These 3 new eco-routes below were
launched last Sunday as part of
Green Lamma Green campaign. The routes are being introduced on
eco-tour map (click to download PDF file), available in schools,
public libraries, HK Tourism Board Visitor Centres, ferry piers (to
Lamma Island) and from the
Walking along the routes, there are 20 large
Educational Panels on the side of the road. I found them to be very
informative and interesting, but they're not included on the eco-tour map
and nowhere on the Internet, as far as I know. So I've made them available
here, courtesy of HK Electric's Media Kit CD-ROM. Just click on the
titles of the Educational Panels below, but don't let this convenience keep
you away from hiking the eco-routes yourself! I recommend the following
Panels with some info tidbits that might be new even for long-time Lamma
Regeneration of Forests on Lamma Island
The Importance of Mudflats --
Hillfire and Succession
Looking into Mikania --
Mo Tat School
The Future of Fishing Industry on Lamma Island
A ferry fare increase for the YSW route of 9.2% for the monthly
ticket has just been announced, valid from July 1:
22.9% increase for weekday
sailings and 28.2% for Sunday/Public
Holidays ones, compared
to the current slow ferries (no more fast ferries from July 1). Click here for
Govt. press release.
Gisela writes in her Facebook Group
關注南丫島渡輪服務Concern for Lamma Ferry Service: (Discuss in our
Ferry Re-tender Update forum)
30 May 2008-5-30 -
Ferry Re-tender results out
Both YSW and SKW routes will be operated by HKKF
YSW route 榕樹灣航線
Operated by single vessel type (faster than slow ferries, slower
than fast ferry)
單程single(星期日/假日，Sunday and Public Holiday):$20
月票monthly ticket: $580
SKW route 索罟灣航線
單程single(星期日/賈日，Sunday and PH):$25
月票monthly ticket: $621
Schedule to be confirmed but should be similar to current
There will also be discount of $1.5 with MTR (details to be
Click for English details
Gina Meana - Captain, Lamma Dragons Women's Team -
"I've attached our 80s-inspired poster. Dude, I was in a haze of
bad pre-grunge wear, anti-nuke demonstrations and wacky classical
music lessons from mad Russian teachers, so I have no real idea what
the 80s inspired other than spots from all the bad Cover Girl
foundation gals were wearing in my High School...
I know I listened to Kate Bush and the Police... That's about
(Animation effects above by L-G)
From the Lamma Dragons website:
Party with the Ladieeez like it's
Got a secret thing for HUGE hair and especially bad
cosmetics? Miss acid-wash jeans and Duran Duran? (you sad ass; talk
about a view to a kill).
Join the Lamma Dragons (menfolk and wimmin-folk) for
their 20th Anniversary Party on May 31st at the Island Bar - 8:00pm
There will be the usual revelry: including jelly
shots, stupid - that is, FUN! - games, tunes and hooch (and hoochie
mamas: this is the Lamma Ladies we is talking about).
Better yet, it's Dress like it's 1988 night!
Not only did 1988 bring us big hair, sparkly lip gloss (Max Factor,
you are guilty of so many things...), pointy shoes and men wearing
way too much eye-liner - in addition to so many assaults on our
musical senses - it brought us the Lamma Dragon Ladies!
So come on down and celebrate! Lamma Ladies of the
past, present and future are all welcome (and the men, too!). We'll
have special 20th anniversary shirts on sale, as well as a fab
selection of the 80s' finest discs a-spinnin' throughout the evening
(not really spinning; it IS the digital age after all).
* Please note:
the Lamma Ladies accept no responsibility for any emotional damage
80s flashbacks have on participants. Moonwalk at your own peril
(1981-82). Crotch-grabbing - with or without sparkly gloves - is not
The wall below the Man Lai Wah Hotel, close
to the YSW ferry pier,
called Democracy Wall as everybody is welcome to put up their posters there
(Panorama made by L-G from 3 photos by
poster can be seen on the Democracy Wall: buy your own Sampan,
The Intrepid Gung
Ho, moored in YSW harbour! Never worry about catching the last ferry
ever again, come home as late as you like. Voyage directly to any other
location around Lamma, even the remote ones almost inaccessible by hiking,
and travel directly, non-stop to all the other Outlying Islands. Organise
lucrative day or evening tours around Lamma to compete with HKKF's evening
tours for Mainlanders.
But the most interesting bit is that this sampan has an iPod
sound system, your very own iPod Sampan! This is basically any iPod
plugged into amplifiers and loudspeakers, so everybody around you can share
your atrocious, eh, wonderful musical tastes.
iPods have been must-have items for trendy Lammaites for some
years now. On the rush hour ferries you can spot them plugged into many a
sleepy head, including my own. And what would my gym workout be without my
tiny iPod Shuffle, my
Bliss ClipTM? So boring!
But will we see more iPod-enabled transportation, like
The Intrepid Gung
Ho, soon on Lamma Island?
iPod VVs, making the sometimes reckless drivers even more dangerous,
being deaf to the cries and swear words of pedestrians they've almost
clipped or run over?
iPod bicycles, the riders using intimidating tunes to shoo
pedestrians out of their path, instead of overusing their annoying ding-ding
iPod mini ambulances to soothe the hurting passengers inside being
transported to the clinic, helipad or the ferry pier?
iPod skateboards playing the soundtrack to show off your ultracool 'tude
surfin' through the Main Street rush hour crowds?
iPod waterskis to shoo all the sharks away with your thumping deep
and Lamma mamas - Organisers & donors
(Most pictures below by
Hilda, a few by L-G)
The 25th May 'Lamma Charity Day' Fund Raising Event
(LAWC and Lamma Mamas' Baby and Children Items Charity sales) has
collected a total of $56,081.90. We will donate the entire sum to
UNICEF for Sichuan Earthquake relief work.
We would like to take
this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated towards this
event, especially to Sun Salon, Deli Lamma, Village Bakery,
Joanne the Tattooist, Carrie Yu from Healing Island and all
volunteers for their endless efforts and support.
e - Chairperson,
Here's the latest of yesterday's hard work.
The 3 sale-points plus donations (Sun Salon, Deli
Lamma & outside the Village Bakery) totaled HK$20,352.30
Special Cash Donation: $28,000.00 (cheque of
$48,352.30, see below)
Donation pledged: $2,200.00
Grand total: $56,081.90
Outside the Village Bakery. Have you noticed
the new 4th Power Station chimney?
Looking for some coins to donate?
Baby stuff and shoulder/neck massages at the
Never too young to be a volunteer or to get a
temporary tattoo for charity
Today, Human Welfare instead of Animal
Biggest donation of the day, by the smallest
Wow, so much loot! Counting the takings of
major event has been happening in the YSW Football Pitch today from 2-3pm,
covered by TVB and ATV (see right) and a motley horde of invited
photographers/photojournalists, including yours truly:
Green Lamma Green campaign by
HK Electric and the
Conservancy Association ended impressively with the launch of 3 new
Lamma eco-trails which will "afford hikers the opportunity of espying the
Wood Spider, Painted Lady, Little Egret, Fiddler Crab, Mudskipper and other
Lamma 'residents'" - according to
HEC's press release.
Some of these
'residents' even took to the stage, see above. Aren't they oh-so-cute, their
parents were so proud! On this hot and humid day, the children's brave
endurance to wear these heavily padded costume should be admired and
praised. But it was all for a fine cause, of course.
Then it was speeches by celebrities like the Tourism Commissioner, a LegCo
Conservancy Association CO, and even an "Outstanding Eco-Leader and
Lamma resident", Ms. Sally Lam. Awards, trophies, prizes and plaques were
handed out generously to almost everybody involved, except me (harrumph!) Here's the full press release:
New Eco-trails Boast Lamma's Natural Beauty [25 May 2008]
That cute baby cap is actually the reused bag of
a souvenir hand-out!
All considered, it was a real PR fiesta with very cute and colourful cartoon
illustrations, great photos, a hyper-chatty MC and broad smiles all around
for the TV and newspaper cameras.
Plus some of the best souvenir hand-outs I've seen in a long time, packed in
a Lamma Winds eco- bag, of course. For example a battery-powered hand fan,
flashing an animated GREEN LAMMA on its whirling soft blades (see left).
It's made from green plastic, but I'm not so sure about its eco-credentials.
But it'll be welcome eco-cooling eco- relief during an eco-friendly eco-walk
on one of the 3 new eco-trails set up by HECO, eh, HEC.
