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2011:  1-10

11 12  2012:  1


Another Busy Weekend
Sat, Oct 29
Hans Andersen Black Night: Sat, Oct 29, 6:15-9pm: HAC Centre & YSW Main Street: Free of charge.

District Council Candidates Q&A - Fri, Oct 28
Living Lamma has asked the 3 candidates for answers to some critical questions.

Basketball League V.I.P.s
Thu, Oct 27
"Sharp-Shooter Snipes From the Sidelines; Father, Son Fernie Wage Court Battle; ..."

Adversaries Unite to Clean Beach - Wed, Oct 26
Beach cleaning by Green Lamma Group, Living Lamma and staff from The Baroque on Lamma.

HK Cricket Sixes - Let's Get the Cup! - Sat, Oct 22
The HK Cricket Sixes 2011 will be held at the Kowloon Cricket Club during the weekend of 28-30 Oct.

Hiking the Snake Trail, Dressed in Pink - Fri, Oct 21
Wear trainers or light walking boots, bring a hat,.... And don't forget to wear something PINK!

Eating My Way Through the Village - Thu, Oct 20
I usually grab a late lunch in a different local restaurant every day, getting a good overview....

'Banks Are Cancers'
Sat, Oct 15
"Dirty Money" can't shut up this protester eager to speak out.

Hummus, Pakoras & Falafels
Fri, Oct 14
I used to publish restaurant news & updates every month, but my formerly voracious eating....

Halo-Halo, Myrna!
Thu, Oct 13
My little neighbourhood in Sha Po Old Village has just become a lot more lively.

Highly Motivated, Encouraged & Inspired
Tue, Oct 12
Sumo Squat Leg Raises, Plank Glute Kick Backs, Rubber Bow,....

Future YSW Sewage Treatment Plant - Tue, Oct 11
Artist's Impression of the YSW Sewage Treatment Plant.

'I'm Scared, Lonely & Depressed' - Mon, Oct 10
"I've had a tough life and could really do with a break!
Can you help?"

Police Pursue Dog Poisoner - Sun, Oct 9
Leading police officers have promised a serious and diligent investigation,...."

'There Is No Antidote'
Tue, Oct 4
Dog Poisonings forum: Thu, Oct 6, 7pm, Rural Comm. Bldg. Dog Killer meeting: 8pm: Diesel's bar.

Deadly Twist Dampens Joyful Dogumentary - Mon, Oct 3
For Lamma Island-based film- maker Alba Rayton, a long labor of love has ended in grief."

'Lamma My Island' Film Premiere Review
Sun, Oct 2
"I've just arrived at Diesels' for the first of four screenings."

Wanted: Advertisers & Sponsors! - Sat, Oct 1
If you like this website, help it to survive and prosper!

Contact us for Lamma-related questions & comments Find Lamma-Gung on Facebook Subscribe to biweekly Lamma-zine email Check out our advertising info Your sponsorship or donation to keep this site running?

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Oct 29:  Another Busy Weekend

Tree Caring by Green Lamma Green: Sat, Oct 29, 9am-1pm:
below Pavilion on Family Trail, up the hills beyond Hung Shing Yeh beach: Assemble at YSW ferry pier. Tree survey, weeding, fertilising and mulching in the site planted in 1995. Poster.

Hans Andersen Black Night: Sat, Oct 29, 6:15-9pm:
HAC Centre & YSW Main Street:
Free of charge, 60 participants for "Challenge the HAC Haunted House", poster, forum.

DEADLINE movie: Sat, Oct 29, 8pm: XXX Gallery,
B/F, Fui Nam Bldg, 212 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan:
Local HK short zombie movie filmed at Open Space, Tai Ling (after Cable Road underpass). Shown before Park Chan-Wook's THIRST film. Free entry, poster.

Basketball Tournament:
Sun, Sep 11, 11am; then every Sun, noon-4pm:
Basketball Court
: 5 teams, with each team having 3-4 non- Pinoy imports. Free, details tba.
Lamma Hoops on Facebook, poster, email.

Beach Blazers Cleanup - Pak Kok Tsui: Sun, Oct 30, 10am: YSW Ferry Pier, then hike together to Pak Kok Tsui beach. Poster, schedule.

Karp Group HK Cricket Sixes: Fri-Sun, Oct 28-31, all day: Kowloon Cricket Club, 10 Cox's Rd, Kowloon:
Poster, website.

Say hello if you spot me at most of these events with my big Nikon and your Photoshop-enhanced mugshot might grace the next Lamma-zine!

More Events... - Email your event for free listing.

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Oct 28:  District Council Candidates Q&A

The District Council Elections will be held on Sunday, Nov 6 2011, next weekend.

The Lamma-zine does not endorse specific candidates, but many of our readers will be interested in the views of the 3 candidates standing for Lamma & Po Toi Islands. Having several candidates is a first for Lamma, as the last DC election 4 years ago was uncontested and 8 years ago there was only one opponent (who didn't actually live on Lamma.)

I encourage all readers to become engaged, well-informed and personally involved. There are 3 very different choices this time and a real election. Talk to the candidates during their campaigning these days; they're all very friendly and approachable and can communicate in Chinese and English. Leaflets are being handed out throughout YSW and Sok Kwu Wan, many banners displayed, posters on many windows (see below), direct mailings to all (2,400+) registered voters. To share your opinions and discuss election issues, check out our active forum:

District Council Elections, Nov 6, 2011

Living Lamma has asked the 3 candidates for answers to some questions about the issues that are important to their members and Lammaites in general:

  1. What would be your primary focus as District Councilor for Lamma & Po Toi?
  2. In what ways can consultation between Government and the community be improved?
  3. Describe your policy for development and how it relates to the Statutory Outline Zoning Plan for Lamma.
  4. What are your views on the proposed reclamation of Yung Shue Wan harbour and the proposed bicycle park?
  5. What is your position on the proposed development of the Baroque on Lamma?
  6. What is your Environmental policy, especially regarding rubbish and dumping?

