Lamma's most famous and
has been featured in the latest
edition of the Chinese Marie
Claire HK magazine; single
HK people describing what
they're looking for in their
personal Mr. or Ms. Right. If
you can read Chinese, click
above. Otherwise, have somebody
translate it for you, it's
entertaining and insightful,
revealing a lot of background on
this perennially controversial
"Laudable Lamma Luminary".
Applications to become Bobsy's
Valentine from ladies fitting
the very detailed profile above
will be welcomed.
Chinese forum, people
have been commenting on this
story, agreeing that Bobsy seems
to be looking for somebody very
much like himself, vegetarian,
spiritual, socially active,
"loving the Earth"; but
prettier, Chinese and female. He
confirmed that he's indeed
looking for a "cute Bobsina"!
Good luck with that! ;-)
After this story, quite a few
local Chinese commented to him
on this high-profile full-page
story, some pretty girls even
wishing him "Happy Valentine!"
No comment was available from
his current lady love from
Shanghai, pictured here in Green
Cottage. Plus a few more of my
pictures - from the extensive
Lamma-zine archives - of this
ever-changing fashion chameleon
& "ecopreneur" over the years.
All cozy & cuddly @
Green Cottage, Feb 2010
The Urban Cowboy promoting
SaveTheHuman @ Clockenflap
Before his "Bald Bonanza" charity
Lamma Fun Day 2007
The "Armani Hippie" co-managing
Life Cafe, 2004
Opening party @
Life Cafe, 2004
Bookworm Café story in TVB
Star TV documentary about
Lamma Forest, 2005
favourite spot, overlooking YSW,
2005, with Puppy II
Humble beginnings, living up in
Hunter's jungle hideaway,
after another day of
Lamma Forest trail building,
in the former Tai Peng "Party
One of the delights not
available in any of Lamma's
restaurants - as far as I know -
is the (in)famous, "slightly"
smelly, but utterly delicious
Durian fruit. In a rare moment
of sheer indulgence, celebrating
a family birthday, I ordered
this dessert above. Green tea
ice cream, fresh strawberry on
shaved vanilla ice, plus an
entire ice cream scoop of pure,
ripe durian flesh! This is my
favourite dish in this
dessert-only restaurant chain,
Honeymoon Dessert (27
branches all over HK, but none
on Lamma yet.) They offer FIVE
different Durian-based desserts!
Why are dessert choices on Lamma
so limited? Cheesecake, ice
cream or fruits seem to be
almost the only options
available for people with a
sweet tooth. Do Lammaites lack a
sweet tooth or are our numerous
restaurants just not daring
enough? Since the closure of
Lamma Sweet House in Sok Kwu
Wan, nobody's offering a
reasonable range of desserts
But none of my Chinese relatives
was willing to order my creamy,
yummy, succulent delight or even
try it. Some even made funny,
disgusted faces at their
Ah-Gung's "weird" culinary
preference and Lamma-Por even
refused my smooches! Harrumph! I
loved it and will order it again
next time! Just don't sit too
close to me!
The unusual & intriguing sights
you come across on HK Island are
making an occasional visit well
worthwhile. Leaving our
simple-life "rural idyll"
occasionally for a kind of
"reverse immigration" to the
big, modern city, we can still
get surprised by unusual sights
and happenings, even after
decades of living in HK.
Case in point, this protest
action below which has been
going on for several months
outside Citibank in the very
centre of Central, at the
crossing of Pedder St/Des Voeux
Rd. The bank guards didn't
intervene in the protest at all
and probably waited for the
police and/or the street
cleaners to take action.
While I'm not sure about the
reasons behind this long-time
protest (Minibonds?), it's kind
of refreshing to see that this
kind of David-vs-Goliath civil
action is still possible in HK.
Dissenters still dare to protest
in public, taking on even
all-powerful corporate giants,
especially global banks causing
the global financial meltdown.
It brought a smile to my face,
but it seemed to be totally and
deliberately ignored by almost
all passersby, in a rush to make
more money to feed their bank
just a few hours later, all
traces of the protest had been
erased and cleaned up, the lone
(arrested?) Just the usual
glossy advertising had been left
behind. For example, this truly
stupid ad on nearby
Entertainment Bldg. which
encourages us to "Be Stupid" and
buy their clothes. This kind of
massive billboards look a lot
more offensive to me than honest
Exactly two years
ago, Feb 25, 2008, I was
wheeled into the surgery theatre
of Queen Mary Hospital,
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.
It was a "last resort" way to
lose weight which was beginning
to affect my health seriously,
making me worry about my future
life and well-being.
They removed 80%
of my stomach permanently and
irreversibly, forever reducing
the amount of food I can eat to
about a small rice bowl. Nothing
else was done in this purely
restrictive operation, no
liposuction, no removing or
rerouting of any part of my
intestines, unlike the other,
more common but riskier weight
loss operations like Gastric
Bypass which too often result in
Ten more days in
hospital and then my serious
hard-core dieting started; no
more alcohol, soft drinks, junk
food or anything high in fat;
eat your veggies, fruits and
proteins, 1000 calories/day, for
1.5 years! But without exercise,
the weight loss could never have
been as dramatic. Never having
exercised voluntarily before, I
hiked frequently, got a bike,
joined the Island Gym, found a
local personal trainer, took 3
Island Life Studio classes/week, even completed
a 10-week Bootcamp.
all made me lose almost half of
my entire body weight over 1.5
years, 82kgs/180 pounds in
total. I've shifted from the
medical category of "Super
Morbidly Obese" to a mere
"Overweight" BMI of 28 and a
body fat index of below 20%,
being much fitter and healthier
now than when I was half my age.
My serious, still- undiagnosed
double vision problem has mostly
healed itself over the last few
months. I can eat anything again
and my digestion works better
than before. I got completely rid of all
hypertension, acid reflux, sleep apnoea,
OA) and could discontinue
all my former medications.