Several "media handlers" were making sure I got all the infos and contacts
I'd ever want, even a comfy T-shirt covered in logos and a real media kit
with a photo CD-ROM and colour printouts of all the eco-trail info panels;
all very professional, expensive and definitely very rare for a Lamma-based
event. But where was the media bar with eco-booze? Anyway, 3 cheers to
HECO's, eh, HEC's Public Affairs Dept. for putting on such a fine show and
promoting "eco-tourism" on our
Green Lamma Green for the last 3 years!
One of 20 bilingual info panels along the 3 eco-routes
(click to enlarge, all 20 panels will be uploaded to this website within
we can lure away a few weekend Lamma visitors/eco-warriors away from the
Family Trail to the other 2 eco-trails in Pak Kok and South Lamma. Putting
the informative, well- designed
Lamma Island Eco-Tour Maps (see right) in schools, at the Lamma
ferry piers and in HKTB info centres very soon will help. Lamma- zine stories
about the Map, the 3 eco-trails and an interview with a Lammaite
"Outstanding Eco- leader" (see below) are in progress.
There'll be guided
Green Lamma Green Eco-walks (in Chinese) on June 15 & 19, July 13 &
27. $20/person, register at
www.cahk.org.hk. Call 2728 6781 to help persuading them to arrange
some English tours as well!
Media interest in Lamma Island has been heating up considerably over recent
months, several film crews and writers visiting the island, somebody's even
writing a book about Lamma.
Steinecke, "Special" to the
contacted me a few months ago via this website, having lots of questions
about Lamma, well before her actual visit. She was especially looking for
interesting people and especially LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender/ Transsexual), as she's the author of
Pink Planet, a monthly travel column in the Toronto Star. She found
and interviewed quite a few, spending several days here in February, but she
couldn't locate the "Lesbian Village" she had heard rumours about before her
She actually interviewed me (not being one of the extremely low-key members
of the LGBT Lamma community) in hospital, just before my weight loss stomach
operation. Finally, her first Lamma story has appeared today in the Toronto
Star, tracking down the roots of movie superstar and native Lammaite
It's one of the best researched and most insightful Lamma stories I've ever
read. Check it out here, it even has a prominent link to this website
("Information on Lamma Island can be found at
www.lamma.com.hk. Click on "links"
for accommodations and restaurants."):
Peaceful origins of actor Chow Yun-Fat
(May 24, 2008, 04:30
Action movie star still cherishes pristine mountains of childhood
Another HK story by Julia has been published on April 12, 2008:
Still challenges for Hong Kong gays
But Chinese rule has brought progress and night life is evolving.
I've been embarking on one of my rare hikes
Family Trail from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan yesterday. On a
weekend this most popular trail can get crowded, but on weekdays it's a
leisure 1-hour stroll, if you survive the initial pretty steep ascent after Hung Shing Yeh
beach. A man on a mission, I planned to take photos of the yearly Tin Hau Festival/Dragonboat races/Chinese Opera
To summarise, it was quite similar to the
larger and more prominent
Tin Hau festival in Yung Shue Wan, but in a very
different setting and with its own unique charms. And quite a few more
lions... and more seafood restaurants...
See you at the Tin Hau Festival/dragonboat races in Luk
Chau Village on June 4?
Fundraiser for Burma @ Deli Lamma
Thursday, May 22 (TODAY!)
(Call Cassie at 9764 2677 for
any additional info)
Raffle tickets being sold $100/ticket, $500/6 tickets. Drawings at midnight but
don't need to be there to win. 45% of all drink sales will be donated.
Money will be donated directly
to those in need through contacts at the British Council.
There are probably more charity
drives happening these days by charitable Lammaites, in addition to the
Rural Committee/District Council fundraiser in front of the YSW City Hall. Let me know so they can be promoted on this
website! Check out the Events
Calendar for details.
Results from the City Hall fundraiser on May 15/16:
An absolutely amazing amount of over
P.S. II More fundraisers just
in, all happening this Sunday, May 25:
The charity sale of baby items has been extended: Besides Sun
Salon on Main Street and
LAWC Centre in
Sha Po Old Village, it'll include the
Village Bakery as sales venues!
Tattooist will provide temporary tattoos at the
LAWC Centre on
Sunday morning and 15-minute head & shoulder massages from 2-5pm! Bakery items and cakes will also be sold there for charity.
Emily the Ice-cream Lady writes: "Please be
informed that UNICEF donation boxes are placed in my shops (both parlour &
express counter). People can come to make their donations for the Sichuan
Elfassy - ex-Lammaite, editor, author,
"I wanted to let you know about an eBook I just put together,
called 'Greening My Life – How to Help the Environment and Save
Money While Doing It.'
I was thinking that people on Lamma might get a few tips and
tricks they might value. You can read about it here:
Below is some of the promotional hype, eh, text from the website.
Ran's not a Lamma-zine advertiser, but his eBook is worthy of a
little free publicity. If you have a worthy cause,
to get it promoted!
Every day, we hear that we have to do something to
help the environment. Every day, headlines flag a growing crisis.
From the food we eat to how we stay warm, it's clear that we have to
do something... We have to start living better.
What if you could do all this, and spend less of
your hard-earned cash? What if you could do this so your quality of
life didn't go down, but actually went up?
It might sound impossible, but that's exactly
what you find in Greening My Life.
over 150 tips and tricks on:
How to conserve in your house, office and everywhere in between.
How to shift your behavior so it makes a difference.
How to stay motivated.
Where to go for even more information.
Get fantastic deals and promotional items:
Cool, durable and trouble-free bamboo clothing.
Ethically made, fair-trade fashion.
Discounts on hardware for work and play.
Links to solar and wind-powered energy solutions.
With this tiny investment (US$6.95), you can get
massive savings on your bills!
That's hundreds of more dollars in your pocket to do what you
more info and orders, click here.
Dr. Tso and two green ambassadors demonstrate how to generate electricity by
riding three bicycles fitted with dynamos to supply power to two
(All photos supplied by
Queen's College Old Boys' Association Secondary School was funded to
set up Hong Kong's first vertical-axis wind turbine in the school
Hongkong Electric writes: "How can keeping fit generate electricity?
How can generating electricity help keeping fit? And how do these contribute
to a green cause?
"Students at CCC Kei Wan Primary School (Aldrich Bay) will be able to
find the answers through an educational project funded by the HK Electric
Clean Energy Fund. Under the project, they will generate electricity by
riding 3 bicycles fitted with dynamos to supply power to two mini-houses.
"The HK Electric Clean Energy Fund was established in 2006 to encourage
initiatives in promoting better understanding and application of renewable
energy in Hong Kong. All locally registered primary and secondary schools,
colleges and universities are eligible to apply for the HK$1 million Fund
available each year. In 2007-08, the Fund sponsored 12 schools to implement
their renewable energy projects, including Kei Wan Primary School."
With bicycling so popular on Lamma, should we take inspiration from this
Clean Energy Fund above, retrofitting our bikes for power generation? We
could charge batteries fitted to our bikes which we could then use at home
to power household appliances, saving some electricity and reducing our
often sky-high electricity bills, especially in the coming summer months?
Or could we convert some of the old, unused bikes at the ferry pier -
instead of the police confiscating them and carrying them away at yearly
intervals - linking them together to generate power for the ferries? People
might be encouraged by getting free ferry rides for 30 minutes of pedaling.
As the Lamma Gym still hasn't reopened (announced for later this month),
this might be a great way of staying fit, doing your bit for the
environment, avoiding city gym fees and saving money on ferry rides which
might soon increase by up to 30% from July 1.
How about it, Lammaites? Use your leg muscles instead of only your mouth
muscles to support clean energy and energy conservation! Should we apply to
this great Clean Energy Fund to make some of these ideas happen?
Details and application forms for the Clean Energy Fund are
available on Hongkong Electric's website:
above for Lamma-Gung's
For more info on this new Kung Fu school on G/F, 25 Ko Long Village,
contact Wong Wai at 9805-8691 (Chin.) or Lucy Wong at 9325-3268 (Eng.).
Click on English and Chinese posters on the right for more info on the Grand
Click photos below to enlarge.
You might have noticed the UK search and rescue team in Yung
Shue Wan's Main Street, bars and restaurants in the last few
days? Arriving last Tuesday night, they were awaiting their
China visas to rush to the Sichuan Earthquake to save lives.
