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Jan 31:  Super-Foods from the LifeForceMan

Super-Foods Sunday workshop in JUSTGREEN, Jan 31, 2010,
hosted by Helen & her mum, presented by Lammaite John the LifeForceMan.
Check out his highly informative Sketch Notes for this raw foods workshop.

Creating very tasty smoothies and dips by blending raw "super-foods" like Goji berries, cacao, seeds. Check out John's Super-foods PowerPoint presentation.

Jan 30:  Double Trouble

The Sleeves & Black Mariah: Saturday, Jan 30, 9pm:
Island Bar: Poster.
The former Spicy Boys and newish band The Sleeves whooped it up in The Island Bar today; see my Black Mariah photos below. Photos of The Sleeves or a concert review would be most welcome for publication! Email me!

Jan 29:  Super-Foods @ JUSTGREEN

Quick, guess where in Yung Shue Wan is this shop?

Even long-time residents seem to have a problem recognizing and finding this inviting-looking place and most have probably never been inside. Quite a missed opportunity! I hope to change that by introducing this little insider tip, a real hidden gem, to a wider clientele, hoping that you'll check it out soon! It's the JUSTGREEN natural & organic shop at the end of Main Street, vis-a-vis the Bookworm Cafe.

This location has seen quite a bit of change over the last several years, different types of businesses trying to make a living, but not succeeding for various reasons. But by now it's been fully developed into a most interesting, friendly and welcoming place and I've become a regular customer. Click on my recent photos below to see why I just love JUSTGREEN:

View from Bookworm Cafe -- Warm, welcoming smile from the shop's owner, Helen

An amazingly wide variety of natural and organic products

Fresh organic vegetables from Herboland --
European-style breads from La Rose Noire -- natural food and treats for your pets

Helen's table at Banyan House Kindergarten's Christmas Fair --
Super-foods workshop this Sunday

Helen and her mom are running JUSTGREEN. She's just signed up as a brand-new advertiser, so you'll read & see more about them in the Lamma-zine. She writes:

"JUSTGREEN is the first natural, organic & fair-trade grocery store in Lamma Island. We are proud to have the great selection of products found in Hong Kong Island. Our goal is to do good every day and make both Lamma and the planet happy and healthy.

"We are committed to finding the products our customers really love, providing a venue for seminars and community events, and supporting other green and healthy businesses in Lamma. We carry everything from organic produce, dairy and meat, to baby food, health and beauty products and even food and treats to keep your cats and dogs healthy!"

This Sunday morning, Jan 31, 9:30-11:30am, they'll have a "Super-foods Sunday" workshop, teaching Lammaites how to prepare healthy smoothies and dips for just $80/person, everything included. Lamma-Por and I will attend.

P.S. While I'm promoting local events once again, I got this email from Banyan House's Vivien & Catherine:

"Hi LG,

"We were hoping you might be able to give us a bit of editorial coverage on your home page about the Ceilidh tomorrow night? As you know it's a fundraiser for Lamma's only English language kindergarten and we will be donating 20% of the proceeds to Oxfam's Haiti fund.

"James (of Cath's bar fame) will be serving up a delicious BBQ and there will also be a cash bar with wine, beer, soft drinks and even Buck's Fizz (aka Mimosas). Tickets are $150 a head, available at Emily's or on the door."

Jan 28:  How Many Years Ago?

See what John found in an old house in Yung Shue Wan. A historic photo of the harbour, the old pre-ferry pier jetty, and Po Wah Yuen in the background, with almost no buildings!

Gavin was amazed because you can clearly see the standing stone which still stands in the garden of the house he used to rent, up in Po Wah Yuen. Mr DickStock took these two photos and emailed them to the Lamma-zine. Thanks!

Can somebody approximately date this picture? 1960s?

Same view in 2008, from roof of The Waterfront

A few more "Old Lamma" photos, collected/exhibited by the N. Lamma School:


Jan 27:  Best Lamma Concert Photo Poster

This is the very best photo poster for a Lamma concert I've published in quite some time, IMHO. Expert use of Photoshop to combine numerous items into a most impressive and comprehensive image, showcasing this major event of an (almost) brand-new Lamma Band's performance in The Island Bar this Saturday! The poster was designed by The Sleeves themselves who'll be expecting a crowd like the one above for their very first Lamma gig. Don't dare to disappoint them!

The very best non-photographical Lamma posters are usually drawn and designed by our Harry Harrison, of course! More about The Sleeves, from Denis:

"The Sleeves are a dish best served live. Since switching from playing indie covers to their own material a year ago, the high-intensity five-piece have become regulars on the local music scene with their energetic live shows that offer 'a tasty blend of Blues, Rock and Britpop' and 'rock and roll plus entertainment at its best'. They are currently recording two songs that will be included on the latest compilation CD to be issued by The Underground."

Jan 26:  More Help for Haiti

Dan Peterson - The Island Bar, Yung Shue Wan:

The good folks of YSW have been busy doing more good things of late, this time working hard to raise funds for the much-needed rescue and reconstruction work in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

In addition to the canvassing of shops and passers-by by Lucas and family in the high street and local establishments (see Jan 20 story), there were fund-raising efforts in full swing at the Island Bar last Saturday the 23rd.

