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Dec 31:  Unhappy NY for Pak Kok Pet Pigs

Davidicus - Pak Kokian:  (photos by L-G)

Dear Lamma Friends,

I wanted to pass on sad news about Keren Goldman's two adopted pet pigs: Sumo and Peggy.  If she cannot find a home for them soon the frustrating saga that occurred several years ago may repeat itself (see story below).

Please pass on this to anyone who you think might be able to help since she only has 11 days left as of today. Also, please have a look at the 2007 news story below (PDF) for more background.

I've reposted from my Facebook here:

[tragic story again unfolding on Lamma Island].

After single-handedly caring for her two adopted pigs--Sumo & Peggy--for 8 years, Keren Goldman has been cruelly threatened with a short-term eviction from her Pak Kok home.

The threat comes from the Lands Department and her landlord who have given Keren less than 2 weeks notice to get rid of her two piggy friends.


Last time around Keren approached SPCA, Kadoorie and other animal rescue groups but no luck. If anyone has any leads on spaces or places that could take in Sumo & Peggy, please let Keren know: or call 9668 7736.

See background story, click below:

P.S. Also, click here for numerous related Lamma-zine stories and photo galleries.

Dec 30:  Energising My Blood With Snakes

What could this photo be showing? A mellow, golden-amber sunset reflected in a mirrored surface, perhaps? Well, let me give you a little hint. It's late morning right now and I'm enjoying a fiery, warming sip of this amber nectar right now while typing these words. It's supposedly good for rheumatism and will "energise my blood", being "30% vol". It's also claimed to contain four different species of snake - not sure exactly which parts of the snakes. Yes, it's Snake Wine!

It's just a little "souvenir" from our Snake Banquet for Lammaites, organised every year by Lammadonna's office and her very friendly & talented power duo of assistants, Joyce the Joyful & Ting Ting the Cheerleader. There were 23 tables of up to 12 Lammaites this year, occupying two entire floors of a private club besides Central Market.

These people represent the Silent Majority, the vast majority of local residents; traditional, Chinese families. But amongst these 250+ Lammaites, representing such a wide cross-section of the Lamma Island population - housewives, retirees, postmen, property agents, Power Station workers, white-collar employees, HSBC employees, waiters, etc. - why am I the ONLY Westerner attending this traditional yearly event today? Acting as the "Token Gwailo", I'm happily giving a bit of Face to these local tours and events, guided by my Ah-Por (wife), Lamma-Por, acting as my interpreter. Westerners are really just a small, usually well-tolerated, but often not well-integrated small minority on Lamma and by far not as important as some of us think we are or should be.

This oh-so-traditional and noisily cheerful banquet features almost the same 8 courses every year (see menu on the banquet ticket above, in Chin. only). But the tastes this year were even better than last year's, according to my expert gourmet companions. The fried pigeon and lamb hotpot were my personal favourites, besides the always delicious snake soup, of course.

And imagine this, a table full of Lammaites, and NOBODY on our table was touching the booze included with the dinner:
1 bottle of Snake Wine for each table! Hard to believe, I know! Except for me slowly enjoying a single glass, my personal maximum these days.

After the banquet, everybody was stuffed and rushed for the also stuffed 9:30pm ferry. Instead of returning the already opened and paid-for bottle, and nobody else eager for it, I swiped, eh, saved it and took it home. Well, several Lammaites brought their own Tupperware boxes to take home the snake soup and other tasty leftovers, leaving our table completely clear of any wasted food (see above.)

This snaky bottle I sneaked will provide fiery inspiration for several more Lamma-zine stories for the next week or so, I hope. Maybe even some slightly poisonous, eh, cynical ones. Sometimes (but not too often) it's just sooo easy to churn out these (almost) daily stories....

Dec 29:  Race 'Roond the Hostelries o'YSW

Dragon(boat) Lady Metamorphic Jess writes that they'll be going Scottish for the New Years Eve (or Hogmanay as they call it in Scotland) party this year. Dress in your finest Tartan and join their Haggis Hunt, with all hunt proceeds go to Operation Santa Claus.

Have a look at the VERY Scottish Haggis Hunt website to get into the right spirit beforehand, especially for us ignoramuses not well versed in Scottish lore. It features Haggis webcams, Haggitat ("Golden Haggis: Whimsical tradition has it that 'the wee folk' paint one Haggis in every hundred and use them as steeds during the celebrations for the birthday of the Faerie King"), hunt rules, a comprehensive Haggisclopedia with Haggis Myths ("A haggis is just a sheep’s stomach stuffed with meat and oatmeal.", "Haggii live with the monster in Loch Ness."), Haggis recipes (yummy or yucky?) and many drinks, of course ("Bloody Haggis", "Haggis on the Beach.")

