Malcolm got quite a bit
of feedback, inc. an email from the
HK Christian Service charity for children of parents
with chronic illnesses. They asked to meet him as part of their
Project Life Mutual Support Network. He most generously agreed
and HKCS also convinced me to play the tour guide for this
Saturday afternoon, showing them, their "handlers" and
volunteers around Yung Shue Wan. Then I suggested walking up to
Lamma Winds, before meeting up with Malcolm at Power Station
So Rocky Malcolm's story has returned from other
HK media to the Lamma-zine for one more round! This was one of
my favourite photo shoots ever as the children were a real
pleasure to guide and so happy to be on Lamma for a fun and
inspirational day, see
my photo gallery. Each of the children has parents with
chronic illnesses, often problems like addiction or
depression. They were so eager to meet leukemia survivor Malcolm
and hear his very inspirational story.
I do quite a bit of free promotion and marketing
for local charities, but this little volunteering gig was really
hands-on and even more fun and very fulfilling for me
personally. I'll be looking for more opportunities soon.... More
photos in HKCS volunteer
Paul's photo gallery.
(Edited & abridged by L-G; full, unedited version in our
Photos by Dan Peterson.)
BEATS AND SCORES:
A weekend of roots and rugby
Astrophonix @ The
Transnoodle & El Destroyo @ Grappa's
the bloody hell are you? I can't believe you'd be missing this
for a Friday night at the Sevens. Big mistake, huge! Click! (a phone
message from Kelly, Friday 2126 hrs.)
I've just caught the 2130 ferry home
from Central, after attending most of the opening night of the
2009 HK Rugby Sevens at the Government Stadium. My streak is
intact. I've been to every tournament since the Sevens kicked off in
1976. Don't want to stop now....
Anyway, I've left early to make sure I
can get the 2130 ferry home. That's because an Italian
rockabilly/punk band Astrophonix are making their debut in
The Island Bar tonight. The gig is co-organised by Dean from El Destroyo as a little teaser for a big event in Grappa's Bar tomorrow
night – Saturday, 28th of March. That show comprises Lamma
favourites, Transnoodle, El Destroyo, a Hawaiian surf/soul/reggae
band called Go Jimmy Go and Astrophonix.
The Island Bar is buzzing as I walk by.
Kelly grabs me and tells me about the above message on my
answerphone. Astrophonix are on a short break, but will perform a
second set before catching the last ferry to Central. Kelly thinks
they're the best band to play the Island Bar in any of her
lifetimes. Most of the other usual suspects concur. I spot Frasier
the Cur in the crowd. He's had the Gaelic Gall to fly in for this
show at the last moment. Good to see you again, mate! I'm going to
tomorrow's gig at Grappa's, thanks to John Transnoodle who's sorted
me out a ticket. But it's good to get a sniff of their set tonight.
Astrophonix are a power trio. Lead
guitar, double bass and drums with all members contributing vocals.
The band mine some of the same sonic terrain as El Destroyo, but
there's a slightly more loungepunk appeal in their performance. A
fine surfadelic version of "Let's Go" invoking the spirit of Buddy
Holly. A searing version of "Summertime Blues" which recalls Eddie
Cochrane, The Who and the grungy feedback of Blue Cheer. There are
detours into the works of Cab Calloway and a fine call-and-response
segment rousing some of the audience from their torpor…. There's a
blast of "Smoke On The Water", a re-worked "Pipeline" and hints of a
spaghetti western version of "Ghost Riders".
Astrophonix shift effortlessly between
speeds, styles and tempos and I'm really hoping I'll get a chance to
see them tomorrow night. And from what I overhear, there's going to
be a full Island Bar outing at Grappa's. Not even the fetid blasts
of Frank's stinky stogies can dampen the joy and enthusiasm on
display tonight. (Note to myself: must learn their names by
tomorrow.) Right now I'm knackered and there's a big weekend to get
It's been a couple of years since I've
gone to any gigs at Grappa's…. Anyway, I'm here and there's a large
crowd, about half from Lamma. Big hi's to Dave & Eva. Clive & Annie
and Annie & Vicky. Ciaran & Ellen. Jill. Kelly (of course). Barnaby
Bruce (twin bro Sam is DJing at a corporate gig in Beijing). Mike &
Marcus. Simon Pinder on a rare outing... I'll tell you what. I'll
just leave a gap so anyone else who was there and wants to gatecrash
this story can feel free to do so. Just tell Lamma-Gung to slot you
in. But hurry, because I'm sure that in a few years in the rosy glow
of nostalgia, the audience will be enormous. John has my ticket and
Transnoodle are on in about 15 minutes. Jamie is doing a fine
job of spinning the plastic platters. He used to live on Lamma and
is the drummer for Bone Table, the other group that Maggie from El
Destroyo plays in.
I've got a good drink and a place front
and centre stage. The 'noodle are an eight-piece tonight. From left
to right across the stage there's Matt (keyboards), John (guitar and
vox), Josh (mainvox), Magnus (drums), Kevin (bass), Andrew (second
guitar), Sarah (sax) and Orlando (trombone). I've missed their last
few performances, but it all comes right back. A joyful familiarity
like pulling on an old and cherished pair of crushed velvet/suede
jeans that still fit from the 60's. A big grin of delight like
sitting on an electronically warmed toilet seat when it's -50
degrees outside and you're in Antarctica.
The sound is crisp and punchy. Drums
and bass mesh well. John keeps the rhythms tight and Andrew weaves
the melodies in and out. I said before he reminds me of Neil Schon
of Journey with his fancy fretwork. Sarah and Orlando are a horny
duo unleashing the funk. Josh prowls the stage, sweating easily in
the heat, and telling the tales. Briefly, a beguiling mix of ska-folk
and r'n'b taking in elements of The Pogues, Oingo Boingo and The
Beat. Now and then, Matt goes cyberdelic, jabbing out the keyboard
Quite a lot of people are pretending to dance. The 45-minute
set includes "Port Royale", "Bambi", "Deli Lamma", "Spicy Island"
(which is in a new state of possibly temporary non-being) and "Po
Wah Yuen". It's Andrew's last performance with Transnoodle for the
immediate future. He's off to do other things. Anyway, it's been a
damn fine swan song, Jamie whacks on some Clash and
begin to set up.
The band is a teensy bit more formally
dressed than at their recent Island Bar gig. Maggie has the phwoar-factor
times ten in a knee-length black floral cheongsham. Hair pinned up.
No omnipresent cowboy straw hat tonight. Dean's a bit more formal in
jacket and shirt and Tjunde obviously prefers Charlie Watts as a
fashion icon than the sock-on-the-cock attire of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers. Their set is louder and cleaner than at the Island Bar, but
it's pretty much the same show.
Maggie enchants with her brief
screams on "Vampire" and rocksteady thumping bass. Dean rips through
a grab-bag of spacey licks, augmented by his FX pedals. There are
cybertwangs, Link Wray rumble runs, a few hints of prog-rock. Big
crashing chords careen into time changes…. Most of the tunes are
instrumental and seem to get better with each performance. I've seen
them five times now and each show is an event. (And why isn't Steve
Cray here tonight? They're his "drug of choice" after all). And
let's not forget, it was Dean and El Destroyo who put this show
together tonight. A massive thank you for that and here's to the
Both bands have played about 45 minutes
each to allow the two headliners more time to entertain us. It's
looking like I'm not going to see much of Astrophonix who are going
to close the show. I don't want to do a sampan back to Lamma. Nor do
I want to get the first ferry only to rush home, collect my ticket
and try and get to the Stadium in time for Sunday's action. So, it's
the last ferry to Lamma for me….