Kelly Morgan, assisted by a few elves drafted in when needed, organised a book and video sale which managed to raise an impressive $4,600 for the relief effort. Big thanks to Kelly and congratulations on a job well done!

Next came a music fest on Saturday evening at The Island Bar. Initiated by Dave Green and organised by John Hutton and Harry Harrison, a host of musical prodigies pitched in throughout the evening. Guest musicians included Jacob Netel, Marcus Oleniuk, Neil Art and dream-drummer-and-percussionist-par-excellence Magnus Norberg, with guest vocals by Dan James, Lucinda Williams, Mystery Mark (Happy birthday again, Mark!) and Kelly Morgan (what, does she never stop when she's on a relief mission?) – and last but by no means least, Gareth Dunster, who also excelled himself with some new audio gear and a great new sound for performers and audience alike!

Standing by in the Green Room if needed too were John Saeki and Chad, among others.

The evening's effort equalled the daytime takings to bring the subtotal to $9,200 and the Island Bar topped that up to a nicely rounded $10,000 for relief in Haiti.

There were other activities too, including a donation drive by the Lamma Island (North) Rural Committee and a Sunday morning Bake Sale. Well done everyone, and thanks for making a difference for those in need. Once again, the people of Lamma and Yung Shue Wan have risen to the occasion and shown themselves to be a truly caring and generous community.

Jan 25:  The Renowned Cartoonist With Hilarious Style

Press release from Bookazine:

(Text & photos by Bookazine)

Temujin the Tiger Pounces at Chinese New Year!

15 January 2010 – Much-loved Hong Kong children's author Sarah Brennan will be launching her latest funny and fabulous Chinese Calendar Tale, The Tale of Temujin, at Bookazine, Princes Building at 1.30-3pm on Saturday 6 February just in time for Chinese New Year.

Harry Harrison & Sarah Brennan
with young fans.

Like his namesake the youthful Genghis Khan, Temujin the Tiger is the Terror of the East. He's wrought a trail of devastation and fine dining across the Mongolian plains into China, right up to the gates of the Grand Imperial Palace! Inside the GIP lives Princess Precious - as awful as her name suggests, with a great line in tantrums. Watch what happens when two irresistible forces collide in this latest book in the best-selling series, written especially for the Year of the Tiger!

Temujin is the fourth zodiac beast in the series, which to date includes The Tale of Chester Choi, The Tale of Run Run Rat and The Tale of Oswald Ox all of which have been best-sellers in Hong Kong, especially in schools where Brennan conducts regular reading tours. The books are now also being distributed in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai, and will feature at the Shanghai International Literary Festival in March later this year.

"I began writing The Chinese Calendar Tales to fill a much-neglected gap in the children's book market in Asia", explains Sarah. "It's hugely important for Chinese kids learning English – and English-speaking kids living in China – to be able to read books written in English which relate to Chinese culture and traditions. But it's also important that those kids are having a good time while they read! That's why the emphasis in all my stories is on humour and fun both in the text and the illustrations."

The Tales are all illustrated by Harry Harrison, the renowned cartoonist for the South China Morning Post whose hilarious style has proven a hit with Hong Kong school kids. The series is published by Auspicious Times, which also publishes Sarah's Dirty Story series for children.

Bookazine, Shop 309, 3/F, Prince's Building, Central

RSVP: / 2522 1785

Language: English. Suitable for ages 5 – 105!!  Free entry.

Wine will be served for the adults. Snacks will be available for the children.

Jan 24:  Semi-Lawless Bedroom Commune for Artisans

(Photos by DannyLO)

Searching the Internet for relevant info about our island home turns up some really strange descriptions and weird impressions, usually written by 1-day visitors, like the ones pictured above. Did you realise that some of these visitors clogging up Main Street on weekends regard us as a "semi-lawless commune", "a bedroom community for...commuters" or "a tropical retreat for artisans"?

Bah! Humbug! Click below to read more:

1.  Lamma Island. No cars, delicious seafood and an otherworldly, "I've fallen off the face of the earth" feel make Lamma a must-see.

2.  Sunday we met up to hit Lamma Island, the hippie, semi-lawless commune accessible by a ferry from Central. It is a bedroom community for expatriate and local commuters.

3.  We visited Lamma Island, a vehicle-less, tropical retreat for artisans.

I hope that this website will counteract some of these impressions, after publishing over 2,000 Lamma-zine stories over the last 7.5 years. Or maybe not...

Check out our story archive to judge by yourself....

Jan 23:  Snakes on Plates

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Correspondent, CairnsMedia publisher:

(Text & photos by Jay)

Snakes on Plates:
Slithering Down Throats

CENTRAL DISTRICT, Hong Kong – Usually when encountering snakes, people back away, keen to stay at a safe distance.
But this time proved different.
Everyone eagerly reached forward, chopsticks in hand.

Belly-pleasing prospects:
a ticket to the annual snake feast.

