While Lamma-Por was still recovering from another late night of Worldcup
football watching and cheering, I joined the very first early morning
Bootcamp, eh, Fit'n'Fun Camp today, starting at 6:30am.
Rachel, a regular, described the Camp as
"We Jump Up and Down and Things!"
But our our newly platinum-blonde, cropped-short Bootcamp Sergeant, eh,
Personal Trainer Donna above described
them as "a personal program of physical exercise, including, but not
limited to, strength training, flexibility development, and aerobic
After a while of playing, eh, working out hard with our jumping ropes, balls
and rubber bands, a Chinese lady entered the Basketball Court, announcing
loudly and repeatedly "Tai Chi! Organised by Govt.!", trying to get us to
leave the court ASAP! Even though there were only about 5 participants in
her class, she seemed to need the entire court for their stationary Tai Chi
exercises, not willing to share the large, standard-size Basketball Court!
We 5 Bootcampers were all pumped up after our strenuous exercises and could
have taken them on easily, but some of the middle-aged or elderly Chinese
ladies looked pretty fit, healthy and tough after all the Tai Chi they're
doing in there 3 mornings per week, worrying us a bit. Some Chinese ladies
could sometimes become quite aggressive; you might have encountered some of
them and their sharp elbows in a crowd, in a queue or on the MTR?
The dire threats of "Govt.!" also had us worried that their
Tough Tai Chi Mistress might call the local
police boys and get us all arrested for "illegal assembly in a public place"
or "unscheduled exercising inside a govt. facility". Did we maybe need a
"Public Entertainment License" - making a public spectacle of ourselves
while working out? - like these pro-democracy protesters trying to put up a
statue in Times Square recently? In these politically turbulent times, one
So we gave in without a fight, slowly wrapped up our final stretching
routines and left peacefully and with minimal protest. We simply followed
the very wise martial arts philosophy that sometimes the best way to win a
fight is to avoid it, taking the moral high ground. Or was that a quote from
the "Coward's Handbook"? I get them mixed up sometimes. We didn't "lose"
this first-ever "Tai Chi vs. Fit'n'Fun Camp"
match but we defaulted, compromising on a temporary tactical retreat,
preparing for an honourable rematch someday, in the distant future,
Contact Donna at 9192 7269 if you'd be interested in joining the
Fit'n'Fun Camp on the usual Tue/Thu nights at 8-9pm or in the mornings, well
BEFORE Tai Chi classes in future, avoiding future schedule clashes. Or you
could join these public, almost free Tai Chi classes in the Basketball
Court, offered to anybody of any age by the LCSD for many years already, see
old poster above. Enquire in the Rural Committee Building or with one of our
2 District Councilors' offices.
Finally, a glorious summer day after days and days of almost permanent rain.
Returning to my pre-breakfast-exercise fast hikes, this is what I
encountered half way up to the wind turbine this morning, about 2 metres
above ground on a
Fruit of Weaver Maid tree (Scarlet Sterculia Lanceolata).
At least 4 pairs of these bugs above are in in the middle of making out
(back to back), crawling all over each other while enjoying these ripe, pitch-black fruits on a sunny
early morning. All the red & black of the sweet fruits and the passionate
bugs makes for a very sexy-creepy setup, IMHO. We've seen these bugs before in our long-running
Strange Bugs forum, but they haven't been named yet. Anybody? Here
are a few intimate macro close-ups as they didn't seem to mind me at all
and moving my pocket snapshooter so close:
Another all-rainy day! Too wet to venture outside with my fancy, expensive,
but not water-proof camera equipment. How to get some new and unusual shots
today? How about from under the protection of my rooftop canopy which makes
an amazing racket during a full-strength tropical downpour? My Rooftop
Jungle & Pond is really flourishing in this weather and no need to water at
all these days.
What's that on the overhead ledge? A tiny snail's crawling upside down, the
rain enveloping it completely and then dripping off in shiny droplets!
<== My favourite shot from today, click to enlarge.
