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Oct 31:  Inside the Flowers of Lamma Island

The Lamma-zine loves to hear from visitors to our island home! Frequently they offer a new perspective and view our home with fresh eyes, often noticing intriguing, small details that we Lammaites take for granted and might not fully admire and appreciate anymore.

The best story and photos I've recently came across from a Lamma visitor is Inside the Flowers of Lamma Island by Radha in her "Boundless inspiration" blog. Here are two quotes:

"Lamma island is considered probably the coolest one to live in because of its artistical attractions."

"Afterwards, by following the main narrow street the whole greenish and easygoing, wild and relaxed environment will disclose in front of you."

Click on Radha's Lamma flower pictures below to read her full blog story and see some of her stunning pictures of her recent Lamma visit:

Oct 30:  Island Gym Panty

Running a daily magazine/placeblog that is mostly focused on just Lamma Island and Lammaites, you might think I might run out of story ideas frequently. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I've got almost 100 story ideas backlogged in my digital files, from many sources. Most of these story ideas might never see the light of day, as there's so much more, hotter, newsier stuff happening on Lamma all the time, almost every day.

Story ideas can originate from anywhere, anytime and anybody. There are many serious and newsworthy ideas, but sometimes also totally silly or whimsical ideas. Some of those are often my favourites. Case in point:

Who's lost a black panty in the Island Gym?

After finishing my circuit training workout there recently, I spotted this black, lacy, transparent piece draped over the scale, see photo.

Why was this panty left behind? What happened before it was left behind? My mind boggled and my sometimes overhyped, fertile imagination was going into overdrive. There's a shower in the gym, but it's rarely used as most gym members live nearby, just 2 minutes away in my own case.

So who's left behind this very sexy panty? Was it intentionally discarded or just lost? By a female or by a male cross-dresser? Also, who put this panty onto the scale and why? Or is it just a clever promotion to generate hype for the gym?

Hype-loving ex-Lammaite Band Guitars & Panties might take note of this happening as they've been known to throw panties into the audience. Have they been visiting the gym recently, buffing up for their exhausting gigs and practicing their panty-throwing, maybe losing one item?

So if you've been thinking that the Island Gym is a boring place where only fit'n'buff male gym nuts and still-obese, dirty old men like me are grunting while pressing iron and breathing heavily while rowing, biking or treadmilling, you were all wrong! There are numerous very attractive and very fit young ladies working out in there as well.

Interested? Check it out, they've got 1-month trial memberships and it's only $350/month for a year-long membership. Contact Rick & Soli, the Island-Gym's new managers.

Rick & Soli, we Lammaites demand to know what's going on with this most mysterious panty! We're awaiting eagerly and with bated breath your official reply and explanation, please! Solve this mystery and stop the silly rumours!

After the recent conversion of the Lamma Activities Centre into a 2nd-hand consignment shop, where are some of their classes happening now? In the Island Gym on some evenings after 8:30pm, that's where! Click below for their most recent classes. Email Gary for more info and reservations. Gary writes:

"I've been asked by some ladies on Lamma to do these women's self-defence classes. I've designed a program suitable for anyone visiting troubled war zones or night life areas in the US and Europe. It might be useful in some Lamma Bars too! The class is in 2 parts, a total of 8 lessons and consists of common sense and a mix of realistic fighting & defence techniques. Most likely to be held at the Island Gym, depending on how many sign up."

P.S. Some feedback on this story, demonstrating that this little free promotion for the Island Gym has actually worked!

"Keep up the good work on the site by the way, I've joined the gym because of the great article you wrote the other day."

Oct 29:  Funworld Magazine Launch

Ex-Lammaite Pet Spurrier of BlackSmithBooks,
plus Lammaites Andrew Dembina (RTHK), cartoonist Sara & wife Menaka Sen.

Funworld Magazine has been launched in Hong Kong on Thursday, Oct 23 in the Sarasen Gallery in D'Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. All the major people behind this new magazine are Lammaites; artist, editor, publisher, etc.

This very timely special edition is focusing on US ELECTIONS 2008. Hard-hitting, rib-tickling caricatures and editorial political cartoons and political commentaries about major players who are fighting to enter the White House are featured in full colour by Sara's razor-sharp pen, with equally pointed political commentaries from various writers.

So many Lammaites attended the launch party and you might well recognise a few of your friends from the photos (click to enlarge.)

This 42-page, A4-size magazine will be on sale for US$10, including airmail postage. For reserving copies, please contact MENAKA SEN:
Tel: 2525 6984, Mobile: 6891 3710, Email:

But beware, if you're not an Obama supporter, then this polemic, satirical magazine might be highly offensive to your political opinions and beliefs!

Oct 28:  Curly's Miracle

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent

(text & pictures by Jay)

Dusky Dog Delivers
a Main Street Miracle

Thanks to a sympathetic therapist who'd never treated a furry patient, Curly, a dark dog with tiny ears and a twisted tail, has achieved a miracle of sorts.

As a slightly mischievous dog-about-town, six-year-old Curly often wandered along Main Street in Yung Shue Wan. Two months ago, an assault by other dogs outside the Waterfront Restaurant left him badly injured, paralyzed in his hind legs.

After many X-rays and three days hospitalized at a veterinary clinic on Hong Kong Island, Curly returned to Po Wah Yuen where he lives with Suzie Yu, Phil Wheelband, their baby Dean, and another dog, Bravo. The medical experts had talked of serious damage to Curly's spine, nerves and muscles. His recovery prospects looked slim.

"Half his body was totally paralyzed," Suzie said. "We thought probably he'd stay like that for the rest of his life."

Suzie and Phil vowed to care indefinitely for the disabled Curly. With Phil busy as an electrical-construction worker, the burden fell on Suzie.

"It didn't matter because Curly's part of my family," Suzie said. "He's so special. I loved him so much, and I still did. Everything had changed in his life, and everything had changed in my life too. I couldn't leave my baby or Curly home alone. So every time I went out, I had to carry them both. It was very hard.

"We decided to take the wheels off a baby pram to make a device to help Curly move," Suzie said. "And I worked on how to carry him so he wouldn't need to drag his legs."

Unable to stand, walk or even relieve himself without help, Curly struggled with depression. "I knew from his look that he'd given up himself," Suzie said. "He'd been a wild, happy dog who went anywhere he wanted. Suddenly, he couldn't do anything except lie there. He felt really down and stopped eating properly. He wouldn't even look at me."

The tide turned when Flora Yan, an osteopathic manual therapist, learned of Curly's plight and offered to treat him. But she'd never worked on a pet and needed to study dog anatomy, which she did on the Internet late at night.

"I knew this kind of thing could work on animals too, but the body structure and pressure points are a little different," Flora said.

Flora embraces her own dog, Lulu.

She held four sessions with Curly, applying strategic pressure to his nerves, joints and soft tissue. The treatments hurt, so much that he needed to be muzzled and held down.

"Flora covered every single nerve-ending all the way down Curly's backbone and over his whole body," Phil said. "Most of the work went to the last five inches of his back."

Positive results appeared fast. "After one treatment, one leg started to come back," Suzie said. "Within two days, he suddenly used a back leg to scratch. When I saw that, I was so excited that I jumped all around. It was amazing. Soon he could stand. We knew his walking would come. It was a miracle. Wow!"

According to Phil, "Flora has the hands of Jesus Christ reincarnated."

Although Curly may not run again, he has rejoined the family on walks along Main Street. Suzie and Phil are thrilled. So is Curly.

"It's like Curly had lost the whole world," Suzie said. "Suddenly, he got it back. We're really happy."

Recovering, Curly stands and walks.

Proud of her pup-pal, Suzie poses with Curly.

Phil and baby Dean lead Curly and Bravo.

The dog's unsteady steps seem miraculous.

What a relief!
Curly's no longer glum.

