Thursday, 27 August 2015

Breadcrumbed sausagemeat meatballs with tomato sauce recipe

This recipe came about when I saw a pack of pork sausagemeat on
Breadcrumbed meatballs 
special offer at Booth's supermarket - only £2 for 450g. It seemed too good a price to pass by even though I don't have a go-to sausagemeat recipe. I vaguely entertained thoughts of baking a meatloaf, but it turned out that Dave's not keen. So I resorted to Googling instead and saw meatballs recommended on many websites - all with different variations on the theme. It sems as though everyone has their own traditional recipe and none are exactly the same. I switched off my tablet and went mostly by instinct, starting (as most of my savoury recipes do) by frying half an onion!

Ingredients
Splash of rapeseed oil
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced or crushed
450g pork sausagemeat
2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper

Plain flour
1 egg, beaten
Breadcrumbs

Splash of rapeseed oil
Other 1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced or crushed
1/2 red pepper, diced
400g tin chopped tomatoes
Good splash of white wine
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 stock cube
1 tbsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the first 1/2 onion and clove of garlic. Cook over a gentle heat until the onion is softened but not browned. Put the onion and garlic into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool.

Repeat the above with the other half onion and garlic clove, but when onion has softened, leave it in the saucepan! Add the red pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Add the tinned tomatoes, wine, tomato puree, crumbled stock cube, parsley and seasoning to the saucepan. Stir well to combine, then bring briefly to the boil. Lower the heat and leave to simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Sauce should reduce by about a third to a lovely thick, rich texture. If it ready before the meatballs are cooked, temporarily remove from heat then reheat just prior to serving.

Preheat the oven to about 200c and grease a baking sheet.

Return to the onion in the mixing bowl. Add the sausagemeat, mixed herbs and seasoning. Mix everything together with your hands until well combined.

Divide the mixture into eight and shape into balls.

Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs onto separate deep plates or wide bowls.

Wash and dry your hands, then dust them with flour. This might help to prevent the meatballs sticking to your hands.

Roll each meatball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place on the
baking sheet.

Bake meatballs at about 200c for 30-35 minutes until breadcrumbs are golden and meat is cooked through.

Serve meatballs placed on top of spoonfuls of tomato sauce.

The meatballs and the sauce were both very good and I will definitely cook this again. What I hadn't really considered was quantity, so ended up with far too much! The recipe above will happily serve four! Therefore, we discovered that leftover cooked breadcrumbed meatballs are also excellent, in thin slices, served cold with a salad for lunch next day!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Darkness And Day by Ivy Compton-Burnett / Weeping Susannah by Alona Kimhi / Traveling In Place by Bernd Stiegler

Darkness and Day by Ivy Compton-Burnett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Darkness And Day from its publishers, Endeavour Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.

I love the elegant new cover for the reissue of Darkness And Day which, together with its Virginia Woolf quote of 'intense originality' convinced me that I had to read the novel. First published in 1951, Darkness And Day does have a certain period charm to it and might well appeal to fans of Downton Abbey. It is written as a series of conversations and discussions between the inhabitants of two distinguished houses and, as readers, we get to eavesdrop both upstairs as the families converse and downstairs as the servants do likewise. Ivy Compton-Burnett created some memorable characters. I particularly liked the selfless Mildred, the irascible Bartle and the haunted Bridget. I did think that the words of the children often seemed way beyond their professed ages, but their treatment of Mildred is funny to read.

The themes of class and family are eternal, but Compton-Burnett's addition and treatment of incest is surprisingly modern so this novel must have been incredibly shocking in the 1950s. Her unfolding of the story through gossip and speech is a perfect device for the tale. It is tricky to keep up with who says what at the beginning of the book as the speaker of each line of dialogue is not always identified. However, as the characters develop, their personalities shine through in their words, frequently making identification superfluous. I often felt as though I was reading a play rather than a novel and I think it would be interesting to experience Darkness And Day as a full cast audio recording.