How did some Lammaites observe
Earth Hour today from 8:30-9:30 besides
switching off their lights? Heading out to the
First Cable Route with their yoga mats, lighting
candles, donating to the WWF and showing off
their extremely flexible, limber bodies in the
most amazingly contorted poses to the astonished
passersby on foot or bikes. Yes, that's Lamma
Island for you, turning into a HK-wide centre of
health & fitness these days!?
The various contorted pretzel and
knot shapes of the participants were truly
impressive and made my aging, crackling bones
ache just from watching their advanced yoga
poses. With all these long-time exposure photos
below (click to enlarge them) I've been trying
to capture not just the activities but also the
mood of this beautiful event demonstrating what
living on Lamma can be all about. Maybe I should
join in myself next time...
These devoted yoga practitioners
withstood the extreme humidity, a short shower
and attacks by mosquitoes and even a centipede
during the class. Not deterred by nature's
little challenges, they toughened it out,
laughed in the face of adversity and continued
their very peaceful & cheerful charity yoga
class without stopping. Led by smiling-but-tough
Pink Dora the Fitness Trainer, it was a class
full of light-hearted but firm encouragement to
stretch further and push harder.
By the way, there are still two pretty &
practical Lululemon-donated yoga mats up
for charity auction.
Submit your bids now!
You can rarely guess in advance what topic will
get people heated up in our forums, besides the
obviously passionate pet issues flaring up
occasionally. A discussion about whether
Lammaites would like a public swimming pool or
not has recently caused a little firestorm of a
heated debate, 88 messages in only 9 days! Well,
it's all theoretical as we
have almost no real chance of ever getting one
built here for many reasons.
But this currently hot topic has also triggered
another outburst of creativity from long-time
forum maverick tjungararyi, inspiring him to not
one, not two, but four forum posts with
swimming-pool-related flights of fancy full of
touristy ideas, from an in-restaurant pool &
canine reiki to diving & Miss Lamma contests. Maybe one of our local
enterprising business people might actually realise one
of his very entertaining & tongue-in-cheek ideas?
Perhaps one of our enterprising food
merchants can incorporate one of those pools that lie
above the restaurant seating. You could even put a few
fish in there as well, maybe even a green turtle. Sort
of free range fish.
I think it's a good idea and someone
should look into it. Tourists would love it. Gawking at
shimmering pale forms gliding through the aqua as they
chow down to a yummy stir fry picking succulent morsels
of reef fish from their plates. Have a swim, then eat,
or for those weight-conscious among us, eat, strip off,
then do a few circuits.
This would be a Cantonese first. Where
else will you find cheap eats with the option of
exercise and entertainment - all in the same breath.
It's a money spinner, guys!
I would definitely only swim where there is a shark
net because I want no chance of being eaten.
A pool on Lamma would be great, but it could not pay
for itself. But the thought of it is fun, like playing
A dog pool on the other hand would generate profit
like nothing else. Someone should set up a a boutique
dog spa. Especially for those dogs from the mainland
and HK isle who suffer stress in the modern, frenetic,
cosmopolitan world that is Hong Kong. The owners could
bring them over for the weekend - a kind of retreat. By
Monday, they are ready to face the rigors of the
corporate fast lane. Special package deals can be
offered, weight loss programs, weekend beauty therapy
treatments and canine reiki sessions.
You know, it might just work! Imagine it:
Strolling along Main St at night. Not too many
revelers about. The sound of gentle waves crashing on
the sand caresses you ears. You forsake the new
Starbucks that has opened where once stood the old
colonial SPICY ISLAND joint.
Have any of you been to Cairns, Australia? They have
this huge shallow pool betwixt ocean and land. Gorgeous
guys and gals clad only with wisps of cotton lounge
about. Across the road there are neon-lit eateries where
more gorgeous guys and gals mill.
Just get the sewage facilities up to scratch, a
little landfill, cement, landscaping, a hint of
chlorine, palm trees, tons of salt and Bob's your uncle,
Yung Shue Wan is a tourist gem!
And what a scene as you come home, disembarking and
walking the pier - it's still light and you can see down
to the new pool, the guys and babes are frolicking,
sunbathing or reading in and by the pool. A family can
be seen sitting, smiling, eating their cheeseburgers,
McNuggets with sweet and sour sauce, cokes and fries,
happy. A game of volleyball with incredibly good-looking
men and women can be seen being played in the distance.
The sun is setting and there's more reason to love
Let's fool around a bit more:
Not only could you picnic at the new pool but hold
birthday parties as well, catered for by McDonalds, KFC
or any of those marvelous American eateries or one of
the local fry shops.
In the deep end you could have an annual Lamma
diving contest. The diving can't be from too high as
I estimate the deep end will only be about 6 ft deep.
It's for all age groups, too. We could host the first
over 40s and 50s swimming carnival in Hong Kong,
probably in the whole of Guangdong even.
Not forgetting the reason Lamma Island is so popular
among tourists. What can your dog do with seeming
impunity on Lamma that it can't do back home? That's
Imagine, though, the furor and excitement if news
were announced of a Lamma dog show. What an
opportunity for dog lovers to showcase the objects of
their fondest love. The new pool would be the backdrop
for a sophisticated international standard canine event.
The business that would be created by the simple
addition of a pool could lead to further refinements of
local Lamma culture. The unique architectural forefront
design of the houses facing Yung Shue Wan bay will only
be enhanced if the view included scantily-clad guys and
gals bathing in clear water below. Real estate prices
would go through the roof.
What are we waiting for? This is the chance Lamma
residents have been waiting for.
Around June or July we could have a Miss Lamma
contest. And what a venue for all those groovy Hong
Kong bands. The possibilities are endless. A pool would
revolutionize the place. It would be sending a message
to those in Discovery Bay who criticize Lamma islanders
as drugged-out, lethargic hippies resigned to lives of
journalism, teaching and selling medicinal herbs. Well,
the Lamma public pool would show them, turning the
relaxed, laid-back nonchalance of Yung Shue Wan into a
sort of baby Wanchai, except with a new beachfront.
So guys, lets not fight. Instead lets join hands as
it were and figure out how to build a pool that has
fresh clean water coming in and out, that is salt-based,
filtered, analysed daily, and trendy-looking!
To discuss this topic, maybe even add your own
ideas, see our
Electric today launched a new series of community
education activities encouraging the public to embrace
energy saving as a shared value and to conserve energy
in daily life.
This year's Smart Power Campaign aims
at consolidating community efforts in smart energy usage
with year-round activities heightening public awareness
in energy conservation and galvanising people into
The campaign was launched at a
ceremony officiated by Under Secretary for the
Environment, Dr. Kitty Poon Kit, and HK Electric
Managing Director, Mr. Tso Kai-sum, and attended by 160
guests and students.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Poon
urged young people to use electricity wisely and that
they should foster green habits while they were young.
She added that young people were green crusaders and
could help shape the future of Hong Kong.
Mr. Tso hoped the campaign would
motivate people to give extra thought to protecting the
environment. "We want to foster a culture that
instills energy consciousness and bring change to
people's mindset and behaviour, such as reducing
wastage, treasuring electricity and practising energy
efficiency," he said.... "Seven essential things
they should do to save energy," he added:
save energy together;
never leave a computer on all the
foster energy saving habits when
waste no electricity
maintain optimal temperature of
launder only when there is a
check energy efficiency labels before
buying electrical appliances.
"Lamma Power Station (LPS) has
received the 'Energywi$e Label' (Class of Excellence)
from the Environmental Campaign Committee
recognising our efforts which include saving 300,000
units of electricity by controlling usage of lighting
systems and air-conditioners."