Oct 27:  Larma Pun Day Photos

The first photos from the Lamma Fun Day have arrived! Click below for:

Mel Holloway's Lamma-zine photo gallery (Eddie's Mum)

Aaron Farr's Flickr photo gallery

Ajay Kumar Veeranki's Picasa photo gallery

Deebo-hk's Flickr slide show

Photos from Grahame Collins  (click to enlarge):

Lamma-Gung's photo gallery,

plus a few more of my photos below. A separate photo gallery of NUDE's last gig is in progress, awaiting the Official Court Music Reviewer's review.

Email me YOUR photos to be added to this website and the official Lamma Fun Day website as well!

P.S. The final selection of photos has just been uploaded to the Lamma Fun Day website on Nov 20.

Oct 26:  Barking Angry:  'Another No-Fun Day!'

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent

(text & pictures by Jay)

Even here, on a peaceful, subtropical island, signs of dogged discontent emerge.

After carefully sniffing out shared sentiments, some members of the canine community howled defiantly in protest against Lamma Fun Day, a popular festival for humans held this year on Sunday, October 26.

Before throngs of people had finished bartering, chewing, playing and partying at the popular Power Station Beach, usually the playground for local dogs, the leading wags and woofers reportedly gathered for an emergency meeting at a secret location high in the overlooking hills.

"Again this year, the humans went too damn far with their so-called Fun Day," growled one dog. "No-Fun Day is more like it."

"They took over OUR beach," snarled another. "The humans trampled everywhere, thicker than mosquitoes."

"Who can chase sticks through a beach-volleyball game?" demanded a vexed retriever.

"Chase sticks? I didn't get off my leash!"

"What was all the noise under that plastic roof?" wondered a big-eared beagle.

"Let's form a Lamma-dog army," barked a determined Doberman. "We have the fang-power to march onto our beach and chase the humans away."

"Yip, yip," came enthusiastic cheers from the others.

"Whoa, whoa," protested two tubby terriers. "No biting the hands that feed us!"

"Right," snarled a Schnauzer. "Tomorrow the beach should return to normal. Let's not over-react."

After many rounds of yelping debate, the meeting adjourned without agreement. Then all the attendees romped home to check on their dinner dishes.

Tempted to chew at nearby ankles?
A distressed dog turns suicidal?

As humans swarm, most dogs stay on leashes.

Where's the fun here?

Dogs whisper in discontent.

No chasing sticks here. -- Serious sniffing can't disperse the crowd.

Oct 25:  Louie the Violin @ Lamma Fun Day

Louie "the Violin" Wada - Violin prodigy:

Hi Lamma-Gung,

I'm Louie the Violin, daughter of Rie Wada.

On Sunday, tomorrow, I will be a part of the Lamma Jazz Combo. 1-2 pm, I'll play jazz violin with my mum's band members on Power Station Beach at the Lamma Fun Day. I've been playing around Soho with some professional musicians since before summer, but this will be my first time on a stage (as a jazz player) with the band.

Please come along to see my performance. I'm encouraging all children to see our performance and I hope more children love music and the violin on Lamma! Kumi's daughter Aya and Sam's daughter Umi - both are half-Japanese and will also be coming to see my performance.

P.S.  NUDE's last-ever performance tomorrow, Louie's first-ever performance as a jazz violinist... Lamma will never be without her bands and musicians! The next young generation of Lammaite musicians is coming up already and taking over the baton slowly, ensuring a musical continuity and legacy through the decades...

P.S. II:  Some more bands will be playing tomorrow afternoon at the Fun Day, according to the music coordinator: Tai Tai Alibi and Bone Table. Both have ex-members from Lamma Bands Garoupa and Rockin' Shockin' Donkeys.

P.S. III:  Send your best Fun Day photos to me. You can see them on this website and on the Lamma Fun Day website next week! Full credits with contact email/website/link will be given, of course.

For some examples, click here and here.

Oct 24:  Get NUDE on the Beach -- One Last Time

Kevin Voigt - Bass player for NUDE   (text & pictures - click to enlarge)

The Party Is Over

After five years of tearing up the stages of Hong Kong, Lamma's own NUDE is calling it quits. Our 4 p.m. performance as part of the lineup of Lamma Fun Day will be our last.

It's appropriate our final gig will be in support of the Nepalese Child Welfare Scheme, since our first Hong Kong Island gig was at the 2003 Funkraiser, the sister event of LFD to raise money for children in Nepal.

We're in a nostalgic mood as we cap a half decade of hip-shaking, bone-crushing disco funk mayhem. So here's a look back at the most memorable performances of NUDE.

August 2003

In the summer of 2003, trumpet player Sam Bruce and percussionist Justin Bahl had an idea for a band that tapped into the Afro-beat tradition of Fela and Femi Kuti. They recruited guitarist Mark Stephens and myself and the jamming commenced, joined later by rapper Paul Frazer.

We gathered at the Deli Lamma a week before our debut to debate what to call ourselves. After many, many beers, we found the perfect name: The Fungus Five. By the light of dawn, that moldy moniker was discarded and Sam came up with a short, sharp, one-syllable name: NUDE.

Gathered before 40 people on the rooftop of my apartment, Sam (who at that point had only played trumpet for 18 months) turned around and nervously told us, "I've never played in front of a crowd before." Moments later, that all changed.

Amnesia, February 2004

We built up gigs and expanded our repertoire through the fall of 2003, but when keyboardist Matt Steele joined us, things really began to gel. The Amnesia managers didn't know what hit them, as 200 people - the first flood of dedicated "Nudists" - crammed into the club (eventually people had to be turned away). There were reports of a couple, uh, coupling in the stairwell. Among the crowd flashing her lovely wares was chanteuse Donna Searl whose singing career heretofore had been confined to the shower. Lucky shower. And very soon, lucky us…

Laguna, April 2004

Alcohol! Police! Prostitutes! This gig had it all. For one night we kicked out all the semi-professional women (who talked their way back in) at this infamous Wanchai establishment to throw a show of our own. Police raided the place between sets. What a night!

Rockit Festival, October 2004

We played to a crowd of 20 at the first Rockit Festival in 2003, and opened the festival as the first main stage band in 2005. But playing the second stage in 2004 was unbelievable. We started the set to an empty tent as most the crowd watched the main stage act. But midway through the first song we looked up to see hundreds of people running into our marquee. Words fail to describe the magic of that moment.

Y2K, Lamma Island, New Year's Eve 2004

Y2K, the bar that used to be at Nick the Book's corner, holds fond memories for NUDE. It was there we played our first "public" gig in September 2003 with percussionist and future member Barney Bruce, Sam's brother. The most memorable (if a bit hazy) Y2K performance was New Year's Eve 2004. If you were there, you know.

Justin's Birthday Beach Bash, Power Station Beach, May 2005

Parksy has engineered some great beach parties for us, but none were better than this gig. The moon was full, the tide was low, laser lights played on the huge white canopy above us, and we debuted several new songs to a deeply drunk audience. On the beach that night was saxophonist Anthony Brophy, who soon joined the band. After two years, the NUDE lineup was complete.

World Battle of the Bands, Summer 2005

We thought the idea of entering a contest was inherently daft, but the chance to play at the now defunct club, the Edge, proved irresistible. We did it for a laugh, but found ourselves winning night after night until we landed at the Edge finals. We were nervous - the Nudists who turned out for earlier gigs dwindled as we continued through the contest. We got on stage facing a crowd filled with young Chinese punks awaiting guest hardcore band King Ly Chee. But by the time we ended the set, the punks were chanting "NUDE! NUDE! NUDE!" Musically, we were never better than that night.

The Funkraiser, May 2006

Every Funkraiser was great, but this was memorable as the "last" performance of founding member and guitarist Mark Stephens before his move to London. But nobody leaves NUDE - they just take a long break from rehearsals. (If you want proof, come see us this Sunday, where we will be joined - direct from London - by the one and only Mark Stephens.) Bands are like relationships - you've got ups and downs. There were many times that NUDE nearly disintegrated or members quit, so it's amazing we're ending our run with the original lineup intact.

Dickstock, November 2006

Don't remember much of this beer-soaked evening except it was fun (as were all Dickstocks). First gig joined by the wonderful Hamada el-Mansour on guitar.

