Under bright sunshine, we left Yung Shue Wan, our home village, at 10 a.m. and walked across the hills to Sok Kwu Wan. Looking skyward, we turned toward the "main mountain".

We trotted up a series of steps, passed hillside graves (presumably not the final resting places for earlier climbers) and started along steep dirt trails. Holger and Simone led, I followed and the dogs trailed.

Soon, we humans perspired and grunted, grasping at branches and bushes, even clumps of grass, to claw ever higher. At the steepest spots, we dropped to all fours and crawled. Our sure-footed dogs looked amused.

Forced to focus on the precarious footing, we seldom gazed out at the panoramic views. Often I glanced back to confirm that Gail, my canine companion, kept pace. Usually, she humbled me by easily hopping higher, staying near my heels.

Stopping to look back, we noticed a group of Chinese hikers, perhaps mainlanders, trekking below us, also ascending. Usually, tourists prefer the much-tamer trail from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan.

Three hours after starting, we clambered past the final boulders onto the summit. Then, with faces lifted to the sunlight, we collected a big payoff – spectacular views of Lamma, southern Hong Kong Island and much of Lantau brushed by blue seas and turquoise sky. Everything below, like Hongkong Electric's massive power station, the adjoining beach, Yung Shue Wan and even the skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island, looked tiny.

Intoxicated by the sights, we felt immune to vertigo. Eric, a beagle, used the dramatic scenery to pose on every big rock within reach. By then, the dogs needed water. We did too. Everyone drank, relying on bottles from Holger's backpack.

Dog Surveillance on Sok Kwu Wan

The descent by another route proved even tougher. Gravity tried to yank us face-first down the rocky slopes. Again, we humans clung to branches and bushes, this time as brakes. Often we sat and slid across loose dirt, riding on the seats of our pants.

At times, the badly overgrown path puzzled us. Had it vanished entirely? When peering through thick bushes, we kept our bearings by gawking at the rooftops of Sok Kwu Wan, nearing as we descended. Finally, we emerged at one of the familiar green railings that mark Lamma's main footpaths.

"We did it," Simone said.

"Yes." I nodded, feeling triumphant.

"Maybe only five per cent of Lamma's people have climbed Mount Stenhouse," Holger said.

Weary, with rubbery legs and aching limbs, we soon ended our six-hour journey back in Yung Shue Wan. We'd passed the test, but not before Mount Stenhouse challenged us.

Holger, Simone and Eric plan to leave Lamma and return to live in Europe. Even so, I expect we'll grapple with Mount Stenhouse again.

Maybe I imagined it, but when stepping off the final slope I could have sworn that I heard a throaty whisper, a parting message from the mountain: "See you next time. We'll have more fun then."

Whirling, I saw only Gail behind me. As a happy fellow-climber, she wagged her tail.

Tricky Trails

The Pleasure of Progress

Rising in the World


Lamma South Side

Sok Kwu Wan


P.S. After this hard but rewarding ordeal, the five explorers all joined our second rooftop party, Boxing Day mid-afternoon, looking still fit, not completely exhausted as I'd have expected! Ahh, the whim and vigour of youth...

Dec 29 More Snake Wine, Please!

What did about 150 of your fellow Lammaites get up to together yesterday?

Snake dinner in Central! Following the Chinese-only announcement posted in a few places like the Central ferry pier and the YSW City Hall, Lamma-Por and I got ourselves tickets at just $125 each. This is a yearly event organised and subsidised by our local District Council. Lammadonna was meeting and greeting the dinner guests in a Central restaurant which was reserved for the evening.

A yummy 8-course banquet was served, with 3 different snake dishes and snake wine (see above) to which I really took a great liking. One free bottle was included on each of the 13 tables. But only I and a local lady were partaking any of the wine, finishing the free bottle together. Well, the taste is actually rather pleasant, somewhere between white wine and whisky in strength, clear colour, with a really strong aroma and a clean finish. Very difficult to tell how much snake is actually in there or if it's more of a marketing ploy to sell more of this Chinese wine with the added "health benefits" of snake in Chinese medicine...

But why I'm always the only non-Chinese attending these yearly snake dinners? There must be more Gwailos who like snake dishes? Maybe it might help if these events would be announced not only in Chinese... Lammadonna, are you reading this? I know that your staff is reading this...

Dec 28 A Lamma Book Signing

Leela Devi Panikar – Author, republished from her blog with friendly permission. On her website, she writes:

"After spending my early years in Malaysia, Wales and Vietnam, I settled in Hong Kong with Don, a stray cat and a cordless mouse. When the cat isn't on the keyboard, I write fiction. When he is, I take photos."

(First & last photo by Leela, 2. & 3. by Lamma-Gung who bought a signed copy, 20% of the book sale going to Operation Santa Claus):

Sunday. Ferry arrives and a mass of people emerges, fans out from Yung Shue Wan pier. Human tentacles spread, move into main street, slide up side streets and paths and into hives of homes, exploring. The more vigorous, armed with sticks and water bottles and hatted, veer off. They strip outer layers of clothing, too hot for December sun on their backs. They hike across the island, over the hump and head to Sok Kwu Wan, focused on seafood lunch. Fish, prawns, crabs, lobsters and sea creatures frantically wait, swimming in no-escape aquariums.

Overnighters study holiday chalet window vacancy notices.

City people seeking crucial country experience photograph dogs with their mobile phones. Many stop to admire and pat them. Free and business-like dusty dogs are everywhere: in the streets, in the alleys, in the restaurants, running back and forth quenching their thirst from plastic bowls set out by dog-loving shop owners. Other dogs, lap dogs, sophisticated and on expensive leashes, heads held high, lead owners through the crowd. The dogs, those island dogs, they have seen it all before.

Bicyclists, Lamma belongers, impatiently ringing bells, pedal past, avoid hitting the throng. Narrow trucks, on roads narrow, carry stone cement and steel rods to pile more homes upon homes. Mini-ambulances and mini-fire trucks pass by, keep watch. Policemen on bicycles greet Kailash Vernon, Gung the Zine, and Nick the Bookman, long beard lifted by breeze.

Trendy artists, photographers, writers and Da-da duos frequent bars, restaurants, craft shops and pavement cafés. Spicy Island, Deli Lamma, Island Bar, Banyan Bay, Bookworm and Just Green.

Shopkeepers wait, try on ideas, catch browsers with attitude, talk them into buying nothing needed - clothes on racks, casual and neglected chic, organic foods, potpourri, handicraft, candles and oils essential.

Town dwellers seek an alternate style, connect to their soul.