Weeping SusannahWeeping Susannah by Alona Kimhi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I bought my copy of Weeping Susannah at the OXFAM bookshop when we were in Petergate, York, attracted by the premise of a contemporary Israeli novel. I love discovering different cultures through my reading. Set in Tel Aviv, Weeping Susannah is written in the first person and takes us through several months in the life of a thirty-three year old woman. Susannah lives basically as a child, cared for by her aging mother, as her chronic depression leaves her unable to cope with every day life. She has a horror of bodily functions including simply eating so cannot eat in front of anyone, and has never had a job or adult friends other than those of her mother. When an American second cousin unexpectedly arrives and expects to stay in Susannah's home, she initially shuts herself away in her room, but gradually begins to discover that she can be stronger and more social than she believes.

Weeping Susannah is a thought-provoking novel that transcends its storyline to become a fascinating view into depression and mental illness. Susannah is not a sympathetic character. In many ways, she behaves like a child even expecting her mother to pick up her underwear from the bathroom floor after her shower. The unnaturally close relationship between mother and daughter, while allowing Susannah to function, also smothers her rare chances at independence and ultimately leads to disaster when Susannah decides that she could leave. The small central cast of five are brilliantly portrayed and none are exactly sane! Friend Nehema is wonderful and I liked reading her scenes very much.

In criticism, perhaps Weeping Susannah is a little longer than it needs to be and the image of cousin Neo on the front cover was obviously chosen by someone who hadn't read the book - he is supposed to look like the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley - but otherwise this is a good read and a great insight into the culture and blend of nationalities that make up modern day-to-day life in Israel.

Buy the paperback from Waterstones.


Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel
Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel by Bernd Stiegler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Traveling In Place is the August free book download from the University of Chicago Press and I am glad to report that I got far more enjoyment from this than from the July download of Dona Barbara, even though I slightly misunderstood the synopsis. I expected a short story collection of micro-scale travel writings. This book is actually a scholarly survey of many examples of the genre written over the past two hundred years.

I had not previously thought about my room - or my caravan as I should say at the moment - in the same way as I appreciate it now. Stiegler has studied dozens of novels, essays and memoirs, mostly by French and German authors, who have chosen to look at the everyday and the mundane through the eyes of a visitor and a tourist. Apparently the original and example - Voyage Around My Room by Xavier de Maistre - is quite famous and extensively quoted. Who would have known?!

Travel's In Place is not an easy read, especially as the only one of the quoted writings that I knew of is Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days. I admit to being at the limit of my comprehension when we got to early twentieth century experimental film making. However, I am quite taken with the basic premise. The examples of 'flanerie' - exploring one's own familiar environment with new eyes - struck a chord with our current travels around our own country and also reminded me of a character in Bleeding London who resolves to walk every street in the London A to Z. Stiegler's extra reading suggestions at the end of each chapter are a great touch and I am inspired to seek some out. I have already found the Xavier de Maistre in English on Kindle and will be joining his journey around his room sometime soon.

Buy the hardback from Waterstones.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

We conquer the Llandovery one way system!

A combination of a break in the rain this morning and an almost empty
Llywelyn ap Gruffydd
Fychan of Caeo 
fridge encouraged us to make a visit to our nearest significant town, historic Llandovery. Its location at the centre of ancient routes linking Dyfed and Powys meant this has been an important strategic military centre since Roman and pre-Roman times. The motte and bailey castle, of which a later ruined stone wall remains, was first constructed in wood by the Normans in 1100. This site is now directly above the main town centre car park together with this fabulous statue of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd Fychan of Caeo, a loyal supporter of Owain Glyndwr. During Glyndwr's war of liberation from 1400-1416, Henry IV led his English army through Llandovery in search of his enemy. Llywelyn refused to betray Glyndwr and so, in 1401, was hung drawn and quartered in Llandovery market square. The statue was created by Toby and Gideon Petersen in 2001. In no way historically accurate, it is still powerful symbolically. There is more information and lots of photographs on Howard Williams' Archaeodeath blog post. This shield is at the base of the statue hill. I have no idea what the inscription says! Would any Welsh readers like to translate in a Comment ...?