Another snail, crawling up our balcony window, shot from the inside.
The last picture is just a little flashlight mishap, but I like it:
Wendy Teasdill -
ex-Lammaite Yoga Teacher:
(Pictures by Wendy)
As the plane plunged earthwards my consciousness
arose in inverse proportion from its deep hypnosis and I found
myself staring with suspended hysteria at the view: three tall
chimneys loomed at us and as we skimmed past my wakening brain
wondered: where in Hong Kong has three towers? As deserted beaches
bit with delicate new moon sand at the jade green sea and the plane
flipped, circled for its slot, it dawned upon me: where else but
Lamma Power Station?
Fourteen years ago my daughter Iona had pointed an
accusing finger out of the plane window, demanding to be there, Hong
Kong. She was two, and we were just leaving, following a three-month
visit. Iona generally got what she wanted and was now finally back
in the land of her origins. We gibbered like wild animals as the
plane finally hit the tarmac of the runway on Lantau. To those who
never left Lamma, such primitive behaviour must seem slightly
Sally was there to welcome us, beaming and dancing
in the great glass hallway of glass and flowers, fruit and sunshine
which is Hong Kong's answer to Heathrow. Sally had accidentally put
her train-ticket in the bin, but all the uniformed officials to whom
she spoke just waved her through barriers which magically opened as
she passed. In London one can expect to shot for such a
transgression, and I wondered at the dirge-like magnetism of duty
and expectation which allowed me to forfeit this paradise for the
pedantic treadmill of life in the UK. Where did 17 years go?
Into the form of Iona is the answer - and of course
her two sisters who we had left behind. The dubious belief that
they'd be better off being brought up in the country of their
ancestors was completely challenged as soon as Iona set foot on
Amazing, they painted the Moon Rock for the Year of the Tiger.
Iona wonders where the years went.
Iona back on Power Station Beach at last.
More photos coming
Art Students Exhibition:
Fri, June 25, 5pm - Fri, July 2:
Banyan Bay Cafe (Cath's Bar):
Roz Keep is displaying some of the
work of the kids from her art classes,
plus "Skillful Sketchers" Dina, Kelly & Flo.
Click for Grahame Collins' photos - Sat, June 19, 2010, YSW Football
#1: Anonymous Guy (more
photos) - wins 1 case of
Thirsty Horse wine
(shot from Power Station Beach with his huge birdwatcher's
#2: Grahame Collins (more
Both win 1/2 mixed case of
Thirsty Horse Premium Wine
Many thanks to these fine Lammaites who submitted their photos
to this contest:
Anonymous Guy - Damian Chan - Donna Foreman - Georgie Wheeler - Grahame
Li Liao-Hanusiewicz - Marianne Hope Gable - Natalie
Stenhouse-Stewart - Pete Gable - Rambo Lai - Sean Creamer -
All their contest entries are in my
Lamma 500 Photo Contest gallery.
After several weeks of tough wrestling (via email
only, not in person) about our widely differing selections, the
3 official judges, Brad Tarr, Gina Miller and
Lamma-Gung finally agreed on the three winners. Anonymous
Guy was the undisputed #1 (one more of his unique photos,
see right), but there was a long, tough, detailed
discussion about the runner-ups.
In the end, Brad and Gina arm-twisted modest me,
Lamma-Gung, to accept the 3rd price, even though I had
vehemently and repeatedly refused to be eligible at all in this
contest where I've been trying to act as an honourable judge.
But alas! The sweet temptation of a runner-up price of 6
beautiful bottles of delicious Thirsty Horse wines was simply
way too hard to refuse and I gave up protesting, accepting the
2nd-runner up price from Brad & Gina who insisted.
Brad sponsored the 3 prizes in this contest. His
Thirsty Horse Premium Wines logo was showing up in so
many of the contest photos anyway, because he had managed to
plaster it all over The Lamma 500, making it ubiquitous at this
event where he was chief organiser and a major sponsor. Would you
believe it, there's even a
Facebook photo gallery focusing solely on TH logos all
over The Lamma 500 and Yung Shue Wan! It almost looks like
Thirsty Horses are starting to gallop through Main Street!