Other activities include a roving
exhibition at Taikoo MTR station from 23 to 25
March, Open Days at Lamma Power Station and
Lamma Winds, school talks on energy saving,
and a competition to share and reward
outstanding energy saving practices.
Wong Cho-lam and Vincy, are appointed as this
year's Smart Power Campaign Ambassadors.
Engineering (Planning & Dev), Mr. Wan Chi-tin,
teams up with students from Emmanuel Primary
School, Kowloon in the energy saving quiz.
Power Station Beach rarely fails to surprise and
delight the amateur and professional
photographers alike with its variety and
diversity of life and moods, changing constantly
depending on the season, the weather, the time
of day. Browse a few of my most recent candid
shots from many different angles and viewpoints
(click to enlarge):
Plus a few more pictures, taken very close to PS beach,
INSIDE the Power Station. Sanctioned by the Power Station,
Dr John, a VV driver & I released over a dozen of the feral
"Power Station Cats" roaming in there. They had been trapped and
neutered by LAWC
recently, part of their TNR program to help control the
local feral cat colonies.
A really fun afternoon! Thanks, John, for letting me tag along
and help out!
Radio Televison HK broadcast a
great Chinese documentary about
Lamma's Young People on ATV Home last Sunday, March 22, 7:30-8pm,
the very first episode of their new "Hong Kong Stories" series about "island
people". You can still watch it on
RTHK's website, like all their old TV and radio broadcasts.
Seeing your friends on TV is always a fascinating experience. In some
ways they're the same as in real life, but in so many ways NOT, looking
much larger and much more important. They featured wonderful little
personal portraits of Siuyu of GreenLammaGroup, Pink Dora the
Fitness Trainer, Cheesecake Shelly and the couple from the
"egg roll & food shop" on Main Street (see RTHK's photos above).
Dora also had her own large centrefold solo interview in the
free Chin. newspaper Metro HK on Mar 19 (page
I'll have to ask them how sudden, HK-wide fame has affected them. But
I'd better hurry, as their "15 minutes of fame" will be over all too quickly, as
other Lammaites on TV in the recent past can tell you... Oops, too late, 15
minutes are over...
I met the documentary producer and interviewer, Tom Chan, from the
"Educational TV Centre" of RTHK, during their filming at the Lamma Enduro
and the CNY Carnival in the Football Pitch, where a local dignitary
introduced him to me, "Mr Lamma-zine". We exchanged name cards and I
encouraged him to contact me for any more info he might need about our
community. But the focus of all these documentaries about the islands seems
strictly on the Chinese-speaking residents, even though
they might subtitle them for ATV World later, like their former, also
excellent "Hong Kong Stories" series.
Please find attached information about Earth Hour -
the call to action for individuals and companies. The event
is gaining serious momentum in Hong Kong and around the world and it
would be great if Lamma takes part.
In essence, all we are asking is for people to turn
their lights out for one hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 28 March 2009 to
show they care about climate change.
WWF's Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney where 2.2
million people and 2000 businesses turned their lights out. In 2008,
Earth Hour went global, with 50 million people in 350 cities in 35
countries turned their lights out to show they care about climate
change, and that small actions every day can make a difference to
the future of our planet.
In 2009, WWF is calling on 1 billion people in 1000
cities to be part of Earth Hour. So far, 700 cities have committed
to Earth Hour, which will be the world's largest social movement for
climate change ever.
In Hong Kong, we aim for 1 million people to take
part, and support so far has been fantastic. Over 300 companies,
hundreds of community groups, restaurants, schools and universities,
and thousands of people have already pledged their support. People
on Lamma can show their support for Earth Hour by:-
turning off their lights, and
non-essential appliances, for one hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 28
tell all their friends and family
to do the same
sign up to Earth Hour at
www.earthhour.org/hongkong, add the Earth Hour Hong Kong
event to their Facebook page, join Earth Hour on Twitter, and
many other social networking sites
host an Earth Hour event (candle
light dinner, meditation in the dark, night time walk, story
telling, unplugged music session etc)
promote Earth Hour through their
own networks - downloads, screen savers, logos, videos etc are
all available for download on
I have also attached bilingual flyer (see right,
explains a lot more....
For public use
If you would like to
or if anyone would like posters, postcards, stickers etc, they can
contact us by email.
be grateful if you would disseminate the following
message. In addition, I would like to invite you and
your friend who have the child over 9 years old to join
our Junior Police Call recruitment exercise on
2009-02-28, Saturday, at 1430 hrs, outside Hans Andersen
In the course of recruitment exercise,
officers of Police Community Relation Officer of Marine
Port District will be giving about half an hour
presentation regarding the topic of Junior Police Call.
We will also encourage them to join to become members of
I am looking forward to hearing the
great responses for this exercise.
By the way, to attract more recruitment
of Junior Police Call members from Lamma Island, we'd be
grateful if you would put our poster in your front page
again and further appeal their invitation.
Any child who is over 9 years old is
most welcome to join the Junior Police Call. They also
could take the enrolment form either from me or the Hans
Andersen Club, Tai Wan Village, Lamma Island [or
download it here].
Your assistance in this matter is highly
These are some of the police souvenirs handed
out to youngsters at the Junior Police Call
a friendly neighbourhood policeman rubber keychain,
a machine-gun-toting (but smiling) toughie
a Robocop pencil sharpener.
For contrast, a real-life Lamma policeman, SSGT Chik,
co-presenting the show.
LO - Center-in-charge (Lamma Center) -
Hans Andersen Club
Wan New Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island
Tel: 2982-2173, Fax: 2982-2193,
our Children, Cultivate our Community
nice meeting you in last JPC recruitment day.
As per our conversation, our center will
hold different kinds of activities for children and
parents on Lamma Island from time to time. Via your
channel, I hope that more people can assess information
about our service. Here are some information I would
like to disseminate:
(Photos by Marcus Oleniuk, a parent.
Click to enlarge)
Banyan House, the early
learning centre which opened in Yung Shue Wan last
summer, is having an open day on Sunday 29th March to enrol children in the kindy for the academic year
2009/10. Group sizes are small but there will be a
number of places available when the older children move
on to primary school in September.
Since opening last year,
Banyan House has grown steadily. The teacher, Lynne, is
a Lamma resident with more than 25 years' experience of
teaching young children. Finding a place on Lamma that
was dedicated to educating young children in the gentle
Waldorf style was a wonderful opportunity for Lynne. "I
was very happy to find a place in my own community that
shared my commitment to creating a genuine love of
learning in the children," she says.
Based on the teachings of
Rudolf Steiner, the Waldorf method of early learning is
a distinctive approach to educating with an emphasis on
early learning through play. There are more than 900
Waldorf schools in 70 countries around the world,
including most European countries, Australia, New
Zealand and North America.
Lamma's Banyan House is located in an airy bungalow in
the Yung Shue Long valley, with a spacious outdoor area
for games and gardening activities. Inside, the children
have plenty to play with - from dolls hand-made by
parents and friends and simple wooden toys made in the
UK and Vietnam, to a complete kitchen play area and a
large dressing up box which inspires much imaginative
A dedicated art room houses
a large wooden table around which the children sit to
paint, draw and create. It is also the place they come
together to enjoy their daily snack – fresh bread and
honey, vegetable soups or fruit salad homemade by the
teacher with the help of the children.
While the emphasis is on
learning through creative play, storytelling and singing
songs are also an important part of the children's day
at Banyan House. Ring time is when the children come
together to listen to Lynne, whose stories are often
inspired by her beautiful "storytelling apron". Regular
Cantonese sessions are also included and the children
learn simple vocabulary and traditional Chinese songs.
