Click on this little poster I
designed for Wendy for her
timetable & programme. See Wendy in
her website and in her Lamma-zine story
and photos, 3 days ago,
Wendy will also be doing an
in-depth session at
Yoga Central, Sat, Feb 7,
12 noon-6pm - The Flowers of Yoga.
Yoga Central was set up by Robin who was a
student of Roberta who was a student of Wendy.
Here's more about the long and
illustrious history of yoga on Lamma, written by
Holistic Asia's Peter Lloyd in his
in-depth Lamma-zine story,
Diggers and Dreamers -
Holistic Lamma -
one of the very best Lamma-zine stories ever, I
think - from the historic monthly
Lamma-zine #25, Oct 2003:
"The Lamma Yoga Room was set up by Roberta
Raine and Robin Tassie in 1997. Earlier, Wendy
Teasdill, who became renowned for her walk to
Mt. Kailas in Tibet, had been teaching yoga. She
passed on her classes to Roberta who ran classes
on the beach before the advent of The Lamma Yoga
Room, situated near Toochka's.
"After a year Roberta and Robin moved to Ko
Long village where they set up the Lamma Island
Yoga & Health Centre which they ran for another
year before Roberta moved to California and
Robin to setting up Yoga Central, the first HK
Island yoga studio, 4 years ago. In addition to
yoga, The Yoga and Health Centre offered other
health treatments: aromatherapy, acupuncture and
therapy. In 1995 Sugar Das arrived as a
travelling yogi and conducted daily yoga classes
at 6am for one full year.
"One of his students, Katherine Jureidini,
later went on to India for a year to study and
then came back to start The Lamma Yoga Room in
2000, a Satyananda yoga centre, on the
Backstreet behind the Bookworm. This ran for 2
years and closed down last year as Katherine
moved into teaching classes on HK Island."
By the way, this story is an
advertorial for Wendy. I've bartered her two private
yoga sessions for it and she's already sent me a scary Health
Form to fill in, but promising to make it "safe and appropriate"
for a yoga first-timer like me. She hopes that I'm "not
quaking at the thought of the suggested barter of Yoga sessions
- I'm actually a much nicer teacher than I used to be... used to
people who are not necessarily fit and bendy." Well, this
describes me pretty well! Lamma-zine story to follow, of course,
as soon as I'll have successfully untied all the knots in my
In the meantime, sign
up for some of Wendy's sessions yourself, Feb 5-14 ONLY!
RIP, Clive Brook-Fox
Sharon, The Island Bar:
Clive Brook-Fox - 11.4.48 -29.1.09
Clive died at Queen Mary Hospital on
Thursday morning, 29th January, after an illness which
was without doubt uncomfortable but well-borne in only
the way that Clive could do.
Clive will be remembered by many
Lammaites for both his innate Englishness and his pipe!
After almost a lifetime in Hong Kong,
spent initially, whilst he was working in insurance, at
living at The Peak and later for about 20 years on
Lamma, Clive made the lifestyle decision to move to the
northern regions of China about 3 years or so ago. Here,
he believed the air was cleaner and the scenery
fascinating. Naturally enough, he was of course
accompanied by his beloved dogs.
Clive has since made regular visits back
to Lamma, where he retained a foothold in the form of a
flat at Hung Shing Yeh Beach. At times, during these
trips, we would see him either ambling along, or at
Cath's Banyan Bay Café or The Island Bar and barely
remember that he was no longer a 'permanent' fixture on
Clive will always be remembered for his
dry sense of humour but more for his sense of precision
of the English language, and his consistent presence as
a 'True English Gentleman.'
influenced our lives in many ways as well as this. He
was a great contributor over the years to activities
such as the annual Treasure Hunt for Operation Santa
Claus at The Island Bar [Editor: see right, in his
Lamma Cricket Club polo shirt, another passion of
Clive's; 2 photos by L-G, Dec 19 2004;
more photos.] and to many other charitable
Members of Clive's family, including his
son Ralph, who was in attendance with Clive during his
last days at the hospital, and Clive's brother Julian
will be present at his cremation at Cape Collinson at
12.30 on Sunday and later at The Island Bar to share
in a toast to Clive. Friends are welcome at The
Island Bar from 3.00 pm onwards to raise a glass to
celebrate Clive's life and his contribution to the Lamma
Please forgive the writer for omitting
the many facts and accolades which may seem more
pertinent. Clive's life has been sadly taken short and
with little notice to prepare a more detailed obituary.