Check out their very interesting bilingual answers on the website of Living Lamma (who's also officially neutral). Don't forget to read "between the lines" of the answers as well and look at questions avoided. What's not being said tells a lot about each candidate's views and priorities as well.

Click on the posters above to enlarge and click on the links to check out the candidates' own blogs, websites and Facebook pages. Don't be shy, contact them, ask them your own critical questions and let them know your opinions, even if you're not one of the registered voters!

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Oct 27:  Basketball League V.I.P.s

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Basketball Correspondent:

(Text, pictures & captions by Jay, plus pics inside text by L-G)

Back-Room Bickering Keeps Basketball Bouncing

Will the LIPBL forbid 'foreigners' again?

YUNG SHUE WAN, Lamma Island, Hong Kong -- Despite Banny Defeo's status as commissioner of the well-run, colorful and competitive Lamma Island Pinoy Basketball League (LIPBL), his fellow organizers seldom go along quietly with his wishes. Arguments and disputes erupt long before players hit the court.

"Actually we argue a lot," Banny said. "We brainstorm on different ideas, argue and get really hot-headed. Often we need to disagree before we can agree, but after debate and discussion, we normally vote and get things finalized."

A 10-member committee, including a leader from each team, meets regularly to operate the league, now in its second season at Yung Shue Wan's outdoor basketball court. As the only committee member not also a player, Banny has the impartiality for the top job.

Read more ...

'Throw the ball that way, young man.'

Father, Son Fernie Wage Court Battle

In most families, all-out court battles have negative repercussions, causing bitter conflicts. For Lamma's Fernie family, it's more like healthy pleasure and helping to entertain their fellow islanders.

Forty-two-year-old Ivan Fernie, at six-feet, five-inches, towers above opponents as the tallest player in the Lamma Island Pinoy Basketball League (LIPBL), active on Sundays at the Yung Shue Wan basketball court. He plays center for the green-uniformed Awesome Tigers.

Meanwhile, Ivan's 15- year-old son Richard, five- feet, 11-inches and still growing, wears red. He's a deft forward for the rival Huggen D'ass team.

On October 16, the father and son, plus their respective teams, played against each other for the first time. As family conflicts go, this one looked more friendly than fierce. Ivan's wife (Richard's mother) Ivy (who said she rooted for Richard's team) sat at courtside. Richard's younger brothers (Ivan and Ivy's other sons) Rubin, age 11, and Ronan, age 10, watched too. So did George, the family dog.

Read more ...

Reaching high, Ivan tries for a blocked shot.

Sharp-Shooter Snipes From the Sidelines

One shining star of the Lamma Island Pinoy Basketball League (LIPBL) shoots more than anyone else, but never scores a point. Each Sunday, photographer Dina B. Knight lurks on the sidelines at Yung Shue Wan's basketball court, her camera ready, capturing often-spectacular action and profile photos that enhance the games for players and spectators.

Remarkably, Dina calls herself an "inexperienced" photographer, one still learning the capabilities and quirks of a sophisticated camera. The results suggest that she's a quick learner.

"I photograph the games for fun," she said. "I enjoy photography and want to learn more and more.

"The reason why I concentrate on this league is because it involves Filipinos, my own community. They're my friends. I like the challenge too, especially when players jump. With the right timing, I can catch them in mid-air.

Read more ...

pic 3

''Honestly, I'm not that good," Dina insists. Photographic evidence contradicts her.

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Oct 26:  Adversaries Unite to Clean Beach

Shek Pai Wan beach, Tung O Wan, South Lamma - Sun, Oct 16
(Photo by Daniel Clarke, all other photos by L-G)

Beach cleaning - under the umbrella of the HK-wide HK International Coastal Clean Up Challenge - by Hiking Meetup Group, Green Lamma Group, Living Lamma and staff from The Baroque on Lamma developers & consultants.
Instead of the mud/sand fights I was hoping for, it was all "Peace, Love, Lamma!"

Jo the Honorable Chairwoman writes:

"Altogether we collected 126 bags - mostly polystyrene, but also plastic bottles, fishing nets, rope, plastic wrappers, plastic spoons, cans, lots of cigarette lighters, shoes (lots of odd ones), a fridge door, a petrol canister, 2x strip lights, broken light bulbs, a syringe, boards, a cool box, a life jacket, a basket ball, a big gas canister and a small one, and other miscellaneous stuff. It was noted that some of the plastic bottles came from China as they were not a local brand.

I counted 62 people, 4 teenagers and 4 kids, including a visitor from Tasmania and one from the UK."  (click on pictures to enlarge)

P.S. This beach cleanup has just won the Gold Award for the Greenest Team in the HK Int'l Coastal Cleanup Challenge 2011! The award ceremony will be held on Nov 2 in Central.

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Oct 22:  HK Cricket Sixes - Let's Get the Cup!

How about a little advertorial today, for a sport so close to many Lammaites' hearts, CRICKET! Hong Kong won Runners-up two years ago, so they're going for the cup this year! Being proud to live on home base of the fantastic, often victorious Lamma Cricket Club, loads of Lammaites will surely make the little trip to Kowloon next weekend.

The KARP Group Hong Kong Cricket Sixes 2011 will be held at the Kowloon Cricket Club during the weekend of 28-30 October 2011. Check out all the information about the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes by clicking the links below:

(Photos by HKCA/HKSPA)

We're also looking for 1-2 cricket fans (a reporter and a photographer) who'd like to get in on FREE MEDIA PASSES, a $900 value, plus behind-the-scenes and media center access! The only condition would be to get me a short story and/or photos to publish shortly after the games. No need to be a professional writer or photographer, loving (and comprehending) cricket is more important.
Contact me! Deadline for registration: Monday, Oct 24.