"My daughter's language
skills have really improved at Banyan House," says Jenny
Farr, mother of Maeli, 4. "The Waldorf style means lots
of fun language repetition through creative storytelling
and songs." Says Carolyn Lau, whose son Hayden attends
the Parent and Child group each week: "Banyan House
provides a structured environment in which our children
really learn to socialise and play in a calm, caring and
Since opening, Banyan House
has hosted several community events, including a
successful Christmas Fair last December. The children
have also enjoyed many festivals at the school,
including the Lantern Festival, Chinese New Year and
Christmas, when they staged their own Nativity Play.
Banyan House will host an Enrolment Open Day on Sunday
29th March from 10am-1pm.
Interested parents are very welcome to come along.
(There will be storytelling and activities for the
After quite a few long articles with many words
and few pictures recently...
today just a few blossoms from Lamma-Gung's
Rooftop Jungle & PondTM,
a low-cost, all-year source of joy, relaxation,
education, fitness & happiness...
As my dog Gail and I started our evening walk on March
18, we wandered past the Lamma Animal Welfare Charity
Shop. A village vehicle had stopped in front of the shop
and a crowd of people gathered around it. In the back of
the VV lay a young-looking female dog (light brown,
considerably smaller than Gail) convulsing so violently
that she bounced. A Chinese woman, presumably the dog's
owner, tried to hold her steady, but it didn't help.
Dr John (a physician for humans), an LAWC volunteer, was
there. He knows us and spoke to me. Judging by the
"typical symptoms", the dog was yet another poisoning
victim, he said. She'd convulsed steadily for more than
half an hour. If she didn't stop soon, her heart would
collapse from strain. Already, he'd given her several
injections of medicine, but it made little difference.
On Lamma, the vet's office opens only part time. The
vet was elsewhere, but Dr John had him on the telephone
and they discussed what to do next. (There was nothing
they could do really.)
Shamefully, I confess that one of my strongest
emotions was gratitude that my own dog still stood
beside me and wasn't the one fighting and clawing at
Several times, the dog's spasms did seem to stop, but
only for a few seconds (just long enough for me to
think, "Oh, good"), but then they'd resume as violently
After a few minutes, I started to wonder what Gail
must think of this scene. The two of us couldn't do
anything to help, so I took her away and we continued
When we returned an hour later, the village vehicle
and dog were gone. So were most of the people.
But I stopped at the shop to ask if the dog was still
alive. The woman working inside shook her head. "Dead
I wanted to know where the dog had found the poison.
Maybe there's an area we need to avoid. Of course, no
one had a definite answer, except "probably Pak Kok".
Evidently, that's where the dog had lived.
As sometimes happens, I then spent much of the
evening tightly holding Gail.
[I asked Dr John for comments,
an update on dog poisonings & recommendations]
Yes, a traumatic
afternoon for us all, especially for the poisoned
Poisoning of unwanted animals has long been the
traditional New Territories method of controlling the
population of unwanted animals. Pesticides and
herbicides are readily available for sale and are used
regularly on the small farms.
Lamma used to have one or two dog and cat poisonings
each week. Cat poisonings are not so obvious as cats
tend to hide themselves when sick; dogs convulse in full
view. Bowen Road got all the publicity but we had a much
Six years ago we held a big village meeting in Yung
Shue Wan at which we explained that we were going to
start a programme of spay and neuter for the stray cats
and dogs and we asked could the poisoners please hold
off their work in order to give our programme a chance.
For spay and neuter programmes to work, at least 70% of
the animal population have to be neutered. So every desexed animal that is killed by poison sets our project
back. The villagers agreed and we got to work.
Now the cat population is under control - the numbers
are down from about 750 to under 200 (from natural
attrition without replacement from breeding), and these
are happy healthy cats living in colonies looked after
by designated carers. The stray dog population has gone
down to zero. There are still some feral dogs living
above Hung Shing Ye beach but that is another story. The
dogs you see in the streets are not strays, they are
Those who had been doing the routine poisoning have
largely kept their word. There is still the occasional
dispute amongst neighbours which results in a targeted
poisoning. And if a dog wanders into a farmer's field
and starts eating stuff, it is likely to be poisoned.
But generally, poisoning is much less common. Often when
a dog dies suddenly, poisoning is assumed whereas
another cause may be more likely (eg, tick fever, heart
worm, ordinary gastro-intestinal diseases, etc).
Having said that though, this is the second Pak Kok
organo-phosphate poisoning this year. The previous one
fortunately responded well to the antidote and the dog
made a full recovery. In the current case, the antidote
was working but the heart gave out from exhaustion.
Recommendations for dog owners:
allow your dog to be a nuisance. Control the barking
and pick up the poo.
on a lead and/or muzzled in all built-up and farmed
Break, break, break ,
On thy cold grey stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me ....
(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
'Why are you going to Hong Kong, Mummy?' asked
my daughters. 'Because it's my home.' 'No it's not, Mummy! Here is your home! This is where
your job and your family are!'
Their eyes shone - really, Mum was losing it.
England, rain, red-brick houses, camping and festivals
in the summer, fires in the winter - this is their world
and Mum holds it together. How could they be expected to
know that nearly every night for ten years I'd deserted
them and gone back to Lamma in my dreams? They see their
parents drinking coffee with evaporated milk every
morning - but how could they know that this is in honour
of the Lamma ferry coffee? Of course, human memory is
selective, and we skip the polystyrene cups and the
noodles - but the evaporated milk reminds me that Lamma
is still there.
And now I was here. I'd left the children playing in
the snow, and finally taken a plane with Hong Kong as
its destination. Sally was due to meet me at the
airport. I first met Sally in the British Council
staff-room in Wanchai, circa 1987. She was 'just
visiting' Peter Ackroyd, who was also working at the
Council, and we immediately hit it off. She had a
dancing way of walking, and soon she was dancing back to
the Yellow House with me. Carrying her off-beat world
view with a dignity and confidence, backed by a
work-ethic which I found inspiring, she moved into the
Yellow House when I went to Tibet that summer and in
time was training teachers at the British Council.
I couldn't see Sally at first, and I was slightly
worried: I hadn't seen Sally for nearly ten years.
Perhaps she would have aged so much that I wouldn't
recognise her? It had happened last year with another
friend, and it had only been two years ...... No, no.
I'd know Sally when I saw her. I basked in the
optimistic scent of Hong Kong, floated in sunlight by a
bank of yellow chrysanthemums in an up-drift of
star-fruits - and suddenly there was Sally's distinctive
gait, dancing decisively through the loose crowds. She
hadn't changed in the slightest.
We took the train to Central, chattering all the way.
I had taken the train before, but was slightly
distracted and disorientated by the phallic imposition
of the IFC tower where once there had been sea - but
Sally acted as my tour-guide to the new additions, and
the Lamma ferry was suddenly there. The nifty little
wasp-like vehicle with its plastic seats, high-pitched
engine, indecent haste and regularity lacks the shabby
freedom of the old Yau Ma Tei ferries, but Lamma rose up
to greet me with as much generosity and love as if I'd
just nipped into Central for a few hours.
The pier was adorned with lanterns and flags from the
New Year's celebrations and amplified the sense of
jubilation as I stepped again onto the enchanted land
just as I had done, night after night, all those years
ago when the 11.20 ferry deposited us British Council
workers on the island at midnight. Democracy Wall
advertised Sally's yoga studio, flats for rent and
Dora's new boot-camp. Dora - was that the young girl
Sally used to teach? The crowd swept away stray
questions as we oozed en masse past the usual tanks of
crabs - the likes of which I'd only seen in museum cases
in the last ten years - trying with rubbled claws to
escape back to the sea. I sympathised, but walked on.