Llandovery has quite an odd mix of shops. There is a high proportion of
Llandovery Castle 
cafes, pubs and gift-type shops, and several charity and vintage shops. However, other than a couple of banks, there were hardly any of the standard High Street names. The Post Office has a good range of greetings cards and gifts too. We did find a butchers, Mathew's, but the only greengrocery, other than within the surprisingly large CoOp, was outside what turned out to be a fabulous Aladdin's den of a shop. Iechyd Da is a wholefoods shop that also sells fresh sourdough breads and is absolutely crammed with deliciousness! We picked up local honey, smoked soya tofu and a new-to-us hazelnut tofu, half a dozen paper bags of organic fruits and vegetables, and a huge bag of organic oats for my porridge breakfasts. We could have spent even longer (and far more cash) there had we properly perused all the tins and jars too. Perhaps when we are back in town on Friday!

Getting out of Llandovery proved to be trickier than getting in.
Porthmon - a drover 
Resurfacing work on part of the one way system threw us off into a long residential road that came out almost exactly by where we started so we ended up following another mile long diversion that gained about thirty metres, but fortunately did bypass the roadworks. Llandovery isn't far from Cynghordy and, in theory, cyclable. However, we started a cycle ride yesterday and turned back after just half an hour. The hills are steep for out-of-practice puffers and the volume of traffic on these winding single track roads meant we spent more time jumping off our bikes to haul them out of the way than we did actually riding. There are footpath choices around here though so we are planning to get ourselves out for a walk soon. We also want to visit Brecon because we don't think we did when we were around this way for Dave's 65th birthday. Remembering his birthday, when we stayed in a gorgeous cottage on the Monmouth and Brecon canal, gives me an excuse to reblog his prize-winning photograph taken at the time - me walking in the Brecon Beacons!


Monday, 24 August 2015

How I have finally earned money from blogging!

Can I get a Woo Hoo? It's certainly taken long enough!
http://tidd.ly/34a038c8
Thanks for buying these mugs
from Twinings
 

For those readers who are newer around here, Stephanie Jane is my second blog (the first being the now-defunct local arts and culture blog Theatrical Eastbourne) so I have been blogging since April 2012. Over three years experience means I pretty much know what I am doing and also have a good idea of what brings in lots of blog traffic and therefore potential income. Unfortunately those sorts of posts aren't the subjects about which I enjoy writing! I am never going to be fascinated by celebrity gossip. Neither am I going to start trialling loads of different brands of makeup or getting Dave to photograph my daily dress choices! He's already frequently infuriated by having to wait to eat while I snap pics of our dinner!

So, as a niche blogger, where does this leave my potential blogging income? I use a few sources, some more successfully than others. Google adverts have adorned both my blogs since the start. My account there seems to be credited with about a penny for each hundred page views and a higher single payment if one of you kind visitors actually clicks through to an advertiser's website. Click amounts vary from usually less than 10p to once a massive 74p. Google won't pay out until I accumulate £60 though and, after over three years, I am still nearly £6 short of that magic total. I'll keep on slogging blogging.

You might have spotted the PayPal link in the right-hand toolbar? Dickens fans should get the Dorrit reference. I put this up after seeing other blogs with similar 'hats on the pavement' and the link has worked. Once. Thanks Adrienne!

Affiliate links used to be a lot more successful than they are now. A
Thank you for buying this t-shirt
from Red Dog Wear on Amazon.co.uk
website I curated a over decade ago brought in at least £100 every month from affiliate perfume sales. Stephanie Jane doesn't! However, I link all my book review posts to their respective titles on Amazon.co.uk. There's other varied links scattered throughout this blog too. Any visitor clicking through an Amazon.co.uk link who then buys any item will earn me a small commission. The purchase doesn't have to be the one I suggested and Amazon.co.uk's payout threshold is lower than Google's too. It's just £25. I have only £19.92 still to earn.

My passion for reading and blogging my book reviews has had unexpected benefits though. Independent authors and small publishing houses have begun to contact me via Goodreads and Twitter offering free ebook copies of their novels to read and review. These offers are becoming more frequent as I am better known. (I am now in the #200 top UK reviewers on Goodreads.) I get to not only save money on book purchases, but also to read some superb novels that I might not otherwise have discovered. One author even sent an Amazon.co.uk gift card with which to purchase their book. The card had a greater value than the book price so technically I guess I got paid the remainder to review the work! This week I have also been invited to guest post on a purely-books blog.

