This review includes Nick's usual passionate
commentary about local events and world politics,
including "Lamma's recently demised resident mendicant"
and how Jethro Tull saved his life. Plus a lot more vitriol
about about "Ozymandias Obama, Mad Vlad the Bad Cad, Poodle
The Bliar", and the "Global Megacorpocracy, the wanker
bankers and high-level sleazy politicos who are Too Big To Fail
and are running/ruining The Big Blue Marble In Space that we all
review reminded me of the almost giddy delight of a Jethro Tull
fan who'd been looking for some of their original songs from
decades ago. We were sitting in the Lamma Winds Pavilion
recently, I took out my Samsung, located most of the complete
Jethro Tull albums in seconds on Spotify, including the cover
artwork, and played some songs via 4G for my very excited and
Poster for Lamma's Catholics: I think this is the first time I've
seen an explicit dress code, describing proper and improper attire in
detail, for any event or venue on Lamma. No caps, sandos, shorts, and
razorbacks! A sign of things to come, after spotting more suits on the
I posted this into our
Philosophy, Religion & Spirituality forum and it started a
discussion, before veering off into the usual creative silliness, like
"market demand for topless church services", "Proper Attire designer
condoms", a jogging nun in full habit, "banquet with our King and the
heavenly beings", and a "sentient cockroach projecting a hologram of
a human being".
You're always welcome to add your own creative sillinesses:
Yung Shue Wan harbour yesterday, 6pm, lowest tide level of 2013, close to
the minimum sea level of 0 m.
These are obviously not the most photogenic snapshots, but it's fascinating
to see what's usually hidden below the sea.
...and this is what happens if you're rotating your camera clockwise and
counterclockwise while shooting a sweeping 180-degree panorama:
Roz Keep's art classes and the exhibition of the children's recent
artworks, still running in Cath's Bar, Banyan Bay Cafe on YSW Main
Street, till June 30. Art classes will start again in Sep. Contact
Roz at 9348 8726.
I'll miss these epic, long-lasting sunsets over Yung Shue Wan harbour,
watched from our Sha Po Village rooftop for the last 5 years, after our
For example: today's sunset on the very first day of summer...
Legislator Council member Kwok Ka Ki, Civic Party, has visited Yung
Shue Wan tonight, listening to the concerns of Lamma residents about local
planning issues, focusing on the Govt.'s housing plans for the ex-Lamma
One more regular beach cleaning today on Pebbles Beach at the far end of the
Cable Road #1, Pak Kok Shan, organised by Living Lamma today, with a Very
Hot weather warning in effect.
Most unusually, they got Goldman Sachs staff to volunteer, one of the most
vilified of all investment banks, famously calling their clients "muppets"
internally. I was quite surprised that all these multi-millionaires (their average
US$400,000 in 2012) didn't come to Lamma on some of their own
private yachts, maybe checking out any of the two future marina locations in
South Lamma? Seeing these buff but baking (Hot Weather Warning!) Masters of the Universe picking up
trash was kind of cute, but it'll hardly atone for any of their company's
actions before/during/after the last worldwide financial crash. But
everybody is most welcome to clean up Lamma's beaches and we're most
grateful to all volunteers.
While I was rushing for the Pak Kok ferry, I encountered the 2nd half of the
beach cleaners, refugees from Christian Action, a colourful,
friendly, dark-skinned group who had missed the earlier ferry. Seeing these
two groups cleaning the beach together, some of the richest and some of the
poorest HK residents, would have been priceless. But my beach cleaning
correspondent's iPhoto has crashed, leaving her unable to download or
access the photos...
Communication with Lamma shopkeepers can be challenging, especially if your
Cantonese is not up to much more than ordering dim sum, directing taxi
drivers and rude swear words. But help is at hand, or at the swipe of a
finger, as I found out the other day. I was unable to
tell the hardware shop opposite Best Kebab that I was looking for "plant
food" and all my explanations and hand gestures proved fruitless, even though the
shopkeeper was most patient with me.
So I whipped out my Google Translate app and typed in "plant
food". It gave me the Chinese characters in full screen size and even spoke
the Chinese words to the surprised shopkeeper! His reply was, almost as
expected, "We don't have!" But then he kindly directed me to a nearby shop that
sells fei liao...
Besides all the standard free apps for Lamma ferry schedules, cinema
trailers & seats, SCMP headlines, RTHK Radio 3 and MyObservatory's
"rain coming in your location" alerts,
see a few of my
other favourite apps below:
Spotify streaming from their cloud-based, millions-of-songs jukebox while
I'm out and about all over Lamma, including a good selection of Chin.