Hong Kong team helps local South Asian youth prepare for the Hong Kong Sixes

P.S. This advertorial is an example of my little, full-service, short-term but high- impact Internet marketing campaigns with animated banner ads, event listings, email shots, promotions, advertorials and a photo shoot.
If you're considering a direct marketing campaign for your business, or just need some Internet Marketing Consulting, contact me!

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Oct 21:  Hiking the Snake Trail, Dressed in Pink

Wear trainers or light walking boots, bring a hat, sunscreen and swimwear if you want a dip at the public Lo So Shing beach.

For more information on Pink Revolution go to:

And don't forget to wear something PINK!

P.S. by Vicky Medcalf, Oct 24:

"We raised $11,498.50 for Pink Revolution, Breast Cancer Fund!!! $3,000 came from the walkers, $2,000 from Banyan Bay Cafe and $6,498.50 from the donation box. Fantastic result!! Thank you so much to everyone who was involved :-)
Last minute donation takes our Breast Cancer fundraiser total to $12,000. Thanks so much, Brad and Claudia x x"

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Oct 20:  Eating My Way Through the Village

Working in my home office most days from 8am till mid-afternoon, I usually grab a late lunch in a different local restaurant every day, getting a good overview of our local culinary delights and the key people in our gastronomic circles. Let me highlight a few restaurants today which are NOT Lamma-zine advertisers (yet).

Pizza Milano was one of the few YSW restaurants we've very rarely visited before. Lamma-Por doesn't like pizza and I'm not willing to pay high prices for something so simple, cheap and quick to make. But their pizzas are famous for good reasons and many of my friends love sharing their huge, yummy and colourful pies with family and friends. I still haven't tried any of their pizzas between $92 and $165 yet - same price as in the old location, I think, or just a modest increase. Check out our discussion on Lamma pizza prices.

But Pizza Milano is now becoming a new, quick favourite of mine in the new location (formerly Deli Lamma) for non-pizza-related reasons, namely due to their all-new breakfast and lunch options.

But their new all-day breakfasts and set lunches are very competitive and less pricey than most of the other local "Western" restaurants; most of which have moved well beyond my very limited budget. This set lunch below, including soup, chicken, potato mash and very well-done veggies, was a bit over $70, a pretty good deal. I'll return for another set lunch very soon.

A glass of wine or champagne only costs $30 and $35, way below the $50 in many other local eateries and bars. I also like their good selection of all-day breakfast choices (-6pm!), for example Eggs Florentine with spinach, the best ones I've had so far in YSW. A great place for my late, light lunches, especially in the middle of the afternoon when the place is almost empty.

That's when the cheerful waitresses have time to chat about what's new and going on in our village, just before tucking into their own, home-made Philippine- style early dinner. I've suggested to them to add some of those *real* Philippine dishes to the menu as we still don't have a Pinoy rest. here (not counting the very tasty and cheap daily set lunch takeaway in "Halo-Halo Myrna's" C-5 Pinoy Store.)

VanocLamma the Guerilla Gardener is still hard at work outside C-5, transporting big granite boulders to build a little wall outside the cleared, dug-up plot of (private? public?) land, an ugly dump site till a few weeks ago. We queried him about the future of his pet project (check out his almost daily updates):
a potato or veggie patch, a native flower garden or even a large Koi Pond?

While getting another Halo-Halo on the way home last night, just around the corner from the C-5 Red House, there were at least 3 policemen interviewing a VV driver who had just run into a young Chinese woman. They had to transport her bleeding and with a leg and head injury to the Clinic, according to eye-witnesses. Scanning her in hospital, she was lucky and not seriously hurt, but still walking with a crutch.

Less than two days later, these SLOW signs plus concave traffic mirrors appeared at that most dangerous crossing in Sha Po Old Village. I've witnessed almost-accidents there myself, being always careful of speeding VVs and bikes when passing this crossing. We need more of these signs!

Big dinner with friends in Sau Kee Rest. (opposite Diesel's), another firm favourite of ours for its wide selection of traditional Cantonese dishes. $315 for 4 people sounds like an OK price per person, but I picked up the tab as one of the friends is a regular and major Lamma-zine Content Contributor and well deserves an occasional freebie. I try to treat the volunteers nicely.

After such a well-fed and costly day, it's leftovers and cold, high-protein snacks only for me tomorrow ... and a really long hike the day after....

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Oct 15:  'Banks Are Cancers'
                   'Occupy Central' Protests @ Exchange Square, Central

Just outside a gleaming citadel of "money worshippers".
"Dirty Money" can't shut up this protester eager to speak out.
Traveling protester with tent & children being interviewed by several TV stations.
Guy Fawkes looks alive & well in HK, but is he preparing to overthrow our govt.?

"... END monetary system, END all debts,... END all banks, FREE PEOPLE"

Almost more cameras & reporters than actual protesters?

I joined in for a little while in this most unusual protest this afternoon in Central at Exchange Square, happening just half an hour from Lamma Island, a 5-minute stroll from the Central ferry piers. This very colourful and completely peaceful protest was inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement spreading today to many cities worldwide.

I was picking up an English leaflet at this bilingual rally, "Fight back against capital hegemony". It reminded me so much of anti-capitalist, anti-nuclear protests I joined over a quarter of a century ago during my university days. This makes me feel so ancient, but it's refreshing to see these post-80s find their voices, find each other (usually via Facebook) and organise peaceful gatherings to express their feelings, desires and demands.