I've also managed
so far to keep my new weight
very steady for the last half a
year (see above.) Eating healthy
(but well) will have to be my
discipline for the rest of my
life, otherwise I could slowly
regain all the former weight.
Fortunately, there are lots of
healthy options available in
Yung Shue Wan. Sharing a single
meal with Lamma-Por saves us a
lot of money for some of life's
So how am I going
to celebrate my
2nd Surgiversary (a US
weight loss forum term, meaning
surgery anniversary)? I'm off
now to ride my bike over to Mo
Tat Wan Village, via Sok Kwu
Wan, have a snack of
seafood, maybe hike up Ling Kok
Shan a bit.
Sorry, no big,
fancy, celebratory buffet with
Lamma-Por tonight, I just don't
have the stomach for it anymore.
Instead, we shared a single soup
and starter in The Waterfront,
the location of my very last
regular-size meal of my life,
just before the surgery.
How to Lose 175
Nick the Bookman
- Official Court Music Reviewer, expanding into
reviews of weddings and other major social events -
(Photos by Steve Cray; text edited by L-G)
THE WEDDING -
Bleugh, snurfle, groan,
I'm waking up slowly and trying to remember recent
events. Where am I? What year is it? Am I waiting
imminent arrest? Do all body parts function (more or
less) as normal? Why do I feel like someone has stuffed
a high pressure hose up my nose and inflated my blood?
Can I answer these questions?
Basically yes: I'm
at home. It's 15-2-2010. No. Yes (more or less). I've
been at THE WEDDING. Things are becoming clearer with
each gulp of coffee.
wedding I've ever witnessed.
I hope to
celebrate many of your anniversaries.
OK. It's 14-2-2010
(Valentine's Day) and the Kiwi boys are throwing a bit
of a do. To be precise, Marc is marrying his endearing,
exquisite, ethereal, enchanting Thai girlfriend Nuch.
They've been together for a few months (?) and he
decided that this is one that isn't getting away. All
the legalities and paperwork are being done elsewhere,
but February the 14th is the day to tie the knot/plight
the troth/jump the broomstick, whatever. It's the time-honoured
lovers' day and coincides with the first day of the
Chinese New Year.
It's the first doubling
up of these holidays in the 21st Century (at least
according to the basic Gregorian Calendar used by the
West). And as TVB keeps reminding us, there won't be a
similar occurrence until 14-2-2048. Not that I expect to
be hooting and hollering on that occasion as I'll be 93
and rising. Or dead. That might explain my quaffing a
lot of wine. Get all your celebrations in now.
Especially as Marc and Mike have laid on ample supplies
of nectar and ambrosia for the event.
flower was handpicked/plucked, but "aha" there was much
more loveliness than
I could ever wear here. Marc and Nuch. Happy times,
The wedding is taking
place on the roof of Marc and Nuch's flat in Kam Sham
Terrace. There's a well designed roof office and a huge
canopy over most of the rest of the roof. Essential for
today's nuptials as it's spizzling a bit (as seems to
happen every Chinese New Year in recent memory. Everyone
remains dry (outside) but their grog lifting muscles are
getting a major workout. The wedding music is all
programmed into two laptops.
name is Anne. Anne Elk.
"All the best for you both.
About 80% of the guests
and revellers are raging upstairs. Nuch is downstairs,
smiling beatifically at everything and semi-keeping
guard over the victuals. There's a magnificent Thai
feast laid out. All the colours under the sun. I'm
almost sure that the spice factor alone has raised the
temperature downstairs a few more degrees from the 10-12
degrees on offer upstairs.
Kay Ross is downstairs as
well, calming last minute nerves. She's a sometime
stand-up comedienne and is conducting the service
dressed in a rather resplendent purple robe? cassock?
whatever. The wine bottles are being drained at a near
frenzied pace. The cham- pagne is waiting to go. Beers
and spirits are also being dispatched with glee.
weather is playing its part. Very little moisture and
some wonderfully amorphous blobs and tendrils of mist,
blocking and revealing the 360 degree rooftop panorama.
Most of Cath's Bar is here now. Dave Spicer, Mooney,
Cath & Darren, Parksy & Tiff. Alba is in the corner,
filming the action. So are several other people with
smaller cameras and cell phones. Will is manning the
laptops and playing some cool indie rock. The House of
Love and The Las among other tunes.
must not get drunk at weddings (times 3)...Marcel and
Nuch, what a great way to perform your wedding. Very
different, but surprisingly good. All the best for the
"Oh, joy. I write after
Dave Spicer...most excellent wedding, the vows were
brilliant. Inspiring. Best wishes for a long and happy
been nattering away to Danny and our conversation has
veered into Python territory. Talk of "Life of Brian",
perhaps. Certainly a mention of John Cleese visiting
Yung Shue Wan just prior to the Handover. There's a
photo somewhere of my arse outside Pizza Milano.
Chatting with Lord Fawlty.
Also present in the picture are his daughter (who played
his daugher in "A fish called Wanda") and his second
American wife, Alyce, who's recently cleaned him out in
an expensive divorce, forcing John Cleese to go back to
work to pay for the "extra waffer theen mints" and other
luxuries of life. Anyway, the service is about to start.
So, over to Kay:
[Speech by the "Eccentric Marriage Celebrant"]
"Great day (and bloody funny service). Thanks for
inviting us. Wishing you a long, happy prosperous future
together. Happy wedding day/Valentine's Day? Kung Hei
Daz and Cath"
revelries are underway. I've gone walkabout for some
inexplicable reason (probably a desire to drunkenly
babble at strangers who are merely friends I don't know)
and have managed to "abduct" Anni (her word) and bring
her to the party. Somehow, she's managed to sign the
book twice, so here are her offerings.
"I was abducted (see, told
you) by Nick the book so apologies for my attire.
