Lamma-zine 1 - 23

Lamma-zine 24 - today

Archives: all stories

'04   '05   '06

'07: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12  '08: 1 2 3

Jan 31HK International Boulodrome of Tai Peng

Eric Masson - Hong Kong Petanque Club:

Dear all,

One more year complete.... Not for everybody as our Chinese fellows will soon celebrate the Chinese New Year and let the Rat take over the Pig....

To celebrate this event we have decided to organise a Grand Training session on Sunday, 24th February 2008. This training will start at 1:00pm, (sharp!!!) and will be held as usual on the Hong Kong International Boulodrome of Tai Peng (Lamma Island).

A bar will be available directly on site, but no BBQ or any food. Plan to eat before coming....

The participation is free for HKPC members. The non-members are also welcome, a participation fee of 40.00HKD will be asked from them.

You can contact me from now to book your place or for any question.

Welcome to play petanque.
Eric, Hong Kong Petanque Club

71 Tai Peng Old Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
Tel: 2982 0185 - 6104 5977

Bonjour a tous,

Et voila encore une annee de passee mais pas chez tout le monde puisque nous allons bientot feter le nouvel an Chinois.

Alors pour participer a cet evenement et avec un peu de retard, mais cela fera un peu de repos apres toutes ces fetes. Nous avons decide d'organiser un grand entrainement le DIMANCHE 24 FEVRIER 2008 a partir de 13h00.

Un bar sera ouvert sur place pour les assoiffes mais prevoyez de manger avant de venir. L'entree sera biensur gratuite pour les licencies du club et une participation financiere de 40.00 HKD sera demande aux non-membres du club.

Reservez des maintenant votre place en me contactant soit par e-mail, soit par telephone.

December 15th 2007:

The official yearly tournament of the Hong Kong Petanque Club took place in Tai Peng Old Village, Lamma Island. The 27 players dispatched in 9 teams fought bravely for the supreme title of MVPP (Most Valuable Petanque Player 2007). They offered an exceptional performance to the dozens of spectators enjoying Ricard, sausages and mingled under the shadow of the century-old trees and the sound of the numerous 'carreaux'....

Finally, the D team, including Jim, Mustapha and Paul, were the strongest and got the honor to hold the Veuve Clicquot Champagne after defeating in final, the previous champion from the team F composed of Benoît, Jérôme and Eric.

These last ones were anyway rewarded by a small mignonette of Veuve Clicquot Champagne each (which is already not too bad)....

(Pictures by HKPC, click to enlarge)

Jan 30'So You're Something of an Extremist!'

Laudable Lamma Luminary Doctor John Wedderburn was participating in a Radio 3 Backchat program on Jan 16, about animal welfare. During the interview, the panel moderator, referring to his veganism and passionate fights for animal rights, jokingly teased Dr. John, "So you're something of an extremist!" The panel discussion was announced and discussed in our forum and it's still available online in the RTHK archives.

I thought this quote would make a fine Lamma-zine headline and I've asked Doctor John for an update on what is happening with animal issues on Lamma. He happily obliged, with loads of additional links!

Doctor John Wedderburn - Lamma Animal Welfare Centre, AAPN, No Kill City:

Animal Issues on Lamma

  1. Lamma Island is mostly "done" as far as organising the cats and dogs is concerned.

    Dogs: There are no stray dogs now on Lamma except for a handful living out of the bins in Sok Kwu Wan. About half a dozen feral dogs live in the hills between Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan and come down to the beaches and barbecue pits at night to feed. We have borrowed 3 dog traps and are currently out almost every night trying to catch them under the SPCA Community Dog Programme - this is not an easy task!

    The dogs you see wandering in Yung Shue Wan are all owned and microchipped - anyone with complaints about these dogs should approach the individual owner. The dogs on the fish farms at Luk Chau are not yet under control.
    Dogs are quite frequently dumped on Lamma. We usually notice these pretty quickly and take them in and find homes for them.

    Cats: 90% of Lamma's feral cats have been desexed under the SPCA Cat Colony Care Programme and are supervised by designated carers - you can tell which cats have been done because they have had the tip of one ear cut off (while under anaesthetic for the desexing).
    Seven years ago there were 750 feral cats in North Lamma, many diseased and starving - now, with natural attrition and no reproductive replacement, the number is down to less than 300, mostly very healthy.

    You can read more about LAWC on its website: and its blog:

  2. The "No Kill" movement promotes pro-active policies for dealing with the surplus of dogs and cats to replace the current Government policy of killing the surplus (more than 1000 dogs killed every month). Please read about this on its website: and Yahoo Forum: - this forum also deals with animal cruelty issues. 

  3. Vivisection in Hong Kong:  (Laboratory Animal Defenders)

  4. Asian animal issues: and the associated Yahoo Forum:

All of the above are Lamma-based.

I should also mention our "Dogs in Cages" TV Commercial, featuring Karen Mok, made with a grant from the Robert Ho Tung Foundation. It has already had several airings on TVB Jade - if we had more money we could air it more often!

Lamma also has Lamma Animal Protection ( and Hong Kong Dog Rescue (

As you can see, quite a lot is going on. But more could be done if there were more volunteers. Anyone with some spare time or energy should contact one of the above organisations.

Jan 29HK's Deadliest Group of Pink Paddling Goddesses

(Photos by Lamma Ladies, photo comic by Captain Gina Meana)

From the Lamma Ladies blog:

"The Lamma Ladies are celebrating 20 years of kicking butt on the water and falling on our butts while celebrating!

"New paddlers are welcome to register for the 2008 season. Please visit The Island Bar (Main Street Lamma... if you don't know where it is, you really, really need us) on Sunday, February 3rd at 3:00pm.

"If you cannot make it, or would like more information, please call Gina at 9121 3648, or email Gina.

"The Lamma Ladies have a 2-week window for recruitment this season. So sign up early! See you all (cold and wet) on the water!"

Jan 28An Emphasis on Inter-Cultural Exchange

This banner has been hanging in the "1st Class Departure Lounge" at the YSW ferry pier for several months now. It inspired me to check out the Kindergarten website where I noticed that TODAY is the start of the Second School Term (下學期) of YSW's Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Kindergarten. Fun's over, toddlers, back to school! But let's hope that you're having loads of fun in the Kindergarten as well. Walking by occasionally and hearing all the laughter and cheerful play, I'm sure you do...

If you thought that this was a rather sweet remark, click on the picture below for something really really sweet and oh-so-cute. It will have even the most cynical and cold-hearted of our readers (if there are any such readers) ooh-ing and aah-ing in no time! A health warning for diabetics: extremely high sugar content! The picture is a frame from the home page animation of the very well-designed and informative Kindergarten website. Ignore the superfluous pop-up window that says, "很抱歉!目前沒有發報任何消息。There is no new school news."

All the animated religious imagery and cuteness might be a bit much, but it is a Catholic Kindergarten and located just besides the Franciscan Portiuncula Monastery of the Poor Clares where the surprisingly cheerful nuns of the Poor Clares order live. The Lamma-zine has been reporting several times about their many wonderful regular community activities; just search for "monastery" at the top of this page.

Quoting from the Kindergarten website above:

"Vision:  Fully developed children with a well-balanced social and spiritual life, laden with positive values, sharing the spirit of love and zest for life from Christ and our Lady of Lourdes.

"Mission:  The realization of the virtues of faith, hope and love in the life of our children through the Christian formation of a heart and mind that is caring, self-confident, prayerful, grateful, courteous, able to overcome problems and difficulties with a sense of service to the community.

"School Character:  To develop our children through the Christian formation of hearts and minds that are caring and instilled with a sense of service to the community with love with an emphasis on inter-cultural exchange.

"Special Benefits:  Our School is located in a place surrounded with trees and rich in nature’s beauty instilling in the children gratitude and respect for the environment. Our students come from all kinds of nationalities where the children learn cultures from different countries through open communication and friendly interaction."

Gratitude and respect for the environment? Service to the community with love?  Emphasis on inter-cultural exchange? I think that even the faithless and non-religious amongst us Lammaites could say Amen to that.

Jan 27What's This on Lamma?

Following up on our long-running series of Where on Lamma! and Typically Lamma, I'm suggesting a new series of What's This on Lamma?

It would show unusual things and sights on Lamma, alive or inanimate, including close-ups or unusual angles, making something familiar look new and different. It could be anything from an unusual reptile to a tattoo to a unique event or unusual sighting.

Guesses don't have to be correct but, even better, they could be funny or silly or even clever and "thought-provoking", if you're so inclined. Of course, correct, factual answers will also be most welcome...

Let me start with this sight in Yung Shue Wan harbour today, Sunday, which I have never noticed before. What could these "barrels" be and what do they contain that seems to be so fragile? Wild guesses are most welcome!

So, if you have an unusual, mysterious, strange, weird, puzzling photo shot on Lamma to share, post it in the new What's This on Lamma? forum please and let the other forum members guess! Or email the photo to me if you're not a forum member yet. Or register, it just takes a minute!

Jan 26Open Day @ Lamma Mission Centre

Gather around the warm, electronic campfire, dear and gentle readers, and let me tell you a true, morally uplifting and heart-warming tale set on Lamma Island:

A man was born and raised in HK emigrated to the US more than 30 years ago. He studied hard and became a successful, well-off lawyer in New York. But he never forgot his homeland and visited it on many occasions. While walking on Lamma he fell in love with the island and the islanders. He contemplated hard and long about how he could do some good for the people and an idea appeared to him in a religious vision, being a good Christian himself.

He went out and bought a nice G/F flat high above Hung Shing Yeh beach with an absolutely amazing view. Then he contacted the local Church of Christ in China in Po Wah Yuen, who had done their good deeds for over 70 years on Lamma. He offered them the flat for free to set up a Mission Centre, not just for Chinese speakers, but also for English speakers. Of course, they gladly and thankfully accepted this most generous of gifts and got busy setting it up as a welcoming and friendly place.

The Lamma Mission Centre opened recently and held an Open Day last Sunday, Jan 20. It was widely advertised throughout the village via nicely designed banners, flyers, posters and word-of-mouth. It even attracted one heathen non-believer, a curious wannabe photojournalist, nicknamed Lamma-Gung, to climb the 100+ stairs to the centre.

