View of Yung Shue Wan, seen from Lamma Forest
above Pak Kok Village
Anybody know this fruit? (11+ inches long!)
Forest fruits and seed pods harvested in the Lamma Forest.
Would these grow in my new rooftop garden? Let
P.S. An Alert Reader has come
forward to tell me that this funny, bright green
seed pod above is actually a
Goat's Horns (Strophanthus
divaricatus), one of the four most toxic plants
in HK! An unusual and rare discovery in the
Click for more info.
Lamcombe Rest. for dinner, who's passing by on
his trademark racing mountain bike, heavy tripod
and full camera/lenses gear, ready and eager at
any time of day or night to take more
magnificent panoramic "long photos" for our
viewing pleasure? Yes, it's
Siuyu, one of
the very best mountain bikers of Lamma, RTHK TV
documentary subject, founder of GreenLammaGroup
and all-round nice guy. See more shots by him
and his friends in the
long photo forum.
Submitted by Rachel Lo,
Hans Andersen Club:
please find our latest newsletter for your kind
posting on Lamma.com.hk.
I attach the time table for our summer
programs as well. Our center will be open from
9:00am – 5:00pm in July and August. All of our
summer programs will be hold as scheduled. Yet,
in order to prevent Swine Flu, all participants
are required to wear face mask when entering our
center. Thanks a lot,
Rachel LO - Center-in-charge (Lamma Center) - Hans
No. 19, Tai Wan New Village, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island
Tel: 2982-2173 - Fax: 2982-2193 - Website:
Hans Andersen Club Newsletter (Jul-Sep '09, pdf,
Summer '09 Program Table (pdf, 412 KB)
Is this a catchy headline or what? It's a bit
different from the usual positive-news feel of
the Lamma-zine, but expressing some of the more
extreme minority views of our very diverse
community. Far from being just the "Peace, Love,
Lamma" island many of us like it to be, there
are some local topics getting many Lammaites
riled up and upset quite frequently. Especially
dog-related issues are at the top of the list
for occasionally very heated debates in our
forums, sometimes escalating into personal
verbal attacks and hurt feelings, but no
fisticuffs and physicalities yet as far as I
If you're looking for evergreen local hot issues
and flame wars, check out these recent topics
which have been steaming up the forum in some
form since the start of this website seven years
ago and which have basically remained unchanged
and unresolved during all this time:
Dog Poo Poo everywhere
Lamma Ferry Service
Have you ever visited Lamma Island's very own
island, located inside a man-made lake in the
former Lamma Quarry, opposite Sok Kwu Wan
(Picnic Bay)? Whoever is missing a swimming pool
on Lamma, here it is - huge, empty, beautiful,
no chlorine and no life guards. It could be a
great way to cool down after the 1-hour hike or
bike ride from Yung Shue Wan or Sok Kwu Wan,
using the sole entrance close to Luk Chau
Village, beyond the Youth Hostel. Lazy people
could get a sampan from Sok Kwu Wan, but that's
missing out on the great fun of getting to this
sweet water lake with its swarms of very
The Lamma Quarry is also beautiful, mostly flat
biking territory and a visit to the overgrowing, decaying-gracefully,
former Cement Factory
is already worthy the price of the (free)
admission. Say hello to the factory guardian
from me, a chatty, cheerful and fully bilingual
fellow. As some of the factory area is zoned for
future commercial development, go to see it
before it'll change dramatically...
Click for L-G's photo gallery
Some photos really speak for themselves, like
the one above, and not many words of commentary
are needed. Just two words from me:
Want to see a few more of my pictures from every
Saturday's Capoeira (Brazilian martial arts
click for more info) lessons for adults
and kids in the Island Life Studio with
C. Mestre Jo Oliveira (email,
Stop by for a Capoeira trial lesson on
Saturdays or simply have a look-in or
sign up for yourself and/or your kid(s)!
It looks like so much fun, I might even dare to
try it myself someday soon!?
See the busy
Island Life Studio schedule below for
some more of the many activities happening in
this wonderful, inspiring and already very
successful community center. It's still just a
baby, less than one year old, but see above how
high it can kick already!
Disclaimer: As part of my current
6-days-per-week "Health & Fitness Nut" schedule
I've recently become a "wellbeing member"
of the Island Life Studio,
I've been attending Quite a few of the general (white or black)
classes below myself and enjoying them a lot, so I might sound a bit
like an over-zealous fanboy occasionally. To get
info or enroll in any of these classes, call the
number listed below each class, or
email the Studio.
Phil Whelan -
Morning Brew - Radio 3, RTHK,
preparing to interview Lamma-Gung live today.
Notice his wicked smile...
a few people working in Radio Television HK are
subscribers to my biweekly Lamma-zine email.
Seeing the "7 Years, 2000 Stories, 5000
Messages" headline I was invited to be
interviewed today on Radio 3's Morning Brew talk
show moderated by Phil Whelan. I've done two
RTHK phone-in interviews in the last few years,
but this was my first time in their studio in
Broadcast Drive, Kowloon Tong.
Kowloon Tong is well over 1.5 hours away from
Lamma via at least 3 different forms of
transport, so it was a big excursion for
somebody leaving his Lamma idyll only for
special reasons and not on a daily basis.