Have a great future together and welcome to Chelsea
Football Club. With love,
and for the follow up:
Nick is drunk again and asked me
to do this all over again. Here
goes. Blessings to you both.
Blessings to Chelsea and
blessings to Nurofen
which has helped numb my
hangover. Happy year of the
think I ate about 4 plates of extra-delicious spicy Thai
food which led to some tectonic eructations from me
later on. Heard a lot of good music. Watched Alba film
intensely. Managed to get a few more people to sign "the
OK, this is Marc and Nuch's story and
I've intervened and rambled enough. So, I'll sign off by
saying it was a bloody brilliant day. Congratulations to
you both and may many more days like this be upfront in
your joined future. And good luck and take care of the
baby bump. Someone to look forward to in the summertime.
Here's some more quotes.
and Nuch. May the happy dust rain down on you for many
years to come.
"Marcel and Nuch. Congratulations! What a very enjoyable
wedding. I should have expected no less from you.
Cheeky! Nuch, you look absolutely stunning and who
thought Marcel could look so darling. Lots of love, Emma
"Marcel and Nuch. Great to see you both so happy. Good
luck for the future.
Chok Dee, Phil"
Marc and Nuch. Congratulations. What a great way to
celebrate the Year of the Tiger and Valentine's all in
one. No excuses for forgetting your anniversary, hee hee.
Lots of love,
"Congratulations on your
wedding. Best of luck for the future.
May the Year of the Tiger bring you happiness and
And now a
quick word from the fellow rugger buggers. First:
great friend and wicked man to share part of my life
I wish you both all the best.
the touring partner and best man:
and Nuch. All the best. All my love from
your best man. xxxx"
there's Edith Hamilton-hyphen-Smythe, who said:
"It was an honour and jolly
good fun to officiate at your wedding. Thank you and
Edith Hamilton-hyphen-Smythe aka Kay Ross"
I suppose other tales will leak out
eventually about this three-in-one holiday bacchanal,
but for now, it's goodbye from me. And it's goodbye from
Two more photos, by Cristobal de Lamma
Walking from the Yung Shue Wan
Shopping Mall - also known as
ifc Mall - over to the
you come across this very pretty
but surprising sight in the
overpass inside Central Market,
a route many Lammaites are very
familiar with. They govt. calls
Central Oasis, a
temporary construction built by
the Urban Renewal Authority, a
kind of early glimpse, a
showcase of what the ancient
Central Market building could
become after the redevelopment.
The project is open now for
consultation and feedback.
Nielsen is doing surveys in
there now, but only of HK
visitors, not residents who are
being forwarded to a survey
section on the
URA website. One of
Nielsen's staff approached me,
mistaking me for a tourist
because I was taking photos of
all these pretty decorations and
wall paintings where there was
just an ugly, utilitarian
concrete overpass just a few
weeks ago. He didn't want to
interview me, so I interviewed
him, getting enough info out of
him to write this story!
"Central Oasis" in Central
Market overpass from ifc mall to
Impressions" on huge posters,
showing the proposed
Central Market redevelopment by
the Urban Renewal Authority
paintings in the "Central Oasis"
- Central Market overpass
from ifc mall to
to the Central-Mid- Levels
Escalator, a short lower section
was temporarily out of order. So
I spontaneously decided to do my
daily cardio workout by walking
up all the stairs just besides
the entire Escalator as fast as
I could, taking two steps at a
time. It's a surprisingly fun
and uncrowded experience as
almost nobody else seems to take
these stairs in the uphill
direction while the escalator is
The area is quaint and
interesting, lined with dozens
upon dozens of restaurants with
international cuisine and luxury
shops, mostly well above my
financial means. No pretty wall
paintings here, many walls look
something like this:
But at the top of the Mid-levels
Escalator I found more wall
paintings, streetside this time,
along Conduit Rd (?), promoting
the East Asian Games 2009:
Exploring Mid-Levels and SOHO on
the way down, I finally found an
affordable place, stopping for a
yummy $32 Afternoon Tea Set in
Yes, the life of a "professional
blogger" is really sooo very
hard and demanding, full of
stress, sweat and
Asian Cricket Sixes Tour
(media release, Feb
21 2010; photo by
Lamma Cricket Club)
Lamma win Grand Final to
be crowned women's
cricket champions of
Hong Kong for sixth
Women today won the Hong
Kong Women's Cricket
League for the sixth
year running by
Wielders by 95 runs in
the Grand Final at Kai
Grand Final concept,
popular especially in
Australia and New
Zealand and played
between the top two
placed teams from the
round robin stage of the
introduced for this
season by the HK Womens
Cricket Committee and
has proved a popular
in the final means that
Lamma CC are still the
only team ever to have
won the HK Women's
League which first
started in 2004.
the toss and batting
first Lamma put on a
very challenging total
of 184-7 in their 35
overs. Skipper Neisha
Pratt (47) and Connie
Wong (40) were the pick
of the batters. The
Willow Wielders conceded
Willow Wielders were all
out for 89 following an
display from the Lamma
girls. Connie Wong with
5 wickets for just 11
runs, Godiva Li with 2
wickets for 30 runs from
10 overs and Fiona
Fitzgerald with 2 for 30
runs from her 10 overs
were the pick of the
bowlers as Willow
Wielders lost wickets
regularly and were all
out trailing by 95 runs.
skipper Neisha Pratt was
awarded the League cup
by trophy sponsor Mark
Burns who told the
victorious captain that
after six wins the Lamma
CC women could keep it.
about women's cricket in
Hong Kong see HKCA
or see Lamma CC website
captain Neisha Pratt with a supporter and 'Go Lamma!'
Lamma players and supporters pose with the trophy
- PhD Candidate in food anthropology:
(republished & edited from
her blog with friendly permission)
cats live probably over most of the island, but they
seem particularly lively in my neighborhood. They play.