Besides all the obvious "watering holes" TH wines are
available now, we
even noticed TH wines on the Japanese restaurant's counters!
Maybe soon we'll see their logo as a massive graffiti on the YSW
seawall, covering entire walls of Village Houses and the entire
Football Pitch floor, or even the Power Station chimneys?
Well, Brad's a successful and very experienced
sports events professional, he's surely considered these
"promotional opportunities" already. After all, his little
hobby, a true labour of love, of importing Australian wines
seems to grow into a viable, sustainable business. Today Lamma,
tomorrow all of HK, the day after: THE WORLD! (Cue demonic
But, as part of his secret (?) world domination plans,
it looks like devious
Brad the Wine Baron has oh-so-cleverly managed to get me
recently hooked on his Chardonnay and especially the
newly imported Tawny Port to which I've taken a
particular liking. It's so fruity, yummy, mouth-watering, not
too sweet and simply irresistibly IMHO. I can't stop praising
and promoting it these days, even in the Lamma-zine, especially
after tasting another delectable glassful. Yes, the Lamma-zine
has become fuelled and inspired by an occasional glass (just a
single one/day, really! "Drink responsibly!") of Thirsty Horse
Premium Wine these days.
Brad is even running a special promotion for my
favourite Tawny Port these days, emailing his legendary legions
of wine-guzzling friends, eh, true wine connoisseurs and highly
Kong Wine Lovers...
"I have a special these two
weeks. Buy any case of Thirsty Horse wine, and I will also have
delivered a FREE bottle of the New Thirsty Horse Tawny Port.
"I am happy to make up a mix
case as well. Delivery is FREE.
100% money back if you're not happy with the wines.
detail on the
wines and then
Hey, is this enough promotion for now, Mr Wine
Baron? Where's the half case I just won in the contest!! Hurry
Last but not least, you can have a look at the
many beautiful photos entered into this Lamma-zine contest, plus
some contestants' complete photo galleries,
plus a few great
videos, submitted outside this photo contest:
Anonymous Guy -
Damian Chan -
Grahame Collins -
Marianne Hope Gable -
Pete Gable -
The Lamma 500 videos:
Donna Foreman -
There was a mysterious fire happening in the Beer Garden restaurant
recently, at around 3:30am, when it was closed. The police and Fire Dept. are investigating the
unknown-so-far cause. Fortunately, the fire remained limited only to the bar area, nobody was
hurt and the kitchen is undamaged. So this friendly, outdoor Indian-food
place will remain open during the several weeks of bar renovations, still
serving food and doing
takeaways, see above (click to enlarge).
All of us HK Electric Customers (all of HK Island and Lamma Island) have
just received this little brochure in our mail together with the last
monthly bill. Among other interesting company news, it includes these two pages above,
announcing their Offshore Wind Farm, planned for 2015. The Environmental
Impact Analysis study by ERM Consultants has been approved recently and HK
Electric will be building a wind monitoring station tower soon for a
Details are in our
Environment, Politics & Development forum, as usual.
cover story about the Wind Farm, straight from HK Electric.
But this funny, light-bulby, bulbous character above with the spyglass got
me wondering. Who or what is he, she, it? A mascot for HEC's RE (Renewable
Energy) efforts? It's an energy-saving, fluorescent light bulb, so it's
on the right track.
seen this mascot before in former HEC's promotional materials, even though
it's never been mentioned in the text. But it was normal human-sized back
then, never an enormous giant like seen above for the very first time! It
was even a different colour in the past, with a heart-shaped face. What
caused it to mutate, turn blue and grow so enormously?
But why is it standing atop Lamma Island watching the future Wind Farm
turbines, 4km offshore? The big flat feet seem to be squashing a lot of
Lamma's greenery - flattening Mt Stenhouse and Sok Kwu Wan in the illustration!