He took a few pictures, interviewed Reverend Stephen Wong Kung Kim, Ken the manager, Executive Committee member Dickson and several very nice, warm and friendly Lamma Church members (see above and below, the reverend in the centre). And they told Lamma-Gung this true, morally uplifting and heart-warming story that he's right now telling you, dear and gentle readers.

The new Lamma Mission Centre is very eager for more English-speaking Lammaites of all nationalities to join their mostly young group for bible study, mass and many social activities like basket ball games, Easter egg hunt and many more. The Lamma Church will be 70 years old this year and is part of The Church of Christ in China, a unified church welcoming all Christians. English Bible Study every Sunday from 3:30pm. Call 2982 0316, if you're interested, all are welcome!

P.S. The Lamma-zine would love to hear from other faiths on Lamma as well!

Are there any regular gatherings or groups of Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Pagans, guru followers, atheists, etc?  Would they like a bit of free and friendly publicity?  Contact me!

Jan 25Nature Is Our Manuscript...

This banner has been hanging in the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier "departure lounge" for a few months now. I enjoy seeing its colourful design and reading its poetic lines about a "happy childhood" by attending the Northern Lamma School. I can sympathise, having attended a very similar village primary school like this myself. Small classes (always well below 20 pupils), committed teachers, a green environment and lots of time for nature and sports, making friends for life. With alumni like Chow Yun-fat and most of the local politicians, landlords and other powerful people, it's very well supported and integrated into the local community.

Checking out their website (Chinese only), I was amazed about the bilingual Computer Literacy Syllabus for Primary 1-6, including using digicams and making multimedia presentations, even video conferencing and Flash animations! When I went to primary school, there weren't even any pocket calculators around yet... This syllabus makes me feel sooooo old...

I also found this very informative "External School Review Report 2007 - Conclusion" (PDF file). Try to read "between the lines"...

Jan 24Blow Yer Socks Off!

Walking through the village two days ago, you might have spotted some of these little posters below on the walls, naming dishes and giving them a visual spiciness ranking. Little teasers to invite everybody for a free buffet that evening:

Some of you, the lucky ones, might even have received this email:

"Free Sri Lankan food tasting @ The Waterfront :: tonight

4-6pm Traditional Sri Lankan snacks - Hoppers - Fish balls - Vegetarian daal - etc.

6-8pm Comprehensive buffet - Meat lovers & Vegetarian dishes - Gwailo friendly [less spicy] as well as 'blow your socks off' spicy dishes for the brave.

We are testing a proof of concept for a new Sri Lankan food service here on Lamma. Your valuable opinion is most appreciated.

Free for Lamma residents & their guests - strictly 1st come 1st served

The delicious Waterfront menu, bar & restaurant, is also available at regular prices. More info? - 6336 0490  ;)"

I checked it out with Lamma-Por - few Lammaites can resist a free buffet!

It was delicious food, prepared by a Sri Lankan chef, mild-medium hot dishes like Hoppers - Wambutu Salad - Fish Cutlet - Tuna & Potato - Pol and Coconut Sambals - Paripu, Daal, Batalu, Kukulmus and Lamb Curries. But they also offered a few very hot dishes dishes like Urumas Curry and Chilli Pork Curry and even *real* Chilli Sambal to "blow yer socks off!"

I invited my native Sri Lankan Lammaite friends to come along ("Where's the Waterfront Restaurant?") They both liked it very much and declared it authentic. But both, being used to even more fiery dishes, exclaimed, "Not hot enough!"

Congratulations to the chef, his helpers and organiser Gavin the Propeller Head (Director of HeliAds). Let's hope they do it again very soon, paid-for next time, or at least make this great Sri Lankan food available locally by takeaway!

Gavin, the jovial & attentive host & organiser - Dragonboaters & friends -
a happy Sri Lankan customer

Waterfront kitchen: so clean! - so many delicious choices!

The Waterfront, a great place for dinner with friends and loved ones

Jan 23 You're Asking Me to Do What?!

Kelly Morgan - Lamma Artist

(Photos on left by Royal Roy, edited by Elizabeth the Cyanotypist;
photos on right by Annie Knibb; 2 photo-montages by L-G, click to enlarge)

You're asking me to do what?!

With two other novices (Lisa Warden and Andrew Fleming) and two recognized artists (Annie Knibb and Jill Eason), I found myself "being artistic" at Annie's funky pad.

With views over gardens and water, we set up on drop-sheets and news-papers on the patio, and for the first time in years I had a paintbrush in my hand.  I also had a spray bottle full of water, scrunched up newspaper, twigs and other bits and pieces which I put into action to add colour and texture to canvas.

I was entirely trepidatious.  Still, a glass or two of vino certainly helped to calm the nerves.  I didn't want to embarrass myself, but I was also up for some unusual weekend fun and as it turned out, it was just too cool for school (which was the last time I'd put paint to canvas.)

Annie lead me, literally, up the garden path into her lovely, laid back home, where she showed me examples of previous artworks made using the same methods we were to use that day.

The technique involves spraying your canvas with water, then applying acrylic paint, to amazing effect. Many of the paintings looked marbled, or like some otherworldly landscape. My second effort just begged the addition of spinifex to create a desert-scape.

Lisa and Andrew found their inner muses and of course Annie and Jill are generally in contact with theirs.

I certainly found mine – though I think with my first effort she was an aficionado of a certain late seventies airbrushed, "Women Who Turn Into Wolves" school of artistic endeavour.  (Oh dear.)

It was all very good fun, and my compadres were kind enough not to say, "that looks like a poster my bogan brother had on his wall in 1979," so I'll definitely go back again to work on it some more.

After all, I surprised myself by joining in once, and got a really huge buzz out of it. To see the results of that day's efforts, and others, pop in to the Cyan Studio.

Jan 22 Pier Pressure Party Part II

(Click to enlarge)

The Pier Party - organised by Pier Pressure, formerly LKF Live! - on the 1/F of the Lamma Ferry Pier in Central last Saturday night was great fun.  I've got the pictures to prove it!  As promised, they really had a free (and very well-stocked) bar all night, perfect for a freeloading, free-wheeling freelance photojournalist (who drinks very little alcohol, honestly!)

One of the Clockenflap main organisers, Jay, dropped by, still recovering from the (very well-organised) festival. I even got a hand-signed Snoblind CD from Vincent and Regina personally. Thanks, guys, it's shuffling on my tiny iPod Shuffle (my "Bliss Clip") already and it'll motivate me during cardio in the gym today....

A few Lammaites showed up, but especially the Italian Lammaites put in a strong showing (see above)!  Ciao, i miei migliori saluti a tutti i signori e le signorinas italiane sull'isola di Lamma!  Sorry, my Italian has become so very rusty....

At 12:25 am, we Lammaites turned into Cinderellas, rushing to the last ferry back home, just downstairs from the party.  So convenient!  Even Nick didn't miss the last ferry this time.... Next Pier Pressure Party: this Saturday!

Nick the Bookman - Official Court Music Reviewer of Lamma-zine  (that's what it says on his name card - which L-G has created and printed for him.)

Son of Clockenflap - Jan 19, '08

And so the journey continues. Another Saturday, another musical outing. The LKF Live! collective are promoting Pier Party 2 (or as I like to call it, Son of Clockenflap). It's taking place on the middle floor of the Lamma Ferry Pier and is hopefully the start of a long running series of gigs.

It was supposed to start at 2100 hours, but maybe some Lamma time lag is creeping in as things are running late. The show should end about 0200 (Sunday). Cost $180 per person and best of all, a Free Bar all night. Should be an interesting mix. Tonics v 'tronics. Boozers v bluesers, etc. Co-organiser Ross has been setting up since mid-afternoon. The stage area is right above the Lamma ferry pier entrance and shops. There's a large mixer, ably operated by Corey, banks of speakers, some electronic instruments and a pair of acoustic guitars. Quite a contrast of styles. Parrine and her pals from The Beer Bay are in charge of  the hooch. They don't look likely to run out of supplies any time soon. The bar area is midway down the building about 120 feet away. The performers are Psalm, The Projects UK, Snoblind (fresh from their triumph at Cyberport last week) and Violent Jokes. DJ Chris Giblin fiddles in the middle, between sets.

Since Clockenflap, there's been quite a bit of  'tronic traffic between Lamma-Gung and Snoblind, Jay and Lamma-Gung. Noone's met yet. Tonight's the night. I feel the possibility of an exponential synergy exchange is looming. We're all in this together. And so it comes to pass, as I watch Mutual Admiration Societies blossom into being before my very eyes. Alistair, a founder of LKF Live!, is counting in the customers, past the stalwart Sam, the Gatekeeper of The Plastic Link Chain.

The crowd is dividing. The boozers bustle down the back and enjoy one hell of a reasonable pub night. The music isn't loud back there, sort of muffled jukebox. Given prices in the 'Fong, 4 drinks should put you right up on the night, fiscally speaking. And Parrine isn't one for half-measures, either. The crowd up front are family, fans and friends and 1 scrawling journo (that would be me). Have had a great gossip with Jay, chatted affably with Snoblind (and got their autographed CD - hey, these things matter!)  DJ Chris wasn't able to get his equipment working, so he premixed several short sets to play in between the acts. Right now, "Roadhouse Blues" by The Doors is pumping out, followed by "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder.

Psalm are getting ready. The crowd in front looks like several MTR queues. Sort of hushed. Psalm are, er, Psalm and her boyfriend, Suhail, drummer with The Lovesong. She's the main singer. They both play guitar. Very pleasant. Kick back with a cocktail and let the sounds wash over me. Considering that she recorded in the USA and Israel, there's a definite UK folk feel to the vocals. Sort of the late Sandy Denny, or possibly Maddie Pryor, rather than Joan Baez or Judy Collins. A Thomas Hardy/English Rose strain of acidfolk. The guitars sound crisp and full - almost like piano chords at one points. Songs include "By Babylon", "Elijah", "Silent Song" and "Stay Awake". Perfect Sunday Morning Coming Down choice.