And if I have to type Haggis one more time, my fingers will cramp up and turn into Haggis claws and my stomach will start to feel like a sheep's being stuffed with meat and oatmeal! But don't tell that to any of the Haggis Hunters on NY's Eve during their "Race 'roond the hostelries O' Yung Shue Wan", fueled by many "a wee dram." I might become their target instead of me targeting them for yet another candid photo shoot: the Haggis Hunters all dressed up in assorted Tartan wear and kilts, outrageously misbehaving, or not?

Dec 28:  Lammaites Love Flowers, Birds, Insects & Fishes

More photos of this tour for Lammaites in progress...

Dec 27:  Robin Hood Junior

The discoveries you can make by simply walking around Lamma's more remote areas (basically anywhere outside the Family Trail) still surprise me occasionally, even after hiking Lamma's hills for 9 years. Completing another little hike on the Snake Trail from Lamma Winds to the YMCA Youth Hostel, this is what I stumbled upon: Archery practice outside the Youth Hostel!

The YMCA will soon be taking over the entire nearby Lamma Quarry area, setting up an exclusive, restricted-access YMCA WONDERLAND in there. Can we assume that archery will be one of the Wondrous & Wonderful Wonderland activities?

Let's hope that none of these female Robin Hood Juniors above are practicing for a wild boar hunt! Quite a few feral wild boars have been roaming around in the last few weeks in our North Lamma forests, but they're very shy. I've seen the unmistakable tracks myself a few weeks back inside the so-called "Lamma Forest" above Pak Kok Village.

But only one person I know has seen one recently with his own eyes, Artist Dave Parker who lives below the Lamma Forest, while he was sitting out on his back porch at night. He was so startled and surprised, he called me right away, instead of grabbing his camera to document this very rare sighting! So we can't be sure, especially after him probably having had a beer or two before the sighting?

For actual photos, we have to go back almost one year:

Feb 17, 2010: Lamma Wild Boar - First-Ever Photos

Dec 26:  Santa Paddlers, The Sequel

Details of this (literally) cool event by Dawn & Lisa

Return to Power Station beach

Click to enlarge. More photos in last year's photo gallery:

Dec 25 - Christmas:  Happy 2011 to Everyone!

E-Card by Anonymous Guy

Dec 24:  Happy, Healthy & Harmonious Holidays!

(Crystal Ball artwork, created for the Lamma-zine by
Sean Creamer of Worldly Images)

(Yung Shue Wan today, Christmas Eve, 6:30am, lowest tide)

(Yung Shue Wan yesterday, Dec 23, 10pm, highest tide,
Old Jetty almost submerged, photos by L-G)

Dec 23:  Christmas/NY Happenings

Operation Santa Paddle on Boxing Day!

      Click above for details and check out last year's
      Santa Paddlers Lamma-zine story and photo gallery.

Dec 20:  Pick a Free Bottle!

These beautiful bottles are a fine example of the Lamma barter economy at work. Occasionally, I barter advertising & promotions on this website for goods & services. For example, the Thirsty Horse ad banner at the top of this website for one full month, bartered for one case of mixed wines from Brad the Wine Baron, see above.

In the true Christmas spirit - getting all warm inside after attending Santa on the Beach yesterday (maybe it was the free hot mulled wine?) - I'm currently redistributing some of these fine bottles to our select few frequent and highly appreciated Official Court Correspondents, including Nick the Bookman, Alan, Jay Scott Kanes,....

But a few of these Thirsty Horse Premium Wines will be reserved for a little Christmas contest! Send me a little story (photos optional) about Christmas/NY on Lamma and you can pick any one of these bottles above for free! Except that incredibly smooth and oh-so-delicious Tawny Port I'm enjoying so tremendously, but very slowly, right now while typing these lines. Email me!

P.S. If you don't want to go to the trouble of writing a few sentences for free booze, you can always order these great Premium Wines, my current favourites, from - direct import from Australia and free delivery.
You'll even receive the brand-new & free Thirsty Horse Premium Wines Gourmet Christmas Recipes. Click here for details.

P.S. II:  If you're also interested in bartering any of your goods or services in exchange for advertising, advertorials, email promotions or other Internet Marketing options to Lamma residents & visitors, simply email me as well!

Dec 19:  Santa on Power Station Beach

Click above for photo gallery

Dec 18:  Sean's Crystal Castles

Sean Creamer - Frequent Lamma Photo of the Day Contributor:

Crystal Castles

Two large tripods, one home-made crystal ball tripod mount, one 2kg crystal ball, one large dSLR and lens, and a whole range of accessories. That's what is needed when taking pictures through a crystal ball.

