Paddy, Plunkett and the Poet in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy & Plunkett’s Sligo Adventure, Part 2

Hey there everyone! We’re heading back to beautiful County Sligo again this week… And after leaving Plunkett surrounded by lush Irish greenery at the end of last Tuesday’s post
Plunkett Discovers Some Greenery in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… This time it’s up to Paddy to choose what they get up to.

So, that means the boys are up early! And after taking in the view from their hotel room window…
Room with a View - Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… They hop aboard the next departing car and make for the coast.
Driving to the Sligo Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Aaaaaah! I can smell the sea air already!”

And just around the next corner…
Sligo Seashore - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI think this is exactly what Paddy had in mind! This is Mullaghmore Beach, a crescent of perfect sandy shoreline that stretches for 2 miles along the Sligo coastline. Paddy can’t wait to feel the sand under his paws!

Plunkett’s happy too. He’s found the picturesque harbour, and he’s planning to take a quiet stroll among the boats.
Mullaghmore Harbour, Co Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut on the beach… Look out, Paddy! HERE BE MONSTERS!
Paddy and the Jellyfish - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesEeeek, look at the size of these jellyfish! Paddy doesn’t seem to be afraid of them, but maybe we’ll skip the dip in the Atlantic Ocean for today, and seek further adventures inland.

Back to the hotel we go! And eagle-eyed Plunkett has spotted something interesting in the street below.
Paddy and Plunkett in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBetter go and have a closer look.
Paddy, Plunkett and some famous literary legs - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Whose legs are these, Plunkett?”

Plunkett Meets Yeats - Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
“It’s W.B. Yeats, Paddy. In fairness, he’s better known for his poetry than his pins! Let’s climb up and get a proper photo.”
Paddy, Plunkett and the Poet in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’s more like it!

And for anyone else who’s never met William Butler Yeats before – he was (and still is) one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets. His career spanned 6 decades, and in this time he helped to spearhead the Irish Literary Revival, co-founded Dublin’s Abbey Theatre (which is still open today) and scooped the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature.

But what’s the Sligo connection? Although Yeats was born in Dublin, and divided his youth between there and south-east England, his mother’s family hailed from Sligo. Many of his childhood holidays were spent here, and it’s not impossible to imagine that the beautiful wild countryside inspired the work that would make him famous, and fuelled his lifelong interest in the myths and legends of old Ireland.

The boys aren’t surprised to learn that W.B. Yeats is also buried nearby, so they go to visit his final resting place to round off their trip.
Yeats's Final Resting Place in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThen there’s juuuuuust time for a little refreshment before they head for home!
Refreshments in Sligo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHave you had any adventures on your own doorstep recently? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

As for us here in Beastie Towers, we’re going to take a couple of weeks off to enjoy the delights of the Irish summer. So we’ll return later this month, hopefully with lots of new monster adventures to share!

See you then!

Road Trip 2 – Extreme North!

This time last week, we left Explorer Beastie on a breezy hilltop overlooking Five Finger Strand in Co. Donegal…
Explorer Beastie Above Five Finger Strand - CrawCrafts Beasties… And now it’s time for us to push onwards and upwards, to Malin Head – the very northernmost point of the island!

There’s some pretty wild coastline up here…
The Wild North West - CrawCrafts Beasties… And before we headed up to the viewpoint, we took advantage of the last little bit of daylight (always in short supply at this time of the year) to wander along the shoreline. There are plenty of places for a Beastie to explore here!
Exploring the Coastline, Beastie-style! CrawCrafts BeastiesOf course, sometimes just LOOKING at those rocks isn’t enough. The best way to experience them is definitely to get up close and paws-on…
One Beastie on the Rocks, Please - CrawCrafts Beasties…Because that’s when you discover hidden gems like these! Wouldn’t that pool be just heavenly on a hot day? Mind you, I’m not sure they get many hot days up here…

We also had a chance to watch the waves rolling in off the Atlantic, and see them meeting land for the first time in thousands of miles…
Wave Watching - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut as you can see, the light was fading fast… So we cut short our stroll and headed back uphill to the official lookout spot.
Explorer Beastie at Malin Head - CrawCrafts BeastiesHere’s the proof that we were there! Oh, and the view isn’t bad either…
Malin Head Viewpoint - CrawCrafts BeastiesApparently locals would gather here to catch a last glimpse of friends and family as they left in ships to seek an easier life elsewhere. Malin Head also has a military past – those incredible panoramic views made it an ideal spot to put a watchtower! There’s one here that dates back to the Napoleonic wars, and another signal station from around 1902.
Signal Station or Musical Monster? CrawCrafts BeastiesI’m guessing my photo shows the signal station – although at the time my main motivation for taking the picture was the fact that it looked kinda like a monster singing into a microphone from this angle.