I got off the minibus too early as there are
several RTHK buildings along Broadcast Drive and
had to march up the rest of the hill in
sweltering summer heat and humidity.
A fascinating experience for somebody like me
who's listening to Radio 3 streaming over the
Internet much of the day while working on this
Lamma-zine and website.
Here's the archived interview, staying online
for 1 year:
Windows Media Player
poster for Lamma's walls.
It's exactly Jul 23, 09 10:07 right now,
exactly 7 years since this website saw the
virtual light of day in Cyberspace when the
forum went officially started up. The
forum was the first section to go live, started
up by webdog, followed just weeks later,
Sep 4, 2002, by the very
first issue of this Lamma-zine.
It was initially nothing more
than a short weekly e-newsletter (My Lamma
to 56 registered forum members, updating
them on what's new in the fledgling forum
struggling through its baby steps, still very
unsure of its survival but optimistic enough to
aspire to "become THE most influential media
for the island."
Here's the intro of last
week's biweekly Lamma-zine e-newsletter I sent out to
3,600+ registered forum members and
subscribers last week:
"Dear Lamma-zine reader,
"Seven years of Lamma.com.hk,
anniversary on July 23, so hard to believe! What started as only
a little forum for the residents has miraculously grown into
this website with 4.5+ million hits/month, #1 in Google & Yahoo
for all things Lamma-Island-related. If you've ever helped,
supported or contributed in any way to the fine success of this
Lamma community effort, let me thank you here personally and
from the bottom of my heart.
"I've published just above
2,000 Lamma-zine stories from so many writers, artists and
photographers in the last 7 years and I've just posted my own
5,000th message in the forums the other day. My little hobby, my
labour of love has truly grown up now and gotten almost too big
to handle for what is basically still a (grossly underpaid)
full-time, one-man band...
"Hey, any good ideas on how to
celebrate this anniversary would be most appreciated! Your
(positive or negative) emails to the editor about 7 years of
Lamma.com.hk will be published on July 23. Please email me!"
The feedback to this email has
been very interesting and wonderful:
- Dragon Ladies Captain:
Absolutely fair to say that without your dedication
Lamma-zine would never have made 7 years. It's a
fantastic site, you are vastly under-appreciated for
what you do and deserve many many big thank-yous from
all us Lammaites.
Lamma-zine is a great site, used internationally (my
folks and friends back home use it to keep track of me
and the rest of the dragonboat girls) and it has
that fine Lamma uniqueness
about it - quirky, laidback, creative, inclusive and
just goes with the Lamma flow. Keep up the great
work and I hope you keep cajoling, begging, insisting
and coercing us ungrateful slops into contributing
to the 'zine.
A huge thank you from me for all hard-work and keeping
this going for so long! It's a great achievement of
which you can quite rightly be hugely proud of.
Thank you, Dawn.
Island Bar & Waterfront
Staff & Management & Customers:
Congratulations on your 7th Anniversary! You do a great
job keeping the site interesting and up-to-date!
appreciate the effort you put in. Both The Island Bar
and The Waterfront thank you for our regular coverage on
the Lamma.com.hk site.
The Island Bar & The Waterfront - a HUGE
Keep up the
good work, keep the funny side up and keep on updating.
- Director of Education - Specs Howard School of
Broadcast Arts - Southfield, MI, USA
Congratulations from Detroit, Michigan, USA!
your 'zine every time you update, and the unique island
of Lamma occupies a corner of my mind always. I make a
point to visit whenever I'm in HK. My daughter joined me
there last year and she fell in love with Lamma as
bringing a little bit of Lamma to my workplace every few
weeks, for letting me live there vicariously, and
for publishing one of my photos that I sent you a couple
years ago (I know that you're a fellow Nikon user).
passing by in October, would love to buy you a drink!
Natalie - ex-Links
that you do a fantastic job with the website and I find
it extremely useful and informative, as do many others.
that the advertorial was great and thank you again for
including it on the website and making the necessary
As long as
you can't get out of hypcrisy, ignoring all those dirty
crimes in Lamma Island, no one reads your magazine.
I feel honored to have contributed to Lamma-zine, and I
continue to visit the web-page as my way of not letting
go of that wonderful "life raft" found floating off
the HK shore. My regards to all!
7 years already?!?! Time just flies! Congratulations
and thank you for all the great work making Lamma.com.hk
so popular and fun!
suggest to have a party at one of the pubs, like
Diesel's, Waterfront, Deli or Cath's, etc....or even at
all of them to celebrate the big event, though you would
have to do the pub crawl then ;)
I am sure
Joyce, Kumar, Praful & Cath would not mind putting the
canapés out for the occasion. Marketing-worthy for their
business & the website!
I've also been invited to do
another live interview
tomorrow, Friday, in RTHK's Radio 3 studio,
11:40am, with Phil Whelan.
A total solar eclipse was visible in large parts
today, including Shanghai. We only saw a 75%
eclipse in Hong Kong, so some Lammaites made the
long overnight train trip into the Mainland,
hopefully reporting their experiences back to
the Lamma-zine soon.
