Lamma-zine 1-23

Lamma-zine 24 - today

Archive of Stories

Sep 30:  The Detoxed Yoga Bunny - How to Lose 175 Pounds

Some of Lamma-Gung's delicious diet food, including the occasional
can of "Yoga Bunny Detox - Liquid Psychiatry" with "No Nasties".

Finally, after 1.5 years of strict weight loss diet and exercise I've reached my goal of losing 175 pounds, reducing my weight to below 200 pounds!
At 198 pounds (90 kgs) right now, I've lost exactly half of my peak weight of a few years ago, making me "Only Half The Man I Used To Be"

How did I do it? That's what friends & strangers keep on asking me. Well, it took quite a little bit of effort & time, here's my basic recipe and personal experience, including links to 20+ weight-loss-related Lamma-zine stories I've published so far:

  1. Qualify for a weight loss surgery, almost free in HK's still fantastic public health care system, but only for "morbidly obese patients with several co-morbidities." This takes several months of specialist assessments in GERD, OSA, diabetics, diet, clinical psychology, anaesthesiology, GI surgery,...

  2. Lose 10% of your weight BEFORE the operation to qualify and show your commitment. Pay for the Titanium stomach staples (over $10,000) in advance (just in case you don't survive this life-threatening operation, like a recent unlucky patient in another public HK hospital!)

  3. Undergo a stomach reduction operation (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy) in Queen Mary Hospital, reducing your stomach permanently and forever to the size of a small bowl of rice. 25 days in hospital before and after the operation on Feb 25, '08. One week of liquids-only diet, followed by weeks of very soft foods, including baby food.
    Vacation in Queen Mary Hospital  (Feb 20, '08)
    My Epic Struggle for Congee  (Mar 8, '08)
    Discharged/Died on 4/4/08  (Apr 7, '08)

  4. Rest at home for two months, recovering from the stomach pains and without much appetite, the weight dropping off at 1 pound/day. The operation (not Gastric Bypass) can help to kickstart the weight loss, but is no guarantee (another patient lost only 10 pounds 1 year after operation).
    Lamma-zinus Interruptus  (Apr 1-6, '08)
    An Unexpected Fruity Surprise  (Apr 30)

  5. After the initially quite easy weight loss of 50 pounds, the serious lifestyle changes have to kick in to continue, basically old-fashioned dieting (1,000 calories/day) and very frequent exercise. No more alcohol or any junk foods! Low-calories/sugar/fat/carbohydrates, high-protein/veggies/fruits.
    100 Pounds off!  (July 19, '08)

    I'm climbing Mt. Stenhouse tomorrow  (Jun 19, '09)

  6. Following up with all the medical specialists, each appointment taking half a day of going to/from the hospital. Watching in astonishment as your health improves from six problems to zero and you become totally drug-free!
    My 1st Surgiversary  (Feb 25, '09)
    Drug-Free!  (Mar 14, '09)

  7. Maintaining a rigorous, almost daily exercise regimen, including hiking, biking, gym exercises, T.R.X., Pilates, and even Yoga classes:

    Busy Times @ Lamma Fitness Centre?  (Sep 18, '08)
    The Intrepid Biker-Hiker Overdoing It  (Dec 13, '08)
    The Biggest Loser of Lamma?  (Apr 29, '09)
    L-G, a Health & Fitness Nut?  (Jul 12, '09)

  8. Go nuts occasionally and try some crazy stuff to test your brand-new body's improving capabilities & fitness. For example I did:-
    -  complete an 8-week Bootcamp on early Sunday mornings,
    -  hike and bike to South Lamma and back,
    -  climb Mt. Stenhouse,
    -  jump off the Macau Tower!

    High Alert! Danger! Beware of Lamma-Gung!
      (Jun 21, '08)
    'You Great Big Idiot!'
      (Feb 3, 09)
    Serendipitous Stroll on a Spring Sun-day  (Feb 8, '09)
    Handstands, Pull-ups & Virgin Cocktails  (Aug 16, '09)

  9. Start enjoying life as a new, much healthier & fitter person, able to buy clothes off the rack instead of having them all tailor-made.
    Enjoy the positive feedback and flatteries from friends.
    Enjoy food again, as your stomach can handle anything again, but in very small quantities only. This is NOT detrimental to the joy of eating!
    Get a personal make-over and improve your life in many aspects!

    Indian Curry Night @ The Waterfront  (Aug 19, '09)

    'I Like It! Stay Like This!'  (Feb 8, '10)
    My 2nd Surgiversary  (Feb 25, '10)
    Only Half the Man I Used to Be  (May 25, '10)
    1st Anniversary of My "New Body"  (Sep 28, '10)

  10. Consider plastic surgery to reduce the left-over, sagging skin after most massive weight losses: Back Online After Surgery  (Apr 12, '11)

  11. Maintain your weight long-term 3rd Surgiversary  (Feb 25, '11)
    Time to Panic!?  (Jun 4, '11)
    4th Surgiversary  (Feb 25, '12)
    L-G the Biological Hazard  (Aug 24, '12)



So many thanks are due to all the people helping me; I could never have done it without them and their wonderful support & encouragement:

  1. Dr Fion Chan SY, Gastrointestinal Unit of Queen Mary Hospital, plus all the doctors, specialists, nurses and staff taking great, friendly care of me.

  2. Rick & Soli, for providing a pressure-free environment in the Island Gym where members can work out anytime, unsupervised.

  3. Fred the Personal Trainer for setting me on my on-going fitness journey with his weekly private lesson.

  4. The Island Life Studio for all the T.R.X., Pilates, Stability Ball, Yoga and especially the Bootcamp classes, pushing me to try many new exercises I'd never have dared before, occasionally even succeeding.

  5. All Lammaites & friends who encouraged me to carry on and heaped lavish praise on me when seeing my progress, embarrassing me.

  6. Finally, thanks, gratitude & love for Lamma-Por who morally supported me during this journey all the way.

But now for the REALLY TOUGH part of my weight loss journey:

Trying to maintain this weight and not to regain any, which will demand constant vigilance and discipline for the entire rest of my life!

Moderate exercise, especially cardio, will have to continue, trying to increase my fitness, strength, balance and stamina further, plus... my main reason... to enjoy the benefits of a higher metabolic rate: more energy, enthusiasm and zest for life!

Dieting won't be really necessary anymore, but "eating right" will remain mandatory (low fat/sugar; high protein/dairy/nuts/veggie/fruits; only occasional junk food, low-cal snacks and little alcohol, 1 drink/day).

Once you've become a Health & Fitness Nut, it's difficult to stop, it simply feels too darn good....