But anti-capitalist protests in the "Freest Economy" (meaning the most capitalist) in the world? Amusing, but definitely not a majority view. But having grown up in a grassroots democratic country, it's wonderful to see that we've still got free speech nowadays, plus some glimmers of hope for more democracy here in my new home, an SAR of the PRC.

Our Official Court Music Reviewer, Nick the Bookman, describes some of the feelings fueling this worldwide protest in another passionate passage in his concert review of Human League, playing HK just two days earlier, in KITEC on Oct 13:

"The crowd starts cheering as the opening chords of "Don't You Want Me" reverb forth. At this point, it's safe to say that everyone is time-tripping. Flitting 'twixt the lusty young New Romantics of yore when the world was your oyster on the half shell to the gritty cyber now when that question is greeted with murderous rejection if applied to the fucked-up fundamental religious nutbags of all persuasions, as well as the cataclysmically incompetent corporate whore shareholders and preening, putrid politicians whose pissant policies helped to break the world.

"No we don't want you, unless you're dying double dreadfully over decades of disintegration and degradation. In fact "Being Boiled" would be a fine start. Accompanied by side orders of castration, dismemberment, evisceration and epic mutilation... erm, sorry about that. Gone a little off review there."

To read the rest of Nick's Human League concert review...

As quite a few Lammaites were present at this rally, will an "Occupy Main Street" protest in Yung Shue Wan follow soon, or perhaps even "Occupy Tung O Wan"?

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Oct 14:  Hummus, Pakoras & Falafels

I used to publish restaurant news & updates almost every month, but my formerly quite voracious eating habits have changed dramatically in the last 3.5 years. It took me a while to adjust to my new, small stomach (reduced by surgery) and being able to enjoy again anything I like (in small quantities and making healthier food choices) without regaining any weight for the last 2+ years.

With all the recent and coming-soon changes in the Yung Shue Wan dining scene, let me restart this approx. monthly column covering news & updates from our 20+ local restaurants of many diverse cuisines. Let me focus on some old favourites of mine today, before checking out these new places next time:

  • The relocated, much larger Pizza Milano taking over the renovated, former Deli Lamma less than a week ago (big opening party with free food and booze coming soon!)
  • That low-key Number One Thai place beside Best Kebab.
  • An (unconfirmed) rumour about another new bar opening soon, currently under renovation, in addition to Jing-Jing bar's debut a few months ago.
  • The Living Room seaside terrace for drinks & bakeries, located outside the just relocated "Just Green Organic Convenience Store" (up to 4 stores HK-wide now, including Soho and Wanchai - the budding beginnings of a future "organic empire" chain of stores?)

Spotted in Bookworm Café the other day, famous senior ex-Lammaite Wendy the Yoga Teacher returning for her yearly visit, with Iona, her daughter. We'll hear more from each of them in the Lamma-zine soon, in their own words!

The Bookworm is still rightfully famous for their wide choice of brunches, see our favourite above. Who needs meat when you can have a plate heaped full of delicious and colourful veggie food! Even Lamma-Por, a devoted non-vegetarian, agrees to share this with me. This is one of few meat-free dishes I can get her to eat and actually enjoy. No way would she touch this dish below, a favourite lunch option of mine, probably the prettiest and tastiest hummus on Lamma:

A little quiz: Who's serving these weekly changing lunch options, seen below?

Yes, Green Cottage, of course. Usually served by Mike - the very best and friendliest waiter on Lamma, In My Humble Opinion - the three set lunch choices change every week, created by Dan the Veggie Master Chef, part of the Ron & Dan team of brothers and proprietors:

Strolling home, I often grab some Lamma Gourmet cheeses, freshly-baked baguette, cold cuts or even half of Geng's fantastic, succulent and well-seasoned roasted chicken for dinner takeaway. Cheerful Bong is serving me while giving me an update of Thai community events, for example the Lantern Festival (Loy Krathong) happening again next month, Nov 10, in YSW; plus a local Muay Thai fighter winning his latest tournament fight in town. Congratulations! Bong also drew this informative blackboard ad below.

Last but not least: A really tasty curry set dinner in Beer Garden, including a Pakora and Chicken Tikka, all approved enthusiastically by Lamma-Por. We've got to taste-test more of their very extensive menu very soon. But no Oktoberfest this month in this Indian/International restaurant with the German-sounding name.

P.S. The Lamma-zine is still looking for a new Official Court Glutton, a food reviewer! How about YOU?

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Oct 13:  Halo-Halo, Myrna!

My little neighbourhood in Sha Po Old Village has just become a lot more lively. The C-5 Pinoy Store, formerly located on the tourist trail in Tai Yuen Village, has relocated into the well-known, single-storey Red House, just in front of the Canaan Church. It's become a new favourite place of mine, people from different nationalities sitting outside C-5 most evenings, some even playing guitar and generally having a good time, especially on Sundays after their basketball games.

This tiny, but extremely neat, clean and well-organised place, stuffed full of comfort foods, reminds me a lot of the (just relocated) Just Green Organic Convenience Store. But the typical customers here can't usually afford premium- price, high-quality, organic fare. Some of the prices here seem to be the lowest anywhere in Yung Shue Wan, with a lot of products I haven't seen in any other shop here. Calamansi juice soda, anyone?

They even have Internet access for customers, mainly for the large number of local Facebook-loving Filipinos. They love to check out the latest results and photos from the multi-national, very professionally organised Basketball League, currently in progress every Sunday from noon in the YSW Basketball Court, posting the latest team results and schedules outside the C-5 Store:

Forum member Vanoclamma has been doing some guerilla-gardening on a small plot just adjacent to C-5's informal sitting-out area, cleaning it up and beautifying it a great lot already over the last several weeks. Kudos & congrats! Check our forum for his progress, a wide-ranging stream of consciousness, but also an insightful and informative monologue: Joshua Cannan Tree Garden sorta.

