Paddy and Plunkett on the Beach - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Last Day of the Holidays

Is it just me, or is there a whiff of change in the air? The sun, when it finally makes it out from behind the clouds, is shining with a more mellow light, and the breezes feel a little cooler than they did this time last week. It seems like summer is coming to an end – although how I’m able to notice this when it never really got started is anyone’s guess! But with the shops filling up with “back to school” supplies, and the evenings starting a little earlier each day, it’s time for a pair of adventurous little woolly monsters to think about heading for home.

But not before they’ve hit the beach one last time! This one looks nice – but where are Paddy and Plunkett?
The Beach At Dungeness - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI suppose these pebbles would provide perfect camouflage for them. Helllooooooo?

Oh, wait… there they are!
Paddy and Plunkett at Dungeness Beach - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThey really couldn’t have asked for better weather on their last day – look at that sky, reflected in the perfectly still water behind them!
Beautiful Weather Today, Paddy! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesUnfortunately, at this stage their budget has pretty much completely run out, so the boys will be foraging for lunch.
Mmm, lunch! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIs that sea kale? Let’s hope so! Sea kale actually did enjoy a brief spell of culinary popularity in the early 1800s, when a lot of people started growing it in their gardens. Although it’s easy to cultivate, it bruises easily and is best eaten soon after cutting, which is why you’re unlikely to see it in your local supermarket. Still, that doesn’t affect Paddy and Plunkett, who will be tucking in straight away!

And after lunch, perhaps it might be nice to snooze in the sun for a while…
Paddy and Plunkett Catch Some Rays - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Hey Paddy, what’s that noise in the background?”

“Ah, don’t worry about it, Plunkett…”
Paddy, Plunkett and the Nuclear Power Station - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“…It’s just the Dungeness B nuclear reactor.”

“WHAAAAAAAT?!”

Hmmm, how DO they end up in these places? Paddy spent the rest of the day trying to keep Plunkett away from the internet, so he couldn’t read about the many setbacks this power station experienced, both during its construction and ongoing maintenance! By the end of the day, both of them were all tuckered out…
Night-night! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties…So they thought it was best to get an early night.

I wonder where they’ll be off to next? And how will you be spending the last days of summer (or winter, for those of you in the southern hemisphere)? Let us know in the comments!

Paddy and Plunkett Check out the Defences - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett, Over in Dover Again!

Well, it looks like Paddy and Plunkett are still rambling their way around the English southeast! I wonder whose rather elaborate doorstep they’ve landed on today?

Paddy, Plunkett and Dover Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is Dover Castle, the largest castle in England. Most of this massive sprawling fortress was commissioned by Henry II, who probably hoped it would impress the many European pilgrims who passed through Dover on their way to Canterbury.

In keeping with this royal connection, Dover Castle holds replicas of what the crown jewels would have looked like at that time…Crown Jewels at Dover Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesOooooh! Sparkly… Although probably a couple of sizes too big for our heroes’ heads.
One Size Fits None - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Castle also boasts some truly beautiful stained glass windows…
Paddy Admires the Stained Glass Windows - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties…And a reassuring quantity of cannons.
Paddy and Plunkett Check out the Defences - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut not all of the castle is above ground! The cliffs under the castle are riddled with a network of underground tunnels, the earliest ones dating back to the Napoleonic Wars. They were originally designed so that a large number of soldiers could get from the castle to the beaches below quickly and easily in case of invasion.

One of the coolest things about the tunnels is how you get into them in the first place! If you look closely, you’ll see that this spiral staircase is actually a double helix, meaning that there are two separate staircases here, instead of just one. Architecture buff Plunkett found this fascinating, and wanted to share this photo with you all.
Double Helix Spiral Staircase at Dover Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd Dover Castle’s history doesn’t stop there. The Castle and its tunnels were pressed back into service during the Second World War, initially as an air raid shelter, but later as a military command centre, telephone exchange and hospital. Some of the tunnels are even meant to be used as nuclear bunkers! Evidence of this more recent military involvement is there for any Beastie to see… and to climb over.
Paddy and Plunkett with a Modern Cannon - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYikes! Look at that thing! It’s lucky Plunkett is driving this time – who knows what would happen if Paddy commandeered the wheel?
Plunkett Drives the Cannon - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy and Plunkett will be back next Friday – assuming they aren’t held for questioning by the local police – and don’t forget to tune in on Tuesday to meet some more new Beasties!

(Or, if you happen to be in Dublin tomorrow, you can meet them in person! We’ll be at the Ha’Penny Market in The Grand Social, Liffey Street, from 12-6!)