My final and most financially successful avenue is another affiliate
http://tidd.ly/577cc9ea
Thank you for buying this book
from Waterstones
 
programme, Affiliate Window. This site is basically a middle-man between business advertisers and website owners allowing me to choose to promote companies whose products I actually like and use myself. I drink Twinings tea and Whittards hot chocolate. I like shopping at Go Outdoors, Waitrose and Waterstones, use Ordnance Survey maps and visit English Heritage properties. I adore spending hours browsing Etsy! This makes it easy for me to integrate name-dropping into my posts and my enthusiasm for the products must show as I get far more click throughs from specific text links than from generic banners. Pennies only roll in from purchases though so Thank You for purchasing those pretty mugs from Twinings, that English Heritage membership and those books from Waterstones. After three months with Affiliate Window I achieved their £20 payment threshold and my first payout arrived in my bank account a couple of days ago. How much was it?

Drum roll?

£21.66!

OK, it's not a life changing amount, but it is enough to cover our internet bill this month. And, if I could just get Stephanie Jane to earn that much every month, or even every day ... !

(Please remember that all income should be reported to HMRC.)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

We get heavy rain in Cynghordy and Now neonics are killing our birds as well as our bees

There's ever more frightening news emerging regarding not only the fate
of Britain's bees, but now also, it is being discovered, our wild birds too. I received this urgent email yesterday from SumOfUs:

"The bee-harming pesticides we’ve been fighting for years are worse than we imagined. Research suggests that neonicotinoids aren’t just decimating bee colonies - they’re hurting birds too. Researchers found that in areas with high concentrations of neonicotinoids, bird populations declined every year. This means our worst fears are coming true - neonicotinoids may be moving up the food chain and killing our birds and our bees.

For the sake of the birds, the bees, and the whole food chain, we are challenging one of the biggest neonicotinoids producers of them all: Bayer. In two weeks, we’re going straight to Bayer’s door with our massive petition - and we hope to have your name in our massive petition box."

Please sign and share this vital SumOfUs petition.

And now you've done that, let me show you our lovely new campsite in
Cwmcuttan lake 
Carmarthenshire! We are now at Cwmcuttan in the village of Cynghordy on a Camping And Caravanning Club CS for a change. It is very lush and green - the grass is absolutely sodden - but we have a large hardstanding pitch with room enough for Bailey and the awning as well as the car. The CS is full, but doesn't feel it as all five pitches are a good distance from each other. We have electric hookup, water and waste, and recycling facilities close by. Plus we get to use the site wifi and all for £12 a night. The wifi is a real bonus as we are already getting close to having used up our month's allowance on the Osprey and there's still a lot of month left. This will save me having to spend another tenner buying a data add-on. For anyone else using an Osprey while travelling, as we are, we've discovered that poor internet reception can sometimes be remedied by propping the device up in the skylight. We found this out when on the valley campsite at Broadgate Farm and it served us well at Crab Mill Farm campsite too.

Cwmcuttan is right by Cynghordy railway station which has four trains a
Our pitch at Cwmcuttan 
day stopping here. We can just glimpse them through the trees. Otherwise there is practically no noise at all other than a yappy dog on one of the other pitches. The site is adults only due to safety issues because it has a beautiful lake with waterlilies and good sized fish. There are ducks here too and a black cat who spent the afternoon snoozing in the shade by the bins and was definitely not impressed by our driving up and disrupting siesta time!

When I say 'no noise', this isn't strictly true as the rain has been
Pitched up at Cwmcuttan 
thundering on the roof in short bursts this evening. It was gloriously hot and sunny when we arrived - can you spot Dave recovering from his intense three hours of navigator duty? - and we managed to get pitched up, lunched and had the awning all done before the clouds found us again. Part of our drive here, on a high section of the A483, necessitated us driving through low cloud for about fifteen minutes. The road was nicely windy and pretty narrow by this point and the cloud was effectively thick fog so that was fun. Fortunately we were following a large slow motorhome so I could just hang back and see which direction their tail lights swung to judge the next bend in the road.

We are forecast lots more rain this week and are planning to stay holed up here until after the Bank Holiday weekend. Hopefully we will get to do some walking and sightseeing. If not, you can expect a glut of book review posts!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

John Ball's In The Heat Of The Night by Matt Pelfry / Dona Barbara by Romulo Gallegos / Because She Loves Me by Mark Edwards


John Ball's In the Heat of the NightJohn Ball's In the Heat of the Night by Matt Pelfrey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

John Ball's In The Heat Of The Night is my second LA Theatre Works audio play this summer, both downloaded thanks to the wonderful AudioSYNC programme. This powerful drama of racial segregation and bigotry in 1960s Alabama paired with the Victorian-era farce that was The Explorers Club really show off the versatility of the company and I am certainly interested to hear more of their work - or maybe even get to see a production one day!