P.S. by L-G: Clive was also the mastermind behind
an early, ambitious and trail-blazing predecessor of Lamma.com.hk, over ten
years ago. It even featured a short-lived discussion forum for the Lamma
community and a great
Virtual Lamma Tour!
Leave your condolences and share your best memories in our memorial
Clive Brook-Fox forum.
Here's an in-depth
SCMP story from June 15 2006, featuring Clive and his pet project,
research into the origins of humankind. Click on the cover photo below to
read the full story or read it in
Amid all the economical gloom and doom in the
news these days it's so refreshing and uplifting
to get some great news for a change! I got this
optimistic headline and story today via my daily
Google Alert informing me of all Lamma-related
news on the World Wild Web. Yes, LAMMA will fare
even better next year, as the story (one of
several dozen new LAMMA-related stories)
"If the tens of thousands of people attending
this year's LAMMA event are anything to go by
then 2009 looks promising considering the
financial climate. The need to keep tabs on
inputs and protect the environment was
Click here to find out more...
You can even learn about a "Hypro nozzle
for pesticide containers" on LAMMA.
There's even a new
LAMMA picture gallery and
video footage from LAMMA.
Wendy Teasdill - Ex-Lammaite Yoga Teacher.
She'll return on Feb 3 to Lamma for a few weeks, giving
yoga classes here and in Yoga Central. She writes that
the Lamma-zine "has been a lifeline for those of us
whose bodies inhabit different continents but whose
dreams remain on Lamma."
(Historic photos/captions & brand-new story by Wendy)
Lamma Island rose up out the South China
Sunday afternoon sea in all her glory as I hung over the
rail of a Yau Ma Tei ferry for the first time in 1987. A
friend from the hostel where I was staying in Kowloon
had a friend who had a friend on Lamma.... I'd been
travelling in Asia for about a year. On that first visit
I swam in the waters of Yung Shue Wan and went to John
Fox's party. I disregarded the party, ignored the snake
slipping down the railing outside, and marvelled at the
bookshelf: so solid, so home-like. So people actually
lived on Lamma!
The friend of a friend needed his house
looking after while he went to Korea.... So within the
week, four of us (Richard, Andy, Rachel and I) packed
our rucksacks and stepped again onto the ferry for the
first of many journeys. Our abode was the Piggery in the
raw: all the pigsties at the back had been vacated for
long enough for the smell to have departed, and they
formed convenient, separate rooms. In one sty we cooked
in my camping pots on a fire contained in a clay tub;
another sty became the shower, where we sloshed
ourselves in turn from the generous (and chilly)
outpourings of the hose-pipe. Another became my bedroom
and I'd sleep there looking up at the stars. We slept
soundly and arose each day with joy in our hearts.
As always I did yoga every morning, and
soon the others were joining in, wanting to know what
they 'should' and 'shouldn't' be doing. I did Iyengar
yoga and stretched everyone hard, but nobody complained
as we sweated away on our rice-straw mats (sticky mats
weren't in use at the time). The weather was warm and we
had no real troubles to stiffen our shoulders: we just
When we returned from our various jobs
in town each evening, Richard and Andy would command
Rachel and I to sit down to watch their magic shows.
They were both already proficient jugglers, but they
needed to practise their sleights of hand. Rachel and I
applauded enthusiastically, especially when Richard
chopped up a cabbage in place of Andy's head. That one
didn't go down so well with Chinese audiences but it was
to us brilliant high drama.
The owner of the Piggery returned and we
had to move. Amazingly, somebody knew of a little yellow
house in search of tenants. We crept in, tiptoeing over
the black and white tiles, unable to believe our luck.
The landlord had cut all the electricity in a fit of
pique because the previous tenant had left his bills
unpaid, but we had candles. Richard and Andy started
juggling fire on the apron of concrete out front, and
the yoga classes dissolved as I moved my practice to the
time, and over the years, the Piggery got a make-over,
the Yellow House changed into Sally Trainor's capable,
transformative hands, and we all went our separate ways.
Richard and Andy are now professional clowns, still
doing Yoga in different parts of the world. I made
regular forays to Tibet, Nepal, India and Japan, always
returning via that irresistible centrifugal force to
Lamma. And somehow, there was always a place to stay on
Yes, Yoga Can Be About Tying Yourself in Knots
Rodney & friend twisting
Harnessing the power of the (Power Station) beach
Gerry in reverse Trikonasana
Roberta in Warrior pose
Buffalo, Lantau ©
Bob Davis 2009 -
Good luck & good fortune in the Year of the Ox!
