In a word: Deal

Deal or no deal.  That was a game show on TV once, involving briefcases.

Then, if you win…

It’s a big deal!

Or, of course, it is if you get in on the ground floor, which is to say, you’re one of the original investors, it becomes a great deal; it’s meaning, taking part in a financial transaction.

The word ‘deal’ along with big, great, tremendous, and once in a lifetime, feature prominently, but if you are like me by the time you invest the pyramid is about to collapse!

Then you’re in a great deal of trouble, meaning a lot of trouble — at the time, it feels catastrophic.

Or you’re working impossibly long hours to enrich the others above you, it a good deal of effort on your part for no reward.

Or deal with a problem, which is to say cope with or control, though if it’s a problem child, good luck with that.

But enough of the depressing descriptions,

When you play a card game, the first thing to happen is to deal the cards.

The second is to ask yourself if the dealer is dealing from the bottom of the deck, even if it looks like the top.

My father called these dealers ‘card sharps’.

Then there is a piece of wood commonly called deal, usually thin and square though not always so; it can also be a plank of pine or fir.

In a word: Deal

Deal or no deal.  That was a game show on TV once, involving briefcases.

Then, if you win…

It’s a big deal!

Or, of course, it is if you get in on the ground floor, which is to say, you’re one of the original investors, it becomes a great deal; it’s meaning, taking part in a financial transaction.

The word ‘deal’ along with big, great, tremendous, and once in a lifetime, feature prominently, but if you are like me by the time you invest the pyramid is about to collapse!

Then you’re in a great deal of trouble, meaning a lot of trouble — at the time, it feels catastrophic.

Or you’re working impossibly long hours to enrich the others above you, it a good deal of effort on your part for no reward.

Or deal with a problem, which is to say cope with or control, though if it’s a problem child, good luck with that.

But enough of the depressing descriptions,

When you play a card game, the first thing to happen is to deal the cards.

The second is to ask yourself if the dealer is dealing from the bottom of the deck, even if it looks like the top.

My father called these dealers ‘card sharps’.

Then there is a piece of wood commonly called deal, usually thin and square though not always so; it can also be a plank of pine or fir.

In a word: crane

Yes, it’s that huge device that is attached to a tall building and either raises or lowers building materials.  I’ve often wondered how the drive, so far up in the air can see where to pick up or drop a load.

Typically cranes are used to move large or heavy loads, like large fiberglass swimming pools from the roadside into the front or back yard.

The are train breakdown cranes, dock side cranes and broken down cranes, usually on the road in the middle of rush hour.

They used to have dog men, people who hung on grimly, going up or down with the load.  Not me when the building is sixty or seventy floors up.

There can be smaller cranes built on trucks that are for smaller jobs like lifting boats, sometimes parts of houses.  We had one near us once lifting a swimming pool into a front yard.

Then there is the crane, a bird.  Cranes are usually tall birds with long legs.

In Asia the crane symbolises happiness and eternal youth whereas in Japan the crane symbolises good fortune and longevity.

And other uses such as:

The boy craned his neck to see the batter hit a home run.  

Usually if I crane my neck, it causes days of muscular pain, ie literally the definition of a pain in the neck!

It means to distort your body or neck in order to see something more clearly, especially if you are in a bad position, like behind a pylon or tree.

It can also be used to describe a trolley with a large boom with a camera attached.

In a word: Line (and there’s more)

There’s more to that word ‘line’, a lot more, making it more confusing, especially for those learning English as a second language.

I keep thinking how I could explain some of the sayings, but the fact is, it’s only my interpretation, which could possibly have nothing to do with its real meaning if it has one.

Such as,

Hook, line, and sinker

We would like to think that this is only used in a fishing depot, but while it is generally, there are other meanings, one of which is, a con artist has taken in a victim completely, or as the saying goes, hook, line, and sinker.

At the end of the line

Exactly what it t says though the connotations of this expression vary.

For me, the most common use is when you’re waiting, like for a table in a restaurant with a time-specific reservation, and you see people who arrive after you, getting a table before you, it’s like being continually sent to the end of the line.

Line ball decision

This is a little more obscure, but for me, it means the result could go either way, and it’s a matter of making a call. The problem is both decisions are right, and unfortunately, you’re the poor sod who has to decide.