End of day. Visitors, having found themselves, leave. They thread their tired way like a sad song towards the pier and home. The last ferry moves away, diminished enthusiasm.

Lammaites, islanders who stayed solid, pulsing, dreading, waiting, through the day, now affectionately settle back, their lives returned.

Sun sets.

High tide rhythmic, no stars, was there a moon?

Old friendships renewed, new island friends made, 'Floating Petals' signed.

Thank you, Sharon and Dan.

Dec 27 'Congratulations on Your Successful Social Events!'

First Christmas party ever in L-G's Rooftop Garden
(all photos by Jimmy the Fung Shui Master (on the left, a future Lammaite),
plus John & Eva, Elizabeth & Roy. Story title by John)

Appetiser Buffet, including salads plucked fresh from the Vegi Garden

The free bar is open now!

Recycled "Disposable BBQ Set", bought in Main Street

Main course ready to be unwrapped  (from New Holiday Mood)

Hurry up, Royal Roy looks hungry!  (notice his Christmas Cracker Crown!)

The guppies seem worried about becoming part of the menu, maybe?

Jimmy writes: "Christmas Day was great! Thanks to Lamma-Gung  & Lamma-Por!
I hadn't had turkey dinner for 8 long years since I left my lovely country, Canada.
Lunch started at 2pm, I met two other fellow Canadians too, John & Eva.
We had a great great time on the rooftop."

5 guests digging in today, Christmas Day; 8 more for tomorrow's party!

Royal Roy - The Cyan Studio:

A Sumptuous Feast

Our thanks to Lamma-Gung & Lamma-Por (genial hosts of Christmas Present) and their belly-busting rooftop food extravaganza.  Calm, kind and considerate company: John, Eva, Jimmy, Elizabeth and my good self, made an exceedingly pleasant backdrop to the star of the show – top-notch scoff.

Freshly-barbequed tidbits were followed by the freshest of salads cut from our hosts' rooftop Eden to complement the Salad Afternoon which continued with Elizabeth's Tuscan bean salad, and John's mother's decadent marshmallow fruit sensation. To top it all so far, we had the cheese – Emmenthal and Cambozola, before the main course; a treat for an Englishman who would normally have to wait for the end of the meal.

Now, as a semi-ascetic who'd already eaten more than I do in a week, I was surprised to find myself with an empty glass and plate, eagerly awaiting the first slices of the stupendous bird (a 14-pound turkey from the New Holiday Mood restaurant).  Deliciously firm, and just dry enough to be perfectly moistened by rich gravy and alcohol-fuelled cranberry sauce, hai-yah!

Gustatory delight was completed with the warm fullness of the first of many roast potatoes.  Oh, to so pleasantly stuff one's face and feel no adverse effect.

Panettone, Godiva truffles, and Bendick's chocolate mint selection finished us and our spectacular meal, most decidedly, off.

We also got to see Lamma-Gung's Dragon Cabinet, but that's a story in itself.

Dec 26A Lamma Flat for $2,000/Night?

My stepson has been visiting Lamma for a night of relaxing and BBQ with his 9 best mates. These guys in their twenties rented a G/F holiday flat from a Main Street agent who's also running a grocery store. I visited and interviewed them the next morning when they were checking out, returning to their more typically HK homes on HK Island, Mongkok, New Territories, etc. They found Lamma very relaxing and peaceful, as expected, and promised to return someday soon to see more of it than just Yung Shue Wan, maybe even walk to Hung Shing Yeh beach or even hike all the way over to Sok Kwu Wan like so many weekend tourists.

But their night in the recently renovated holiday flat might have reminded them of their often cramped living conditions at home, several of them still living with their parents as HK rents are simply unaffordable for most single young guys of modest means, usually making below HK$10,000/month. The standard-size 700sqft flat was promoted as sleeping 14 (!) persons, actually having 14 "beds", incl. some double mattresses on the floor, filling all rooms, even the living room, see above!

But the guys didn't seem to mind being charged HK$2,000 for this single night, as it came to only $200/head. Considering that a flat like this would usually produce about $5,000+ rent/MONTH, this is a steep price indeed, a new record to my own, admittedly limited knowledge of the local property market. No wonder that more and more holiday homes are popping up around Yung Shue Wan, with such great profits to be made...

Topping even the tight sardine-can-packing of this holiday flat, there's another place dividing a standard 700sqft flat into two and putting ten beds into EACH 350sqft space! What next? Maybe I should rent out my rooftop?

Dec 25 Christmas Dinner Sets

Several YSW restaurants have been promoting Christmas dinner sets. Here's one from our advertiser B&B Restaurant & Grill. They put on a top-quality 5-course dinner for $238, which Lamma-Por and I have enjoyed greatly. We'll remain loyal customers, as long as outstanding Master Chef Ramond will be cooking there!

P.S. Where can you get a full Christmas dinner set for just $98?

In the Bookworm Cafe (another Lamma-zine advertiser), that's where! The place was packed when we enjoyed this vegetarian Nut Roast set dinner last Sunday. It happens on all four Advent Sundays before Christmas every year, attracting a sell-out crowd of regulars and curious new residents attracted by the low price and high reputation of the Bookworm Cafe.

Click below for pictures of last year's very similar, tasty event:
Who's Nuts for Nut Roast?

Dec 24Meandering Minstrels on Main Street

"Christmas 2007 Music" on Dec 22, starting inside The Island Bar, followed by a "Musical Parade in Village", collecting donations for Operation Santa Claus:

Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice or simply Happy Holidays or whatever religious festival or secular event you'll be celebrating with your friends and family in the coming days!

All the very best to you and your loved ones, may your wishes come true!

Dec 23 Rooftop Gardening Update

Wintertime is usually a quiet time for HK gardeners. As we'll be having two Christmas parties in our rooftop garden very soon, I took a few more photos before the ravenous and ill-behaved hordes of Lammaites, um, err, sorry, dear friends will be laying waste to my carefully cultivated rooftop oasis…

One of the future party guests, walking his dog, spotted camera flashes on my rooftop and guessed correctly that I was "photographing everything while it's still intact -- before the rampaging BBQ guests arrive on Christmas Day????" Well, my friends are (usually) very nice, so I have no real fear for my garden, besides maybe setting a few dry leaves or wood panels ablaze with the BBQ by mistake!

After Israeli Keren did all the hard work of setting up and planting most of the original garden for us half a year ago, I've been watering, grooming, expanding and upgrading it on an almost daily basis, every morning after breakfast. It's all fine, healthy exercise for a couch potato sitting on a computer most of the day!