Writing this too long story has made me hungry, almost time to pick up another home-cooked takeaway lunch from C-5's proprietor Halo-Halo Myrna. It reminds me of the fantastic meals my Filipina sister-in-law in Switzerland prepares for us every time we visit. Yes, our family is a pretty multicultural lot: my HK-Chinese wife, Lamma-Por, plus Hungarian, Brazilian and Zimbab- wean sisters-in-law and many Austrian and German relatives. Being a passionate multi-culti is just one of the many reasons I like living on Lamma so much.

I've nicknamed Myrna after that famous Halo-Halo smoothie of hers, prepared freshly while you wait, from at least ten ingredients. It's a full meal in itself, full of nutritious (non-organic) goodies, so tasty and great value at only $18. No, she's not an advertiser of this website and I wouldn't even ask such a small one-woman business. I love supporting and promoting, for free, small, struggling, one-person startups like this, being one myself. Entering the shop, you can greet her and order at the very same time by simply announcing with a loud, happy and cheerful voice, "Halo-Halo, Myrna!" to get that big, broad smile above in return.

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Oct 12:  Highly Motivated, Encouraged & Inspired

Sumo Squat Leg Raises, Plank Glute Kick Backs, Rubber Bow & Arrow,
Side Planks, Jumping Jacks, Hula Hoops and Burpees?

Yes, these are some of the intriguingly-named exercises I've been up to recently, resuming Donna the BodyBooster's Boostcamp classes in the Basketball Court on most Tue and Thu evenings. Being chased, err, highly motivated, encouraged and inspired by Donna to rejoin her classes, I've sent her this email on Oct 3, after reading the article about Donna in the Women In Charge e-newsletter, with testimonials from several of her poor victims, err, top-fit students:

"Dear Woman in Charge!

After reading about how your "bubbly personality and supreme motivational skills" "lift the soul with tremendous humour, encouragement and inspiration" and "really lifted my ability and enjoyment of exercising", I feel truly supremely motivated, encouraged and inspired to lift my own lazy ass and rejoin your "inspirational, high energy fitness groups." See you tomorrow!

I'd also like to do another motivational, encouraging and inspiring Boostcamp story and use some of that great and motivational newsletter you sent me the other day. With highly motivated, encouraged and inspired regards,

Lamma-Gung - Managing Editor of Lamma-zine"

Three days later, my abdominal muscles were still hurting.... After all the surgical  remodelling done in that part of my anatomy it's strange to hurt down there again, two months after fully recovering from my two separate, consecutive, free operations (abdominoplasties) to remove most of the loose tummy skin almost all around my body after my massive weight loss, even replacing my belly button....

No damage was done by exercising again (I think, I hope), just my unfit, out-of-practice tummy core muscles complaining about the first serious exercises in several months, more than just hill-hiking and -biking. I'll just have to keep at it, getting stronger and less painful soon (I hope, choosing to lead an optimistic life.)

Well, after all this tough exercise, I've well deserved a really nice meal to recover my energy and some of those burnt-off calories, n'est-ce pas? I got invited to a sumptuous half-price buffet in town shortly afterwards. These items below were my amazing choices from the absolutely huge dessert buffet. No way for my small stomach to absorb all off this - my eyes are still bigger than my stomach, so to speak - and my weakness for desserts hasn't really changed. So there was quite a bit of "takeaway" to enjoy the next day.... but no weight gain at all after a day of fasting the next day. Hurray! I should do this again soon (if it's OK with Donna??)

P.S. I hope to see you at Boostcamp soon?

Check out my last Boostcamp photo story and Donna's Bodyboost website for details, special offers, e-newsletter, contacts, and a free trial!

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Oct 11:  Future YSW Sewage Treatment Plant

Artist's Impression of the Yung Shue Wan Sewage Treatment Plant, currently under construction behind the helipad, at the far end of the first phase of the YSW Harbour Reclamation, to be completed in several years.

This is how it looks these days:

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Oct 10:  'I’m Scared, Lonely & Depressed'

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Oct 9:  Police Pursue Dog Poisoner

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent - Thu, Oct 6, 2011, 7pm:

(Text by Jay; pictures & captions by Jay & Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge)

Like Finding a 'Needle in a Haystack'?

MAIN STREET, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong – Leading police officers have promised a serious and diligent investigation, within the limits of available resources, to nab a "sick individual" responsible for killing many of this island's dogs.

"We understand it's an emotive issue," said Hong Kong Police marine-district deputy-commander Mark Taylor. "We want to catch this person as much as anyone does. Believe me -- we're on the case! We take this very seriously and will do what we can to the best of our abilities with the manpower we have."

On October 6, Taylor and several colleagues, notably Cheung Chau division commander Mak Pui-Yuen and community-relations officer Kwok Shu-chi, faced a standing-room-only, spill-into-the-street crowd of worried villagers at a public meeting in the Lamma North Rural Committee.

The police appealed for people to provide relevant information by promptly reporting anything suspicious. "We believe there's a lot of information out there that isn't reaching us," Taylor said.

A Lamma-based group, Lifelong Animal Protection (LAP), says about 20 local dogs have died since late September after eating, licking or otherwise contacting poison (probably on tainted meat) left near popular footpaths by an unknown person. Veterinarians who treated the dying dogs believe the poison is paraquat, a powerful herbicide typically in powder or liquid forms. Banned in some places, it's legal in Hong Kong. A single lick can kill a dog, ultimately of lung failure and other organ damage. The dying process, with vomiting, gasping and seizures as the initial symptoms, may take a week or more.

Technically, Hong Kong's animal-cruelty laws can lead to three-year prison terms and HK$200,000 fines. When dogs die, criminal-damage charges may prompt 10-year sentences.