The novel In The Heat Of The Night was made famous by the Sidney Poitier film of the same which I don't think I've ever seen. For this stage production, playwright Matt Pelfry returned to the original novel and, for legal reasons, wasn't allowed to put in anything from the film that wasn't initially in the book so the two have significant differences. The interesting interviews at the end of the play discuss this issue as well as other problems caused by effectively producing theatre for radio.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the play. The strong characters are convincingly played by an excellent cast and it was generally easy to keep up with who was doing what. The murder investigation at the heart of the piece does take second place to the outrageous attitudes of the white townsfolk and police to the presence of a black police officer. It was interesting to hear the audience reactions to the more vicious dialogues and their uncertainty about laughing at humorous moments within the context of such a shocking play.

Buy the paperback from Waterstones.


Doña BárbaraDoña Bárbara by Rómulo Gallegos
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Dona Barbara as a free ebook download from the University of Chicago Press after I saw their monthly book giveaway mentioned on Peggy Ann's blog. A classic in Venezuela where the book is set and written by a former president there, the novel of cowboy life on the Plains looked like it should be an interesting read. Unfortunately I often found myself struggling to keep ploughing through the book. I like Latin American fiction generally, but I couldn't get into this one. Descriptions of the landscape are nicely done and occasional scenes caught my attention which is why I did keep reading to the end. However, I thought the majority of the characters were two-dimensional and unrealistic. Perhaps a lot has been lost in the translation from the original Spanish because readers in that language seem to rave about Dona Barbara. Personally I was disappointed.

Buy the paperback from Waterstones.


Because She Loves MeBecause She Loves Me by Mark Edwards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A friend on Google+ recommended Because She Loves Me last year and I put it on my Amazon wishlist. Fortunately I decided to look through that list a week or so ago, on the very day that the novel was in the 99p Kindle Daily Deals. I keep thinking I should probably sign up for the Kindle Daily Deals email, but I can't read fast enough to get through all the books I already have!

A creepy thriller, Because She Loves Me is fluidly written with only a few inconsequential typos. The story examines themes of jealousy and possessiveness asking where to draw the line between normal behaviours and obsession. It is an easy read which would be ideal for taking on holiday. I wasn't convinced by the central relationship between Andrew and Charlie, and there were too many jumps in the plotline for my liking. Some of the characters are more strongly created than others. Tilly is good, but Andrew seemed overly credulous and naive. Oh, and I really didn't like the ending which suddenly swerved in and lacked depth!


View all my reviews on Goodreads


Friday, 21 August 2015

Shrewsbury - new sandals and a superb park

We loved Shrewsbury! We spent yesterday afternoon there mostly
Flower bed in Dingle Gardens 
exclaiming at the varied architecture, doing a spot of shopping and exploring the streets and parks. Probably we should have gotten the historic buildings leaflet from the Tourist Information Office so we had a better idea of what we were seeing, but there are lots of helpful plaques and noticeboards around town too. Shrewsbury is a good hour's drive from our campsite. We had visited a couple of my ancestral villages en route - more about that in another post - so got to the Park And Ride not long before noon. Shrewsbury Park And Ride is superb value! For £2.50 we got our parking and a Group Of Two return bus ticket to the town centre. Friendly driver and clean buses too.

Our first photocall on arrival was this huge Darwin-inspired sculpture
Charles Darwin outside
Shrewsbury library 
(pictured below) down by the riverside. We had spotted it from the bus. Darwin is a huge deal around the town even having a shopping centre named in his honour - I'm not sure if he would be pleased about that! He was born and grew up in the town. The sculpture is entitled Quantum Leap and was erected in 2009 to mark Darwin's bicentenary. I have seen it described as a helix, a spine and even a shell. We also saw a large bronze statue of the man himself which was prominently placed outside the library where we took advantage of the benches to perch and eat our picnic lunch. The historic building used to be Shrewsbury School and has an impressive list of alumni including Michael Palin, Nevil Shute, John Peel and the aforementioned Darwin. There is a Greek inscription on the wall behind the statue which Dave unsuccessfully attempted to decipher (he does know some Greek!).