It started off in Chatuchak Market in the Thailand capital Bangkok. After walking around the market for more than two hours and losing a large chunk of my body mass to perspiration, something caught my eye in a small stand tucked away in an alley dedicated to exotic pets, T-shirts and fried squid. I saw a large crystal ball sitting on a small red wooden stand. As a photographer you train your eye to see images, or as my wife says, "You walk around with your eye glued to the viewfinder." The image in the crystal ball was inverted but it was almost as if there was another world inside it – hopefully not as hot as this place I hoped. After a bit of a haggle with the shop keeper and what sounded like "Not for sale", she sold the crystal ball to me for about HKD300.

The first image I took with the ball was a double portrait of my wife holding the ball and me taking the picture through a mirror. I'm yet to explore the full potential of the crystal ball in people photography so if you ever see me on Lamma or Hong Kong Island with my ball, stop me and I'll take a picture of you in it.

Learning how to use the crystal ball was a challenge and is still an ongoing process. This is a basic description of the technique. I try to create a world within a world, somewhere far but near, trapped but free. Below are some of the images I have taken using the crystal ball.

Click here to view the photos!

Dec 17:  Capturing Lamma Landscapes

(Click above to enlarge)

Join us for a free photo tour this Sunday, Dec 19 to Lamma Winds, along the Snake Trail (the nature trail with the best views on Lamma, IMHO) to the Youth Hostel and then on to the Lamma Quarry, under Hans Andersen Club's Siuyu's expert guidance.

See our former Quarry one last time in its current "natural state", before it'll be turned into the exclusive, no-access "YMCA Wonderland" very soon; and then into public housing estates a few years later, maybe. LegCo has just announced that they'll officially start next year to study the feasibility of doing this.

Simply assemble on Sun, Dec 19, 9:15am at Hans Andersen Club in Tai Wan New Village. Don't forget your camera(s)!
More photo tours on Dec 31/Jan 1, Feb 27, Mar 20,....

Dec 16: Gourmet Christmas Recipes for Thirsty Horses
              'If you won't drink it, don't cook with it!'

Just in time for the festive season, Thirsty Horse is introducing the very first Thirsty Horse Premium Wines Gourmet Christmas Recipes.

Sara Gray (nee Jordan) is a brilliant chef living on Lamma. She loves Thirsty Horse wines and wanted to start cooking with them, totally her idea. She has written over 20 recipes so far. Thirsty Horse has released a sneak preview which will be included with their current wine orders.

Megan Tanner did a professional job formatting Sara's ideas and putting together a very impressive, water- and wine-proof "Volume 1" recipe folder.

Brad the Wine Baron personally took all the food photos.

Lamma-Gung has volunteered to promote Thirsty Horse Premium Wines, his favourite tipple inspiring this Lamma-zine, bartering a case of mixed bottles.

Thirsty Horse wants to produce a full cook book soon, focusing exclusively on cooking with wine! The recipes are fun to follow and they promise that you'll be amazed with the refined & sophisticated tastes. Featuring:

  • Porshimar Beef marinade made with Tawny Port and Shiraz Cabernet

  • Sliced Porshimar Beef and Spinach Salad with TH dressing

  • Perfect Port-Poached Pears with white chocolate and toasted walnuts

  • Shiraz-Cabernet French Onion Soup with cheesy crostinis:

The TH Christmas Recipes will be included in your next wine order:

Thirsty Horse 2007 Shiraz Cabernet HK$90

A combination of two classic grape varieties, with an aroma of
dark berry and plum, hints of raspberry and red current over subtle oak –
excellent persistence of flavour with firm fine tannins, a good length and a warm finish. Can be enjoyed with a wide variety of foods now and well into the future.

Thirsty Horse Sparkling White HK$100

Can't call it Champagne!! I wish we could. This is very good. It is a
Non Vintage Sparkling Wine. Very pale straw colour with a youthful green hue.
Fruity and fresh with a lemon sherbet essence of character. The Sparkly offers a delightful fruity palate with flavours persistent to the finish –
well balanced and a clean finish.

Thirsty Horse Chardonnay HK$85

(Non-Chardonnay drinkers are enjoying this one...)

Medium Straw in colour, this Chardonnay exhibits intense aromas of
citrus blossom, melon and peach. Spicy and buttery characters with are apparent with a slight, subtle hints of oak. This wine is full bodied with a smooth mouth feel and great persistence of length.

Thirsty Horse Sparkling Shiraz $110

Deep red with crimson hues in colour, this wine displays aromas of lifted ripe Shiraz berry fruit, reminiscent of dark plums and vanilla- like oak complexity. The palate displays huge berry flavours and sweet oak. This wine shows a soft and round mouth feel with a
lively punch and a clean tannin finish.

Thirsty Horse Tawny Port $130 (see right)

Deep tawny hues, lifted raisin, plum, prune, and citrus rind aromas are a feature of this wine. Rich, round, luscious flavours of raisin, plum and citrus with hints of chocolate are present on the palate.
The residual sugar and citrus are balanced to give a fruit driven Australian tawny style which finishes soft and clean.

Email or check out the
TH Facebook group or TH photos.