They climb. They squeal. They look like they'd really
want to know what's down that well, or whatever that
deep hole is I spot from my balcony. They stick their
little heads into that black void and I fear that, one
of these days, it might happen that "curiosity killed
the cat". Or maybe cats are too smart to loose their
I see feral cats getting fed regularly
by kind-hearted animal welfare people. One of the whites
made a disgusted face at me the other day as I tried to
befriend it by trying to make sweet sounds from a
distance. The cat was like... what? And then... yuck!
And then took off. Well, fair enough. At least it's
I have also noticed that stepping into
someone's store without knowing exactly what to buy may
cause active neglect or a reaction quite similar
to the cat's, resembling disgust. Maybe the lack of sun
these past days has made some people catty?
I think about what if I had to engage in
business and family matters in the same confined space,
with only a door separating the front shop from the back
living quarters. Would the foreign person browsing "my
stuff" piss me off? Yes, probably. Customers seem to be
expected to look like we know exactly what we want to
buy. I must remember to enter stores as if entering
someone's private home.
Yung Shue Wan ferry pier, decorated for Chin. New Year
(all photos by
Steve Cray, headline typography by L-G)
Lamma Island was our first pick – much
more conducive to food, wine and merriment…and we didn't
have to worry about drunken guests driving home
afterwards (unless someone decided to steal a VV, which
is relatively unlikely).
The rooftop has a view which matches
many backdrops offered by inner-city parks and it
allowed us to embed our new house with a great vibe and
energy of day. The stormy winds, icy, chilling to the
bone conditions and relentless rain suddenly made way
for us and it was still, calm and relatively warm –
thanks a lot you smiling Lamma weather gods!!
We managed a splendid champagne soaked
day…fun, laughter, a couple of broken cheers (and a tear
or two) – and a jolly good time was had by all – (and
the All Blacks gained 1 new supporter).
Steve Cray -
Red Star Rising, from
(I do . .
. as long as you support the All Blacks)
The dearly Lamma Island beloved were
gathered in the presence of the three chimneys on a
rooftop at Kam Shan Terrace on Valentine's Day for the
Marc Miller and Prakai Wannawong (Nuch). It was
the wedding with everything; Champagne, beer, top food,
wonderful people, humour and more Champagne.
The service was officiated by marketing
consultant, healer and performer
Ross in character as Edith Hamilton-Hyphen-Smythe
and looking every inch as though she just stepped off a
Harry Potter set (check out the pointy shoes)...
It was quite the most entertaining
wedding I've ever attended - let alone photographed. A
wedding updates here: and see a web gallery of
around 100 of my wedding shots here:
wedding web gallery.
See my website by
clicking this link.
P.S. I: I read about this wedding beforehand via
a tweet, very appropriate for a wedding so well promoted
via digital social media:
Website, Facebook group, Google map, photo gallery, poster via
"kayross Going to Lamma Island today to do a
Valentine's Day acting gig as an eccentric marriage celebrant
P.S. II: The rooftop looked very familiar in Steve
Cray's great photos!
Lamma-Por and I were seriously looking at it (twice) last summer
when we were flat-hunting. We liked it but the landlord asked
way too much for it, mainly because of the amazing, panoramic harbour view
from the rooftop.
We refused the flat and then the landlord dropped the price very
significantly, finding Marc & Nuch several months later. The flat back then, when the landlord was still occupying it,
had an impressive rooftop garden and was so densely stuffed with
toys, house miniatures, pictures, arts & crafts everywhere, like
a fairytale museum, almost like in anticipation of this
fairytale VIP wedding.
P.S. II: Just
one more photo from Dave Spicer,
showing Prof Red Star as
"The Wedding Photographer". Dave writes:
"I think it captures a moment that shows the
'new style' Hong Kong wedding that is allowed to take place at
any location the couple want. I put in grayscale to simulate the
classic 50's and 60's pictures that take the eye of the colour
and allows the viewer to concentrate of the faces and
characters. The fact that the picture was caught just as the
flash was taken has added another dimension of light against
vignetting in the corners."
Contact Wedding Photographer Prof RS (or me) for
your next wedding!
Too cold today to type and publish a Lamma-zine story! 8 degrees
outside and a freezing 13 degrees Celsius indoors in my home
office, a new personal record low for our unheated flat! 3
layers of clothing and 3 pairs of socks and still not comfy....
Well, just a few more days and our short winter will be over!
There have been persistent rumours of wild boars roaming free on
Lamma Island in recent years. Many Lammaites dismissed them as
just another Lamma Myth (of which there are many... too many.)
We've only had occasional anecdotes and stories of very rare
sightings so far, for example from anonymous:
"This thing was moving fast, charged across my path about 20
foot away from me. It was large, fat, dark brown, hairy and with
a convex curve in its back. There was a real raw primal feel to
it, so unexpected that I thought a portal had opened from the
twilight zone, pretty awesome, actually!"
The closest to photographic evidence we've ever come were photos
of footprints in a dug-up sweet potato patch of Lo So Shing's
Paul the Butterfly Man (Repeated
Wild Animal Raid On Sweet Potato Fields), over 1 year
ago. No photos of any wild boar ever, this most elusive
former Lamma Myth! Until now!
Sightings so far, as described on this website:
Wild boars/pigs while mountain climbing ???
So I decided to offer a huge, amazing, fantastic prize for
actual photos of the That got the Lamma-zine surprisingly quick
results. Within a day, our intrepid
Anonymous Guy - the undisputed king of Lamma wildlife
photography and the most admired contributor to our
Fauna forum - stepped up to the task and delivered these
stunning shots below! Congratulations! So, in which YSW
restaurant you'd like to enjoy that free dinner,
"Excellent pictures. And what a beauty that
"So why don't we just leave this little piece of nature
"We live with snakes, frogs, birds and the
dreaded 'Lamma Centipede', as well as the odd feral cat, dog and
the odd obnoxious human... and this little creature is
not about to do any harm to anyone.