There's a few more familiar faces. Grahame, a neighbour, has wandered in out of curiousity and decides to stay to "see Snoblind". Sonya's here with her Lamma Italian posse. They're upfront, chatting vivaciously and enjoying the vibe. L-G is getting lots of photos.

The Brothers UK project is underway. Griff is playing bass/FX over looped, sampled backing tracks. I'm in "the sweet spot", where the sound from the speakers triangulates about 10 feet from the stage, front-and-centre. Get stereo by shaking my head. He's plagued by technical difficulties about 3 times during the set. Shit happens, my man, and the crowd is good-natured. No one here is rooting for deliberate failure.

When Griff is functioning, it's awesome. He's in and out of the crowd, part Paul Simenon swagger, part checking the monitors. DJ Chris has joined me in "The sweet spot". Later in our conversation, he uses the same description, unprompted by me. Telepathy? Mindmeld? Coincidence? Only The Shadow Knows! Chris calls Griff's performance "a mixture of gabba and grunge." For myself, it's late period Steve Hillage in the long chords and spaciness. Some grim vocodor/vox chants add to the menace. A good example of 21st Century spacebass. Tunes include "Dead Inside", "Profession" and "De Bass E-riff". Chris is back spinning discs. The Clash "Rock the Casbah" at one point, followed by Joy Division's "Love will Tear us Apart". Heide is a big fan of his. She says, "He did all the music tonight. I love the music. Oh, and the beard is fantastic."

Snoblind take the stage, about an hour late. Grahame has had to get the 2330 ferry, so he's shit out of luck as regards seeing them. They've promised a more ambient trip hop workout tonight. A brief set of about 30-40 minutes, Vincent plays an electronic toy trumpet over dark, dubby soundscapes. At times, they evoke Isaac Hayes lush orchestration while a voxbite warbles "Midnight". (Possibly Maria Muldaur singing "Midnight at the Oasis", something like that?) Another track features swirly-surly Hammond Organ, like a slow Atomic Rooster, backing the Blues Brothers on a woozy, boozy bootleg.  Now, it's a hung-over, depressed Lemon Jelly. Vincent takes care of most of the pre-programming and Regina twiddles and slaps her small synths. About 20% of the show feels like live jam on top of the throbbing, pulsing background. L-G is a hard-core fan by now, as am I. Jay pops up with some pertinent advice: "Gaffer tape marks the direction of flow. It points towards the speaker and that's where I'm headed." Welcome to "the sweet spot". Snoblind wind down to hearty applause.

I spot the P of DP back near the bar, grooving along. Sorry, cant stay for Violent Jokes. It's 0025. Hopefully, next time.

It's not been the best of nights for punters. About 80 or so have made it. The last turn out was about 350, according to Alistair. That's about the break-even point I guess. It's not a disaster, though. There's a good arrangement in place for the premises. The booze only has to go downstairs after the show. What's not sold is stored. No loss of revenue there. The gear is mostly owned by LKF Live! and friends who are happy to help out. No Gordon Gekko "Greed Is Good" attitude rants, with pleasure as an optional distraction behind the desire to hog the trough. It's more of a Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney "Let's-put-the-show-on-in-the-big-barn-out-back. Tonight!" attitude. We're in this together and we can make it work. Sure, there are flaws, but so what? Imperfections Rule! (Look at any dynasties, royal, political, sexual, whatever.) Next time will be better.

And the scale of your deficit is nowhere near the Bush Regime. The man started with about a US$100 billion surplus. The national debt is now over US$500 billion (I think). Now, he wants to pump in another US$140 billion. The total amount of legal US currency world wide is about US$390 billion. About 65% of that is socked away overseas. It's Big Question Time: Where's the dough, the bread, the lollylootcashdoshreadyspondies? Where's the bucks coming from? If they print more, they'll turn the world into Weimar Republic Mark 2. The will probably have more titillating trivia on this topic for all you Lone Gunmen out there (assuming that Nick and Sam are still operational). Well, enough of that...  Here's to the next gig.   ntb

Jan 21 Quintessential Lamma

NicBud - Lammaite

(This is the first in a new monthly series, featuring Lamma-based photo-graphers. Text and photos by NicBud. This is the very first time anybody has used an "inspirational quote from venerable Lamma-Gung."
{*Blush*}  LOL!  ROTFLMAO!

Quintessential: "representing the perfect example of a class or quality;
having in concentrated form the essential part; purest."

Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Photographer of the Month - January 2008

"Some Lamma artists are most eager to be featured, but some are a bit reluctant, shying away from the worldwide limelight of being featured on the Internet, usually not even having a website of their own yet.  And it's often really tough to get these artists to reveal at least a few words about themselves and their art in writing, sometimes proclaiming 'My art speaks for itself, no words needed!'"

(Quote by Lamma-Gung)

A lot of artists often begin their public revelations by using an inspirational quote.  I choose to start with the above quote by our venerable Lamma-Gung, as it so accurately depicts me.

You can imagine my initial reluctance to accept L-G's invitation to participate in the Photographer of the Month as, shortly after receiving his invitation, I looked up the Lamma website and was confronted by Dave Parker's Notable Accomplishments, including photography!  And, on top of that, I have no website.  Utter despair.  Are my snapshots worthy?  And I couldn't even say, "My photos speak for themselves, no words needed," as was the initial plan.

Instead, I proclaim, "Lamma speaks for itself, no words needed."  Well, maybe just a few.  I am a trained ceramic artist (Australia), but that seems like another lifetime now.  Living a life of a wage slave in Hong Kong doesn't afford one much time to pursue artistic endeavours.  Oh, how I long to be a tai-tai and to frolic in the hills of Lamma with a paintbrush in my hand.  But, for now, photography is my artistic inspiration.  I  have lived on Lamma for two years now, and am an absolute devotee.  I couldn't imagine living anywhere else in Hong Kong, and I love capturing the spirit of this unique spot in the South China Sea which affords so many great images.

I look forward to sharing more of my photographic Lamma journey with you all, and to being inspired by all the Lamma visual artists, great and small.

Jan 20 Boom! Innocent Birds Have Kicked the Bucket

Christie Flowers - 10 years old Lammaite  (all text, text effects and clipart by Christie. To learn more about him and his art, click here.

We're not kidding when we invite EVERYBODY to contribute to this community magazine! Christie is our youngest contributor so far, our oldest one is 80+. We'd love to publish more stuff (anything!) from people of all ages.)

I may be only a kid but I have strong views about pollution. I think that people are a bit dopey about what they throw away. For instance did you know that for styro-foam to bio-degrade it takes a long time, perhaps 50 years or more in the ocean.

The careless tossing of plastic bags into the sea and then you've killed hundreds of innocent sea turtles. It's the same thing with 6-pack plastic rings. You throw one away innocent birds have kicked the bucket, in other words, dead.

If you've ever seen the movie "Happy Feet", you know how Lovelace had that six-pack thing around his neck which nearly killed him in one part. Well, it's the same with other birds.

Apart from plastics, there are other types of water pollution, such as oil spills, toxic wastes, and pesticides, and they are all just as harmful. The one that is the hardest one to get rid of are oil spills. Oil spills are the first major water pollution.

They have endangered most species of seabirds and some species are extinct, and who's to blame? Us! People right now all over the world who are reading this are probably thinking, "Why should we be blamed?" and "The birds flew into the oil. Why is it us who are always blamed?" One simple answer. Because we dumped the oil there in the first place.

Pesticides are another type of major pollution. Pesticides are bad for the environ-ment because pesticides wash off the plants into the lakes and rivers, and from the lakes and rivers into the sea, where they can still kill marine life.

What I'm trying to say is, be careful of what you use and throw away. Oh my gosh! I haven't reviewed waste water yet. Waste water is water that is water from our houses and restaurants that isn't very clean. Things like soap suds, washing-up liquid, things that we discard, sometimes acid (not hydrochloric acid, hopefully), cooking oil, and other things we tip down the sink.

Here are some practical things that kids like you and I can do:

  • Ask your parents to buy only biodegradable soaps and washing up liquid.

  • Be careful of how you throw away plastic bags and Styrofoam containers.

  • Use less plastic bags and recycle the ones you have.

  • Never tip oil or other harmful things down your sink.

This might not sound like very much, but if each and every one of us kids do one teensy, little thing we can begin to make some changes.

Jan 19 Lamma Ferry Pier Parties?!

The Lamma ferry pier #4 in Central on HK Island becoming a happening party place, would you believe it? It's known to us Lammaites only as a place to pass through as quickly as possible during our commute to/from HK Island. But now they're starting to rent out the top two floors of the pier more and more frequently for parties and events and now even concerts as well!

With such an amazing view and such convenient transport this might become very popular with Lammaites! One concert tonight, with a free bar all night! How can they do that? Maybe non-alcoholic only? No way! I'll need to check it out and will report back to you, together with the Official Court Music Reviewer...

Next pier party next week, Sat, Jan 26 (poster below has wrong month!), and another one on Sat, Feb 16!

P.S. The Clockenflap photo gallery has finally been completed, one of my best ever, I hope. Check it out by clicking below!

Jan 18 Get Published!

Over the last year, there's been an amazingly wide range of (almost 365) Lamma-zine articles published with thousands of photos and a few videos, from over 100 all-wonderful contributors. A 7-days-a-week web publication like this needs a constant stream of interesting stuff to publish. You surely wouldn't want to read just my own words every day - this has never been a personal blog - but see what other people have to say!

The "mission statement" of the Lamma-zine, as a Lamma Island Community Placeblog, is to be a public platform for as many people as possible, publishing their news, photos, artworks, articles, blogs, websites, opinions, stories, poems, fiction, links, videos, anything really, as long as it's vaguely Lamma- or Lammaite-related! Get your own words and pictures published! Email me anything and you might see yourself published within days, by name, with an alias, plus email and link, or all anonymously, if you prefer!

I've added my personal phone number at the top of this website recently, below the "Lamma-zine" title, so you're welcome to call me anytime before 10pm with Lamma news, tips, questions and stories. I'm always on duty for the Lamma-zine, my joy, my labour of love, even when working on paid jobs and projects.