Thirsty Horses at the recent Food & Wine Expo in the C&E Centre

Brad after one too many of his own bottles (Drink Responsibly!)

Dec 15:  Looking for Our Forum?

Click on any forum-related links at the top or left of this home page!

Due to massive spambot attacks - from a web server located in the Ukraine and other countries - I've had to relocate the forum temporarily. The attacks on our forum caused an overload of website traffic, so our web hosting co. in the US shut down this entire website for almost a day, without informing me before or after suspending our site, or even telling me the reason why. I could identify and fix the problem today, at least temporarily till the automatic spambot programs will find the new forum location.

The forum works OK for now and no messages or pictures have been lost, thanks to my regular full backups. But there'll be more service interruptions of the forum. Maybe even this entire website might not become available for short time periods while I'm upgrading the forum's phpBB Shareware software and maybe even need to relocate it all to another web host.

This is a tricky and very technical endeavour which might keep me busy for several days. Please bear with me and be patient during the upgrades.

Any help from phpBB gurus or programmers would be most appreciated!

Dec 14:  The Waterfront's New Menu

Lamma-Por's and my personal favourite on the brand-new Waterfront menu, since Dec 1, the Seafood Platter, above left (pic from Kumar, all other pics by L-G.) It's the most expensive dish on the menu but really tasty and delicious and well worth the prize of $175 for so many types of seafood. Almost all other dishes are in the double-digits only.

Chicken Dijon and Chocolate Volcano, two more of our all-time favourites!

NEW WATERFRONT MENU (from Dec 1, 2010)

Click below to view single pages, or view the entire menu (PDF format):

Dec 13:  Runners, Survivalists, Uprights & Pod People

Stash - New Lamma-zine Correspondent:

The Lamma Ferry

The Runners are my favorite.

Sensing the gate creaking open, they run through the gathering hordes, panicked, lest the ferry was to quickly pull away from its mooring leaving them behind, stranded...forever. It's peculiar that they are able to convince themselves so surely that the ferry will inexplicably, and randomly, depart before all are aboard.

I do hope that logic continues to escape them.

Logan and Jessica were the best of the inept Runners, always getting caught. Running away in search of Sanctuary with Sandmen [a graphic novel series written by Neil Gaiman] in relentless pursuit. Sandmen had cool jumpers with a big stripe on the front and stun guns which froze people. Neat. Our Lamma Ferry Runners look like they are being pursued by Sandmen.

John Walker is also quite a famous Runner, which is quite ironic considering his name.

Next we have the Survivalists. You can't miss them. Always at the tuck shop getting their coffee, Coca Cola, Shu Mai, instant noodles, fish balls, a Mars bar and those outrageously over-packaged Pringles. The Survivalist stocks up heavy for what is essentially a 25 minute journey. I suspect that the hoarding is for in the event we were to suddenly lose our way and find ourselves stranded on a lonely deserted island in a far flung, forgotten corner of the South China Sea. Which is probably an apt description of our own beloved island anyway.

Just in case that does occur, I always ensure I keep a Survivalist in close proximity, lest I need to befriend them quickly.

Then we have the Uprights. You know them. The moment the ship sets sail they are ready, infinitely poised to pounce up to the exit door lest they lose a precious second when disembarking. I suspect that the uprights are those same people that race between closely gathered traffic lights when they live in lands inhabited by cars. 10 points for keen enthusiasm, though, for this motivated lot.

I propose we give Uprights a ticket discount seen as they hardly occupy a seat.

I do imagine however, if we were to hit an iceberg on our journey that the Uprights would be generally reluctant to give up their seat on the lone life-raft for the woman and children. Let's just say that I can't see too many of them pulling out trombones from their backpacks, perching themselves outside on the balconies and playing Auld Lang Syne as the ship tips upwards and slowly plunges into the hidden depths of the murky blue sea.

There is a dark, long lost cave in the deepest jungles of Papua New Guinea. The painted walls, a rich tapestry of bold oranges and striking greens interspersed with hues of blues, depicting a scene akin to Armageddon with the stark warning scrawled in a vicious red, "Watch out for the Quiet Ones".

Wise words indeed from a long lost pygmy.

Which brings us to the Pod People.

The most ominous and borderline frightening of all ferry travelers are those Pod People. You can recognize them by the telltale tendrils emanating out of their ear sockets, silently nodding to an anonymous beat. They blend seamlessly into their surroundings and tread softly. Their numbers are creeping, slowly and surely on the rise. I dread the day when in a sudden moment they are all listening to the same beat at the same time. When a crazed Steve Jobs flicks a subliminal switch under the table and the Pod People are suddenly awakened. Boy, I wouldn't want to be alone on the ferry when that goes down.

So love it or hate it. Curse and shake your fists to the gods in protest at its socially inhibiting time schedule and strange smell of cheap detergents and half eaten curries. It is our Ferry. It is our super highway, our lifeline and our conduit to the mainland. Or, at the very least, the main land before the Mainland.

