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Mar 23, 2017

I have discovered a place where I like to spend time. It's a strange, little cafe called Bella Bistro. I come here as often as I can to write my podcasts, and to work on my other projects. They have food, of course, and some of the best coffee in town. I called it 'a strange' cafe because it is shaped like a triangle, hemmed in(1) my three roads, and still has large metal garage doors, as it used to be a mechanic's workshop. I think those characteristics make it appealing. It buzzes with activity as people of all ages come here to meet their friends or work on their laptops. Usually when I write, I need peace and quiet. I find it hard to concentrate at home when my dogs are playing and people are coming and going(2). However, for some reason I can really focus at Bella Bistro, even with the human activity and background music.

The design is simple: rustic with lots of windows. It has a great internet connection, and the ladies who own it and serve the food are fast and energetic. It also has a comfortable international feel with coffee sacks hanging on the walls from Columbia, Guatemala, and Mexico. I find it interesting how some buildings can make you feel comfortable and welcome, and others are repulsive. I find this true of towns and cities as well. Maybe I'm an over sensitive person. Or perhaps it has something to do with(3) the design and textures of places. I know that a lot of people use Feng Shui to create pleasing, peaceful environments. Perhaps Bella Bistro naturally has a good arrangement and good energy. I'm at Bella Bistro right now, actually, enjoying my twelve ounce soy latte, sitting on a high stool facing huge windows. And, ah, it's a sunny day. Thank goodness! So cheers, here's to good coffee, sunshine, and a good Feng Shui.

1. 'Hemmed in' comes from the verb 'to hem' which means to sew into a fold that is at the end of a piece of clothing. So 'to be hemmed in' means 'surrounded' or 'trapped'.

a. My trousers were far too long, so I cut the legs and then hemmed them in. 

b. The bottom of her dress was frayed, so she got her sewing machine out and hemmed in the material so it was neat and tidy.

c. I was uncomfortable at the party as there were too many people. I felt hemmed in!

2. One of the ways to sound natural with your English is to use common expressions like 'coming and going'. Being in present continuous, it gives the impression of a flow of movement.

a. There is a constant coming and going of teenagers at our house. It's like indoor traffic!

b. The old man sat in his garden watching the coming and going of the little birds that would come to eat the seed that he had thrown on the grass.

3. 'It has something to do with' makes a connection or clarification of a previously mentioned point.

a. The Netherlands produces the tallest people in the world. It /this has something to do with their diet.

b. English people talk about the weather a lot. This has something to do with the changeable weather in England. 


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