The occasion was an annual snake dinner, exclusively for Lamma Islanders, organized by the District Council, subsidized by the government and held on January 21 at a difficult-to-find restaurant in Central. Tickets cost HK$130 each, a bargain for an eight-course feast with several snake dishes (two in soup form), plus snake wine, eel meat (snakes of the sea, presumably), pigeon (identifiable by the cooked heads) and much more.

Twelve utilitarian stools surrounded each table. Within moments, every seat had a person perched on it – altogether about 150 folks nearly all Chinese. Some took a ferry to Central for the special meal. Others arrived from city workplaces. They filled an entire floor in the remarkably unadorned restaurant specializing in snake meat.

A sense of eager expectation filled the room. Then wine flowed, food arrived and everyone turned very busy.

Supposedly, snake meals have a healthy warming influence ideal in cold weather. "During winter the snakes don't carry poison," proclaimed one person.

"What?" asked a dubious dining companion, digging into plates and bowls at the same table. "Are you saying that if I'm bitten by a cobra now that I won't be poisoned?"

Suffice to say that once cooked, the snakes posed no threat. Indications were that the bits of snake meat, of several varieties, some dark, some light, floating in the soup or mixed with vegetables, had been frozen and imported from southern China.

"It was pretty tasty, not too tough," said one enthusiastic diner, who often has worked as a food critic. "Fortunately, there were no snake teeth in the dishes, but lots of tiny bones. The snake wine was pretty nice too!"

The countless bones, more delicate than fish-bones, even included spines. Did the snake meat resemble chicken? No, it tasted entirely different, neither delicious, nor repulsive.

Plenty of guessing arose due to the presence of other meats too.

"Is this part snake-meat?"

"No, that looks more like pork."

After an hour, the feast abruptly ended. As Lamma Islanders always do, these diners, once their bellies filled, began to fidget and ponder the ferry schedule. When a few people stood, ready to stroll back to the ferry pier, so did everyone else. (The restaurant managers like to push customers briskly out too.)

These serpent-devouring diners must hope that the poisonous snakes seen when out walking on Lamma never learn about the yearly snake dinner. No one wants slithery retribution.

High expectations fill the crowded restaurant.

Remarkably unadorned, the snake-meat restaurant stashes extra veggies within easy reach.

Slurp it up! Snake soup tastes good, but largely thanks to the non-serpent ingredients.

A bottle of snake wine stands on each table.

Pigeons, identifiable by the cooked heads, also appear.

Soon the feast ends as diners depart for the next ferry home.

More and larger photos

Jan 22:  Fight Against Drugs, a Dead Body &
                Sirens Going Off!

Talk on "Fight Against Drugs"

Sat, Jan 30, 9:30-10:45am (Cantonese), 11am-12:15pm (English):
Main Hall, Northern Lamma Primary School:  Full Poster.

Talks and Q&A for parents & children, by a doctor, a social worker and Lamma police's Sergeant Chik will tell us about "Drug abuse - an offence". There'll even be a "Display of drugs"....

News release from Hong Kong Police:

Identity of dead body sought

"Police are appealing for information to identify the body of a man found floating in waters near Tung O Wan, Lamma Island, on January 7.

"The dead man was aged 30 to 50, was about 1.55 metres tall and of medium build. He had a round face, dark complexion and short hair. He was wearing a black long-sleeved T-shirt, a green jacket, grey vest and blue rubber overalls.

"No identity document was found on him. No suspicious circumstances have been found.

"People who may know the man or who have information on the case should call Police on 2986 0231 or 2986 0200."

Plus an urgent announcement from HK Electric:

Emergency Drill at Lamma Power Station on 25 January

"HK Electric will conduct an emergency drill in Lamma Power Station between 11.30 a.m. and 12 noon on 25 January 2010 (Monday) during which sirens inside the power station will be activated. The drill is part of a regular exercise to familiarize station personnel with policies and procedures in response to emergency situations.

"Residents nearby may hear the alarm go off during the period and we wish to apologize for any inconvenience caused."

Jan 21:  LAMMA President Dies

See what I came across in my daily follow-up on Lamma news all over the Internet and other media:

"LAMMA President Ray Larrington dies after a long illness.

The recent death of LAMMA President, Ray Larrington, marks the end of an era in which the dramatic changes in farming over a near 60 year career led him to establish three distinctly different businesses within the agricultural industry....

"Ray's determination, forthright expression of his opinions and dry sense of humour will be greatly missed by all who knew him."  Read more...

This all sounds like a typical, multi-talented, humorous and opinionated ("forthright expression of his opinions") Lammaite to me!

But on further inspection, he was actually the President of LAMMA, the Lincolnshire Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association! They're just finishing their huge, annual LAMMA 2010 show (Jan 20/21) today in "Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Winthorpe, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 2NY", "the UK's leading farm machinery show" with "Free parking & Free entry". Website

A few days before this annual show in January, it's usually the only time of year when they manage to displace our website from its almost permanent #1 position in all web searches on Google/Yahoo/Bing for "Lamma".

