Island Life Studio writes:
"The heat's rising but your workouts don't
have to stop!
90 minute sessions: 30 minutes of Athletic
Agility Training followed by 60 minutes of
intensive T.R.X. Strength and Power Training. No
running, no beach PT.
Short. Sweet. Tough. Results guaranteed.
Begins Sunday 5th July for 8 weeks."
For T.R.X. indoors training examples (ignore the
outdoors beach pictures, no beach and running
this time), click below:
Environmental Forum Co-moderator - writes on Mon, June
(1st photo by Tavis, 2nd one emailed to me
from an anonymous 3-connected mobile phone):
Arriving home this evening on the 5:20pm ferry from
Central, I came upon a commotion outside of the old
Spicy Island Restaurant. It seems that a human skeleton
had been unearthed during excavations for the new sewer
system. These remains had been lying undisturbed beneath
Spicy's front door for an unknown period of time.
So, what's the story? The police whisked the bones
away immediately without attempting to lift any prints
at the scene. Was this the remains of some meddling
environmentalist who stepped on the wrong toes? One too
long overdue on their large bar tab? Or, perhaps the
remains of an ancient virgin sacrificed to the mighty
Typhoon God? Who can say?
Johnny-on-the-spot archeologist judged the urn fragments
to not be that old and mentioned that a skeleton
unearthed around the corner some time previously had
turned out to have only been about 60 years old. I
showed this photo to a long time resident who recalled
that long before Spicy Island, there had been a Chinese
restaurant in this building (20 or 30 years ago she
figured) There had been about 6 skeletons unearthed in,
around, or beneath the building. Apparently customers
frequently complained that the place had been infested
with ghosts. People used to joke that even when nobody
was sitting down to dinner the restaurant had a full
As usual, wild rumours, speculative guesswork
and creative jokes started circulating
"Lamma Succubus unearthed at last, feeding on
the weak and febrile beer drinkers. No wonder
Amar (Spicy Island owner) won so much on the
races, he must have been in league with it"
"...lots of bodies were buried during the war
by the Japanese." (Tigger)
"...spooky history could account for the
acrimonious relations among the owners of this
building that has eventually resulted in poor
Amar's need to relocate? Uncle Russ - BEWARE!"
(Tavis, referring to another (probably untrue)
rumour that this location will turn into an
Uncle Russ chain coffee shop. The owner of the
place wants to tear down the entire building and
rebuild it, not rent it out, I've heard from
usually reliable, inside sources. But they could
be wrong, too...)
Trying to discover the truth, I did a little
interview with our brand-new police chief for
Lamma & Po Toi Islands, Senior Inspector
Philip Kwok. This is what is officially
known so far and also what's NOT known so far:
"On 2009-06-22 at about 15:00 hrs, a "Human Bones
Found" case reported from Kaden Construction worker when
conducting the drainage system works outside of No.23 of Yung
Shue Wan Main Street, Lamma Island.
"In fact, this is the second occasion. According to old
residents of YSW, the subject area was a public burial ground in
ancient times. So far, no criminal elements have been detected
in the case."
The bones have been sent to the Public Mortuary in Ho Man Tin
and will be thoroughly analysed: cause of death, toxicology
test, approximate age, etc. No info at all on age, sex or time
period of the bones is known yet. Results will take several
months; the report from the last set of human bones found in
April behind the Main Street shops, also found during the sewage
excavation works, is also not ready yet. The police's Scientific
Investigation Unit (HK's own CSI team) might get involved as
well later, if suspicions of foul play arise (none discovered so
No clothes, valuables or other artifacts were found. The
front of the former Spicy Island was beachfront in the last
century and there were rumours of beach killings and burials.
The bones, found about 1.5 metres deep, were very old and
brittle, not white anymore, but already decayed into brown or
The police has been asking residents but haven't received any
concrete feedback yet. Any info or leads would be welcome.
Discuss this case in our
Spicy Island Mystery forum.
Great success and HK-wide
appreciation for The Lamma zombie movie
"Isle Be Damned" (click for Nick's review
w/screen shots)! It has been accepted
"I Shot Hong Kong" film festival! It'll
be shown together with the other selections in
The Grand Cinema
in Elements, Kowloon Station (only 1
MTR stop away from the IFC Mall on the Tung
Chung line) from July
2-5 at 12pm, 5pm and 9:50pm. View the
trailer and get your tickets from the
one of the leads and producers of the movie,
"Category III, so only people 18 and over
will be allowed to attend the screenings."
Considering what happens to her and almost
everybody else in the movie...no wonder it's
What this movie will be doing for
Lamma's reputation...the mind boggles. Not only
does it feature the gruesome killings of "Hippie
Islanders", but some easy-to-scare Lamma
visitors might even worry about hiking in remote
areas in the future after seeing this
fake-blood-thirsty movie... Well, Isle Be
Damned, eh, I'll be damned, it's a great movie
anyway and better enjoyed in the quite new, cozy
and plush atmosphere of The Grand Cinema, my
favourite Cineplex in HK (the IFC Mall cinema
usually charges exactly 50% more for the same
movies.) Or be a cheapskate and view
Isle Be Damned on YouTube:
Part 2 (7.28 min).