Rocky Malcolm, Rock Pile Builder & Balancer
I asked Bike Mike for a
little wrap-up note about his very unusually long visit of several
months on Lamma. Did it give him any deep insight into what's going
on here, maybe too deep? Could he jot down his most vivid memories,
good & bad, serious & silly, please? Any parting Words of Wisdom for
us Lammaites? ;-)
Bike Mike - Long-time Lamma visitor & Honorary Lammaite:
Another early morning on Lamma! I stumble out of bed, throw on my
paddling shirt & shorts [and his trademark pink Crocs shoes -
Editor], and head to the beach on my bike. Brrrr! It sure is
chilly today! Wait a second! This sure ain't Kansas, Toto! It's not
Lamma either! There's frigging snow everywhere!
How cold is it? If I stripped, you'd think I had two navels. I
guess I better trade in the paddle for a pair of skis.
It's almost two months since I left Lamma and do I ever miss the
island and all the wonderful people I met there! It's great to be
home in Nova Scotia, Canada, but part of me will always remain on
On Wednesday I head to Baffin Island, in the Arctic for 15 days.
I'm looking forward to seeing some polar bears and igloos. It will
be a contrast from feral dogs and pagodas. They're bringing me up to
conduct 3 coaching seminars in 3 communities. Yesterday it was a
balmy -27 degrees Celsius there. I'll probably get even more
homesick for Lamma there!
Thank you to everyone who made my stay so memorable. I'll be
back! See you in two years!
Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet
(photos & map by Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge)
On January 20, the day when President
Barack Obama made history by taking charge in the United
States, I had the pleasure to watch a good friend make
personal history with a lofty adventure on Lamma Island.
Three dogs helped him do it.
For the first time, Lamma-Gung, the
kingpin of Lamma-Zine (Lamma.com.hk),
reached the 353-metre-high peak of Mount Stenhouse, the
highest point on our home island. It's the latest
highlight in a fitness campaign that saw Lamma-Gung lose
more pounds than most Hong Kong people weigh.
"That climb was the most strenuous thing
I've ever done in Hong Kong after more than 20 years,"
Lamma-Gung said. "Until a few months ago, I wouldn't
have dared to dream of making it up there. It took more
than five hours of grueling up-and-downhill walking,
often climbing over sheer rock-face and crawling through
densely-vined jungle. Up there is wild, steep and
totally remote, just beautiful, well worth my slightly
aching knees and a few scrapes and scratches."
As for me, I'd made the trip once before
and knew much of the way. Lamma-Gung recruited me as "a
guide", but mostly wanted a witness that he reached the
top. Despite our tropical location, the journey
resembled an Arctic expedition in that we relied on a
team of trusty dogs who did the real guiding.
My dog, Gail, always enjoys hikes. Near
home, we encountered Bianchino, one of her furry
friends, an infamous two-timer with multiple homes in
different villages. Instantly, this fluffy, grey canine
appointed himself the expedition leader and led us along
the trail to Sok Kwu Wan where we joined Lamma-Gung
(who'd bicycled that far). There, Bianchino recruited
two more pals, both brown dogs.
As we climbed, the dogs employed a
strategy. Bianchino and Gail always led, showing us
where the indistinct trail meandered. Bianchino's
buddies followed, guarding our backs.
At extra-steep spots, Bianchino and Gail
showed us better options by detouring slightly. When
getting too far ahead, they doubled back to check on us.
At forks in the trail, they bounded forward. If I
challenged them, insisting on the other way, a few steps
brought us to a dead-end. The dogs knew best.
Realizing that we'd go for the summit,
one brown dog, handicapped by having just one eye (the
other lost in a fight long ago), gave up and returned to
Sok Kwu Wan. Bianchino's other recruit stayed behind us,
patient and concerned, quietly watching our unorthodox
climbing and tardy progress.
At the summit, Gail stayed alert,
attentive to my actions, but Bianchino and his disciple
flopped down to power-nap until the descent. Lamma-Gung
and I ate cookies packed by my wife, took photos and
briefly displayed an Obama poster. I rationed two
bottles of water among the dogs, and they lapped up
Then Bianchino and Gail led us back down
by a different trail. Once more, the brown dog followed,
gently herding us and making sure we didn't falter
Descending, just half-way down...