They returned home to the UK last night, unsuccessful in being permitted
to enter China, unlike other rescue teams from Japan, Taiwan,
South Korea, Singapore and Russia. What a great pity and a waste
of effort, time, love and money! This sad news made it into many
newspapers around the world:
China Blocks Entry to UK Rescuers (BBC)
Foreign rescuers at work in China quake area (AFP)
Rescuers sent back from earthquake (The Press
Saddened Broch mercy man back from China (The
Press and Journal)
British disaster rescue charity says it was prevented from
entering China quake zone (International Herald
Picture below of the
International Rescue Corps team and Lammaite supporters,
taken by Felix Wong of the SCMP at the
beach outside the Bookworm Cafe - our ferry pier in the right background
- published in the South China Morning Post on Friday,
May 16, as part of another story about the IRC team. Paid registration is required to read this story on the SCMP website, republished here:
Liz Heron - ©
2008, May 18, 2008 (paid registration required)
Foreign rescue teams refused visas in HK
May 18, 2008
Two international disaster response teams that flew to Hong
Kong and tried to join the Sichuan earthquake rescue effort have
been refused permission to enter the mainland.
The Scotland-based International Rescue Corps, which
specialises in earthquakes, was set to fly back to the United
Kingdom last night. A Canadian rescue team from Red Deer,
Alberta, is planning to leave tomorrow after they were told
yesterday that they were not required.
The two volunteer teams, run by independent charities,
brought state-of-the-art location and rescue equipment, for
which Beijing last week issued an international appeal.
The 10-member British team, which arrived on Tuesday, had an
ultrasonic location device, a carbon dioxide probe that tracks
the living by their breath and two tiny, flexible cameras that
can be inserted through holes in rubble. The eight Canadians,
who arrived on Thursday, brought a special search camera and an
acoustic searching device. Neither team was aware the other was
"We are very frustrated that we have been unable to get to
the disaster zone and help those people still trapped," corps
team leader Willie McMartin said. "This equipment can make the
difference between somebody being located alive or dying. The
official reason that we have been given is that the Chinese
government cannot co-ordinate the foreign teams on the ground."
Mr McMartin said they had learned from the United Nations
website before leaving that no official request had been made by
the central government for help from foreign rescue teams, but
had been advised by a travel agent in Hong Kong that mainland
visas could be obtained in the city.
"We would normally have a verbal indication from the embassy
of the affected country that they want us to come before we
leave," he said.
"We offered our help to the Chinese embassies in London and
Edinburgh and initially received no reply. But the scale of the
earthquake appeared to justify a decision to travel.
"We were stalled because of the visa problem. We were asked
to provide return tickets and hotel vouchers in advance. But in
a disaster, we are in tented accommodation."
He said the group had spent at least £30,000 (HK$456,000) on
the trip. Marcel Schur, the leader of the Canadian team, said it
had spent US$30,000.
Lu Xinhua , commissioner of the Office of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong, said China had adopted an open
attitude to overseas assistance for the quake victims.
He said rescue teams from Japan and Taiwan had already been
allowed to get to the quake-stricken area.
A range of new restrictions on mainland visas, including a
requirement that applicants obtain a return ticket and hotel
voucher in advance, were confirmed last month by the ministry.
John W -
International Rescue Corps, posting this message in
A Huge Thank You
Just wanted to give a big thank you to
the people of Lamma for assisting the International Rescue Corps
during the stay on the island.
Especially to Gavin, Jess and Dan for
their hospitality and assistance thru frustrating times.
We will not forget your help!
GlobalSteve - Technical Search Specialist,
Canadian Rescue Team:
A Huge Thank You From the CRT
On behalf of my team, I would like to extend a huge
thanks to the people of Lamma. We were treated like royalty. There
was not a moment we didn't look at each other with the same
understanding that we have been incredibly fortunate to have met
Gavin and Jess, and been introduced to the beautiful people of Lamma
Thanks so much:
Gavin and Jess
Waterfront and Staff
Ricky Choi and Shirley Ko @ New Holiday Mood Grill
Paul and Terry
and so many more.
Our time on your island was one that none of us will
Yep, this mouthful is the official name of a brand-new Lamma Band,
performing live in public for the first time on Saturday, May 24, 9pm, in
A Mini Store & Gallery, 16-18 Mosque Junction, G/F, Hong Kong (near
Mid-levels Escalator, Tel. 2522 9860, mobile 9239 0866,
For gig info,
poster, or call 6901-2916.
This new Lamma Band features local celebrity/ member of numerous Lamma Bands
Hamada El Mansour, bass/guitar/vocal;
Rie Wada - flute/vocal;
Matthew Steele - keyboard;
Malte Noack - drums;
Kevin Voigt (of NUDE/ Transnoodle fame) will be a guest player -
They'll play standard funky jazz tunes and Hamada's originals (Moroccan
Jazz, similar to his previous band "Over the Dogma"). They'll welcome people
with instruments to jam together after the concert.
(Photos from recent rehearsal submitted by Rie Wada)
P.S. Photo by Malte's wife from the actual, very successful concert
on May 24:
While checking out
Google's satellite maps of Yung Shue Wan, I found this intriguing
map with the location of our Police Post, nicknamed "Policebox", after the
time and space-travelling device in the long-running Dr Who TV series. This
official Google map, accessible worldwide, shows the Police Post off the
ferry pier in the Yung Shue Wan bay! I've always been in the mistaken belief
that it was located opposite HSBC, between B&B Rest. and our City Hall. Has
it been secretly relocated? What's really going on here?
But as I always trust Google (They're extremely successful, so they're
always right! Right?), this map must be accepted as true fact. Rejoice,
another one of our many local mysteries has been revealed by the mighty
Google empire! It permits you - via simple searches with the right keywords,
like magic keys - to unlock even the deepest, darkest secrets!
What possible explanations could we come up with for this local mystery
Is our Policebox on Main Street really just an unreal, virtual one, a
holographic projection to hide the *REAL POLICEBOX* on the bottom of the
bay, just off the ferry pier? The water is murky enough for the Policebox to
stay hidden in the shallow waters forever. Who'd be crazy enough to actually
go swimming and diving unprotected in those waters!
Thinking about this, have you ever been inside the virtual Policebox on Main
Street? Ever? Nobody I remember has been in there! Well, except myself, but
who'd believe me, a wannabe journalist, anyway. But our numerous local
policemen can be spotted frequently entering the virtual Policebox and they
seem to spend long stretches of time in there hiding from us common citizens
and potential troublemakers.
To fit so many people into this tiny, virtual Policebox, is it "much bigger
on the inside", like Dr. Who's Policebox, the Tardis? Do the policemen use
it to travel trough time and space to while away the often long and boring
hours of their duty shifts? What's going on in there anyway? Mahjong
parties? Wild orgies? They've even blocked the door windows now, to be safe
from our prying, curious eyes. Senior Inspector Woo-woo has to tell us the
truth and nothing but the truth! After all, he's even been nicknamed after
the woo-woo sound of Dr Who's Policebox.
But why is the *REAL POLICEBOX* located off the ferry pier? Are the underwater
policemen constantly protecting our bikes parked all along the pier, or,
more likely, are they preparing for the next bike raid, eh, clearing
operation, emerging from the underwater *REAL POLICEBOX* in the dead of
night, sneakily snatching some of the bikes and dragging them to the bottom
of the bay, never to be seen again? Has your bike ever gone missing from the
ferry pier? It might not have gone far...
As the off-pier location of the *REAL POLICEBOX* has now been revealed to
all Lammaites, these questions remain:
Is our valiant local police force adept at scuba diving
in and out of there?
Do they transfer in and out of the police boats - often
seen on the same side of the ferry pier as the *REAL POLICEBOX* -
through an underwater access hatch in the police boat?
When will HK's first underwater hotel open for business?
Another major, permanent tourist attraction for Lamma, adding to our
cute, little windmill!
We need to know! Could anybody with a boat, maybe even a dragonboat, go
exploring the area indicated on the map above, maybe with a long pole? But
be careful, don't hurt any scuba-diving policemen down there!
Mark C Burns -
(Mark was inspired by Nick's write-up on May 13
and "broke thru the barriers of the typically turgid media guff"
with this post event wrap story):
by Grahame Collins)
'Laracy Gall Lamma
500' Truly Arrives on Dragon Boat Scene
Sunday May 11th 2008
was a day to remember at Tai Wan To beach where the newly christened
'Laracy Gall Lamma 500' Festival truly arrived on the dragon boat
a difference a year makes. Perfect racing conditions - fast, flat
water, light wind, warm and slightly overcast skies - spurred the 33
teams to some fantastic competition over the challenging,
international standard 500-metre course.