Where would we be without it.

P.S. I just noted that I actually fit into two of these groups, being a Survivalist Pod Person! {*Big BLUSH!*} Anybody who fits into 3 or even all 4 groups?

Give feedback to our newest correspondent via our ferry forum or email Stash.

If YOU would like to become a guest blogger, correspondent or columnist for the Lamma-zine, contact me!

Dec 12:  New Police Hotline: 3661 1714

Dec 9:  Beachside Pre-X'mas Buffet Party

Visitors to Lamma's most famous beach in Hung Shing Yeh might have noticed Lamma's only full- service hotel, Concerto Inn, relaunching their beachside terrace restaurant, Palm Tree, with a new chef and a brand-new, international menu.

Lamma-Por and I have personally tested various new menu choices over the last few months and we can warmly recommend them. It's a great hangout for an afternoon snack or even a romantic, candle-light seaside dinner, especially during this Christmas season. You could also get away from the family and kids and stay for a night, kind of a mini island vacation.

For the Christmas season they're pulling out all the stops in promoting this cheerful place with all kinds of parties and special offers, starting with a Pre-X'mas Buffet Party with over $10,000 in Lucky Draw prizes! We'll be there - Lamma-Por just loves Lucky Draws - not wanting to miss this fun party, and giving (a smiley) face to's newest premium advertiser, of course.

Here's the rundown, features and lucky draw gifts:

5 - 6:30pm: Gingerbread cookie making class.

7 - 9pm: Buffet Dinner with BBQ Grill & Lucky Draw:

  • 15 prizes worth over $10,000, including complimentary room plus candle light dinner package, 3D birthday cake, fabulous wine gifts (such as Leoville Poyferre 2004), coffee machine, X'mas cookies gift set, dining coupons, and more!

  • Live Cello performance

  • Make-a-Wish Tree: Guests can write and place their wishes on the X'mas tree. We will draw one lucky winner and realize their wishes!

Promotions valid only till Jan 7, 2011, email them or call 2982 1668.

Check out their pretty, animated, musical website and colourful newsletter.

Dec 8:  First-Ever HK Sighting of AMRB Flycatcher

It all started with this taunt from our Flora & Fauna forum moderator Zep (of Birdo Breakfast fame) to Lamma's best wildlife photographer, Anonymous Guy:

"There's no way you would ever get an adult male Red-Breasted Flycatcher here. It's never ever been seen in Hong Kong before, never mind photographed."

Never one to resist a wildlife photo challenge, no matter how difficult and time- consuming it might be, Guy got down to it and proved Zep wrong, once again:

"Well, Zep, it seems the unlikely does occur sometimes.

First adult male sighting for HK. Set of photos of adult male Red-Breasted Flycatcher taken 06/12/2010 on Lamma Island...

Full set of photos, video & sound bytes at this link."

Anonymous Guy - Official Court Wildlife Photographer of

Zep wrote:
"Well well well - one for the record books! Trebles all round.
I imagine the HKBWS (HK Bird Watchers Society) twitchers will be beating a path to your door."

Yes... it is quite a find.

The twitchers... don't think I have to worry too much about them.
Apart from a few hard core ones, most of them would have difficulty dealing with the adventure of it all:

First, they will need to iron their designer camouflage kits and pack their photo expedition gear in time to get the early ferry...,

Slurp down a Purple Cow frozen yogurt and coffee combo...,

Sail the roaring seas round the Cape of Pak Kok...,

Walk the terminal plank...,

Hang around waiting for a taxi that will never turn up...,

Dodge the kamikaze VVs...,

Have an early morning pint with the locals at The Island Bar:

chat with Zep about any great potential local birding spots for rare and unknown birds,
get expert photo advice from Bob Davis,
while away a few minutes with L-G about the glories of Lamma...,

Navigate their way through Main Street...,

Don their facemasks to dampen our local scents...,

Barge their way through the mindless meandering tourist flocks and window shoppers...,

Haggle with Fun Day ticket touts...,

Scoff their "fishballs on a stick"...,

Fight off the triads...,

Distribute "Little Red envelopes" strategically...,

Battle the drug lords...,

Grapple with our hooligans & graffitists...,

Manoeuvre past our buskers...,

Donate to LAWC...,

Accommodate our flower sellers...,

Inch past Bookman's pack of dogs...,

Tiptoe through our dog sh*t minefields...,

Pay the temple keeper...,

Traverse our mosquito infested swamps...,

Leap across our open sewage system...,

Sneak past our natives...,

Smoke a spliff...,

Get harangued by Chicken Linda...,

Climb my mountain...,

Crawl through undergrowth...,

Slither past the snakes...,

Stay upwind of the wild boar pack...,

Scale my fence ringed garden...,

Placate my savage dogs...,

...all the time carrying their 40kg of telephoto lenses, wearing their Weekend Warrior grins,
just to buy a ticket for next year's Red-Breasted Flycatcher follow-up tour, 'coz the birds didn't make it for the afternoon matinee yesterday... they may have already moved on to warmer climes.