It's like a giant electrical robot with a Power Station chimney-shaped
spyglass, trampling all over our beautiful island! Is it a guardian, a
sentinel for the future Wind Farm or the mighty protector of the Lamma Power
Station? We should be told!
But it's not even screwed into any socket, so where does it get the surely
enormous power from to be able to move around?
Solar, wind, battery, nuclear? This thing might suck up most of the Power
Station's output, using more power than the entire Wind Farm will be able to
produce! Should we be worried about HK Electric's future plans, with this RE
Giant Robot Mascot making an appearance above Lamma soon?
Two new captioned photo galleries - same location, very different
Details of an eco hike to Tung O Wan - May 1, 2010...
More photos by Siuyu, our knowledgeable, orange eco guide...
This is a captioned photo gallery of a site visit by private boat to the
future location of the planned The Baroque, a "six-star luxury
resort and first-class Marina Club development project" in Tung O Wan,
The Lamma-zine was invited by the developers, together with their newly
appointed Environmental/Social Impact Assessment consultants.
Discuss this project in our
The Baroque on Lamma forum.
Returning home, carrying my tripod already, I couldn't resists taking a few
more shots during this beautiful, balmy summer night (click to enlarge
For more pictures, see my
Brasil Party photo gallery.
Brazilian Party &
Sat Jun 19, 4-11pm:
Power Station beach:
DJs, Afro Dance Drums,
Capoeira, Maculele &
Puxada de Rede.
daily HK newspaper, KIDS WORLD
(June 8, 2010, all
photos by Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge):
"They do not wear sunglasses or carry laser guns, nor do they gun down
extra-terrestrial beings. However, they share a similar role guarding
against unwelcome foreign intrusion, such as sub-standard coal shipments
into our power station....
"They are the "MIB" (Men in Black) at Lamma Power Station."
above to enlarge & read
(PDF file from HK Electric's
always interesting and often very
entertaining quarterly printed newsletter:
CONTACT 86, May 2010.
Back issues are also available on
Jo (Max's mummy)
(Pictures by Jo)
Monday Morning Clean
Max and mummy took a bag
and gloves and went to pick up rubbish from the pavilion
(the one you can see from the YSW ferry) this morning.
We went there last week and were appalled by the amount
of rubbish - particularly cigarette butts, plastic
bottles and cans that are discarded there, so close to a
I recently attended a World
Ocean Day lunch where speakers were talking about the
amount of rubbish that finds its way into the oceans and
the terrible damage this is doing to marine life.
From September 19th to
October 19th, Hong Kong will be part of an International
Coastal Clean Up (see
hkcoastalcleanup.org). In 2008, 5,000 volunteers
picked up 25,000 kilos of trash from Hong Kong's
beaches. On average, 2.14 kg of litter per person in
Hong Kong ends up in the sea each year - that's 14,980
Max and mummy will continue
to try to make a difference by cleaning up when we can.
We would also like to ask whoever is responsible for the
litter to please use the bins in future. We don't like
to sit in an ashtray of someone else's creation, or have
to be careful of the broken glass from someone's
Smirnoff Ice bottle when looking for shells in the rock
I have attached some photos
of Max and the rubbish we collected, as well as one with
some of the litter we couldn't get - it had already
blown into the sea.
In Sydney, there was a very
successful campaign called "Just One" - the idea being
for each person to pick up one bit of rubbish. I know
there are some people that already do this on Lamma, but
I would like to encourage people to pick up litter when
they see it before it gets blown into the sea.
To learn more about
"Stop the Mess!"
Lammaites @ Discovery
Bay today. All photos by Marianne Gable,
except the Vuvuzela football horn below by Tina
and the medal by Leo Chung; click to enlarge.
Ladies - Champions, Gold!
Lamma Men - 3rd,
Lamma Mixed -
"Your friendly dragonboat update"
from Dawn the Wonder Woman,
Lamma Dragons Captain:
"Not sure if you've heard, but Lamma Dragons did
brilliantly yesterday at Disco Bay! The mixed team in their first full year
of training beat 35 other teams to get the GOLD for Lamma and beating a very
strong Lantau Boat Club.
