The green is lush, fresh & beautiful to behold . . . changing not with the seasons. It’s tolerant of heat & rain without pain of due care & attention. It’s virtually free of maintenance, saving you both energy & water, fertilisers or mowing. No need to worry about winter weeds or fighting against its vigorous summer growth. In fact, it remains perpetually young & beautiful . . . could be that longevity & perpetual youth are not impossible after all!
Let’s hear directly from the horse’s mouth:
“Unlike the well-known variety of Winter Green, Santa Ana, Kikuyu or Matilda Buffalo which take years to establish with lots of care & attention, you can install & establish me virtually over night. Like your faithful mate, I will stay that way for years to come giving you much joy & pleasure. No betrayal, no let down, just how reliable can I be.
Shade or sun I remain consistent giving you fun. Apart from its tolerance of heat & shade, water or drought, I feature less so even with wear & tear.
Just don’t be unduly upset when the team of workmen comes to establish me on your ground. They come with the machinery & equipment, bobcat & compactor, loads of cracker dust with me in two rolled up format in the trailer. They dIg up the ground, level it, remove all unwanted rocks or stones, fill the ground up with cracker dust, level it & compact the ground upon which I shall lay for years to come. Your heart might ache when your rose plants have to be relocated. It’s like blowing up a dust storm before calm sets in.
Slowly & surely I make my appearance & with a twinkle I am established with landscaping & lots of black mulch for the roses & plants to further enhance my good looks.
When you think of the years ahead that you’ll be enjoying the pleasure of such a mate, the cost of establishing me as your front lawn or backyard, or as putting green becomes a very affordable project. My young neighbour looked over the fence & said, “I’m beginning to get sick cutting the lawn.”
When thinking of going my way in installing your everlasting green front lawn, go for Westregent Pty Ltd & rest assured of qualitative & quantitative service. Before engaging them, I rang up 4 or 5 other companies for quotes. All promised to come to my place to measure up the requirements & to give me their prices. Only one showed up, took the measurement & promised to call back with the quote the very next day. He never did. I rang up the manager who told me that his man was unwell & would personally look into the matter. I waited for a service that never materialised. A satisfied customer is your best advertisement!.
My wife & I have lived in Kalamunda Shire since 1988, and there is no other place in Perth that we rather be than right here in Perth Hills, where the air is fresh & the scenery more beautiful each day.
This is our home. There is no place like home.
Of course, there is no free lunch in this whole wide world. There is always a price to be paid. But in this case, through the passion & compassion of the Shire, payment is subsidised. For instance, in the matter of gardening service as provided through Home and Community Care (HACC), the subsidised rate is only $8.00 per hour.
I am more than well qualified for the HACC Scheme – a man with more than three score & ten years of age, severe backache, severe glaucoma, diabetes . . . what more do I need to say. Initially, I was given two hours of gardening service once every four weeks.
However, one fateful date, one nice old HACC lady came by to reassess my entitlement. I told her at my age I would be lucky to maintain my healthy status quo & not getting any better or worse. That was on 17 of November 2011.
After the assessment, I was taken off the scheme! No particular reason was given. For weeks I was left in the lurch without any help 0r assistance whatsoever.
I wrote in a couple of times with medical evidences but to no avail. The irony was they were not interested in my medical conditions, which means that nothing medical nor age was ever considered. I was made to feel that perhaps it was a case ofracial discrimination. Legitimately, I have every right to my entitlement. But why should I be DEPRIVED.
Now, they reinstalled the service since 6 weeks ago – but only it’s going to be ONCE EVERY SIX WEEKS FOR ONE HOUR ONLY. On Monday, 8 October 2012, Michael our new gardener called and did a wonderful job from 12.45 PM to 1.45 PM. He was specifically instructed to do only our front yard!
But what about my backyard? Well, I guess the grass & weeds got to stay long & plentiful, certainly not good for health & summer bush fire!
Michael was telling my wife that he was finding it tough to do his work within the hour allotted. He concurred that more time should be given and MORE FREQUENCY e.g. at once every three to four weeks & two hours at a stretch.
More regular cutting makes life easier for the gardener.
My article was initially written in 2001. This little island paradise
has one aspect of tourists’ delight that foreign visitors to Hong Kong know
little about – sort of a well kept secret.
Being of Chinese descent, and though an Australian citizen by consent or choice, you can’t help feeling proud that for the first time among the glitter of stars at the Hollywood Academy Award 2001 ceremony were Chow Yun-fatt, Michelle Yeoh Choo Keng, Zhang Zi Yi and of course director Ang Lee of the famed “Crouching Tiger & Hidden Dragon”. It looks like China is finally awakening and ready to pounce on the world scene with its staging of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and its recent entry into World Trade Organization after long and tedious negotiations.