Over a 1,000 participants and
spectators crowded the lush Lamma Island beach creating a constantly
changing, living mosaic of colour and energy. To an aural landscape
of top retro and new music supplied by
and against a physical backdrop of industrial power and natural
beauty, the teams constantly prepared, exerted and recovered in the
perpetual ebb and flow of competition.
for the athletes and supporters was never in short supply from the
Island Bar and Shamrock catering stalls which were kept busy all
day. Race organisers Thirsty Horse, under the leadership of
Tournament Director Brad Tarr, prepared showers, changing rooms, St
John's first aid, team marquees, free water, even 16 Toi Toi
portaloos to provide a paddler and spectator friendly Festival.
The volunteers, most from the HK Sea
School, Lamma Dragons and Lamma Fishermen's Association, worked
tirelessly all day arranging the boats, keeping score and
officiating the races.
4.30pm, after 23 races at the Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon
Boat Festival, it was time to dish out the plentiful trophies and
medals to the deserving athletes. In his speech Mr Damien Laracy
praised the teams for providing a wonderful day of dragon boat
racing over the challenging 500-metre distance.
As the sun went down after the presentations, the music was cranked
up, the paddlers replaced adrenaline with Carlsberg and the beach
party continued late into the night.
The best dragon boat race ever?
Maybe. An incredible, awesome, fantastic day? Definitely. See you at
The Lamma 500 in 2009!
More Lamma 500 photos by Donna Foreman
Elizabeth the Cyanotypist -
Elizabeth Briel, Barnaby Bruce,
Sunday, April 27th, 2-6pm 2/F 21C Back Street, Yung Shue Wan,
Stop by and visit the
last show at The Cyan Studio's Lamma location! The exhibition will
take place in the studio and on the stairwells and rooftop of a
village house near the sea.
We'll feature Hong
Kong's urban architecture reflected in diverse ways, through the
work of three Lamma Island-based photographers: Elizabeth Briel,
Barnaby Bruce, and Darren Hayward.
From slick Central
high-rises and the ruins of Kowloon's Wedding Card Street to
voyeuristic balcony scenes printed on silk, the show will feature a
new take on the "everyday scenes" familiar to many Hong Kong
residents. See them before they go the way of Queen's Pier!
The Cyan Studio was a year-long project, run from my
artists studio space on Lamma. Initially I signed the lease because
I was unable to make my sun-prints from our flat at the time, and
the 1-bedroom flat I discovered one sunny spring afternoon was
perfect: an affordable studio with a rooftop for printmaking, in the
center of Yung Shue Wan village. During the first and last of our
monthly openings I featured my work, and happily hosted a dozen
other Lamma-based artists in between.
The studio was a fantastic spot to focus on my work,
and to discover local talent as well. It looks like the space may
continue to be a creative hotspot, as the talented filmmaker Ivy Lam
will be renting it for awhile. She hopes to host occasional arts
events, though with less frequency than The Cyan Studio.
After a year and a half in HK, I've become much more
familiar with the city's art and social scenes, and am looking
forward to whatever comes next! Currently I'm working on
hand-tinted cyanotype illustrations for a kids book on HK with
ThingsAsian Press (http://www.thingsasianpress.com);
teaching lots of art in Aberdeen (http://www.colour-my-world.com);
am working as a muralist and promoting the HK Mural Society (http://www.hkmuralsociety.com),
and have just shot hundreds of photos for a series on Macau. This
fall, I'm looking forward to a trip to Vietnam to do some arts
writing, research, and photography for ThingsAsian as well.
While we love Lamma, my husband and I are both
considering employment options abroad - if we are offered the right
package, we may have to leave the island for awhile. But if we are
lucky enough to stay here, I'll eventually be looking for a studio
space to share in HK, ideally in an older building with rooftop
access in Sheung Wan. Any highly motivated artists with a
professional attitude (i.e., you can pay the rent and sleep at home,
not at the studio) are welcome to contact me.
Calendar of Events
March 16, 2008, 2-6PM
Photographs of Butterflies by Paul Lau
February 24, 2008, 2-6PM
Photographs of 70s Hong Kong by Bob Davis
January 13, 2008, 2-6PM
Paintings by Lamma Artists
December 9, 2007, 2-6PM
Photos & Prints by Lamma Artists
November 11, 2007, 2-6PM
Computer Art Photos by Lamma-Gung
October 14th, 2007, 2-6PM
Wild Teenage Beatnik Ghost Dancers by Spinoza
September 9, 2007, 2-6PM
Northern Beauties. Paintings by Marilena
July 8, 2007, 2-6pm
Open studio with featured Sri Lankan political cartoonist,
June 10, 2007, 2-6pm
A New Kind of Blue, Cyanotypes by Elizabeth Briel
Photos by Royal Roy,
captions by Elizabeth:
Admiring Barney's photos
of Hong Kong
Checking out Barney's work
My Cyan corner
Damon provided fantastic musical accompaniment
Four cyans in the stairwell, clipped onto a laundry line
The kids corner
Youngest signer of the studio's guestbook
Nick the Bookman - Official Court Music Reviewer:
May-11-08. (or Sex,
Drugs & Rock n' Roll)
Part 1: Sex
It's (not) getting near dawn when
night closes a tired eye, but it is past twilight and we're into
the final hours of 'The Lamma 500' Laracy Gall Lamma
International Dragon Boat Festival 2008 on Power Station
Beach. I'm sitting with Parksy, Lizzie, and Dave Parker on the
corner of the stage watching a rather steamy clinch develop in a
tent some 30 feet in front of us. The sight has momentarily
stunned us all into silence. The protagonists are "She" and
"He". There's some serious groping, gripping and grabbing
taking place, which makes me recall a couplet from T.S. Eliot.
Something about "...and I will show you fear in a handful of
dust". I think Tom boy was referring to The Great Depression and
Dust Bowl Okies fleeing their drought-ravaged farms. Grapes of
Wrath and all that. What comes to mind is something less
cerebral. "...and I will show you lust in a handful of buttock."
There's some serious fondling taking place. At one point "She"
is in danger of receiving a colon massage, prompting a quick
response from Parksy that "I'm not shaking HIS hand". "He" seems
strangely immobile. Dave and I think a major woodie has
Quite a saucy moment, recalling
memories of alleged naughtiness at previous Full Moon Parties.
You remember all those witless twitterings in the News of the
Screws Chinese tabloids like Next magazine. When they claimed
that drink and drug-addled deviants were doing day-glow
displays of Dionysian dementia. Rutting like feral hogs and
slaking their vile desires on naive young local girls, duped and
dosed into narcolepsy. I must have had dental appointments all
those nights, because this is the steamiest action I've seen at
the Power Station Beach since the topless sunbathing fad late
last millennium. How did I end up writing about this?
Part 2: Drugs
Blame Lamma-Gung, that's my
motto. He asked me to expand my boundaries, saying it would
be nice to have my twisted slant on the Dragon Boat Festival.
Move on from just doing music reviews. Oh, well, we agreed I
could discuss the drum techniques of the various Dragon Boat
percussionists. It's been about a week since the death of the
Father of LSD, Dr. Albert Hofmann. Lived to 102, so you can't
say that drugs shortened his life. A tribute is in order. Scrape
through the freezer to find anything that might help channel the
spirit of Albert's bike ride through Basel, Switzerland, in the
early evening of Monday, 19-4-43. Not much success, I'm afraid,
but there's a back-up bottle of rum and fruit juices to enhance
the mood. 1943. What a year! Two-thirds of the way through World
War II. LSD-25 has just been successfully synthesised. In
America, the Trinity program/Manhattan Project is well underway.
Co-incidence or one of those quantum leaps that mankind makes
It's about 1030 and the beach is
heaving. About 900 people I guesstimate and over 30 assorted,
multi-coloured marquee tents erected along the Power Station end
of the beach. There's a big red stage and HKG (dragon logo)
FM.net, an Internet radio station, is providing the music.
There's another 4 tents or so on the main road, serving food,
drinks (The Island Bar) and a Celebrity Autograph booth.
As I bounce onto the beach,
"Cocaine" is playing loudly. (Hmm, wonder if all the paddlers
are being drug-tested in advance? Probably not, the teams
are quite gung-ho and don't even seem to be drinking!) A
ripple-rush goes through me as I hear that the Lamma Ladies have
just won their heat and are looking good for the later rounds.
Part 3: Rock n' roll
Have stashed my bag beside Nick
Swanson, the laptop DJ representing HKG FM.net. Give him my
Nixmix CD to enjoy later. He says they're not transmitting live.