"The men managed to fight off some strong competition
including against Chinese teams and managed to pull off a BRONZE in the Cup
Final also. The women who were defending their title for the 3rd year
running did it in fantastic form and also retained the GOLD cup. Go Lamma
had some great supporters during the day and the team were
fantastic and did Lamma proud! Then we danced, sang, made a lot
of noise and things got a bit blurry around the edges. A great
day all round!
"I sent you a photo of the
team collecting the Mixed Gold Cup along with us showing off
with the other two cups we had already collected. We were in
fancy dress as 'warriors'!
"We have small boat races next in Sai Kung in July (183
teams!) and then it's the world championships in Macau!"
Facebook photos from
Leo Chung and
Click for my photo gallery of a
surprisingly beautiful & professional,
but free cultural performance in the YSW Football Pitch last Saturday
presented by the Leisure & Cultural Services Dept.
The Official Court Correspondent visited Victoria Park
on June 6, with quite a number of fellow Lammaites, taking many pictures and
describing his impressions:
Defiantly Lit, Candles Brighten the Night
Today, Sunday morning, many Lammaites were sleeping off their hangover after
the 2:30am England-USA Worldcup football game. But I got an URGENT phone call from an Alert
Reader (thanks, Gavin!) that something was afoot and I've got to grab my
camera RIGHT NOW, get dressed, rush out and shoot pictures! Fai-dee-lah!
Bringing this 7-days-a-week Placeblog to you is a 7-days-a-week job....
It was something I've never witnessed with my own eyes in almost nine years
of living on Lamma, probably because it's happening at such an ungodly hour
on a Sunday morning! At first, there were religious offerings thrown into
the seas at the ferry pier and the return of the dragonboat idol to the Tin
Afterwards, the famous and frequently victorious Lamma Fishermen dragonboat team put two of their boats into storage in the Fishermen's Village typhoon
shelter, just besides the YSW ferry pier. It's a very heavy, wet and sweaty
job so early on a Sunday morning, but these guys are really fit, tough and
John "Galley Slave" Stuart
- Official Dragonboating Correspondent:
Wind and water, earth
nature's seasons passing by.
The summer solstice, celebration,
tribal groups gathering, expectation.
Boats disguised as dragons celestial,
the beast subdued by mortals terrestrial,
in races becoming organized festivals.
on the fifth day of the
fifth lunar month,
a tribute to Qu Yuan,
a poet and patriot of ancient times,
whose dream, a world of harmony and rhyme,
an official who fought corruption,
his final protest, self- destruction.
Carrying heavy stones,
walking into the waters,
ritual suicide, a sacrifice.
Through the mists of memory, sweetly true,
an absolute statement for me and you.
Qu Yuan, still honoured,
in offerings, races, dedications,
and times of triumph, exaltations,
as cultures continue, the past sustains,
from tribal traditions, beauty remains.
the Dragonboaters are
here, living and learning,
in training and technique, becoming discerning,
local fishermen of Tin Hau fame,
expats and others seeking same,
foreign devils bedeviled by it all,
competing, comparing, answering the call,
looking for direction, practicing perfection,
as we strive together in this great game,
in dragonboats and life, it's all the same.
Many of us are afflicted by the
"Lamma Twitch", according to a forum on GeoExpat where somebody
enquired about moving to Lamma, but working on Kowloon-side:
Advice on where to live in Islands, NT
The "Lamma Twitch" refers to the last 12:30am ferry:
"Checking your watch regularly whilst out in town is an infliction
many Lammaites suffer from."
Do YOU suffer from the "Lamma Twitch" and is this still a major reason for
people NOT to move to our fair isle? Let us know in this forum:
LAMMA TWITCH: Living on Lamma, working in Kowloon?