Not every poisoning incident was reported to the police. "Some people have made a specific choice not to come forward," Taylor said. "We only can act on the reports and evidence we receive."

At the meeting, several people said they lack faith in the police because officers showed little sensitivity on past dog-related issues. As for this time, "the police don't have a clue," one person declared after stepping outside.

Taylor warned the public not to raise unfair suspicions. "For people to point fingers at others, without evidence, is totally wrong and doesn't help. It creates a split in the community when we need unity to help us to catch this guy." Yet moments later a listener recalled once seeing a farmer soak pigs' ears in poison and mysteriously bury them. Another suggested that the poisoner should need to compensate for the dead animals' veterinary bills.

Earlier on the day of the meeting, 30 extra police officers came to Lamma and searched futilely for tainted meat or other evidence along designated pathways. "We can't keep asking guys to come to search and find nothing," Taylor said. "We can act again only on strong information…. It's like a needle in a haystack for us unless the operation is intelligence-led.

"For police officers, it's horrible to say we're hamstrung to a great degree, but we are. We could send officers along those paths every day. If the guy knows we're out there, he won't put the stuff down. It's when we're not there that he'll act, but that's when you're there. Our only chance is through information from the community."

One listener suggested placing surveillance cameras in strategic spots. "I doubt if most people on Lamma want police cameras everywhere," Taylor said. "Cameras might give us some indications, but to place them in the public domain isn't straightforward. It's not something we'd like to do on Lamma."

Dog-poisoning erupts regularly on Lamma, but several years sometimes pass without incident. "For sure, you need to protect your dogs in the near term," said Tailor. That means using leashes and muzzles when walking them.

The police advocate "responsible" dog-ownership. "Let's be honest," Taylor said. "This guy probably puts down poison because he has a perceived reason. That's a reality."

Another black spot exists along Bowen Road on Hong Kong Island. For several decades, there dogs sporadically have died from poisoned meat.

"On Bowen Road, people have lost so many dogs," Taylor said. "And it's a simple, A-to-B, straight piece of road. Over the years, hundreds of police officers have investigated. They've had surveillance cameras, undercover guys and sweep-searches, but gotten nowhere. Flooding the place with police hasn't worked. With all the paths on Lamma, it certainly won't work here."

Then again, Bowen Road "has no real community to help. We've never caught the poisoner there because we never really had community help. With the much-stronger community on Lamma, I think we have a chance. You look after each other and love dogs. You understand the importance of this, as do we. We can succeed, but only if the community sticks together and helps. Perhaps we can catch this person. Perhaps! But the police can't do it alone.

"That's why we're here tonight – because we need you guys to help us. We need you to come forward, maybe with details about people you know who've said things, perhaps about dogs fouling their environment, or people who showed noticeable anger about dogs…. We need for the community to give us active information about your dogs and what you see when out walking them. Information given to us will be in confidence, and how we act on it will be in confidence."

If people notice suspicious behavior and believe they see the poisoner in action, they shouldn't pick up suspected poison or assault the culprit. Fisticuffs could lead to injuries or assault charges even for concerned citizens. "If you lay hands on someone, you may end up in court yourself," Taylor said. Other tactics will work better:

  • notice the suspect's identity or appearance and report the details to police;

  • follow the person while telephoning the police (maybe even using the 999 emergency number) and direct them for an arrest; or

  • photograph the suspicious individual and behavior.

Anyone finding meat near a pathway should stay there to stop dogs or people from touching it and call the police to collect the evidence. "As long as there are no other urgent cases, like robbery, an officer will go straight to the site," Mak said.

Taylor noticed glares and glum looks in the crowd. "I know it's extremely frustrating," he said. "I've been seeing people's faces drop when they think ‘you're not doing this, not doing that, not doing the other'. But the information we've had is very recent. We've started people moving, got crime-officers involved and done a sweep. We're not dragging our feet and really want to get on with this, but we can't act on anything except hard evidence, which takes time for us to get together. And we'll only get it with your help. It's very early days of the investigation. Maybe you're going to have to bear with us for a considerable time."

Immediately after the police-led meeting, an even larger group of dog-owners and concerned citizens gathered at nearby Diesels Bar. Chaotic and emotional, the second meeting also reflected the fury of pet-owners that many dogs have died and all others face a dire danger. Often several people spoke simultaneously, yelling to be heard.

Visibly worried, the villagers debated several plans, including organizing regular foot patrols to watch for the poisoner or tainted meat, chasing more media attention and putting up "wanted" posters to seek information and frighten off the culprit. Many attendees signed a pledge to contribute money as a reward (initially pegged at HK$30,000) to anyone supplying information that leads to an arrest. The dog owners plan to meet again on October 13.

People dearly love their pets. Obviously, anyone who unfairly kills dogs, no matter how cunning the method, makes enemies very quickly.

"Everyone loves their dogs," Taylor said. "Firemen love their dogs. Police officers love their dogs. We empathize."

Final Wag:
A surprising moment happened just before the dog-protection meeting arranged by the police. As people arrived at the Lamma North Rural Committee Building, a mobile phone belonging to one of the organizers burst into music to announce an incoming call. What song did it play? It was "Puppy Love".

Invitation to the police meeting

Glum group: Lamma dog- owners look unimpressed by police assurances.

Worried pet-owners don't hesitate to question the police.

Lamma Police Chief, Philip Kwok, in casual attire

Philip Kwok's boss, Mark Taylor, admits that it'll be difficult to gather sufficient evidence to convict any suspect.

Divisional commander Mak Pui-yuen makes a point.

Mak & Taylor ask for community help.

Some in the audience have lost their canine best friends.

Police warning-posters appear on the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier and on this website:

Known poisonings locations so far. Beware!