"As they don't seem to be dangerous - after
all that I have read on the subject - it's nice to have some
more 'wildlife' on this island."
agree. Let's declare this young boar a semi-official Lamma Mascot! ;-)
3 generations of my Chinese family - 3 step-children/3
grand-children/2 sons-in- law - visiting Ah-Gung and Ah-Por on
their yearly family trip to exotic, rural, far- away, unfamiliar
Lamma Island, all the way from their homes on urban HK Island.
remember the guy on the right riding on my shoulders through
Ocean Park over 20 years ago and spending the Millennium night
in hospital awaiting the birth of my first step-grandson, now
ten years old. HK is my home now.
To our astonishment, they all loved Mr Kebab's food, even though
being unfamiliar with Turkish food. The bill for 10 people,
$284, was less than our recent simple hot pot for 2 people in
Lung Wah Restaurant.) Then we returned to the Lamma-Gung & -Por
Residence decorated with some typical CNY flowers & plants, of
Then it was time for the highly anticipated exchange of CNY
presents and fried cakes, plus the traditional handing out of
Lai See packets to all the visitors, of course.
The first yoga lesson of my life was with
Wendy in Sally's yoga studio near the Tofu Lady on the way
to the beaches,
1 year ago. She's such a great and experienced teacher,
inventing new, special yoga positions tailor-made for
my creaky knees by "balancing the smileys on my knees" (see
She introduced me to the great health benefits of
this ancient practice and I've continued yoga
lessons with another teacher occasionally since then, becoming
quite a bit less inflexible and unbalanced. Wendy lived on Lamma from 1987 to 1993 and now
inhabits Glastonbury UK, "but the sound of waves against the
Lamma rocks lives on."
returned to Lamma for a
few weeks, giving a number of yoga workshops for her many old
friends still living here, plus new "acolytes" like myself. While I understand nothing at all about my chakras and my
"body's subtle regions of the energy realms", I look forward again to "embrace
both our limitations and our unlimited potential for freedom."
It really sounds like "serious fun!" Contact Sally at
2982 4301 for details & directions, or click below:
Tin Hau Temple,
Yung Shue Wan, New Year's Eve. Photos by Dirk Claus:
Our free classified
Buy & Sell, Rent & Let forum has become a major place
for finding, renting and buying private Lamma properties, without
any half-month agency fees. It's also the only place so far, as
no property agent or major landlord is offering any property on the Internet
or in any printed media yet, leading to frequent
enquiries to Lamma.com.hk for flat-finding info. There are only
a few, little-known web pages offering short- term, tiny "holiday resort" rooms, but no
long-term, regular, residential
flats are on offer online at all.
The local landlords and agents rely exclusively on word-of-mouth
and little, text-only ads in their Main Street shop windows to attract
new tenants and buyers. This is severely limiting their business
opportunities to passersby only. "We've always done business
this way, why change, why try something new that's not free?"
That's the kind of typical feedback I get when talking with
them. But the commission they receive from a single flat
rental or sale would easily pay for an entire year of
advertising on this website, the #1 Lamma website so many people
are looking at
before they move to Lamma or search for a new flat.
Finally, one forward-looking landlady has woken up to the new
world of online marketing opportunities! She's placed an advert on
this website to reach a much wider audience interested in
renting her great flat and finding a good tenant much quicker
this way. If you're looking for a fully furnished flat in a
quiet, friendly neighborhood, check out this place! Let's see
how very quickly this flat will be rented out after this home
I've visited the flat myself recently, chatting with the Chinese landlady, Lili, and her
current tenant, Elizabeth. They've become very good friends, even
hanging out together frequently and giving presents to each
other. All the photos and most of the
text come from Elizabeth who's returning to her overseas home
for now, but hopes to return for another extended stay soon.
The latest issue of
magazine features a full page about Yung Shue Wan, including a
few sample properties. This is a very rare case of seeing any
Lamma properties listed in any media. Click to enlarge to read the entire page:
P.S. Well, it took just a little over a
week to find and confirm a tenant, Lili's fully furnished flat
is rented out now. No more phone calls, please!
So, who's next to advertise their flat on this
Click above to read what Twitter members have been tweeting
about Lamma recently. No need to sign up first - I didn't.
There was one very interesting tweet:
kayross Going to Lamma
Island today to do a Valentine's Day acting gig as an eccentric
marriage celebrant - fun! 8:25 PM Feb 13th from
More about that "eccentric marriage celebrant" and the VIP
Dear Financial Secretary,
Life for everyone on the outlying
islands relies upon the ferry services. These are
currently not subsidised in any way, nor do they receive
financial support from Government in the form of capital
injection other than through the provision of ferry
This is a missed opportunity. There
would be significant environmental and commercial gains
were the ferry services to be given greater support. The
boats themselves could be improved to cut emissions and
the ferry piers could be renovated to include more
retail/restaurant space. There could also be more
inter-island services to support tourism.
Other forms of transport receive
support, be it directly or indirectly. Buses, taxis and
trams are given free, well-maintained roads. Some have
received cash injection to allow them to use modified
fuel which is better for the environment. MTR receives
capital grants and is allocated property to develop.
To date, the Transport Department has
held the view that a policy does not allow subsidies to
be given to public transport. However, whichever way the
Government chooses to word this, it is still clear that
the ferry services are out on a limb whilst other modes
of public transport are given assistance to ensure their
safe, regular and ongoing operations.
The last ferry tendering process turned
out to be a debacle and has resulted in total inequality
of services on different routes.
We on Lamma suffer a long and very
uncomfortable journey if we need to travel to Aberdeen.
The service is infrequent and as a result is less
frequently used, causing commuters to clog up the roads
unnecessarily when traveling to Aberdeen via Central.