P.S. This article has been revised, updated and extended several times from
Aug 24, 2010 - Jun 28, 2016 (8+ years since my surgery!):

Table of Contents of my e-Book with my 75 stories published so far:

Only Half the Man I Used to Be

Sep 29:  Mother of All Rock Piles

Bike Mike - Official Court International Correspondent & Science Editor:

(Photo by Madeleine McCann, click to enlarge)

Evidence Found of Lamma Island Rock Piles-Arctic Link

Iqlauit, Canada: New scientific evidence has been discovered which links the Rock Piles of Lamma's Power Station Beach with those found in Arctic Canada. Crossing the Pacific Ocean to Canada, Lamma-zine's International Correspondent and Science Editor, Bike Mike, travelled north to Iqaluit in Canada's Arctic. There, on the campus of The Arctic College is found what Scientists believe is the "Hive Mother" of all global rock piles (see photo).

Radioactive Paleo-geological Dating shows that the "Innukshuk" shown in the photo is one of Planet Earth's oldest. Geological DNA testing has found a link between Iqaluit's "Hive Mother" and Lamma Island's rock piles.

Scientists hypothesize that the hive mother piles releases mineral spores during the dark Arctic winters, which rise to the Arctic Jet Stream and are transported at high altitudes globally. Lamma's rock piles sprang up from arctic spores which fertilized upon touching Lamma's verdant shores.

Our story ends on an unusual note:
Prior to visiting the Hive Mother Innukshuk, Bike Mike spend a little too much time at Iqaluit's version of The Island Bar, The Kickin' Caribou. Needing support, he sat down on the rock pile base, leaning with a "touch too much force". The resulting collapse of the rock pile was described as a "heinous crime" by Sgt. Bobby Clobber of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP has mounted a massive man hunt.

Bike Mike has disappeared and it is believed that he has donned a Bin Laden-like beard and is now travelling under the alias of Nick the Book. A canoe has been found missing from the Iqaluit shore. Perhaps the former Lamma Dragon has taken to the water as his avenue of escape. Meanwhile, back on Lamma, local icon Bobsy convened the inaugural "Save The Rock Piles" meeting.

P.S. Click here for some of Bike Mike's former Lamma-zine stories when he was visiting our shores in person last year. All the best of luck evading the manhunt, Mike! Lamma could be a great hiding place for you.

Sep 28:  Asian Food Extravaganza

Every Friday evening in The Waterfront Restaurant, they're offering a "choice of delectable Buffet items from around Asia". But I'm personally not really qualified anymore at all to judge an all-you-can-eat buffet with my new, very small stomach.

Our Official Court Glutton is still in self-imposed hiatus trying to overcome his writer's block that struck him after recently joining the rush hour ferry crowds of the Gainfully Employed.

So I'll let my pictures below do the talking to give you at least a visual impression. For tasting these delectable items, you'll have to try them yourself at $128/head. Click here for details & reservations.

P.S. Check out their Indian Curry Night every Wednesday.

Sep 27:  Junior Police Callers

Junior Police Call volunteers handing out burglary prevention leaflets along Main Street this Sunday morning. I told them that their pretty pictures will go onto and they were happy to pose.

Junior Police Call volunteers posing for a group shot in front of the Policebox,
some of them getting distracted by our famous YSW High Street fashion.

After this fun interlude, Lamma-Por and myself got back to our customary Sunday Dim Sum, in Sampan Rest. this time. Yes, my weight loss diet permits Dim Sum. ;-)

By the way, here are the leaflets they've handed out. These girls (and a few boys) are volunteering their precious Sunday to distribute public messages on Lamma (Thank you, volunteers!)  Let more Lammaites see the leaflets, even the ones still sleeping this Sunday morning, recovering from a very late Saturday night...

Sep 26:  A Spontaneous Mini-Vacation

How to enjoy a mini vacation on Lamma on a weekend but staying away from the often huge and maddening weekend crowds of tourists and visitors? Well, here's what I did this Saturday morning, a spontaneous, wonderfully relaxing and invigorating half-day biking/hiking tour of North Lamma, visiting trails and areas usually only frequented by Lammaites:

  • Riding (mostly pushing) my mountain bike up the hill via the Kindergarten and Open Space to Lamma Winds, a mere 12-minute walk from Back Street through the forest.

  • Running up to the pavilion above Lamma Winds (below right) where I encounter the very first tourists; three giggly Mainland girls asking me to take their photo in front of the sweeping HK Island panorama.

  • Returning to Lamma Winds and climbing up to Mt. Panorama, the hill in front of Lamma Winds (see above left) with a panoramic view of YSW and North Lamma. Descending on the front side and taking the unknown, deserted, partially overgrown Back Passage trail around Mt. Panorama; a half-hour power walk along this beautiful path returns me to the back side of Lamma Winds.

  • Resting & refueling by getting a sports drink from the weekends-only drinks vendor outside Lamma Winds, but not buying any of her many wind-related toys, for example Hello Kitty electric fans.

  • Rehydrated and invigorated, I take my favourite Lamma path, the Snake Trail, up to the Trig Point, the highest point of North Lamma with the very best 360-degree views (see above).

  • Spotting the Outriggers at Power Station Beach, I take some maximum zoom photos of them training for the Round Lamma Outrigger/Surf-ski race next Sat, Oct 3. My race photo shoot from a boat is already scheduled....

  • Returning to Lamma Winds and riding my bike down Cable Road at high, but safe speed, as exhilarating as you can get on a bike on Lamma, all the way to the Power Station. The employee bikes outside their main gate always make me smile. This station produces all the power for HK/Lamma Islands, but their staff arrives to work on bikes, ferries or on foot!

  • Power Station Beach is not busy even on a Saturday morning, unlike the crowded public Hung Shing Yeh beach closeby. But no rock towers today? Where's the now-famous Lamma Rock Balancer, Malcolm?

  • Biking over to Hung Shing Yeh beach to the almost empty Concerto Inn hotel coffee shop, overlooking the beach full of visitors, a great people watching spot. Chatting with the ever-popular head waiter Danny who moved here a few weeks ago after 4 years in B&B Restaurant in YSW where he was attracting passers-by with his smile and cheerful comments.

  • Enjoying a yummy chicken satay and wine lunch while watching the teeming beachlife. Tourists are walking by asking me about the room rates of the hotel. Hey, I actually LIVE on this island where tourists come to VISIT to get away from all the urban life, stress, noise and pollution for just a day. I consider myself fortunate, blessed and very happy!

Sep 25:  Lamma Fun Day Calendar, Featuring YOU!

P.S. New, easier payment instructions:

Interested? All you need to do, is contribute HK$20, either using Paypal on CWS's website, or by putting your cash in the allocated boxes in the Deli, Diesel's Bar or the Bookworm Café.
Then, send your photo to the email address below. Alternatively, drop Deb a line and arrange for her to take the photo for you!

Sep 24:  Lamma's Cool Quad Bikes

The local Fire & Rescue Services have been using these cool-looking, fire-red quad bikes for years, the only motorbikes of any kind on our home island which is thankfully still free of all private motorised vehicles.

Sep 23:  Stars of Mid-Autumn Carnival

Harry Harrison - YSW Curs member, Laudable Lamma Luminary, website:

(Photos by Bob Davis. See Harry Harrison & John Hutton above perform in the Football Pitch on Sat, Sep 19, and the enthusiastic audience feedback!)