I'm also always eager for submissions to "Photo of the Day", "Wildlife of the Day" and "Artwork of the Day". Showcase your best work to your friends and fellow Lammaites! Just click on "Email to the Editor" in the weekday line at the top of every article.

Jan 17 Advertise in the Lamma-zine!  Subscribe!

The Lamma-zine is very fortunate to have a handful of wonderful and loyal long-time advertisers and a few recent private sponsors, who pay for the numerous maintenance bills a large website like this generates. It's become just barely self-supporting over the years, but reasonably stable for the time being. But to grow further and attract even more content contributors and talent, additional funding is needed! The best source for this funding remains advertising revenue.

So our advertising rates will be going up after Chinese New Year, along with almost everything else (except fees and salaries for many of us). The amount of the increase is not finalised yet, but NOW would be the best time to sign up your business, services, shop, restaurant to be prominently featured on this website! Very targeted, effective and low-cost advertising for people and businesses who have something special to offer to Lammaites and people all over HK who also read this daily magazine.

Click for the English ratecard and the Chinese ratecard.

Additional advertising option, like inserting a paragraph into our biweekly email newsletter to 3,000+ valid and active email addresses, barter, link exchanges and advertorials are available on demand. Just email or call me (see rate card).

Talking about the Lamma-zine email newsletter:
It's basically an approximately biweekly reminder of the latest Lamma-zine headlines It would be great to clean up and expand our rather huge mailing list:

  • Do you receive the text-only Lamma-zine email newsletter yet? No?
    Subscribe by selecting from the "Free subscriptions and advertising" drop-down menu at the top right of this website, or register in the forum for an automatic subscription.

  • Do you have friends or new arrivals on Lamma who're not receiving the Lamma-zine email yet, but might be interested? Invite them to subscribe or let me invite them by sending them a single sample email, please.

  • If you get the approximately biweekly "Lamma-zine:..." email more than once, let me know to remove these additional addresses.

  • If you have changed your email address recently and do not receive the email anymore, but would like to, let me know. I clean out all bouncing or invalid email addresses, removing them from my database.

  • Nobody else will ever get your subscribed email addresses from me, data privacy is fully assured and no spam will be sent to you from this website!

  • You're also welcome to unsubscribe anytime and you'll never hear from me again, I promise! What a relief that would be...

Jan 16 A Flock'n'clapping Photo Gallery

Click on photo banner above for an extensive photo gallery by Lamma-Gung

Jan 15 A Cyberdelic Woodstock!

Nick the Official Court Music Reviewer of Lamma-zine

(photos by L-G, click to enlarge. "Nick & DJ Kulu" photo by Sean Creamer):

Clockenflap: 12-1-08

And so the journey begins... a libertine excursion, marked by acts of incompletion and random outbursts of ineptitude. All times are 24-hour clock. Shall we begin?

I've just finished a 5-hour move, up/down more than a 1,000 stairs. These knees aren't made for climbing, but there's brass in pocket and plans are underway to catch the 1430 ferry to Central. Destination: Cyberport for the Clockenflap Multimedia Arts and Music Festival from 1400 hours to 0200 hours, Sunday. Should be a cyberdelic Woodstock (w/out mud, but w/a huge Bouncy Castle). Strolling down YSW Main Street, against a lot of happy feet traffic, I learn there's a free ferry to Pokfulam leaving in 15 minutes (about 1330). There's just time enough to buy cocktail ingredients, a new notebook and hit the pier (for a 15 minute wait on the boat). Good crowd, lots of familiar, multi-generational DickStock faces. No pushing. The antithesis of the RFU's shambolic distribution of rugby tickets (but that's a completely different story of rage, impotence, irritated joy, greed and incompetence).

The Bush regime's rain-makers are up to their usual standard. It's a glorious day, thanks to a dazzling performance by Ole Sol, the biggest star in our system. Beaming in good vibes (if we don't get too technical and mutter about melanomas and mutant radiation) from 8 light minutes away he Makes The Day! I spend the next 20 minutes, sharing cocktails with Lamma-Gung, Parksy and Tiff - all of us are working VIP's today. Lamma-Gung gets his 1st significant mention now for exhorting us all to Flock'n'clap for Clockenflap!

The hired ferry boat (from the same people who did the recent Wonderful Voyage Around Lamma) gets us there safely. Out of the boat at Cyberport, past the Sculpture Garden, round a big building and down the length of the Information Circuit. Lucky me, there's about another 150 stairs [Editor: 112 steps, according to Parksy who counted them! See left] to clamber to gain entrance. Wiry, young dads bound blithely past me, 2 steps at a time, carrying prams and possibly subharmonising to a rousing chorus of "hey-ho, hey-ho, it's off to work we go!" Reach the top without recourse to oxygen.

Inside, the lovely Marianne with the unshaky hands signs me in and deftly attaches my Clockenflap media bracelet [see below]. Through the doors and wow! Groovy Venue! There's a 4-tiered garden area (very flat) ringed by a moat (no fishing allowed and please don't feed the mosquitoes). Lots of tiny tootsies getting soaked though. There's the main bar and a big vidscreen at stage left, a decent sized stage, the ubiquitous iron fence in front. Next is Ray's Shed, some food stalls and bars and Andy's environmental booth. Andy the Conservation Director explains. "I'm on duty. The WWF has a tent and we're talking to people about seafood hunts." (I think that's what it reads).

There's also a laptop to calculate your carbon footprint [Editor:]. Looking forward to Young Knives too!" The SCMP reports that the organisers will donate 20% of their profits to offset the carbon footprint [see green poster below]. Good Work Fellows! Unlike the Dubyahoo and his Cabal. This is a President whose mangled syntax inspired a book "The Bush Dyslexicon". A man who allegedly spent his formative years with a silver shotglass welded to his wrist or a silver spoon up his nose (anecdotes vary). He's now swapped them for a silver foot in his mouth and I hope he gets to the silver sock in his gob before he tells us his Final Solution to Global Warming is...Nuclear Winter. He needs to listen to Meher Baba speak more often. Pete Townsend will vouch for that.

Nice grass at front of stage, more cocktails, casual banter, blah blah blah. Parksy and Tiff have ambled off and L-G is skulking somewhere [Editor: Who, me? I was taking photos, not skulking!] There's a hint of a wisp of a snippet of a Chinese Whisper saying 'The Music's Too Loud'. Apparently 70 decibels is tolerable to the Authorities. Negotiations are continuing. The main suspect is anonymous from the hotel at stage right. Didn't they know there was a Happening today? The complaint occurs during Luke Chow's vibrantly pleasant acoustic guitar w/vox opening set. Songs include "Accumulation", "Internally External" and "Becoming a Dentist". He seems glad when it's over (too much Friday night?) and much prefers playing with his band Hungry Ghost - a 4-piece with Tiffany Love, Paul Lam and Mike. Who plays what is left as an intrigued reader's exercise. Check out I've told him to unearth "Love Chronicles" by Al Stewart (Jimmy Page on extended lead guitar!)

Clementine is my Sunshine is next on stage. A more ethereal set on acoustic guitar and occasional harmonica. The type of tunes you would hear on Sarah Records. Sorry, dude, gotta go. Just spotted Kulu climbing into Ray's Shed...He spins an interesting mix of nu-funk and offbeat rare groove at Solas and Kee Club. Today's aural offerings include Flow Dynamics w/Diesler, Quantic and the Freestyle All-Stars. Steve Bruce, Ray and Kumi DrumJam are here too, almost inhaling the sounds of his short set. Someone's shot a snap of me and DJ Kulu - the Battle of the Beards! I wonder what time my mates Karina and Derek will arrive? Recent experience suggests the odds of them seeing the headliners are 60/40.

Meanwhile, Bizali are busting some chops on stage... This Bristol-based group have been gigging about 2 years. In their own write, they claim to be "inventors of FLUNK music. Boil the copper pot of FOLK, mix with the silky tea-leaves of SOUL, blend with smooth FUNK syrup and serve in a little teapot of SWING". Long-term Lammaites will remember Mothership. Newer arrivals will think of a hornless Nude and Garoupa's acoustic lead guitar w/FX pedals. (Has Garoupa now gone the way of the cod?) Blythe Pepino is on lead vocals and part time melodeon. She's a twirlyball of energy, floral summer skirt flaring out. Dancing barefoot, she's a minxy mix of Sandie Shaw, Belinda Carlisle and Eddi Reader. Daisy Palmer is a subtle power drummer with some cool changes in pace and tempo. Dave Johnston on bass meshes fluidly with her, providing the solid necessary heartbeat to move the tunes along. Aaron Zahl is the main scribe and his acoustic guitar playing blends rock riffs, wah-wah pedals and ringing power chords (plus a nifty Hendrix riff. Well spotted, little Nick at the mixer). Marina, a guest photographer says "The show is bizarre. I love the Bizali band playing right now." Tunes include 'UH-HUH", "Shiny Things" and "Broken Chains". The melodeon track was a real Augusto Pablo flashback. More details on and I'm looking forward to chatting with you...

Bodhi is now DJing at Ray's. Gets a little more trancy and then slips in a real gem. Lee Perry doing 3 Blind Mice - a rarity from 1971-74. People in the crowd are having fun. Time for more solicited scribbles and scrawls. Here's Sean and Lauren: "Kid Carpet and Young Knives are gonna kick ASS! Blips and blops forever. Great venue. Great price. Do it Every Year."

Little Nick explains that his job is to get the band sounding right (to them) on stage and his feed is sent to the master mixer who makes sure it sounds cleaner and crisper than the original band CD. Bizali are backstage, winding down and we chat for a bit before they go do some PR and interviews. Like me, they're Young Knives virgins. They wonder why everyone is so laid back. I reassure them that most local audiences don't dance, but they DO enjoy the show or else they wouldn't be there, not dancing. MC's Will and Kinny introduce DP who are preparing to "shock and awe" the front row of grinning gurners and the TV eye. No sign of Karina and Derek.