Effectively, there is no convenient access for Lamma
residents to Aberdeen shops and facilities, schools in
the areas and Ocean Park.
The direct service to Central is much
more acceptable but we are all waiting with bated breath
to see how the next tendering process will be handled
and if indeed we will be made to suffer a further
reduction in this essential service. Ferry routes to
other islands are also troubled by lack of Government
We note that you are inviting comments
from the public for the preparation of your budget and
we hope you will address this issue which is at the
heart of life on the islands since there is a clear
conflict between support for public transport on Hong
Kong and Kowloon versus that for the outlying islands.
Sharon - The
Island Bar & The Waterfront:
Following an arduous, shambolic and
at times acrimonious process in 2007-08 of meetings
with government (mostly the Transport Department),
tendering, meetings, re-tendering and the like, we
secured a largely acceptable ferry service which we
currently enjoy. Our current ferry services for Lamma
and all outlying islands will be re-tendered next year.
The Financial Secretary, John Tsang, has issued a
general invitation for public comment and input via his
www.budget.gov.hk in regard to his 2010-11
Budget, to be delivered on 24 February.
Simply put, we now have a shrinking
window of opportunity to make our voices heard by the
man who holds the purse strings for the government
coffers containing billions of dollars in surplus funds,
some of which need to be allocated to serving the people
who live on and visit the outlying islands.
You may register your concern in a
single sentence or in several paragraphs, using simple
logic or with heartfelt passion, and doing so now will
at the least put us on record as having registered our
wishes before the budget was finalised and at best help
to secure the necessary government funding to ensure
safe, reliable and affordable ferry services for the
Do It Now
These samples may provide some inspiration for
your own submission. Simply log into
www.budget.gov.hk, choose the channel (email/fax/phone)
you wish to use and make your voice heard now, when and
where it counts.
Click for the complete captioned art gallery and Artist's Statement.
Back on "normal,
healthy" diet now and maintaining my body weight for the last 6
months, I've resumed exploring what Yung Shue Wan has to offer
in (moderately priced) gastronomic options. I can basically eat
anything I like again, without any digestive problems, but all
in moderation as regular-size portions are much too large for my
small stomach. Usually sharing a
single set healthy dinner, Lamma-Por and I eat out locally almost every
day. Here are some of our most recent Delicious & Delightful
Discoveries and personal culinary favourites:
Fish Grill @
Portobello Burger @
Green Cottage 26
Shelly's Cake Express
Chicken Dijon @
The Waterfront (Lamma-zine advertiser)
Veggie Pasta and Duck
B&B Seaview Rest. (Lamma-zine advertiser)
Valentine's Day menus:
B&B Rest. and The Waterfront
(click to enlarge)
While out shopping
mid-afternoon today, a female (married) friend complimented me again on my new
slimmer looks, after losing half my bodyweight in the last two
years. With a friendly, charming smile, she advised me on not
losing any more weight and that she likes the way I look right
now, full of energy and with new clothes (not tailor-made
anymore, but off-the-rack from Patagonia, sports shops, local
boutiques or my Lamma T-shirt collection.)
I got similar
comments from my female HK Electric contacts during the press
briefing, from Lap Sap Ladies while hiking up Cable Route 1 ("Woaah!
Laeng Tsai!") and even elderly Chinese ladies during Dim Sum,
occasionally even from guys! To my astonishment and
occasional embarrassment, the weight loss seems to have turned me into a
(very minor, unimportant) local pseudo "celebrity".
This is still such a
surreal, weird and novel experience for me, not having received
any compliments like this in over 20 years. Well, I admit freely
to kind of liking it and trying hard to "Stay Like This!"
Well, time for
another afternoon fast hike over the top of Po Wah Yuen or to
Lamma Winds (only 12 minutes from Back Street). It's a nice,
little cardio workout (more fun than a treadmill!) before
hitting the Island Gym once again a few times a week. I'm also
looking around for a Personal Trainer and exercise classes
again. Hey, Fred, are you reading this?
Keeping my weight
very stable for already half a year now required more than just staying away from sweet
and greasy temptations. Losing all the weight (175 pounds/80kgs) in 1.5 years
wasn't actually all that hard, but preventing me from gaining it all back
will be an on-going struggle, probably for the rest of my life!
Chow Yun-Fat, Fat Gor,
Lamma's favourite, most famous and richest son is still going
from strength to strength, after decades of appearing on HK TV -
making Lamma-Por swoon as a girl - and many movies locally and
worldwide. Born and raised on Lamma Island, he's been
acting as a
Bulletproof Monk, a Pirate of the Caribbean, King of
Siam and Emperor of China. He's now progressed to star as
Confucius, the most famous Chinese philosopher, more famous
and influential through the centuries than any emperor.
In Mainland China, this movie recently has
replaced "Avatar" when the authorities pulled the non-3D version
from all theatres. The variety of movie posters above
demonstrates the acting skills of Fat Gor very impressively.
This cartoon below refers to all the double-barreled killers
he's played in his HK cult movies, directed by John Woo,
inspiring so many Hollywood copycats:
View from Family Trail between Hung Shing Yeh
beach and Sok Kwu Wan
Electric announced yesterday their plans to build an offshore
wind farm to the Southwest of Lamma Island: ready in 2015,
around 100 megawatt (MW), enough power for 50,000 families in
Hong Kong, 1-2% of HEC's annual electricity output, 28-35 wind
turbines, each of 2.3-3.6 MW (3-4 times the capacity of Lamma
Winds), 600-hectare site, 4km off Lamma, $2.5-3 billions.
Details of the proposed wind farm together with its
environmental impact assessment (EIA) study will be available
for public inspection and feedback starting on Monday (8
February) at the
of you who eager for even more details, click above to view the
entire presentation (PDF
file) with a wealth of facts, photos and charts.