Despite the sound crew refusing to talk to us until the minute we were due to perform, the sound was good and loud and well-balanced, which is a bit of a novelty for us.

It was strange playing to a sober audience, although we'd had a couple ourselves, mine medicinally of course, to get rid of my sore throat.

John had to carry the can as far as any Cantonese was concerned because I promptly forgot everything I'd learned for the event.

Anyway, the audience seemed to enjoy the performance and we've been receiving pats on the back from pillars of the local community ever since. All round, a good experience, and nice to try and bridge that cultural gap.

Hopefully, someone will tell the police what great community-spirited guys we are before they close down our next gig.

P.S. The usually very talkative John Hutton has only this to add:

"ngo tai do go yuet mun yun
soyo ngo ho ho hoisum."

Sep 22:  HarryLi -- Lamma Birdographer

Brown Shrike

Savanna Nightjar -- Turtle Dove

Eurasian Hoopoe -- Common Kingfisher

Magpie Robin -- Tailorbird -- Grey-Streaked Flycatcher

See more of HarryLi's fantastic birds photography in our longest-running and most popular forum, 1415 messages so far, Lamma's top 10 birds.

Sep 21:  Are You Courageous, Responsible & Supportive?

The job market is still really tough out there and the job ads are becoming very specific and very demanding, for example this ad in our jobs forum.

I quite like the questionnaire above. But who'd be admitting that "(v) I'm a fugitive", but probably most of us would say that "(v) I enjoy my Sundays off".

But are you "courageous, responsible and supportive?"

Easy enough, there are quite a few of those upstanding citizens living on Lamma, fortunately.

Are you an "English-speaking Christian living on Lamma Island?"

A lot more specific job requirements, but there might be a few; I even know some of them.

But are you willing to work FOR FREE as a volunteer...on SUNDAYS?!

Wow, OK, those last two job requirements are really a shocker!

If you are such a very special, very rare and very worthy person, fulfilling all these requirements, then the Lamma Mission Centre would love to hear from you as they're currently recruiting such unique individuals:

"LMC is looking for some wonderfully talented people who would like to join and contribute to the local Christian community." You'd be expected to attend their gatherings and "join our activities like CELL GROUP, BIBLE STUDY, WORSHIP etc."

Click here to apply or contact Mr Tang at 2982 0316 / 6122 5740.

P.S. All faiths, charities and good causes are always welcome to promote their activities and events for free in the Lamma-zine! Email me!

Sep 20:  The Shining World Hero

Notice that last sentence above about "Acknowledgment of heroes of the world for their noble actions to save the planet." Wouldn't you like to know such a noble hero taking action to save the world? Well, one of them is a pretty well-known, real-life Living Lamma Legend, according to the SCMP and the Lamma-zine's official CCC (Celebrity Classification Code) for Lammaites. Guess who?

He writes: "At this special conference below on the 3rd of October I am being honoured with an Eco Award: "Shining World Hero". This is truly an honour that I am glad to accept.  ;-)"

It's an international Climate Change Action Conference about Global Unity, saving lives and other noble deeds, organised by Supreme Master Television, and the honour is most likely bestowed for the Save the Human campaign which is currently displaying hundreds of (free) posters in many MTR stations. Guess who?

Yes, it's pretty easy to guess for regular Lamma-zine readers. It's our single-named Bobsy, already an official Earth Champion, Lamma Forest co-founder/cheerleader and SCMP's Living Lamma Legend! My congratulations to one more very impressive-sounding eco-award to add to his growing collection!

Let's assign him a new, local Lamma-zine nickname: Bobsy the Shining World Hero! Please use it with a very loud voice in public whenever meeting him in person - maybe combine it with a little bow or curtsy - and enjoy this (usually) quite modest Hero's reaction.

Sep 19:  Mini-Robinson Crusoe Is Leaving Lamma

Alanika - soon-to-become ex-Lammaite:

This story is Alanika's reply to me asking for the reasons of him leaving Lamma soon, after publishing his story, Aug 18: Last-Summer-In-Lamma Series:

(Photos by Alanika)

Oh yes, the main reason is my girlfriend is feeling tired to catch the ferry every night. She was so unhappy when missing it, especially after 8:30pm, When it'll take an hour to wait for the next one. I understand. So we decided to move out; plus I think this is my fifth year here, starting the sixth already. Maybe it's time to go.

I like to think of myself as a mini-Robinson Crusoe. In 2004, I moved to Lamma alone, when I was 25, and rented an empty flat in Wang Long without any furniture. The only electrical appliances I got were a fridge and aircon, nothing else, living like a "savage."

See the old setting of my flat...

So I'm living in this kind of status for over three years, until 2007, when I met my girlfriend. She brought a huge change to my life and the flat as well. After we started living together, we spent a lot of time to build a sweet home, buying furniture like couch, table and wardrobe. I forgot to mention a TV set too; I've lived without it for over 3 years!

See my flat before/after...

Time flies, and then she started to complain about the ferry schedule. Even I feel unhappy too while sitting in the front of Central Pier 4 to wait for the next ferry to arrive, so I started to think of moving out.

Finally, we decided to move to Tung Chung in Dec 2009. I can't wait to find a new paradise/ environment there. But on the other hand, another part of me is loving Lamma Island very much, so my heart is always fighting inside me.

I will miss everything here, every store, everyone I knew, and every path I walked on.

Anyway, the story is as simply as that. Thanks for your time to read my BS and my poor English [proofread & corrected by L-G]!





Sep 18:  We Are The Champions!

Miss Alison the Bootcamp Survivor - Lammaite

(Story adapted by Alison from her own Sobriety Bites blog - "Following seven years of living lushly in Hong Kong, we follow Alison as she leaps down the rabbit hole into a dizzying spiral of sobriety of her own making.":

(Photos from Bootcamp 1, by Lamma-Gung)

"We are the champions" - by Queen:

"I've paid my dues
Time after time
I've done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I've made a few
I've had my share of sand kicked in my face But I've come through"

So it is eight weeks on and I completed my mofo Bootcamp!!!! Wooohooo...

It has gone fast and there have been many glaring changes to my life and several that will ripple onwards for some time. Here are the few that catapult to mind immediately:

  1. I get a hangover after two glasses of wine - proving that sobriety. does indeed. bite. Hypothesis proven :)

  2. I've gone down a dress size.

  3. Normal pants fall down.

  4. My arms, shoulders and legs are showing muscle definition.

  5. When I'm looking in my fridge for tasty nibbles I approach in a dog-down fashion with beautiful bendiness.

  6. I cut all my hair off and got lots of nice compliments.

  7. I haven't been out on a Saturday night for two months.

  8. I run a lap of the footie pitch in 1 minute.

  9. I plank without putting my back out.

  10. I finally went to see a physio who is helping me with my back problems.

Looking back at notes I scribbled down in my blog, I was freaking terrified that first Saturday night before the whole terror of Bootcamp began. It was just something I had never envisioned myself doing. I'm just not that alpha-winner type. I like to mooch about smelling the flowers rather than whizzing about getting there faster.