At the first shop on the corner, Ivy and her family -
who, sixteen years ago, had gone through a brief spell
of recognising and speaking to me when we had babies at
the same time - reverted now to professional efficiency
and served me just like any other Gweilo. Like Sally,
they did not seem to have aged a day. But - something
was missing. It was the smell of shrimp paste at the
corner. I do not regret the absence of those nasty blue
plastic barrels. Whew!
And there was Nick the Book, sitting just around the
corner from where I last saw him, reading a book with
dogs sprawled at his feet. Of course I have read Nick's
reviews in the Lamma-zine. His descriptions of the gigs
at the Island Bar have saved me the trouble of actually
going there many a time, and his image on the home page
has acquired iconic status. His Nix Mix tapes have
accompanied me as I thundered up the motorways of the
Mother Country to various Yoga days and splashed my
brain-cells with psychedelia. And here he was, friendly,
unassuming, apparently laid back, but as full of words
and acerbic observances as he ever was. He'd do me a new
Nix Mix CD. Wow. CDs scarcely existed last time I was
here. So it wasn't all a dream, then.
Having celebrated the absence of fish paste, it was
the odours which really carried me back, which assured
me these people were alive - if preserved in aspic - and
that the plants had roots in the sacred earth of Lamma.
As we wandered up the path I felt increasingly
overwhelmed by a wash of flourishing vegetation,
top-notes of citrus, sea-spray and the dry, odourless
crackle of the bougainvillaea. A new, very concrete
grave presided over a curve in the path, but Granny Chan
sat in her usual place opposite her shop, meeting my
greeting by raising her hand and presenting a sweet
smile, just as if it were only yesterday I was popping
in for Vitasoy. Presently Sally led me up to the Yoga
studio, where I was to stay, under the flat she shares
with her husband, Hugh. Hugh was sitting out on a
balcony populated by dozens of ceramic pots full of
vigorous flowers, and the view was pure banana leaves.
Inside, on a table, was a card which said: 'Welcome
home to Lamma.'
Hugh has no time for sentiment. As soon as I'd shown
them the front pages of the Telegraph and the Times -
both of which exhibited large white photographs of
Central London whitened and chastened to silence by snow
- he suggested a swim. Within minutes we were sauntering
across the fields to Power Station Beach, and were all
three swimming in the South China afternoon sea.
The strangest thing was waking up every day and
realising that I didn't have to leave Lamma when I woke
up - I was here. The only problem was that I enjoyed
myself so much that by the end, I hardly liked to waste
time sleeping ...... why sleep, when I was living the
dream? (To be continued ........)
The God of
Fortune (recognise him from his last gig as
Santa Claus? Yes, It's Big Jim, or Slim Jim
after his magical transformation since Jan 1).
Plus 3 of the well-known & popular movers &
shakers behind The Island Bar and the
They are surrounded & guarded by police (SI
Woo-Woo & Mr Chik, his deputy)
A Big Bowl Feast
for Lamma's elderlies and celebrities.
Mr Chan Lin Wai, 2nd from right, Rural Committee
Chairman, District Council Member, Village Rep
for Tai Wan New Village. It was his initiative
to open up this formerly almost 100%
Chinese-speakers-only CNY Carnival up to
everybody, even getting a non-Chinese God of
Fortune and musical entertainment --
Yes, it's Karaoke
time once again in the playground!
Louie the Violin
Prodigy & William -- Ollie & John Hutton
cheering up the crowd
Grab the lucky,
blessed CNY decorations! -- End of Big Bowl
Thursday night's chilly
thunderstorms did nothing to deter the largest crowd
yet for Canadian James' BBQ at the Banyan Bay Cafe.
It was standing room only, or sharing a table with
other carnivorous strangers.
Before I arrived I had every
intention of ordering the sashimi-grade tuna loin
with baked potato and vegetable, (which I've tasted
in the past – scrumptious) but my plans went awry
when I saw James' latest menu. Cath came to take my
order and I said, "I don't know, I want one of
I must have had an inkling even then
though that the fish was slipping from contention,
because I ordered red, rather than white wine, while
I studied my options and waited for a space to sit
BBQ'd baby back pork ribs or the US
Black Angus rib eye steak? I knew for a fact that
the steak was superb, because I'd eaten it before,
and any steak you can cut with a butter knife has
got to be pretty damned good.
usually not a fan of BBQ'd ribs but I thought I'd
ask around – the unanimous verdict was that the ribs
were tender, delicious and not sweet. (I just have a
problem with sweet meat, not to mention sweetmeats,
but that's another story.)
So, further confusion ensued,
because both the steak and the ribs were served with
a smoked duck breast and spicy sausage jambalaya,
and that was a far too tempting prospect to pass up,
except, perhaps for a Wagyu burger. If the Japanese
know tuna, they also know beef, and maybe the
sashimi grade tuna finally did influence my decision
here, because I just had to have the burger. And the
beef was so delicious and flavoursome that I could
not eat it inside the bun, so my apologies to James,
I ate the burger as a salad roll and ate the beef
separately, savouring every mouthful.
Streetman, meanwhile, was at another
table, polishing off his food. When I asked him what
he thought of his steak he replied, "Are you
kidding? Look at this plate. The only thing left on
it is the knife and fork, and I didn't eat them
because they were under-cooked."
pity he didn't have his camera with him. Donna did,
but the food was disappearing too fast for anyone to
think to take a photo of it.
With prices from $90 to $135 the
Thursday night ritual is good value. This is not a
barbie like your dad and your uncle used to make,
"Just scrape off that burnt bit, and wash it down
with a beer, she'll be right." This is a dining
experience, with top quality ingredients cooked by
an excellent chef.
This week, I've just got to get some
of those ribs. But oh, the decisions, will I opt for
a full rack or settle for a half?
The diet starts again next week I
guess. That'll be the week for tuna.
Official Court Glutton:
After a couple of years of living on
Lamma, it becomes apparent that there are only a few
restaurants, so there is not a wide scope of options
Occasionally something different
happens. In this case it is having a
one-night-only-per-week special grill night held at
the Banyan Bay Cafe. Banyan Bay Cafe closes the
kitchen at 4 PM. For the grill nights, Canadian
James (without plaid shirt) is the guest grill
Lamma-Gung had reserved a table as
it was an anniversary night of 1 year since
embarking on his epic weight loss/lifestyle change.
Good job, for 100+ pounds lost !
After arriving slightly late, I
enquired as to what L-G has ordered. Salmon was his
choice. Salmon would certainly not be mine. I was
here for BBQ ribs and I would not be swayed by some
fish. I placed my order for a pint of beer and was
I wanted half or a whole rack of ribs". A whole rack
please! I am a carnivorous glutton.
Not too long later L-G's fish
arrived (see right). Looked good, but was not what I
had set my sights on. Good thing that a few minutes
later my order arrived.
First impressions: Excellent
choice! Did a small survey of my greens, my potato
and my slabs of ribs.
First step, attack the greens.
Crunchy and nice. Need a bit more zap, reach into my
bag and add my own rock/sea salt and ground black
pepper. (Doesn't everyone carry their own?) Vanquish
Baked potato looked very good, not
burned, properly done. Virtually perfect, which is
not so easy on a grill.
Add butter. I must admit I can find nothing wrong
with it. A perfect spud.