EIA Study Affirms Southwest Lamma Offshore Wind
I've also just started a new discussion topic in
our forum. Give us your opinions and post questions and I'll
forward them directly to HK Electric and report back here with
Marine Wind Farm off Lamma
invited by HK Electric to today's press-only briefing in the
Electric Centre above Admiralty was a most interesting
experience. It was my first-ever visit to the head office of
this website's main advertiser. A buffet kept the hacks happy,
after listening to an informative Power- Point presentation
about the planned wind farm (see tomorrow's Lamma-zine story)
and collecting handouts, CD-Rs, me even getting a "Reporter"
sticker. All the major TV networks and over two dozen media
people attended and jostled for attention. A few of my photos of
"Inspiring a happy and creative
planet." (photos by Tamara)
The Chinese New Year is approaching and
the weather has warmed up - what better time to get
things rolling again at Open Space! Here is a listing of
upcoming events and workshops - hope to see you there:
February 12 -
$40 donation to Open Space, bring your
own snacks and drinks.
6:30p.m. Kids showing - Mr.
Magorium's Wonder Emporium
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Grsk5tfoXvg, rated U
suitable for 4 years and up.
9:00 p.m. Adults showing -
HEAD was The Monkees' debut (and only) movie,
released in 1968. A flop in theatres, it was pulled out
and forgotten. But, to this day, it remains a hit cult
flick for die-hard Monkee-maniacs and just generally
weird people. :-)
The Monkees where famously contracted to their record
label and where known as a 'manufactured' band, but as
part of their contract, they where allowed to make and
release one album of their own choice, and they did so
by making the music movie 'HEAD'. An occasionally funny
and truly psychedelic movie, Head has slipped into that
category of the 'all time great cult moves' and is a
must for those who haven't seen it before:
Monday, February 15th -
Family Jungle Boogie #3
3:00 til 7:00 - DJ, dancing, arts
and crafts, campfire, cartoons on the big screen. $50
per child - adults free - BBQ and beverages (for big
people and little people) available for purchase.
Sunday, February 21st -
Kids Art Jam
1 p.m. - 4 p.m - $200 per chid
includes a 30cm x 40cm canvas and all art supplies -
healthy snack provided. Adults also welcome to come and
paint - $250 for large 60cm x 80cm canvas.
Kids under 8 must be accompanied by an adult.
Tuesday February 23 -
Weekly Young Crafters Group Begins
Every Tuesday from 2:30 - 4:00 -
$450 (4 sessions). Includes all art supplies, Ages 3 - 6
We are also looking to start up a
Drama Club at Open Space for kids and possibly for
adults as well. We would like to have a committed group
interested in weekly workshops with the goal of creating
a production to be staged at Open Space.
Please spread the word about the above
events and contact me if you are interested in
Thanks and happy Thursday
P.S. If you would like to host
your own party or book a private art jam session
for you and your friends please
Open Space will be hosting our 3rd Craft market on
Sunday February 28th from 11:00 am til 4 pm.
We are currently accepting applications for new
vendors - the fee is $200 for the day which includes
a 3ft x 4ft (approximate) table and chair.
Our forum remains an extremely lively place,
even while approaching 8 years of feisty existence, despite Facebook,
Twitter and other recent "upstarts" gaining popularity even on Lamma.
We've recently just surpassed 8,000 individual discussion topics
and it was quite typical that
topic #8,000 was another
one of our frequently highly effective free
It's well-known how passionate Lammaites are
about their pets. A good example of this passion is being
demonstrated in another forum fight between dog owners,
resulting in some very harsh words being posted. Soon, some of them started attacking the moderators of
our forum. Well, as the forum's administrator I
take it all in my stride, trying hard to remain reasonably fair,
neutral and impartial in this feisty "freedom of speech"
environment. But my moderate, conciliatory attitude can result
in being attacked from both sides occasionally, as I'm in the
middle trying to moderate, not fully supporting either side.
You're not on my side, so you must be against me!
Check out for yourself how I and some moderators
supposedly hand out "ingratitude as a reward", "prosecute
modern literature", allow "kangaroo courts to charge and
convict", "pull plugs prematurely", even commit
"great injustice" - if you believe a few of our more
opinionated members. Well, fine fictional writing still seems
alive and doing fine on Lamma, judging from these comments!
Nobody has been censored so far for strongly disagreeing with a
I've also posted my well-intentioned but
probably futile attempts at defending and explaining our
forum's ground rules, for the amusement of some members
who'd love and enjoy to name and shame their enemies, call
each other names and dish the dirt on their neighbours and
sundry adversaries. We'll continue trying to keep the public forums a
lively, but non-libelous community platform.
Well, there's always the private-members-only
Fight Club forum which hasn't been too popular recently.
There's no worldwide audience like in the public forums, so
people seem to lose interest quickly; it's not much fun fighting with
your drinking buddies or adversaries in a non-public forum? A
member even thought that a "great injustice has been done"
when another "personal attack" message had been
routinely moved -
uncensored, unaltered - into the Fight Club where
they'd be welcome to continue their heated debate with other
members of this private club.
Judge for yourself:
Lamma Our Shire.
ex-Lammaite Yoga Teacher:
wash onto beaches the world over but somehow they seem
to break that little bit louder on Hung Shing Yeh. From
the moment I first swam there, one accidental Sunday
afternoon in 1987, I was hooked. And still they break in
upon the subconscious, every time I lie down to relax,
every time I talk a yoga class through relaxation.
Pregnant with my third child, I listened to a Radio 4 programme in 1997 in which a Lamma resident was
interviewed concerning their feelings of the handover. I
scarcely recall what they said, as my ears were
straining to hear the birds in the background: Lamma
birds! They still flew and sang, all across the world's
airways into my kitchen in Somerset.