The Wedding that Wasn't,  Concerto Inn, January 2007

We've played many gigs at the Concerto Inn at Hung Shing Yeh Beach, including two weddings for friends. But the January 2007 gig was supposed to be my wedding reception. But relationships are like bands - you've got ups and downs. Karina and I were in a down period when we decided to call off our wedding, but not before my family had bought non-refundable tickets to Hong Kong from the US. So instead of a wedding, we threw them a party NUDE-style. (For the record, Karina and I are family now - married this year and proud parents of three-month-old Jonah. How did we originally meet? Karina asked me out after coming to a NUDE gig at the Fringe in 2004…)

Bollinger Champagne Tent, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, April 2007

NUDE was never a professional band, and we were reminded of that every time we played a professional gig - it always sucked ass. But none sucked more ass than a three-day, $1000-admission gig on the grounds of the Cricket Club during the Hong Kong Sevens. Our pregnant Donna was pelted by footballs, fights broke out that damaged Sam's trumpet, someone took a shit behind the stage and a drunk relieved himself on my leg. Maybe we should've known then the end was nigh.

The best performances of NUDE were often never seen in public - times just jamming in apartments around Lamma, where songs like "Get Nude" and "The Futchar" emerged from endless improvisations. Great moments you've missed: Paul rapping his lyrics to "Art of Flipping" for the first time, or the goose bumps created when Donna first sang "Empty Bowl;" the wicked solos Sam and Anthony traded off, or Matt flying off on some keyboard frenzy. Justin's beatific grin when our bass-and-drum moves verged on mental telepathy.

So why is this our last gig?

In two words: We're busy. We've moved on to new jobs, new bands, new relationships. We haven't written a new song in two years. Since NUDE started, members have had five children (with another one on the way). Our offspring are now numerous enough to start their own band.

May we all live long lives, but NUDE deserves a good looking corpse.

The NUDE story is a Lamma story.

We've had members from England, Australia, the US, Hong Kong, Morocco, Japan and Canada - where else could such a diverse group of people find common ground? The musical legacy here runs deep, from Mothership a decade ago to bands like Garoupa, Red Star Rising, the Wankers, the Bastards and Transnoodle today. The band stage at Lamma Fun Day has always been a celebration of the island's musical tradition, and we're proud to have played our part.

The goal of every NUDE song is to get the crowd dancing, and it's been a great joy serving up the soundtrack these past five years. Join us for one last romp on the sand this Sunday, 4 p.m.

Unity in Nudity.

Oct 23:  Bike Mike's Further Adventures

Bike Mike - Visiting Lamma till Dec:

Are You French?

I met another Lamma newbie the other day. She introduced herself as "Jo". Using my best public school French accent I asked: "As in Johanne or Jocelyn?" (Many names, especially those female, sound so much better en francais.) Jo replied: "Are you French?" My first impulse was to answer: "No, I'm gay!" But that joke is now becoming a bit tired. Instead I replied: "No, I'm Canadian!"

A smile on my face at the time, in part due to my thoughts, and also due to the pleasant company, Jo asked me: "…if all Canadians are so happy?" Why wouldn't they be if they were on Lamma, too? Welcome to Lamma, Jo!

Walking past the Banyan Bay Café one evening this week, I was drawn there by the sound of Reggae music; a departure from the usual choices of Cath, the Banyan Bay's affable host. Cath was absent. In her place was Sham, bartender and DJ, transforming the café into "Sham's Reggae Bar". This was a welcome change from the normally homogenized sounds of most of the Lamma Main Street establishments. Sham's musical choices raised the level from elevator music to listening enjoyment. Well done, Sham!

The Green Cottage

Not owning a laptop PC, the Green Cottage has become my "home away from home" for access to the information superhighway, and news from home. The cottage has an on-line computer free for customer's usage and free Wi-fi wireless Internet for those more affluent who bring their own hardware.

Luxuriating in the Lamma sun during my first week here, I wrote home to tell about this cozy café, where I could sip a mango lassi while dividing my time between watching the waterfront traffic, and pecking away at my e-mail.
The staff at The Green Cottage are most accommodating. They "live to serve their clientele." Patrons are embraced in a blanket of good will as they arrive. The lassis are great, along with a variety of other smooth drinks. (Do women drink "Laddies"?) The coffee is good, too! Thank you Green Cottage!

Oct 22:  NUDE, Spicy Boys, Yung Shue Wankers, ,
                 El Destroyo, HK Electric Band, TransNoodle!

Lamma Fun Day, featuring all these Lamma Bands above! (from LFD website)

What better way to support the Child Welfare Scheme and Lamma Fun Day than pitching up a stall yourself? Or selling some food? Passing on some unwanted clothes? Or monitoring some children's games?

Every year, generous donors from all over Hong Kong donate their unwanted goods in support of Lamma Fun Day. You'll find CD's, DVD's, Books, Electronics, Clothes and much much more, sold at bargain bin prices! If you have any goods that you would like to donate we have a collection point in Central as well as one on Lamma. For more information, please email bric-a-brac team here.

Kids love the beach and each year we put on enough activities to keep them there and entertained all day long. Each year we have activities for children of all ages such as face painting, relay races, drama activities, circus games and much much more! For more information contact Roger Searle here.

Every year Lamma Fun Day attracts some of Hong Kong's most entertaining and talented local bands and DJ's. If you have a band and you want to play, please contact Sean Mitchell here.

Lamma Fun Day simply would not be possible without the help of the numerous volunteers that help out every year. We need volunteers for every aspect of the day from selling bric-a-brac and food, to running children's games, tending bar and so on. If you would like to volunteer for a minimum of 2 hours please contact Hazel Walpole here.
Volunteers wanted for Lamma Fun Day 2008! Click  to see pdf flyer.
Click on image to
view pdf flyer

Calling all entrepreneurs and freelancers! These booths are a great way to test out whether your product will be a hit in the market. If you are interested in having a stall, please email Julia Connolly here.

Oct 26th, 2008
10am — 10pm

Power Station Beach
(Tai Wan To Village)

Lamma Island

This year Jaspas will be catering to all our hungry participants. There will be pizzas, burgers, desserts, and much more. No longer will you have to hurry to line up before the food runs out, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy some hot food with a cold beer.

Sponsored by Societe Generale, the beach volleyball tournament is becoming a tradition and no Lamma Fun Day would be complete without it. Companies and individuals are invited to put a team of 5 players together! Registration fee is $1,500 for corporate and $600 for non-corporate. To register your team, please contact BJ Blumenthal here or Jean-Philippe Atse here. Click for rules of the tournament.

P.S.  Final list of auction items just in! Have a look, some great stuff being auctioned off at specific times on Sunday between 2-6:30pm!

Click for detailed info on the auction items.

Oct 21:  OzArt 2008 -- Body & Soul

Click for more info and gallery website. Here's a map:

Oct 20:  BOGgy Marketing?

This Thursday morning, 8:30am, there'll be a BOG (Lamma Business Owners Group) discussion about "Marketing & Advertising Your Services", led by Yours Truly. Learn from other freelancers and small businesses located on Lamma who are in the same boat and face the same difficulties and challenges as yourself.

We've got a new beautiful, sunny and cosy new meeting location, after the temporary shutdown of the Lamma Activities Centre. It'll hopefully be reopened somewhere else soon. Some classes have already moved to new locations, for example the Island Gym.

Call 9649-5642 for details of the BOG meeting. Everybody is welcome!

Oct 19:  Spreading Global Hilarity (Hillaryty?)

Sarasen Gallery - press release by Jay Scott Kanes, editor of FUNWORLD:

FunWorld Begins:
Magazine Spreads Global Hilarity

Everyone needs a chance to laugh, especially now. You're invited to the once-in-a-lifetime party as FUNWORLD, the world's mostThurageously funny political-satire magazine, launches in Hong Kong.

Prepare to laugh! FUNWORLD, maybe the world's most outrageous magazine, launches with a party on October 23 at the SARAsen International Gallery in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong's popular nightclub district.