But you'll miss out on the
other 11 finalists of the
I Shot Hong Kong film festival, just $60
for a ticket to see ALL, including a movie
directed by Lamma's most famous remaining
hippie, Bobsy the Earth Champion:
Save the Human! Don't Eat
the Planet! (YouTube video)
- also featuring numerous talented Lammaites.
Lamma's Got Talent!
(As you might know, the Lamma-zine always welcomes
all points of view, including those that L-G the
Editor strongly DISAGREES with, like the ones below.
This person has been living on Lamma for several years
(loving it at first) and has permitted to publish these
viewpoints honestly & uncensored.)
wants to remain anonymous) writes:
disadvantages of Lamma, from my point of view:
I do not like the lazy expats
drinking beers at 9 am in the morning. They look dirty,
alcoholic and they don't work. It bothers me to look at
them doing nothing.
I do not like the shops owners of
Lamma taking advantages of expats, thinking we're rich,
charging us like hell for some goods and never give us a
smile or a hello. They know we have no other choice but
buying from them. The only polite ones are in the frozen
goods shop and the Lamma Gourmet (in my point of view.)
I do not like the fact that
everyone is so politically correct about Lamma, thinking
we are in Thailand, pretending Lamma is the best place
to live in Hong Kong (for example YOU, Lamma-Gung!)
I do not like the fact that some
dogs owners let their dogs poo all over the village, no
leash. I do not like to have dogs next to me when I eat
in a restaurant.
I do not like most of the
restaurants on Lamma. It seems that none of them can
cook on this island; except me and the seafood
restaurants, but they are too expensive.
I do not like that they closed
Spicy Island because it was my favorite place to go for
a drink and a meal.
I do not like the crowds on the
weekends. Lamma is becoming like Mongkok. I do not enjoy
going out anymore on weekends, because it takes me ages
to pass through the village.
I do not like the fact that the
government makes NO EFFORT whatsoever to clean Lamma and
make it a better place to live, There's too much garbage
all over the places and that's not right. Why do we have
so much rubbish on our island and nobody cares?
I do not like the power station
smoke; they pollute on purpose when the sun has set.
I do not like having been
verbally attacked several times by some British guys who
think we are still in their colony.
I do not like the fact that the
rents have increased recently and are still increasing
now. I think this is not justified because of the power
station. We shouldn't have to pay high rents on Lamma.
I do not like to be well-known.
Living on a small island for a while, you get to be
known too well. I hate to be well-known, preferring to
be invisible and anonymous.
I want to become anonymous again, leave
the island and make a fresh start in a bigger flat
somewhere else in HK.
P.S. A heated discussion immediately started in our forums
about these frank viewpoints. Agree? Disagree?
Join into our "I do not like..." forum!
For more info,
email Scott Sauer (he recently left
Lamma after a 6-year residency to return to his
native Calgary, Canada);
or check out the
bigbox theatre website.
This was one of the very first
new fruits I noticed after moving to Lamma 7.5
years ago. Just weeks after this forum started
on July 23, 2002, this was one of the
very first messages I posted in the already very
"Flora & Fauna" forum:
Anybody know this fruit? This was only
topic #55 back then (up to almost 7,000 topics
Sorry for getting a bit nostalgic here,
but our 7th anniversary is coming up on July 23.
This is an ancient age for usually short-lived
websites, but only half of the number of years I've been
building and running websites in HK.
(Sterculia Lanceolata, 'Fruit of Weaver Maid' in Chinese) fruits are ripe
The photos above were taken this early morning on the top of the
Snake Path to the windturbine, in Tai Ling, just above the
OpenSpace events/community space. This is easy to get
to in under 10 minutes, as it's just a brisk 12 minute walk from Main
Street to Lamma Winds, via the Kindergarten. Sorry for flashing
this fruit, but it was shot upwards, inside dark bushes,
crawling in-between several huge Woodland Spider webs....
They look so much like dates, it's tempting to try one. But in
the 7 years of this topic's existence we still haven't established yet if these
are edible for humans!
Some birds seem to like them and being on a high-fruit diet
myself I wouldn't mind expanding the range of fruit species to
enjoy in my morning müesli...
BTW, these were my
very first photos of these beautiful fruits from back in 2002:
hiking in the hills of Lamma these days,
there's life and death drama all around you.
Insects and other creepy crawlies engaged in
mating rituals, food fights and death battles,
often at the same time; for example the huge, very colourful
but harmless female Woodland Spiders.
