Regular visitors to the Beasties’ Facebook page will recognise these handsome characters from my St Patrick’s Day post! For everyone else, allow me to introduce Paddy…
Normally I let a Beastie’s adoptive parents choose their names, but my mum was quite taken with this pair when I brought them with me on a recent visit home. I left them sitting on the kitchen table while I went upstairs to fetch something, and by the time I came back down again, they had already been christened Paddy and Plunkett. And the names stuck, because they suit them perfectly. They’re also about as Irish as you can get, which is a good thing… because Paddy and Plunkett are about as Irish as Beasties get! They’re “Barróg Beasties” – a local subspecies of Beastie, grown from 100% Irish wool. They’re just as fond of humans as my other Beasties… in fact, “barróg” is the Irish word for “hug”, so you can be sure of a warm welcome if you come across one in their natural habitat!
Speaking of natural habitats, who better than these two to show you around some of the little-known corners of County Fermanagh?
It was abandoned after an unpleasant incident during the Irish Rebellion of 1641 – you can read the full story here – and is now a State Care Historic Monument with a rather impressive knot garden.
Next stop is Correl Nature Reserve, the perfect place for a pair of Beasties to relax in some nice soft moss!
One of the biggest draws in Co. Fermanagh is the lakes. Upper and Lower Lough Erne link into the Shannon-Erne Waterway, which is part of a canal system that starts in the estuary of the River Shannon in south-west Ireland, runs through Co. Leitrim and Co. Cavan, before crossing the border into Northern Ireland. This makes the area incredibly popular for boating holidays… and Paddy and Plunkett couldn’t wait to join in the fun!
Back on dry land, there was just enough time for one last stop before they headed for home – Fardross Forest, a short hop away in Co. Tyrone! Paddy went on ahead to open the gate…
… Before tackling the stepping stones across the river!
Meanwhile, Plunkett took a stroll around the forest. He’s a more laid-back, long-walks-in-the-countryside kind of guy. Here he is posing with some pine cones he collected during his wanderings.
Ah, Paddy’s back!
Looks like he managed to cross the river without falling in! And now it’s time for these two to start the journey home – hopefully there will be a nice mug of tea and a big dinner waiting for them when they get back!