Join the discussion on these meetings...

Get the latest updates on dog poisonings...

Next Dog Killer meeting in Diesel's: Thu, Oct 13, 8pm!

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Oct 4:  'There Is No Antidote'

Dog Poisonings public forum: Thu, Oct 6, 7pm: 1/F, Rural Committee Bldg,
opposite HSBC: organised by Lamma Police & authorities; poster, forum.

Dog Killer on Lamma! meeting: Thu, Oct 6, 8pm: Diesel's bar:
poster, forum, email for details.


Dr Mike Hilditch - Wanchai Animal Clinic:

Over the past week I have treated two dogs at my clinic suffering from the symptoms of paraquat poisoning. I have been asked to write a few notes on my experience:

Two dogs from Lamma Island were presented at the Wanchai Animal Clinic on the 28th and 30th of September. They appeared to be suffering from severe gastroenteritis. They had been vomiting, anorexic and were about 10% dehydrated. A routine blood analysis indicted that they were in early kidney failure and moderate shock due to the fluid loss. Both dogs responded well to fluid and electrolyte therapy and appeared reasonably bright for the duration of the treatment. Only one dog had a little diarrhoea on one day and there was no more vomiting after the initial treatments. Both dogs remained off their food for the duration.

On the last day their breathing became more laboured and at no time did we observe any coughing or notice any fluid accumulation in the lungs. Both dogs died overnight and appeared fairly bright the day before, the owners taking them for a walk in the local park. I have conducted a post mortem on both dogs and it tentatively appears that they have died from lung failure. The lungs, liver and kidneys had severe damage. I have taken tissue samples that have been sent overseas for histo-pathological examination. The Hong Kong police have collected tissue samples and will also conduct tests. It is likely, given the symptoms and from my observations at the post mortem, that these dogs died from paraquat toxicity.

Paraquat is a widely available commercial non selective herbicide that is commonly used in the farming industry. It is frequently purchased under the trade name 'Gramoxone', to be diluted and sprayed on weeds before planting. It is very quickly absorbed by the plant and has no residual effect. The diluted form that is sprayed is also unlikely to be toxic. Severe toxicity only happens when the concentrated form is swallowed.

The ingested poison will initially cause severe irritation to the throat, oesophagus and stomach which accounts for the vomiting. The absorbed poison will then cause kidney and heart damage. With a high dose the animal will die within a day or two from kidney or heart failure. Dogs that survive the first few days will die from deteriorating lung function. The two dogs we treated survived five and seven days respectively and both displayed exactly the same symptoms. There is no antidote for this poison.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to the owners and friends of the dogs involved.

R.I.P. GoGo, Gisela's animal companion, one of the two dogs Dr Mike writes above.
My sincere condolences to Gisela and everybody who's lost a beloved pet.

For much more info on this terrible outbreak: Dogs Fall Victim to 'Poisoning'

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Oct 3 Deadly Twist Dampens Joyful Dogumentary

Jay Scott Kanes - Official Court Pet Correspondent - Oct 3, 2011:

Director No Longer Lamma's Leading Fan?

For Lamma Island-based film-maker Alba Rayton, a long labor of love has ended in grief. Instead of the excitement and triumph that she anticipated when preparing for screenings of her new documentary, Lamma, My Island, at European film festivals, she's left with tears instead.

On September 25, two of the 30-minute movie's biggest stars, Alba's beloved three-year-old pet dogs Guapa and Ginger, consumed tainted food that a mysterious "dog poisoner" had left near popular footpaths. Guapa quickly died, and Ginger lingers at death's door.

"Ginger won't make it," Alba said. "We took her to the vet yesterday (Oct 2). He gave her vitamins and steroids, but she isn't showing any improvement. Her breathing is getting worse."

At least 15 Lamma dogs have died in an outbreak of poisoning cases. Others, like Ginger, look likely to drive the death toll higher.

The poisoning grieves Alba and dampens her enthusiasm for the documentary. She devoted much of the film to praising Lamma as a tropical paradise full of friendly, caring people, a utopia that she and her husband John chose as an ideal place to live.

"Definitely, the poisoning incident has changed our feelings towards Lamma," Alba said. "But it's like when an earthquake or tsunami hits a country. The authorities need days, maybe months, to learn the full extent of the damage. That's how I feel. We need time. The only thing we know for sure is that we've lost the dogs that brought us joy and that the culprit is a malicious person from the island where we chose to live."

In one positive aspect, "I also can say that the community spirit, the caring-for-each-other attitude seen in the documentary, has been demonstrated to us all over again by so many neighbors and friends."

Will the Raytons remain on Lamma? "The future for us here is something that we need to re-examine once we know more about the damage this has caused us," Alba said. "We'd have difficulty to be confident that nothing similar would happen again."

Ironically, much of the documentary focuses on how Lamma's people and dogs live together in idyllic harmony. "We love dogs," yells an enthusiastic group in one scene. Obviously, that's no unanimous opinion. Someone on Lamma detests dogs.

Alba, who directed the film but also appears onscreen as a narrator and tour guide, tells viewers, "Now this is looking more like a ‘dogumentary'. I'm very happy."

Lamma, My Island will play at the Marbella International Film Festival in Spain (October 14-16). Then it goes to Switzerland's Lucerne International Film Festival (October 19-23).

Colorful, lively and pleasing, the film gives a delightful introduction (complete with zooming-in on maps) to anyone unfamiliar with Lamma. Residents and regular visitors will smile at the constant reminders of what they like about the place....


Showing soon at European film festivals

A documentary in the making sees dogs Guapa and Ginger as part of the team.

Director of photography Yuk Hoi Tat, editor Ice Javier and director Alba work on a then-happy project.