They are occasionally eating their tiny red
males (see right) after mating, or feasting on
the many extremely noisy, shrill cicadas getting caught up in their webs
The forest trees are full of these huge and
spectacular webs now, often exceeding 1 square
metre in size, spanning between trees several
metres up, for example along the Snake Path and
the upper Cable Routes. Looking up, there seem
to be several big spiders floating in the sky
above you. This is a yearly summer season
phenomenon, I wrote about it last year as well:
Spiders in the Sky:
- Back - Close-up
1. A wild pigeon inspecting our balcony flower
2. The (semi-public) Yung Shue Wan swimming pool with
high-diving platform is open now! Jump at your
own risk, no guarantees of survival...
3. YSW Harbour; Lamma's Daily Sunset Watching
Season has just started.
Why leave home at all on a hot and muggy Sunday
afternoon? There's more than enough action and
beauty to watch and enjoy live, even without
leaving your Lamma flat, see above. These
pictures were all taken from my YSW rooftop flat
today, while I was hiding from the invading
swarms of weekend visitors, recovering my aching
abdominals from my first-ever T.R.X. Bootcamp 2
session, image-processing future
Lamma-zine photo galleries, and "assisting" a
friend to cook a yummy Chinese dinner for us.
Home Sweet Home!
Click on poster above for course details (Word format
Island Life Studio?
Weekly Schedule (from June 17)
Photo gallery of Bootcamp 1:
Fred the Personal
climbing Mt. Stenhouse tomorrow, it's a difficult climb,
This was one of the first
sentences spoken to me by Lamma-Gung. Many of us have
known L-G for years and him speaking those words only
one year ago would have many of us chuckling and lining
up to make bets.
"Bet he doesn't even get to Sok Ku Wan?"
"Bet he gets a medevac?"
thought this might be the first and last time I would
meet him. I had approached L-G, as a certified personal
trainer with many Lamma clients, to help with his weight
But now it seemed it was
all over before we had even begun. I had been up Mt.
Stenhouse about a month before and it was a long and
arduous walk with a lot of unstable and potentially
dangerous rock. I saw disaster in the making and kept an
eye on Stenhouse the next day for that rescue helicopter
that never came. So started the many surprises L-G has
L-G, to even his own
amazement, has become a poster boy. He is one of less
than a dozen patients in Queen Mary Hospital who've
weight loss surgery (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy). He's by far been the most successful one
with his results (some lost only 10 pounds after the
same operation). Accordingly, he's become an example to
which now future patients are compared in the world of
L-G and I meet only once a
week and I only joined his fight against fat when he had
already lost 50kg. He's up to
70kgs now and
100% drug-free. He has done this mostly on his own
through sheer hard work and persistence. We have done
hikes, gym work, core exercises and recently I've begun
to teach L-G to box. He definitely does not float like a
butterfly or sting like a bee, but we are working on it.
His recent forehead injuries and eyebrow stitches were
NOT caused by our boxing, despite some rumours, but by a
stumble while hiking in the woods.
Next time you see L-G, try
to remember how much of him is missing. He is now
completely off medication (from a high of 7 different
drug prescriptions for weight-related problems), he is
climbing mountains (how many of you have been up Mt.
Stenhouse?) and leading a life that only one year ago he
L-G at his heaviest ever
was almost 180 kgs in 2000 and currently resides at the fighting
weight of just below 100 kg. That weight loss is the
equivalent of more than the total weight of most people,
or two of the biggest monkey species in the world. L-G
had not one, but two monkeys on his back. You try carry
that kind of weight.
As a next step, he's
Island Life Studio's
Bootcamp 2, trying to lose the last 10 kgs,
getting below 200 pounds, basically halving his peak weight.
If you're interested in
intensive, flexible & completely personalised training
on Lamma for yourself,
contact me via L-G, please.
Dumbbell Flys & Donkey Kickbacks
workout plan for the Island Gym:
10 reps Lat Pull-down machine
10 reps One Arm Dumbbell Row
10 reps Dumbbell Bench Press
10 reps Dumbbell Flys
Bridge, 3x, each lasting 15-30 sec.
10-12 reps Dumbbell Curls
10-12 reps Triceps Press-down
10-12 reps Donkey Kickbacks
2 sets of each exercise.
When you get to the point where you're doing this
with ease 2-3 days/week, you can add another
extra set to every exercise so that you will be doing
the whole circuit 3x.
P.S. L-G has been adding 2 sets of 15
repetitions of circuit training on all of the Island Gym's
weight training machines.
Plus 3x 1-hour power hikes/week, usually to
Lamma Winds and beyond, 6:30-7:30am.
Plus 1-2x hikes/bike rides to Sok Kwu Wan and
beyond every week.
Lammalite - "An expat from the UK, now taking
it easy on Lamma Island":
(abridged & republished with friendly permission from
his excellent blog,
Lamma Dao - Musings of an Islander):
Running on Lamma - can
be hazardous (Pak Kok Village)
Finally, the weather (if it's not torrential rain,
it's scorching hot) combined with the lack of anywhere
flat to run has persuaded me to join a gym again....
