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Aug 21, 2017

I'm back from a trip; you might have noticed that I was gone for a few weeks. I apologize for the liberty; I do tend to(1) disappear once a year without warning my listeners. It's something that I need to do. I go in search of adventure and inspiration, so when I come back, I have interesting things to podcast about. It also makes me mysterious, don't you think? If you've been following my podcasts, you probably already know that I go back to the UK to see my family each year, and that is exactly what I did. However, this time, I took a detour and visited Amsterdam. I have always wanted to go there, and you know, from England, it is a very short flight. I took my daughter too. She is twelve, and at the perfect age, I think, to really start taking in the sights and sounds(2) of other places. So, you could say that it was a girls' trip, no boys this time. And if you ask my daughter what she liked most about the trip, she will immediately answer, "Amsterdam!" My first impression of the city was of its progressive nature. The taxi drove  past the newest area of land that has been reclaimed from the sea, Flevoland. The buildings and construction stretched out as far as I could see. This huge project is part of North Sea Protection Works which is considered by some as an engineering wonder of the world. Not only does it protect against floods, but it has provided 548 square miles of land. Hundreds of years ago windmills, which the Netherlands is known for, would drain the land. These have been replaced with motorized pumps in a long-term effort(3) to establish useable land. This is intelligent design, but it also shows how the Dutch character is courageous and determined. Who would dream of holding back the sea? The Dutch do. 

1. 'To tend to' is to be in the habit of, or to do something regularly.

a. He tends to overeat each year at Christmas.

b. They tend to take a beach holiday during the winter.

c. She tends to be late for meetings.

2. 'To take in the sights and sounds' means to experience and enjoy what you see and hear. It usually refers to going somewhere new.

a. On our vacation, we took in the sights and sounds of Paris.

b. After taking in the sights and sounds of Amsterdam, we had a lot to talk about.

3. 'Long-term' means something that lasts for a long time.

a. He accepted a long-term placement in Delhi university.

b. Her long-term memory is wonderful, much better than her short-term.

c. The company has a long-term plan for expansion.

Try iTalki if you wish to improve your pronunciation and fluency!