On Lamma, some of our very best photo- graphers
were out in action with their professional
equipment to get their best
shots, especially local celebrity
Green Lamma Group) on Mt. Panorama (see
right.) I couldn't resist to make a little
animation from a series of 5 photos he took.
Lisa Stella - Chief
Assistant/In-house Photographer & P.R. Executive for the
Astronomer General of the Jack Brooke Solar Observatory:
From a top secret location on a trig
station near the Lamma Winds, the newly opened Jack
Brooke Solar Observatory made a series of
observations using a telescope and a piece of state of
the art paper.
proved, as the photos show, that there was indeed a
partial eclipse over Lamma today. Using an elegantly
engineered hood to keep shadows off the paper, the
Astronomer General and his Assistant kept two small
children engrossed for over an hour and a half. A feat
rarely replicated by other bigger, better funded
Top of the range hood -- Touching the Eclipse
We're moving on Aug 1 to another nearby new
rooftop flat, so our current flat will become
available for rent. Interested?
It's in Sha Po Old Village, 9 minutes by foot
from the ferry, 2/F with rooftop, 600 sqft (same
length as a normal Village House, but 1 metre
narrower, 2 bedrooms plus rooftop study
w/aircon. Great open views over the valley and
even a bit of a harbour view, very sunny living
room as wide as the building, so you get sun
most of the day, from sunrise to sunset. Shot
from living room:
Lamma-Gung's Rooftop Jungle & PondTM
(see below, photographed today) could be wholly
or partially included for a small fee for
anybody interested in a bit of gardening and a
rooftop fish pond. We'll move all the plants and
flowers with us if not wanted.
See more photos.
If you or a friend might be interested in
renting our rooftop flat at only $6,500
and would like more details, please
My rooftop pond 2
years ago, when it was set up by
Keren the Pig Lady & Expert Garden Designer.
1 year ago.
Pond start-up -- two years later
A fellow forum moderator asked me
about my outdoor rooftop pond and problems she's had setting up
her own. I emailed her in detail and then thought that this
might be of interest to more Lammaites who might want to start
Our rooftop pool has been doing
very well over the last two years, see pictures before and
after, on the right. The fish are all very cheap bright orange
mollies and rainbow-coloured guppies, up to 1.5 inches long, no
expensive goldfishes. They seem to like the pond and multiply
happily and prodigiously; there are always tiny pin-size babies
The pool was set up by
Keren the Pig Lady, just a piece of plastic cloth inside
an existing little basin with brick side walls added and
surrounded by a bit of painted wood and bamboo blinds, plus some
stones and pots inside the pond.
The trick to keeping the fish
from overheating is plants for shadow, under and over the water.
I also run a little cheap water
pump circulating the water and dripping it from a few inches
above the water surface, so there's enough oxygen for the fish
to thrive. The pump is running 24-7, but even if it's switched
off for a few days the fish seem to have no problem at all.
only problem I ever had was most of the guppies (see right)
dying during Chin. New Year last year when the temperature
dropped to 11 degrees for several days and nights, the coldest
in HK for many years. The mollies could stand the cold, no
problem, but guppies are more temperature-sensitive.
It's all natural, I never clean
it, no chemicals or additives of any kind and the plants grow
freely, plus just a cheap few plants added from aquarium shops
in Fish Street, Mongkok. 1 or 2 of the same species is enough as
they grow very quickly in an outdoor pond.
As the water evaporates,
especially in the summer heat, you need to add water every few
days or week. It can be simply tap water from a watering hose,
the same one I use for watering the plants, or a bucket. I've
got a tap above the pool and just let it drip all the time a
little bit, just enough to keep the pond at the same water level
at all times. So no need to top up the pond, except after a few
really hot summer days when evaporation is higher than usual.
But the shade from the plants above the pond also reduces the
Feeding once a day or less,
standard fish flakes and occasionally dried bloodworms, cheap
and available in all fish supply stores. Not feeding them when
you're away for a week or so has no bad effect as there's so
much stuff growing in the pond that they can and love to eat.
And they love mosquito eggs and larvae as well, so no mosquito
can ever breed in the pond as their laid eggs will be eaten
That's all I do in the fish pond,
no additional care of any kind, besides a bit of weeding out the
fast-growing water plants every few months to avoid the pond
from growing over completely. It's a natural eco-system and
I'll move the fish and just a few of the plants to start a new
pool on my new rooftop. I really hope the next tenant of my flat
will keep this pond going, so little work, almost no expense and
so much satisfaction....
Lamma-Gung - Forum
(It's an interesting but hardly surprising
coincidence that it was posted in our currently
But & Sell, Rent & Let forum, helping out a
forum member - for free, of course - to post photos of
their stuff for sale.)
Here are the photos from Vene's sale, resized and
By the way, I just noticed
that this is my 5,000th message in this forum!
That's not even counting all the ones that got deleted
over the last 7 years, for example in forums that expire
after 1 month like these classifieds.
A representative was quoted as saying that his
company "...will continue serving Hong Kong
and our customers the way we have always been –
consistent, committed, caring and always
striving for continuous improvement to achieve
total customer satisfaction." For which
Lamma-affiliated company did he speak?
easy? Which is the only Lamma-affiliated company
with such professionally-sounding P.R. people
who'd be proud to express publicly their
"striving for continuous improvement to achieve
total customer satisfaction"?