The fact my body is built for comfort and not speed (where does that come from, I have been hearing it for as long as I can remember?!) meant that Bootcamp was not for me. Bootcamp was for people with chiselled abs who received a strange perverted joy whenever someone screamed at them. My abs have been sculpted, using cake icing, no chisels required and if someone shouts at me I become strangely quiet and plot their downfall. Anyhow, I was doing it.

I imagined everyone else would be mega fit and that I would vomit. This is what I blogged of my new comrades of Boot:

"And then I saw them, the first few Boot types entering the court and walking towards me (I clearly resembled a 'booter' due to my trainers and apprehension). One larger man, one slender man, and a woman who looked like she already ran ultra-marathons.... A cheerleader type replete with ponytail came next, then another fellow fashioning an Ed Hardy T-shirt. Then the Boot Camp Leader herself... a yoga teacher..."

For some reason, I had imagined Bootcamp to be recreations of the exercise scenes from An Officer and a Gentleman, with Richard Gere. I guess this was the first time I saw someone be forced to perform the indignity of a push up while being shouted at. Yoga teachers tend not to be too much into abusing their students, as they have the concepts of mind, body and spirit which need to work in unity for any success at all. So long as I tried my best, I was applauded. So long as I sweated and grimaced, then smiled, all was well.

For the first few weeks of Bootcamp, I eagerly checked my progress. Did I do an extra star jump? Leap higher up footie nets? Run further? Skip faster? But by the end that didn't feel so necessary. The fact is there were consistent warm weather warnings, so 30 minutes of any kind of movement in the still hot air outside left you feeling like Lawrence of Arabia staggering about seeing mirages of cool water. The simple fact that your body could now actually perform the feats that seemed impossible at the beginning was good enough. So we were effectively slowed down by the oppressive heat which led to us feeling more drained once inside.

Luckily, a great iPod selection of music would always help us get up on our T.R.X. systems and make sure everything hurt and we were in fact hobbling by 10am of the same day. Thank God the heat cancelled those wheelbarrows, as it turned out that I have a dysfunctional lumbar/pelvic thing going on (hehe) which explains why so many exercises have proved so painful in the past. Praise the Lord for Bootcamp, as without all this exercise, I would not have forced myself to seek out a physio in the first place.

Of course it wasn't just the two hour exercise on Sunday mornings that made so many changes in my appearance. The fact you KNOW the Bootcamp is going to hurt you, means you feel most inclined to get fitter during the week. This meant yoga on Mondays and Wednesday, Pilates on Tuesdays and T.R.X. on Thursdays, all at the Island Life Studio, and all under a watchful eye so she could help with any exercises you struggled with to ensure you were pushing yourself without hurting yourself. That's one of the joys of this little Lamma studio, classes often only have 3 or 4 people in, so you really do get a personal training service for an relatively tiny financial outlay.

As I noted in my blog - for the second Bootcamp:

"In fact, there were only 5 of us. Mr Ed Hardy T-shirt was there, but had been out on the piss all week so had done zero exercise and felt rough. Little Miss Ultramarathon was there and whizzing around the activities in a sporty person type fashion. L-G the Incredible Shrinking Man was there doing his thing, as was the 19 year old über-ripped Keira Knightley Doppelgänger. So we all got that little bit extra attention from our trainer."

We ended our final Bootcamp with 5:

Lamma-Gung (our editor), Adrian (husband of Liz the Abs Slayer), Elissa (the Physio Professor), Lydia (Ripped Sleepy Doctor Chick) and me. (Brunette Cheerleader only came to first one, and Mr Ed Hardy T-Shirt didn't appear for our last outing.) Five very different types of people. All very pleased with themselves.

I leave you with a rather lazy lyric that I think rather sums up which body types should get their arses to a Bootcamp near them:

"Big ones, small ones, some a big as your head"

I hear the next one starts in a month [Oct 9], and will be by moonlight [Fri, 8:15pm, Basketball Pitch]... leading us neatly up to the 10K run I've signed up for at Disney in November?

Strange, strange world.
Exhausting just thinking about it!

BOOTCAMP 3 - beginning Friday, Oct 9, 2009, evenings for 8 weeks, from 8:15-9:45p.m. under the stars at the Basketball Court.

Course intro and Q&A session: Saturday, Sep 26, 6:30-7:00pm at the Island Life Studio (right after T.R.X. class; if people want to try out the T.R.X., they are recommended to sign up for the session to "test drive" the program.)

Sep 17:  Photo Pros Point Lenses at Pets

Jay Scott Kanes - Lamma Writer, Author & Official Court International Correspondent - CairnsMedia:

(photos by Jay and the Petographers):

"Does your pet want to be 'a somebody' in the animal kingdom?"

That's the question from Lamma Island photographers André Eichman and Vicky Baker when promoting their new business, The Petographer. A married couple living in Pak Kok, they adore animals and so decided to specialize in "fine-art pet photography".

"It's a pleasure to work with animals, and you can't place a value on the joy that fills people's faces when they see their pet photos," André said.

"I really believe in this," Vicky said. "We don't want just pretty portraits. We try to capture the individual animals' characters."

"Absolutely," André added. "Animals have as much character and variety as people, plus some. And there's no pretence. They don't worry if their fur looks just right."

"Oh, but I did meet one dog like that," Vicky recalled.

Hong Kong has many photographers, but few focus on pets. "André had the idea," Vicky said. "We talked about it, and decided to proceed. So far, it's going well."

Vicky and André make house calls across Hong Kong, often carrying lights and backdrops. "Even if the animal's really shy, it's at home and feels safe," Vicky said.

"We go where the animals are," André added. In theory, that could mean almost anywhere.

Clients choose among package deals, involving contact sheets, prints and enlarged photos, starting at HK$2,900.

"Pet-owners will keep the images forever," André said. "They'll treasure them even after the pets, sadly, are gone."

Most of the subjects are cats or dogs, but Vicky and André have shot intriguing images of monkeys, pigs and others. "I love to photograph them all," André said. "We'll work with any animal close to a human's heart."

Originally from Wales, Vicky worked in the media, including TV advertising, for 15 years. For nine years, she has focused on photography. Her own pet is a tabby cat named Sam.

André comes from San Diego, but lived in Europe and Canada before arriving in Hong Kong in the mid-1990s. Having studied fine art, he launched a photography career. He did solo exhibitions in New York, where he worked as a fashion photographer, and in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. He enjoys art-book projects. Often he has visited animal shelters, photographing the residents to help them find homes.

Most pet-photo sessions last about two hours. "Often the animals don't respond well to directions," Vicky said. "For me, it's about creating the right situation. With cats, I'll bring little distractions and toys they can play with, things they'll reach out to touch. For dogs, you may need food treats."

André has a philosophy. "When entering an animal's space, we need to show respect," he said. "I ease into it to avoid shoving a camera into a pet's face right away. Sometimes I set the camera down. Dogs sniff and look at it. Cats end up inside my camera bag. Once everyone's relaxed, I can start snapping photos. I need to improvise and be quick too because they seldom stop and pose."