Since leaving my last job – and therefore the
convenience of working right above Pure SoHo – I have
been trying to get some runs in here on Lamma. This was
just about bearable in the winter but recently the
narrow crowded paths, killer hills and sapping humidity
has been completely putting me off. So I've bitten the
proverbial bullet and joined
the "Island Gym" – the Lamma gym.
And what a great experience. The ground-floor gym
used to be run in a traditional manner, with a beauty
parlour on the first floor (second if you're American).
But it wasn't profitable and shut down just over a year
ago (I think.) The current tenants run their own
e-business on Lamma and went down to see if they could
buy some of the old equipment. One thing led to another
and they ended up taking over the running of the gym.
With an average membership of below 35, a
conventional business model was never going to work
here. The time and/or wages to have someone on-site
during opening hours simply cannot be covered by
membership fees. So the gym (uniquely in my experience)
is run not just as a private members' club – but
Such is the trust shown in their members that before
I'd even arranged my first payment, I was handed my key.
Members are encouraged to limit their use of the gym to
the hours between 5 am and 11 pm (in deference to the
local residents) but otherwise it's 'open house'. Users
are responsible for the lights, air-con, dehumidifier
and windows (apparently it's a favourite hangout for the
local cats if their left open). A water cooler is kept
topped-up and glasses provided (to be rinsed after use),
and there is a none-too-shabby stereo for playing CDs or
hooking up iPods. There are even spare towels in case
you forget your own.
I've talked about the common view of Lamma as being a
place that washed-up hippies gravitate towards, but I
honestly can't think of (m)any other communities where
an initiative like this could be so successful. The
managers (Rick and Soli) say they run the gym purely as
a non-profit service for the neighbourhood and it's true
that I've never used such a friendly gym. Sure, some of
the equipment is a bit suspect – or missing entirely –
but I think it's great. Colour me very impressed. And
boy, has it made running a more pleasant experience!
P.S. For more info & membership ($350/month),
contact the Island Gym.
Browsing the web for you about all things Lamma,
it's usually only all the touristy stuff I can
find. You know, very basic travel guides with
1-2 boring pictures, blog entries and pictures about
"Went to Lamma, had seafood, walked the family
trail,..." Not exactly exciting for people
living here already or familiar with Lamma.
But occasionally, rarely, I come across
something that makes me go Wow! This is a fine
dindin, a HK girl and advanced
student of the
PoleDivas HK. These pictures are from her
"Addicted to Pole Dancing" blog,
probably the first-ever pole dancing photos
taken on Lamma? She
"Went to the Lamma Island (南丫島) today, saw
this "pole-able" street pole on the way from Sok
Ku Wan (索罟灣) to Yung Shue Wan (榕樹灣), so decided
to do a stupid impromptu act.
"There were a few elderlies sitting opposite the pole
while I was doing the climb (see the pic on the right)… They
warned me of the "sharpness" of those signs! They were all
saying "Be aware of the signs! Their edges are really sharp!!"
You know, I was sooooo touched, coz I thought they were going to
say I was crazy (I was expecting loads of "Chi sin!"). Once
again, this proves that the islanders are a lot friendlier than
"However… my friends reminded me that there might be dog
pee… ooppps! So be aware of dog poo poo and pee pee in the
Here are some even more amazing
pole dancing photos of dindin, plus
Click for photo gallery, © by Bob Davis
Dawn Roughsedge - "El Capitano", Lamma
Ladies Dragonboat team:
(Photo by Bob Davis: Season-end Luau party, Man Fung
Rest., Sat, Jun 13 '09)
The women and
The season was ridiculously short at
only 25 total practice sessions (12 1/2 weeks) and there
was enormous pressure (from El Capitano) to attend all
sessions. The ladies being paddle fanatics generally
rose to the challenge and we managed to hit a few team
records this year:
· 3 boats on the water when training
. 2 boats out every training session
· 2 women's teams entered for Lamma 500
· 1,000m race at Lamma 500
· 70 Lamma paddlers at races in Boracay and Deep Water
· Record breaking new paddlers and returning oldsters
with 40 women now in
the women's team
For the first time in a long time, we
also fielded a mixed team. The team only had 2 official
practice sessions and then were thrown together in the
competitions and told to go paddle like fury (or
something along those words) and so the results are even
more rewarding and gives us a great base to do better
The mixed team at Disco Bay saw
the fastest time of the day out of 35 teams proudly
displayed as Lamma Dragons in the No. 1 spot. In the
final, we were pipped into 3rd by a team that stood up
and paddled and one that beat us fair and square, but we
were very happy with the result because we know we can
better it next year!
The ladies team, after a bit of a wobble
at the Lamma 500 - when the B-team beat the
A-team - recovered, found their focus and fighting
spirit and successfully defended their crown at Disco
Bay to stay in the No. 1 spot. The HK
Internationals were especially rewarding in the
women's team managed to beat our old (friendly) rivals
Stormies, but also the official Hong Kong Team, a
Next year, 2010, is The Biggie, the
WORLD Championships in Macau on 30/31 July. For the
first time ever, Lamma will be on the water training for
that race before Christmas - in Santa hats probably!