"Time Of Your Life" by Green Day (with added strings) blends
beautifully into "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve (although I
believe Andrew Loog Oldham now owns the song after a vicious
suit over sampling rights). Undine mentions that a cool drum n'
bass night is taking place at Twystmind on Saturday, 17th May.
Two live bands and about 4 DJ's. 2300-0500 hours. That's the 9/F of The Pemberton, 22 Bonham Strand. Meanwhile, today's
music continues, taking in Audioslave, Gwen Stefani, Fergie,
Foreigner and The Go-Gos. Nothing too radical to scare the fish.
Mark the announcer, keeps
interrupting the music with babbling sound bites about winners,
winning times and next races. A tired but happy Brad the
Organiser isn't sure how to respond when I ask how many
virgins were sacrificed to appease the Rain Gods. Decides
not to hear the question. (Just teasing, Brad!) This appears to
be the Official Debut of the Lamma 500 Dragon Boat Races. The
2007 event was cancelled midway after violent storms threatened
to capsize the dragon boats. How much is Virgin/Rain God
Part 4: Odds n' sods
Everything is underway and
organised. No room for lysergic fantasies from me. Time to check
out the Celebrity Autograph booth. The most expensive item is a
Springbok RWC 2007 shirt, signed by all members of the
triumphant squad. Starting bid is HK$16,000. I'm surprised the
Lamma Bookies aren't here posing for photos with it. The price
seems a real bargain, when you consider what the individual
signatures on a new contract would cost. Probably over 100
million rand for all 30 members, eh! A signed Maradona
Argentina shirt starts at HK$14,000. A Brazilian shirt, signed
by Pele, is just under HK$10,000. (And to think I've got his
autograph at home somewhere for free. I've definitely got a
photo from the paper of me interviewing him in the mid 70's.)
Other stars include "Goldenballs" Beckham, "Spud" Rooney, Steve
Gerrard, Al Pacino as "Scarface", the "Who made who" LP signed
by the current line-up of AC/DC, some crap by Sting and a
picture of Justin Timberlake. Prices range from HK$4,500 to
about HK$9,000. No idea of what sold when, why and for how much.
There's also a rumour that there are some "brown bag" items
under the counter. Celebrity sex, or Edison's girlfriends
perhaps? Leave the booth as "Our Lips Are Sealed" pumps out from
Part 5: Drugs
Lunch time is called. No more
racing until 1330. Try to discuss the late Dr. Hofmann with some
other Lamma celebrities. Have a splendid discussion with "Anon"
about when a hallucination is not a hallucination. I don't think
seeing skulls in the clouds is quite there. "Anon" remembers
scuba diving under the influence and coming lip to lip with a
huge tuna. Eventually decided it was real.
Everywhere I look is
advertising and subsidies. I'm feeling that I should be
sponsored by Sandoz Labs. The rum cocktails are going down a
treat (not all of them by me). The Lamma Ladies have just
finished their 2nd(?) race. Ended up chasing the Stormy Dragons
into 2nd place. The Dragons are the team to beat today. They
defeated the Lamma Ladies last weekend in Boracay. The Dragons
almost won that tournament, going down to a diplomatic defeat against the Boracay team. Lost by the length of a
Dragon's tooth, apparently.
Part 6: Rock n' roll
Nick is playing some great shit.
"Baby, I Don't Care" by Transvision Vamp bleeds into "7-Man
Army" by The White Stripes. Nick shows his Aussie roots by going
"Down Under" with Men At Work. Later, he slips in "Solid Rock"
by Goanna - a 25 year old tune I used to have. Great grin of
recognition from me as the didgeridoo kicks in. Smile from Kelly
who sort of sings along at the front of the stage. Mark decides
to make another announcement as the song reaches its climax...
Big hi to Jill, Kelly, Cath and Daryl, Dan and Sharon, Rachel
Hodson, Andy G., Alistair and Ant. Now get out of the way.
You're blocking my view!
More fine tunes from Bachman-Turner
Overdrive, Avril Lavigne and "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.
Isobel is feeling no pain and dancing with a collection of kids
on the stage. Lamma-Gung has finally arrived and joins
Grahame in snapping pix of the kids drumming in the dragon boats
in the breaks between races. At one point, Kumi hosts a mini
Part 7: Odds n' sods
Race 17 has to be re-run for some
reason. Lizzie and Ava are by the stage. They're wet and happy,
after accompanying Des in a speedboat. He's taking all the
sea-level action photos. And he's sober.
Another old friend has
returned to Lamma from several months in Beijing. Describes his
time there as a nightmare. Everyone is trying to make money off
the Olympics. There's zero tolerance for deviant behaviour. The
officials are all unpleasantly squeaky-clean. The price of a
visa has gone up to nearly HK$1,000 for a single entry stamp. My
friend paid about the same price for a multiple entry stamp in
January. Another friend says no one is allowed into Tibet until
September. He's a regular visitor, but is happy not to be there
The Lamma Dragons Men's team has
won the Men's Plate. It's presented by Brad and Mr. Law, the
Chairman of the Lamma Fishermen's Association. A rare triumph
and much banter with the Ladies about where to stick the trophy
in the Island Bar. The men want their own corner. The Ladies say
it's just a plate. Slide it in the back, out of the way.
Ladies have been chasing Dragons all afternoon, but they've
managed to finish as runners-up, beating long time rivals, the
Island Paddle Club, into 3rd place. Cue much singing of "Hey
Baby, I wanna row...." (re-writing the DJ Otzi track which is a
perennial favourite at the HK 7's). The Tournament ref, Bill
Hutchinson, and Lamma Ladies captain, Gina, present the final
awards to all the unsung heroes. The backstage crew, the St.
John's Ambulance, the announcers. Quite possibly, the Portaloo
attendants and the men who replace the sand on the beach each
Part 8: Rock n' roll
The after party is in full swing.
Dave Parker has finally arrived (a mere 8 hours late) and just
in time for the last rum cocktail. Some great tunes and the
tempo is getting harder. "Echo Beach" by Martha and the Muffins,
"Tub-thumping" by Chumbawumba blurs into "Song 2" by, er, Blur
(both HK 7's top tunes). There's Depeche Mode, The Clash, AC/DC,
even a good remix of a Coldplay number by Cyclone-X . Big hi to
Sally J. who's back in Lamma for the first time in 2 years. She
gets the last of my Nixmixes. Nick has worked miracles to find
"Macarena" on his laptop. There's only about 4,000 tunes on
there so it takes a bit of time. It comes on. The more athletic,
less-pissed Lamma Ladies and some kids and Andy G. in a stunning
pink top go through the motions to howls of delight. Dave asks
me how my day's been. I tell him I thought I saw a
hallucination, but I could be wrong. Haven't channeled Dr. H. as
much as I would like to...
Part 9: Sex
It's getting late, but I haven't
yet realised that my watch is running an hour slow. This is
pretty much where I came in with the saucy, steamy samba...
Someone suggests throwing a bucket of cold water over "She" and
"He" who eventually, reluctantly, stickily separate. It's coming
up to 1930. The Lamma Ladies are the last (wo)men standing. Time
for dinner at the Lamcombe. The other teams, who seemed content
to party on their own, have long since left.
Brad's clean-up teams have struck
the tents and are getting ready to remove the stage. He says it
cost about HK$200,000 to host this debut bash. Money well spent,
I think, as long as you could get a bit more than that in
sponsorship and advertising. Big thanks to Damien Laracy and
Nick Gall who managed the fiscal side of this gig. Next year
should be even more intense, provided there's an ample supply of
virgins in stock (just in case, to appease the rain gods).
Oh and Happy
Mother's Day everyone...
Photos by Lamma-Gung,
click any photo to enlarge:
Race results & more photos at
(all photos by Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge,
click on the photo banner below for the complete photo gallery)
Lamma Dragons - Women's Team. Click for complete photo gallery!
Lamma Dragons - Men's Team
A real family event
Many thanks to all the $ponsor$ making this festival possible
Racing towards Power Station Beach
Cheers to all the organisers and officials! Fantastic job, guys! C U
Click above to view Katie Flowers' photo gallery (photo montage by
Phil Stride - Secretary,
I hope that this will be of great use to all
teachers, especially those living on Lamma!
Many teachers take a keen interest in environmental
and animal welfare issues and are keen to inspire their students to
also take an interest. A lot of the educational material that we
found on the internet was irrelevant for Hong Kong, so a group of us
have produced some teaching material of our own. The project was a
collaboration of many Lamma residents. These include the writers,
proof readers, translators, a cartoonist, a website designer,
printers, the list goes on.