DP is Dave (voxbass/FX) and Paul (drums). That's the simplest acronym. Other more scatological versions exist. Enjoy making up your own. Musically, they could be Dub Punk to Dark Prog. Their Demented Playing has led to a Durable Partnership since they graduated from The Academy of hard rock knocks in early 2007. They blast through a 10-tune set which includes crowd pleasers "Supermegadon", "Man Thresher", "Eye of the Eagle" and "Vincent Blackmountain". The sound recalls prime sludgy-Sabs, some Metallica, and bits of more electro NIN when Dave mashes his pedals. Paul's charity Mohawk is growing out and his white suit and matching shades gives the appearance of a slightly psychotic ice cream vendor, but it's all an act. He sheds the jacket and his drumming becomes faster, more fluid while his hi-hat cymbal stack is knocked askew about 3 times during the set. Thomas, a visiting drummer, notes "DP rocks, but their cymbal is defective". His mate, Preston, wants everyone to know he's having an awesome birthday. He gets a birthday brownie. Dave is blending power bass riffs with a rumbling, underlying rhythm. Close your eyes and they could be a trio. Personally, I think they need a mad synth/samples/keyboard player. Someone like Alan Ravenstein (Pere Ubu) over Isao Tomita and samples triggered by Don Letts. They've done some recording/re-mixing w/Dan F. (Yumla) and that's what I want to hear. Embrace Naughty Technology! My viewpoint is not a Damascene moment for Paul. Other fans have said the same thing. You can check DP out on

DP have finished and the tension is mounting as The Young Knives' HK debut draws ever closer. Backstage, Paul has the answer. A large guitar case is put on the table, opened's treble doubles all round. The Guitar Bar is officially open for business! Another quick brownie and a choice of Jim Beam, Absolut, Jagermeister, and Bombay Gin. I spot Bizali up front, having done the PR chores, and motion them round to the back. The Jagermeister sustains heavy damage as everyone swigs and bonds. L-G has arrived and wants to know if I want to join the press conference with Jay and Mike (the organisers). I say no as The Young Knives are on stage.

You know the story. UK Mercury Music Prize nominees last year. The Post wrote that they "forged a reputation on the back of their live shows" and their debut release "Voices of Animals and Men". Henry Dartnell is on lead guitar/vox. Brother Thomas, aka House of Lords, (who looks like a young Ronnie Barker - think Fletch, pre-"Porridge") is the bassist. Oliver Askew is on drums. They wear suits. Slightly less flashy than early Be Bop Deluxe. Not quite Men in Black-era Madness. More accountants on the razz, so to speak. Thish could be the cocktailsh shpeaking (or Sean Connery), but they are really rather good. Tight songs, fusing the gritty guitar runs of The Ruts. Melodies courtesy of The Only Ones or The Skids. Heroic stances worthy of Pete Townsend or Spinal Tap's Nigel Tuffnell. This is a post-punk v retro-rock amphetamine-fuelled charge through some of the greatest Indie moments of the last 20 years. It's like most of the best acts from "Uurgh! A Music War" all mashed up. The only titles I hear are "Up All Night and "Lightswitch". The encore features Henry falling over [see below], playing a blistering rock guitar finale and leaving his guitar prone on stage feeding back, while he scuttles off, followed by Thomas and Oliver.

The sound is up to 90 decibels for this performance, thanks to the unflappable Alex and her mediation skills. L-G and Marina are getting some excellent snaps. Manek is here now. Haven't seen him since the Hedkandi gig. He's videoing the show. Blythe and Daisy are in full-tilt boogie mode at the side of the stage. (Ja, ja, Jagermeister!). Lots of Lammaites visible. Tamara is still dancing. Chunny, Sian, John Hutton and Barry are on the periphery. Where the hell are Karina and Derek? Looking for Godot perhaps? I persuade Bizali to make Clockenflap history by becoming the 1st Bristol band to review another Bristol band while the latter are still playing. Here goes: Bizali says [see below]: "The Young Knives are brillo pads, like chocolate on our nether bits. Uuuummm, I like". Thanks, Blythe. "Clockenflap rules. The Young Knives rock." Cheers, Daisy. L-G has the photographic evidence of this mini-moment in history. Don't all surf for it at the same time.

Clockenflap by Day is over. Most of the families are leaving, while the unencumbered are heding to the downstairs inside hall for Clockenflap by Night. Ray's abandoned his Shed and is on the Wheels of Steel, just below a stage clustered with equpment for the later acts. The indoor venue has a Cathedral-cum-foyer appearance, set off by huge bay windows. About 600 (?) or so people remain of the nearly 900 (?) who were outdoors. Ray slams out some frenetic grooves to a wildly delirious crowd (up front, anyway). The final tune features a raucous rock soundbite "you've got a bullet in the head" Sounds familiar? MC Grey Goose enlightens me. "Who else fuses funky 80's electro into Rage Against The Machine? That's some cool shit" Take it away Mr Ray Dollars.

While laptop duo Snoblind set up and fine tune, there's an impromptu performance by Hannah [see right]. She's Patti Smith meets Joolz, the Punk Poetess. A bravura recital of Lamma 'til I Die over an absorbing funky soundscape. She articulates in brief, but telling detail, the joys of being a Lamma resident. 20 years of my life flash by while she performs, a smile of happy recognition plastered across my face. Hannah, please get in touch w/L-G. He really wants to publish your poem in the Lamma-zine! On with the show. Still no K + D.

This is the 2nd time I've had the pleasure of seeing Snoblind live. The previous gig was #34 of the long-running series put on by the local organisation that isn't HK Live! I sent the organisers a review and they REACTED WITH A RATHER ROBUST, ROTTEN, RUDE, RANTING REFUSAL. Never mind, Long may they sporulate in their reeking swamps and rotten corpses. No hard feelings. Anyway, with your indulgence, I would like to quote from this previously unpublished piece: "...Snoblind get ready to take us into the Twilight Zone where all is possible and nothing forbidden. They plough a slightly more funkrock path than the ambient electronica of FourTet, the mashed-up dance grooves of Kid 666 or the acid-dubtronix of Sandoz... Samples and beats recall the mad Swedish Moogsters EHIF, jamming w/The Flaming Lips as over-produced by the (homicidal) Phil Specter. There's also a nod to Frank Zappa's "Jazz from Hell". They also show sped-up jerky HK movies with a slight hint of paranoia. A sort of stalker's view of grimy, decaying architecture and late night freak rides along the Oblivion Autobahn. Some of the films are the same tonight. Snoblind use 3 laptops and a couple of magic boxy gizmos and joycontrols. Not quite a typical theremin, but capable of much electro-sorcery.

Tonight's set features both Regina and Vincent playing the same stripped down cyberbass(?) at separate times while the other twiddles, tweaks, and sculpts scary soundscapes. The last gig was loungecore compared to this. This set ambles through trip-hop terrain into a final 20 minutes of unparalleled freakout. More dirty/grunge v the sound of terrified prickle-sweat. White noise, bleeding into cosmic debris and background radiation from the birth of the Universe. I can almost hear the quantum foam bubbling in the nano-furnaces, causing the eventual entropic heat-death of the Totality that is our Space Time Continuum. 13.7 billion light years (since tea last Tuesday) and still going strong...

Cassady Winston, an American rep. from Solos records in San Francisco who's been in HK for 9 months puts it differently. "I came to see Snoblind, that's why I came. I'm happy when a down-tempo live group can work a dance crowd" His opinion is shared by Ole Grey Goose, who has possibly over-imbibed wisely on his eponymous vodka and is feeling very confessional. "I'm bummed I didn't bring any weed. I want a little doob and to listen to the Snoblind CD." Shook's multiple personalities have decided, "We love Cyberport". Sarah Swann and boyfriend Pete (both fellow lefties!) say "Great night. I'll be checking out" and "Love the beard, man! Serious cultivation" Finally, a small screed from the man w/no name. "To, Nick the book, who keeps the book. I Clockenflapped and...I got shook. It's all good, but what's it mean (I keep punctuation even in this mood). Check back next week and you'll find what we seek. I've 20 teenagers defining Clockenflap for homework as we SPEAK". Reveal yourself, kind stranger!

I've missed quite a lot of this show. Haven't seen any of the films or video displays. Not had a bounce in the castle. Next time, I must get myself cloned so I can see less and less of more and more until the ultimate fusion where everything is reduced to a basal structure of blipverts and soundbites... I guess the Guitar Bar cocktails are working as advertised, but I'm getting the munchies, having only had 3 brownies all day. Wax Apple are setting up and...(bump) "Hi, Nick!" Karina and Derek have made it (it's about 2330) Tom and Adele are urging me to stay the distance and split a sampan back. I promised Lena I'd try to get the last ferry and the munchies are a powerful force for motion. L-G is ready to go. Bizali have disappeared back into the throbbing crowd. I think, just a few more minutes. Catch some Waxed Apple and leg it. The Apple are veterans of 2 Rockit Festivals and always receive a warm welcome. One of them is related to the organisers. No red suits today. What I hear is a breathtaking meld of traditional and electronic instruments. The drummer is frantic. Sounds like Afro-Celt SoundSystem re-mixed by Adrian Sherwood. Dub soundscapes and more swirly tronix at drum-n-bass pace. Wish I could stay. Karina says she has a parcel for me in her car...

Outside is chaos. A mini-bus is about to leave. L-G's inside [Editor: catching the last ferry back to Lamma, 0030, with 2 minutes to spare]. I get gazumped. No cabs, hopefully another minibus will come very soon. It's 0010 (Sunday). Last ferry goes in 20 minutes. I wait, see a bus, jump on. It's going to Causeway Bay - via Aberdeen! It's 0028 and I'm stuck on the Aberdeen quay. No sampans, no other customers. A man tells me the single-person fare is $150. Another man repeats the price. It's easier to get a bus back to Central and wait for the 1st Lamma ferry at 0730. Arrive in Central at 0118. I've narrowly missed the next ferry by 6 hours and 12 minutes. I'm feeling flockenclapped out. Get some scoff at D-bay ferry pier. Now what? I guess it's time for a long chat to Meher Baba. And how was your day? ntb.

Jan 14 Sex and Violence @ Ferry Pier!

These days, sex and violence lurk in the most unexpected places, even on the commute to town. Being early for the ferry, I perused the offerings of the kiosk at the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier. I found a Chinese comic book with the label above printed on the cover. With a label like this, it was tempting to have a look. A comic book "which may offend", "may not be distributed, circulated, sold, hired, given, lent, shown, played or projected to a person under the age of 18"? Times have really changed since my Mickey Mouse and Superman-reading days, when killing humans in video games was still deemed unacceptable (killing monsters and aliens was always OK.)