Have these photographers been bitten by angry dogs keen to chase them away? "That's never happened to me," Vicky said.

"Almost," André conceded. But even that "intimidating" experience led to a memorable photo, "a great shot" of a snarling dog peering up through a glass table laden with pastries.

For more information:

Portraits may deliver black-and-white beauty.

Through a glass table, a disgruntled dog snarls at André.

André works, shooting at a cat's level.

Vicky in action: going where the animals are.

And the resulting images may outlast the animals.

Not always cute, the portraits show personality.

Prospects for a photo session seem dog-delicious….

André takes a tricky shot past one dog to another at a pet-owner's feet….

Vicky charms a new dog friend.

Sep 16:  IMAGE+TEXT Exhibition

IMAGE+TEXT, Exhibition by Robert Scherle & Chris Hall,

Sep 7 - Oct 3, Culture Club, Soho

From the Culture Club website:

"IMAGE+TEXT is a joint exploration by Hong Kong based photographers Robert Scherle and Chris Hall of the relations between the text and visual art.

"IMAGE+TEXT reaches for that unity in photography and texts from both artists, using film in the case of Robert Scherle's "chromes," and digitally derived images in the case of Chris Hall's work.

"Chris Hall thinks of himself as a "digital artist," using digital images as the take-off point for sets and variations in software. Chris says that, "When I realized that the PC was, in effect, a digital darkroom, I was a complete addict. It was like escaping from prison.

"In IMAGE+TEXT, Chris is showing three sets. The first, based on images of women in lingerie, titled Taking Off, is a jokey, self-referential play on the commodification of art. The second set, "Echoes," is a series of portraits accompanied by poems, in a contemporary attempt to capture something of the feel of Asian art and calligraphy. A second set of portraits, titled "Layers," includes brief meditations on the creative process.

"Chris comments, 'These works, with the possible exception of the poem portraits, are very much in a long line of Conceptual Art. The concept in Conceptual is a method or procedure for the making of the work, and in that sense I think Conceptual Art can be very liberating. It questions its own status as it searches for new ways of working.'"

Some exhibition photos provided by Lammaite Chris, who's also a frequent contributor to our Artwork of the Day spot, plus his Fotografiqx website:

Check out this exhibition in person at the Culture Club Gallery:

Sep 15:  My Rooftop Canopy Got Koppu'd

My brand-new rooftop garden, exposed in all directions and unprotected from the extreme winds, survived this night's typhoon Koppu - Signal 8 - pretty well, even the tall bushes, besides just a handful of flattened, soft-stemmed plants.

But much of Lamma and our big rooftop canopy weren't so lucky, it got Koppu'd and is now kaput. It had to have an emergency total amputation by the local experts - like a C-section with a boxcutter - as it was impossible and way too dangerous to roll it up in the high winds. See photos above, just before I removed half the tarp to the rubbish bins and kept the other half, awaiting a probably huge quotation to replace it. See our TPCG Gets Koppu'd forum for more on this and the local Koppu aftermath.

A big, public thank-you to our new property agent, Stephen of Dollarful Real Estate Agency, who showed up on my doorstep with a friend within minutes of my desperate call at 9pm. They removed our huge canopy during typhoon signal 8 winds at night, It was impossible to roll it up in the extreme winds and would surely have ripped soon and caused damage to our neighbours! Great work, guys, saving us after not returning home much earlier and not getting help sooner. It takes two strong people to roll our big canopy, too much for Lamma-Por who made a brave and valiant effort to help me earlier.

This fantastic service is all the more surprising as Dollarful did not get the usual half-month agency fee for letting our new flat, just a modest handling fee for the standard contract and govt. paperwork. It was a break-lease, the former tenant found me via our forum to take over their lease. Our Rent & Let forum, part of our thriving free classifieds, has become THE hot place for Lamma flats these days, all dealt privately without any agencies taking big commissions from landlords and tenants.

I'm still amazed at the very good, quick and low-cost service I get from Stephen for any problems in our flat. Often, he's even managed to convince the landlord to pay for any repairs and even upgrades. His qualified handyman friends have been cleaning our aircons, adjusted the gas water heaters, replaced all balcony lights, installed a brand-new, double-size, digital TV antennae, and will soon build a rooftop shed to protect the outdoor gas water heaters, all fully paid for by our great landlord. This is definitely NOT standard practice on Lamma and we count ourselves very lucky and in good hands. The name card & link above is a little, free thank-you.

Other work, like putting an outdoor power point onto the rooftop, installing our ceiling lamps and setting up satellite TV antennas was done for very fair prices, quickly and well. They even called me after the typhoon to enquire if our TV antennas were still fine and came by within hours to adjust one of them for free. Exemplary after sales service!

Finally, some more "Lamma Got Koppu'd" photos, the main path through Po Wah Yuen and the Tai Peng Community Garden, submitted by gargoyle and zep:

Finally, ending on a positive note, a few Koppu'd words of inspiration from Peter Lloyd, Lamma's Interfaith Minister and publisher of HolisticAsia, from his twice-monthly newsletter:

"Typhoon Koppu stormed into Hong Kong last night, after a month of near constant hot weather, reminding me of the power of nature, of the nature of constant change and our vulnerability to forces greater than ourselves as I scurried to catch a ferry home.

I remember as a kid I loved the excitement of typhoons and the way they create a greater sense of being present to the moment. This morning my day did not go to plan as I cleaned up a fallen tree and bamboo and banana trees in my garden; sometimes it's good to have a change come to us."

P.S. I've just been informed that our landlord will pay for the entire new canopy, despite initially turning it down, thanks to Mr Dollarful telling him that we're "good tenants". They've just installed a "PrePainted Steel" permanent canopy, no more rolling up in a typhoon necessary!
Lamma-Por says, "WOW WOW WOW!!! Great thanks to Stephen!"
I completely agree.

Sep 14:  iMiEV Electric Car Departs

As I just found out, our local police is actually following our forum with great interest and is a bit disappointed about all the negative and critical opinions expressed about the electric car in our forum, Lamma Police's iMiEV electric car arrived 9/9/09.

Well, the iMiEV has just left Lamma for good this morning, after just 5 days on the island, and is now being tested by other govt. depts. for suitability, under central supervision by the Environmental Protection Dept.

Depending on the local feedback from the police, stakeholders, village reps and the population a decision will be made which govt. depts. will get an iMiEV permanently in the future. Maybe Lamma, maybe not. It looks like they'll even take some of the detailed feedbacks in our forum into consideration, discussing them internally already.

This was the very first iMiEV in HK, just released this summer, and Lamma was chosen as a prime suitable testing ground. It looks like Mitsubishi will only produce about 300 of these cars this year worldwide and about ten of them might come to Hong Kong soon, maybe around 5 of them for the HK police force. The rumoured price was completely wrong and the estimated price - no official price announced yet - is around HK$250,000/car. It runs about 160km on a single charge of its Lithium-Ion batteries, same battery technology as most laptop PCs. Full recharge time 6 hours, or fast-charge from flat to 80 percent in just 20-30 minutes. Top speed of 87mph (140km/hour), ability to carry four adult passengers and luggage.

