Pint Beastie - Barróg Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties

A Lazy Summer Afternoon with Pint Beastie!

Summer Barróg Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Some of you may remember these little woolly faces from my summer colours post a couple of weeks ago! In between all the markets, days out and blogging challenges set by the nice folks at Blogging 101, I’ve been kitting these monsters out with some extra-special accessories!

I wanted to give all of them an Irish flavour, because these are Barróg Beasties – a local subspecies of Beastie grown from yarn that is harvested, spun and dyed right here in Ireland. Let’s meet one of them, shall we?
May I introduce… Pint Beastie!
Pint Beastie - Barróg Beasties, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Let’s face it, Ireland has a bit of a reputation when it comes to the old “demon drink”. Personally, I’m not so sure we deserve our worldwide notoriety as a nation of boozers – there are certainly plenty of other contenders for the crown – but it is fair to say that a lot of our social life here centres around the humble pub. I’m inclined to blame this on our weather… in a country where it can be rainy and cold at any time of the year, the pub will provide shelter from the elements, companionship, news and the possibility of consuming a little something to help you feel warmer.

Of course, during our brief, fleeting summer, everything changes. A balmy evening in Dublin sees pub patrons flooding outside to catch some sun, and any establishment with a beer garden, yard or quiet stretch of pavement outside will be absolutely packed. And on those days, even us hardened stout and ale drinkers might be tempted to switch things up and order a cold, crisp pint of lager instead.

With this in mind, I just had to take Pint Beastie out to the garden today!
Pint Beastie in the Garden - CrawCrafts Beasties
He really enjoyed having a quiet tipple and watching the world go by!

Cheers to that, I say!
Cheers! Pint Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
While he was there, he bumped into another Summer Barróg Beastie – what’s he got in his paw?
Pint Beastie makes a friend! Barróg Beasties, by CrawCrafts BeastiesAll will be revealed next time!

What’s your favourite summertime drinkable? Let me know in the comments!

A Monster Tour of Dublin

Tae Beastie at the Guinness Storehouse - CrawCrafts Beasties

Wow! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks here at Beastie Towers! Sometimes a project comes along that demands a little extra effort, and that’s why there hasn’t been much activity here on the BeastieBlog lately. I’ll unveil that monster undertaking soon enough, but it seemed a bit much for a Friday… so let’s take a leisurely stroll around Dublin with Tae Beastie instead!

Just over a month ago, I got a request through Etsy for a Beastie with a mug. My tea-loving Barróg Beastie, Tae Beastie, was excited to leave Beastie Towers for pastures new… and when his family-to-be asked for some photos of him in his home town, we were happy to oblige! So here is Tae Beastie’s whistle-stop tour of Dublin, in pictures!

We started off just down the road from Beastie Towers, at the Guinness factory. Guinness is still brewed here on the original site at St James’ Gate, a little west of the city centre, and most days the air in this part of town is filled with the delicious chocolately scent of roasted barley, which gives the beer its dark colour.
Guinness Factory - CrawCrafts Beasties
Tae Beastie at the Guinness Storehouse - CrawCrafts BeastiesTae Beastie in the old part of the Guinness Brewery - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs you can see, there’s quite a contrast between the modern high-tech brewery and the older buildings on the site! However, many of the original buildings are still in use – one houses the Storehouse visitor centre, while others have been converted into offices.

After a wander through the lanes and alleys of the old brewery, we started heading for town! There was plenty to see along the way – this part of the city is packed with old churches. I asked Tae Baestie to pose with two of the most well-known… first of all St Audoen’s Church, which was built in 1190 and is the oldest parish church in Dublin (factoids courtesy of Wikipedia). I’ve also heard rumours that it’s haunted!
St Audoen's Church - CrawCrafts Beasties
Next, we passed Christ Church Cathedral, which in Medieval times was right in the very heart of the city.
Christchurch Cathedral - CrawCrafts Beasties
It’s a fascinating building, with flying buttresses, a crypt and a covered passageway which links the  Cathedral to the Synod Hall on the other side of the street. Christ Church stands at the far end of the Temple Bar area, so our next move was to take a stroll through the cobbled back streets!
Back Streets, Temple Bar - CrawCrafts Beasties
Temple Bar can be a bit of a tourist trap, but there are a few good pubs around here if you know where to look. I still enjoy an occasional visit to The Porter House or the Palace Bar when I’m in the area. However, most people end up here…
The Temple Bar - CrawCrafts Beasties
Our walk through Temple Bar brought us out conveniently just in front of Trinity College, home of the Book of Kells. It’s also where I went to university!
Front Square, Trinity College - CrawCrafts Beasties
This is Front Square, and the archway you can see towards the back of the picture is the main entrance to the College. Outside is one of the busiest roads in the city centre… but once you walk through Front Arch, all the traffic noise just VANISHES. It’s like stepping back in time! Tae Beastie enjoyed posing with the Campanile and this statue of a former Provost, whose expression I just can’t figure out… is he very stern, or does he have a bit of a cheeky glint in his eye?
The Campanile, Trinity College - CrawCrafts BeastiesTae Beastie meets the Provost - CrawCrafts BeastiesAfter that, we made a beeline (or, rather, a Beastieline) for St Stephen’s Green. This park is right in the middle of the south side city centre, and it’s a great place to enjoy the arrival of spring!
St Stephen's Green - CrawCrafts Beasties
Just inside the main entrance at the top of Grafton Street, you’ll find this lovely long avenue of lime trees. I’ll sometimes go out of my way to walk along here, whether it’s to enjoy the shade on a hot summer’s day, or kick through piles of bright yellow heart-shaped leaves in the autumn. Tae Beastie was especially taken with the fresh new foliage… check out those vibrant bright green leaves!
There were also plenty of spring flowers to see…
Spring Flowers at St Stephen's Green - CrawCrafts BeastiesCherry Blossom at St Stephen's Green - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe managed to get our final pictures just as the sun disappeared behind a cloud, and (luckily) before the rain started. Well, that’s spring in Ireland for you! Later that day, Tae Beastie headed off to his new home in Atlanta, Georgia… let’s hope he’s settling in well in the Peach State!

A Day Out in Dublin

Windowsill, Ely Place

When you live in a city for a long time, it’s easy to get caught up in your daily routine and forget about all the interesting things you promised yourself you’d do when you first moved there. With this in mind, Boyfriend, Explorer Beastie and I stepped outside and set off for pastures new… a stone’s throw from where we live.

Our main purpose was to check out The Enclave by Richard Mosse, which is on show in the Royal Hibernian Academy gallery. I’d never been here before, and I was amazed to find this beautiful spacious gallery tucked away in a side street, just around a corner from regular tourist magnets like the National Gallery, Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green park. And the street itself is Dublin in a nutshell. The buildings are Georgian, and these tall, simple but elegant houses are the signature style of old central Dublin. Around half of the houses have been converted to office buildings, while the rest, like the one in the main picture, are being left to quietly crumble away.

I have a real thing for derelict buildings, so I took a few photos…

Ely PlaceEly Place Basement


… And it was only when I went around the corner that I realised that this building had a history of its own.

Front Door, Ely PlaceRichard Griffith Plaque

By this point, though, Boyfriend and Beastie had but one thing on their minds… FOOD. So I put my camera away and we went to try out Alfie Byrne’s, a new craft beer pub which recently opened up on the other side of St Stephen’s Green.

Beastie with StewExplorer Beastie's Dinner

A tasty end to a great day out! See you next week!