Sayings: Going on a wild goose chase

Who hasn’t been on one of these, particularly if you have an older brother or sister, and they have nothing better to do than give you a hard time.

You know what I mean, going on a mission to find or do something, knowing full well that you won’t find it, or complete it because it was a lost cause to start with.

Yes, it goes very well with another saying, a dog chasing its tail.

We’ve seen that, too, watching the poor dog go round and round without ever achieving anything.

Sounds like my day today.

And it doesn’t stop there, the pointless search could also be described as ‘searching for a needle in a haystack’.

That is, to my mind the very definition of a living nightmare.

The origin of the idiom, well that’s a little more complicated because there isn’t just one definition.

The first:

Coined by William Shakespeare, but not necessarily in the sort of language we can read easily – it’s a bit like my ability to translate Spanish to English. It does, however, refer to a ‘wild goose chase’.

The second:

Refers to, of all things 16th Century horseracing, and because I don’t have a time machine I can’t go back to fact-check. However, it refers to the other riders following the leader around the course, in much the same formation as geese flying through the air.

My little story to go with it:

If you are good at your job, and that is beginning to be noticed, your boss will find one of these ‘wild goose chases’ just for you, in an effort to make you look bad.

It happened to me once: my task was to search the basement, where old records were stored, for a folder that a former employee had thought they had filed it in the wrong storage box, a supposition supported by the fact the folder was now needed to clear up a clerical error and the file wasn’t in the specifically marked storage box.

My job was to search every one of the other 765 boxes stored haphazardly in the basement until I found it.

It was, I was told later, sitting on his desk the whole time, and when I couldn’t find it, was going to swoop in and say he’d found it.

Of course, it went missing before he could, so he got a bollicking for not storing the files properly, and I got the job to clean up the basement. I’m not sure who got the worst punishment.

In a word: Left

The word left conjures up many interesting connotations such as:

Left at the altar, not a very nice occurrence but an oft-used scenario to fuel a Romcom

Should have turned left at Albuquerque, used by Bugs Bunny in a cartoon I saw once, and now basically is the go-to phrase when you get lost and have to tell someone

Lefties, not exactly the word but oft used to describe one side of politics usually leaning towards socialism or communism, or perhaps simply because they don’t agree with us

They’re coming at us left, right, and centre, meaning people, or some other object, are coming from everywhere, that is, from all directions

But one of some more simple explanations, I’m left-handed, which means I write with my left hand.

Only that doesn’t mean that I’m left-handed at everything because I’m right-handed using a bat and playing golf.  How does that work?

Turn left which means you turn in a specific direction, directly opposite to another direction, right, but I defy you to describe exactly how to turn left!

Oh, and by the way, I often get left and right mixed up.

There was only one slice of cake left, which means someone else ate it all, or that there’s one slice remaining, and you’d better be quick getting it.

Or probably the saddest of the examples, I left London to go home, meaning that I had to depart a place I wanted to stay but circumstances dictated I had to leave.  Usually, you have to go back to work where you came from, but more realistically you couldn’t afford to stay.

In politics, if you are a right-wing conservative, anyone from the other side is a left-wing lunatic.  Politics can be very polarising and there is often an all-or-nothing approach to the opposition. Rarely is there a middle of the road.

Searching for locations: Hong Kong Park, Hong Kong

After arriving in Hong Kong early in the morning, we were taken to the Hong Kong Conrad Hotel where we were staying for several days.  We had a short sleep, then I took the grandchildren for a walk and we found Hong Kong Park, with a Fountain Plaza, waterways, a waterfall, and turtles.

2013-12-28 11.24.02

Part of the fountain area.

2013-12-28 11.31.57

Turtles resting on a rock

2013-12-28 11.31.36

A turtle about to go in the water

2013-12-28 11.35.26

The waterfall.

It was a pleasant surprise to find this park in such a highly built-up area.

Nearby was a multi-story underground shopping center that was huge, and very conveniently accessible from our hotel.

In a word: Left

The word left conjures up many interesting connotations such as:

Left at the altar, not a very nice occurrence but an oft-used scenario to fuel a Romcom

Should have turned left at Albuquerque, used by Bugs Bunny in a cartoon I saw once, and now basically is the go-to phrase when you get lost and have to tell someone

Lefties, not exactly the word but oft used to describe one side of politics usually leaning towards socialism or communism, or perhaps simply because they don’t agree with us

They’re coming at us left, right, and centre, meaning people, or some other object, are coming from everywhere, that is, from all directions

But one of some more simple explanations, I’m left-handed, which means I write with my left hand.