Yes, of course, it must be HK Electric! They won
several more top public service awards recently,
including "Public Service of the Year 2008"
(Public Utility) in the Customer Relationship
Excellence (CRE) Awards 2008. They are
rightfully proud of them and want to tell the
world in a press release. Their call centre
service also won 5 more individual awards. This
is actually the 4th consecutive year they won
CRE awards in recognition of their outstanding
performance in customer services.
Congratulations! Let's hope HK Electric's
shining example is inspiring the sometimes lax,
laid-back, lackluster and lackadaisical customer
service in some Lamma shops and restaurants with
a "consistent, committed, caring"
HK Electric Receives Top Public Service Awards
[14 July 2009]
Open Space, Tai Ling (half-way up to Lamma Winds on
the Snake Path below the Kindergarten, just
after the bridge under the 1st Cable Road; or
follow your ears and go
up via the 1st and 2nd Cable Road, Yung
DJ party with Lamma's DJ Nipper.
$100 entry (includes 1 drink & Mix CD).
Nick the Bookman -
Official Court Music Reviewer:
plays Open Space - June 19, 2009
It's coming up to 22:00 and I'm puffing up the Cable
Road towards Open Space - the small village house and
garden near the wind fan [Lamma Winds]. DJ Nipper
and Oz are struggling with a trolley load of gear that
keeps getting caught in the ruts on the road - the part
that looks like a concrete waffle overgrown with weeds.
Music fills the air, getting louder as we combine forces
and achieve a sweaty final thrust to the summit. This
road never gets any easier. Be slow, my beating heart.
There's an overnight party to get through.
Open Space has been the site of numerous gigs in the
past decade. Early performances with Beat Suite and Oz
on percussion. Kumi lived there for a while and hosted
many drum jams. Occasional DJs have shown their trickery
on the wheels of steel. Now it's Nipper's turn to
showcase a set celebrating the launch of his Punk Pussy
Records internet label. About 40-50 people should be
coming. Nipper's been doing the biz for nigh on two
decades. His career has embraced various styles and
genres from rap/hip-hop to deep house to minimal electro
and a side order of indie rock and funk. Keep it varied.
Keep it interesting. He's done a few of the beach
parties and brought Peter Hook here for his second DJ
gig in 2007. That was the last time I saw a full set by
him and it's time to refresh my memory.
Tamara (ex-dreads) has taken over Open Space and the
plan is for community-based activities to occur at
regular intervals. Jim, her beau, is the warm-up DJ.
He's using a laptop with several thousand songs to
choose from and playing a wide-ranging set. The
"performance area" is inside the house adjacent to an
unused drum kit. Oz has his percussion on the patio
opposite. I've got a small table to the left to write in
comfort. Almost everyone is chatting outside where the
sound is bouncy and crystal clear. Jim has a small Korg
Kaoss pad which is touch sensitive and emits strange and
wonderful electronic noises and belches over the tunes
that he seems to be mixing through two CD decks. The set
wanders through sweet trance, trip-hop, seventies chart
pop, drums, some scratching and videogame soundtrack
freak-outs. There's various vocals and soundbites dotted
through the mix. Not to mention a brief KK workout from
me, so I won't. (But it was fun.)
Who's here? I can see Tamara, Clivus Nondog, Dave
(the gutted zombie from Isle Be Damned), Oz, Phil and Al
and especially Cassie who deserves her very own
sentence. She's pretty much a full partner with Nipper
in the design and running of the PPR site. She handles
the graphics, flyers, invites to the show etc. All the
unheralded donkey work to keep things flowing behind the
scenes (that's three sentences, but she's worth it.)
Meanwhile, Phil's soundbite of the night is "Vivid
vibrations in Tamara's Open Space with the Punk Pussy".
There's Lloyd (who's the last DJ on the bill) and his
lovely anonymous other half. Plus Swiss Charles who
wrote something memorably incomprehensible in my
notebook. Probably due to the "Rumple" cocktail (white
rum and apple juice) that I've made him drink.
It's about 23:45 and a brief hiatus occurs as Nipper
switches the CD players to two "digital vinyl" records.
They look like 12" records, but are linked to the
computer to enable Nipper to scratch and stutter and
jump-hop throughout his set. At one point he sounds like
a one-man band version of the trio, The Scratch
Perverts. There are soaring beatific breakdowns studded
throughout his four-hour showcase. There's old classics
like "Ride on Time" by Black Box, "Superstyling" by
Groove Armada, and a storming remix of "Sweet Dreams" by
the Eurhythmics. New Order (and Peter Hook) get a look
in now and then. Some teasing hints of "Blue Monday"
mashed into other stuff and the stunning Lee Coombs
remix of "Crystal". There's some fiery rock and some
soppy a cappella vocals. Someone called "Rick Rude"
weighs in quite often with some blinding
hard-cum-minimal-cum-melodic deep-electro that would
have given Timo Maas pause for thought.
The Canadian producer/remixer DeadMau5 engages my
attention with a new version of "Tiny Dancer".