The comic book was really offensive, full of gratuitous violence, showing limbs being chopped off and baddies being skewered in graphic detail. Little squares are blocking out the most gory details, similar to making a face unrecognisable on TV. What's up with that? Is it required by law? This seems to be a locally very popular comic and it's really well-drawn. Some harmless, sexy ads complement the $14 package and are probably the reason for the WARNING label, not the violence.

I shouldn't pontificate too much, as this photo taken by Lamma-Por demonstrates, showing two of her grandsons. Violence is still considered cool by the young generation; war games and toys are most popular even in peace-loving local households. Buying birthday presents for one of the boys in Toys"R"Us, what was the only toy he chose? A hi-tech toy gun camouflaged as a fake mobile phone!

Jan 13 The Numerous Notable Accomplishments of
DAVE PARKER - Artist, Author and Designer

Honouring and promoting a Lamma Artist of the Month (almost) every month is one of the most labour-intensive but also most satisfying tasks of the Lamma-zine. Some Lamma artists are most eager to be featured, but some are a bit reluctant, shying away from the worldwide limelight of being featured on the Internet, usually not even having a website of their own yet. And it's often really tough to get these artists to reveal at least a few words about themselves and their art in writing, sometimes proclaiming "My art speaks for itself, no words are needed!"

One artist who has no problem whatsoever with revealing himself to the public is our Artist of the Month - January 2008, Dave Parker!  He's a famous, former Lammaite who has returned (permanently, we hope!) just a few months ago from Manila. Instead of the usual few words or paragraphs, he's submitted 5 pages (!) of "Notable Accomplishments, Aims and Aspirations, Artistic Style and Inspiration" and even a detailed Biography for this article!

Browsing it, it all sounds so grand and impressive and awe-inspiring, I feel totally unworthy and truly blessed to live on the same island, walk on the same ground as such an artistic genius! Here are a few quotes and excerpts from Dave's 5-page document and its very aptly-titled sections.

I'm dumbfounded by his numerous Notable Accomplishments, for example:

  • Artist, author and publisher of 'A Brush with Hong Kong'

  • Drawing on the film set during the making of 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'

  • Underwater drawing on Mexican cave-diving expeditions

  • Designer of Cathay Pacific Airlines' 50th anniversary stamps

  • Hundreds of commissions for private collectors over the past 20 years

  • Has designed shop interiors, clubs, bars, sculptures, buildings, boats, aircraft liveries and customised vehicle artwork

I'm adoring his humble Artist's Statement:

I'm very lucky to be able to see any subject and then translate my observations directly and accurately via a strip of wood and sharpened graphite or a stroke or two delivered by hair, water and pigment. This is something so special, I'm always saying 'thank you… a visual artist, I am responsible to convey the beauty and frailty of our surroundings. If I can do this so that just one person through seeing my work decides not to cut that tree down or to spend that extra $ on a biodegradable product, then I'm working.

I'm admiring his lofty Aims and Aspirations:

To create a visual and subliminal message through my work to communicate awareness of the finer aspects of our existence in relation to our environment for our future generations, and to be known as a colourful and innovative contributor to the international world of art and publishing.

I'm astounded by his multi-faceted Artistic Style and Inspiration:

Finding artistic diversity and the ability to 'change hats' a great advantage in today's harsh commercial and fine art markets, Dave ties himself to no one style of work, remaining adaptable, varied and experimental, enjoying many media in styles from classical, abstract and oriental.

Particularly interested in wildlife and the environment, he combines realism and abstract painting, fusing them into 'eco-abstract realism' for future eco art projects. He is also an accomplished marine, maritime and aviation artist.

Dave considers himself an all-round arts man and multi-medium expressionist, extreme location artist and 'artrepreneur'. He stretches the realms of his subject, painting and drawing underwater as a wreck diver and cave diver under the jungles of Mexico, live TV painting performances, special events art coverage and expedition documentation.

I'm flabbergasted by his roaming Biography, for example:

Creativity is definitely in the soil around the roots of Dave Parker's family tree. Son of a movie make-up artist, with an Oscar nominee brother and other family as artists, designers and architects (including Frank Lloyd Wright), art was in his genes from the start.

Born in London on 17th December 1959, Dave spent most of his childhood and early schooling years transiently as the family followed the vibrant world of filmmaking. Contrary to having a destabilising effect, the frequent relocations inspired Dave's lifelong passion for travel and the free lifestyle of an artist.

Taking in Nepal, Burma, Thailand and New Zealand, he eventually arrived in Hong Kong. Dave was instantly captivated by the vibrant contrasts of the then still British colony... in 1989 published his work in the highly acclaimed, racy and vividly illustrated coffee-table book 'A Brush with Hong Kong', which earned its place as a best-selling collectors' book, and is still listed as such on

Continuing to travel, he discovered the Philippines, where he set up studio on the tropical island of Boracay, bought a sailboat and lived the 'artist's life', painting marine life and commuting to Hong Kong to work on commercial projects and for exhibitions.

In 1997 he covered the territorial exchange of Hong Kong to China in a well-sponsored, self-published, updated edition of his previous book, with a CD-ROM and was a featured photographer in a commemorative book on 'Hong Kong, Dawn of a New Dynasty'.

Since the frenetic and prolific Hong Kong days, Dave has involved himself with the Asian Development Bank, deep jungle cave-diving expeditions, The Do24 classic flying boat world tour, and still plans cutting-edge publications on exotic destinations.

And after all of this most impressive verbiage, I simply know him as a friend, Dave the Dude, the fun-loving, easy-going, down-to-earth man-about-the-village. He's always eager for more work taking advantage of his many talents. Have a look at his portfolio samples below and email him to say hello and if you'd have some good tips or leads on some (paid) artwork assignments, he'd love it!

Jan 12 We Flocked and We Clapped!

Click photos above to enlarge. A lot more photos and a review are in progress...

Jan 11 Incredible & Impossible Spaces

Elizabeth the Cyanotypist - The Cyan Studio - Tel. +(852) 6252 6839,
2/F 21C Back Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island:

Open Studio this Sunday, Jan. 13th

Dear Artists of all inclinations,

The second Sunday of this New Year's almost here, and The Cyan Studio is pleased to feature a selection of freshly-painted work from a group of talented artists based on Lamma Island. These beautiful pieces were all created during a series of gatherings at the seaside home of local artist Annie Knibb.

The paintings have subtle washes of color that transform white canvas into ephemeral landscapes of sea & sky, with visions of storms and stretches of marble; they're incredible and impossible spaces with a variety of depth and lighting effects. See the picture above for a prime example by Annie.

Additional artists include:

Rodney Jones

Laurence James Lucas

Jill Eason

Lisa Warden

Andrew Fleming

Kelly Morgan

Lamma's worth a day out for its waterfront restaurants, its charming low-rise villages, hiking trails for all from the fit to the faint-hearted, and most of all, for the art from a creative community!

Open Studio hours: 2-6pm, Sunday Jan 13th, and by appointment only.

Please visit for map and directions.

Jan 10 Flock'n'clap @ Clockenflap!  Free Ferry!

No Rockit music festival in the foreseeable future, no DickStock last Autumn, what are live outdoors music fans to do? Flock'n'clap @ Clockenflap, that's what! Flap your imaginary wings over the Lamma Channel, Flock to the Cyberport!
Clap wildly around the Clocken!

Check out the long and impressive list of live music at this 12-hour mega event, a true Multimedia Arts and Music Festival, in the Cyberport, starting this Saturday at 2pm! There have been numerous small Clockenflap concerts in varying venues before, including Lamma's Haunted House, but this is the definitive mega event, their biggest show ever, hopefully the beginnings of a new regular event.

Besides all the live bands, there'll be films and animations shown, installation and visual artists to dazzle us, and international cuisines to sample. It's a kids-friendly event, free admission for children under 8, including a bouncy castle. After the festival ends around 2am, free transportation back to Admiralty will be provided, from where you can continue to party all night, till the first ferry back to Lamma!

Hoping for a massive turnout of Lammaites, they've even chartered a 140-person ferry from Chuen Kee Ferry Ltd., the ferry company running gaidos between Aberdeen and Sok Kwu Wan. A one-time-only ferry ride and it's FREE!

1:30 pm on Sat, nonstop from Yung Shue Wan ferry pier to the Cyberport!

After connecting the Clockenflap organisers to the ferry charter, I also tried to convince them to provide free sandwiches and drinks on the ferry, but they spent all their money on the free ferry already! Harrrumph! Click on the poster below for more festival info. Coming up: a festival review from Nick our Official Court Music Reviewer, with photos by Yours Truly.  See you there?!

Jan 9 Electricity Tariffs - Up or Down?

I'm confused...

A not unusual state of mind for Lamma-Gung, you might argue and you might be right, but this concerns a serious matter, our often substantial electricity bills!

Most of you might know that our friendly neighbourhood power company, HK Electric, has increased the electricity tariffs by an average of 6%, effective just a few days ago, hitting us all where it hurts many of us most, in our wallet.

But then the govt. announced a new Scheme of Control yesterday, regulating the maximum permitted return on investment for HK's two power companies, reducing it from 15% to 9.99% in HK Electric's case. This could mean a potentially substantial reduction in electricity bills, IF the costs of coal and gas won't increase too much before the agreement comes into effect one year from now.

This was announced just a few days after the tariff increase hit us, maybe timed to decrease our pain? The power companies will also be rewarded financially for sticking to new (mild) pollution emission standards or punished if they don't, which would also increase or decrease the electricity tariffs. And they can make 11% instead of 9.99% profit on renewable energy assets (like Lamma Winds). See why I'm confused?

To clear it all up, hopefully, here's HK Electric's informative media release where they're not even complaining (too much) about this massive decrease in profits:

HK Electric Signs New Scheme of Control Agreement [7 January 2008]

On the other hand, HK Electric is the Title Sponsor of this website, so a tiny, teensy-weensy part of their nice profits is used to support this website. So we can continue to survive and provide you with daily stories, events, info, photo galleries and an active bilingual forum. Many thanks to all of HK Electric's customers from, your contribution is most appreciated!