With a jam-packed camera and only slightly cold paws, it was time for us to hit the road again. But Donegal had a couple more surprises in store for us… First of all, a rather spectacular sunset!
Explorer Beastie at Sunset - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd further down the road, a warm welcome at the Drift Inn! We’d barely entered the cosy bar before some locals sat us down at their table, in front of the most roaring open fire I’ve ever seen – seriously, there was half a tree on there – and started chatting away to us like we were regulars ourselves. They even treated Explorer Beastie to a pint of the black stuff!
Explorer Beastie Quenches his Thirst for Adventure! CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’s a lot of beer for one Beastie – no wonder he looks a little blurry around the edges! Cheers!

It really is amazing what you can discover when you journey even a short distance away from your usual haunts, isn’t it? If any of you have had a fun “staycation” or day trip recently, we’d love to hear about it! Share your story in the comments… and we’ll be back on Tuesday with the last of the pre-Christmas Beasties!

Among Fading Colours - CrawCrafts Beasties

Explorer Beastie’s Wintry Ramble!

So, the clocks have gone back and the evenings are starting noticeably earlier every day. And, after a slightly rainy start to the autumn here in Ireland, the sun finally showed his face – fortunately at a time when Explorer Beastie and I were away in the countryside for a couple of days!
Late Autumn Colours With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe bright sunshine made for some great photos… although the slight nip in the air was a reminder that winter is very much on the way! Care to join us on our stroll?

Oh, but we’ll just have to wait while Explorer Beastie climbs a couple of trees first…
Climbing Trees - CrawCrafts BeastiesAmazingly, there are still some flowers out brightening up the garden at this time of the year…
Explorer Beastie with the Nasturtiums - CrawCrafts Beasties…Even if everywhere else is starting to look a little less colourful.
Among Fading Colours - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut when the leaves fall, they sometimes reveal hidden treasure among the branches – like this cosy, mossy bird’s nest!
Finding a Bird's Nest - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou need to be careful where you perch though… I think you’ve picked up some extra accessories on your hat there, Explorer Beastie!
The Natural Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesFurther down the lane, we found some natural treats – sloes, blackberries and rosehips!
The Natural Look - CrawCrafts BeastiesIn fact, the whole hedgerow had become one beautiful natural tapestry, dancing in the sunlight.
Leaf Tapestry - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut despite the bright sunshine, it was starting to get a little chilly out here! So after a quick pitstop in a sheltered spot…
Sandwich Break! CrawCrafts Beasties…It was time to head for home!

How is winter arriving where you are? Or are you somewhere that’s already looking forward to long, lazy summer days? Let us know in the comments!

We’ll be back on Tuesday, when I’m hoping to have a preview of next year’s Beastie Calendar to share with you all! See you then!

Summer in the Countryside

Explorer Beastie Goes For A Walk! CrawCrafts Beasties

It’s been a while since we last caught up with Explorer Beastie… with so many of his Beastie brothers and sisters sending reports of their travels to us, he hasn’t really got a look-in! So a trip out west to my boyfriend’s family farm was a perfect opportunity for him to take a wander, and for me to take some long-overdue photos.

First up – check in with the cows!
Explorer Beastie on the Fence! CrawCrafts BeastiesCows in Roscommon - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen a quick stop to smell the flowers…Explorer Beastie Stops to Smell the Flowers - CrawCrafts Beasties…And then off up the road!
On The Road With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties
I think this is the first chance I’ve had to share photos of the farm in high summer, and even I was surprised at how green everything was! Look at this… no filters, no fiddling, just nature doing its thing.
Explorer Beastie in the Greenery - CrawCrafts Beasties
Next, we decided to head up onto the bog. The path was a bit overgrown… but that’s no problem for an adventurous little Beastie!
Explorer Beastie in the Long Grass - CrawCrafts Beasties
Even in summertime, the bog is noticeably less lush than the surrounding meadows – definitely easier terrain for those with slightly shorter legs!
Explorer Beastie with the Bog Plants - CrawCrafts Beasties
It’s also the perfect place to stop for a snooze in the sun! Explorer Beastie found himself a comfy place to rest for a minute in a patch of springy heather. I bet he’s glad he packed his sunscreen!
Explorer Beastie Relaxes in the Heather - CrawCrafts Beasties
After a refreshing nap, there was more exploring to be done!
Explorer Beastie Makes a Botanical Discovery - CrawCrafts Beasties
But eventually Explorer Beastie decided he’d had enough of my paparazzi-ing, and made a break for it in the long grass!
Explorer Beastie Escapes the Paparazzi - CrawCrafts Beasties
Don’t worry, he made it home in time for dinner!

More Beastie adventures next week, wishing you all a monster weekend!