Our haul of
2nd Shatin 10th Anniversary Event
3rd & 4th Lamma 500 Cup Final Women
1st Discovery Bay Women Cup Final
2nd Internationals (local women) Cup Final
4th Internationals (international women) Cup Final
4th Deep Water Bay Mixed Plate Final
6th Lamma 500 Cup Final Mixed
3rd & 4th Green Island Mixed (fishermen's series)
3rd Discovery Bay Mixed Cup Final
6th Internationals (international mixed) Cup Final
Kevin Harrison - Captain of Lamma Dragons
This year has been a record year for the
Lamma Dragons. I know you have heard from Dawn about the
women's AND the mixed teams (very
exciting!), but we have also taken the men's team up
Our membership is up by 2/3 to 30 which
has allowed us to run awesome training sessions with two
boats racing each other (3 boats for mixed training!) We
took a full men's team to the Boracay International
Dragonboat Festival. We ran men's AND mixed teams in all
competitions but the first of the year. We are planning
on expanding membership further next year. As you know,
it is the Year of the World Championships! A very
exciting time for the teams!
2009 men's race results:
10th Hong Kong Dragonboat
Championship, Shatin: 6th in final of 500m; 3rd in
semi-final of 200m.
Boracay International Dragonboat
Festival: semi finals of 500m and 300m races.
Lamma 500: 6th in the plate final in
the 500m; 5th in the 1000m mixed.
Green Island, Lamma: 3rd in men's
Discovery Bay: 8th place, but second
heat was cancelled. We would have made the final and
therefore the top 6, I'm sure!
Hong Kong Internationals, Shatin: Men
8th in plate B FINAL (1.24 seconds off 2nd place!).
Today, let me present the very
best Lamma-related stories I've found recently
all around the WWW. Click on the headlines to
read the full stories with pictures:
(written by a Lamma
mother, photo by
"Usually there are a few
birthday parties every month and then the
handful of weekly play date invitations, as well
as the monthly outings to a larger event or
venue off of Lamma. Don't forget the
neighborhood kids that just started knocking on
our door regularly.
"I know parents who can't
discipline their kids, others who over
discipline, some who can't stop screaming,
others who are over cautious, and some who let
their toddlers run around Lamma with no adult."
What to see on Lamma Island
(About.com travel guide, photo by
"This 13sq km island is home
to just 5000 residents and is popular with
western hippies, revolutionaries and drop outs.
Covered in a thick rug of jungle, the draw for
tourists is the handful of relaxed villages,
superb seafood restaurants and stretches of
empty golden sands.
"This appealingly ramshackle
village is great way to spend a few hours,
either enjoying cake at an organic coffee shop
or a cheap pint at the scattering of expat
orientated bars. Don't expect the glitzy glamour
of Central or Kowloon, the restaurants and bars
here are easygoing back garden set ups, but they
have a charmingly unpretentious appeal."
Back, with an advert
(by "an expat from the UK, now
taking it easy on Lamma",
"First, to get some
stereotypes out of the way. Yes, there are some
washed up old hippies here; and yes, there are
an abundance of freelance journalists and
full-time environmentalists here too. But the
common perception of Lamma does a great
disservice to the fascinating diversity of
"...pass the returning
commuters (lawyers; company directors; salesmen;
and, yes, the odd kung-fu or yoga instructor, or
part-time teacher) as they hit the bars of Main
Street and pick up their vegetables from the
grocery stores or market stalls. Before too
long, you'll see another side to Lamma.
Subsistence fishing or farming villages abound,
each one a fascinating slice of 'the old Hong
Vivien Jones -
(Photos by Banyan House. Click to enlarge)
With the long, hot summer months ahead of us, many
parents are looking for creative and constructive ways
for their children to spend the long summer holiday.
Banyan House, the early learning centre which opened
last year, is running a series of courses for both
primary and kindergarten children. Based around the
three themes of 'Fantasy and Fables', 'Experiencing
Nature' and 'Exploring the Elements', the children will
enjoy plenty of age-appropriate arts and crafts, story
telling and creative writing, gardening and nature
walks, and much more.
Each course runs for two weeks and parents can choose
to sign up for one or more courses during July and
Banyan House is located in leafy Yung Shue Long
Village, just off the main path and conveniently close
to the village. The house is an airy, bright bungalow
with a great outdoor space for outdoor toys, play and
For more details, go to
www.BanyanHouse.com.hk or call Vivien on 9489
4487 or Catherine on 9835 3552.
June 29th - July 10th:
Fantasy & Fables
Activities will include making wands and swords,
baking and icing fairy cakes, making and colouring
castles, story-telling, songs and fantasy play.
July 13th - 24th:
Activities will include planting seeds, modelling
creatures and insects using different types of
materials, leaf rubbings, and nature walks.