By the way, this website is maintained and updated daily using power from HK Electric exclusively. Without their power, this website could not remain online and you could not even access it from HK or Lamma islands. The power for the lighting, cooking, aircon and music to keep this editor happy in his home office (and the power for most of our contributors) is also provided exclusively by HK Electric, at a reasonable, internationally competitive cost. So let's all be grateful for our mod cons and look forward eagerly and happily to a substantial tariff DECREASE coming Jan 1, 2009.

OK, dear readers, this concludes our little "advertorial" for today...

Jan 8 Boisterous Bollywood Beauties @ The Island Bar

Mrs Santa Claus - Co-owner of The Island Bar (photos by Phil & Oiy):

Bollywood came to Lamma on New Year's Eve!

December 31st saw a group of mostly unfancy dressed people at the Island Bar, largely attributable to the cool weather which discouraged bare flesh.  That however, was the only downside.  With typical Bollywood music playing thoughout the evening, the event was a tremendous success, ably supported by Oiy who, mingling with the crowd, encouraged all present to put forward their best attempts to try Indian dancing.

Although suffering a somewhat slow start, by mid-evening the Island Bar was thronging and a good time was had by all.

Thank you all who attended.  We hope you had a good time.  And a big thank you to Oiy who's authentic sari proved an inspiration to us all as she helped us all on the way to merriment!

A very Happy New Year from The Island Bar!

Jan 7 Shady Dealer, Bollywood Star or Loving Husband?

Text and photos submitted by Mr Anonymous (who's usually far from shy):

Is he a shady dealer, a Bollywood star, a loving husband? Well, of course he's all three - and more besides. He's Spicy Island's Amar Singh.

Lamma Island's favourite curry maker bought three new suits this Christmas ahead of going to India later this month (January) for his eldest son's wedding and couldn't resist an opportunity to ham it up for the camera.

The bad news for Lammaites is that it will be "drinks only" at Spicy while he's away with his youngest son holding the fort. And, who knows, if Bollywood gets to see Amar in his yellow suit, he might never come back . . . except on film as the star of the latest Bolly blockbuster!

P.S. by the Editor (L-G):  The very pretty Indonesian lady above is Nurul and she's NOT Amar's daughter as some people might have suspected!

Looking at Amar's name card, there's even a Mob contact! Shady Dealer or Mob Boss? Should we be worried?  ;-)

Maybe that's why man-about-town Mr Anonymous, a frequent, fearless, non-anonymous contributor, chose to remain anonymous this time?  ;-)

Jan 6 Pak Kok Village Hillfire

Photo by Denis Williamson, taken on Sat, Jan 5, 6pm, from his Tai Peng rooftop
(click to enlarge)

Zooming in to the max, showing the firefighters at the fire line

Denis writes: "The firemen, who were on the scene quite quickly, can be seen on the right of the pic, but it can also be seen how the fire is way too spread out for them to tackle; it's also burning on the other side of the hill.

"We did see extra firemen arriving on the pier at about 6:15 pm, and when we returned to Lamma on the 10:30 ferry from Central everything was extinguished, so maybe the extra firemen helped, or maybe it just burned out itself (I don't know exactly what happened).

"I enclose a fairly high-res pic, so there is some detail if you zoom in."

I've also started a new forum topic on this incident, so you can submit your own photos and first-hand experiences and can speculate on what caused this fire. It happened outside the usual two "grave-burning" Chin. festivals - Ching Ming and Chung Yeung, April 4 and Oct 7 this year - when these hillfires often take place, caused by careless worshippers burning offerings at their ancestral graves. During the current dry season, almost anything hot enough can set off a hillfire, a discarded cigarette butt, embers from a BBQ, etc. No info about the cause is yet available from the local authorities, but fortunately nobody was injured in the fire.

A few more great pictures below by Tracey Duggan and her son Lucas Duggan in Pak Kok. When she caught the 5.40pm to Aberdeen on Sat, Jan 5, the fire was raging down the Pak Kok Shan hill towards the end of Power Station Road. Nothing to be seen anymore at 10pm. Tracey & Lucas went hunting today for clues about what started the fire, but found nothing.

For her multiple fine contributions to the Lamma-zine, Tracey has just accepted (with delight!) her appointment as our Official Court Pak Kok Correspondent!

Igor in Pak Kok Village writes (slightly edited):

Dear Web Master,

I wish to supply a few pictures re: the Pak Kok hillfire. [Editor: see his close-up, hot-action shots below]

At 4:30pm, I visited the fire site and found about six officers watching the fire. They were un-equipped and were using branches of trees to fight the fire. They immediately ordered me to leave the area. They were waiting for the fire services helicopter. They kindly accepted two fire mops I brought...

The fire was raging on...

At around 6:30 PM, young Shakh called a few local Lamma volunteers from Pak Kok and Tai Peng who joined him and climbed the burning slope with fire mops which they collected from the Pavilion. At that moment, there were about 100 m of uncontrolled fire left at the Pak Kok side of the hill. The firemen were engaged at the opposite Aberdeen side. In about 20 minutes of hard work, the fire had been bravely extinguished by using only mops.

When the volunteers went over to help the fire fighters at the opposite side of the hill, they saw them "controlling the fire" in a very passive way. Fire officers spent more efforts to neglect the help and were rather embarrassed by unwanted witnesses... It looks like that the fire had finished in more or less a natural way...

If officers would have had mops and were not just waiting for the helicopter, then the fire could have been extinguished faster.

And the helicopter never came...

Last but not least, an email from the local police, after I've asked them for some feedback and comments from their perspective:

Senior Inspector Woo-Woo - SIP, Lamma Island & Peng Chau:

This has been a dry year, the hill side near to Lo So Shing was burnt twice. No human fault, same as the recent one in Pak Kok.

I hope these hill fires will be stopped when Spring comes.

Tourist or hikers left behind broken glasses, cans, mirrors may cause reflection and heat, a possible cause of fire in these remote areas under the dry condition, I guess. You may encourage all of our Lammaites to pick up almost everything they see while hiking to help to prevent hill fires.

Also, have a look at our active forum topic, with several eye witnesses commenting on the fire and the responses of the police and fire services...

Here's my personal favourite forum post, by a true Lammaite:

tjungarayi - Senior forum member, quoting from the Pak Kok fire forum:

Perhaps it was an aged hippie smoking who carelessly dropped a reefer and caused this fire. It could even have been a misfired military laser attached to a Chinese or USA satellite. But all the forensic evidence and supposition leads to the firm conviction that those evil-minded careless smokers are behind this atrocity.

Nevertheless, I do not think we should despair at this horrendous catastrophe. Rather we should rejoice that this ecological disaster serves as a reminder at how fragile our Lamma haven is. Despite those rather largish chimneys, the local council should perhaps ban smoking of all types on the island.

And I bless my ten toes that no dog or cat was singed, killed, horribly burnt or disfigured with livid scars. Lucky and fortunate also, that no people were affected. Post traumatic stress is widely recognized as affecting dogs and cats as well as humans and counseling can only offer some relief. Unfortunately, Lamma island does not have the facilities to cope with canine post traumatic stress syndrome. This is something that should be brought up at the next council meetings as an urgent matter.

We should encourage our olive garbed constabulary and brave stalwart fire fighters to aim for better response times instead of belittling their efforts. The fire fighters lot is a dangerous and lonely endeavor with little thanks or praise for their heroism. Hark back and remember those numerous times our small island community has been comfortingly reassured by the reverberations of tiny red machines speeding towards those hellish hot infernos.

May we well remember those unknown dogs, cats, insects, trees, pretty green shrubbery and minute seedlings that may have perished on that most wicked of days henceforth to be remembered as the Great Pak Kok Fire of Jan 2008.

Jan 5 Beaches, Bars & Bizarre Residents

"Lamma's beaches, bars and bizarre residents make it a popular destination for a weekend excursion. On Sunday, 27 January, you will have an opportunity to experience some less familiar aspects of Hong Kong's third largest island."

This is a quote from the January newsletter of the HK Gardening Society, announcing an excursion to see "Lamma Gardens and more". They'll visit Herboland, of course; a traditional Chin. medicinal plant garden-cum-orchard and also the MicroGardens project by (bizarre?) Lammaites Bing Law & Dave Sanders. They'll also be the guides of this Lamma Gardens excursion, see below:

Well, if they include the several HK Gardening Society members (like myself) living on Lamma in this "Bizarre Residents" remark, we might forgive them... but only this time! We Lammaites have been called many unflattering names over the years, but "bizarre" was a new one for me. Let's add it to our voluminous and growing "Lamma Cliches" file. If you have some more cliches, email them to me!

RSVP to, if you'd like to attend this free event. Just show up at the YSW ferry pier at 10:30am, Sunday, Jan 27 and meet me or call me at 6498 6960. Yes, we realise it's early for a Sunday morning, but it's the early bird who catches the worm (if you like worms.)

Non-members are usually warmly welcomed to these frequent social events, but you will be gently persuaded - in a friendly, jovial way - to join up later. The same happened to me! Also, check out the new HK Gardening Society website.

P.S. It's been revealed who's been calling us Lammaites "bizarre"!

It was one of our own, a fellow Lammaite! Take a bow, Jane Ram, our Gardening forum moderator and a Bizarre Bohemian, by her own accord. She writes:

"Thanks for the plug for HKGS Lamma visit. I couldn't resist the alliteration…
Perhaps discretion should have ruled the day. Oh well, too late now!
"I count myself among the bizarre anyway…
"Please can you give a push for HKGS February activities – they are very close together."

OK, we'll forgive her this time and refrain from the usual customary tarring and feathering, a reputedly time-honoured Lamma tradition for this kind of behaviour, even though I've never witnessed it yet.

As Jane is asking so nicely, here's the "push" for the Feb activities of the HK Gardening Society, some of which we both will be attending.
All these trips start by coach from the Lamma ferry pier in Central, most convenient for their members & friends in the "Bizarre Lammaite" category.
Email for details.
People must book and pay well ahead for these February events:

Tue, Feb 5: Shenzhen New Year Fair.