It of course partners very well with you can’t please everyone all of the time.

These are the most difficult because one side is going to be aggrieved at the decision especially when it is supposed to be impartial and sometimes isn’t.

Get it over the line

This, of course, has many connotations in sport, particularly rugby when the aim is to get the ball over the try line.

But another more vicarious meaning might be from a senior salesman to a junior, get [the sale] over the line, i.e. get it signed sealed and delivered by any means possible by close of business.

Line of credit

A more straight forward use of the word, meaning the bank will extend credit up to a certain limit, but it’s generally quite large and can feel like its neverending.

Until you have to pay it back.

There’s more, but it can wait till another day.

In a word: Line (and there’s more)

There’s more to that word ‘line’, a lot more, making it more confusing, especially for those learning English as a second language.

I keep thinking how I could explain some of the sayings, but the fact is, it’s only my interpretation, which could possibly have nothing to do with its real meaning if it has one.

Such as,

Hook, line, and sinker

We would like to think that this is only used in a fishing depot, but while it is generally, there are other meanings, one of which is, a con artist has taken in a victim completely, or as the saying goes, hook, line, and sinker.

At the end of the line

Exactly what it t says though the connotations of this expression vary.

For me, the most common use is when you’re waiting, like for a table in a restaurant with a time-specific reservation, and you see people who arrive after you, getting a table before you, it’s like being continually sent to the end of the line.

Line ball decision

This is a little more obscure, but for me, it means the result could go either way, and it’s a matter of making a call. The problem is both decisions are right, and unfortunately, you’re the poor sod who has to decide.

It of course partners very well with you can’t please everyone all of the time.

These are the most difficult because one side is going to be aggrieved at the decision especially when it is supposed to be impartial and sometimes isn’t.

Get it over the line

This, of course, has many connotations in sport, particularly rugby when the aim is to get the ball over the try line.

But another more vicarious meaning might be from a senior salesman to a junior, get [the sale] over the line, i.e. get it signed sealed and delivered by any means possible by close of business.

Line of credit

A more straight forward use of the word, meaning the bank will extend credit up to a certain limit, but it’s generally quite large and can feel like its neverending.

Until you have to pay it back.

There’s more, but it can wait till another day.

Searching for locations: Chateau Tongariro, New Zealand

This chateau was built in 1929 and was originally intended as a hostel for hikers.

It is now near the  Whakapapa skifield on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu and within  the boundary of the Tongariro National Park

chateautongoriro

We had afternoon tea in the lounge several times, and it is very pleasant in winter with the log fires burning.

togariro2

The interior is still as ornate as it had been in the 1930s.  The chairs are very comfortable, and the atmosphere pleasant.

Mount Ngauruhoe can be seen through the window of the lounge.  This was used a backdrop in the filming of Lord of the Rings.

mount-nz

But…

This place is the ideal setting for a murder, and I can see a story being written very much in the mold of Agatha Christie, with a couple of amateur sleuths who are staying there, trying to solve the crime.

Given the sort of shows being produced in New Zealand currently, for Acorn and other streaming services, this could be turned into a very pleasant two hour diversion with some very unique New Zealand, and foreign, characters.

Or just send the Brokenwood detective crew there!

In a word: Line

The English language has some marvelous words that can be used so as to have any number of meanings

For instance,

Draw a line in the sand

We would all like to do this with our children, our job, our relationships, but for some reason, the idea sounds really good in our heads, but it never quite works out in reality. What does it mean, whatever it is, this I’d where it ends or changes because it can’t keep going the way it is.

Inevitably it leads to,

You’ve crossed the line

Which at some point in our lives, and particularly when children, we all do a few times until, if we’re lucky we learn where that line is. It’s usually considered 8n tandem with pushing boundaries.

Of course, there is

A line you should never cross

And I like to think we all know where that is. Unfortunately, some do not and often find their seemingly idyllic life totally shattered beyond repair. An affair from either side of a marriage or relationship can do that.

You couldn’t walk a straight line if you tried

While we might debate what straight might mean in this context, for this adaptation it means staying on the right side of legality. Some people find a life of crime more appealing than doing honest days work.

This goes hand in hand with,

You’re spinning me a line

Which means you are being somewhat loose with the truth, perhaps in explaining where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. I think sometimes liars forget they need to have good memories.