Basically, the highs just kept getting stratospheric and
the lows ripped my innards apart. Deep bass in Open
Space and... Dave Parker has finally arrived with fresh
The lacunae are drifting apart and it's suddenly
about 04:00. Lloyd is on the attack. His arms are
weaving like an ecstatic octopus. The minutiae of
knob-twiddling and sliding faders is enthralling. It's
like watching a possessed Candace Hilligoss freaking out
on the church pipe organ in the seminal twisted thriller
"Carnival of Souls" (1964). It inspired segments of
George Romero's NOTLD among other films and is a cult
classic must-see. It will haunt your dreams. Nipper's
unwinding with Pat and I ask him how much of the set was
pre-programmed. He says it was all free-form. Just
winged it. Bloody well played, mate. You win the Man of
the Mix and Match Award.
As for me, I contributed some electronic sounds,
banged some drums quietly, mixed some cocktails,
finished Roy Keane's biography and wrote some notes. A
superb musical night. For those who missed it, there's
some good news. The next show is on 17/7/09.
Leave now and remember to drink plenty of fresh oxygen
for the hill climb. See you wheezers there. ntb.
Management and Staff - THE
many will know, The Waterfront now has a nice new
kitchen after a total refit.
Up and running fully now, the kitchen is
able to prepare and serve the full menu whilst test
running a few new ideas to be incorporated into the menu
During the period of weeks whilst the
kitchen was being renovated Kumar and the kitchen staff
came up with some great ideas to keep the restaurant
open. With the aid of a BBQ, new recipes were tested and
subsequently served as a limited menu.
Salmon steaks, rib eye and other steaks,
lamb chops, ribs and even chicken in goat's cheese sauce
were featured alongside melanzane parmigiana for the
vegetarians amongst us. Accompanied by a salad and great
crunchy potatoes they made quite a feast. And for those
die-hards there were the ever-popular all-day breakfasts
also prepared on the BBQ.
Feedback has been very good so by
popular demand we plan to run a
BBQ evening on the first Monday of
August. That's Monday August 3rd, by the way.
Watch this space for a list of what will be presented.
Oh yes, finally and MOST importantly, a
BIG THANK YOU to those of you who gave your support by
coming to The Waterfront during what was a very trying
time for all of us!
Lammaites Steve Cray (Red Star
Rising) & Sue Shearman
play bc Magazine's unplugged night, tomorrow,
Thu, July 16, along with Joey and Jingan Young.
Show starts at 9.30pm. The Wanch, 54 Jaffe Rd,
Click for RTHK interview with Sue
Shearman & Steve Cray.
Sincere congratulations to
co. for just winning
Hong Kong's "South China Morning Post Documentary
Award" for their short film,
Save the Human! Don't Eat
the Planet! (YouTube video),
featuring numerous talented Lammaites. There's a very
informative video interview with Bobsy on the SCMP website (Save
the Human!) and a
blog story as well,
Cafe owner's documentary targets carnivores.
I was watching this professionally
produced video promoting vegetarianism in The Grand Cinema in
the Elements shopping mall as part of the screening of "I Shot
Hong Kong" finalists, together with another Lamma movie featuring
the total opposite of vegetarianism: cannibalism! Unfortunately,
the Lamma zombie movie,
"Isle Be Damned" (click for Nick's review
didn't win in its category, even though I voted for it after the
Isle Be Damned:
Part 2 (7.28 min).
My photo gallery of Save
the Human! campaign launch:
These usernames and many similar ones have been
trying to register in our forums recently,
dozens of them per day. As they're very unlikely
to be real, new user names, linked to
"promotional" websites and had suspicious info
in the registration forms (for example, *cheap
Viagra!*), it was obvious that a new wave of
spam registrations has hit our forum recently.
The anti-spam measures I programmed into the
registration program a few months ago have
obviously stopped working and it's another round
in the never-ending war on spammers, hackers,
worms, viruses and other Internet attacks that
are part of life as a Site Administrator running
an open and public forum like ours. I'm already
approving all new registrations manually,
activating them only if I suspect them to be no
spam. None of the attackers ever got a chance to
post any spam in our forums and I've deleted all
forums remain completely spam-free against all
the odds, thanks to the daily vigilance of our
moderators reading all posted messages,
detecting potential spam or offensive messages
usually within hours and then taking action.
Most other forums suffer from infestations
of spam and are often disabled or killed off by it, kind
of like Mikania (Mile-a-minute weed) strangling
and overwhelming some of Lamma's
vegetation during these hot and wet days of
I need to program (PHP language) a new
simple registration question that only a human
interested in Lamma could answer, but not a spam
robot program. The current question, "Which
island is this forum about?", has worked for a
surprisingly long time. Any suggestions for a
new, easy-enough Lamma-related question? Click
on the blinking "Comments" in the weekday
headline ("MONDAY") above!
Sunday morning, 7:30am, in the Football
Pitch, you could have witnessed a really
strange and unusual sight:
Lamma-Gung working out
hard in the weekly Bootcamp 2 session,
organised by the Island Life Studio. It includes a wide range of physical exercises
pushing most of the physical limits of the
handful of participants who sweat buckets,
before continuing in the air-conditioned Studio.