Finally, the real thing:
ribs. Two sections. Not burned. Looks good so far.
Slice off some meat and start to enjoy and savour.
Superior result! High quality meat, properly
prepared and then grilled. The way it should be and
rarely is. No cartilage. Not too fatty. Good mouth
feel. Meaty flavour with BBQ sauce not just coating
the meat, but actually soaking in. A delight to
finish off all the ribs and then pick up the ribs by
hand to completely strip them.
2 thumbs up. Highly recommended and I would order it
again. (though my curiosity might get diverted by
the Wagyu burger or a steak of some sort.)
that the Thursday night grill special may become a
fixture on the Yung Shue Wan eating trail, based on
the many satisfied faces around me. Good job, James!
Hope you have great success in conjuring up other
dishes to satisfy the villagers.
P.S. by L-G: Lamma-Por and
I have returned and this time we enjoyed the "US Black Angus Rib Eye Steak
with Smoked Duck Breast and Spicy Sausage Jambalaya" (see above).
We absolutely loved it, just a perfect steak with amazing
The portion was definitely big enough to share. Excellent value for money,
two meals for the price of one!
There's a restaurant on Yung
Shue Wan Main Street that you've probably never
visited, where you'll almost never ever see a
tourist or a non-Chinese person. A place with just
a Chinese name chop on the door, but no sign, no
menu, no price list, no name card, no pictures or decorations!
But it's got probably the best Dim Sum in Yung
Shue Wan and is packed on most mornings!
It's called Tai Hing, vis-a-vis Diesel's Bar and
close to Lamcombe Rest. In over 7 years of
living in Yung Shue Wan, this was our very first
visit. This was one of very few places Lamma-Por
and I had never visited before, despite being
adventurous and curious gourmets who love to
check out all local restaurants at least once.
"Where for dinner?" is an almost daily question
It's a very friendly place, with some patrons
exclaiming proudly that they're coming here
almost EVERY DAY, some of them for DECADES! It
must be cheap and as there's no price list or
menu nobody seems to worry about the price of
dishes. They don't even open for lunch and
dinner is offered only by reservation for
sizable parties. Favourite local son &
international movie star Ah-fat (Chow Yun-fat)
has been spotted numerous times in there,
enjoying dinner with family & friends on the
upper floor. Two Lamma.com.hk forum moderators,
besides myself, have been spotted in there.
No English spoken here, but gwailos are always
welcome. Just squeeze in and share a big round
table with your fellow Lammaites; strangers before
the meal, friendly acquaintances afterwards.
Lamma-Por interpreted for me and I found out
that even some little old Chinese ladies have
been watching my weight loss progress, giving me
the thumbs up sign and enquiring from Lamma-Por
how I did it. Eek! I seem to have become a very
minor local celebrity...
We'll be returning to enjoy Tai Hing Dim Sum
I've just returned from another
regular follow-up specialist consultation in the
public Queen Mary Hospital's S Block. It takes
about half a day to get there and back, plus
waiting for up to 3 hours each time, but it's
really affordable at HK$60/visit.
Why am I telling you this?
Because they finally took me off my very last
prescribed medication (acid reflux/GERD)!
Within one year, my health has
progressed from 6 different daily medications
for various health problems to zero pills!
Another major milestone in my journey to health
& fitness, started just one year ago with a
permanent stomach-reduction operation, losing
138 pounds so far! But losing even more weight
has become really tough now. Another 20 pounds
at least, but it'll take a lot more frequent
hiking, biking, yoga and Island Gym sessions to
get there, in addition to a strict diet, with
occasional exceptions (see last story below).
I'm now 100% Drug-Free! Actually,
no drugs of any kind: no alcohol, no tobacco and
no illegal drugs either. Well, daily copious
amounts of home-ground, French-pressed coffee
don't really count as a drug, do they?
many months of sloth and laziness, I was unexpected
cajoled into writing a review of the ribs at B&B by
I was not really planning to have the
ribs nor do a review, but Lamma-Gung seemed unusually
spry because it was his wife's birthday which they
celebrated by going to Macau (good idea). L-G deciding
to fling himself off the Macau Tower attached by a thin
cable (not so sure that is a good idea).
Anyway, it is difficult to refuse joining them on such
an auspicious and death-defying day.
Back to the the food:
Ok, I admit that everytime I walk through the village my
curiousity is piqued by the oysters and the ribs being
displayed. Being a bit of a glutton, I like to eat
interesting stuff, with gusto. So It was time to satisfy
Order was placed.
Soup arrived. Chinese version of a cream soup. Not
Main dish arrived, looking very good.
Tried the veggies and other bits with decent result.
As for the ribs, my impressions in
order they occurred: Fair size.
Initial tang of BBQ sauce was nice surprise.
Not too fatty.
Meaty flavour and texture, but BBQ flavour "not all the
way through the meat".
BBQ sauce was on top and not really sinking through.
Did lick my fingers at the end, mostly because of the
Conclusion: good value for money,
happy with my choice.
Rating: one thumb up (good, but
not great.) Curiousity satisfied.
P.S. I: I returned to B&B
the other night and had their seriously excellent lamb
My mini-Nikon's flash has died and not able to take a
Will get another camera and will re-order and do a full
(B&B is a Lamma-zine advertiser, but this article is
NOT an advertorial,
but an independent review.)
L-G's half portion of delicious & juicy grilled duck breast
vs. the whole rack of ribs polished off completely by the Official Court
Hard to believe that L-G was a much bigger guy than the Glutton one year
March 2009, Tung O Beach Clean-up, Lamma Island South
Although this may not be the spot you
pass by everyday…
and this is not the beach that your dog roams…
it is nevertheless a part of our beautiful Lamma Island.
Tung O Shek Pai Wan is on the south
coast of Lamma Island, with a really spectacular
Large amounts of rubbish were brought on the beach by
the tidal waves and the earlier typhoon, ruining the
coastal environment, causing sanitation problems and
endangering the ecosystem.
To further the public's awareness of
Lamma Island's ecology and environment, Green Lamma
Group together with The Conservancy Association and the
Hongkong Electric Company's Volunteers Team will
co-organise a clean-up of Tung O Shek Pai Wan Beach.
Power Station Beach, as an open,
non-regulated, unrestricted beach (unlike the
nearby, heavily regulated "public beach" of Hung
Shing Yeh) is being used for many fun
activities. Dog-walking, beach parties, beach
volleyball, dragonboating, outriggering, even
occasional yoga classes and pagan events are all
welcome. But this is the first time, I've ever
heard of a "Beach Hymns Party", instead of the
quite common beach parties featuring slightly
more modern sounds, audible all the way up to
the Youth Hostel.
The very active and cheerful
Christians of the Lamma Church are getting
together this Sunday to regale and surprise our
diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-culti beach crowd
this Sunday afternoon. Stop by, listen in and
maybe even participate in the singing! Some of
the many beach-happy dogs cajoling in the sea,
surf and sand might do so, too...
El Destroyo -- Psycho-Grooveabilly Powerpunk
("not-too-brilliant-but-ever-so-much-fun photos" &
captions by Dan Peterson)
Destroyo at The Island Bar:
March 6 2009.
"They're my drug of choice". Steve Cray.
(Red Star Rising's main man.)
It's a cold, grey evening
on Lamma, but one that's about to warm up with some
red-hot licks and scorching percussion. Yes, I'm on the
way to The Island Bar for an evening with The Curs and
special guest headliners El Destroyo. This psycho-grooveabilly
powerpunk trio has been creating big waves on the local
music scene for about 18 months now. They made their
Lamma debut at last year's Fun Day to a receptive crowd.