Film director Alba Rayton points a camera at her 'chosen' isle.

Part of Lamma's largest village: not quite paradise after all.


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Oct 2 'Lamma My Island' Film Premiere

Nick the Bookman: - Official Court Senior Reviewer:

(Photos by Lamma-Gung, the MC of the film screening as Alba was out of HK)

Alba's Lamma Movie - Diesel's Bar - Sep 17, 2011

(Click for film trailer. The film's available now on DVD. Ask in Diesel's.)

Well, I'm back...Did you miss me much? Anyway, time to jump through spacetime hoops again while trying to mash up Alba's movie review, The RWC 2011 World Cup and life in general. Here goes...

It's about 1920 (HKT) and I've just arrived at Diesels' for the first of four screenings of Alba's long gestating/ finally finished tribute to life on Lamma. I'm in a good mood. Ireland have just beaten Australia 15-6 in their pool match [rugby] to become front-runners to top Pool C. People in the know say it's a major upset.

There's a reasonable crowd inside Diesel's for the film premiere. Dave Spicer and Bob Davies chatting by the bar. Hermann and Lucy have arrived. They're sitting next to Ivan and Ivy. Peta, Caroline, Annie and Maria (with the jewellery shop) are across the room. Leigh's in and out. Other people are drinking outside. A DVD is passed forward and inserted into the player. I've been assured by Alba that "you're in the film", Sounds groovy. The film begins...

Alba tells us that there are about 7 million people in HK. And about 6,500 or so resident on Lamma. There are overall maps, Film of the HKFF ferry disgorging passengers. Shots up and down Main Street. Familiar faces, hustling and bustling. Animals on the prowl. And Alan at one point with his dogs. Looking healthier than he does now. A bit more erect and less of The Shambling, Shuffling Living Dead. The film is broken into chapters. Including The Arena, Living In Harmony and Our Natural Beauty. There's coverage of The Melting Pot Festival on the football pitch. The Curs are playing. Earlier shots of the Opera House being constructed and The Curs doing a sort of "corporate gig" for the elderly local residents.

Here's a section of Lamma's most photogenic dogs. Both stills and motion film. About 20 or so dogs are shown. No Jack and Double though. Or Xena. Which diminishes my interest a little. Someone cries out "Is this a Dogumentary?" Dr. John Wedderburn talks about LAWC. No mention of the schism with LAP. Both organisations do good work in rescuing strays and abused animals. There's film of various activities/parties/The Lamma 500 on Power Station Beach. Lamma-Gung is interviewed.

Linda does a spacey slow shuffle dance on the beach and reminisces about her earlier career as a ballerina. She met Dame Margot Fonteyn, you know. Bob Davis has loaned some of his classic photos of Lamma dating back to 1976. The Before and After views are striking. Kelly is interviewed at home and distils the Lamma philosophy. "You take care of each other, love each other." Not too many groans and jeers at that. Marian and Peter are interviewed about the joys of taking the Aberdeen sampan home after a late night on the tiles. Amber and Udo talk about their amber and jewellery shop. There's brief footage of Marcel and Nuch's wedding last year. I was there, but don't make the brief footage.

Canadian Dave (the hobo/beach bum - this isn't meant as a diss) crops up. He's about the closest Lamma has got to Hunter. Dave isn't here now. His visa ran out. There are shots of Cath at her bar. Alba and her family and her dogs make several appearances. There are nice meandering walks and pathways that I don't recognise after 24 years on Lamma. Steve Cray has appeared on screen. Longer hair, his beret and a big cheroot. The picture freezes and pixilates. For about the fourth time. Very stop start film, leading to some audience irritation. And now there's a clean shaven shot of Alan. He's made about 3 appearances so far.

You know the single biggest problem facing mankind these days. Of course you do. You're not stupid people. It's the Big Bang of problems and there are no easy answers. Runaway population growth and pressure is mankind's biggest disaster in waiting. All other problems stem from that. The Population Explosion - caused by a countless number of small bangs....

... I'm getting depressed thinking about all this. So back to Alba's movie. A nice little distraction from everything else in this paragraph. And, Alba, thanks. I was in the film. A blink-and-you'll-miss-it, semi-obscured cameo of me taking a mattress off the ferry. If only I had signed the copyright release....

P.S. For Nick's full review, including passionate & comprehensive diversions about rugby and doomsday, click here.

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Oct 1 - National Day Wanted: Advertisers & Sponsors!

(Re-published almost verbatim from Nov 19, 2007)

If you like this website, help it to survive and prosper! The only source of income for this website is advertising banners and a few sponsorships, but they hardly cover the quite considerable costs of running and managing such a sizable, very labour-intensive website and updating it on a daily basis, not even talking about something fictional like ever making any profit for this not-for-profit site.

We have a few loyal, long-term advertisers, but they're dwindling month by month now. But we need more to make this site financially stable, help me pay all the monthly bills and even improve it by adding some long-overdue, not- free software and functionality, plus redesign several sections, adding new features and information pages.

Maybe your company wants to reach an increasingly affluent demographic of Lammaites and Lamma visitors with your products and services? This is the only local daily media on our island, offering several low-cost, but very effective advertising options - ad banners, advertorials, promotional campaigns, email shots - to reach Lammaites and visitors plus a HK-wide audience (4.5 million monthly hits) interested in Lamma for a wide range of private and commercial reasons:

English ratecard -- Chinese ratecard

One more option, how about becoming a private sponsor at only HK$500/year? If you're a semi-regular reader that would be a wonderful gesture and ensure the continuation of this site for a long time beyond its 9 years so far! Contact me!

Commercial or company sponsorships would also be most welcome, of course!



Lamma-zine started in 2002, and will be updated (almost) daily with anything vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events, links, photos, artworks, videos, etc.

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