Back in Sok Kwu Wan, we watered the dogs
again. As Lamma-Gung and I sat in a restaurant for
coffee and a recap, Bianchino and his sidekick dozed
nearby. Beside our table, Gail showed fatigue too, her
eyes closing, her head bobbing.
The hardworking dogs had contributed
strongly. Lamma-Gung's climbing success became a victory
for them too.
Bianchino & friend high above Sok Kwu Wan
Summit of Mount Stenhouse on Obama's Inauguration Day
L-G has shrunk enough to hide behind the Trig Point
Watering the dogs first, before the humans
We really climbed up there?!
P.S. A big discussion and poll ensued in
Climbing Mt. Stenhouse.
Large numbers of people seem to follow the
Lamma-zine, but actual, specific feedback on
recent stories is still a quite rare, precious
and most appreciated commodity, unfortunately.
But the fascinating content contributions coming
in make it all worthwhile, especially if they
are unsolicited and spontaneous. Case in point,
the picture above, submitted by new forum member
He writes that one of his grand daughters in the
UK has just won a prize for this picture above.
It was entered by her school for a national
photographic wildlife competition organised by
the Born Free Foundation. They just invited her
to London for a special presentation, honouring
her for the best photo taken by an 11-12 year
old, winning a printer for her school and a
camera for herself.
Her name is Mia Foster and she took this photo
in the back garden of her house in Chesterfield.
Barry F, her proud granddad on Lamma was hoping
that I could find a space somewhere on this
website for the picture, so he could show it to
Mia and all the family.
Being a triple granddad myself, I couldn't
resist such a sweet request. I hope that this is
a suitable and adequate space, Barry F?
Congratulations from the Lamma-zine, Mia, this
is a really beautiful picture!
- living in Yung Shue Long New Village, writing to the
Drainage Services Dept.
Subject: TRASH and GARBAGE
Dear Mr. Yee,
After our last email conversation, the
places along the Yung Shue Long drainage channel were
cleaned up very well.
But now everything looks even
worse, after just a few months!
After some construction in Yung Shue
Long New Village, which has fortunately finished a few
days ago, there are now leftovers all around. In
addition to the leftovers from the construction work,
there are "leftovers" from everywhere, old doors,
fences, trolleys, etc. It would be nice if you could
remind the construction company to clean up everything
before Chinese New Year.
In the case of the end of the new
drainage canal, nothing has happened until today. It's
still disgusting to see all the rubbish lying around or
floating in there. Is there nobody responsible to clean
this mess up at least once a week?
The place on the opposite side again
looks like a dump from construction sites and other work-related
All neighbours around here would
appreciate your help to clean up all this waste before
Chinese New Year.
From: Dr. Marcus Schuetz,
Executive in Residence, Visiting Adjunct Professor &
Assistant Dean EMBA Global Asia, HK University:
Dear Mr. Yee,
Unfortunately, I have to support my neighbour's
comments. We actually just yesterday moved away from
Yung Shue Wan Main Street, because:
firstly, it looks like the noisy construction work
would never end, and
secondly, the so-called "improvement works" turned
the creek in front of our house into a muddy stinking
trench with garbage and even dead cats and dogs floating
The contractors leave their construction material
behind and simply do not finish the site. I am really
surprised that Hong Kong Government Departments can
afford working with such badly managed contractors.
Unfortunately, afterwards some residents follow the
contractor's bad example and pile up even more trash.
P.S. Amazingly, these appeals actually worked and the Drainage
Services Dept. got the contractor to clean up the canal, see below. Kudos to
Becoming No. 1 in Google - the first result in
all searches for "Lamma" or "Lamma Island" - has
been a hard-fought virtual battle for this
website and took several years to achieve. With
some dismay I discovered that a few weeks ago we
had been overtaken by a formerly lower-ranked
Have a click and check it out, including a
flashy promo video on YouTube. The LAMMA show is
happening from Jan 21-22 in the Newark and
Nottinghamshire Showground, Winthorpe NR Newark,
Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY, United Kingdom. It's
being organised by
LAMMA, the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery
Manufacturers Association and is now in
its 28th year! It features over 520 trade stands
showing products and services from companies
from the UK and overseas, showcasing the widest
range of products for the agricultural and rural
industries at any show in the UK, they claim.