(Photos by Kanga Bird, Nancy the Frog Lady,
Aly Lovesallmybestfriends Tarr, Alastair, Rocky Malcolm, Claudia, JT
and Minibeast, below)
Claudia McGregor Tarr, the creator of this new Facebook
Lamma Snake Sightings, introduces the group and has some great
tips and advice:
"Snakes we know and love!
It's snake season again! Have you seen your first snake yet?
Post your pictures here.
Let's keep the tourists away!"
- Safety first! Get away from the snake.
- Call 999 immediately! Waiting until the pain may lead to permanent
- Do not elevate. Keep the bite below the level of the heart.
- Remove constricting clothing and jewelry from the extremity. The
area may swell and constricting items will cause tissue death.
- If the snake is an elapid species (coral snakes and cobras), wrap
the extremity with an elastic pressure bandage. Start from the point
closest to the heart and wrap towards the fingers or toes.
- Keep the bite lower than the heart.
- Follow the basics of first aid while waiting for responders to
- Be especially concerned about the potential for shock.
- NO CUTTING & SUCKING!
- Cutting into the wound will just create infections.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of first aid:
Wear long pants and boots taller than the ankle.
Avoid tall brush and deep, dark crevices.
Make plenty of noise and vibration while walking.
Do not approach snakes, avoid them.
- If the snake is dead, bringing it to the hospital is appropriate. Be
careful, dead snakes can reflexively bite for up to an hour.
- A quick picture of the snake - even with a cell phone - will help
medical crews identify the animal.
Josh writes in this group:
"Lamma OCC men's team was clearing the beach of trees
to make room for a "Super-Deluxe Boat Rack" and had to move this snake out
of the safety bag.
"Image shot with the new 4G i-phone/pad.
"In this photo: Brad Tarr (photos), Andrew Shields (photos), Richard Kallagher, Oliver Armistead, Ken Ng (photos), Leo Chung"
Was this shot just outside Tai "Snake Central" Peng Village?
This new Facebook group has attracted 80 members within just a few days!
As Emily writes: "It seems like snakes bring all Lamma people
Join up and add your own snake stories and photos, and vote for the "Lamma
Snake of the Week":
Lamma Snake Sightings.
P.S. After reading this story, I got some great and detailed advice
on how to deal with snakes, from Senior Lammaite JT in our forum:
Snake: what kind?
I'm blessed with a unique group of most interesting, even fascinating
friends on Lamma. People with fascinating lives, unique accomplishments,
noble pursuits, important causes and intriguing hobbies. For example, at
least one of my friends:
admits to being a "convoluted ragamuffin",
thinks that giving birth is not the hardest thing one can experience, but
the most rewarding,
admits that you're only young once, but you can be immature forever,
gets to sing "Let it Be" solo in front of the Form 5 class graduation,
proclaims that "liberal education represents the culmination of a
citizen's preparation for freedom",
likes Robot Unicorn Attack on Adult Swim Games,
fears that the "Wickedness of Eve" is still with us,
wishes he had asked a proper question that time on the beach when he was
pulled outside of Earth and connected to the Insect Alien Queen,
explains that the exponential diversity of informational exchange is
creating a complex dynamic geometric weave, the noosphere,
informs me that shy but passionate Muffin is looking for a loving home,
embarks on a personal program of physical exercise, including, but not
limited to, strength training, flexibility development, and aerobic
looks forward to see more eco-friendly and green activities on Lamma
since we have so many beautiful natural resources around us,
enquires if I need my septic tank pumped out?
it's all on Facebook, as you've probably guessed after 1 or 2 lines already.
I'm usually only friending people I know in real life, at least a casual
My small circle of Friends is nothing compared to Sheila the Many-Friended
with 3,371 Friends and John with 2,612. But who's the currently most
popular (ex-)Lammaite on Facebook, I wonder? Suggestions?
Well, if you've met me personally or have contributed to this website in any
form before, you're most welcome to friend "Lamma Gung".
But should the Lamma-zine be on Facebook, too?