July 27th - August 7th:
Exploring the Elements
Activities will include baking, decorating candles,
watercolour painting, creating bubbles, sand & water
sculpture and play, and creative felting.
Kindergarten: Mon + Wed + Fri,
$1,200 per course.
Primary: Tue + Thu, 9.30am-11.30am,
$800 per course.
(Animated ad by L-G)
Where on Lamma?
Inside the cement factory in the Lamma Quarry,
machinery abandoned decades ago, opposite Sok
Kwu Wan in Picnic Bay.
These are just a few recent photos from another
one of my biking excursions into this bird
paradise, devoid of any visitors, with a sweet
water lake and island, restored to a
quasi-natural state by the govt. More photos
Returning home from an occasional foray off-island a
friend alerted me to the fire brigade in full action behind our
million-$ public toilet besides The Island Bar, clearing a
fallen tree from the top of the toilet building. Always on the
ready with a photo/video camera along wherever I go, this
wannabe amateur photojournalist sprang into instant reporting
mode and took a few snapshots. Ladders, ropes and a chainsaw put
to good use by almost 20 firefighters in full uniform provided
some unusual entertainment for the curious crowd gathering.
If you spot
anything happening and in progress around Lamma Island that
might be of interest to the Lamma-zine, then give me a call at
the phone number at the top of this page, anytime, 7 days and
nights per week! Always ready, like a virtual firefighter, ready
to follow the smoke and occasional fire of an interesting story!
A Lands Dept Notice has popped up
on the Main Street noticeboard, announcing the
planned building of a new police station next
year, right at the waterfront, just behind the
Football Field besides the public ferry pier.
This would replace the current Police HQ above
Hung Shing Yeh beach:
A heated debate started up in our
New police station forum, residents
wondering about the need, reasons, size (4,000
sqft), cost ($14+ million) and prime waterfront
location of this project. Several objections
were submitted to Lands Dept. Here's an official
Jun 8: Get Published!
Ms Karina KWAN, for Commissioner of Police
(responding to dragon's objection letter):
I refer to your email dated 7 June 2009
relating to your objection to the proposed new Police
Station in Yung Shue Wan.
Firstly, may I provide you with some background
information regarding the planned new facility. The
existing Police Post (near Hung Shing Ye) is an old
structure occupying a strategic hillside location that
is some distance from the main residential areas of Yung
Shue Wan. For this reason, a 'temporary' Reporting
Centre has been located over an extended period near
Yung Shue Wan pier for the convenience of residents.
Although it is not always possible to man this centre
due to resource constraints, there is an emergency call
button installed on the structure. For your information,
Lamma Island comes under the policing responsibility of
Cheung Chau Division and the only Police Station as such
(where detained persons are processed and held) is
located on Cheung Chau.
Due to the present post's isolated location, the
Police have repeatedly sought a purpose-built facility
in a better position and, for the past few years, we
have secured a site opposite the football pitch /
playground area you mention (which is also conveniently
near to the Government helicopter landing site).
Nevertheless, over the past few years, funding
submissions for the construction of the new post have
been unsuccessful due to other competing Government
priorities (this is why the Drainage Services Department
have had temporary use of the site for the past couple
of years). More recently, however, the project has been
given a higher priority and hopefully, construction of
the new Police Post will commence in Financial Year
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that
the proposed Police Post will be a fairly modest affair
and is aimed primarily at providing a better service to
the residents of Yung Shue Wan, including persons with
disabilities. Needless to say, the new post will offer
better facilities for police officers serving on the
island, and the addition of female changing
accommodation will provide extra flexibility with regard
to the deployment of female officers. You may be
interested to learn that we have also sought funding in
the current financial year for an electric police
vehicle to enhance coverage of the Yung Shue Wan / Pak
Kok areas. Once the new post is commissioned, the old
one will be returned to the Government while the
Reporting Centre is likely to be destroyed.
Your concerns regarding the likely disruption and
noise caused by the construction of the Police Post are
noted, but hopefully such inconveniences will be
mitigated by the longer-term improvement in public
services not to mention aesthetic improvements to the
immediate surrounding area, for which there is general
Finally, I note your apparent frustration concerning
the lack of English-speaking officers on Lamma Island. I
regret that it will always be difficult to guarantee the
on-scene availability of officers with the requisite
fluency in languages other than Chinese but, generally
speaking, most officers are capable of communicating in
Nevertheless, the special status of Lamma Island has
been long recognized and this is why an Inspectorate
Officer post is established for the island. The present
Officer-in-charge of Lamma & Peng Chau is Senior
Inspector Philip KWOK Chi-keung. Should you have any
further queries, he may be contacted on tel. 2982 1577
you may prefer to contact Superintendent Alasdair
Watson, Deputy District Commander of Marine Port
District who has oversight of Cheung Chau Division, on
tel. 2555 4419 or email:
I hope the above information answers some of your
Is there something you wanted
your fellow Lammaites to know, any local topic
close to your heart, a rave or a rant about
anything? The Lamma-zine is YOUR place to reach
a much wider audience than in our forums.