A strange & surprising transformation is taking place
in the life of the Lamma-zine editor. I'm a
former couch potato spending up to ten hours a
day on his (still big) butt in front of his computer
and have never ever worked out regularly since
my schooldays before my recent massive weight loss. This
former Biggest Guy of Lamma has turned into the
Biggest Loser of Lamma, weight-wise, and has started to work
out every single day, becoming a regular in the
Island Gym and also in the community space of the Island Life Studio.
He can also be spotted
frequently on Lamma's hills speed hiking and
biking, but usually before 7am during these hot'n'humid days.
What's going on? Have I
finally gone crazy? Maybe... Doggedly determined to
get into the best shape and reach my lowest
weight in decades (16 pounds to go), I've embarked on a
comprehensive health and fitness programme, with
daily 1+ hours of exercise, 7 days per week. Yes,
I've become one of those people that I was
making fun of just a year ago, those health & fitness-obsessed people who fuss over
nutrition, frequent hydration and varying their
daily fitness regiments, being able to name
their major muscles.
I've been trying to perform exercises
with scary names like supine & prone sequences, glute side-kicks, hamstring curls, speed
ladders, jumping jacks & burpees, volleyball
vertical jump drills, skip rope and plank
position wheelbarrows, with initially very mixed
results and streams of sweat. But I've actually
started to enjoy the Endorphin highs
afterwards, despite often totally exhausting and
tiring myself, feeling sore for days in muscle
groups I couldn't even name just a few months
ago. But the improvements in my fitness,
strength and energy levels have been quite
astonishing and worth all the efforts so far.
Well, quite a number of
the tough activities in the Island
Life Studio are actually kind of fun, like
Pilates on the Ball and T.R.X. (see right). The other (mostly female) class
members are all lighter, younger, prettier and
fitter than me. Well, I may still be FOGLY
(fat, old & ugly) but at least I'm slowly
becoming fitter & healthier and that's more than
enough to make me very happy! I plan to start
yoga and swimming next. And you're most welcome
to call me a Health & Fitness Nut to my face,
even a FOGLY Health & Fitness Nut!
Click for comprehensive photo gallery along the
Today, I've been biking the first Cable Road from
the upper Power Station gate (see above)
all the way to the farthest end of Pak Kok
Village where the massive power cables below the
Cable Road dive under the Lamma East Channel to
power up all of HK Island. Thanks to HK Electric
who built and maintains this road and planted
trees along most of its length.
This is THE most beautiful road on Lamma, IMHO,
just stunning to bike or hike
right now; so green and luscious, partially
overgrown due to almost no traffic of any kind.
It's mostly shaded by trees and you'll rarely
meet another human, even on a Saturday morning
like today. It's all paved or grasscreted (see below right), so not too much to worry about in
terms of dangerous wildlife.
The small, non-threatening
wildlife is just spectacular to watch while you
walk or bike by. Occasionally you might even
pick up a little, harmless hitchhiker, a flying
bug or one of these 1-inch-long, bright-green,
cute caterpillars that are seen abseiling on
their own silk threads from low-hanging tree
branches these days.
Some great news from
#1 "icon", HK
Electric's Power Station:
"HK Electric has marked the completion of the
first of a two-phase emission reduction
programme at Lamma Power Station with the
commissioning of a flue gas desulphurization (FGD)
plant and a low Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) System for
its coal-fired generation Unit 5 earlier this
"With the commissioning of all of the
additional installations and the increased use
of natural gas, it is expected that in 2010,
over 95% of the electricity generated at the
Lamma Power Station will be by gas and
coal-fired units fitted with FGD and low NOx
Read the SCMP story,
Lamma Island power station cleans up its act to
meet pollution reduction targets (copied
from the subscription-only SCMP website) and
HKE's own press release:
HK Electric Completes First Stage of Emission
Control Programme [6 July 2009]
Lamma movie Masks has won the
BEST SHORT INTERNATIONAL Tammie Award at the
Heart of England International Film Festival
in Tamworth, England, June 8-13! All the best
congratulations from the Lamma-zine and myself to
Director & Lammaite
Alba Rayton and
her many on- and off-Lamma friends & family who
created this movie together! Read more about this
and its premiere in these former Lamma-zine stories:
Feb 19: Masks -- Lamma Stars in a Movie
(by Jay Scott Kanes)
Jun 2: Further Fun in Filmland: Masks Premiere
(by Nick the Bookman)
Alba submitted the
pictures below from the festival's Gala Awards
night. By the way,
the Lamma premiere of Masks will be the
highlight of Lamma-Gung's & Lamma-Por's
housewarming party in our new rooftop flat next
Submitted by JAX:
"Attached photos of the python found outside
my neighbour's lawn. It had half of a cat in its
mouth when found. But I didn't get the photo
though, but the cat was saved at the end.
"The Police arrived & they are waiting for the experts
from Lantau to capture the beautiful creature.
"Post the photos on Lamma website if you like."
"A Burmese Python - probably
Hong Kong's largest native snake and apparently quite widely
A blast from the past, submitted by Mark
"Only 14 and a bit years years late, attached
for your delight and delectation, is the
December 1994 edition of The Lamma Bugle
* the most recent exploits of the
new Lamma Cricket team,
* the infamous DickStock Chili of 1994,
* yours truly and other 'Lamma Loonies' who did the Macau Marathon,
* latest from the Lamma Ladies Dragon Boaters,
"as penned by Bob Biro, aka John Fox. Enjoy
For an even
more historic relic, check out the
Lamma Gazette #1, 1988.