Well, today is the last day of the show, there'll be press releases for a few more days and then we're back to #1 in the search engines. But some of these press releases sound pretty fascinating, in an agriculturally geeky way:

LAMMA 10: US-built Haydryer makes an appearance

LAMMA 10: AFT Trenchers imports Tuchel-Trac compact loader

LAMMA 10: Austrian-built cultivator packs a punch

LAMMA 10: Landy launches large-capacity pto pressure washer

LAMMA 10: High-speed big bale collector-stacker from Big Bale South

LAMMA 10: Simse Attachments launch BeastE cow catcher

Wow! Haydryers, cultivators, compact loaders, pressure washers, high-speed big bale collector-stackers and even a BeastE cow catcher (see right). Sounds all mightily impressive for this boy growing up in the countryside, surrounded by farms, working in the fields occasionally for pocket money while in primary school. But our neighbour was still using a horse-drawn plough instead of a mighty, all-powerful CULTIVATORRRRrrrr....

But it looks unlikely to find any of the few remaining Lamma Island farmers at high-tech LAMMA 2010, I guess. Farming methods here remain very basic and manual. There was one headline we'll probably never ever see on Lamma Island:

LAMMA 10: Traffic chaos delays visitors

Jan 20:  Lucas the Haitian

Susie & Flavio - Lucas' adoptive Lamma parents:

(photos by Susie)

We're organising collection boxes around Lamma for donations for the folk in Haiti. As you know, the devastation is mind-boggling and we want to do something to help, particularly as our son is from Haiti which brings it all very close to home. He still has family there. (Well, we can only hope he still does.)

Lucas, our son, was out collecting in the village this morning [Saturday] and very few people made it past him without digging deep in their pockets! He's already raised a significant amount of money, doing an amazing job. There were few who could refuse him. By the end of the afternoon he'd collected over HKD 3,000. Not bad for a 7 year-old kid! We're very proud of him.

As Lucas is the only Haitian on Lamma, and probably in Hong Kong, we wanted to get him involved in raising funds for the earthquake appeal. He is fully aware of his adoption story and is proud of his Haitian roots. He knows that he still has family there.

The following establishments have kindly agreed to 'host' the boxes:

Green Cottage, The Island Bar, Banyan Bay Cafe, The Waterfront, Deli Lamma and Diesels. We plan to leave them there for at least a week in the hope of more donations.

The money will go to SOS Children's Village in Haiti, a global charity that has been particularly strong in Haiti since 1978. They mostly work with orphaned and abandoned kids. Link to their Haiti page for an idea of what they do (pre-earthquake info).

P.S. I mentioned Lucas' efforts to his teacher at Kennedy School. She posted the info and his pic to the senior management and staff there. She (Donna Sloane) emailed me this morning with the news that the staff at Kennedy have got together and donated HKD 7, far!

Heather Paul - Executive Director, SOS Children's Villages - USA:

Today SOS is moving ten tons of food, water, medicine and tents to our SOS Village, 20km from Port Au Prince--with good access to roads, near the airport. SOS Haiti facilities despite being near the earthquake's epicenter have not collapsed, and preparations are underway to provide shelter for children who have lost their parents. SOS is the first organization given legal authority by government for the temporary care of children until parents and family status is determined.

With close cooperation from SOS Dominican Republic and its government, SOS is also setting up a Mobile Clinic. This clinic will be staffed by SOS medical staff and those trained in child trauma. SOS has worked with children traumatized by war and natural disaster for over twenty years.

Collaboration efforts are underway with World Vision, UNICEF and Plan on the ground, as SOS brings the special expertise of dealing with orphans and traumatised children.

Getting help to as many orphans as possible is our priority now. But we will continue to keep you informed as reports come from Haiti. We are told that funding is still a priority. The Haitians will need your support well into the future. Thank you to those who have made a donation. Click here to make a donation now.

P.S. Please help SOS to continue saving the lives of those in need in and around our SOS Children's Villages in Haiti. Donate now.

Jan 19:  Piano Duet for Kids @ Bookworm Cafe

Piano Duet for Kids: Sat, Jan 2, 2010, 7pm: Bookworm Cafe.
Free entry, poster, website, email, call 8108 9069.

Jan 18:  Solar Eclipse Over Helipad

Jan 15 2010, 5:48-5:52pm, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong, China

A Laudable Lamma Luminary used this top-Feng-Shui eclipse to launch his brand- new luxury yacht from the Old Jetty with a magnum bottle of top-notch champagne

Jan 17:  Mr Kebab Opening

Replacing the former Spicy Island, Mr Kebab - Turkish Rest. opened on Jan 16

Some of the first happy customers today, giving a big Thumbs up!

Local celebrities/future customers eagerly awaiting the opening a few days earlier,
jovial manager/co-owner Dogan front right, chef/co-owner Ali middle back row.

Sold out on the first day! -- Ali the Kebab Chef & cook

Our favourite so far: Chicken Roll -- one of many future salads & veggie dishes

Jan 16:  Party Animals on Dog Beach

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent, CairnsMedia publisher:

(Text & photos by Jay)

Canines Cavort in Doggy Version
of Lamma Fun Day

Dozens of Lamma's leading residents, the fleet-footed, furry, four-legged ones, and their two-legged assistants, held a special party at Power Station Beach on January 16.