Looking at these pictures, I'm amazed on how well my plants are still doing so close to Christmas, so many of them still green, still blossoming, still a pleasure! In my country of origin, Switzerland - emigrating exactly 20 years ago on Dec 21 - it's snowing right now and nothing much is growing at all... I love HK's climate!

Main area of Lamma-Gung's Rooftop GardenTM

Closing in on my favourite area, my joy and pride. Basically, I plant anything that looks nice and colourful and can survive on a hot and windy rooftop, hopefully.

Flower Corner, just a painted bookshelf w/a jumble of whatever is blossoming...

Vegi Garden, using one of Dave & Bing's MicroGardens.

It's all-organic, like the entire rooftop garden - I'm just too lazy and un-knowledgeable to use any chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides or fungicides or any other -cides. Nature will take its course and it's all good so far.

The lettuces and single tomato plant are growing beautifully, much faster than a few, rare caterpillars can eat them. In the shade, Chinese vegis and carrots...

This will be the freshest-ever salad buffet for our Christmas parties,
with guests most welcome to pluck their own favourites!

The new Creepers & Nursery area is for plants growing up in the shade, waiting to be integrated into the other sunnier, more exposed areas.

Guppy Pond:  The multi-coloured guppies seem to like the various fast-growing water plants and the fountain, swimming forth and multiplying happily...

P.S. Send me photos of your Lamma garden, whatever it may be, from herbs and vegis on your balcony to bushes and trees in your G/F garden. I'll show it all off on this home page, for all your friends to admire and give you face and praise!

Dec 22 Charitable Classical Christmas Concert

Dec 21 Free "Caring Rice"!

Are you an economic refugee living on Lamma coz of the low cost of living? Too poor to eat some days? Down and out? Don't despair! There's help for you, provided by our Rural Council: free rice!

Pick it up today directly from the Yung Shue Wan City Hall, our Rural Committee building, opposite the HSBC bank...

...but only if you have registered in advance and are over 65 years old and a Lamma resident!

Would be interesting to find out what the difference is between regular and "Caring Rice"...

Afterwards you can enjoy local children singing carols in the VV Parking Lot from 6-6:30pm, just besides the Lamma Activities Centre, vis-a-vis the Deli Lamma... also for free!

Dec 20 Christmas Acrobatics

A public performance in the Yung Shue Wan Shopping Mall (IFC mall) today. Interesting what the mall management thinks will cause us to slip into a shopping frenzy and buy loads of their vastly overpriced brand name stuff...

It was a pretty impressive performance by a very handsome troupe of acrobats. But I only caught a few minutes on my way to catch the very first day of an "atheistic" (according to the Vatican) Christmas movie (by Disney Corp!) in the IFC Palace cinema: The Golden Compass. A truly wonderful movie transporting you into an enchanting fantasy world full of weird people, talking animals, witches, wondrous mechanical contraptions and amazing sets. Quite a bit like Lamma, but so different as well...

Dec 19 A Gourmet Dining Yung Shue Wan?

Waiter Paddy and Chef Ramond of B&B Restaurant:
both thumbs up for their really great service with a smile!
(made to look like old, faded photos, masking the poor phone camera quality)

Imagine you enter a restaurant and the waiter makes you feel welcome right away. He recommends, without being asked, what's good and fresh today ("Norwegian salmon, just arrived!") in almost flawless English. He follows up on your order, even comes by to tell you that it'll be a few more minutes for the main course to arrive and is generally very pleasant, professional and efficient.

Then the main courses arrive. You tell the waiter that you really love the soft, flaky salmon with crunchy skin and a wonderfully creamy, tangy sauce. The waiter forwards your compliment to the chef immediately and he emerges spontaneously from the kitchen right away. Not being too busy tonight, on a Wednesday, he starts chatting to you in good English and in Chinese to your wife.

He's new here and the kind of ebullient, out-going, self-confident and highly entertaining chef you hear about but have rarely ever met in real life. He even sits down for a long chat, answering questions, divulging a favourite recipe, telling about his former stints in 5-star hotels, posing for a few snapshots, even changing into his more formal chef attire for the photos.

Available only on Dec 24/25/26.
Call 2982 4388 for reservations
and inquiries.
If you go, please tell them explicitly that you've heard about their Christmas Dinner from this website, please!
  Click here!

Then he advertises his freshly made, cool Tiramisu and it is really to die for, rivaling even the other best Tiramisu in the village, in the Deli Lamma. After a long, lasting and happy experience for both you and your wife, they waive the service charge and you leave a big tip, having thoroughly enjoyed the entire high-class dining experience.

Could this happen to you in Yung Shue Wan, or anywhere on Lamma, in fact? Most of our restaurants are reasonably cheap and quite OK; friendly, yes, but not really measured by number of Michelin stars.

But the above high-class dining experience happened to me and Lamma-Por last night in B&B Restaurant and it was quite a marvelous surprise. B&B has always been a welcoming place, with Danny outside warmly greeting anybody he knows who's passing by. They're also a loyal advertiser on this website.

Because of this fine experience, we'll be back on Christmas Eve, changing our former plans, and splurge out on their Christmas Dinner Set (see above left). Paddy and Ramond will be awaiting us... with a smile and more stories, I'm sure...

Dec 18 Results of CCCC Questionnaire

in progress...

Dec 17 Go Green Fashion Design

in progress...

Dec 16 Treasure Hunters & Fund Gatherers

Dan Peterson Co-owner of The Island Bar:

(Photos and captions inside this media release by Amanda,
all photos before and after this release by L-G)

Riley's Runners

Giant Llamas

CSI Lamma

Danger Dogs

Treasure Hunting and
More on Lamma Island


Santa Lives on Lamma Island too!

17 December 2007 

Over hill and dale, fourteen intrepid teams of four trekked around Lamma Island last Sunday on the 8th Annual Island Bar Treasure Hunt in support of Operation Santa Claus.  With a potpourri of prizes donated by many local hostelries to be won, enthusiasm was high to come up with the Most Original Name for The Team, to wear the Most Original and Imaginative Costumes, to be the Fastest to Complete the Course, to get the Most Right Answers, and more!

Special thanks this year not only to Carlsberg, Fine Vintage, Heineken and Stella Artois/ San Miguel, but also to local establishments Best Kebab, Blue Bird Jap. Rest., Banyan Bay Café,  Diesel's Rest., New Holiday Mood Rest., Lamcombe Rest., Lamma Gym, Pizza Milano, Spicy Island Rest. and The Waterfront Bar & Rest.  We Appreciate You All!