And now they're back. I saw them twice last year.
Missed the Fun Day gig though. It's been about nine
months now, so the show will still sound fresh. Oops,
almost forgot about Roy Stark, who's sitting in with
everyone tonight on slide guitar, sort of played sitting
down like a pedal steel guitar (hopefully covered
myself there). Anyway, it's got to be better than
watching "Baby Ballroom Dancing" on TVB Pearl.
It's about 20:15 and I've
snagged my front-row seat to watch as assorted Curs and
El Destroyo's drummer Tjunde do all the boring roadie
shit. "Test, test, test". "Twang, yodel, etc".
Gradually, more band members are on stage and the
fiddling with wires becomes fiddling with strings. Davy
starts a soft version of "Dueling Banjos" as John,
Harry, Gareth and Ollie become more involved. Tjunde is
guest drummer with The Curs tonight. So, he's on double
drum duties which should cut deeply into his
beer-swigging breaks. It's a tough job, but drummers are
different. Dave clears up a minor mystery for me, saying
that Tjunde is named after African drummer Babatjunde.
And there I was thinking he's Eastern European or
The crowd is swelling. In no particular
order I can see Rajan and John Fox at the bar. Marcus
and Vivian about five feet behind me. A couple of Sarahs
and Sharons. Serena, crowding forward. Jenny, on the
jukebox. Abel, right in front of me. Fred who kicks off
the modern rhythmic dancing part of the show. Reminded
me a bit of the Rocky Horror chorus line. Dean's
chatting at the bar and Maggie has just sidled in with
her omni-present (to me) straw hat on. Don from Pak Kok,
Dan the Barman and Dan the Bastard, milling around,
Steve Cray's been and gone, but promises to do a Dougie
"Awesome bass".Fred (shouting at Gareth)
Right, John Hutton's
talking. "Good evening, we're here to back up El
Destroyo, who'll be on in about 25 minutes, so we'll
warm you up with a couple of country songs". Roy gets
the first solo on "Folsom Prison Blues" and conjures up
a neat meld of Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Glen Campbell. The
Misunderstood were a late Sixties US r n' b/blues band
before embracing freakadelia. Discovered and championed
by John Peel, who brought them to England. Only for the
band to ripped apart by the U.S. draft board. The
survivors stayed on in England and mutated into Juicy
Lucy in the early Seventies. Both bands covered "Who Do
You Love". The Misunderstood did it way better.
Curs are finishing "F P B" and semi-segue into "Hear
That Train A Rolling". All the main Curs are present.
Ollie (not quite so bald and with a fine jazzster's
chinwig) is semi-obscured, but lets loose some banjo
licks. Most of this set is familiar to long time fans.
Harry takes the lead vocal on "I Saw The Light" with
lurching but not drunken participation by the audience.
There's a couple of Louis Jourdan numbers, a rollicking
romp through "Fixing-To-Die" by The Fish. There's a
cover of U2's "Still Haven't Found..." and one new song.
Apparently written by John while down in the dumps or
having a dump, it's a hillbilly C n' W sad song of
cheating hearts and gold shafts and never-ending bar
bills versus always empty bottles.
John is a marvelously oily and seductive crooner.All he's
missing is a pair of lurid neon Groucho Marx eyebrows to
wiggle for the full surreal effect. Lastly, there's a
tribute to Terry the hard working barman. A jaunty ditty
called "Cowboy Love" sees Terry sharing the stage,
completely unembarrassed. Davy uncorks a gorgeous minor
chord change just before the chorus. A brief attack of
"the dismals" in among the relentless loping cheer. I
was hoping to hear "Surfing Bird" which the band haven't
played since the last DickStock. No joy. This tune, and
John's unhinged vocal scatting is becoming more mythical
to me in its absence. It's like Deadheads waiting for
The Grateful Dead to play "Dark Star". Tjunde has
slotted in so well behind the drum kit, he's nearly
invisible. In a good way, of course.
"How wonderful to dance. More please". Sarah, (on El
There's a bit more
re-wiring and tweaking before El Destroyo kick things
off. The sound is crunchy, driving, twangy and clear.
Fortunately, there's not many vocals, because I can't
clearly understand Dean's patter, when he names the
tunes. The trio are meshing perfectly. Maggie's bass is
thumping, propelling the song forward and anchoring it
as Tjunde speeds up, slows down, rattles and hums around
his kit. Dean has a smash and grab bag of saucy licks
and throbbing lines, sucked up from the last 40 years of
music. He's also got five FX pedals to wreak havoc on.
Not to mention the space sounds that Roy is conjuring up
as well. El Destroyo do range around the rock and roll
clock, using mixes of rumble riffs, surf punk. Spaghetti
western twang and nods to early Beach Boys and Buddy
Holly. The first few tunes soar past at breakneck speed.
The Curs & guests warm-up
John & Harry
Dave the Fiddler
Johnno guesting w/El
El Destroyo in motion
El Destroyo readying for the ferry ride home (note the
Heinekens holstered in Dean's jacket pockets)
The Brown Stripes
Another wild Friday night
in The Island Bar
"Blame John Hutton for everything.
Simplifies things".Davy, (on his frontman)
It's about an hour into the
set and John comes back on. He says "We're going to do a
song for Lux Interior, a singer who died a few weeks
ago." Lux, born Erick Purkhiser in Akron, Ohio in 1948,
was the vocalist and co-leader of The Cramps with his
wife Poison Ivy Rorschach. She was born Kirsty Wallace
and the two of them first met in California, 1972. They
bonded over their love of mutual obscure r' n' r, horror
and grindcore movies, a disdain for hippies and the
political system. While most rock dalliances were of a
I-promise-not-to-come-in-your-mouth.-Oops! nature, Lux
and Ivy were sonic soulmates for life. Lux was
considered by many to be one of the most out-there
frontmen in this solar system. Dressed in gold lame PVC
hipsters and high heels, he spent as much time offstage
as on. Bending over, hands on thighs, he regarded the
audience like a dyspeptic Terminator ready to puke on
maladroits. Or wank on them. Chunny once told me he saw
The Cramps in Glasgow when Lux spent considerable time
demolishing the stage and plunging into the bowels of
the building at the show's end. In the early Eighties
film, "Uurgh! A Music War", The Cramps do a searing
version of "Tear It Up". At one point, there's a subtle,
exquisite lip curl from Ivy. It's fleeting. A
micro-sneer, but brilliant. Lux also used to rival Iggy
Pop for letting it all hang out on stage. Never got
busted though. Remember, this is only a decade after Jim
Morrison got hounded for maybe flashing the audience in
Miami. Of course, Miami had to worry more about cocaine
cowboys ambushing each other on the freeways rather than
willie waggers in concert during this time.
"You guys are TOO good".
again (gobsmacking Dean for a moment).
Anyway, the band and John
have launched into "GooGoo Man". It's the closest I'm
going to get to hearing "Surfing Bird" tonight. John has
captured Lux's movements to a tee and prowls and growls
his way through "The Way I Walk". I'm missing pages in
my notebook while scrawling and I'm not sure of some
remark about spacyecho guitar runs through the forbidden
Outer Limits of the Twilight Zone where a Phantom Menace
is subjugating us to Plan Nine in asteroidal stereo.
Meanwhile, John is mixing Johnny Rotten with Roky
Erickson to open up the lyrics while the Sharon who
isn't with Dan/Jim has her moment on the floor. She's
slinky. Moving like a cat in heat, purring at having her
tail stroked. Weaving slow arabesques in front of Dean
and then retreating. The show has rated a "not bad" from
both Steve Cray and Kelly so far. Steve also tells me
he'd love to hear their version of "Shopping Malls".