After several hours of frolicking with old pals and sniffing out new ones, most guests of honour gave the event a supreme signal of approval – wagging tails – as they trotted home.

Film-maker Alba Rayton, also from Lamma, organized the "dog party", complete with food and drinks (albeit mostly for humans), as a cunning ploy to create joyful scenes to film and to attract pet guardians to interview for a new project. She's working on a short documentary about Lamma's people and lifestyle.

About 40 dogs attended – some brown, others black, golden or white, some tiny, some humongous, but most medium-sized – together with a similar number of equally diverse people.

Under pleasant sunshine, the dogs chased each other along the beach, churning sand with each stride. Some leaped in and out of the ocean. Their guardians sat nearby or mingled at the snacks table.

A few city dogs came to Lamma and participated. Their humans had read about the party online or on posters. Some keen people borrowed dogs from neighbours to attend.

Sounds of barking dogs punctuated the murmur of human chatter. Some folks feared that their dogs might fight with rival guests, but no serious canine disputes erupted. This wasn't a time for doggy bluster or snapping at snouts.

Clever dogs used the "eye-appeal technique" to convince their humans to share tiny sausages, bits of chicken or slices of bread. Some pursued another traditional activity – chewing on sticks.

Alba and her team aimed cameras at the dogs and asked the people every relevant question. Two crew members, including Alba's husband John, climbed a steep hillside, while carrying a camera, to shoot down at the party. They returned looking weary and tattered. John's jacket had multiple rips from brambles and bushes. "It wasn't easy getting up there," he said. "We didn't find a path."

Alba plans the documentary as a companion work for Masks, her short movie (about 55 minutes) set on Lamma and finished last year. She screened Masks at several overseas film festivals and hopes to do likewise with the documentary. Soon, Masks and the documentary may appear together on a DVD for sale on Lamma and beyond.

For more pictures & captions, click here.

Jan 15:  The Secret Undercover Policeman's Ball

(With credit and apologies to ex-officio member John Cleese et al)

Text & photos by anonymous, photo-editing/montage by L-G, click to enlarge:

The Secret Undercover Policeman's Ball on New Year's Eve was well attended, with an enthusiastic squad of 'undercover ops' dressed in an assortment of colourful, inspired and sometimes downright eccentric outfits.

Delightfully motivated by Harry's creative poster, the group was well and truly drawn to the theme. Alternate versions of dancing, posing and general silly-billying were very much the order of the night. Congratulations to everyone who put in so much effort to make the evening and this year's New Year's Eve celebration such a resounding success. It's a safe bet to say that great fun was had by all – cop a look at the photo evidence and see for yourself.

Thanks to all who participated!
And a special thanks to Harry, of course!

Jan 14:  Drinking Like a Thirsty Horse?

What's fuelling me while creating an (almost) daily Lamma-zine story? As an obnoxiously healthy-living, drugs-free individual, my only stimulant permitted is an occasional, rare glass of something alcoholic, preferably a glass of fine wine. But my tiny stomach pouch - after weight loss surgery two years ago - has reduced my alcohol tolerance dramatically. Even a single glass of wine will make me tipsy, going straight to my head. So it has to be really good wine to make drinking worthwhile and enjoyable in very small quantities! Drinking like a Thirsty Horse is out for me, I'm drinking more like a thirsty cat these days, enjoying and savouring every precious sip.

But when Lamma Celebrity Brad Tarr, Director of Thirsty Horse, the high-profile and well-known cricket and dragonboat promoters, presented me with a free pair each of his own brand's Thirsty Horse red, white and sparkling wines, how could a wine lover like myself resist! His only request was that I write a few words about them, helping to promote local sales. Yes, bartering goods & services is alive and well on Lamma and always welcome on this website!

I've tasted his red, white and sparkling wines now and can truly recommend them highly to all wine lovers! Brad describes the Shiraz Cabernet as "a combination of two classic grape varieties, with an aroma of dark berry and plum, hints of raspberry and red currant over subtle oak – excellent persistence of flavour with firm fine tannins, a good length and a warm finish." Well, I'm not an expert and don't have the experienced and sophisticated palate to confirm this highly refined expert assessment, but me likey this winey a lot!

Of course, I shared the wines with friends - at New Year's Eve, the Lamcombe farewell dinner, even giving away some bottles - receiving some very positive feedback and great recommendations!


"I went to South Australia, bought some grapes, and produced my own wine. Buying wine in HK, I found, was a 'hit and miss affair' with selecting a good cheap bottle. We have done it!

"I can guarantee that my selection of wines tastes fantastic, for the price!
I can also offer you a full 100% refund if you're not happy. I've not had one complaint and they are selling really well, just finishing the first shipment:

"Thirsty Horse 2007 Shiraz Cabernet HK$90,
Sparkling White HK$100, Chardonnay HK$80,
introducing a Sparkling Red and a Tawny Port to the Thirsty Horse label soon!"

Happy to deliver on Lamma! Email"

Jan 13:  4 Vegetarian Places in YSW?