To keep spirits up while the later teams were still negotiating the course, Father Christmas was paraded through Main Street on a Sedan Chair kindly borrowed from Matilda Hospital.  Santa performed superbly in entertaining the little ones while his cheerful elves collected generous donations from the shops, restaurants, bars and general public en route.  For his finale, Santa distributed sweets to the children from his ‘Grotto’ in a public sitting out area, and patiently ensured that anyone who wanted a photo keepsake with him could have their wish.

HK author Leela Devi Panikar visited for the weekend from the far-off land of Clearwater Bay to host a book signing for her latest effort entitled 'Floating Petals' on Saturday and Sunday, generously donating 25% of sales to Operation Santa Claus.

The count for Operation Santa is not yet in since there are still a variety of fun projects organised by Lamma residents to be accounted for and more yet to come.

A Children’s Jazzy Christmas Musical Ensemble will be held on Saturday, December 22nd, followed a few days later by the traditional Christmas Carols for adults evening on Christmas Eve.  Both will begin and end at The Island Bar in Yung Shue Wan and are guaranteed to be fun events, so make a note in your diaries!

Christmas is a special time of year and nowhere moreso it seems than on Lamma Island, where Yung Shue Wan, the small community with a really big heart, is helping to make Christmas more special for those less fortunate through Operation Santa Claus!

For information: Sharon – 2982 2800;
Kumar – 9717 2165; Dan – 9030 2888

6's & 7's

Amanda & Santa

Santa's Little Helper

Bad Santa

Sexy Elf

Silly Santas

Santa passing Diesel's -- Mr Fishball donates to OSC -- Leela @ her book-signing

Dec 15 An Exceptionally Friendly Village

Going out just for a quick late lunch in the village this Saturday afternoon - after decorating our Christmas palm at home - it struck me what an exceptionally friendly and happening place Yung Shue Wan Village actually is:

  • Being greeted and waved to by numerous friends and acquaintances walking by, chatting to some of them.

  • Being treated to a free dish of daily soup in Man Kee Rest., while sharing a single dish of Spaghetti Bolognaise with Lamma-Por.

  • Being thanked by Nick the Bookman for the framed "psychedelic" picture of himself I gave him for his recent birthday - also shown in my recent exhibitions.

  • Being stopped by a property agent running out of his office when we passed by. He wants to advertise a house for rent at the top of this page. After a bit of friendly haggling we agree on a price that we're both happy with.

  • Buying a cheap string of non-blinking Christmas lights, the shop-owner at the newspaper stand replaces a few of the individual lightbulbs with different colours of our own choice, with a smile and without any grumbling.

  • Confirming the pick-up time for our cooked turkey from New Holiday Mood Restaurant for our rooftop Christmas parties, we get a 10% discount on our pre-order, WITHOUT even asking for it!

  • Stopping by at Tropicana, buying just a little item, we get an entire, nicely decorated, home-made chocolate roll for free - as a yearly Christmas gift for loyal customers!

  • While all of this is going on, all these free local events are happening today as well, as listed and described in our Events Calendar:

    • Wonderful Journey around Lamma - a free cruise circling Lamma.

    • Petanque tournament - the French ball game, yearly HK-wide championship and a celebration of all things French.

    • Leela Devi Panikar's booksigning, for Operation Santa Claus.

    • Da-Da Duo - new Lamma band performing in The Island Bar.

Dec 14 Oscar Death File

Nick the Bookman – Official Court Music Reviewer for Lamma Bands:

Hi, Lamma-Gung,

Can you post this in The Oscar Death file or whatever the forum is called. Thanx, Nick.

Double, Jack, Fang, Stealthy Stella, Bao Bao the neighbour and Xena, Warrior Princess want to thank all you human pets who passed on condolences about the "gone" of Oscar (no canine/human translation available).

We want to say that he was a real sob at times, hogging the bed and eating our Kibbles, but he was also a good watchdog and protected the front door ferociously. Now he's not here, so we can't tell him anymore that he was a real sob at times, hogging the bed and eating our Kibbles...

Thanks also to mamapet, Lena, for always feeding us when we tell her to and for making papapet Nick write down this thank you for all you other humanpets. It was quite easy actually. We told him we would teach him the secrets of how to lick his own genitals and he was quite (WHAT!!! Now, wait a minute, guys. You promised that would be our secret and you wouldn't tell any one!) We didn't say ANYTHING! You're the one who's writing all this down. We're just figments of your imagination... (Oh yeah, that's right. Anyway, NO MORE Kibbles for you...mutter, mutter)

Dec 13 What Happened to HK Copy News?

Geno was asking in our forums recently:

"What happened to Hong Kong Copy News? The regular satirical look at current events in the SAR was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. Does it still exist?"

Yes, I was wondering about that as well, no news from Daniel MomentEye since July 30, the last episode of the hilarious HK Copy News (see and click above.)

It seems that he got the little newsreader guy a name by public vote (Dim Blather) and then killed him off, or at least sent him into an extended hiatus. It might well be that Daniel has parlayed his professional fame from his wonderfully cynical animations into a high-flying, highly-paid job in town? Clever guy, I might follow his lead someday, but I'll have to work on that "professional fame" thing a lot more first...

Daniel MomentEye has been spotted regularly on the rush hour ferries. So this means that the theory of "too busy with his new high-flying, highly-paid top executive job to bother anymore with unpaid & time-consuming hobbies like HK Copy News" might have some credibility?

That would be too bad, another wonderfully creative venture squashed by the irresistible temptation of cold, hard cash...

Also, any news from Daniel's fledgling standup comedy routines (Takeout Comedy Club half a year ago)?

In the meantime, let's speculate about what happened to Dim Blather!

  - Got fired from newsreading for public indecency or something scandalous?
  - Political intrigue and pressure from above to get him removed?
  - Lost in Cyberspace?
  - Alien abduction?
  - Re-education? (Geno)

Is HK Copy News (tick one):

deceased, in hiatus, on sabbatical, pending indefinitely, to be relaunched soon,
or something else altogether, please explain:....................

And then, FINALLY, we received an update from Daniel MomentEye, in verse!

Daniel MomentEye – Sole Proprietor of HK Copy News News:

Oh, you know how it is.

The caviar and crystal parties that they throw for you when you do something interesting on the web.
Pretty soon you forget about the little people who got you there.
And let's face it at 3 and a half inches tall Dim Blather is one of the littlest.

Of course, that's no excuse for turning your back on a friend.
When they came for the cartoon newsreaders I did not stand up
because I was not a cartoon newsreader
And because cartoon newsreaders have no legs.