For its debut issue, the new magazine focuses on hilarity in the U.S. presidential election. The magazine delivers rib-tickling cartoons and plenty of commentaries.

"After eight years of miscues by U.S. president George W. Bush, what's more important than maintaining a sense of humor?" asked FUNWORLD publisher SARA, an award-winning political cartoonist. "We aim to tickle millions of funny bones in Asia and beyond."

At the launch party, SARA will lead a magazine-signing ceremony. That night, the magazine will sell at a special introductory price. The gallery even has an exhibition of paintings, whimsical sculptures and cartoons.

"The launch party should be a fantastic occasion - a chance to introduce FUNWORLD, to reveal the intricacies of political cartooning and even to discuss why Asians regard the 2008 U.S. election as the most important in recent times," said Jay Scott Kanes, the magazine's editor.

FUNWORLD will circulate by mail, in shops and soon on the Internet. SARA has won Amnesty International Human Rights Press Awards not once or twice, but three times - in 1996, 1997 and 1998. As a political cartoonist for 36 years, he's a veteran observer of political frays as seen from the newsrooms of leading newspapers and magazines.

Spreading laughter isn't the magazine's only important mission. It also aims:

  • to poke and prod at political and business titans, the hardest at those needing it most;

  • to speak with humor and clout for the masses, hundreds of millions strong and without the resources or voices to be heard otherwise;

  • to reinforce media independence, free speech and the art of political satire;

  • build a new line of defense for human rights and basic freedoms.

All cartoon and magazine enthusiasts are invited to the October 23rd launch party. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP by email.

The SARASEN Gallery
5/F Winner Building (take lift to odd floors)
27-37 D'Aguilar Street
Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2525-6984
c/o Menaka Sen, Gallery Manager
Website, email.

P.S. Radio interview with Lammaites Sara & Jay on Radio 3, RTHK, Tue, Oct 21, 12:14pm:  Windows Media format  --  RealPlayer format

Oct 18:  Rocky II - Improbable Virility

The story about Rocky and his Lamma Beach Rock Piles was so popular, beating local box office records & bestseller lists (even though there's no cinema or even a bookstore on Lamma). Enthusiastic and loud cries for a sequel ASAP have been deafening from avid Rocky fans. Always eager to please our wonderful and growing fanbase I proudly present "Rocky II - Improbable Virility". Let's hear it for Lamma celebrity and all-round great & virile guy, the Rock Pile Balancer:

Rocky Malcolm   (text & pictures)

Position, Balance & Friction vs. Gravity

All those specimens were cultivated by me on Power Station Beach over the past year or so. And they're all natural rocks exactly as found on the beach, no glue/mud/sand, no chipping away at corners, no hidden supports. That's part of the fun of it; selecting rocks with natural bumps that fit with each other.

All the pics below were of the same pile - just taken from different angles. I even hung my hat on it for scale and to show that it was my work. If you look carefully at the last picture (S7300874) you can see my only 'cheat' - a single flat chip of rock shoved in between two of the larger stones in order to stop them rocking. This sometimes becomes necessary if I'm aiming for height rather than aesthetic purity.  :-)

Everything else is position, balance and friction versus gravity.

Click above for Malcolm's Art Gallery (photos by himself)

Oct 17:  I'm Not Gay; I'm Canadian!

Bike Mike - Visiting Lamma till Dec:

I'm Not Gay; I'm Canadian!

My first Lamma-zine blog article brought recognition among a few Lammaites whom I have met. I've evolved from being "M's Cousin" to my new "official" moniker of "Bike Mike".

Entering Cath's bar, The Banyan Bay Cafe, I was greeted by an expat Yank who said: "I know you! You're Bike Mike! Are you gay?"

I replied: "I'm not gay, I'm a polite Canadian; to you Americans politeness is considered gay."

So much for political commentary!

The Banyan Bay Cafe is another one of those great Lamma establishments that provide "rehydration" to those of us who lose so many bodily fluids sweating in the heat of Lamma. Cath, owner, and barkeep, has a demure strength that suits her as host for her many customers. She is aided and abetted by Sham, local football guru and super-friendly persona.

Yes, it's October and I find it hot! I'm lucky I wasn't here in August! How do you spot a Lamma Newbie who comes from a northern clime?.......... Look for the sweat-soaked clothing! Fortunately, my second week here finds me starting to acclimatize. I don't find the heat as oppressive as when I first arrived, and the weather has also co-operated by drying off and cooling down a little.

My "summer weight" Canadian clothes have mostly remained in my suitcase. They would be "winter weight" here. Despite having an unsightly "fatso" body I've been parading around M's house shirtless. M, my ever-tolerant cousin, has not been too disgusted by this new look. I have, however, promised her that I will never disrobe in the village. Even Lamma has a dress code that will not allow this, does it?

Bike Mike Rides Again!

While at The Banyan Tree Cafe, I met "Dan The Man", aka Dan The Baastaard, of local music fame. Dan heard me called Mike the Bike. A cycling enthusiast, Dan struck up a conversation and we had a great talk. Dan offered me the loan of one of his own bikes while I was here to save me the hassle of renting or buying. Now that's Lamma hospitality at its best!

The next evening I met Dan at his shop, The Lamma Gourmet. Dan and Geng, his wife who runs The Lamma Gourmet. Geng has an incredible smile!

While at the shop I purchased some excellent cheese from their varied supply. The following morning, M & I feasted on this savoury treat. Thank you, thank you, Dan & Geng!

Now I'm back in the saddle again, but I hope I won't get arrested for "peddling my aasss" in the Lamma streets!

Oct 16:  Marc Bekoff Visiting Humphrey & Co.

Angela Leary - Media Manager - Animals Asia Foundation:

Lamma continues to attract the best and brightest from around the world - with our latest celebrity guest coming in the form of Dr Marc Bekoff, world-renowned animal behaviourist  and Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and a former Guggenheim Fellow.

Marc, whose pioneering work on animal emotions has changed the way many scientists view animal behaviour, came to Lamma this week as a guest of local animal lovers, Sheila and John of Lamma Animal Protection, myself and animal foster carers, Karin, Cathy and Jean & Ben.

We enjoyed a fantastic vegan dinner at the Deli before escorting a jet-lagged Marc back to the ferry. Despite struggling to stay awake, Marc managed to make friends with some of the local pooches, even winning over the normally shy Humphrey.

And his comment about the casual attitude to dogs at outdoor eateries: "This is the way it should be!"

Marc has been in China promoting his books, some of which have recently been published in Chinese.

Oct 15:  Bike Mike's New Girlfriend

Bike Mike - Visiting Lamma till Dec, new regular Lamma-zine contributor:

Her name is Kiara. John & Shiela introduced us to each other. None of them seem to mind that I'm married. Kiara and I took a long walk yesterday. She is an enthusiastic hiker. The first time she looked at me I was entranced by her beautiful eyes, one brown, the other blue, so trusting, and full of love. All men and any women of the right persuasion would be lost in those deep pools.

Walking through the village Kiara attracted instant attention. Her albino white color, beauty, and friendly demeanor captivated many. I was in the presence of royalty! Never had I had my picture taken so many times before, and rarely ever by strangers. These tourists would have kept pace with the most avid paparazzi!

Kiara loved the beach. We strolled the sand and frolicked in the water. Other males were obviously attracted to her, but she made me feel that I was "her man", well, at least for the day, anyways!

Even though many stuck their noses up her rump, she still made me feel that I was her special man.

Kiara's tolerance of such lewd attention made me think that her name didn't fully suit her. She had no problem with my new name for her: Kiara Sammi White Biiatch Labrador, "Ki" for short. (apologies to Snoop Dog!)

Many Lamma Dogs at Lamma Animal Protection are homeless and looking for new friends. If you don't want a dog, but would love to volunteer as a walker, for an hour, or a day, email or call LAP at 9490 2061 (English) or 6130-9170 (Chinese). Who knows? If you fall in love, and S & J approve, the relationship may be made permanent.