LAMMA is a very worthy and worthwhile
association and show for sure, IF you're a
farmer looking to purchase any "agricultural
machinery". But it's been stealing the #1
ranking away from our website, at least
temporarily! How dare they! Harrumph! Frown!
Well, after this show ends on Jan 22, very soon
we hope to recover our crown as the top website
on all things "Lamma" on the entire World Wide
Web! At least till next year's big LAMMA show...
Photo poem submitted by
Lamma Artist Katie Flowers who also took
these additional pictures in a Lamma crystal
A new Chinese Calendar Tale has just been
released by Harry & Sarah
(see below) - "The odd couple"
and "dynamic duo behind HK's bestselling
English-language children's books" as
Timeout Magazine called them in a
great story in the current issue:
"Harry Harrison is one of Hong Kong's most
iconic names. As an award-winning political
cartoonist for the South China Morning Post, he
has earned a formidable reputation for his
perceptive sketches that ridicule daily
headlines." He's been
29 times (according to Google) in the Lamma-zine's 6.5 years.
This illustration below by this Laudable Lamma
Luminary is the first self-portrait I've seen in
several years (republished here with Harry's
A little email interview I've
"Inspiration for the book? The story and
images revolve around a typical Chinese farming
"The book is officially launching at
Bookazine, 3rd floor Princes Building at 1.30pm
Sat, 17th Jan, with proceeds going to the Lantau
"The Tale of Run Run Rat and
The Tale of
Chester Choi are at numbers one and two for six
weeks over May to June 07.
"I wrote this book for the Year of the Ox as
part of my series of Chinese Calendar Tales. But
with the current financial crisis, it's turned
into a bit of a parable really about the value
of hard work and caution and thinking before
acting, in a world where a lot of greedy
individuals have been stealing other people's
stores when they weren't looking!
"Meet Oswald Ox: Bone idle on the farm, just
chewing his cud and rolling in the mud while all
the other animals are hard at work. No wonder
he's in trouble! And then the winter stores go
missing... Another funny, fabulously-illustrated
story in rhyme to tickle the imagination of
"I've always said to Harry that we should
keep politics out of our books but he snuck in
his dedication to Barack Obama and I couldn't
find it in me to disagree!"
A proper book review with more of Harry's
illustrations is in progress, as soon as I'll
receive my signed review copy this week...
Meet both of "the odd couple" at the
L-G made it all the way to Disneyland HK for the
very first time a few days ago, transforming
himself from Lamma-Gung (Lamma granddad) into
Little-Gung for a few hours...
If you've ever been wondering about those
strangely beautiful and skillfully balanced rock
piles on Power Station Beach, their creator has
been featured once again here on the Internet. His fame
seems to be spreading far beyond Lamma Island
and the modest pages of the Lamma-zine where he's been
featured in glorious terms
several times already, even being
Lamma Artist of the Month last October.
A Lamma visitor, lunahky, was strolling
by recently and took a few candid snapshots of
Rocky Malcolm in action, catching him
red-handed, so to speak, while piling up and
balancing his rocky creations. She posted her
photos in the
DCHome.net forum and got an amazing 141
replies from forum members, almost all very
positive, being impressed and praising Malcolm.
See all of
lunahky's photos, in addition to my
little selection below (Thanks, lunahky!)
Let's hope that all this new-found fame and very
positive feedback doesn't swell this very modest
and unassuming artist's head too much, otherwise
he might need to get a larger baseball cap soon!
Exploring all the "official" mountainbiking
trails of Lamma Island has become a recent
passion of mine. But I'm not daring or crazy
enough to actually bike on these very hilly,
sometimes quite steep and always narrow dirt
trails through our hills, valuing my life far
too much. One little mistake and you might
tumble down a steep hill into thorny bushes and
So I've been walking them one by one, much safer
and easier to enjoy the scenery than on my bike,
which I usually leave behind at the entrances to
the trails. I've been discovering new areas of
Lamma Island rarely ever visited by anyone, not
even locals, and have rarely ever met anyone on
those trails, not even mountain bikers. These
make great insider tips and some of the very
best walking trails on Lamma, far from the
all-too-common Family Trail from Yung Shue Wan
to Sok Kwu Wan, used by probably 95% of all
Lamma hikers who never venture beyond it into
our amazing and ultimately much more rewarding
and satisfying hills.