Planned usage:

Supporting police work by reaching difficult remote parts of the island quickly, including Po Wah Yuen and Pak Kok Village;
Moving arrested persons to ferry pier for transport to Cheung Chau;
Emergencies, especially in remote areas.
The Lamma police does not have any car right now.
They'll be trying to avoid Main Street and other narrow paths whenever possible.
It was parked up in the Fire Station while on Lamma.

So it'll be quite some time till we'll ever see the iMiEV again on Lamma, if ever. I'll personally miss it, as it was a really nice addition to the eco-reputation of our island, fitting in well with "no private cars", Lamma Winds, the rural, quiet environment and the ecologically-minded residents. But some of our outspoken forum members do not agree with me at all:

Lamma Police's iMiEV electric car arrived 9/9/09

Sep 13:  Her Smile Was Priceless

Usman Haider - republished from his blog ("Business, Technology, General" - Feb 18, 2009) with friendly permission:

Yesterday, I just got to Lamma Island. It's a small island not too far from Central, Hong Kong, but it's so far from the noise and busy life of the main city. The major incomes of the people on the island are tourism, fishing and farming. After arriving on one side of island, Sok Kwu Wan, I had to cross the mountain to get to the other side of the island, called Yung Shue Wan.

Weather was too hot with lots of humidity. Hiking was not too easy, but I reached the other side of the island (Yung Shue Wan) after 1 hour of hiking. By then, I was all wet with sweat and I was so thirsty as well. I just saw a shop with drinks and rushed for a Coke. While I was trying to get an ice cold tin, one tin fell on the ground. With a blast, it flowed on the floor and made the cooler's window and floor dirty. Quietly, an old lady, who was the shop keeper, came with a cleaning cloth and started to clean the cooler and floor.

After taking another Coke, I offered the old lady payment for two Cokes. The old lady said, "I will charge you for only one Coke." I replied, "No, it was my fault and you should take payment of two Cokes." She smiled and said to me, "No, I will not." She took the payment for one Coke only and again started to clean the floor and cooler.

I stayed quiet for a moment and then moved on, thinking that I can pay for a wasted Coke, but I cannot pay for such good complacency and her nice smile. She was not looking rich, but she was rich with a wealth of good self-satisfaction and generosity.

Nobody can buy me, but a little smile can.

P.S. It was the very first shop when we moved from the temple to the ferry pier in Yung Shue Wan. There were two coolers on the left side of a street corner and the shop was on the opposite side. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures related to the story.

Sep 12:  The Official Court Artist Went Cold Turkey

Before-After photos of the Official Court Artist, Andy Maluche

I've been asked quite a few times to provide Before-After photos of my weight loss. But I've always declined the request as I'm still kind of shy and not really interested to focus the Lamma-zine on my private life, instead preferring to feature other, more interesting and colourful Lammaites, like the guy above.

Somebody who has no shyness problem whatsoever and truly believes that all publicity about him is good publicity, is our Senior Official Court Artist. Here's a horrid Before picture showing him in the olden days of wild debauchery and beer-sodden excesses. The After picture on the right shows him recently in his fitter, slimmer and healthier version, Andy 2.0, after going Cold Turkey and sobering up. He's now full of health and creativity again, with a positive, fun-loving outlook on life with his trademark blue hairdo. Really cute, no?

Unfortunately, he recently became the victim of some dastardly Turkish hacker named iSKORPiTX who defaced his famous website - cheekily named - with this weirdly patriotic home page:

The Turkish text means, according to Google Translate:
Global brand never imitated. Hurry NOLU CD OUT TWO

A Valiant Fight of the Official Court Artist versus the Dastardly Invader from Turkey ensued! After many "Unable to connect ...can't establish a connection to the server..." messages, Order & Peace was restored in this small piece of virtual real estate in Cyberspace! Hooray!

Stop, hold the presses! I've just been informed by some usually very reliable sources in The Island Bar that I got the Before-After photos above in reverse order, actually showing Andy outside the bar very recently and the blue-haired cute boy from a few years ago, during his 5-year artistic "sabbatical".

Oops, my little mistake, sorry, my apologies!  {*Big BLUSH!*}

Well, I'm sure Andy will try very hard to return quickly to his blue-haired, fit & trim past look. Wish him luck and withhold all beer and alcohol from him while he's going cold turkey once again! Will he join me in the Island Life Studio, the Island Gym, on the bike or on a hike to Southern Lamma/Mt. Stenhouse soon? Let's hope so!

Stop, hold the presses once more!

Just in from Andy, after reading this story above:

"Ok, Here is the big public announcement:

"I decided to go on a diet!

"This decision was not based on recent comparative photographs that show me frightfully thin when I was young and blue.

"I rather realized that I can probably save enormous amounts of shower gel by reducing my body surface area. Such an opportunity to be frugal and at the same time environmentally conscious as well should not be missed.
Let the whole world watch when I single-handedly make Unilever and Procter and Gamble cry because of falling sales figures."

Sep 11:  iMiEV Electric Car Arrives

(2 photos above by KennyL, photos below by L-G & Govt. News)

Did you already see the shiny, brand-new electric vehicle of the Lamma Police?

It arrived yesterday morning, Wednesday, 10:30am at the public ferry behind the Football Pitch. The local police is so proud of it that they informed me personally of the arrival well in advance, TWICE, by telling me in person and calling me.

I'm trying to get the technical specs and info on its local use (replacing our local police bicycles? We hope not!) from them very soon.

So iMiEV stands for "Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle". Reminds me of the TV cartoon Roadrunner's Meep-Meep! sound....

Photos and video of this fully electric, plug-in vehicle: Mitsubishi i MiEV hopes to hang out in Hong Kong.

So they've come ahead of HK Electric's electric vehicle which will transport disabled and unfit people from the Power Station to Lamma Winds soon, but is still awaiting official approval.

This will undoubtedly become another tourist attraction for the weekend tourists, adding to our cute little windturbine. They might just drive the iMiEV slowly around the village to show off the Govt.'s newly discovered green credentials, like a "green" parade proudly showing off their "eco-awareness"!

They could even hand out the new "Green Hong Kong Green" green T-shirts and Lamma eco-tour leaflets to the adoring tourists by a "Lamma Eco-Queen" (maybe a pseudo-model in Green Fashion attire made from recycled materials?) sitting on the car's rooftop?

Poilkoop writes, "NOW IT'S WORTH GETTING ARRESTED." So who's the first one to get arrested, just to get a free ride in there? Email me pictures, please!

Let us know YOUR opinion in our new forum:
Lamma Police's iMiEV electric car arrived 9/9/09
and in the Chinese forum as well, of course, 過百萬警車.