Oct 14:  'May the Lamma Air Be Everywhere'

Prentice Koo - Greenpeace Campaigner:

Many Hong Kong citizens like to spend their family days on Lamma Island. Fresh air and the lovely scenery are the major attractions to city dwellers. But not everyone is lucky enough to be able to live on Lamma. To spread the fresh air of Lamma to the rest of Hong Kong, revising the Air Quality Objectives is the first step to make it happen.

Air Quality Objective (AQO) is the standard of air quality control which marks the minimum requirements of Hong Kong's air quality. While the AQO was established in 1987, it is already obsolete without being revised or reviewed for 20 years since it was launched. Our standard is ineffective in controlling air pollution.

Poor air quality can lead to severe health impacts. For example, sulphur dioxide can impair our respiratory functions, aggravate existing respiratory diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The respirable suspended particulates, i.e., particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less, are able to reach and deposit deep into the lung and cause breathing and respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.

As a result, we need a much stringent standard to control the problem in Hong Kong. The latest World Health Organization (WHO) air quality standard was established in 2006 with references to the most updated scientific and medical research. It states the minimum requirements of air quality and some countries such as those in the European Union, are already moving step by step towards this standard. Hong Kong, as Asia's World City, should not lag behind.

The cost of outdated air quality standards is huge both in terms of health and economy. According to a Civic Exchange survey, our air failing to meet the WHO standards is costing HK$1.1 billion annually as a result of increases in respiratory diseases and cardiopulmonary disorders.

Looking at this loss, let's imagine how loose our standards can be. For instance, the respiratory suspended particulates standard which the Hong Kong government permits is 3.6 times to the WHO one. Our standard of sulphur dioxide is 17.5 times more than that of WHO's.

The lungs of Hong Kong citizens are not pollutant-proof. We cannot tolerate the low air quality anymore. By adopting a stricter standard, our government is obliged to introduce more policies to tackle air pollution. It is expected that these policies should target the two major sources of pollutants, coal-fired power stations and vehicles.

Fresh air can be achieved only by a series of effective policies. Greenpeace is now organizing an online petition aiming at pushing the government to revise the AQO according to WHO standard. Please sign at to push our government to update AQO. We should not tolerate the problem anymore.


Oct 13:  Lamma Fun Day!

Fun Day Organising Committee:

Don't forget!

 The 9th Annual Lamma Fun Day - Sun 26th Oct 2008

Ranging from great live music, a beach volleyball tournament, stalls selling arts and crafts, freshly prepared food by Jaspas & Pepperonis to children's games and a charity auction and much much more, Lamma Fun Day is a popular family event and all proceeds go directly to helping children in Nepal.  For more information please visit

Get involved!!!

Second hand goodies - Start clearing some space in your wardrobe and homes.  Gather all your unwanted second hand books, toys, gadgets, DVDs and drop them off at our office in Central.  We will sell your second hand items to raise funds for children in Nepal.  We will begin collecting from 2nd October until 24th October, from 9:30am to 6pm on Monday through Friday.  Our drop-off address and contact details are below.  If you are coming with large items please call us in advance so we can prepare space. Contact Pam.

If you live on Lamma, simply bring the goodies along on the day, or contact us to help you with transporting them!

Volunteers - Each year the continuing success of the LFD relies heavily on the huge support of all our volunteers - without them it would not be possible! Please email us if you want to get involved!

Stall holders - Calling all entrepreneurs and freelancers! These booths are a great way to test out whether your product will be a hit in the market.

Beach Volleyball teams - The beach volleyball tournament is becoming a tradition and no Lamma Fun Day would be complete without it. Companies and individuals are invited to put a team of 5 players together and take on the best Hong Kong has to offer!  Corporate teams and non-corporate teams welcome!

Thank you!  Please call us or email us if you have any questions or if you wish to get involved!

Lamma Fun Day Committee & Child Welfare Scheme
Child Welfare Scheme, Suite 303 St. George's Building
2 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: 2526 8810; Mob: 9231 3505; Fax: 3526 0355

Oct 12:  'Lamma Story' Book Review

Tavis the Community Gardener reviews this new book:

(available at Sampan and B&B restaurants for HK$78.
The Lamma-zine got a free review copy, but this is an independent review.)

I love Lamma and I live here. So I was excited to discover a new book had been recently published about our island paradise. I was delightfully surprised by the low price ($78) as I made my purchase at B&B Restaurant. Flipping quickly through the pages my happiness continued as I discovered English as well as Chinese and many great photographs illustrating traditional industries and Lamma nature scenes as well as in-depth stories about Lamma personalities such as the Yung Shue Long Valley's 'Farmer Chan' and Main Street's 'Nick the Bookman.'

What I couldn't find was the name of an author or sponsoring agency. This puzzled me. Who wrote the book - and why? It wasn't until I got home to make a closer examination that I found the co-authors' names, Patsy Cheng & Phoebe Chan in fine print on the last page. I also noted the book was sponsored by Bobby Li. The name 'rang a bell' - and eventually it 'clicked.' Bobby Li is the real-estate tycoon (King Wong Development) who has already developed 'Lammarina' and has plans for several more major developments on Lamma including luxury hotels, holiday homes at Lo Tik Wan, and a luxury residential development with golf course, planned to fill the valley from Turtle Beach (Sham Wan) to Tung O at Shek Pai Wan and crawl further on up the coast all the way to Mo Tat Old Village. Would Lamma Story have a pro-development bias?

In a subsequent communication with Lamma-Gung, one of the authors would argue, "I don't know clearly Bobby Li's project or plan. I am only sponsored to do the 'baseline research', which I am quite sure is a must to be done for a place no matter what will happen in the future. The baseline research tells us the cultural meanings or reflections of a place." And after the research was completed, "both Mr. Li and I thought it's really interesting enough and there's no book of this kind in the market, so he encourages us to publish it." Giving the 'benefit of doubt' and yet retaining a healthy degree of scepticism, I read on.

Lamma Story, in the words of co-author Patsy Cheng, attempts "to read the cultural landscape." Concerned with Lamma culture and its interrelationship with environment, it touches briefly on the major points of the history of human habitation from the Neolithic to the present. Major traditional areas of economic activity, including the fisheries, farming and small industry are all explored. Overall, the book exudes a quite negative impression of Lamma as a backwater that has been economically abandoned by successive government administrations in favour of a conservation oriented development policy. With the growth of industry thus curtailed, places like Lamma "have been deserted, fallen to ruin, or become wastelands. All in the name of conservation."

Desertion, abandonment and waste are explicitly and subtly developed as a theme throughout the book. A photo essay near the end of the book depicts ruined buildings, rusting tools and forlorn looking senior citizens slumped heads in hands. Even a photographed dog appears burdened by some unspeakable monotony. The one Western person featured in Lamma Story is Nick the Bookman who is shown sitting by his bookshelves with his dogs in front of a backdrop closed shops, their ugly grey, metal roll-down storefront gates pulled shut. Poor Nick is said to pay for his dogs' food by selling "books abandoned by friends when they moved away."

I found the essays about the fisheries and farming to be quite informative. As one interested in organic farming, I was delighted, for example, to learn that the watering ponds farmers traditionally built in the vicinity of their fields are properly termed 'Fu dumps' from the Wai Tao dialect. (I'm assuming Fu rhymes with 'poo' which brings a smile as I recall some of these ponds were used to process night soil into fertilizer. The explanation of the Tin Hau Festivals was also particularly interesting. The moon is brightest around the 15th of each lunar month and the fishermen preferred celebrations to be held at this time because fish would be less drawn to their lanterns. These days would not be productive for them anyway - party down instead!

Throughout Lamma Story there is an emphasis on indigenous and long-time non-indigenous residents of Lamma Island. Generally, there exists a trope in these stories of economic distress and the need to move to other parts of Hong Kong or the world in order to survive. Surely, this has been a hugely important aspect of the cultural and economic history of Lamma, and it needs to be remembered and understood so that we can better know our community now. Lamma Story, to its credit, does great justice to this story. But, it leaves other stories out, or doesn't adequately explore them. This is a significant failing for a book that undertakes to present a "baseline finding of [the cultural landscape of] a place."