Don't think I have to worry about the twitchers too much.
Although they will be able to buy a ticket for this lady's bathing performance if they get here by 07:30am... (female Magpie Robin)

P.S. Are these the people Anonymous Guy is writing about? I shot these Twitchers in the Wetland Park on Nov 7, while they were zooming in on their prey:

Dec 7:  Treasure Hunters - Tired but Happy

After the 12th Annual Operation Santa Claus Island Bar Treasure Hunt, Sunday, Dec 5, 2010:

Exhausted but happy from all the walking - an approx. 3-hour round trip via Tai Peng, Heart Attack Hill, Pak Kok Villages, Lammarina, YSW - following 129 clues and questions, many of which had to be answered by taking a photo or even singing a Christmas Carol over the mobile phone!

Congrats to all participants for their endurance and charity, and the organisers and support staff for all their hard work on another well-organised yearly Hunt, already the 12th, a real Lamma Tradition by now!

Santa Claus and his elves joined into the traditional post-event group shot, a unique, once-yearly photo opportunity, always covered in the Lamma-zine.

Mrs. Santa Claus writes:

"The Treasure Hunt went very well! The best prize as the Concerto Inn's overnight package and it was very well received by the lead team.

L-G took some great photos of the teams en masse outside The Island Bar, but unfortunately we ran late and people were anxious to find out who won prizes and move on home, so we have no photos of the prize giving.

The event raised about $10,000 or so and there will be more opportunities to raise more. We still have lots of activities to come....


Click below to enlarge my pictures:

Ferry from Aberdeen is arriving at YSW pier, seen from The Island Bar

The post-Treasure-Hunt party continues in inside and outside The Island Bar

Dec 6:  Somewhere in Time - 2 Lamma Mondays

Shirley the Nightingale, a journalism student at HK Baptist University, has been visiting Lamma today, a peaceful Monday. She has been following up on her very hectic and busy first-ever Lamma visit last Monday when she got up to lots of interviews with Yours Truly, Lammadonna, Emily the Ice-Cream Lady, Ah-Por Tofu Fa, Gavin & Gary the Herbolanders, and Alice the Italian.

Shirley contacted me over this website, overwhelming me with questions and chasing me repeatedly for an interview, even calling me on a Sunday morning at 10am! Well, my phone number is at the top of this website and my readers are ALWAYS welcome to call me about anything Lamma- or Lammaite-related, all day and evenings, 7 days per week.

Well, usually shy & semi-retired L-G finally gave in, not able to resist her relentless, but charming curiosity and persistence. I was happy to show her around last Monday and introduce her to a number of Lammaites to interrogate, eh, interview them in her cheerful, egregious & always-curious way, perfectly suited for a successful future, professional journalist.

Here's her beautiful, well-written story with lots of pictures, from her "Nightingale - Ode to The Joy of Life" blog. She's painting a quaint, almost idyllic impression of North Lamma on a weekday, almost devoid of visitors, when the place belongs to us residents:

Somewhere in Time  (Monday, Dec 6)

If you're interested in Nightingale's interviews last Monday with many Lammaites:

The Root  (Monday, Nov 29)

Photos by Shirley (click to enlarge):

Dec 5:  Lammaite Catches HK Cricket Sixes Ball
              (and wins a cool $500!)

Sean Creamer - Official Court Cricket Correspondent - Wordly Images:

(The Cricket Sixes advertise in the Lamma-zine every year. As part of our deal, I bartered two all-access weekend media passes for Sean & his photographer friend, Anthony, in exchange for Sean's story and photos.
A deal with extra benefits as Sean won $500 on the final day. Congrats!)

An international line up including England, Australia, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, South Africa and New Zealand - the tournament promised to deliver its money's worth of exciting action and incredible talent.

For most countries influenced by the British Empire, cricket is an extremely social game. In South Africa, cricket is accompanied by 'braais' (barbecues) and 'biltong' (dried meat), in England it can be quite a formal affair and in India it's a way of life. Cricket in Hong Kong is becoming increasingly popular with more than 29 teams and clubs playing regularly against each other – this includes our very own Lamma Cricket Club run by Brad the Wine Baron.

While normal cricket is usually one game played in one or over a number of days, the cricket sixes or short form cricket comprises of a number of teams playing each other in a round robin format. The batting team is required to score as many runs as possible from about 30 balls, which are bowled by the team which are out in the field. After watching a few matches it becomes pretty clear what needs to be done by each team in every game – bowl the ball as hard as you can so no one can hit it and hit the ball as hard as you can so no one can catch it.