Letters to the Editors, even entire stories are
always most welcome and will be published if
they're at least vaguely Lamma- or
In Chinese, English or bilingually, please; it
can be anonymous if you prefer, with your
identity protected, of course. Only minor
editing will be applied and you can include
digital pictures, artwork, scans, sound, even
The very best time of the year to photograph
bugs is coming up, so get your gear ready, if
you're one of the surprisingly numerous Lamma
Bug Photographers. According to
(who's giving local work shops (only $250) on
this subject), you'll need:
dSLR), long lens, macro lens, tripod, memory
chips, reader, flash, insect repellent, and sun
I've just gifted myself a monopod, a tripod with
only one leg. It's designed to do double duty as
a fancy walking stick. So I can hopefully avoid
future literal stumbles during my Stumbling
Through the HillsTM hiking
expeditions. Yes, my recent black eye,
laceration and abrasion are almost OK now,
thanks for asking.
For your inspiration, a few photos from Lammaite
Rambo Lai's "Photos and the Days" photo blog:
It's all free to sell/trade off YOUR stuff
Sunday, June 7, 11am-1pm @ Island Life Studio
Click posters above to enlarge, call 9286
P.S. I: We received this after-event email from the Island
It seems like this Lamma-zine story attracted a lot of new
people to the sale!
"Thank you all for your support for our Yard and Bake Sale
It was an absolute success (I'd never seen so many people
I've never seen before show!) so we will try it again on the
first Sunday of July (05.07.09) again
from 11:00-1:00 - please let me know if you'd like to
set up "shop" to sell off your treasures that are taking up
valuable space in your home!
We can only accommodate 6 vendors inside the studio (where
the air conditioning and food is) and several others outside
(depending on amount of space needed). If you're interested
submit your requests ASAP to reserve your space."
P.S. II: Photos:
Moving season, loads of people
moving on, into and out of Lamma these days.
Check out our currently
hyperactive and all-free
Buy & Sell, Rent & Let forum to post
your own classifieds with or without images (up
to 5, up to $200KB each.)
Nick the Bookman - Official Court Correspondent
(Photos by Jay Scott Kanes)
Fun in Filmland
Well, I'm back. Completely recovered from my grisly
demise and ready for further adventures in Filmland.
There's a serious review to write so no time for falling
apart. Going to pieces. Losing my...(yes, we get it.
You've milked this for enough bad witticisms and bloody
comments!). For those of you living in lockdown or
somewhere in the 19th Century, I'm referring to the
rather excellent Lamma Zombie movie "Isle Be Damned"
that's now up on YouTube. If you haven't seen it yet, do
so. You'll enjoy it. Let all your mates know as well.
standard or HD formats
(click on the HD button below the image:
Part 1 (7:23min) &
Part 2 (7.28 min).
It's the evening of Saturday, the 30th of May. Dave
Parker and myself are on the way to Elements (just above
MTR Kowloon Station, 1 stop from ifc mall) for the
premiere of Alba Rayton's Lamma-based film "Masks". It's
the Hong Kong International Film Academy Graduation
Screening and four films will be shown. Two talented
students, Alba and Kirsten Bucholtz, will be awarded
their diplomas in Digital Filmmaking at the end of the
program. But, first we've got to find the Grand
Cinema...it's near the Ice Rink, follow the signs to
There's a crowd of about 50 people for the show.
Mostly cast and crew and some officials. From Lamma,
there's me and Dave, Bob Davies and Dick(stock) Jones.
John, the lawyer, and his daughter Kathy are here along
with Jay Kanes and his wife.
Lamma-Gung was meant to be here, but is in hospital
instead getting examined and stitched up. Apparently, he
slipped and fell while covering one of Bobsy's
praiseworthy vegetative rituals (i.e. children planting
trees in the Lamma Forest), scraping his forehead,
blackening his right eye and lacerating his eyebrow with
his heavy, long-lens dSLR camera. Anyway, it's time to
enter cinema #10 (out of 12 screens) as the show's about
Academy Director Richard Wong introduces Kirsten
Bucholtz who gives a brief synopsis of her film
"The Red Dragon Lady".
It's the short story of Christine, a wife and mother of
four, who seeks adventure by signing up for a
film-making course. It's a way of validating her life as
she and her husband appear to be drifting apart. Not
much chat and contact as he's very busy at work and the
kids are starting to run wild. Kirsten, who's run an art
gallery in Australia since 1999, uses some stunning
paintings from her gallery as links in the film.
Slightly surreal pieces of balloons carrying famous
landmarks up, up and away. Sort of new beginnings and
fresh starts. Dave, who's a very good artist himself, is
full of praise for the paintings in the film. "The Red
Dragon Lady" ends with all the family growing closer and
celebrating the release of Christine's film.
Unfortunately, Lara Parkins, the actress who plays
Christine, has missed the premiere because she's stuck
in a taxi en route from the airport.