Sep 10:  Liz Gower -- Tree Hugger Extraordinaire

More and more trees are being cut down all over Hong Kong and there are multiple notices about felling "dangerous trees" all over Hong Kong's rural area. Since a child got killed by a falling branch last year the Govt. has been spooked, erring on the side of caution, cutting down any tree that might maybe, perhaps be in remote danger of falling down someday in the distant future.

I was alerted by Dr. John about another local battle between Lamma's very active tree huggers (It's a complimentary term, count me in!) and several govt. depts. It was concerning the mature Acacia tree just below the Kindergarten, on the corner up to Lamma Winds:

I have to give Liz much of the credit for saving this tree, thanks to her awesome and most impressive negotiation skills with the govt. guys. It was a real, improvised (despite her hand-written list of discussion points), top-class performance which was a joy to watch live and an even greater joy to see her succeed, getting just a few dead branches pruned instead of the govt.'s former intention to cut down the ENTIRE tree to the root. It was an object lesson in how to deal with govt. depts. and stop them from executing some unwanted activity:

Liz Gower - Senior Lammaite & Activist:

(photos by Lamma-Gung):

The background to this tree story goes back to early June 2008 when they asked to cut it down, and received 40 objections from many concerned residents, including a whole tribe of kids from the Kindergarten – who Lia, my little one, encouraged as she sees herself as a Green Warrior.

It received a reprieve on that occasion. Only to be targeted again in the latest Tree Felling Initiative from our lovely Lands Department and AFCD – all of whom are running scared about the chances of a tree squashing someone on their watch. As a chap from the District Lands Office (IS) said, he would cut down all trees that posed even a slight risk, so that he could sleep at night.

My push is that this is not what most Lamma taxpayers who have an opinion would probably want.

I contacted the tree folk ATP Tree Preservation and Don Picker was very kind to tell me what kind of things the government would be looking at. I sent him some photos of the tree, and he wrote back informal comments. A proper report would cost me $9,000, so I haven't got that. Those comments were enough to get the AFCD 'expert' to agree that there was no immediate or urgent need to fell the tree.

However, the next threat to the tree come from the Works Department and the FSD who will undoubtedly want it removed because they want to widen the footpath behind 55 and 56 Tai Wan New Village so that…. Well I'm not sure the reasons why.

Anyway, there is another joint site meeting with Mr Wong (Works) and the Station Commander of the Lamma Fire Station on the Wednesday 16th September, but the time is to be decided. I would welcome any support from other tree huggers to help preserve the roots of the trees up the path.

On another note, two more trees on the path from the basketball court to the junction where this tree is set have been flagged for felling. Please can other people write and complain to the DLO about this proposal? It is another case of destruction to cover backs, and I hope we will be able to persuade them not to remove them. When I get home tonight, I will mark down the appropriate numbers and will email you. If they could go into the Lamma website, perhaps others would write in? [Pending]

One more thing that I would love people to get involved with is the need for the DSD contractors to be careful with the tree roots of all the so-marked 'agreed' trees. They are making a survey of the trees that could be affected along the Sewerage route, but I don't know if this includes a root survey – which is far more important to the survival of the trees long term. If they are allowed to sever the roots, the trees will still live for maybe two years, and then the company will not be liable for their replacement once they finally die about three years hence.

Please can folk write to the DSD to insist that the roots be left intact as far as is possible while they are excavating for the pipes, as this could affect so many trees that now provide shade for the paths.

What I learnt today from watching Liz negotiating:

Advice in dealing successfully with civil servants:

  • Do your homework before facing them, bring a list of discussion points and supporting materials for your cause.

  • Get the community involved, from children and stakeholders to local experts.

  • Get the media interested, the more public exposure the better, even small local media like the Lamma-zine.

  • Insist on site visits by the relevant depts., so they can have a first-hand look and an opportunity for you to get them to to change their mind in person.

  • Be firm, but calm; don't be overly emotional or confrontational and don't shout.

  • Hard facts and clear, persistent arguments can win the day, but not always.

  • Get experts involved, on BOTH sides, for credibility and support.

  • Understand their side and their constraints, like rules & regulations they have to follow, even if they don't agree with them personally.

  • Appeal to their personal values (face, children, family).

  • Compromise if necessary, have a backup plan & a minimum acceptable outcome.

  • Always follow up in writing, cc their bosses.

  • Never forget to thank them and show gratitude if successful, very helpful when you're quite likely to meet the same people again in a different matter.

Sep 9:  What's a 'HOODOO'?

Jay Scott Kanes - Lamma Writer, Author & Official Court International Correspondent - CairnsMedia:

(photos by Jay):

Familiar 'HOODOOS' Seen Half-a-World Away

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, Canada – Before I even met Canadian truck-driver Joe Thibodeau when strolling through a city park, he gave me the strangest sense of déjà vu.

Usually I walk near home on Hong Kong's Lamma Island. That's half-a-world away from where Joe lives on Prince Edward Island, one of Canada's Atlantic Provinces.

On Lamma, I often see the delicately balanced, temporary rock towers erected by Malcolm Morris on Power Station Beach. Several years ago, Malcolm began to balance rocks as part of his rehabilitation strategy in a battle against cancer.

Usually, Malcolm's rock towers topple within a day or two, nudged by gravity, wind or passers-by. Until then, they make a fine spectacle.

When visiting Prince Edward Island (my birthplace), I took a scenic walk along a waterfront boardwalk in Charlottetown, the capital city. Soon I noticed a remarkably familiar-looking rock tower. Surprise hoisted my eyebrows. Had Malcolm traveled here too? I doubted it.

Moments later, I passed another rock stack and then another. Striding forward, I searched for the person responsible. Along the boardwalk near another rock tower, I spotted him, a burly, tattooed guy with sunglasses perched on his head.

"Did you balance the rocks along there?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "I'm Joe Thibodeau. People call me the Rock Guy."

So I explained about Malcolm, his fight with cancer and the oddity of seeing similar rock towers elsewhere. Nodding, Joe said: "In the past year, a few of my friends have died of cancer. After the services, I came here and balanced rocks to make monuments for them."

Then 48-year-old Joe elaborated on his compulsion to balance rocks, something he's done for 14 years. "I used to live in Vancouver, and that's where I started," he said. "In Stanley Park there, balanced rocks are everywhere.

"I tried it, and it got easier. I look for little niches and glitches in the rocks that help to balance them. By now, the tricky part isn't stacking. It's getting the pointy rocks to stand. Sometimes I find driftwood, buoys or seashell to incorporate in with the rocks."

But why balance rocks? What reward does it give? "I find it relaxing," Joe said. "The scenery's beautiful. I can look at the ocean. People stop and ask me questions. I enjoy meeting them. It costs nothing. Sometimes I come to balance rocks when I'm having a bad day. I put on my iPod, listen to music and play with the rocks. It's cheap therapy."

Joe has two children, aged 10 and seven years. They can balance rocks as quickly as he does, but not as big. His daughter coined a name for his creations. "She calls them 'hoodoos'. I'm not sure why."