After a whole week of relatively clear conditions, in true Hong Kong fashion the real winner was the weather. The much anticipated tournament faced a rather upsetting setback – rain. Saturday started off with the first game being postponed to 10am. However, it got off to an explosive start with the home team facing their rival and last year's winner, South Africa. Despite the rain interrupting the second innings of the game, the two teams marched on with huge hits into the spectator stands, setting the tone for the rest of the weekend.

Walking into the Kowloon Cricket Club grounds on Sunday, you were blasted by the spicy aromas coming from the Jashan sponsored food stalls. Biryani, chicken curry, samosas – an Indian food lover's dream! For those that were not spicy food fans, there were sandwiches, sausage rolls and pastries too. Ice cold beer was being served by the barrel load as well as the weather appropriate Pimm's.

India and Sri Lanka were well backed by a group of rowdy (all in good fun) supporters; at least they were situated on adjacent stands to each other so that no fights would break out! Armed with megaphones, vuvuzelas, drums, trumpets and any other instrument of eardrum destruction they could find, they were behind any team that played well and any team that hit the ball in their direction.

The organizers were handing out HKD500 in cash for caught balls; one lucky Lammaite, Sean Creamer (yours truly) was fortunate to be in the way of the ball when it was struck into the West Stands. Unfortunately it struck another spectator on the shoulder, flew into Sean's chest and bounced into the air to be caught by him, one handed, while the other hand was occupied by a beer (no spills) and a bruised chest. The rule is that if it touches the ground it doesn't count – it didn't touch the ground so it did count and he won himself the cash prize!

Most of the Lammaites could be seen taking up a good portion of the 'South Stand' on both Saturday and Sunday; relaxing and cheering their favourite teams on, while their young ones scuttle about trying to get as many signatures as possible from their favourite cricket stars.

Sadly, game play had to be shortened, to accommodate all the teams, due to the previous day's gloomy conditions which prevented game play for more than half of the day. This didn't stop the players from putting on an impressive show for the spectators as big hitters like David Warner from Australia, smashed balls over the stands and into the trees and roads beyond – the ball boys really had their work cut out for them!

From a spectator point of view the favorites of the tournament are usually the underdogs, in this case Hong Kong, India, and Pakistan. Hong Kong and India were unfortunately knocked out in earlier rounds, leaving Pakistan to face Australia in the final. The game began with Pakistan handing out a crushing 132 runs all out, a total that would be difficult to follow. Australia stepped up confidently but were marred by the Pakistani's superb bowling efforts. However their luck changed when star bowler, Nazir made critical errors causing extra points to be scored – delivering the impossible to the inevitable in a matter of minutes for Australia. The tension in stands was nerve racking, almost everyone was on their feet waiting for the final delivery - The Aussies needed one run off one ball. The final ball was delivered and hit for four points. For the first time in cricket sixes history Australia won the cup in which can only be described as a nail biting finish to a fantastic day of thrilling and entertaining matches.

The field was almost instantly covered with spectators, sprinting to shake the hands with both the Pakistanis and Australians, and retrieve the pink stumps left at the wicket. Some loyalists and die hard fans waited around to cheer on the winners and losers at the award ceremony, while others stocked up on buy two get one free cricket shirts and samosas for the 18:30 ferry home, but one thing that everyone had in common, was the smile on their face from having a completely awesome weekend and perhaps a little sunburn too.

P.S. SMS from Brad the Wine Baron today:

"Lamma Cricket Club has WON the HK International Club Sixes!"

Wow, outstanding! Warm congratulations from the Lamma-zine!

Dec 4:  A Fair, a Hunt, a Parade (and Some Civilized Philosophy)

Another eclectic and unusual mix of Lamma Events tomorrow, Sunday, Dec 5:

Christmas Fair: Sun, Dec 5, 10am-5pm: Banyan House Kindergarten:
"Face Painting, Children's Activity, Crafts, BBQ, Bake Sale, Tombola, Storytelling, Handmade Crafts and Christmas Gifts, Hot and Cold Food and Drinks, Mulled Wine, Second-hand Toys and Books." Poster.

Treasure Hunt: Sun, Dec 5, 12noon: Island Bar: Team registrations 12noon-1pm. Bring along a camera, trail not buggy-friendly, plenty of prizes. Poster.

Father Christmas on his sleigh, parading through Main Street, from The Waterfront to the YSW Ferry Pier and back, stopping at The Island Bar for photo ops: starting around 4.30pm.

Should Lamma be more civilized? Sun, Dec 5, 7-10pm:
Bookworm Café
: Lamma Spirit Branch of HK Philosophy Cafe.
Topic: "Should Lamma be more civilized? - The pros and cons of modern civilization". Presenter: Christopher Dyck, Moderator: Tavis du Preez. Forum.

Dec 3:  The Curs - a Christian Rock Band?