Last I heard he had gone underground;
Living in the sewers, eating rats and stray meteorologists.
Maybe he'll get lucky and mutate a superpower.
But he's far more likely to get leukemia.
Don't play with radiation, kids.

Or meteorology for that matter.

OK, question answered and everything clear as mud now?

Dec 12 Mad Dog MC Annual Toy Run

Doug Netzel Mad Dog Motorcycle Club / HK Chapter - Member #162 - Sgt. At Arms, Events 2007  (All photos by Mad Dog MC):

Bikers, Friends and Supporters.

As you know last Sunday, Dec 9th 2007, MDMC Hong Kong held our Annual Charity Toy Run 2007 with huge success.

The ride started a bit late from Granville Square, but the pace picked up with open throttles after leaving Granville Road, down Austin Road to Canton Road.

With Mad Dog Biker Santa "Ton Arthur" leading the pack along side Road Captain for the Event "Brian=168=" waving at the public while Christmas shoppers and children.

Waved in excitement and snapped the many hundreds of pictures taken from their cameras and cell phones.

The 38+ riders then headed thru East Tunnel to Shek O for a Christmas lunch, rest and to watch Santa hand out "Candy Canes Sweets" to local children.

After filling our beer guts with Thai food, the group headed down the Hong Kong Island Coast thru Repulse Bay, then onto Wanchai and Central Area where the streets were lined with Christmas shoppers and Philippine House Workers who recognized the Mad Dog MC, and were shouting "Mad Dogs.... Mad Dogs".

The Ride ended at Bull and Bear Bar, Wanchai, for much-needed beers. Being greeted by friends and Mad Dog families was welcomed with huge smiles as we have done another successful event making MDMC even more popular with the public and Hong Kong Biker Clubs who joined our Ride.

The Mini-Moto Bike Auction went smoothly at 4:00pm with Tom Arthur as auction announcer; it raised another $1,100 for charity.

Lucky Bidder "MDMC - HK Prospect Andy Bachtiar" took the lead and out-bid phone caller Dog Mick whose bid was $1,000.

Many thanks to Gary Lee and V-Twin Club Member Tommy, Chopper Union Members, Cruiser Hong Kong MC for joining and supporting this much-needed cause.

Mad Dog MC (HK Chapter) is happy to announce that we have met our goal of $20,000+ for "Operation Santa Claus" and have a Mountain of Toys to donate.

Also in closing, I personally like to thank all the Charity Sponsors Bull and Bear Bar and Restaurant, Man Wai Motorcycle Center, Race Enhanced Auto Care and Accessories from Queensland Australia and all the public who donated money.

Big thanks to MDMC Santa "Tom Arthur", all road blockers, "Prospect Andy", Mad Dog members Ian and Jon DA Dog, also Cruiser Hong Kong Members who also gratefully helped block traffic and helped keep this ride safe, Brian as Road Captain, Mingo for taking up the rear, and President Rob (Editor: a Lammaite) for representing our Chapter and giving a damn good interview to South China Morning Post Reporter Kelly Chan, who I sure is still shaking in her shoes after her first-ever ride through Wanchai on the back of my Hog.

Enjoy the pics.

P.S. Click for a fine SCMP story and interview about this fun event!

Dec 11 Deli Lamma Turning 15!

The current and former owners of the Deli Lamma: Prafull & Tracey

Prof Red Star with two of his fans (Wife Santi on the left)

Tracey Duggan Running the Deli Lamma before Prafull:

(15th anniversary of the Deli today! Let's hear from the very first owner!)

The Deli Lamma was originally the Capital Too (the Capital One was where Holiday Mood is now). It was used when the Capital One was full (rarely). I purchased the licence and all fixtures and fittings (which we then threw out as we gutted the place) from the Capital's owners.

From start to finish it was approx 9 weeks of incredibly hard work and long long hours. Clive Keep designed and oversaw the building of the bar, seating areas, kitchen etc etc. Chunny was the plumbing and electrics. Paul Duggan, Alistair Robbins and Bongo Mark were paint work and carpentry. Jules built the stone part of the bar and the table bottoms.
Eamonn McCormick was the man behind the food - I was front of house, hiring and firing.

We really enjoyed the years running up to the handover - we had huge parties, live bands, police raids, heavy heavy drinking and eating - the Deli was the place to be. When it opened, the only other gweilo place to eat was the Waterfront. The day we opened was the day after the Corner Bar closed so we had a captive audience. We used to serve traditional roast dinners on Sunday evenings, people used to come from HK for Eamonn's Yorkshire puddings - our best ever Sunday was 98 roast dinners!

I started the Deli Lamma because I needed a job which would allow me to stay on Lamma and be mum to my now 15 year old daughter (she was 1.5 years old then). I had incredible support from everyone around me and it was a very happy time of my life. When I sold it to Praful in 1998, I had had enough of drinking, late nights and smelling of smoke. I don't miss that life, although I remember those days fondly.

I haven't many pictures of events at the Deli, I was too busy serving to take pictures!

Praful has asked me to send you some pics from old Deli days. Here are some classics of the Deli under construction. Special thanks always goes to the wonderful Clive (architect extraordinaire) and Chunny (electrical wizard) Eamonn McCormick, Paul Duggan, Alistair Robbins and Mike Duggan for carpentry, painting and advice.

Construction of the Deli Lamma, 15 years ago:

Dec 10 News from OSC's Lamma Headquarter

Dan Peterson – Co-owner, The Island Bar, Yung Shue Wan:

Operation Santa Claus 2007 in Full Swing on Lamma Island

(10 December 2007)

The Island Bar at Yung Shue Wan on Lamma has already successfully completed the first of its Christmas activities to raise funds for Operation Santa Claus.  On 1 December (Saturday) a Quiz Night of Christmas Music was moderated by Dave, our regular monthly quizmaster, with entry fees donated directly to The OSC Boxes. The fun-filled evening also featured the peculiar and lovable blend of music and mayhem administered only by the Yung Shue Wan Curs.

Still to come is a full and exciting month for OSC on Lamma Island. When two courtesy Christmas Trees were kindly delivered from Stella Artois and San Miguel to the Island Bar and The Waterfront restaurant, the management quickly came up with an idea to create a little more income for Operation Santa Claus.  From today, Monday the 10th, customers and passers-by can purchase a ribbon at either establishment ($20 for adults, $10 for kids) to help decorate the tree and make a wish for their personal Christmas desires.  And, as a bonus, the trees will be raffled just before Christmas so that those less organized can have the opportunity of purchasing a ready-dressed tree!