Bingo will be happening tomorrow night at
The Island Bar, see poster below. A lot
of Lammaites might not be familiar with Bingo,
so I've tried to provide a bit of background for
our readers. According to Wikipedia, my #1 tool
as a lazy editor and facts researcher, I quickly
found this definition of the word Bingo:
Scenes of Money and Death is a 1973 play
by English Marxist playwright Edward Bond. It
depicts an aging William Shakespeare at his
Warwickshire home in 1615 and 1616, suffering
pangs of conscience in part because he signed a
contract which protected his landholdings, on
the condition that he would not interfere with
an enclosure of common lands that would hurt the
local peasant farmers."
Wow, Scenes of Money & Death! Doesn't
that sound like quite a normal evening in The
Island Bar anyway? Well, it's a play and plays
mostly feature people just talking to each
other, don't they? So it IS like a normal
evening in this favourite local pub where people
like to chat with friends about anything,
including money & death, occasionally
making a scene. Also, the poster below
mentions "BINGO (grandma style)", where
money (inheritance) and the impending
death of grandma might never be too far from
the audience's minds...
Or just maybe, perhaps The Island Bar referred
to this other meaning of Bingo, out of quite
definitions of the word:
"Lotto: a game in which numbered balls are
drawn at random and players cover the
corresponding numbers on their cards."
YESSS! That's the correct definition, I think!
What better way to celebrate the start of a
brand-new year than with a little hike in our hills
during this sunny, dry and cool weather! On
January 1, I took advantage of the absolutely
glorious weather to explore the "Snake Trail"
Despite all the noisy flocks of tourists
descending on Lamma every weekend and on
holidays, most of the island very rarely or
never sees any tourist. For example, there are
the busy public beaches just besides absolutely
deserted and much more beautiful beaches. I
stumbled upon one by accident, just out of
curiosity the other day during another
biker-hiker excursion. There's one of these
govt. standard pavilions about 200 metres off
the main path in the middle of the immensely
popular Yung Shue Wan-Sok Kwu Wan Family Trail.
Few tourists ever venture to that forest-covered
Exploring well beyond the pavilion, I discovered
quite well-trodden dirt paths all over the
hillsides, some of them leading via a short,
steep descent down to the beach. There's a
single idyllic Chinese cottage down there with
clothes lines and a small but well-tended
vegetable garden. It's inhabited by a single,
friendly, elderly Chinese man, the Lamma Beach
Hermit as I'd like to call him. He's got the
entire bay for himself and the amazing, sandy
beach is just outside his front porch and the vegi
patches. I explored the long, idyllic, deserted
beach, waited for the sunset and took loads
of pictures, of course.
Finally and quite reluctantly, I rushed back
uphill, biking home to Yung Shue Wan in the
twilight after sunset, a little adventure all by
itself. Alternatively, it was
almost warm enough to sleep on the beach. Maybe the
Lamma Beach Hermit accepts paying
lodgers? Well, probably not, even though he's
been spotted to invite friends over for Mahjong
occasionally. Pictures! Click to enlarge, as
Past & beyond the
secluded pavilion, down to the beach via the
A single house in
the bay, with vegi patches
The friendly but
reclusive Lamma Beach Hermit and his "private"
Thailand...or Lamma Island?
Taking stock of another great year for the
Lamma-zine, I've compiled a little list of my
own personal favourite stories of last year.
These are only selected from my own stories, not
including the many fantastic stories submitted
by other writers, which might be featured in
another upcoming list. Click to view stories:
Quoting from the
Guardian UK/The Observer newspaper online
"The next day, I head for Lamma, an island a
half-hour ferry from Central, and can't believe I'm just 30
minutes away from one of the financial centres of the world
economy, in a hippy enclave that is one of the last vestiges of
the old trans-Asian overland trail.
are no cars, just bicycles, and notices everywhere for
Healing" and "Psychic Massages" and little shops
selling dodgy handmade tie-dyed things last in fashion around
"It's lovely, though, Lamma. Once you're past
an ugly power station, and the hippy bead shops, it has endless
footpaths and a rugged coastline. At a beach at the far end,
there is just enough civilisation - spotless showers and
changing rooms - and a slightly disconcerting notice:
"Please note that we have taken down the shark nets for annual
maintenance." I swim anyway but keep feeling things brush
past my legs, make a quick exit, and head back to Central and
the sharkless water of the rooftop pool of the Four Seasons
hotel. I swim back and forth in the fading light, with the neon
lights of the skyscrapers all around me, as transcendental an
experience as you can have on any Lamma shroom."
Again, the same old, tired, untrue clichés about
our "hippy enclave"...