A pavilion on Lamma Island – hikers’ resting place & look-out point
Chow Yun-fatt, in the footsteps of Jacky Chan, is also the star of “Anna & The King ” and who would have thought that he was born in a humble and tranquil place like Lamma Island, a half-hour boat ride from the bustling metropolitan Hong Kong. Through the assistance of a young lady by the name of Claudia whom I met at the North Lamma Island Library we located the house which Chow Yun-fatt stays each time he returns from Hollywood. Accordingly, he is most friendly with a ready smile for everyone, ever ready to oblige with his autographs. The true human nature of a person is never ever to forget his roots.
With the interest of the knowledge of the famous Chinese star’s association with Lamma Island, I spent a week exploring this place not too far from the maddening crowd of Hong Kong. Lamma Island is the second largest of Hong Kong’s 232 islands. It is an island with a conglomeration of villages. The one that Yun-fatt calls home is Wang Long Village. The house is newly built, three storeys tall, and I was told two floors are rented to some Japanese working at the Lamma Island Power Station. Most of the villages, like Tai Yuen Village, Sha Po New Village and Wang Long Village sort of merge into one another, mainly three-storied, sitting on the valleys and rising from the slopes of surrounding hills. Yung She Wan is the main town centre with a galore of shops, many of them opening well past eleven at night. Other villages, nearly 20 of them, such as Tai Ping Village, Yung Shue Long New/Old Village, Po Wah Yuen, Pak Kok, Tai Wan To Village, Sok Kwu Wan and others are all linked by cemented Family Trials. The houses all present an air of affluence. There is no motor traffic on the island except the small tractor-type of vehicle, similar to those I found in China, used for multi-purposes like land ploughing, load and people transportation in the rural areas. In China where bicycle is fast fading from the streets, especially in Beijing, mountain bikes here provide a useful means of individual transportation and rambling up and down the hilly scenery.. It’s a walking paradise under the canopy of trees and greenery. For the more ambitious hikers, there are many more unpaved and challenging trials.
Lamma Island is far from being rural. It’s well built-up and everywhere you turned there are people around. Ever so frequently teams of holidaymakers stream onto the jetty, making their way to such picnic spots like Hung Shing Yeh Beach with its barbeque facilities, shark safety net on the fringe of the bay, and lifeguards on two watchtowers. Some come just to sample its famous seafood restaurants, lining the Yung Shue Wan Main Street with their display of live-seafood of a good variety of fish, crabs, prawns, shrimps, scallops, oysters and other shell varieties. The best seafood restaurants are found in Sok Kwu Wan, particularly Rainbow Seafood Restaurant and Winstar Seafood Restaurant which offer free ferry services to and from Queen’s Pier and Sok Kwu wan or between Repulse bay and Sok Kwu Wan. Like Lei Yue Mun, the seafood speciality place in Hong Kong, this is the seafood paradise on the Island.
The roads made largely for human traffic and small vehicles are cement paved with the narrower ones known as Family Trials. A network of such trials with proper signage covers virtually every part of the island. It’s a pity that the Islands District Office has not established the many lookout points in Northern Lamma for visitors to enjoy breath-taking views. Perhaps following the norm of international signage, brown signs could be displayed pointing to spots of tourists’ interest. On the trial to Sok Kwu Wan, which leisurely takes about one and a half hours, there are pavilions for resting and serve as points for lookout.
The streets are clean and rubbish bins are well positioned and provided. There is a post office, banking facility (HSBC), hotel (Man Lai Wah Hotel), police station and several police report centres, fire station which also houses an ambulance vehicle and primary school. Generally, Chinese are most assiduous in their economic pursuit. Everybody is busy and doing something. Empty lands are covered with vegetable gardening. There is a sizeable portion of European population living on the Island and who made the crowd that frequent the bars at night. Lamma Island can boast of having clean public toilets. Martin Yan, internationally well-known chef, chose Lamma Island as the backdrop of his culinary program.
It may be of interest to folks with rural experience to live in a place like Lamma Island. For the city folks, they might need getting used to be wakened by nature’s alarm clock – the not so familiar cockcrow. Cocks turn on their early musical repertoire as early as 4 am and unceasingly follow it through till the break of dawn. To me this is pleasant compared to the noise pollution of Hong Kong, not just in the streets, the ever-crowded shopping centres or eating in the restaurants. Hong Kong people are so loud! I find the lifts being the only places where people are quiet – not a word is exchanged. Exchanging greeting in the streets is a rare phenomenon. Don’t expect it to be reciprocated! Friendliness is so vital, and the display of hospitality will go a long way to establishing a place like Lamma Island as a top tourist spot. . . . a retreat from the hustle and bustle of hectic living in Hong Kong . . . or just a quiet place to visit and enjoy.
Talking of Chow Yun-fatt having his annual retreat in Lamma Island, what of Michelle Yeoh’s. I well remember her as a young girl living adjacent to Ipoh Swimming Club, Malaysia, playing squash with a group of us. She first came into public eyes as a teenage Queen in our Ipoh Lions Club Motor Show in the 1970s. Hailed as a former Miss Malaysia, she has made it in the glitter world of the big screen. I wonder if she still retains that sweet and friendly nature of her young days. People do change due to circumstances and success and stardom may mean non-association with the past.