Maps with GPS and directions, tracking my hill hiking paths, even talking to
me how many kilometres I've done, how fast I'm going and how many calories
Animated wallpaper that shows me the weather day and
night, including rain, wildly flashing lightning and even
gently falling snow (one of the few things a Swiss misses in
Plus a dim sum app with photos, Chin. characters and spoken pronunciation,
great for ordering all your favourite dishes even from a Chin.-only menu.
Kelly's Plastic Jesus story from
June 11? It ended with "We're awaiting the day when it makes a cameo
appearance in the background of a Harry cartoon somewhere..." This was
actually a sentence I came up with myself and I added it to Kelly's story
(with her approval). I thought it might make a good open ending.
So imagine my great surprise and delight when Kelly told me excitedly that
it had just happened, in today's SCMP newspaper, Jun 17! I missed it
myself. Wow, that's probably the first-ever time that one of my ideas made
it into a Harry Harrison cartoon, albeit just as a tiny background
prop. Congrats to Kelly for her inspirational story!
By the way, the B.U.E.T.T. Facebook group
Bearded Ukuladies Expeditionary Triumphs and Travesties has just
been renamed by Harry to B.U.T.T., dropping the Expeditionary part. The
group has been alight with "creative wordplay" ever since. This fine group
was obviously the inspiration behind the cartoon, as it's all about a guy
posting videos of himself playing the ukulele. Lamma's B.U.T.T. has gone
So many Lammaites have been selling & buying stuff, advertising their
services and finding & letting flats via our free classifieds over the
years, it would be great to make them community-supported.
Our forum is totally advertising-free and I'd prefer to keep
it this way. I've been paying all the running costs myself,
mainly the yearly webhosting of HK$1,440, but also
various other smaller expenses. This forum is the most labour-intensive
and by far the most troublesome part of this entire website
(spam attacks, registrations, hosting problems, backups,
maintenance, etc.), but it generates absolutely no revenue...
Frazer & The McGilvrays in The Island Bar, Apr 13, '13
Kelly Morgan:Groupie, err, ardent fan of this band:
(Photos by Lamma-Gung)
"I don't care if it rains or freezes
'Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through my trials and tribulations
And my travels through the nations
With my plastic Jesus I'll go far…"
far, through how many nations?
One day a few years back in St Kilda, Australia, I happened upon a piece
of plastic statuary in a gift shop. 16,383 kilometres away, in Washington
DC, was the desk of Frazer McGilvray. There the little Lord duly arrived,
packaged up with some Vegemite and Tim Tams.
Fast forward a few years, and an uncannily familiar spring-mounted savior
appeared on the bookshelf in my spare room on Lamma, 13,128 kilometres from
DC. Under questioning, Leigh Eggins admitted to ownership, and told him
Frazer had given him the dashboard deity, little suspecting it would make
its way back into my world, as Leigh and I had yet to even meet at that
In the intervening years the frequently airborne Almighty had made the
journey from DC to Hawaii, a mere 8,954 kilometres, before journeying the
8,923 k's between Hong Kong and Honolulu.
And now, our back-packing bobble head is homeward bound again, returned
to Frazer's tender mercies, and a home on the dashboard of an electric car
in Honolulu. (Or is he?) Frazer's currently en-route to Bali 3,248
kilometres in the wrong direction. So I have to wonder, did the Lord
actually make it into the luggage?
A quick addendum...
The blasted thing is now back at my flat, having enjoyed a brief sojourn
behind the bar in the Island Bar. Its journey will, however, continue. Just
trying to figure out which Cur gets it next.
Maybe Harry. We're awaiting the day when it makes a cameo appearance in
the background of a Harry cartoon somewhere...
The Bearded Ukuladies Expeditionary Triumphs and Travesties...
There are a small, but growing number of Lamma-specific groups on Facebook
these days. For example the new open group above, with some of these
members, so far mostly fine specimens of the endangered species Homo
Lammapiens, with Living Lamma Legend Harry Harrison as their valiant
and fearless (to embarrass himself) (cheer)leader, or should we call him
their cute'n'cuddly mascot?
Wouldn't you want to belong to a great group that describes itself this way:
"Members are encouraged to post videos of themselves mastering or
murdering their favourite songs to the strum of a ukulele."