Kirsten introduces a second short claymation preview
called "The Homestead".
Set in Queensland in the early 1900's, it tells the
incredible journey of an old farmhouse that's carried by
hot air balloons around the world. Quite similar to
Pixar's new movie "Up", but conceived independently. It
also reminds me a little of the vast balloon (made from
lacy knickers) that transports
Baron Munchausen around the world and to the
moon. "The Homestead" is animated and directed by Nick
Gribben and should appeal to all fans of "Wallace and
Gromit" or "Shaun the Sheep".
It's time for Alba to taken centre stage. She has two
films in the programme. First, there's "The Birthday
Party", an award winner at a recent HK Gay and Lesbian
Film Festival. It's a moving story of a love triangle
between a gay man, a bisexual man and his straight wife.
It's a bit like "Rashomon" in a way with different
perspectives and secret knowledge that the audience is
privy to, but not the cast. It also leaves you wondering
what the future holds for the star-crossed trio after
the film is over. You care for these characters. Well
worth seeing. Maybe Alba can provide more details for
And finally, there's "Masks".
At about 50 minutes, it's the longest film of the night.
It covers some of the same themes as "The Birthday
Party". There's hints of the sins of the fathers being
re-visited and causing generational damage and despair.
There are secret passions to offset loneliness and the
chance of forgiveness through responsibility. Mostly,
it's set on Lamma and I've got a cameo. I remember "Dan"
the lead character and I shooting a small scene
together, which is mostly whittled away. I've got a
brief side view and most of the screen is filled with
Xena, all waggy at my feet. There's a lot of Lamma
scenes which reflect "reelity" not "reality". For
example, the characters live at the top of Tai Ping,
walk out of their door and through the Fishermen's
Village below O Tsai (near the library). Some scenes
occur in the small temple below Tai Shan and "Dan" walks
home that way at one point. An amusing Twilight Zone
topography of Lamma.
This was a great night out. It's the first time I've
been to a big screen showing since getting a free ticket
to see Peter Jackson's remake of "King Kong" The seats
are comfortable. The screen is big. The sound is
impeccable. The audience deserves high praise for
sitting rapt and wondering. Sucked into the occasion and
enjoying it. NO noisy mobiles. NO screeching kids. NO
puking adults making out in the back row (not that I
could see anyway). All the films unfold at their own
pace. There are some nice ideas that bounce and echo
over all four films. Balloons are a recurring theme in
both Kirsten's movies, plus "The Birthday Party".
Kirsten's four children play her family along with
professional actors Lara and Henry who are mum/dad.
Alba's son, Simon, stars in both her films. Actress JoJo
Yee has roles in both films as well. Two very natural
child actors, Alex and Mikaela Cherfan are the young
stars of "Masks". Their mother Lisa, is involved behind
The music for both of Alba's films is scored and
created by the same people. Apologies for not getting
their names. It's difficult to write down everything in
a pitch-dark theatre with the credits rushing past.
Overall, the whole program reminded me of some of the
top DJ's who can spin a song/tune out over several other
pieces of music. Looping back for another chorus. Or
hitting a brief variation in the beats. All the little
ideas creating a gestalt mega-meta movie. I don't think
it was an intentional idea by Kristen and Alba. Maybe,
just great minds think alike.
It's coming up to about 20:30 and the show is over.
Lara has just arrived and is introduced to the audience.
The casts and some of the crew have taken their bows.
Alba pays credit to her husband John who was the source
of all funding. John briefly mentions that today
(30-5-2009) is their 38th Wedding Anniversary, so many
congratulations are hereby proffered. Richard has given
Alba and Kirsten their diplomas. Most of the audience is
staying for catch-up drinks and discussion. I've managed
to chat for a moment with Lara and with Simon before
legging it to get the 21:30 ferry home. The 2009 Lions
are playing their first match in South Africa about now.
Time to ruck and rumble...
P.S. by L-G: Masks has just been nominated in the "Student Film
International" category of the
"Heart of England" International Film Festival in Tamworth, England,
and will be competing with movies from Singapore, UK and South Korea, being
shown on June 10. We'll keep you posted on the results!
Alba has offered to screen Masks in my home after her return from the UK in
about 1 month.
me if you'd like to be invited.
I've always wondered about the truth behind
stories from Senior Lammaites about the infamous Lamma
Gravity Pockets. They are rumoured to appear spontaneously
in unlikely locations, sucking unwary people in, making them
fall over and hurt themselves. As this usually happens late
at night and in the close vicinity of bars, I wasn't worried
much about becoming a victim myself, till last Saturday!
to be continued...
My Wound Care Referral form commands me to
attend daily wound dressings in the Lamma Clinic for my eyebrow
laceration and forehead abrasion...
to be continued...
Inside Lamma's famous mini ambulance crawling through the Main
Street crowds on a Saturday afternoon, my first-ever time inside
an ambulance as a patient.
Read last month's stories...
started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything
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