One must ask, 'Who has been left out?' What about all the young Hong Kong Chinese people who have been moving to Lamma in recent decades to live here, to commute to Hong Kong and even to open many thriving local businesses? I personally know of many and the cultural landscape of Lamma is being deeply influenced by their various activities. They receive no mention in this book and the vibrancy of their contribution to the Lamma scene has been completely neglected.

And what about the residents of Lamma that hail from over 60 other nations in the world and now commit themselves to making their Lamma community a great place to raise kids for generations to come? I understand this would comprise 1/3 of Lamma's population - perhaps over 2,000 people. According to Lamma Story, the presence of these 'foreign' residents has resulted in the development of "roadside cafés, bars and specialty shops" on Main Street - a focus of exotic action on the island "that you can walk in just ten minutes." Whoopee! Is that all that the artists, writers, teachers and business people from 60 other nations and cultures have contributed to the present cultural landscape of Lamma Island? They've got to be kidding or blind!

To the book's credit, it does almost poetically speak to the natural beauty of Lamma. An eco-tour, it says, that would take one off the beaten track can be "a truly soul-cleansing trip back to Mother Earth" where you can "let your five senses experience the natural world, in the midst of a traditional community." While Lamma Story argues that conservation oriented development policies have led to the economic deprivation of our community, it ultimately hopes that the desired new forms of development be sustainable forms of development. They should be in harmony with Lamma's glorious natural environment.

I couldn't agree more, but we must be sure we know what we all mean when we speak of sustainable community development. Does it mean the same to Bobby Li as it means to the writers of Lamma Story? And do they understand sustainable community development to mean, as I do, development that is integrated with the natural environment such that each draws strength from the other and the needs of this generation are not met at the expense of those to come? Do they understand that it involves the development of a vibrant and active civil society where decisions that affect the community are deeply influenced by a dialogue among those who live there?

In their final words, the writers of Lamma Story hope their book will help to foster a more pragmatic and imaginative approach to the relationship between development and conservation. Perhaps this interesting addition to the Lamma literature will do just that and fire a deep community dialogue around the direction we would like Lamma development to take in coming years. For this I would like to thank Lamma Story, for such a dialogue would be infinitely better than just waiting to see what comes down the pipeline in terms of developments.

(click to enlarge)

P.S. To discuss this important topic, join Tavis's new forum about Lamma Development? Visioning our future.

Oct 11:  Chance Encounter With Lamma's Favourite Son

HK Electric - Public Affairs Dept.

A group of HK Electric volunteers received a pleasant surprise last Tuesday when they ran into Hollywood superstar Chow Yun-fat while appealing to grave sweepers to prevent hill fires during the annual Chung Yeung Festival.

Fat-Gor (Chow's affectionate local nickname) has been highly supportive of meaningful initiatives, especially those benefiting his home town. When he saw HK Electric volunteers handing out flyers and water bottles to grave visitors, he gave them a big pat on the back and offered to take photos with them - a nice souvenir for the efforts.

For several years rolling, HK Electric volunteers have been active in promoting the "No Hill Fire Campaign", organized by the Conservancy Association. Whether it is in Ching Ming or Chung Yeung Festival, they would patrol the hills of Lamma to remind people of the potential fire hazards. The campaign has been very successful and no hill fires have been recorded during most of these festivals since.

P.S. 1:  A few more pictures of Fat-Gor's Lamma visit that day, plus some interesting background about his family life: Fat Go Honours Family Ancestors.

P.S. 2:  Many thanks from the Lamma community to the HK Electric volunteers (orange shirts) and the Conservancy Association organisers (other colours.) Thank you for keeping our pretty hills, trees, plants and wildlife safe during the two yearly "grave-burning" festivals"!

Oct 10:  Malcolm's Rock Pile Has Spawned!

I was riding my bike in the morning along the completely deserted Power Station Beach on the way to the Island Gym, taking the long way. I was looking out for the cleanup of the massive damage Typhoon Hagupit had inflicted on the beach, the roadside and the many boats moored nearby. I came across the usual, weird'n'wonderful sights on Power Station Beach (see right), but nothing quite like the amazing sight below, the remains of Malcolm's Rock Pile! Instead of a single massive rock pile more than two metres high there are now numerous tiny ones sprouting all along Power Station Beach. They were probably created from the remains of The Pile being killed off in the typhoon. So Malcolm's Rock Pile has managed to spawn before its violent demise, producing several small offspring! It's another miracle of nature, a wonder of procreation!

It seems to have taken the power of the strongest typhoon this year to trigger the reproductive cycle of these beach creatures. They are still completely unknown even to research biologists and haven't been described in the scientific literature so far. They were never even mentioned when I studied biology at university (before being distracted by switching to the new, even more fascinating study field of "computer science".) We can only speculate on the exact details of the reproductive cycle of beach rock piles and the biological/sexual intricacies boggle the mind and fuel our imaginations...

So let's speculate! We Lammaites just love to speculate!

Malcolm's Rock Pile was obviously male, giving his life and body to produce these offspring. So where's the female rock pile? Did she survive and is hiding underground now? Do you want to search for her by digging even more deep holes into the beach, a favourite and time-honoured Lamma pastime already?

Or did The Pile simply divide itself, like single-celled organisms? But The Pile was made up of many cell-like stones... More like some worms being cut into pieces, growing complete individuals from the pieces? This warrants further studies...

Or maybe The Pile was a hermaphrodite, like some snails, containing both sexes in the same body? Malcolm couldn't be reached for clarifying comment before publication of this article.

But which ones of these new rock pile hatchlings are male or female? They all look so very male to me... Did any females help to build them or this a purely male pursuit, as I suspect?

This biological mystery certainly deserves further in-depth scientific investigation. Lammaites with science Ph.D.s - Yes, there are quite a few of them! - unite, form research teams and take a serious crack at revealing this local mystery! Solving it would make Lamma even more famous than being the island where Romer's Tree Frog - Chirixalus Romeri, protected and unique to four of HK's Outlying Islands - was first discovered by Herpetologist J.D. Romer. In the meantime, let's claim the right of discovery, officially naming these truly exotic creatures Lamma Beach Rock Piles. My very basic Latin is ancient and very rusty, so maybe one of our many highly-educated and -knowledgeable readers can come up with a better species name than my proposed Silex Sicilis Malcolmiensis?

Intensive rock pile scientific research will take years, maybe even decades. In the meantime, help these junior rock piles grow and prosper by adding more rocks to them, building them up higher and higher! Rocky Malcolm has done his wonderful job of creating the original, famous but short-lived landmark. It's time for us fellow Lammaites to take over this hard, character-building labour and continue what he started so valiantly and almost single-handedly!

Hopefully soon, these junior rock piles will grow up into fully fledged Lamma Beach Rock Piles that their father and creator could be proud off! In decades (or centuries) to come we might even put up a statue (made from beach stone, of course) of Rocky Malcolm, Rock Pile Builder Extraordinaire on the beach - looking out into the South China Sea, one hand raised towards the distant horizon - to commemorate his epic achievement for future generations of Lammaites!

By next year, next typhoon season, the junior rock piles might have grown up into fully fledged Lamma Beach Rock Piles - with a little help from nature-loving Lammaites - rivaling Malcolm's original creation! Then we'll watch out for the next major typhoon triggering the next reproductive cycle of the Lamma Beach Rock Piles. Braving the typhoon, the more sturdy voyeurs, eh, nature-lovers among us could try to observe closely the details of the rock piles' procreation, trying hard to dodge rocks being blown around in this violent process of reproduction.

Wouldn't all those grown-up rock piles be a marvelous sight to behold, sure to be included in all sightseeing tours to Lamma and gawked at by flocks, herds, schools and gaggles of tourists! Maybe we could even persuade some of them to contribute to the further growth of the junior rock piles, dressing it up as a fun weekend activity for the whole family? So many ideas, so little time. Many thanks to Malcolm for inspiring us!

P.S. But I still can't help but wonder about the possible relationship (or lack thereof) between these three nearby humungous "mothers of all rock piles" (215 metres high!) and all the new piles? Mothers?