On 15 December (Saturday) the Island Bar will enjoy live music by two of Lamma's well-known, well-liked and very accomplished musicians and vocalists, Dan James and Dave Green, performing as the Dan & Dave Duo, or Da-Da for short.

Then on 16 December (Sunday), the 8th Annual Treasure Hunt will depart from The Island Bar, taking its unwitting participants on a series of family adventures over hill and dale on Lamma Island.  On the same day, Santa's Parade through Yung Shue Wan village will feature Santa in a sedan chair (on loan courtesy of Matilda Hospital) accompanied by his elves and loads of children.

In addition to generous prize donations from Carlsberg and Heineken, there will be a sleigh-load of other great prizes, including food and beverage vouchers from Yung Shue Wan's many fine establishments: Best Kebab, Blue Bird Japanese Restaurant, Cath's Banyan Bay Café, Holiday Mood, Spicy Island, The Waterfront Bar & Restaurant, and more!

Also on 15 and 16 December (Saturday and Sunday), The Island Bar will host a book signing with Leela Devi Panikar and her new release, "Floating Petals". Leela will generously donate 25% of her proceeds to Operation Santa Claus.

Saturday evening, 22 December will see a concert by classical musicians organised by Lamma's Rie Wada and her daughter Louie, followed by children's carolling with strolling musicians in the streets, shops and restaurants of Yung Shue Wan village, and a Christmas jazz finale.

On 24 December (Christmas Eve), the annual OSC adult carol singing session will be held at The Island Bar.

Still in discussion for the week between Christmas and the New Year are an OSC Bingo Night and an OSC Air Guitar competition!

All events are open to the public and all are invited.  So come and enjoy some Christmas fun on Lamma Island, while helping to make Christmas more special for those less fortunate through Operation Santa Claus!

For information:

Sharon – 2982 2800
Kumar – 9717 2165
Dan – 9030 2888

Dec 9 LammaCelebrityCam Desktop Calendar 2008

(Click above to view the entire calendar)

I'm selling these 2008 desktop calendars for $188 (half to charity, discounts on orders of at least 3 pieces), with 12 pictures from my group exhibition today in The Cyan Studio. It's hand-made from inkjet prints on extra-thick, glossy or matte photo paper, A5 size, ring-bound with a cardboard stand. Deadline for orders: Jan 31, 2008. The exhibition sample calendar has already been sold. Contact me.

Dec 8 Dear Agents of Consciousness

Bluelotus The Enchantments Institute - Yung Shue Wan

A New Dawn for Civilization, A New World for You

Dear Agents of Consciousness,

Don't miss this chance to hear Laurence James Lucas, who is presenting a series of three talks at the New Age Shop in Central on Friday 14 December, Thursday 17 January and Friday 25 January. This fascinating series of workshops has been designed to coincide with three very powerful seed dates for change in the years ahead, leading up to and beyond 2012. I highly recommend these seminars!

A three-part, astrologically based series of workshops for the discerning, conscious observer, looking at how the world is created and your part in that process. We will look particularly at the dramatic changes promised in the years ahead leading up to and beyond 2012. Vital seed dates for these changes include 12 December this year and 26 January 2008.

Workshops can be taken as standalone sessions or as a group of three. For more information see the attached jpg, or contact me on

For bookings, please contact the New Age Shop directly -- call 2810 8694 or email

With every good wish for the festive season and blessings for the new year ahead.

The first Christmas emails are starting to come in these days and the one above has just arrived in my overstuffed mailbox. Even the Christmas emails from fellow Lammaites look more inventive, creative and interesting than the ones I got before when living on HK Island...

I'm not endorsing or promoting the workshops above in any way, but they're a fascinating example of the amazing diversity of faiths and beliefs on Lamma. They range from traditional Roman-Catholics, reborn Christians, Taoists, modern Hindus, faithful Muslims to Wiccans, Shamans, Crypto-Buddhists, Yogi followers, New Age mystics and believers in Gaia and/or a universal consciousness; plus quite a lot of Lammaites who love to mix and match their belief systems to suit their own varying occasions, experiences and social circles, kind of a spiritual buffet. Surprisingly, we Lammaites seem to live together in peace and harmony (most of the time) and are usually very tolerant, even accepting of each other's beliefs.

If you want to learn more about "The Acceleration of Opportunity", "The Awakening of the Dream Weavers", "Shamanic Vision Quests" and what it means for YOU personally that the 26,000-year Mayan Calendar will END in 2012, click here for the "New Dawn for Civilization" leaflet.

I'm sorry, I might be weird, but I love reading stuff like this occasionally, but only in small and amusing doses. But these kinds of workshops seem to help some people in their "personal spiritual journey", fine with me, more power to them!

But now go forward, my children, be Agents of ConsciousnessTM, help to bring about a New Dawn for CivilizationTM and a New World for all of us! That should keep you busy for the rest of today, so tomorrow you can take on even bigger challenges, like saving the Universe or even reunifying the MultiverseTM!

I'm wishing all the Lamma-zine readers a Happy Christmas/Kwanza/Hanukkah or whatever you and your family are celebrating this month. Or let's simply call it Happy Holidays for all of us cynic, faithless, atheistic or agnostic heathens who are trying to make the best and most of our single, limited and challenging life as it could well be all we'll ever get, maybe, perhaps, mayhaps...

Dec 7 Affordable Art by Lamma Artists

Elizabeth Briel The Cyan Studio:

Dear Artists & Aficionados,

December's moving in, Christmas is coming fast, and it's time again for the Second Sunday party at The Cyan Studio. This month we're pleased to feature affordable art prints & photos from a diverse selection of artists from Lamma's creative community - just in time to send home a personalized gift from HK in your Christmas packages.

Stop by this Sunday afternoon from 2-6pm for spicy mulled wine and savory art. Meet the artists in the informal setting of this community gallery, and browse through their art that offers new views of Hong Kong and beyond.

10% of purchases will go to help a Cambodian friend who lives near Angkor Wat get closer to his dream of going to university. Navuth Ou is a fantastically friendly driver in Siem Reap, and is always happy to show visitors his favorite spots in town. Just email me for his contact information.

Above is the invitation. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dec 6 Butterflies & Moths of HK

Jane Ram Gardening Forum Moderator:

Click here to learn more (PDF file, 1MB); website, forum and email.

Butterflies & Moths of Hong Kong – Portraits with Flowers

$250, from many local bookshops and direct from Paul.

In good time for Christmas and the height of the local butterfly season, Paul Lau Kwok-leung's new book deserves a place on every shopping list.