We are pleased to announce that our new website
www.crazyadventures.com.hk is now up and running and the
initial feedback from users has been fantastic. We think it's going
to be a hit!
the website there are 7 PowerPoint presentations that can be
downloaded for free and used on an overhead projector or
printed as flashcards for use in small groups. Some of the
presentations cover animal welfare and others concern environmental
issues such as air pollution and recycling. Children love the
cartoons and the interactive nature of the presentations.
In order to promote the website, 2,000 books have
been printed and sent out to most the primary schools and youth
groups in Hong Kong. Nintendo have kindly donated some Nintendo DS
computer games which we are using as prizes in a competition to
inspire children to learn more about the environment and animal
printable poster can be downloaded from the website which
can be put up in a school youth group, etc.
We hope that you will enjoy using the
Events organised by Lammaites, on- or off-Lamma, are frequently major fund
raisers for a wide range of charities. THREE of these highly recommended
events are coming up this weekend:
Today, the annual
presented by the people behind the
Lamma Fun Day,
raising even more money for the
Ibiza Night fundraiser for the
Lamma Animal Protection
Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon Boat
Official Charity will be the
any of these fine happenings, you can have great fun, meet friends
and do your bit for charity at the same time! Click on posters below for more
Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent, Writer, Author,
Note: A new
children's book illustrated by
Lamma resident Harry
Harrison, one of Asia's leading artists, tells of a rat at
the Beijing Olympics. Yet some parts remind our reviewer of
No typical Olympic athlete, the rodent hero
of the latest children's book by Sarah Brennan,
titled The Tale of Run Run Rat (2008, Auspicious
Times, Hong Kong, 32 pages), has a stubborn streak. A mighty
appetite for Chinese pastry worsens this character flaw.
Cleverly, Brennan times this Olympic Games
rat-tale, written in verse, to appear during the Chinese
Year of the Rat and prior to the Beijing Games. She even
launched it in a Hong Kong bookshop on May 3, a day after
the Olympic torch passed through the streets outside. The
cover, showing a rat toting the Olympic torch, perfectly
depicts the previous day's events.
No doubt, Brennan's best move was to rely on
newspaper cartoonist Harry Harrison, from Lamma
Island, to illustrate the book. Harry's drawings add
vibrancy and keep the story scampering to the end.
A tranquil country lifestyle "beside the
Yangtze River", as depicted in the opening pages, may remind
some readers of Lamma.
"A quiet life of
With rustic joys a-plenty
Which would completely satisfy
Nineteen rats out of twenty
And yet for one young village rat
In search of fame and glory
The simple life was not enough....
And so begins my story."
Chasing fame and adventure, Run Run Rat
arrives in Beijing before the Olympic marathon.
"Now Beijing is a place
With quite extraordinary features
Like eighteen million humans
(Let alone the other creatures)
And nine gazillion motor cars
And bicycles and scooters
And motorbikes and buses
With extremely noisy hooters
And hammers hammering round the clock
And drillers drilling loudly
And workers working night and day
And buildings rising proudly
And people rushing left and right
And jostling and scurrying
And no one saying 'How do you do?'
And everyone hurrying."
When Run Run wanders into the biggest
foot-race of the Games, some serious scurrying ensues.
"He rushed along the
And up and down the byways
He wheeled around the roundabouts
He pelted down the highways
And on and on the runners ran
And on and on he chased them
And faster still they sped away
And faster yet he raced them."
Remarkably, one athlete in the Olympic
marathon, a loser, of course, looks like former Chinese
president Jiang Zemin. Or does he?
Another illustration, showing Run Run's 47
rat-cousins wrestling, resembles a typical street scene
after darkness descends on Lamma's main village, Yung Shue
Originally from Tasmania, Brennan moved to
Hong Kong in 1998. She has two daughters who influence her
Brennan wrote four previous books: A Dirty Story;
An Even Dirtier Story; and The Tale of Chester Choi
(all illustrated by Harry); and a humorous advice book,
Dummies For Mummies.
The Tale of Run Run Rat shows how a deft author and a
talented artist can collaborate to create something greater
than either could achieve alone. Young readers, aged five to
105, should be richly entertained.
Harry's cover art depicts the Olympic torch run.
Routinely, Harry creates outstanding drawings.
Author Sarah Brennan presents a new book.
Young admirers surround Brennan.
How much can a rat achieve at the Beijing Games?
A young audience tunes in as Brennan reads.
Check out the
of the Laracy Gall Lamma International
Dragon Boat Festival 2008 with all the info you'll ever
need, like the
race schedule and
team list, plus
photo galleries and
videos of last year's festival.
Or just show up at Power Station Beach at 9am this Sunday! They're
also inviting local photographers to take pictures which might be
featured on their pretty & informative
website and on other promotional materials, like
the Souvenir Programme or the Official Festival DVD (see above).
See you there, I hope!
Horse - Organisers/marketers of the Lamma 500:
Photo by Grahame Collins
We are very grateful and
delighted that the leading
dispute resolution lawyers Laracy Gall have agreed
to title sponsor the Festival this year, and until 2010.
With their support, love of dragon boating and the
continuing cooperation of so many other friends of the
Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon
Boat Festival, we are confident our event will go
from strength to strength. It is great to see that the
Festival, in only its second year, is now part of the Hong
Kong dragon boat racing calendar.
Make-A-Wish Foundation of
Hong Kong, which does wonderful work with local children, is
the Official Charity for the event and we ask that every
participant and spectator give their whole-hearted support
to the fundraising efforts of this incredible charity.
Ever since last year's event
was cruelly curtailed by the elements, the North Lamma
community has been keenly awaiting this year's Festival. We
all have our fingers crossed for some good weather - it
certainly couldn't be any worse than last year! We hope that
everyone has a great day both on and off the water... and
don't forget the beach party afterwards!
2 photos by Miranda Legg
photos by Desmond Rouse
by Donna Foreman
by Siuyu Yeung
The ancient pagan ritual of the May Pole Dance has been celebrated for many
years on Lamma. But it was in grave danger of becoming extinct in recent
years, after the main organiser left the island.
Well, she's back now and together with her many old and new friends they're
continuing this wonderful Lamma tradition, a joyful celebration for the
entire family, just another great reason for a beach party! It happened
again on a balmy May 1st on Power Station Beach, where you can get away with
almost anything, unlike the extremely over-regulated, public Hung Shing Yeh
beach which we usually leave to the visitors from town.
Enjoy this fine
video by Roman Baska.
For another story and pictures of the last May Pole Dance in 2006:
'Our Need for Ceremony, Community & Spontaneity'
It's often amazing what gets our forum members' vivid imaginations going and
what can become a hot topic of discussion. "Mysterious black turds" on the
village paths, for example! Some people even take pictures (see right),
trying to find from the many wildlife experts in our forums which animal
could have produced these "mysterious black turds": rats, bats, snakes,
frogs, toads, shrews or even centipedes?
"If you really miss these objects in the closed
season, replica toad turds can be
ordered here for an affordable US$4.95 plus P&P (yes, really!) Leave
them lying in strategic positions at dinner parties and wait for the
hilarious reaction from your guests. Ho ho ho, my word, what a chuckle!"
The turd mystery hasn't been solved yet and the anal speculations are
Yes, we island dwellers have way too much free time on our hands, and we
enjoy spending our free time in any which way we damn well please!
Join in! ;-)
Tjungarayi - Devil's Advocate and
Contrarian Extraordinaire of the
Lamma forums (Smelly picture above by Marc Antony.
Watch out when he gives you any change...)
I am beginning to wonder as to the supposed interest
or raison d'etre for certain members interest of the subjects
exhibited in this thread.
Lamma-Gung's artistic criticism highlighted the
sanguine clarity and focused attention that Marc Anthony brought to
these mysterious droppings through his delightfully vivacious
Others noted the gargantuan efforts required to
excrete such phenomena and hotly debated the wherewithal of
amphibians, reptiles, birds, motherfucking large centipedes or
flying mammals to produce such glistening gems of distinction.
Yours truly, through abject ennui, endeavours to
wring the last vestiges from any succulent subject.
There are others, of course, whose interests are
best left becalmed beyond the pale. But we all wonder and try to
deduce where these turds came from.