These three huge rock piles have been around much longer than any of the new rock piles, even longer than Malcolm's original one. All the smaller ones might have evolved, spawning from these three ancestors? If any of the Lamma Beach Rock Piles ever start spouting smoke, then we'll know for sure!!!

Oct 9:  The Price Is Right?

You might have spotted these posters around the village encouraging you to "Think BIG! - Ideas, Possibilities and Coffee" (designed by Bud)?

The Lamma Business Owners Group (BOG) has always been meeting biweekly in the Lamma Activities Centre behind Emily's Ice-cream Express on Main Street. With on-going conversion of that space into a shop (tba) they had to find a new venue. So the promotional posters told people to call a secret number which could only be found on the poster's rip-off tabs.

People calling the mobile number would be instructed by a friendly, charming voice to meet at the famous tofu shop on the way to the beaches today at 8:25am sharp. Late-comers would miss the opportunity to join this secret meeting. Wannabe paparazzo Lamma-Gung managed to infiltrate this clandestine meeting and even took some hidden-camera pictures!

Lamma Business Owners who managed to get up before 8:30am (a rarity!) and meet at the secret location. Note the relaxed attitudes, the dressed-down dress code and the fashionably casual footwear. Half the participants arrived by bike for the Amazing Race Lamma.

This secret meeting was probably designed to sort out the most clever and most dedicated ones of Lamma's numerous small business owners and freelancers, selecting only the best of the best, la creme de la creme, so to speak. An Amazing Race Lamma ensued and the final Lucky Seven (including Yours Truly) reached the idyllic hideaway of Senior Lammaite (20+ years on Lamma!) Sally's Yoga Studio. It's a peaceful retreat surrounded by trees, shrubs and flowers, with a truly scenic view of our inspirational sunsets (and the Power Station.)

Patio and entrance of Sally's Yoga Studio.

Another highly productive meeting was held, many valuable lessons learned and precious new business contacts acquired. Free coffee - Green Cottage Lamma Talent brew - flowed freely and kept the attention sharply focused on the business topics discussed, despite the ungodly early hour. One-minute intros by all participants about their own business/service/product opened the day's proceedings. This opportunity was most welcomed by the relentless, overzealous promoters of their own businesses, like Yours Truly who's really hard to shut up when going on about

Then personal trainer/fitness guru Megan introduced the day's topic, enticingly entitled, "The Price Is Right - A discussion on how to help clients realize the value of your services..." Megan came up with true Pearls of Wisdom like "Make your customers care about your services by showing them that you care about them first", prompting much affirmative head-nodding and appreciative approval amongst the riveted listeners. She then expertly lead a lively discussion about this and other business topics of local interest, ending in an always popular "marketing/advertising your services" exchange.

This exchange will be continued next time, in two weeks on Thursday, Oct 23, 8:30am, same meeting place (tofu shop), to be introduced by Yours Truly. Nobody else could be coerced into doing it, so they used my well-known incapability to resist flattery to make me do it!

Next time, same location, check out the web page I maintain for them:

Oct 8:  Lamma Coven's Cabalistic & Sinister Acolytes?

Tjungarayi - Senior forum member:

(This little "creative writing exercise" should probably not be taken too seriously at all. It originated in our forum. No offense to Wiccans and Cabalists is intended. Tjungarayi has submitted quite a number of inventive and entertaining pieces of fiction in the past: click here for a list.

Some of the somewhat unusual, mock-sophisticated vocabulary below has links to its definitions. A coven is a group of witches performing rituals together, by the way. I also had to Google the term as I wasn't familiar with it myself.)

The Lamma-zine welcomes not just hard facts but also creative fiction, poems, prose, fantasies and whatever else you can imagine & submit!)

Talking of Orgies...

For years now I have heard strange whispers regarding the nocturnal shenanigans of a Lamma Coven. Apparently, Power Station Beach is the habitual site for the bizarre goings-on during the witching hours. Goat fur, a big black cast iron pot and an empty jar of Jasmine-scented KY were discovered at the beach by a dear old friend of mine while exercising his one-legged dog.

I wrote of my suspicions a year ago and since then I have been silenced by a frightful campaign of malevolence aimed at protecting the identities of these cabalistic and sinister acolytes of the Lamma Coven.

My precious pet cat Petunia disappeared one night and after a disturbing few days of intense and anxious worrying I received a dastardly note to try the new line of my favorite chicken and avocado sandwiches from the popular Green Cottage. I nonchalantly enquired of an acquaintance of mine who always hurriedly grabs the same chicken and avocado sandwich, as to the esculent quality of her victual that morning. Her reply horrified me - "Perhaps not as tender and a little to salty for my taste this mornin'." I did not go to the office that day. Instead, after disembarkation I went straight to my favorite Soho haunt and with lachrymose demeanor deftly downed a couple of gins.

So now they cannot hurt me and my silence is a thing of the past. I shall do my utmost to uncover the identities of these nocturnal necromancers who blacken the name of all the good Christian, Buddhist, Parisian, Taoist, Muslim, Dutch, Hindu and Catholic citizenry of Lamma.

Oct 7 - Chung Yeung Festival:  The Lily Lady

You've probably walked past her many times on Main Street, outside the Lung Kong Szechwan restaurant. James Dwyer managed to convince our usually photo-shy Lily Lady to let him take this great snapshot, emailing it to me as a contender for Lamma Photo of The Day (right side of this home page). He writes, "I managed to persuade her to let me take one, and that was it!! She hustled me on after that - luck I guess!"

I thought it's worthy of even more than that, its very own Lamma-zine story, especially as it reminded me of another wonderful Lamma Photo of the Day of the Lily Lady, submitted by Anonymous Guy at the beginning of this year (see right, click to enlarge).

Yes, these lilies are not just coming from a private garden, but our Lily Lady has to venture into the "jungle wetlands" of Yung Shue Long valley to cut them while in season. Say hello when you pass her the next time and maybe even buy some of her pretty, naturally grown white lilies, a great present and a true Lamma wild product, organically grown w/o chemicals (except whatever washes down the stream from Tai Peng village through the Yung Shue Long Valley).

Send me your best Lamma-related photos and you might see them on this home page, with full credits and links to your photo galleries, of course.

Oct 6:  Reflections of a Lamma Newbie

Bike Mike - Lamma first-timer, visiting till December (transcribed by L-G from hand-scribbled notes on lined school notebook paper. Yep, Bike Mike is another teacher - Phys Ed, white-haired but very fit:

Rendezvous with Lamma   (Oct 6)

It's been several years since I first decided to come to Lamma. I've got a cousin living here. We've talked about her life here during phone calls from Canada, my home. Supplementing my Lamma knowledge has been the Lamma-zine, subscribing to it for several years now.

Thanks to Lamma-Gung's pictures and stories I thought that I had a good handle on what to expect when I arrived. Some differences have popped up these first few days as I've experienced Lamma "in the flesh". The following highlights my "surprises".

I'm a biker; I've even been called "Bicycle Mike" by people back home in Canada. There's a lot of bikes here! But a thought which has occurred to me is, "There are a lot of RUSTY bikes here!" I've noticed two animal shelters here, but where is the CAB, the Center for Abused Bikes?

On the topic of animals, Lammaites seem to be great dog and cat people. As strong love of animals is shared all over Lamma. Doggie-doo is even shared for all on the side walks. As a Canadian who ice-skates I've quickly adapted to Lamma's sport of sidewalk skating, courtesy of doggie dung on the soles of my shoes...

Space, the Final Frontier

I come from a land of space. We're land-rich. Just look at the map; Canada is north of the U.S. (We're bigger and we're on top!)

The compactness of Lamma has impressed me. For a Canadian boy who rarely meets another person when walking the beach or a forest path, the population density here is quite a difference! Walking Lamma's streets I've been overwhelmed by the numbers of stores and businesses jammed into such small spaces. What efficiency Lammaites show with this!