For a little while there, we've had FOUR vegetarian places running in Yung Shue Wan: long-time favourite Bookworm Cafe, 2 Green Cottages, plus the new FaFa House in the former LAWC thrift shop. They're open from Thu-Sun only and are serving "creative organic food", basically tasty vegetarian snacks and desserts of a wide variety. The Lamma visitors I met in there recently gave it all a big thumbs up and Lamma-Po & I like them a lot! Innovative, colourful, tasty AND low-priced!

Green Cottage closed quietly and w/o farewell parties just a few days ago, another victim of local landlords. A former staffer will take over the place and make another go at it soon, probably reopening soon as a coffee shop offering baked goods. In memoriam of Green Cottage and its amazing seaview, my former favourite for a veggie English breakfast (see below), the "largest coffee cup of YSW", and a free newspaper. I'll miss the place.... Green Cottage Forum.

The former owners and most staff have transferred over to the new Green Cottage 26 vegetarian restaurant in the location of the former New Holiday Mood Grill & Rest. Whatever happened to Green Cottage 2-25? Part of a future vegetarian restaurant chain all over HK? Ron and his brother Dan (see below) should let us loyal customers know!

The Portobello mushroom burger above is my absolute favourite so far.
You'll find me in there frequently, meeting friends, even conducting business!

Well, it's back to three vegetarian places now and many more veggie choices in most local restaurants. I wonder what percentage of Lammaites are full-time or part-time vegetarians? I'd guess it to be an unusually high number. But most of the regular and occasional guests of our vegetarian restaurants are actually meat-eaters like myself who do enjoy frequent veggie meals, for variety, health and taste reasons. So go out tonight and try out these veggie restaurants, giving them a chance to survive, grow and prosper!

Jan 12:  Buy a Dog a Drink @ Dog Beach Party

Eileen Weintraub - USA representative for VSPCA in India
(on behalf of Pradeep Nath and all at VSPCA):

(photos above by Lisa Warden)

Dear Friends at,

The below is a submission for your website as we are very grateful to have this help from your area. Much appreciated!

We at the Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) in Visakhapatnam, India would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the people of Lamma for their generous donations. A special thank you to Cath Hoe and the Banyan Bay Cafe for hosting our donation box this year.

For the price of three drinks, you can sterilise a street dog in India and vaccinate it against rabies.

As of mid-January, the VSPCA donation box will move to The Island Bar, so come on down and "Buy a Dog a Drink!"

The VSPCA has thus far sterilised and vaccinated over 70,000 street dogs in Andhra Pradesh, India. VSPCA is a sanctuary for cows, dogs, cats, turtles, horses, buffalo, many kinds of birds and other small animals. We work mainly in the city of Visahapatnam and its surroundings areas, as well as a growing number of districts in Andhra Pradesh. The number of animals that we rescue, treat and advise others about is increasing each year. Please join our infrequent email list at

Thanks very much for your generous support! Best wishes for a blessed holiday season and wonderful 2010!

One more related item: Lamma's very first (?) beach party for dogs (human companions welcome, too.) Lamma filmmaker Alba (Masks, The Birthday Party,...) is filming a documentary and is looking for (human) volunteers to be interviewed. Our Official Court Pet Correspondent Jay and photographer L-G will be reporting back to you from this "Typically Lamma!" event this Saturday, 3-6pm.

Jan 11:  Emily, Good Girl or Bad Girl?

There are already THIRTY SEVEN chapters in Emily's semi-autobiographical Memoirs of an Ice-Cream Lady on Yung Shue Wan Main Street! It's becoming the Magnum Opus, the epic saga of Lamma, a real "Love and the Village"! The most recent weekly chapter made me laugh out loud several times. Check it out at:


Jan 10:  The Most Comprehensive Lamma Tee

An illustration by Peter Bolt who seems to know Lamma very, very well, cramming so many "Typically Lamma!" items into a single illustration. How many can you spot? I lost count at around 50. Click to enlarge, as usual.

This illustration is available as a T-shirt from Maria's Tigra da Lua shop, as I just found out today. Her clothing shop is in Tai Wan, on the left of the path to Hung Shing Yeh beach, opposite the glass-making shop. Adult sizes: $85, children sizes: $80. I bought mine already, wearing it with pride right now, adding it to my sizable and growing Lamma Tees collection.

Jan 9:  Strong on Images, Weak on Words

A new coffee table book with photos by five HK photographers, including ex-Lammaite Artist/Photographer Elizabeth Briel, is available now in HK bookshops. She was covering the rural side of HK, including the Outlying Islands like Lamma. She introduces her section of the book, signing her autograph to me, her "Lamma Inspiration", a "fellow eccentric at the edge of Hong Kong":

Read a book review by Lamma author Jay Scott Kanes: Lost&Found Hong Kong

Jan 8:  Strawberried Peanut Butter Transformers

What's keeping me fuelled while writing this placeblog? This is probably the weirdest of my small, occasional snacks; besides saltine crackers, fruits and nuts:

Jan 7:  Building a Village House - G/F

Would you move into a great rooftop flat if there's a new house under construction next door?