Perhaps this desire to discover the origins of the
above come from an atavistic hunter-gatherer instinct lying dormant
and awakened only by an occasional cognitive dissonance brought
about by incomprehension similarly found among those leaning upon
Suzie Wonton - Junior Lammaite and Roving
On the day of the
Olympic torch relay, after covering Mia Farrow's presentation on
Darfur at the FCC, I walked down through Central in search of
protesters to interview. Block after block, all I found was a
sea of flag-waving red.
Finally I found
what I was looking for at the Star Ferry pier, albeit in a
minuscule version; one lone protestor had arrived with her
homemade pro-Tibet placard. I watched as police circled her,
made her relinquish her placard and ushered her down to the end
of the pier area, where the crowd was non-existent.
Protester shows up at Star Ferry. Police
immediately accost her.
I watched as
several pro-China individuals came over and yelled at her
angrily. "Go home loser!" and "You are not welcome in Hong Kong!
We don't want you here!" The police quickly and sternly directed
I spoke with the
protestor, who chose to remain anonymous, from the other side of
the ring of police.
"Why did they make
you put your sign down?" I asked.
"They said it was
"Do you feel your
right to freedom of expression has been upheld?"
"Well, it's kind of
hard to express yourself when you're being held captive in a
circle of police, away from everyone. They won't even let me go
home now, until after the torch goes by. I'm not even calling
for Tibetan independence, just for open dialogue and meaningful
I asked one of the
policemen why they were detaining her. He assured me that it was
for her own protection -- that the crowd was so fired up, they
were worried she might be attacked.
Before long she is
surrounded, and ushered down to the very end
of the pier area.
Yesterday the protestor emailed me the following statement:
and free is Hong Kong really?
Star Ferry I was heavy-handedly stopped from distributing paper
with Chinese and English translations of The Dalai Lama's Public
Statements to the Chinese People, published on 28th March and
24th April 2008 (Tibet.net).
"I was tightly
surrounded by an Inspector and more than ten of his officers,
some of whom linked arms with one another in a tight circle
around me, with others surrounding them, which resulted in
preventing the public's view and making it difficult for me to
restricted my movement for up to two hours claiming that it was
for my own protection. I explained that I was there simply
trying to raise awareness of The Dalai Lama's true position of
"The Middle-Way Approach" for genuine autonomy, and not
independence, as well as his appeal for meaningful dialogue to
take place between the Chinese leadership and people of Tibet.
"I taped the
Chinese flag to my red shirt in hope that the officers no longer
felt the need to 'protect' me. I also repeatedly voiced my
rights as a Hong Kong citizen. In addition I repeatedly, and
politely, asked the officers to let me go. The police responded
by 'suggesting' I come this way and then attempting to
physically usher me to a designated area. I repeatedly pleaded
with the police not to touch me and at least give me some space
- they apologized but continued in their actions.
"At one point I
resorted to crawling on the floor in attempt to get free from
the surrounding officers. Helplessly I resigned myself to the
fact that they would maintain this at least until the torch
passed, so I began lifting my arms in the air, holding up a
Chinese flag, attracting curious passers-by and successfully
managed to distribute some of the papers by reaching over the
The same scene
repeated itself in other parts of Hong Kong during the course of
the day -- Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and Wanchai. It appears that
restive Tibetans aren't the only ones "in need" of cultural
education. If Hong Kongers are serious about universal suffrage,
they better learn to tolerate dissent.
At least eight
people were denied entry into Hong Kong prior to May 2 because
they were suspected of planning to protest the torch relay.
Darfur activist Mia Farrow was only allowed in on the condition
that she agreed not to talk about Tibet. Freedom of expression
is supposed to be constitutionally protected in Hong Kong.
Whether we agree with what these people have to say or not,
we're the ones who lose if their right to express themselves is
denied. One country, two systems? Not for long if the silencing
of dissent surrounding the torch relay was any indication. Hong
Kong's system appears to be on its way out. Without vigilance,
we may soon be just another Shenzhen.
Nick the Bookman - Official Court Music Reviewer of
(pictures by Mr DickStock)
It's about 17:00 hours - Sat,
Apr 26, 2008 - and Power Station Beach is throbbing
with anticipation as BastardStock prepares to kick out the
jams. There seem to be about 200+ people here for the long-awaited Bastards reunion.
The plan is to celebrate Dan's 60th birthday with the
release of The Bastards 2nd CD after a mere decade of
relentless inactivity. He's rounded up all of the original
band and a couple of members of successive incarnations and
the offshoot group, The Bangkok Bastards.
They'll be joined in keeping the local vibe alive by
Transnoodle and The Curs. Jilted John is handling the DJ
links. Rob, the producer/ engineer of both CD's has brought
over the drum kit, amps, monitors and the mixing board. The
stage was constructed by Sean and his crew. Parksy, as
usual, has provided all the gear for the after-party. The
audience is spread out in a wide arc about 50 feet from the
stage. The usual weekend volleyball tournament is underway
by the rocks near the Power Station. Everyone's ready to
rock, except Dan is missing...
A fact that becomes apparent as Transnoodle take the stage
and begin chanting "Dan the Bastard, where are you?" This
segues into "Happy Birthday" with most of the crowd not
singing along and mutates into the first song, an anti-war
ditty whose title is unknown.
Transnoodle are a quartet today. There's John on guitar/vox.
Kevin on bass. Magnus has the drum stool. Sara, who joined
the band late last year, is on sax. Josh, the main singer,
is absent on other business.
As John says, "Josh is missing. We really need him for the
between song patter." I haven't seen them play for about a
year and they are really tight. A bit more punk/ska. Not so
much of the reggae feeling today. Rob has kept the mixing
board more or less in neutral. Just a bit of echo sax and
vocals fed back to the on stage monitors. He's resisting the
temptation to go all Trevor Horn or Lee Perry on the
The set is varied. Good topics too. Anti-war, Mormonism, a
plug for the Chinese Communist Party (?), a concrete harbour,
a nudge nudge sly wink to Edison Chan's photography skills
and a rewrite of Jacques Brel. John slips a verse of "Help"
into the 2nd tune (Mormons, hormones and morons). The next
tune is "The Journey". It's about CIA kidnappings and the
War on Terror. Life under Bush Reich. Hard-hitting prose and
lyrical density worthy of early Tom Waits. Musically its
like The Mustaphas Three meet Morphine with some Ruts DC sax
Vocally, John is a bit like Hammell on Trial. The Brel song
"Port of Amsterdam" is rewritten as a morality tale set in
Coloane, Macao. It's Transnoodle's Meat Loaf moment. "Bury
the Harbour" has a lolloping sea-shanty vibe, counter-pointed by sad sax. "Down in the Deli" is the usual punky rendition of a lot of people bellowing in drunken glee
late at night in the Deli Lamma. Always a favourite...
Rob has a video camera running front-and-centre of the
stage. All part of the upcoming documentary. The band all
say hi to Dan and "lalalalalala" through another birthday
greeting before departing the stage to warm applause. John's
on the decks and kicks off with a cracking electro remix of
Tina Turner doing "Whole Lotta Love". Other highlights over
the next 40 minutes include Cal Tjader's vibraphone version
of "Gimme Shelter" a dubbytronix mix of "Wicked Game" by
Chris Isaak and a Pulaski(?) remix of a mad choir of voices
doing a loungecore/Weimar Republic cabaret version of "1999"
At one point, a couple of Bastards are sound- checking and their music intermeshes and weaves in and
out of John's mix. Can't tell which is which. Is it real or
is it Memorex? At this point in my notebook, Dave Spicer
wants everyone to know he's "back from the dead."
Ask him yourself how he did it. He was last seen on the big
log in front of the stage with Dick(Stock) Jones and Bob
It's 19:00 hours and The Bastards (current edition) are on
stage, still a bit worse for wear from their Friday night
gig at The Wanch.
I'm reliably informed that you couldn't have squeezed any
more people into the bar if you sliced and diced them with a
chainsaw and pumped them through a high pressure hose. The
street outside was packed 8 deep as well. Vince has posted
two songs from The Wanch show, including "Life Is A Bitch" on YouTube.
Now cue original drummer and M/C, Nigel Pike: "Good
evening, ladies and gentlemen. The Bastards formed 18 years
ago in Wanchai. New CD is 'Scheming In The Back Room.'
There are Bastards from Australia and Thailand here
Anyway, a big hand for The Bastards who are Dan on lead vox. Dave on bass. Mark (usually lead guitar, but he
can't bend his elbow much so he's) on muted second guitar.