For a living, Joe drives a truck delivering propane to businesses and homes. His other hobby, weight training, also requires lifting heavy objects.

Typically, he balances rocks for a few hours at a time – maybe longer on holidays. A little breeze adds to the challenge. He works quickly. "Within two hours, I can build dozens of hoodoos, depending on my mood," he said.

"Usually, they don't go higher than five or six rocks. The tallest are about three feet. At the top, I like to balance a sharp-ended rock on nearly nothing.

"What amazes me is when people stop to talk," Joe said. "They may say the hoodoos are beautiful or that one looks like a bird, a human figure or something else. My goal is always just to make them balance. But when I step back and hear the comments, I can see what they mean.

"Most hoodoos get knocked down the same night or soon after – by the wind or people being curious. Before long, I come back and build more.

"I do it because I enjoy it. People think that I must have a lot of patience, but I really don't so it amazes me how much time I spend. Probably I'll never stop unless someday I can't lift the rocks anymore."

Then Joe made a suggestion. "Give my regards to your friend who balances rocks in Hong Kong," he said. "Of course," I agreed.

Strange 'hoodoos' stand in a Canadian park.

There's another one like on Lamma.

Meet truck-driver Joe Thibodeau, alias 'the Rock Guy'.

'Playing with rocks' costs nothing.

'Balancing on top' applies to Joe's sunglasses too.

Sep 8:  Bookidzine Opening -- Bookazine For Kids

Bookazine writes:

"We are delighted to invite you to free Afternoon Tea for Mums-to-be and new Mums: Wed, 9th Sep, 3:30-5:30pm, Bookazine, Room 309, 3rd Floor, Prince's Building, Central.

"Bookidzine features a new shop design with a super spacious new children's corner, the biggest selections of children's books to keep the little ones entertained while you browse.

"Cakes will be provided courtesy of Sweet Secrets, and prizes to be won courtesy of Annerley.

RSVP, or 525 0218."


Sep 7:  'Green Lamma Green' Goes HK-Wide

What are all these people ogling at (or should that be googling?) Is it a contest, a flash mob, a surprise birthday party or a fun launch of a new publicity campaign?

According to the picture's caption provided by HK Electric's latest press release, they're "Officiating guests and eco-tour participants all set to explore and probe into nature and our heritage" after they all had received "their mini magnifiers to identify eco-heritage hotspots."

But are these eco-heritage hotspots so tiny that it needs a magnifier lens to find them? Is there so little eco-heritage left all over Hong Kong? Let's hope not!

Yes, the 3-year publicity/tree planting/eco-tours campaign by HK Electric and The Conservancy Association, Green Lamma Green, has taken over the rest of Hong Kong, growing and expanding and prospering into Green Hong Kong Green! Soon all of Hong Kong might be cheering up and making funny faces in public like these people? Let's hope so!

Click for the full press release below, learn more about this great and very worthwhile eco-awareness campaign and see even more (go)ogling pictures:

Hunting for Eco-Heritage Hotspots on HK Island [05 September 2009]

So this leaves us with only one last question:
What and where are the "Eco-Heritage Hotspots" of Lamma?
Any suggestions, let us all know in our new "Eco-Heritage Hotspots" forum.

Sep 6:  Single Mom w/Baby on Lamma?

Jieru - Lammaite, posting in our Parenting forum:

Is it safe for a single mom to live with a 4 month-old baby on the island?

Is it inconvenient? I don't like to live in the city, I like the island, but it seems to be too inconvenient to live on the island with a baby...?

But I just worry that I won't be able to manage. I have lived on the island for several years, but I never had a baby before. When I was living alone it was easy. But how am I going to do the shopping alone in the city by myself when I have to take care of the baby?

My apartment on the island is so much nicer than the ones I have seen in Kowloon. And I really wish I could stay on the island with my baby....

Responses from forum members:


I would say Lamma is a great place for a single mum, once you get used to the ferries, that is. It's also very economical.

Lamma is full of young kids and when your baby is older it's very easy for them to make new friends etc. There are also a number of mother and baby groups you can join, along with a good Kindergarten school.

The community is very nice and friendly; it's very easy to insert yourself into and make new friends.

If you are a working mum there is an abundance of domestic helpers as well.

Our medical facilities consist of one clinic with a doctor here in the daytime. If your child gets any serious illness requiring urgent medical attention, then a helicopter is provided to get them to hospital fast.

I have raised 3 children on Lamma and one of the nice things about the island is that they get a great deal more space to go out and play and be much more active than what you might find in the city.

All in all I would recommend it as an ideal place to bring up your child, I have absolutely no regrets about doing so myself.


I would agree with Xerxes. I have been here for almost 20 years. Both my tiddlies attended the local kindergarten and local Lamma school before moving on to bigger schools on Hong Kong and overseas. Lamma is a fine environment for little people to grow up in.

There are currently several single mums but from a "mum's" perspective, I don't think it makes a lot of difference whether you have a partner or not. The place is by and large friendly. Children are children and there are plenty of them on Lamma.

So if you decide to come over, welcome!


You can get most of the necessities here.
Some things are cheaper from Wellcome, they will deliver an order to the kaido pier here:
Costs $5 for the kaido. I do that about once a month and get by.

If you need to go into town and don't have someone to look after it, just strap the baby on to your back -- I did that often enough. Or a pram can double as a shopping trolley. It's more convenient to go to Aberdeen than Central, the shops are much closer to the Aberdeen pier, and it's only 20 minutes.


Lamma and Central are baby-friendly. We don't have a helper and I've been doing shopping with my daughter since she was 4 months old, no problem at all; just take a pushchair with you.

Contribute your own baby experiences and good advice in our Parenting forum.

Sep 5:  Open Space - Music, Movies, Markets, Masterpieces

Tamara Norris - Creativity Director -

Hello all and Happy Saturday!

Thanks to everyone who made their way up the hill last Saturday afternoon. The Family Jungle Boogie and BBQ was crazy fun and we are looking forward to hosting another one in the near future. Here is a list of upcoming events happening up at Open Space:

Open Space Calendar:

Art Jam -
Sunday September 13th - paint the day away:
noon til 6 drop in any time before 4 to make sure you have time to create our masterpiece.
$300 for large canvas, $200 small canvas -
please bring your own drinks and snacks -
all art materials provided. Children welcome.

Jungle Movie Night -
Saturday September 26th:
7 p.m. kids showing - 9 p.m. big kids showing - midnight dance party
$40 donation to Open Space - please bring your own cushion.
Beverages will be available for purchase.

Craft Market
Sunday October 4th, noon til 6.
Crafty people selling crafty stuff. Admission FREE. If interested in being a vendor, please send a message to

Family Jungle Boogie & BBQ #2
Saturday October 17th, 4 til 9.
Games, arts and crafts, DJ and dancing, cartoons on the big screen:
$50 per child, adults free. BBQ and Beverages available for purchase.

For more information about these upcoming events or to book your own event at Open Space please email


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Lamma-zine Blog started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events, photos, videos, etc.

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