Congrats to one of Lamma's most famous, beloved and longest- running bands, The Curs!

Their song, Praise the Lord! - performed to rousing applause and a wildly dancing audience at the recent Cultural Melting Pot Festival in the YSW Football Pitch - has just been featured on, a site full of "Religion based videos"!

"John the Reverend is administering to his flock"

Dancing in trance is highly encouraged during the sermon

Frazer is trying to "heal the immoral and fanatical amongst us."

This honour raises some interesting questions that need to be answered ASAP!

The Curs renamed themselves from their formerly quite sinful, even blasphemous band name of Yung Shue Wankers. Did this happen after they all converted wholesale to the One True Faith and started Praising the Lord in public?

Shall we see The Curs parade through Main Street, like a Salvation Army band, in Santa Claus costumes, collecting funds for charitable Christian causes?

Shall we see The Curs perform in some local Nativity plays and Christmas Pantos this month, with all the religious fervor and passion of recently reborn Christians?

Shall we see The Curs perform Christian Christmas Carols at weekend services in our Catholic Portiuncula Monastery (above the Catholic Kindergarten), The Hangout (1 Back Street), the Lamma Mission Centre (above Hung Shing Yeh), or the newly established branch of the fundamentalist Canaan Church (Sha Po Old Village), or even in that well-established local centre of religious, deep-thinking discourse, The Island Bar (late at night, after many a pint consumed)?

Band member Holy Harry Harrison has just commented on Facebook about this HolyYouTube video above, joking:

"That's dreadful. Those sound guys were crap."

P.S. Here's Nick the Bookman's review of the Cultural Melting Pot Festival. Even our Official Court Music Reviewer is writing about the religious song titles of The Curs:

"John the Reverend is administering to his flock. A double dose of "Praise The Lord" and "Plastic Jesus" to heal the immoral and fanatical amongst us.
It's working, too. Drunks are attempting to walk. Dancers find their inner stumble rhythms."

Dec 2:  All in a Good Cause!

Mrs. Santa Claus - Co-owner of Island Bar and The Waterfront:

The Island Bar Annual Treasure Hunt

this coming Sunday, 5th December

What a Great Way to spend Sunday!

Come along and join the fun by making up a team for the 12th Island Bar Annual TREASURE HUNT!

The Treasure Hunt is held in support of Operation Santa Claus, which, as most of us know, is a charity event held jointly by SCMP and RTHK with support from companies and individuals throughout Hong Kong. The contributions raised go to help needy people and organisations in Hong Kong.


I think it says something that this will be the TWELFTH YEAR that The Island Bar has organised the Treasure Hunt and it therefore goes without saying that IT MUST BE FUN!

Witty clues to follow, silly questions to answer, bring your dogs, bring your children (ok, not necessarily in that order) and be prepared to enjoy a great trek around parts of Lamma you have probably never seen before.

All of us FUN lovers!

Teams of four, made up of friends, families or just a few individuals who would like to get together, following a trail that might, just might, bring them treasure! The trail takes between 2-3 hours (depending upon your effort and cluelessness). It's all in good fun and all in a good cause!


  1. Simply register between Noon and 1:00pm at The Island Bar in Yung Shue Wan (straight off the ferry, first bar on the left) and pay your HK$500 team registration (which you can personally put straight into the Operation Santa Box).

  2. Receive your instructions (very brief) and a trail pack (with clues, often very funny), relax for a few minutes while you think up a really intriguing name for your team (you win points for the best name) and then set off following your clues.

  3. Follow the clues, answer the questions in the booklet you will be given (IT HELPS IF YOU BRING A PEN) and find your way back to The Island Bar tired, happy and extremely ready for a FREE bevy which you will enjoy whilst we mark your papers.

  4. Listen to the teams results and enjoy receiving your prize!

YES, it's that simple.

PRIZES are given for the team to finish the trail fastest, with the most correct answers, the best dressed team etc, etc. Loads and loads of fun things to win, from ice cream coupons (Emily), festive fruit hampers, coupons for restaurants (Cath's Banyan Tree Café amongst others), yummy cheese cake and as a really great prize – a night in the CONCERTO INN complete with dinner for two!

HEY - Forgot to mention! FATHER CHRISTMAS will be coming through the village on his sleigh at about 4.00-4.30 to wave at all the good little children. He'll be distributing sweeties to the sweet ones and a bit of coal to the really bad ones (no, he won't 'cos all the children on Lamma are good). There'll be an opportunity to have a photo-take with Santa. Watch out for his elves and reindeer. They'll be there too!

For this special one day only, children will be welcomed into The Island Bar.


Click for photo gallery of a former Treasure Hunt

P.S. Just in from Frazer McGilvray, a photo of the very first Island Bar Treasure Hunt in 2000. Click to find out who's who:

Dec 1:  Got Your Lamma 2011 Calendars?


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