Jim on main guitar. Tony on drums. Dan's voice is a little
raw, but he leads the band through a crackling version of
"Livewire" by AC/DC. The next tune is still a hard rocker,
but turned down a notch or two. It's "Soaked" from the new
CD, as is the 3rd song "Kublai's Lament". I know I'm having
fun as my writing has gone beyond illegible, but I think
that's it. If it's on the record, it sort of sounds like the
opening to "I Can't Explain" by The Who.
Dave takes over on lead vox for a couple of tunes and his
singing draws appreciation from John. Especially the first
tune which is almost folk-rock. The big money song comes
next. "Here We Go Again"
which Dan tells me is the ideal tune to play over the end of
a big disaster movie. You know, asteroid impact in the
ocean. Huge tidal wave of icebergs overturns the Titanic and
the Poseidon and either Godzilla or Jaws eat the survivors
who don't make it into a lifeboat.
The boat contains a ticking nuke, Nazi werewolves, the
Olympic Torch Relay, a bloodthirsty space carrot, some
trans- sexual Transylvanians and a choir of overrated divas,
trilling in tuneless terror. Texas Bush soon floats by on a
polar bear, saying "Hang On. I've got an idea!"
Cue, swelling chorus of "Here we go again..." and "The Oscar
goes to..." Dan didn't actually say that, but I'm sure
that's what he really meant. There's a song about a nameless
former Lamma resident.
Dan will probably say who if you buy him (and the band) a
Dave is back for another vocal turn. Introduced as "Dr.
Green in yellow singing Red, Red, Red". A sort of slow
Pretty Things type of tune with heavy drumbeats. A splendid
cover of "Hey Joe" (the Jimi version, rather than Tim Rose).
Jim uncorks some scintillating solos.
He's done well enough to make you forget that Mark can't
contribute as much as he would like to. Final song "Natalie"
is on the CD which is on sale through Genghis in The
Bastards corporate craic tent. Copies, and multi-coloured
t-shirts, are also available at Lamma Gourmet.
John has started his second set. I'm not paying much
attention as I'm getting easily distracted, amused and
entertained (wow, a wave!).
Swig some more sangria. Groove to more Pulaski and a band
called Ting Tings(?). It's suddenly dark and 20:15 as the
Curs amble on. There is new boy Tom, making his debut on
bottleneck/slide guitar. Tony has had a quick drink and
resumed duties as guest drummer. GARETH is on bass.
And of course, you know the others so well I don't need to
mention them. Right? Oh, OK then. The co leaders are of
course Slinky Joe Hotone on tremulous mouth organ and
throbbing guitar. The Good Father Harvey Ballwanger soothing
and saving all you Satanists with his soulful sonic
scriptures and sophisticated 2nd guitar strummage.
There's Orville The Bald with his haunting accordion
Unfortunately, other guitarist Frankie McJock and Derek the
Fiddler are AWOL indefinitely.
Opening tune is "Hear My Train
A' Coming" which grooves into
The Curs rendition of The Fish Cheer. "Gimme an ess, gimme
an eye, gimme an ex"... tumbles into mumbles, bad spelling
etc until the message is deciphered. "Sixty Years Old. Dan
you Bastard!" The boys appear to be more musically than
alcoholically tight tonight. Fine versions of "Rootie Tootie"
by Hank Williams, something about going "Down to the river
to watch the fish swim by..." with amusing yodeling by Mr.
Hotone. Quick segue into "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash.
I'm about 8 feet away from stage right and I think Tom needs
to sound louder.
There are some splendid slide guitar runs, but they're
nearly inaudible. GARETH is having fun. Is he used to
playing with a real drummer? Is that what prompted an aside
from Harvey that "...when we have a drummer, it's useful to
follow him"? There are calls for D the B to come on stage. A
shout of "has he found what he's looking for?"
merges into some soppy U2 song. The next number is by "the
fat guy and the skinny guy. Sing along". The song leads into
a fairly straightforward cover (by Curs' standards) of "The
Trail Of The Lonesome Pine". Always a blast from the past.
Kelly has been bopping about in an attempt to get some mass
dancing. Mari has finally arrived and joins her briefly
before spotting me, prone before the stage. Most of the
crowd are standing just outside the arc of light. Welcome to
Night Of The Living Bastardheads! The Good Father is
blessed. He's "seen the light" In fact, he's singing about
the experience while bathed in a sweaty glow and optional
Orville is giving it lots of swirl in the
background, A tent revival meeting soundtracked by a gypsy
wedding as arranged by Astor Piazzolla. Dan has been Saved
(from some other excess perhaps) and dragged on stage to
sing "The Young Ones". The joy was more in the performance
than in the actual singing, but no one seems to be grudgy
about Dan's crusty-rough performance.
An earlier evolution of The Bastards is on the stage. Nigel,
aka Pikey, is the first drummer. He looks like some Japanese
manga cartoon character come to life with his huge fly-eye
style circular brownish shades which seem to be spot
flesh-welded to his forehead.
Davey of the Orange Hair plays lead guitar. Brendan plays
bass at some point before switching to drums. Bangkok
Bastard Alf takes a turn on lead guitar duties and
occasional vocals. Dan is there for a few more tunes,
including "White Riot" by The Clash and a partial stumble
through "Babylon's Burning" by The Ruts. There's a rampaging
cover of "Rocking In The Free World" by Neil Young. There
are also grimy workouts on "Welcome To The Royal", "Pressure
In The City" and "Life Is A Bitch" from The Bastards' 1st
Alf chips in with a splenetic version of "American Idiot"
while Brendan and Davey take no prisoners on "Enter Sandman"
At least 2 false endings. Good handling of the
loud/QUIET/loud dynamics and some heroic rock postures with
head down hair shaking boogie abandonment. Dave, the
original bassist chips in with "Highway Star" by Deep
Purple. There's also a fiery "Foxy Lady" which draws
Quite a few more people are dancing, including the
ever-reliable Tamara and her omni-present dreads. Pikey
thanks everyone and concludes by singing the final number.
It's a brutal, battered heartfelt carousel through "My Way".
It makes the Sid Vicious version sound like a bad panto
lounge lizard crooning a lullaby. Everyone comes together at
the end to sing a rousing "Happy Birthday" to Dan who
replies that "I've had a bloody good evening, but IT'S
OVER". And it is, as far as the live music goes.
after-party gets underway as soon as the equipment is moved
nearer the volleyball area. Meanwhile, the stage is
dissembled and all the equipment packed up ready to return
to HK. I managed to get my dogs, Jack and Xena, home. Without
walking into any trees this time.
Thanks everyone for a Top Night. And Happy 60th Birthday,
Looking forward to the next CD "sometime in 2020"...
Photos by Bob Davis:
Photos by Mr DickStock:
reviewer hard at work
Click above for my complete photo gallery (the best of 1,284 shots taken).
My former photo galleries:
Tin Hau 2007,
I received this invitation card for the Tin Hau Festival from the local
District Council office, because I cover this major local event almost every
year for the Lamma-zine. For the first time, I was taking pictures from the
opposite side of the dragonboat racing venue, an area usually off-limit to
spectators. The event's organisers even used the public loudspeakers to ask
me (in English) to leave the "forbidden area". Then they sent in the
just two hours in the morning, I got about 4 visits from local police
constables, all trying to convince me to leave the area, unsuccessfully, of
course. I can be stubborn... The view from this area (YSW harbour
background) was so much better than the standard view from the new ferry
pier (wooded hills/chimneys background).
As a (sometimes) paid freelance photographer I've acquired some practice in
fighting off being hassled at events, especially if there are celebrities
involved. I showed them my invitation card and they remained friendly, not
dragging me off, fortunately! After publishing the Lamma-zine for over 5
years, I've built up some good working relationships with local police,
politicians, powers-that-be and business people, hopefully, maybe...
one hour or so, two police officers brought me the Official Photographer's
badge above, permitting me to remain in the area. They even brought a second
badge for another photographer who I had just met and who was also ignoring
the police's requests to leave. Problem solved, as now we had the right
"paperwork" and could stay. But we had to stay clear from the water's
edge, worrying the authorities that we might fall in and that their event insurance
wouldn't cover us. ;-)
Other photographers tried to hide behind some bushes (see above right) but
were quickly spotted by police and persuaded to leave. As there were
off-island "celebrities" coming in for the sampan/ dragonboat race finals in
the afternoon, I agreed to save face for the race officials by keeping
clear of the "Forbidden Area" in the afternoon.
When I was leaving the area for lunch, the police had set up a barrier and
tape to prevent other bothersome people from entering the area.
I hope that the resulting photos were worth this amusing little bit of
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