But it sounds almost like features writer
Carole Cadwalladr has mentioned me personally in her
story? I don't recall ever communicating with her, even though I
get occasional inquiries from travel writers. But doesn't she
describe me so well in her story:
"And everywhere, ageing western men with greying ponytails who
washed up here in the Seventies and appear not to have heard
that Hong Kong has become a financial powerhouse, is part of the
People's Republic, and that shrooms are now illegal."
"Everywhere"? I thought that, as an "ageing western
man" myself, I was quite unusual and very rare on Lamma with
my very practical, money-saving but unfashionable ponytail! Not
one dollar spent on hairdressers since moving to Lamma in 2001.
Do I have to get a more unique hairstyle now to stand out from
the huge Lamma crowds of "ageing western men with greying
ponytails"? Well, as part of a personal make-over after my
huge weight loss, I might actually do that soon. I might become
one of Lamma's many fashionable baldheads, maybe?
Also, I wasn't "washed up here in the Seventies", but
the Eighties! But I have to admit that I've never been more than
a wannabe hippy (for a few months as a teenager), failing
completely and utterly to "Turn on, Tune in, Drop out", not
really worthy of living in a "hippy enclave"...
I've also heard rumours that HK "has become a financial
powerhouse", but as a poor sap without a *real* job and no
loans, investments and credit cards this financial boom seems to
have passed me by so far. Same as the "financial tsunami" so
And "shrooms are now illegal"? Damn! But I like taking
pictures of pretty flowers and "now illegal" mushrooms so
much! Do I have to stop now?
A heated debate has started up in our forums about this
clichéd story, after
zep (thanks!) brought this article to our attention:
More Hippies. He called it
"a right load of cadswallopr". A load of
codswallop from C. Cadwalladr. Amen to that...
Here's some photographic evidence of where some of the
emissions from the Lamma Power Station actually
come down during some of the year...on The Peak
on HK Island!
The emissions from the 215 metre high chimneys
are sparing Lamma Island almost all year, as the
prevailing winds usually carry them out to the
South China Sea.
Photos submitted by our famous photographer
1. Lamma Chimneys -- 2. From Bob's Rooftop
3. Across the Lamma Channel -- 4. HK Island &
The Peak --
Bob Davis © 2008
was the last time you've had dinner with 150+
fellow Lammaites? This yearly feast, an 8-course
"Snake Banquet", has become a tradition for
Lamma-Por and me, attending it for the 3rd year
in a row (Dec
29, 06: More Snake Wine, Please!).
Always being the only Westerner so far, it's
great to socialise with the "Silent Majority" of
Lammaites, mainly local families.
This type of events, usually meals and
excursions for families and/or elderlies are
surprisingly frequent and the next event has
been announced for just one week from today.
Have a look at the simple Chinese-only posters
on the outside of the City Hall opposite HSBC.
You can enjoy an entire day/evening in the
company of your neighbours, many of whom you
might rarely see the rest of the year. There are
trips all over HK and even occasionally to Macau
and into the mainland.
These regular, open-for-all events are heavily
subsidized from public and private funds and
always a great deal. This particular yearly
8-course dinner - including soft drinks, beer
and even a bottle of snake wine/table - cost
only $130/person and was held in a specialised
restaurant just below The Centre, a few minutes
walk from the Lamma ferry pier in Central. More
snake next year, please, as only two of the
eight dishes contained any snake. Despite 20+
restaurants in Yung Shue Wan alone, we can't get
ANY snake dishes here at all.
We've already reserved five tickets for next
year's Snake Banquet as they usually sell out at
least one month before the event. Who wants to
join in? Contact Lammadonna's office besides the
Lamma Gourmet shop to make a provisional
reservation for next Dec or Jan.
Stuffed and happy after this big meal, just a
quick snapshot of the Lamma ferry pier before
returning home, shot from the top of the DbAY
This is what happens if you leave a poster
(from my recent
rooftop parties) printed on costly
photo paper out in the rain for a while.
This struck me as kind of a suitable and
adequate metaphor for the
past year 2008, when a lot of lives and hopes
for the future
kind of melted, turning soft, less stable and
May your lives, hopes and dreams recover this year and
help you to re-focus on what's most important
and precious in your life! No, it's surely not
your bank balances, MPF or investment
portfolios, I hope.
Read last month's stories...
started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything vaguely related to Lamma
Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events, photos, videos, etc.
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