Yung Shue Wan is a busy little village. Its muddle of harborfront
restaurants, expat pubs and an assortment of shops and stalls selling
everything from local crafts to kitchen sinks, line Main Street. As it's a
car-free island, the awkward meeting of a waiter carrying a basket of fish
and an elderly lady with a shopping trolley is considered a traffic jam.
Other than that, the odd tinkling of a bicycle bell is the nearest thing to
Many of the village's eateries have terraces that overlook Banyan Bay.
Andy's Seafood Sau Kee, for instance, prepares some fine dishes,
including steamed garlic prawns that go well alongside the ginger fried
Hidden from the beach by shrubs and grasses, Herboland is a
tranquil herb-stuffed garden with a shady cafe serving refreshing teas and
snacks made from homegrown fruit and veggies. Owners Gary and Gavin moved
here in 2003 to escape the rat race on Hong Kong Island, joining the
island's small but active organic scene...
Back in Yung Shue Wan, for instance, there's a handy
everything-under-one-roof organic store called Just Green and nearby
Bookworm Cafe serves a good cappuccino alongside an eclectic
vegetarian and vegan menu..."
I've just received this email at
info@Lamma.com.hk. What do YOU suggest I should reply? —
at Lamma Island, Hong Kong.
This post on my Timeline received over 20 replies from my Friends within a
few hours, with some
really funny and very creative replies! I'll forward most of them to this
future Lamma visitor!
It closes daily at 12:30 at
It's closed for a month in
October to allow for the breeding season.
Any time is possible, but you
need a written invitation from a resident.
Currently closed for
Only accessible to the public
during off-peak hours.
Was it from a mainland tour
Did she apply for a Lamma visa?
Maybe, what did you have in
May I know if you will remember
to pack your brain with your sandals?
Ask someone to slap your...
Only open during February.
Members only, pls.
Open to all nationalities.
Just reply 'No' and hope she
doesn't pursue further information.
My three favourite replies:
open all year round; and did you know about our many lethal
Non-residents must ring the
bell in The Island Bar to signify their arrival.
Mandatory donation of $100 per visitor to the Lamma
I'd be very happy with
$1 per visitor! Maybe my HK-Chinese wife and I should set up a
multilingual Lamma Visitors Info Centre, charging for
answers, or be financed through the local authorities or local
businesses relying on visitors?
Just another crazy dream...
But I've been doing part
of this job for free for years already, replying to almost all
visitor enquiries received on this website. Being the top search
result for "Lamma Island" on most major search engines, curious
visitors find this site very easily...
Julie Hannaford and HK Memes, a very poisonous cobra
in her front yard.
The "Cheap rent" line is totally out-of-date. It still applies
to some remote parts of Lamma, but not at all anymore to Yung
Shue Wan and neighbouring villages.
Has ANYBODY EVER seen a dog use one of these Dog Latrines?
These faux-wood & broken-tiles designer sandboxes have been pooping, err,
popping up all over Lamma Island. There must be several dozens of them by
now, even in some of the most remote locations. But I've never seen a dog
use one, or even saw a poop in there. So I posted this question above in the
Lamma Dog Owners Facebook group, getting some great, "Typically
I think they're used by non-dogs late at night
I put my kids in them. They love it.
Your kids do their business in there? ;-)))
Are they wearing some of these China-style, open-at-the-bottom pants, so
they can do their business anywhere?
They make poo castles.
No self-respecting dog would use such thing. Dog experts advise against
training your dog to use one as they can be a source of infection (if used
by other dogs!)
They look a bit like Poo Castles, with the walls around them and the towers
and turrets. Let's nickname these overdesigned latrines "Dog Poo Castles".
I saw one dog use one!! Once.
They are just another excuse for 'jobs for the boys' i.e. they give the
local contractors something to do.
My little dog pees on the faux wood railing sometimes...
I was once caught short!
My poppy managed to balance a very large pile of poo on the very
decorative mosaic tile edge. She thought that the sand
beach and she knows that she can't poo on the beach.
A human concept for dogs - it's never going to work.
Maybe the dogs are so impressed, they don't want to mess them up.
My last dog used one once out of the blue, there was a very impressed
gaggle of tourists. I didn't tell them it was her one and only time. I think
that was before they added the fences and tiles, though.
My Laisee likes to use the one near us, because it's nice clean sand,
untouched by dog.
This photo from today doesn't show a human caught short, using the wrong
public toilet, but one of our wonderful FEHD cleaning ladies raking the
Finally, after 3 days of searching, I found 3, only 3 people who admitted to
their dogs using these fancy, expensive, public conveniences more than once!