1.  Yes, no problem!
 0%  [0]
2.  OK, it that's really the only drawback
 11%  [2]
3.  Maybe, but I'd negotiate the rent down
     and insist on a 2-year contract
 23%  [4]
4.  No way!
 64%  [11]

Total Votes : 17

These were the results of a poll I put into our forum last June, right before we made the decision to move in anyway despite the majority negative feedback. We took option 3. above and have not regretted it yet. Watching the building of a standard-issue Village House - in which most of us Lammaites live - has been a very interesting and entertaining experience so far, not noisy and disturbing at all. A few photos from my balcony of the quite slow progress so far:

Jan 6:  Lamma Iceland

{Shiver!*} {*Shudder!*} Soooo very cold these days, especially at night!

It's got down to 10 degrees Celsius outdoors here on Lamma Iceland, eh, Lamma Island. Indoor temperature in our flat has dropped to 16 degrees these days! As only few people have any heating installed in our usually subtropical climate we need to get dressed up warmly in multiple layers of clothing indoors!

Getting cold fingers and toes is quite a new experience for me, after walking around in a T-shirt in winter before, back in the days when I still had thick, insulating layers of fat protecting me very well from any cold spell. Well, that's a small price to pay for much improved health and fitness.

It seems that awareness of HK and Lamma getting cooler is spreading on the Internet. See what I just found on this link spam website, Euro Car Hire, listed as one of 12 featured main tourist attractions in all of HK, a brand-new article:

"9. Lamma Iceland – If you see a different Hong Kong want to try, Lamma Iceland. It hosts several outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking. And if you love the delicious fresh seafood in Hong Kong Food tastes ambiance, Lamma Iceland is always to be the preferred place to go."

Yes, swimming in Iceland sounds like really cool fun, literally.

Jan 5:  Christmas Fairs, Markets & Workshops

More photos from some recent Christmassy happenings all over Yung Shue Wan! I've had a few busy weekends last month, exploring many of the markets and doing photo shoots of up to 3 events on the same day, running all over the place.

I've been relaxing for a few days with Lamma-Por who was off work for a full 10 days between Christmas and New Year. But the Lamma-zine will continue daily all through the holidays - loads more events & Christmas dinners to cover, see Events Calendar. No day off from my labour of love for this tired but tireless writer, editor, photographer, designer, programmer, publisher and Lammaniac....

Banyan House: Christmas Fair (Sun, Dec 6):

Fafa House: Christmas Market (Sat/Sun, Dec 19/20)

Open Space: Christmas Craft Workshop (Mon/Tue, Dec 21/22):

Jan 4:  Farewell to Lamcombe Seafood Rest.

Today is the very last day of this very popular Chinese restaurant on Main Street, the #1 favourite of many locals of all nationalities, including Lamma-Por & myself. Andy & Elizabeth have been running this highly successful local family business for over 13 years, getting an outstanding 46% Excellent and 32% Good ratings in our restaurant ratings.

But the off-island landlords want to try their own luck in running the place, despite Lamcombe agreeing to a massive rent increase. They landlords are hoping to reopen under the same name in a few months. For details of this sad story, see our Lamcombe forum. For this top Lamma-zine advertiser's web page with loads of my photos, click here.

Staff family group shot, "parents" Elizabeth & Andy in the centre, of course

Selling various left-over T-shirts @ $20, all proceeds going to the staff.
Lamma-Por & I managed to get a signed one from our friends.

A huge farewell dinner was set up yesterday for the Lamma dragonboaters & outriggers, around 45 (?) paddlers, as Lamcombe Rest. has been a major long-time supporter, plus many other good causes like the Lamma Fun Day. They're looking for a new restaurant venue, several ideas but nothing concrete yet. Keep your eyes on this website as you'll be the first ones to hear about a potential reopening! Some photos from our several farewell dinners with good friends over the last few days:

Celebrating New Year's Eve with Chinese food and great Thirsty Horse champagne!

Just in, a few more photos, dragonboaters & outriggers, by Bob Davis:

Plus two more photos from a Lamma Dragon Lady, Captain Dawn:

Jan 3:  Lowest Tide in Banyan Bay Harbour

While you were sleeping this Sunday morning, who was venturing out into the cold dark night after 6am to take these pictures of Yung Shue Wan harbour at the lowest tide below? Yes, intrepid Lamma-Gung is out and about again, exploring his home island at any time of day or night, on foot or bike, after 3 months of slow recovery from his double vision.

The tide was close to the absolute minimum of 0.2 metres this morning before sunrise - a very rare yearly event (Predicted Tides charts) - so I grabbed my tripod and ventured onto the exposed beach. Beware, these are NOT our usually pretty, touristy snapshots:


Here are a few more of my best photos of an even a bit lower tide at sunset, almost three years ago:


Just in case you're wondering how much prettier our harbour actually looks like during maximum high tide, here's an old photo gallery of mine, including a 360-degree panorama:

Maximum High Tide in YSW Harbour - July 13, 2006

Jan 2:  Best of Lamma-zine 2009

Andy the Architographer

There are so many photo- graphers calling Lamma home, but have you ever encountered an architographer?

Carpentry, Glitter & Paint @ Santa's Workshop

"Volunteers from Lamma were very busy last week, putting the final touches to Santa's sleigh!"

A Latter Day Utopia?