He's also happy to be here as El Destroyo have backed
Red Star Rising in the past and it's time to return the
"You're doing a lot of scribbling".
Dean's sung a couple of
bawdy numbers that seem to channel his inner Kevin
"Bloody" Wilson. A famous Antipodean, he's the folk
music equivalent of Billy Connolly. Example. "I saw her
snatch - her purse from the windowsill. She blew me - a
great big kiss" etc. All done in the style of early
vaudeville or The Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band. Apparently,
Dean was in a romantic mood (single) when he wrote that.
It's nearly 23:00 hrs and the band do one last tune before
packing up and catching the last ferry to Central. It's
"Pipeline" and the only tune I know from the start. Dick
Dale does a wonderful version with a twin guitar duel
against Stevie Ray Vaughn. Don't know if Dean knows it,
but he sounds like he's playing both parts. Totally
For those who enjoyed/missed the show and want
to see more, El Destroyo are playing at Grappa's Cellar
on 28/3/2009. They're joined by Lamma's Transnoodle. Go
Jimmy Go who are are soul/surfpunks from Hawaii and the
Italian rockabilly rhythms of Italian band The
Astrophonix. Good gig for those not doing the HK Seven's
or another chance to add to a week of sporting mayhem.
Tickets are $220. Check Grappa's or maybe Johnny
Transnoodle for details.
"Please allow me to introduce myself..."
No need really. It's Dan
the Bastard leading a motley gang of Curs, and Steve
Cray on accoustic guitar, through "Sympathy For The
Devil". Davy's fiddle soars, tingeing the mostly
drum-free performance with a Baroque and roll feel.
Similar to The Animals at their breakout performance at
Monterey. John eventually does a Bonzo imitation,
playing the drums quietly with his hands. Roy is back on
slide. Dave the Bastard is on bass. There's a quick
swing through "Little Red Rooster" and Dan calls it a
night. The final part of the show is The Brown Stripes
(yet, another Lamma collective) revisiting Louis Jourdan.
The query "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" is a tad
ramshackle. Like a Peaches Geldof marriage. Too much for
me right now. Time to go home and pester Marilena. She
knows about these things. Til the next time.
We've had actual "bean-sized hail" in several
locations in HK last Friday and a chilling,
freezing, bitterly cold weekend, at least by HK
weather standards, down to 13 degrees Celsius
ABOVE zero last night. Brrrr! Some parts of the
US and Europe are still suffering snow
storms. So this little story by our Official
Court Pet Correspondent is very timely,
featuring an ex-Lammaite doggie celebrity, eh,
(story & photo captions by Jay;
photos courtesy of Eric's Human Companions, click to enlarge)
Former Lamma Dog
Feels the Chills on 'Death Strip'
BERLIN, Germany – No longer a Lamma Islander, Eric the
Beagle must take precautions to avoid freezing his tail bone.
Winter weather in Berlin can chill even a durable dog right from his
droopy ears to the tip of his tail. Burr!
The former Death Strip has become Wall Park.
Now five-year-old Eric lives in a 130-year-old,
five-storey building in the former East Berlin only 50
metres from where the now-demolished Berlin Wall once stood.
Often, he strolls past a square where a watch tower long
loomed and across the "death strip" where unlucky East
German dissidents died in storms of gunfire when trying to
escape to the West.
Berlin has redeveloped the death strip into a recreational area
called Wall Park. Eric enjoys recreation, and he never formally
studied German history, but a dog with such a powerful snout can
sniff out a lot. Some of the neighborhood's history can give anyone
a few chills, even in warm weather.
Like many ex-Lamma residents (mostly the people, mind you), Eric
uses the Internet to stay in touch with old friends. He poses for
photos, often in the snow, and his humans email the images,
including to Gail, a dog at the home of Lamma-zine's Official Court
Ah, for the old days:
Eric and Gail sunbathe on Lamma.
Originally from Germany, Eric
lived on Lamma circa 2006-08. A fast learner, he soon
adjusted to the tropics and loved to frolic at Power Station
Beach. At other times, he trekked along hilltop trails,
sniffing every inch of the way.
Before long, he ranked among Lamma's
best-known residents. People of the same name sometimes introduced
themselves by saying: "You've heard of Eric, the Beagle. Well, I'm
Eric, the human."
Admittedly, Eric held mixed feelings when he and his family returned
to Europe. On Lamma, life's a beach. In Berlin, sometimes it's a
Do you want to learn about Muscle Response
Testing? Or how to balance your Vision, Chakra
Emotion or even your Brain Integration?
Or how to balance Your Hypertonic Muscles or
even your own Belief System?
Check out these courses by a friend, fellow
Sha-Ponian (Sha Po Village resident) and
long-time, loyal Lamma-zine advertiser:
Kongkretebass have been invited by HK
Live! to open the special Electronica showcase
this March. Headlining the show will be guest band DRIP
from Manila, alongside 2 local bands - both of whom have
previously been involved with club events we organise.
What all performing acts this Saturday have in common
is a mutual appreciation of the electronic dance music
called "drum and bass" as well as great accomplishments
in their own areas.
DJ Wash and I (aka Electronic Mistress) have
been running the successful
KONGKAST music podcast for about 3 years,
organise events, perform as DJs across the region and
produce music. The KONGKAST has grown to become Asia's
biggest drum and bass podcast with thousands of
listeners downloading the episodes every week!
Violent Jokes -- Artwork
by Fish: Anger, Love and War
Also, all four acts (see above) who perform this
Saturday are fronted by female power. (Woot! A big shout
out to all women all over the world!
May the forces of power, courage
and beauty be with you always!). We love live
electronica and look forward to performing alongside
Drip, Synthetic Insemination and Violent Jokes.
The Kongkretebass DJ set
starts 9pm today and finishes at 10.30pm at
the Fringe Club in
Central. before the bands take to the stage. See you
This Sunday, March 8, 10am, Tung O beach. Click above to
Email the GreenLammaGroupto register.
You can walk there together with them, starting in Yung Shue Wan.
Another great and fun way of getting there is by bicycle,
via Sok Kwu Wan and Mo Tat Wan Village, less than one hour.
Another little masterpiece of an eye-catching,
funny, effective and deceptively simple concert
poster by Lamma's Master Cartoonist Harry
Harrison. It made me ROTFLMAO (Google it!)
when seeing it for the first time and that's
quite a rare feat, I can tell you!
Is this another one of those very macabre
anti-smoking ads, Death himself embracing these
3 cigarettes, cheering to welcome the many more
smokers dying soon, if they don't quit right
Harry's trademark mascot above has been
featuring on several of his Lamma posters in
recent years. Is it climbing Lamma's three
iconic landmark chimneys triumphantly (something
I'd love to do!), hugging them closely or trying
to strangle them to stop them from smoking so
much? It almost looks like the mascot is
welcoming Lamma visitors cheerfully with a big
grin and a raised arm!
As this mascot has been around for
a little while gracing our walls
on several concert posters (see below), we might consider
declaring it as the Official Mascot for Lamma!
For now at least, let's call it the Official
Court Mascot of the Lamma-zine for now, if
Harry doesn't object and would accept this great
honour? So, does this mascot have an actual
Well, we'll have to find out by asking Harry in
person, before or after his gig playing with The Curs this
Friday after 8pm in The Island Bar. It's still
THE happening place in YSW with so many events
going on frequently and the only place with
frequent live concerts. I hope that this cute
mascot will make a personal appearance, climbing
all over the bar and maybe even give autographs?
Here are four more quite recent posters