Quantum Leap in Shrewsbury 
Just over the road from the library and along from two fabulous old
Laura's Tower 
buildings is an anonymous paved path which led us unexpectedly to the grounds of Shrewsbury Castle. Exploring without a map is much more fun - especially in a small enough town that even I can't get too lost! The Castle is constructed from a gorgeously coloured sandstone and we thought its gardens were beautifully presented. All of Shrewsbury is decked out in stunning floral displays and, unknown to us at this point, the best was still to come. We were intrigued by a lone tower set above the Castle gardens and away from the main structure. Known as Laura's Tower although I have been unable to find out why, this now marks the site of the original Norman castle that was built in 1070 and lasted until the reign of Edward I. There's a pretty good view from the top of the semicircular steps, but it wasn't possible to actually get to the top of the tower. The Castle itself is now open to the public and is primarily a regimental museum.
Shrewsbury Castle 
Away from the Castle, we plunged back into the maze of fascinating
Grope Lane, Shrewsbury 
streets that make up the centre of Shrewsbury. The town nestles in a bend of the River Severn so is prone to flooding these days, but we didn't see any sign of that. There is a fantastic array of shops and cafes, independents as well as High Street names, with very few units standing empty which was good to see. I overheard a tour guide telling her group that this spot at the top of the brilliantly named Grope Lane is the most photographed view in Shrewsbury. It is a particularly narrow street where the medieval buildings lean in towards each other and was, apparently, named for the economic activity taking place within it i.e. prostitution. Wikipedia has an entertaining article about the history of this once common street name. (Probably best not to click this link if kids are reading over your shoulder!)

In my opinion, Grope Lane should now be famous for the lovely little Quirky Coffee Shop just to the left at its top. I loved the decor and the very comfortable armchairs set in the fireplace! Good coffee, great cake - I had the Red Velvet to match my armchair and Dave had an excellent Poppy Seed and Cherry Cheesecake which, we later discovered, shouldn't actually have been on the menu, but was delicious! The Quirky Coffee Shop also stocks dozens of blends of Morgan's Brew tea. I am happy to recommend the Pembrokeshire Peppermint as the perfect refreshing drink for a hot day! While we are talking tea, Shrewsbury has a
http://tidd.ly/d495f423
Russian Caravan tea at Whittard Of Chelsea 
Whittards into which I rushed to get some of their excellent hot chocolate. I struck lucky with the Summer Sale being on right now and picked up a set of five flavours for £12, reduced from £18, and also a pack of appropriately named Russian Caravan tea, reduced to £3 from £4.25. I love a Sale sticker and, having not bothered to look for new sandals in Jones Bootmaker when we were in Chester because I thought they would be way over budget, I did venture in to the Shrewsbury branch when Dave spotted 'sensible' prices in the window. Amazingly I had a choice of sale sandals in my size (8, never easy to find!) and came away with these super comfortable Birkenstock Gizeh Sandals for just £27. (Jones are running down their summery stocks now and have sold out of the Gizeh, so links here go to the same sandals on Amazon).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003AM94SY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B003AM94SY&linkCode=as2&tag=theatrieastbo-21
Birkenstock Gizeh sandals 

Our final delight of the day was walking alongside the River Severn on a
Percy Thrower bust 
tranquil wide footpath/cycleway bordered with weeping willows and lime trees. It's a wonderful green space and led us to the massive Quarry Park. The Shrewsbury Flower Show had not long finished and all the marqees were being dismantled so it was pretty hectic until we passed through an unassuming gate and found ourselves in the most beautiful bright garden. A true riot of flowers! Shrewsbury Parks department have certainly outdone themselves! We absolutely loved the flower beds and displays. We learned that Percy Thrower had been the Parks Superintendent here from 1946 until 1974 and was responsible for much of the initial design and creation of these Dingle Gardens in the Quarry Park. There is a bust of him overlooking the immaculate gardens and I am sure all Blue Peter viewers of a certain age will recognise his name.

Dingle Gardens, Shrewsbury