"These nights were part comical, anthropological, educational, historical, whimsical, touching, reflective, hazy and hysterical!"

RIP, Jenkin Waldo Hiles

Memories & messages from his many friends in our forum, including Mr DickStock's memorable quote....

Lamma Fun Day - 10 Years!

Live Music Line-up:
Twisterella (3pm), Of Moths And Stars, Quasar, The Curs, Transnoodle, Red Star Rising.

Drug Bust!

"Disparate Trains of Thought, Hilarity & Misery, Splashes of Colour & Visitations From the Past."

Speedo Slave Auction & Jello Wrestling!

"The Halloween Party is a 'small f', fund-raising party with auctions and games and...."

Breakfast Is Being Served on the Balcony, Milady

What Lamma-Por seems to have been missing most while I was away for a week of hospital....

Seeing Double

I spent the entire week in Queen Mary Hospital, starring in something similar to a HK version of House, the TV series.

The Detoxed Yoga Bunny
How to Lose 175 Pounds

Finally, after 1.5 years of strict weight loss diet and exercise, I've reached my goal of....

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...

We Are the Champions

So it is eight weeks on and I completed my mofo Bootcamp!! Wooohooo... It has gone fast and there have been many glaring...

My Rooftop Canopy Got Koppu'd

My brand-new rooftop garden, exposed 360 degrees and unprotected from the extreme...

Liz Gower - Tree Hugger Extraordinaire

More and more trees are being cut down all over Hong Kong and there are multiple notices....

Trade Winds Lamma Moving Adventures!

"I have just moved to Lamma and was asked by Steve Dressler to write a short testimonial...."

What's New in the Lammarina?

A private guided tour of the Lamma-1 luxury property development in Nga Kau Wan.

7 Years of "That Fine Lamma Uniqueness"

It's exactly Jul 23, 09 10:07 right now, exactly 7 years since this website saw the virtual light....

The End of L-G's Rooftop Pond?

A fellow forum moderator asked me about my outdoor rooftop pond and problems she's had....

"I'm climbing Mt. Stenhouse tomorrow"

This was one of the first sentences spoken to me by Lamma-Gung.

Further Fun in Filmland:
Masks Premiere

It's the evening of Saturday, the 30th of May. Dave Parker and myself are on the way to....

8*8 Reasons to Love Living on Lamma

Let me present 8*8 reasons why I still love living in our island community,....

Lamma 500 Photo Gallery #1

The first photos are coming in from the third annual Laracy Gall Lamma Int'l Dragon Boat Festival.

Romer's Tree Frog:
A Lamma Icon

Not many places as small as Lamma Island can claim the discovery of a new animal.

AROUND Sound Surround

When was the last time you went trough a terrible ordeal, getting massively inconvenienced and annoyed about your fellow....

L-G the Accidental Mountain-Biker

Despite using a second-hand mountain-bike almost every day as part of my ongoing quest....

Garden Passages

What's the Tai Peng Community Garden all about?

The End of the Lily Pond?

Discuss this very heated topic in our Yung Shue Long Valley Development forum and the Chinese forum.

Public Swimming Pool on Lamma?

A discussion about whether Lammaites would like a public swimming pool or not....

Future Recruits for the HK Police?

...join our Junior Police Call recruitment exercise on 2009-02-28, Sat, at 1430 hrs,....

Return to Lamma,
After Nearly a Decade

'Why are you going to Hong Kong, Mummy?' asked my daughters. 'Because it's my home.'


Thursday night's chilly thunder- storms did nothing to deter the largest crowd yet for James' BBQ at the Banyan Bay Cafe.

El Destroyo - Psycho-
Grooveabilly Powerpunk Trio

...The Island Bar for an evening with The Curs and special guest headliners El Destroyo.

Lamma People Slideshow

Best Lamma People photos by Lamma-Gung.

Stumbling Randomly Through the Hills

What started out as just a little quick stroll up to Lamma Winds ended a few hours later in...

Fellow Lammayans and Friends!

As we all know the economy has not been good lately and it is not likely to get any better....

'She's Crazy,' Said the Landlord, 'Completely Crazy'

In 1989 I started teaching slightly more formal yoga sessions on Lamma.

Serendipitous Stroll on a Spring Sun-day

lucky in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries.

'You Great Big Idiot!'

She was referring to my SkyJump off the Macau Tower yesterday ("the world's highest"), calling it "Pure Unadulterated Idiocy".

Cunning Canines Guide Lamma-Gung to New High

For the first time, Lamma-Gung reached the 353-metre-high peak of Mount Stenhouse.

Fancy a Secret, Private Beach?

There are the public beaches just besides absolutely deserted and much more beautiful beaches.

Ageing Western Men With Greying Ponytails

"...a hippy enclave that is one of the last vestiges of the old trans-Asian overland trail."

Best of Lamma-zine 2008

Taking stock of another great year for the Lamma-zine, I've compiled a little list of my own personal favourite stories of last year.

Jan 1:  Happy New Year 2010!

Many thanks to all our readers, sponsors, advertisers, photographers, writers, content contributors, cheerleaders, tipsters, supporters, and critics as well!


Read last month's stories...

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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