Then there are the more practical uses of the word, such as

I have a new line of products

Is that a new fishing line?

Those I think most of us get, but it’s the more ambiguous that we have trouble with. Still, ambiguity is a writer’s best friend and we can make up a lot of stuff from just using one word.

In a word: Choice

We are often told that it’s the choices we make that shape our lives.

It’s true.

What distinguishes the basis of those choices is the circumstances of the individual.

What a lot of people don’t realize is the diversity of backgrounds of everyone, and that in a minority of cases, the few that really have no choices at all.

Yes, there are those who have no control over their circumstances, and therefore no choice whatsoever.

Inevitably, the people who are first to criticize those who apparently made the wrong choice, are those that have never found themselves in similar circumstances.

And probably never will.

This perhaps is the biggest problem with governments who are staffed with advisors who do not understand the plight of the common man.

I never had the same opportunities as those who could afford a university education.  My family were working class and were relatively poor.  Had I not hot a scholarship who knows what sort of education I would have got, if any.

Certainly, my father never got an opportunity to get a good education, but, at the time, during the great depression, his choices were limited, whereas those with any sort of wealth it was a different story.

And his lack of choices reflected on us, and that lack of opportunity haunted all of us as time passed.

It was always a case of the haves and the have not’s.

Yes, we all have choices, but sometimes it really is the lesser of two evils, and not whether we will have the fillet or the rib eye steak.

In a Word: Egg

 

This is another of those words that can be used for manly different situations.

But…

What happened to it being just an egg, you know the sort you can have for breakfast, fried, scrambled or boiled.  Or eggs Benedict.

Or…

We can go down that path where the discussion is about what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Don’t ask me, it could be both.

So, now it seems egg has a few other meanings that could be considered somewhat obscure, such as,

He is a good egg.

Wow, comparing someone to an egg?  I guess I’d hate to be compared to a rotten egg.

 

What about, the crowd egged the man on to start a fight.

Well, perhaps a couple of rowdy schoolboys looking for some action behind the shelter shed, or at least that’s what we called it when I went to school (when I’m told, dinosaurs walked the earth)

 

Then,

If you do something embarrassing, then you are said to finish up with egg on your face.

Oh dear, been there a few times.

 

Or…

If you were to put all your money into that match tree forest in Ecuador, that’s the equivalent to putting all your eggs in one basket.

In other words, when you discover that the match tree forest in Ecuador was really your financial advisor’s private bank account and he’s now living in a non-extradition country, you understand just what that expression means.

In other words, diversify.

And lastly, if the above happens to you, then it’s time to go on an expedition, to find the goose that laid the golden egg.

Searching for locations: The Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

The sight of the Peninsula Hotel is very familiar to all who visit Hong Kong, if not to stay but certainly if you want to see the last vestiges of British influence in what was once a far eastern colony.

That is, we’re talking about the front building, not the new tower at the back.  In the older days there would have been a great view of the harbor from the Veranda (that area with the blue striped canopy) where today, breakfast is taken.

We had breakfast, lunch, and the famous afternoon tea in the ground floor cafe.

These days you would mostly see taxis, buses, and Teslas, if not a flurry of Mercedes and green Rolls Royces in the small car park below.  There is no clear view of the harbor anymore.

From our room, one facing the harbor we could see the space museum, and on the day we arrived, rain, at times, blotting out the harbor and Hong Kong Island barely discernable in the distance.

As for the room itself, it was excellent, a junior suite, I think, because it had two distinctive areas.  Everything was run from a tablet computer, blinds, lights, television, and most importantly, air conditioning.  This was the first hotel I’ve stayed in where it was neither too hot or too cold, but just rights.

The bed was very large and extremely comfortable, as were the pillows.  Pillows, I’m afraid, are a bugbear with me, as no hotel seems to be able to get it right.  They’re either too soft or too hard, too tall, or too shallow.  Here, they managed to get it right.

The windows were just the right size not to affect the air conditioning, ie. let too much heat in.

I’m not sure I could say the lounge chair was comfortable, but there was only one, which makes it difficult if there are two of you.  I wasn’t going to fight for it.

The desk had a surprise in the bottom drawer, a printer!

And the bathroom, though slightly smaller than expected, had some hint of what it may have been like in the early days.  It had both a shower and a bath.