Deli Lamma

Entering the Deli Lamma I expected to be entering a posh, expensive establishment, probably so "high-end" that I would not be able to afford it. Such was the impression the pictures on this website had given me over the years. How wrong I was! The Deli Lamma is so much better in "real life". What a great place! It's so comfortable! Prafull and the new assistant manager bring a welcoming and friendly atmosphere to the place. Yoshi, a regular I met, has "nice guy" written all over his face. The Deli Lamma is a bar to call home.

No typhoon for you!   (Oct 5)

Today started off with rain followed by intermittent drizzle and heavy down-pours, but no typhoon!

I took advantage of a break in the weather to walk to town to get a newspaper and check my email at The Island Bar. Kay, the day-time barkeeper greeted me with a coffee while I booted up my inbox on the bar's computer.

Kay, originally from Britain via Canada - and now Lamma - is perfect for her job. Her pleasant demeanor has the right combination of maternal care mixed with a buxomness that is sure to attract a varied clientele.

Lamma Photo of the Day -
Dec 15, 2006: Hibernating Dragon Boat - by Lamma-Gung

More rain/drizzle embraced me as I walked along the water's edge. I approached the ferry pier area to check out all the boats which had been put there for safe-keeping from the typhoon [Editor: Fisherman's Village].

Immediately, my eyes were drawn to the large, wooden dragonboat sitting on its cradle on the shore. This is not just a boat, it's functional art! The natural wood grain was lustrous in the daylight. Obviously, she has been well looked after, a credit to the dragonboat crews who used her while loving here, too.

Oct 5:  A Somewhat Exotic Place?

Phoebe - SEE Network - City Planning - Public Education - Publication SEE - The First Sustainable Development Concept Magazine in HK - - press release:

(This fine bilingual book - the first-ever non-fiction book solely about Lamma I've ever come across - is available now for $78 at Sampan Seafood Restaurant. Have a look at the sample copies. A proper review is in progress.)

Lamma Story

Lamma Story -- to reveal the desolation of communities on islands caused by unbalanced city planning.

In recent years, there have been active discussions on cultural and community-based conservation. Much of these have been focused on densely populated urban areas. When different groups of people compete for land resources, government promotes the idea of 'revitalization' of old buildings in old urban districts.

However, when the same issues come up in remote districts or Outlying Islands, attitudes are different. These places have not received much attention. They have been left abandoned, ruined or become wastelands -- all in the name of 'conservation'.

Should the guiding principle be 'revitalizing when there is competition for land resources'? Or is desertion a true path to conservation?

Lamma Island - Hong Kong's third largest island - is only a 30 minutes ferry ride from the city centre. It is also the place where people first settled in Hong Kong. However, as the population remains small, it is difficult even to maintain regular ferry services.

SEE Network's newly released book, Lamma Story, uncovers Lamma Island's unique history and its evolution over the past century to its present state of underdevelopment in which it is considered a somewhat exotic place. The book explores Lamma's natural environment, community and material culture, along with the direction of rural planning over recent decades, and the effect of current debates on collective memory and heritage conservation.

For more details, please call us at 2127 4503, or email us.

Oct 4:  Mt. Panorama Panoramas

180-degrees panorama - taken on Mt. Panorama just in front of the
Lamma Winds windturbine, on July 23, 2008.
Click to enlarge for a really wide picture, 2,000 pixels wide.

360 degrees. Click to enlarge.

For many more panoramic Lamma shots, see our Panorama forum.

Oct 3:  Swiss Summer

Photo gallery of a week in Switzerland, coming soon...

Oct 2:  Shoulder Massage by Waterfall

On one of my rare off-island adventures, Lamma-Por and I recently travelled to Macau for 2 days/1 night, together with one of my brothers from Switzerland stopping over in HK for a few days. Of course, he had to stay in our place on Lamma and I even borrowed a huge mattress from a good friend, moving it on a huge trolley borrowed from the laundry place on Back Street. My friend's cats - who had used the mattress as a comfy couch and scratching post - were not too happy about this, I think.

The fingerprint id cards at the border checkpoints to Macau really work, my first time to experience the "e-channel". The three of us shared a standard 600sqft Venetian hotel room, gorgeous and exactly the same size as our Lamma flat. We couldn't resist doing the tacky touristy thing, taking a gondola ride on the in-door canals on the 1/F (!) of the Venice-themed shopping mall. Touring Macau's casinos, I came out ahead on the slot machines ($50) and even when betting on "Sic-bo" (high/low, betting on three dices, similar to roulette, $200 total win).

Zaia, the new permanent Cirque du Soleil show in the Venetian, was simply amazing and an absolute visual feast for the senses. Sitting in the third row, just behind the VIP seats, there's so much going on above and behind you, my shoulders and neck were aching at the end of it, but it was well worth it!

Getting up at 6:30am the next morning, while Lamma-Por and my brother were still sleeping for another 2-3 hours I couldn't resist checking out their gym. Yes, I've become one of these fitness-crazy people who use hotel gyms even when on vacation. I should be really ashamed of myself! The Venetian is so huge, I walked about 500 metres INSIDE the hotel to the gym - they've got signposts with distances! You're getting your cardio workout done before even reaching the gym. Working out in their state-of-the-art gym I had to have several of the machines I've never used before be demonstrated to me {*Blush!*}

Visiting the "Pool Garden" afterwards, we finally get to the title of this little story. The absolute favourite bit of our Macau trip was getting my still aching shoulders and neck massaged by standing under a two-metre high waterfall in the fountain pool in the extensive multi-pool rooftop garden of the Venetian. An absolutely heavenly and intensely relaxing feeling, an almost unique experience! I simply couldn't get enough of it!

The last time I've enjoyed this feeling was in the last millennium, while river-rafting down Bali's Ayung River, during a corporate retreat of my company. The raft was passing under a little waterfall, cooling us down so nicely after an adventurous trip down the rapids. After this wonderful shoulder massage and sitting repeatedly underwater below the waterfall for as long as I could hold my breath, I returned to our hotel room. Lamma-Por and my brother were still snoring happily...

"Golden Tree" in Wynn Hotel

After some more sightseeing in other casino hotels - over-the-top ostentatiousness incarnated and joyfully celebrated! - we returned to HK by CotaiJet. Topping off his Lamma/HK visit, my brother surprised us completely by refusing to be paid back for our hotel room and Zaia tickets he had booked online! And having a bit of spare time left before his flight, to my further great surprise, he even replaced our toilet seat and fixed my PC keyboard drawer. Many thanks, bro! Then he continued on his business-class, flat-bed flight (see below) to Sydney. Yes, there is at least one successful, dynamic, high-flying member in my family and it's not me (anymore)!

He's also my inspiration behind my recent weight-loss, having had a full bariatric bypass surgery 6 years ago, having been even heavier than I ever was. He's even succeed in keeping almost all of the weight off since then! Have a safe trip and all the best for your journey, bro, travelling through Australia by car for almost a month now, a part of his usual, yearly six weeks of company vacation...

Photo gallery of our trip to follow soon! Lamma-Por and I are already planning our next Macau trip - one day without hotel to save money - there's so much we haven't seen yet!

Oct 1 - National Day:  White Legs & the Broken Leg

Leggova - story & pictures

White legs is part of a cat colony living in Ko Long Village. I used to help look after them with another woman, and now that I have moved to Tai Shan, she has taken over the full care.

Here are a few pictures that I took of the cat when I lived there. You can see that she was a happy and healthy cat.

The day after the last typhoon I got a call from the woman who is now taking care of the colony about White Legs. She said that the cat was limping and thought that it might have broken its leg.

I called up the always helpful and caring people at the Lamma Animal Welfare Centre (LAWC) and they arranged an emergency appointment for White Legs at the vet. I took the cat in and it turned out that she did indeed fracture the leg in 4 places.

She now has a pin in the leg and will need to be in isolation in a cage for at least 4 weeks.
Below is an after picture of White Legs. Luckily she is in the care of the good people at LAWC.

The operation cost quite a lot of money and the cat needs daily nursing care. If anyone would like to donate some money for White Leg's operation or care, you would be putting a lot of good karma points out into the world!

Get off my territory!

Practical photography

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