Click above for comprehensive photo gallery!
(all photos &
scans by Lamma-Gung)
Scott Kanes - Lamma Author/Publisher:
(Photos & captions by Jay)
A new book, A Stray Cat
on Lamma (Susanna Ng, 2009, Chinese, English and
Japanese, 112 pages, HK$88) boosts Lamma Island's
reputation as a haven for animals and their human
Author and publisher
Susanna Ng, one of the island's most-adoring
pet-owners, has written the story of Bobo, a
multi-colored stray cat whom she adopted from the
roadside near her home in Tai Ping. The theme revolves
around how greatly Bobo and Bobby, Susanna's
previous cat, enriched her life.
The two felines placed
Susanna in a "happy together" family of three. "Everyday
my two children would wait for me to come back from
work. Bobo slept next to me, rain or shine, while Bobby
would only join us in the cold weather. Bobo was my
alarm clock. If I failed to wake up in the mornings, she
would pat on my face. However, once she got the message
that I did not want to get up at that time, she would
jump down from bed, do her business, play a little and
then keep an eye on me from the door. She was my
Such human-animal kinship
leads to good and bad times, the latter often involving
veterinarians. Sincerely and eagerly, Susanna shares the
moments of quiet satisfaction, camaraderie, laughter and
tears that most pet-owners experience. "Right, Bobo is
the best and the most precious gift I received from
Ultimately, Bobo falls
gravely ill, but that's part of having pets too. In
Susanna's case, grief inspired the book. She honors Bobo
by writing about their treasured nine years together.
Few readers will complete
the final pages without shedding tears too. As for the
author, she must have needed windshield wipers for her
eyes to see properly when writing.
Susanna says she loves
children, animals and nature. Her previous books include
My Student Life in Japan, Interesting
Cantonese and My First Teardrop.
As much as Susanna adores
cats, she appreciates Lamma similarly. "I moved to Lamma
from Hong Kong Island back in 1992," she said.
immediately, I fell deeply in love with its natural
environment, every flower, every twig, each view and
A Stray Cat on Lamma
mixes formidable strength with a few weaknesses. Most
impressively, Susanna's passion for her pets punctuates
every paragraph and page. For this labor of love, she
used quality paper and many color photos of the cats and
Surprisingly, the book is
trilingual. Rosalind Lee translated into English
and Takehara San into Japanese. Susanna wanted
three languages because her research suggested that Bobo
came from "a Japanese tri-color breed".
Unfortunately, the English
translation has grammar problems, which may explain why
the book will sell mostly in Chinese bookshops. Also,
some photos, especially of the cats, have focus
problems. But with Susanna's motives being so pure and
admirable, who wants to complain?
As a bonus, the awkward
English adds some welcome (albeit probably
unintentional) humor. "My home sweet home is situated
upon a slope in Lamma Island, with as many foreigners
residing here as cats and dogs of all sizes, running
free in the open without any worries of the city traffic."
Gosh! Why are the foreigners allowed to "run free"? That
The book benefits from
strong design work and an eye-catching cover by Alex
Ng, one of Susanna's neighbors on that Lamma
hillside. Alex has done outstanding work before, and his
reputation continues to grow.
Sentiments in A Stray
Cat on Lamma suggest that some of the locals prefer
the company of pets over people. Contrary to what a few
surly critics may say, there's nothing wrong with that.
English book cover
Japanese book cover
Author Susanna Ng takes more than a passing interest in
Bobo and Susanna meet for a late meal along a Lamma
Once adopted, Bobo enjoys the high life.
Bobby (left) and Bobo:
Susanna's cherished children.
chapters in the serialisation of Emily the Ice-Cream Lady's
memoirs have been published! Life on Main Street as told by a
true insider running her shop in the midst of it all, granting
her unique insights into Lamma life & people:
Anything Goes on This Tropical Isle
- #16 - Jul 6,
Serious Shivers in a Money Chill
- #15 -Jun 29,
Will Powers Prevail?
- #14 - Jun 22, 2009
Tiny Tot Hides Behind the Soap
- #13 - Jun
Foul Language Wrong Flavor
- #12 - Jun 8,
Village Gossip Runs Rampant
- #11 - Jun 1,
little, quite controversial excerpt from chapter #16 of
"Memoirs of an Ice-Cream Lady - A Semi-Autobiography":
"Emily isn't sure if Lamma Island is another
"home of the free, land of the brave", but it's certainly an
island of irregularities.
"Most Hong Kong people consider Lamma too remote
as a place to live. Maybe the government of the Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region (so named since the British
handover to China in 1997) agrees. Its policies hardly reach the
"Some people operate unlicensed food stalls for
decades. Patrons smoke in restaurants where smoking is banned.
Illegal immigrants work at construction sites. Landlords dump
industrial waste on government land. Southeast Asian domestic
helpers work in bars. Chinese housewives gamble at illegal
mah-jong parlors. Western residents do drugs with their friends
at beach parties. No one worries until troubles erupt.