Read the reports, comments and conclusions from Senior Moderator Alan
and myself after attending this "Public Ferry Forum", w/o HKKF being even
Govt. subsidy for ferry fares - Public Forum
John "Galley Slave" Stuart
- Official Dragonboating Correspondent:
(Photos & captions by L-G; click to enlarge)
Lamma Dragons practicing in YSW harbour in
the middle of winter.
Those Dragonboaters! They must be
crazy, they are so full on, especially the women. Going
out into the harbour every weekend, and what do they do?
Paddle up and down and round and about in all sorts of
weather, with someone out the front beating a drum and
yelling, yes, yelling at them, telling them what to do.
Like galley slaves they are, surrendering their freedom,
but they let this happen. It is their choice.
And they keep coming back, time after
time, why? They seem sane and respectable people. I mean
they are not children but grownups, yes, adults, with
jobs, partners, kids and bills to pay, the usual
routines. I mean, they live in a world with all the
comforts but they keep coming back to this meaningless
activity. It doesn't make sense! It just doesn't make
Captain Santa Dawn and her team of Merry (Wo)Men,
Try it and see
Okay get in line, lefties
over there. Let's see, you guys move to this side, even
Alright, down to the water, watch your step. Get in,
take your places.
Move it forward slowly, hold it now.
Paddles up, go... Now 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Pushing against an inert
mass. The count is repeated several times, in time with
the drum. Struggling unevenly as the pace builds up
across the bay.
Stopping, stretching, exercises, welcome relief.
Alright, today we are
going to do race starts, with three sets of five to get
Okay now, paddles up... 1 2 3 4 5... 1 2 3 4 5... 1 2 3
4 5. Now stretch and reach, get those shoulders down.
Dig it in. Watch that timing. Follow the guys in front.
Ten hard now! Come on, push, let's keep up the pace.
Again and again. Some
slight spluttering, struggling to stay in time.
Disconnections. Heavy breathing, as the beat goes on.
And on... What am I doing here?
Okay, count down, let it
Some of you guys are out of it. Use your body, not your
arms. Remember to twist and turn, twist and turn. And
watch that timing.
More of the same, frantic
activity, then a brief respite. Involvement, feeling
more part of this, I will survive this session. A smooth
sequence, finding rhythm, all together. A final push to
the wall. Clambering over rocks. Idle chatter, relief,
a sense of belonging.
Nervous expectations at
the start, glancing around at the other boats, they look
good. The glare off the water, heavy air, sweating
Now! It seems sudden,
unexpected. An explosion of energy, five strokes, then
another five, then again. Stretch and reach, yes, it is
happening. Pulsing power, smooth and strong. Ten hard
now! Yes it is working, smoothly, altogether, all as
one. The beat is incessant, louder, faster. I cannot go
on. Ten strong now... a shift, not quite fluid, then
back in rhythm... Ahhhhhhh.... a primeval cry from a
team-mate courses through the blood, the energy lifts,
we are flying, nearer now... ten hard... this cannot
last, almost there, yes, yes, it is done, have we won?
Maybe, but no matter, we were there, we are here, in the
pulse, in the body, in the heart... There is no more.
Photo Gallery of boats stored on the PS Beach
threatened to be all cleared out by Lands Dept on July 4, 2010.
More info about this topic in our forum:
Lands Dept removing all boats & equipment from PS Beach!
Ferry Forum by the Transport Dept. in the Primary School tomorrow, Sunday, 2
This response below from Living Lamma is a great introduction to the topics
and a timely preparation for the Forum for all of us Lamma ferry passengers:
Living Lamma -
Response to the Transport Department's "Review of Ferry Services for
Plus, once again, the full links to the
ferry review info, the
Legislative Council Transport Panel Paper and our
forum, so you can be well informed for this Public Forum.