Back in the Saturnian clutches of the
UK, Saskia held parties from time to time. Those who
don't know Saskia should at least know her legend. I
would diligently attend these parties where we who used
to live on Lamma clustered in sad little groups,
clutching at the dream of a bright island in the sun
where everyone was creative, solvent and funny.
knew that Spanish villas had eaten up the fields where
Lamma people once watered their pak choi with night
soil, that the narrow paths where we once danced in our
psychedelic clothes were now trodden by more sensible,
grown-up expat feet. But Saskia's Lamma days, Saskia's
puppet shows, and Saskia's Lamma parties where
unspeakably outrageous happenings just happened were, as
Carey pointed out to me last year, the forerunners of
the Lamma Fun Day. Though I knew, even before I
returned, that where Saskia and I once danced puppets
and babies existed more in our imaginations than on the
ancient soil of Lamma, I also knew that the imagination
itself was a native flower of Lamma.
But maybe this was just romantic
imagination? Perhaps I was idealising things? Not having
been on Lamma in an improbable ten years, was I editing
out that ridiculous fear of sharks and jellyfish, the
tidal blasts of rubbish, the dodgy chemical peels
drifting down from the Pearl River Delta? Was my whole
vision of Lamma perhaps skewed by a tendency to don
Weren't there nasty biting creatures
which sucked on my babies' sweet blood last time I was
there? What about the deadly but dead bamboo snake I
once found on the roof in Pak Kok where I slept? What
about that very lively rat snake I once found on my
windowsill? What about the swarms of mosquitoes, the
smell of shrimp and the way all my favourite books and
clothes turned black as soon as the humidity swelled up
in the spring?
- upon returning last year, Hung Shing Yeh was just as
vibrant in reality as in my imagination. Things had
changed a little, and it was sad that I could no longer
talk to the chickens on the way to the beach, as they
have all been whisked away by bird flu to yet another
Never-Neverland beyond the horizon.
But all my children
are taller than me now, and it was rather nice to be no
longer encumbered by a push-chair, to be able to take
walks over the hills again with Carey. I was looking
forward to seeing Boner, Roberta and Jerry's cat, who
used to sleep on our bed when I stayed on Lamma when the
children were small, and was delighted that he was still
alive. Unfortunately, he died before I could see him, but
he was given a compassionate Buddhist send-off.
of wild dogs inhabited the no-dogs beach of Hung Shing
Yeh. But they are cosmic dogs, and would sit quietly as
I did my nightly yoga practice as the phosphorescence
illuminated the waves. And of course the sun shone every
day and the black mould was still in hibernation.
And as for the people - well, they were
just as beautiful as ever. As always on the cosmopolitan
rural idyll of Lamma there were new faces and bodies,
each with their unique and fascinating story, and
Lamma-Gung was one of them. And yet - the old familiar
faces were also present, eternally present for,
strangely, nobody actually seemed to have aged. Yes, the
bitey things had bitten a few of these magical people,
and I shuddered to hear the snake-stories.
It would be easy to say I had been
fantasising, but, actually no: it's all true. There
really is an island on the other side of the world where
people manage to be creative and happy without selling
their souls. Impossibly, in less than a fortnight, I
shall be returning to pinch myself again, bringing my
eldest daughter Iona. She was made on Lamma, and the
last time she left Hong Kong she was two. Looking out of
the window of the plane, she pointed at Lion Rock, and
"I - want - to - be - there!"
She can't remember it, but she will.
P.S. Email to the Editor, from
"That was an excellent
piece in Lamma-zine by Wendy Teasdill whom I met
after her very first pilgrimage to Mount Kailas. She, in
fact, inspired my own trip to Kailas several years
At the time Wendy accomplished her feat,
Mike Morrow published a book detailing her lone
adventure. He gave me a proof copy for review and set up
an interview for a cover story I did for The Week,
the popular Indian newsmagazine. Wendy, who was staying
with Katherine Forestier at Po Wah Yuen, trekked all the
way uphill to my home and also arranged for pictures of
her trip through her husband. I understand that she,
along with her child/ children, has since made several
more trips to Kailas?
Wendy, in my book, is a great lady and celebrated
ex-Lammaite. Like the late Amelia Earhart, Wendy
Teasdill has pushed the boundaries of human
Inspiration for these daily Lamma-zine stories
can originate from a multitude of sources, but my favourite
inspiration are readers giving feedback.
Case in point, this story, another Flimsy Flight
of Fancy of "computer art", inspired by feedback I received just
today about this original story from
Aug 20, 2006: Scanner Jam Art Jam.
Grayson, an art student in New
York, working with scanners as well, found my story and images
and was interested in my "processes" & software.
As I hadn't looked at this story and images in
years, I checked it out and got inspired to create more images,
all from the original scanner error that resulted in this
messed-up image on the right.
See the story and images for details.
In the story I threatened the readers that
"these computer art jams are just too much fun and there could
be more in the future! Beware!"
Well, it took only 3.5 years for more to come
into being, here they are. These images below were all created
from this single scanning error above, after playing around with
Photoshop CS4 and a veritable armada, a plethora and a
cornucopia of plug-in filters and hundreds of trial-and-error
image processing operations. All of this creates mostly totally
unexpected and surprising results. They're usually pretty ugly
results but careful selection and enhancement evolves them into
"visually acceptable" results occasionally. Many thanks to
Grayson, my muse! ;-)
All of these images and any other from
my archives are available as signed prints of any size, at
pretty modest prices. Click below to enlarge and then
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,
Contact Lamma-Gung with
anything relevant to Lamma or Lammaites that you'd like to see
published on this home page!
text, photos & graphics by Lamma-Gung, if not otherwise
credited. Click on button on left for
Creative Commons license.
Twice a month, the Lamma-zine Blog will be promoted via an
email newsletter to all registered
subscribers and forum members, currently over 4,000.
All former posts are stored in the Blog Archives,
All materials and photos © 2010 Lamma-Gung.
Some rights reserved.
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