"Emily wonders: If all the irregularities were
cleaned up, would half the residents then be unwilling to live
"Most civilized places have regularities on
nearly everything -- from haircuts to pedicures. There, people
have more protection, but lose some freedoms to do what they
want, even / especially harmful things.
"Maybe Lamma is too civilized for
Angela Leary - Media
(Photos by Angela. This is NOT an advertorial but a
To review YOUR shop, restaurant or business,
contact L-G the Editor.)
Maybe it's an innate wanderlust mixed
with her fierce independence that's seen Lamma's
Soares live much of her life on the road.
Even since "setting up shop" on Lamma 13
and a half years ago, Maria has moved locations four
times. She started selling her wares from a simple stall
at the crossroads, and most recently moving 12 months
ago to her recently named boutique,
Tigra da Lua
(Tigress of the Moon) at Tai Wan To. (The shop was
formerly called "Jax" and Maria still sells some of the
former proprietor's stock, including some great
havaianas and bikinis).
Maria grew up in Happy Valley, speaking
Cantonese and English. Her dad was Macanese and her mum
of Scottish/ Irish/ English descent. Maria took to travelling from an early age. She backpacked around
South America, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia in the
seventies and eighties, paying her way by making and
selling jewellery, mostly intricate beadwork.
Now settled on Lamma, Maria still likes
to live life at her own steam. She travels regularly to
Thailand, scouring wholesale showrooms for unusual,
interesting pieces to bring back to sell. Mainly, she's
hoping to tempt the hordes of visitors that descend on
the island at weekends.
"Price and quality are obviously
important, but what I'm really looking for is something
a little edgy and unusual," Maria says. Tigra da Lua
stocks an array of items from beaded flip-flops and
funky tops to delicate silverware and hand-painted
So what is it that keeps Maria on our
little island? "We've got the whole world right here!
Lamma is such a melting pot of cultures," Maria
says. "I've heard that at one point there were more
than 60 nationalities living on Lamma. Maybe that's why
it's such an accepting, tolerant place."
But Maria admits she'll probably never
truly lose the travel bug. While she loves living the
Lamma life, she still enjoys her frequent buying trips!
Andy Maluche -
Official Court Photographer (Photos by
early morning sun casts its golden rays over Yung Shue
A large White Egret slowly glides in from the west
and joins a few other Egrets sitting on various small
fishing boats calmly anchored in the middle of the bay.
A majestic Black-eared Kite slowly circles high above
the whole scenery observing his kingdom.
Closer by me, near the beach, a tall Grey Egret
stalks between the crustacean-covered rocks keeping a
watchful eye on the Anchovies in the shallow water.
brown Sparrows hop between tables and chairs, picking up
crumbs of food dropped by the early breakfast crowd.
Mynas fly in from all directions, annoying the large
Egret who gracefully takes off to a more relaxed fishing
A beautiful Spotted Dove has landed on the beach and
started picking through the gravel. The Mynas, ten by
now, gang up on the Dove like a bunch of juvenile thugs.
A small grey bird landed on a big rock and hops all over
it seemingly without aim or purpose.
Swift as an arrow, a small Swallow darts by and
almost instantaneously cuts back again to where it came
from. Then the harassed Dove retreats with loudly
flapping wings as the big Kite dives down like a comet
to pick an unsuspecting fish out of the water. The Mynas
are bored now because they had nobody left to stress
out, flew off in pairs into every direction of the wind.
Damned, what is it with this place!? I came here to
eat breakfast and not visit a fucking zoo. I didn't know
that dim sum now comes with the bird watcher's special,
Give me a break!
If you think that the title of this story has a
typo then you're wrong.
But to find out what "romanitical"
really means, you'll have to ask the artist,
maybe even join one of his Lamma-based, low-cost
wildlife photo workshops.
Best way to find him would be in
a bar, via Mr. DickStock or
Many of us have seen the photo galleries that
Lamma visitors put up after their usually
one-and-only trip to our fair isle. You know,
the "Hiked the Family Trail - had great seafood
- isn't my gfriend/bfriend cute? - look at those
funny expats! - hope to return but probably
never will" type of repetitive and
none-too-impressive photo galleries of amateur
snapshots all over the Internet?
What would happen if a truly professional
photographer would do exactly the same thing,
take the same route, shoot the same old views so
familiar to us residents? How much more
attractive and impressive would the results be?
Check out the
"Lamma Album" by Swapan Mukherjee to see
how to breathe new life in these familiar scenes
and how to wait for just the perfect moment and
find the best viewpoint, angle and lighting for
each shot. I still have a lot to learn....
More photos from this
professional photographer of many years, see
his website. Thanks for submitting your photos to the
After seeing this story above, Swapan emailed me back:
"WOW!!! Never thought you would do something
like this - a full fledged feature! Thank you so much for those
kind words about my pictures.
"Those few hours spent in November 2007 were
enough to make me fall in love with the island. Hopefully in
September/October this year I shall be there for a longer
"Many thanks once again to showcase my work in such a
Read last month's stories...
started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything
vaguely related to Lamma
Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events, photos, videos, etc.
Contact Lamma-Gung with anything relevant to Lamma or Lammaites that you'd like to see published on this home page!
text, photos & graphics by Lamma-Gung, if not otherwise credited.
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