Jay Scott Kanes
- Official Court Book Reviewer -
(These books involved quite a number of Lammaites
helping out in creating them, for example Bob Davis'
photos and Big Dave's great website. Meet Senior
Lammaite Paul at his usual table in Banyan Bay Cafe, "Cath's
Focus on telling stories and then writing becomes
much easier. That's the approach of British-born
who knows how to gain admirers of both genders in the
Strahan's recent titles include The
Never-Ending Bag of Crisps, appealing to boys, and
The Farm Girl and the Butterflies, just as
fascinating to tiny female readers. Both 48-page books
appeared in 2009 from Hanson International Enterprise
"Other than to generate modest income, my hope is to
bring smiles to the faces of children and their parents
through reader-friendly words and images that help my
stories spring from the pages," Strahan said.
A former corporate executive, he long felt compelled
to write: "I have been writing for many years, sometimes
more years than I care to remember. During that time
writing has been no more than a hobby. Commitments to my
career with the inevitable time constraints, as well as
bringing up and supporting my family, meant writing had
to take a back seat."
Now in his early 60s, "downsized" out of the
corporate world and living on Hong Kong's outlying Lamma
Island, Strahan finally pursues writing and publishing
as much higher priorities. "I've established my own
publishing company and teamed up with a brilliant
illustrator," he said.
Too often, children's books have an author keen to
take credit while the best work comes from an
illustrator. But Strahan writes in more detail than most
and with the creative skills to give his books
Absolutely, the artwork's great too. Illustrator
Mike Peebles, from New Zealand, and art director
Peter Wong, formerly of Hong Kong but moved to
New Zealand, work with Strahan. Some illustrations,
especially in The Farm Girl and the Butterflies,
would look entirely appropriate framed and adorning
In The Never-Ending Bag of Crisps, 10-year-old
William Walker-Smith loves potato chips and spends most
of his pocket money on them. As someone who grew up on a
potato farm in a region where big factories make potato
chips, I appreciate this theme.
Young William gains more approval because his
favorite potato-chip flavor is salt-and-vinegar, the
same as mine. "He opened the bag and smelt the aroma
wafting from the packet. He took one crisp out, looked
at it, smiled and then placed it in his mouth. His eyes
lit up as he let it dissolve on his tongue." Ah!
Readers almost taste it too.
Imagine William's delight to discover a magical chips
bag that constantly refills. But the magic backfires,
and his fantasy-come-true turns into more of a
Still, the dilemma isn't all bad. "William had
always been a popular boy at school, but now he was even
more popular. All of a sudden, he found himself with
many more new friends, all of whom wanted to help him
eat his never-ending bag of crisps."
Meanwhile, The Farm Girl and the Butterflies
pits young heroine Elisa against Valdessa, a wicked
witch who casts spells and confiscates precious food,
including from Elisa's parents. The witch loves
strawberries, but surprisingly, fears butterflies. Can
Elisa summon the savvy and derring-do to outwit the
Unlike ugly Valdessa's 1,000-room palace, Elisa's
home has a "roof that leaked when the rain poured down
and small wooden windows that rattled when the wind
blew". That sounds a little like Lamma village houses.
Come to think of it, Lamma has beautiful butterflies
"Elisa became tired and sat down by the stream to
rest. While she was sitting there, her eyes were drawn
to the most beautiful butterfly she had ever seen. It
had big shiny golden wings with red velvet edges and
deep blue eyes that sparkled in the sunlight as it
fluttered along in the breeze."
True, these books contain some slightly annoying
flaws. For example:
Strahan writes that Elisa's family had "three brown
feathered chickens which laid one egg every day"
when he means one egg each.
"Darling, no one can cook as good as you."
"this bag of crisps
will never be empty", but really the bag refills
only when empty.
fancy lettering in
The Farm Girl and the Butterflies makes "K" look
more like "R". References to "the Ring" really mean
text splattered on
top of illustrations makes both harder to enjoy.
Even so, The Never-Ending Bag of Crisps and
The Farm Girl and the Butterflies deserve high
marks. Astute young readers will want more tales from
Strahan and his Hanson team.
For more info:
Books are available on
website and in all Dymocks shops!
Click on illustrations below for page-turning previews
of Paul's books:
Click above for another Lamma-Gung photo gallery