Fri, Feb 8: Visit to Temple of Hidden Peace and Tranquility, high in the hills above Sha Tau Kok.

Mon, Feb 18: Free Plant Hunt (post-Chin. New Year) in some New Territories plant nurseries.

Jan 4 Tennis Titans

Across the court, photo-journalists aim their cannon-like cameras.

Jay Scott Kanes - STBWFLA (Soon To Become World-Famous Lamma Author) - all text, photos and captions:

An unusual off-Lamma story from our most regular contributor today. As you're probably aware, the Lamma-zine concentrates almost exclusively on Lamma/ Lammaite-related stories/photos/videos. There always needs to be a Lamma angle, however tenuous it might be sometimes...  ;-)

Jay told me that this story below is more proof of how our home island dominates our thinking all the time. Although planning to attend this tennis tournament, he didn't anticipate any Lamma angle, but the angle emerged...

Tennis Titans Hold
Temporary Interest

CAUSEWAY BAY, Hong Kong - Admittedly, I'm no authority on tennis. A rare chance to attend the JB Group Classic 2008 promised to be an interesting experience.

The tournament, contested by eight of the world's best female players, took place from January 2-5 at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium in Causeway Bay.

Like most folks from Hong Kong's outlying Lamma Island, I come within sight of tennis paraphernalia only when wandering past the island's only tennis court. Even that lone court sees more idle time than action.

Hong Kong isn't much of a sports city. On Lamma, we favor different physical activities, like hiking (actually, dog-walking) and weightlifting (carrying shopping bags home from Causeway Bay).

Once seated at Hong Kong's top tennis event, I took a good look around. Corporate advertising appeared everywhere - on the sidelines, halfway up the stands, above the stands, in the program, on tennis balls given away outside and even on the net. Hardly subtle, it seemed excessive, even annoying.

As usual in Hong Kong, the proceedings began with a short dragon dance and martial-arts exhibition. Ho-hum!

A glance at the program revealed that the tournament starred two former Wimbledon champions: Venus Williams of the US and Maria Sharapova of Russia. They were joined by Peng Shuai, a symbolically important Chinese player, plus Ana Ivanovic (Serbia), Anna Chakvetadze (Russia), Daniela Hantuchova (Slovakia), Elena Dementieva (Russia) and Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark).

In the opening match, 20-year-old Sharapova, rated fifth in the world, faced the 60th-ranked Wozniacki, aged 17. Wow! The ball really zipped. Those ladies could overpower Lamma's best players.

While competing fiercely, Sharapova grunts a lot. Her every swing sounded like an act of fury and desperation.

As the ball zoomed across the net, I sensed everyone there engaged in the classic tennis-watching behavior. We looked left, then right, from one player to the other. This viewing could cause dislocated necks.

Across the court, dozens of photo-journalists pointed cameras and gigantic lenses. Their gear resembled cannons aimed for battle.

Numerous red-shirted line judges and ball chasers, all looking intense, lurked near the playing surface. During breaks, the players retreated to designated chairs and gulped from water bottles. A few paces away, security men stared distrustfully into the crowd.

Sharapova built a big lead and made it unassailable. With more anguished grunts, she completed a first-round victory, 6-2, 6-2.

By then, my interest had waned and I considered how it'd make a better spectacle if such players appeared on Lamma's more modest tennis court. Those grunt-propelled strokes might pierce the wire fence and send the balls bouncing all the way to Hung Shing Yeh Beach.

Then I reflected on more pressing matters. Maybe I should buy groceries and carry them home. Then I'd need to walk the dog. Maybe we'd stroll by the empty tennis court.

The tournament begins with a dragon dance.

Former Wimbledon champ Maria Sharapova prepares to serve.

Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki: ready and waiting.

Corporate advertising appears everywhere, even on the net.

Jan 3 Ruby's Warholized Turbine

After my recent exhibitions in The Cyan Studio on Back Street and in the SaraSen gallery in LKF, I offered to do commission artworks for clients, using their own photos. A long-time forum member took me up on it and sent me a snapshot of his niece inside an aircraft turbine in an abandoned airport. He asked me to transform it into a "Warhol-style" picture as a Christmas present for Ruby (in the centre).

This picture above is the end result of two weeks of tinkering with the photo, till my client was happy. See below, the various "intermediate" stages leading up to the final, accepted picture. I had to wait till Christmas, of course, but now I've got permission to showcase it on this site. Ruby loved it, fortunately!

On the left: an earlier version, Warhol-style with L-G-SFX --
A flaming version I did while playing around with the image, NOT shown to Ruby!

This was a really fun little project! I'd love to do more of these. Have you got a photo you'd like me to transform into an "artwork", or I can shoot it for you? I'm extremely flexible and offer very reasonable rates! No money down till you're happy with the end result!

Jan 2 Dancing in Doggy Delight

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent - text and photos:


A tiny dog adores one of Lamma's businesses and its animal-friendly proprietor.

Lai C, a four-year-old, black-and-white mongrel, maybe partly Shih Tzu, has selected the Tropicana Juices and Snacks shop in Yung Shue Wan as her favorite hang-out. She visits at every opportunity, often loitering for hours.

Normally, Lai C greets Can Li, the shop's proprietor, by zestfully slapping her paws at his hands in a "double high-five". Then they perform a short dance routine with Lai C waving her front paws while standing upright.

"She's not a customer. She's my good friend," Can said.

"When I bring Lai C into the village, she uses any excuse to 'get lost' and rush to the Tropicana," said Rahat Raza, the dog's owner. "It's like, 'Oh, I didn't hear you calling me.' I'm sure I've come to the Tropicana and found her more than 100 times. She stays there for up to five hours at a time without me being anywhere around."

At home, the mini-mutt doesn't dance or deliver high fives. "Lai C performs for Can like she won't for anyone else," Rahat said.

Sometimes, but not always, Can gives his 'good friend' little treats, usually bits of sausage. Being fond of dogs, Can often offers tidbits to his customers' canines. But only Lai C worships him. "She loves Uncle Can," said Rahat. "No, she loves the sausage," said the modest Can.

But Rahat disagrees: "It isn't like Can's the only one who gives treats to Lai C. The fruit-shop lady always invites her all the way in and feeds her stuff. Other people give her treats too. So that's not what lures her to the Tropicana."

If Lai C finds the Tropicana closed, she waits on the step. "I've seen her there when the shop had its shutter down," Rahat said. "It's her spot to hang out, even if she's thinking, 'It's a pity he's not open, but this'll do.'"

Lai C is one of two dogs belonging to Rahat, her partner Iain and their son Ithan. The family, from Tai Shan up the hill beyond the clinic, adopted Lai C from Lamma Animal Protection in 2004.

Ithan, a younger 'sibling', poses with Lai C.

Earlier, Lai C and a sister survived when abandoned near the temple. "They'd been horribly treated," said Rahat. "They were found fur-less. Who'd imagine it to see her now?"

The family's other dog, VV, a refined 17-year-old, is one of Lamma's oldest canines. With wisdom and age, VV shows less wanderlust.

For Lai C's sake, her family must continue living reasonably near the Tropicana. "While we're in Hong Kong, we'll be on Lamma," said Rahat. "There's nowhere else I'd like to live."

From lingering at the Tropicana, Lai C "knows a lot more people than the rest of our family combined," Rahat said. "People I've never seen before will walk by and call out to her."

Popular and carefree, little Lai C stays buoyed by her plans for more joyous visits to the Tropicana.

Up, down, do the Tropicana: Can and Lai C dance together.

Lai C and Can trade enthusiastic 'high fives'.

Lai C and Can share a jovial moment.

Can's biggest fan views him with adoring eyes.

At the Tropicana, Lai C stays content.

P.S. I've just received this email from "Ruby's Staff":

"Great story on Lai C and the shop!

"Lai C's sister 'Ruby' who we adopted around the same time, does exactly the same high five dance at home!

"But unlike Lai C, she cannot visit at leisure around the village because as soon as she gets off the lead she's off like a greyhound and if you lose sight of her that's it! Many a time I've had to charge through the village in clothing only fit to be seen in one's yard! She's managed to lose me a couple of times and each time has been found on Tai Shan where she and Lai C used to live at Lamma Animal Protection together. Ruby doesn't want to run away from home, bust she simply wants to RUN - and enjoys the chase!

"On the odd occasion that they meet in the village, both girls are friendly and happy to see each other."

But your story raises the fascinating question of why BOTH these dogs do the High Five dance independently of each other? Is it something they've learnt while being still together at the Lamma Animal Protection?

Is this something that all or most dogs there learn before they're being adopted? Kind a trademark of LAP? A secret code of ex-LAPdogs? What is the secret meaning of this mysterious dance?

If your dog does the High Five dance, does it mean that it was adopted from LAP? There'd be a LOT of high-fiving dogs out there in Yung Shue Wan... I've asked SheiLAP for comments:

"Yes, it's true! I do my best to teach them but Latin American dances seem to defeat them. It's almost as if they have two left feet."

Jan 1, 2008 Happy Two Thousand and Eight!

May your life, career, family and friendships take off like the planes above!

All shots taken 2 days ago from the SkyDeck atop Terminal 2 of HK International Airport (2, 10 and 4x3 seconds exposures in images above).

Plus a few more special effect shots from the same location. I just couldn't resist moving and/or zooming the camera during exposure, expressing joy, fun, hope and exuberance at another New Year 2008: new life, new friends, new opportunities!

2007 was great, 2008 will be fantastic!

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!

All text, photos & graphics by Lamma-Gung, if not otherwise credited. Click on button on left for Creative Commons license.

Twice a month, the Lamma-zine Blog will be promoted via an email newsletter to all registered subscribers and forum members, currently over 3,000. Free subscriptions!

Posts from all former months are stored in the Blog Archives, see below in the page footer.

All materials and photos © Lamma-Gung 2008. All rights reserved.

Top | Home | Forums | Lamma-zine | Events | Galleries | Links

About | Contact Us | Poster | Ratecard

Blog Archives 2004: Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2005: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

2006: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2007: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

2008: JanFebMarApr