As the local butterfly season approaches its seasonal peak, I resolve once again to learn the names of some of our most common local species. They are truly gorgeous as they swoop past, showing off their freshly-minted colours. And I would like to know what they eat so that I can protect the most vulnerable plants.

The problem is that butterflies are restless and they never seem to pause long enough for me to get out a book and check their identity! The books that I already have are not exactly user friendly and by the time I think I might have the right picture, the butterfly has already flitted away to entertain someone else.

Now, however, I have the ideal introduction to butterflies and their world. The pictures in Paul's new book are so lifelike that it is very easy to match up picture and the real thing. And, even better, he groups the creatures according to their food plant, which also speeds up the identification process.

When you realise how many butterflies adore it, you might think twice (well only twice) about trying to exterminate the dreaded Mikania miantha (Mile-a-minute strangling weed). What did they do before this pest arrived in Hong Kong, I wonder? If only the caterpillars would eat their way through more of the stuff we would all be happier.

But I digress. This is a truly beautiful book, produced by a perfectionist in collaboration with one of Hong Kong's very few printers able to do high definition work. It is also environmentally friendly, but let's not get too bogged down in the details.

Despite its good looks, this is definitely not a coffee table book (unless you have really downsized) but it is a working book that you can easily carry along for reference on a walk. A long-time Sok Kwu Wan resident, Paul is a dedicated naturalist as well as a superb professional photographer. He says his next book will concentrate on the different stages in the lifestyle of different butterfly species. Don't squash too many caterpillars in the meantime, you might regret it once you realise their destiny.

It is also available from:

Artlab, G/F. no 56 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, 2982 2120.

Herboland, Lot 287 dd4, Hung Shing Ye Beach, 9414 2866, 9094 6206.

Dymocks, Prince's Building, Shop 115-116, Prince's Building,
10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2826 9248.

Dymocks, Lyndhurst Terrace, Shop A, G/F Oriental Crystal Commercial Building, 46 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, 2851 8030.

Palace Cafe Shop, Shops 1058-1059, Level One, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, Tel: 2167 7321.

St. John's Cathedral Bookstore, 4-8 Garden Road, Hong Kong, 2868 2848.

Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, Room 1612, Beverley Commercial Centre, 87-105 Chatham Road, Kowloon, 2377 4387, 2185 7687.

The book is also getting into other book shops and outlets soon.

An article about Paul and his butterfly book will probably be on Hong Kong Faces SCMP yesterday, Thursday, or the next. And he'll be on RTHK Radio 3, Hong Kong Heritage coming Saturday, talking about Jiao festivals in the field. (07:45 - 08:00; repeated on Sunday 18:15 - 18:30).

Dec 5 'This One Is for Oscar'

Nick the Bookman Official Court Music Reviewer:

Red Star Rising @ The Cavern,
Nov 29, 2007

This one is for Oscar. 

"Woke up this morning, my dog was dead..."

It's the 27th of November and Oscar (the wild one) has taken The Big Sleep. (Thanks for your help, Hans). He was poisoned, quite possibly Paraquat. You know, that same shit the U.S. feds/narcs used to spray on the Mexican marijuana fields back in the sleazy 70's? Bad enough to get tainted weed. Even worse to have a Disco soundtrack to "soothe" the suffering! The problem with Paraquat (as I understand it) is that it takes several days to manifest itself, which is way too late to do anything positive about a cure. Anyway, he's pain-free and exercising in Elysium. Now, the trick is to get Double to answer to Single! But I digress (as does Life). Let's start again.

"Woke up this morning, my dog was dead..." I'm still feeling blue about Oscar, which should set me up for tonight's Very Important Gig with Red Star Rising at The Cavern. The band are planning to record the event for a live CD and a few surprises have been promised, so as The Ramones used to sing "Hey, ho, let's go"...

I think I've stumbled into a twisted version of Edgar Allan Poe's "Purloined Letter". I've asked several people where The Cavern is and basically, it's at the top of the 'Fong "near Al's Diner". So, naturally, I walk the long way round and past it twice before seeing Shayle gripping and grinning outside the entrance. It's like that episode with UK magician Derren Brown convincing a London cabbie he couldn't find that huge wheel near the Millennium Dome. Shayle says, "the bar is open, so get inside".

There aren't many people inside The Cavern - mostly an assortment of businessmen on a bender. The bar is free ("I'll have 2 bourbon and cokes") and I find a nice spot upfront to write all this gibberish. It's a cool venue with a long curved stage. The drums are on a platform mid-centre stage. Keyboards to the left and various amps etc strewn about. There are 2 pulsating plasma screens featuring the greatest visual hits of vintage Liquid Len lightshows. Looks way better than its celebrated Mersey predecessor which was normally a sweatbox covered in tasteful displays of fungus and mould.

Time for a big plug for Rob Porter and the rest of the Yellow Frog crew. Rob is videoing the event and the Y.F. are in charge of the concert recording. His camera is omnipresent all evening. Shayle has dragged some other people on stage. There's an attractive blonde in a very mini-black cocktail dress and a large Serth Efrican rugby fan who doesn't gloat too much about the recent RWC Final. I;ve also spotted Lamma heads, Ellie and Faith, Rick and Luisa, most of Shayle's extended family and beardy Brian, who's Dora's dad and a celebrated Man Utd fan.

Steve Cray, the RSR mainman, says there won't be an acoustic opening set tonight as there are time constraints. Pity. I was looking forward to hearing Davey Wan Cur weaving his melodic magic on fiddle. Perhaps another time. It's also the swansong for Hugh on drums. He, and Zoe who is here tonight, are Blighty-bound before the year's end. Steve has a new drummer waiting in the wings and the advance buzz was that there would be a ritual playoff and the Swapping Of The Sticks. We'll see if that happens. The good news is that John Palmer will guest the entire show and he's told me he's got a few little tricks up his guitar neck ready to bamboozle Steve. So, tonight's line up consists of Steve on guitars/leadvox. Alex on mighty rumble bass. Hugh on the thunder drums and John on extra rhythm guitar. The show should last about 90 minutes.

Shayle has finished introducing "the best blues-rock band in HK and possible East Asia" and Red Star Rising kick off with a spirited version of "Megaphone Man". Sounds like vintage ZZ Top, circa Rio Grande Mud-era and is way better than the version they stumbled through at Lamma's Fun Day. It segues nicely into a mid-tempo "Finishing Line", although Steve's vocals seem a bit restrained. The first hint of trouble comes in "When Worlds Collide" when what I think is a theremin buzz adding nicely to the vibe turns out to be unwanted and accidental feedback. The band turn everything off and the irritating drone is history.