Only that doesn’t mean that I’m left-handed at everything because I’m right-handed using a bat and playing golf.  How does that work?

Turn left which means you turn in a specific direction, directly opposite to another direction, right, but I defy you to describe exactly how to turn left!

Oh, and by the way, I often get left and right mixed up.

There was only one slice of cake left, which means someone else ate it all, or that there’s one slice remaining, and you’d better be quick getting it.

Or probably the saddest of the examples, I left London to go home, meaning that I had to depart a place I wanted to stay but circumstances dictated I had to leave.  Usually, you have to go back to work where you came from, but more realistically you couldn’t afford to stay.

In politics, if you are a right-wing conservative, anyone from the other side is a left-wing lunatic.  Politics can be very polarising and there is often an all-or-nothing approach to the opposition. Rarely is there a middle of the road.

Searching for locations: Hong Kong Park, Hong Kong

After arriving in Hong Kong early in the morning, we were taken to the Hong Kong Conrad Hotel where we were staying for several days.  We had a short sleep, then I took the grandchildren for a walk and we found Hong Kong Park, with a Fountain Plaza, waterways, a waterfall, and turtles.

2013-12-28 11.24.02

Part of the fountain area.

2013-12-28 11.31.57

Turtles resting on a rock

2013-12-28 11.31.36

A turtle about to go in the water

2013-12-28 11.35.26

The waterfall.

It was a pleasant surprise to find this park in such a highly built-up area.

Nearby was a multi-story underground shopping center that was huge, and very conveniently accessible from our hotel.

In a word: Pause

Yes, when you are going at it like a bat out of hell, it might be an idea to take a pause and regroup.

That being a pause as an interruption to an activity.

In music, it’s a mark over a note.

Perhaps it’s a good idea to pause recording a TV show while the ads are on.  Networks don’t like it, but it makes the show make more sense without the distractions of advertisements, sometimes quite inane, or annoying.

What I just said, might give pause to my opposite number in this debate.

Have you been in a conversation, someone says something quite odd, and there’s a pregnant pause?

How did the word pregnant get into the conversation?  That, of course, usually means something significant will follow, but rarely does.  But it can also be a conversation killer where no one says anything.

Is that a wide eye in awe moment?  You did WHAT?

Then there is the word pours, sounds the same but is completely different.

In this case, the man pours water from the bucket on the plants.

Or my brother pours cold water on my plans.  Not literally, but figuratively, making me think twice about whether it would work or not.  Usually not.

Or a confession pours out of a man with a guilty conscience.  AKA sings like a bird.  Don’t you just love these quaint expressions?  It reminded me of a gangster film back in Humphrey Bogart’s day.

It never rains but it pours?  Another expression, when everything goes wrong.  A bit like home renovations really.

Really, it means to flow quickly and in large quantities, ie. rain pours down.

And if that isn’t bad enough, what about paws?

Sounds the same again, but, yes it’s what an animal has as feet, especially cats, dogs, and bears.

One use of it, out of context, of course, is ‘get your paws off me!’

And one rabbit paw might be good luck, but having two rabbit pows, I might win the lottery.

If only….

 

 

Searching for locations: Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong, is a modern, but luxurious hotel, one that our travel agent found for us.

I was initially worried that it might be too far away from central Hong Kong, but a free shuttle bus that runs at convenient times took us to and from the hotel to the Star Ferry terminal.

The luxuriousness of the hotel starts the moment you walk in the front entrance with a magnificent staircase that I assumed led up to the convention center (or perhaps where weddings are catered for) and a staircase where one could make a grand entrance or exit.  Oh, and there’s a chandelier too.

We booked into a Harbourview suite, and it was not only spacious but had that air of luxury about it that made it an experience every time you walked into it.

But the view of Hong Kong Harbour, that was the ‘piece de resistance’

I spent a lot of time staring out that window, and it was more interesting than watching the television, which we didn’t do much of.   Most of the time, when we travel, TV is limited to International English speaking news channels.

This time we had several movies included with the room, but I still preferred to watch the endless water traffic on the harbor.

The lounge area had several comfortable chairs, an area for the bar fridge and tea or coffee making facilities and on the opposite side the usual table and chairs for those who came to conduct business

The bedroom was separate to the entrance and lounge.  Notable was the fact the room had two bathrooms, one in the bedroom, and one out in the lounge, perhaps for the guests who were having friends in.

We dined in one of the restaurants, Hoi Yat Heen, where we experienced Guandong cuisine.  I tried the roasted goose for the first time, and it was interesting to say the least.

There’s no doubt where we will be staying the next time we go to Hong Kong.