The 4th song is "Footsteps, our first single" and elicits hearty approval from Shayle who is on fine form, bobbing around the dance floor and organising non-stop drinks from the bar. I notice that the other "Corporate Rock Whores" have all buggered off. They're probably engaging in an untrammeled orgy of fetishistic name card swapping outside. Or not. Anyway, it's their loss. Shayle and I discuss the finer points of the next song which is "Red Claw". It's a new number with a melody line quite similar to Steppenwolf's cover of Hoyt Axton's "The Pusher". The bourbon and cokes are telling me there's some Hendrix "Watchtower" in there as well and who am I to argue with such pedigree?

John shines with some exemplary and dainty picking during "The Man from Ma On Shan" and Shayle bounds on stage to introduce Maha as a guest percussionist for the later stages of the set. He adds a scintillating Latino/Afro world beat touch of class to the proceedings and opens up new possibilities of interpretation to the tunes. Not quite Santana - more like Osibisa perhaps?

The time is running out and Shayle asks for 2 requests. They're "Escalator Girls" and "Shopping Malls" which are my personal Red Star Rising favourites and the tunes that give the band a chance to go all Grateful Dead if they so desire. Hugh and Alex indulge in a very enjoyable call-n-response drum/bass battle during "Girls" while jaws hit the floor in disbelief. Steve tells me they "won't do the 20-minute version" of "Malls" (as I requested after Lamma Fun Day) but the backwards guitar solo will be attempted. It is. Steve is playing with one hand while the other awaits his drink which I pass up to him mid-solo. John has gone all Electric Prunes-meets-Ravi Shankar raga mad on second guitar and Maha is whacking his djembe like he means it. It's a lysergic litany and my personal highlight of the night. I think Steve actually played a better solo some months ago at The Wanch, but this collaberative effort is peerless. Bravo and triple Kool-Aids all round!

The final tune is where Steve brings "it all down now" with a mellow rendition of "Last Ferry to Lamma" (as a hint to the audience to get ready). There's a brief reprise of "Megaphone Man" which is Hugh's last song in Hong Kong, "although we'll be playing with him in Camden Town, London, next year" This is the time that the audience decides to start dancing. So Hugh gets to play "Footsteps" again as his last last song in Hong Kong. The new stickmeister will be Drummer Neil, but he was unable to get here tonight so no ceremonial handoff took place.

I'd say this show didn't quite scrape the stratosphere - more the lower troposphere - but there was enough worthy moments to ensure that the CD will be worth listening to. On the plus side, I know now where The Cavern is (Oops, the bourbon and cokes are working after all!) Keep that Red Star Rising.


Dec 4 Sunny & Deborah's Wedding Reception

Email from Bob Davis:  "Here are some snaps of Sunny & Deborah's wedding party at the Banyan Bay Café:"

Dec 3 My Best Birthday Present!

Just another birthday today and a friend has just wished me "good birthday... old man!"

Yes, sometime I feel a bit like a fat, old, ugly bastard...

But then I look into the mirror and recognise that...'s all true!!!  Aieeeeyaaaaaah!

But then I had two of my very young three step-grandsons come up to me individually during the big family birthday dinner with all my HK family on Sat night and tell me, in clear English: "Grandfather, Happy Birthday!" That was my very best birthday present! For the 2nd-best, see the P.S. below.

Well, it's actually not so bad being a fat, old, ugly and HAPPY bastard... as long as there's a loving wife, great family, a few good friends and many nice acquaintances out here on Lamma. But then, in a place where even one of my acquaintances referred to me as "the other fat bastard", age, looks and weight don't matter as much as in town, except if you'd be looking for a date...

Being a fat, old, ugly and LONELY bastard, now that would be really bad!   ;-)

P.S. Email to Chuckm: He's a loyal, long-time Lamma forum member residing in Vancouver. He took up my challenge on Nov 19 to become a private sponsor of this website. To my big surprise and utter amazement, he paid up for FIVE YEARS, even though he's NEVER visited Lamma yet! Many thanks, Chuckm!!!  From my email to him:

"...Waiting for my 2nd-best birthday present today I've received in a long time: your bank transfer! Great timing, especially as you didn't know that it's my birthday today!  ;-)

"There'll be a mention on the home page of your most generous gift, exactly as much as all the other sponsors together [Editor: MANY SINCERE THANKS, 1-year sponsors, all of them fellow Lammaites! They all preferred to remain anonymous.]

"Yes, I'm definitely owing you a beer (or two, or three)!
You'll be treated like royalty if you'll ever come to Lamma, Sir Chuckm!"

Chuckm also issued A Challenge to Support Lamma-zine and This Forum! But, almost as I expected, nobody has taken up his challenge yet! Check it out! Prove my low expectations wrong!

Dec 2 Circling Lamma in a Ferry

More pictures in progress...

Dec 1 Do You Lead a Sustainable Lifestyle?

"Look, I'm a beauuuuutiful butterfly!"

Students from Northern Lamma School participate in a short drama featuring the open day at Lamma Power Station cum eco-tour on the island.

A group picture of the officiating guests and the performing students.

HK Electric – media release, 29 Nov 2007:

(All photos and captions by HK Electric, text highlights by L-G):

Sustainable Lifestyle for a Better Future

HK Electric calls for concerned efforts from the local community to achieve a better and sustainable future by adopting a more comprehensive green lifestyle.

While continuing with energy-saving efforts, the Smart Power Campaign launched today encourages the public to take a greener view in major aspects of life, such as clothing, food, accommodation and transport.

Between now and August 2008, a series of fun-packed activities, with simple tips on sustainable practices promoting the benefits of going green, will be organised for students and the public. Highlights include roadshows at MTR stations, healthy cooking competition, open days at Lamma Power Station and interactive radio programmes.

Application for the "Go Green Fashion Design Competition" will be open from December for innovative designs that promote sustainability and energy conservation. Renowned fashion designer, Mr. William Tang, and the Chief Executive of the Conservancy Association, Ms. Lister Cheung, will form the adjudication panel with representatives from HK Electric.

Executive and Legislative Council Member, Mr. Bernard Chan, who officiated at today's Smart Power Campaign launch ceremony, fully supports efforts to raise public awareness on sustainability. Mr. Chan said sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the wellbeing of future generations.

He pointed out the success of Hong Kong as a metropolitan city should not be made at the expense of the environment. He was pleased to note the younger generation cared for the environment and urged them to contribute to promoting sustainable development...

Mr. William Tang shares his ideas on "go green" fashion design. - Students taste-test various natural fruit juices to gain more understanding of green living.

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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