Trying to get off, or is that on, the merry-go-round

Self-published authors are fully aware that perhaps the easiest part of the writing journey is the actual writing.  Well, compared to the marketing aspect I believe it is.

I have read a lot of articles, suggestions and tips and tricks to market the book to the reading public.  It is, to say the least, a lot harder to market eBooks than perhaps their hard or paper-covered relatives.

This is despite the millions of eReaders out there.

Then there is that other fickle part of the publishing cycle, the need for reviews.

Proper reviews of course.

As we are learning, reviews can be bought, and in more ways than one.  What happened to finding writers of the same genre and offering to buy one copy and write a review in return for a buy one copy and write a review.

I’ve noticed that all the current best selling novelists do the same for their fellow novelists though I guess when you get to be a best-seller, you might not have to buy a copy, so I can only dream of attaining such lofty heights in the publishing world.

But until I reach such rarefied air, I guess I have to figure out how to appeal to my fellow writers, and, of course, hope that my work is good enough.

It might be a start in getting through that difficult cycle, more reviews means more sales, etc.  And getting those first sales and reviews  …

Therein lies the conundrum.  It is a question of paying for advertising or working it out for ourselves.  I guess if I were to get more sales, I could afford the advertising … yes, back on the merry-go-round!

And yet, the harder the road, the more I enjoy what I do.  It is exhilarating while writing, it is a joy to finish the first draft, it is an accomplishment when it is published, but when you sell that first book, well, there is no other feeling like it.

I am inspired.

Now as for that advertisement and where to post it…

Searching for locations: Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong

The Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong, is a modern, but luxurious hotel, one that our travel agent found for us.

I was initially worried that it might be too far away from central Hong Kong, but a free shuttle bus that runs at convenient times took us to and from the hotel to the Star Ferry terminal.

The luxuriousness of the hotel starts the moment you walk in the front entrance with a magnificent staircase that I assumed led up to the convention center (or perhaps where weddings are catered for) and a staircase where one could make a grand entrance or exit.  Oh, and there’s a chandelier too.

We booked into a Harbourview suite, and it was not only spacious but had that air of luxury about it that made it an experience every time you walked into it.

But the view of Hong Kong Harbour, that was the ‘piece de resistance’

I spent a lot of time staring out that window, and it was more interesting than watching the television, which we didn’t do much of.   Most of the time, when we travel, TV is limited to International English speaking news channels.

This time we had several movies included with the room, but I still preferred to watch the endless water traffic on the harbor.

The lounge area had several comfortable chairs, an area for the bar fridge and tea or coffee making facilities and on the opposite side the usual table and chairs for those who came to conduct business

The bedroom was separate to the entrance and lounge.  Notable was the fact the room had two bathrooms, one in the bedroom, and one out in the lounge, perhaps for the guests who were having friends in.

We dined in one of the restaurants, Hoi Yat Heen, where we experienced Guandong cuisine.  I tried the roasted goose for the first time, and it was interesting to say the least.

There’s no doubt where we will be staying the next time we go to Hong Kong.

Trying to get off, or is that on, the merry-go-round

Self-published authors are fully aware that perhaps the easiest part of the writing journey is the actual writing.  Well, compared to the marketing aspect I believe it is.

I have read a lot of articles, suggestions and tips and tricks to market the book to the reading public.  It is, to say the least, a lot harder to market eBooks than perhaps their hard or paper-covered relatives.

This is despite the millions of eReaders out there.

Then there is that other fickle part of the publishing cycle, the need for reviews.

Proper reviews of course.

As we are learning, reviews can be bought, and in more ways than one.  What happened to finding writers of the same genre and offering to buy one copy and write a review in return for a buy one copy and write a review.

I’ve noticed that all the current best selling novelists do the same for their fellow novelists though I guess when you get to be a best-seller, you might not have to buy a copy, so I can only dream of attaining such lofty heights in the publishing world.

But until I reach such rarefied air, I guess I have to figure out how to appeal to my fellow writers, and, of course, hope that my work is good enough.

It might be a start in getting through that difficult cycle, more reviews means more sales, etc.  And getting those first sales and reviews  …

Therein lies the conundrum.  It is a question of paying for advertising or working it out for ourselves.  I guess if I were to get more sales, I could afford the advertising … yes, back on the merry-go-round!

And yet, the harder the road, the more I enjoy what I do.  It is exhilarating while writing, it is a joy to finish the first draft, it is an accomplishment when it is published, but when you sell that first book, well, there is no other feeling like it.

I am inspired.

Now as for that advertisement and where to post it…