Paddy at the Lighthouse - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

To The Lighthouse!

Hello there Beastie people! After last week’s visit with a new Beastie, we’re back on the road with Paddy and Plunkett… And it’s certainly nice and sunny wherever they are today!
Paddy and Plunkett Enjoy the Sunshine - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt seems the locals are pleasant, too. We all know about how well Beasties and cats get on, and the boys can really get on board with any place that puts up a sign like this.
Cat Crossing at the Lighthouse - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen, on the horizon… Look, a lighthouse!

The Lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
The boys have never been in a lighthouse before. And now we know where they are – they’re back in Scotland, at the Mull of Galloway! This is Scotland’s most southerly point, and between the lighthouse and the nearby nature reserve, there’s plenty of cool stuff to see. Better still…
Lighthouse Entrance - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, Paddy! It’s open!”

“YESSSSSS! I can’t wait to see the view from up there…”
Paddy at the Lighthouse - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut alas, Paddy will have to stick to admiring the lighthouse from ground level. The Beasties’ small stature has once again been their undoing, and there’s a minimum height requirement. And they won’t even be able to stow away in a handy human pocket or backpack, either.

” ‘Little ones may not be carried’. Sounds like the humans might be on to us, Paddy… Paddy?”

He’s already gone! Never one to dwell, Paddy has switched his attentions to something new. Namely, how to get down to this foghorn. It’s been out of service since 1987, but it was restored to full working order last year… And is occasionally sounded for lucky visitors.
Foghorn - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy is planning to take it a step further. He’s pretty sure everyone wants to hear his rendition of “Ode to Joy” blasted out over the sea at 120 decibels.

Fortunately, Plunkett has the perfect distraction to get Paddy away from the foghorn, and preserve the peace of this otherwise tranquil nature reserve…
Where to Next, Paddy and Plunkett? H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHow could any adventurous Beastie resist a signpost like this one? So many possibilities!

“Which way to Dublin, Paddy?”
“It doesn’t say… How about we head to Senegal instead?”

Do you reckon the boys will hitch a lift with a friendly gannet and send their next holiday photos from Dakar? You’ll have to join us next week to find out!

Under the Sea in Anglesey!

Hello, Beastie friends! We’re joining Paddy and Plunkett again today, for an adventure with a bit more of an aquatic theme than last week’s! To set the scene, we’ll meet up with the boys at the tidal race in the Menai Strait… And what’s this? A rare photobombing by Plunkett?Plunkett at the Menai Strait, Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Menai Strait is the narrow stretch of water that separates the island of Anglesey from the Welsh mainland. It looks calm enough here, doesn’t it? But strong and ever-changing tidal currents make it highly unpredictable and tricky to cross. In the past, this served the locals well – Anglesey was one of the last refuges of the Druids, at a time when they were being displaced all over Britain by the arrival of the Romans.

But today, the lads will not be seeking out ancient Druid strongholds – however much Paddy might want to. Instead, we’re heading to… The Anglesey Sea Zoo!

Beasties find it hard to resist an aquarium – as regular readers will remember from Explorer Beastie’s travels in Germany last summer. Paddy and Plunkett can’t wait to make some fishy friends themselves! But first of all, let’s visit the Lobster Hatchery.
Beasties at the Lobster Hatchery - Sea Zoo Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Lobster Hatchery is one of several conservation projects based here in Anglesey Sea Zoo. Overfishing in the 1980s meant that local wild lobster populations took a huge hit, so the Hatchery is here to help them get back on their spiny little feet. The main focus of their work is a captive breeding programme, but research and education are also important aspects of what they do.

Paddy is delighted to meet the lobsters… But Plunkett suspects that they’re more likely to eat him than he is to eat them.
Plunkett Vs Lobster - Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
This is probably more your scene, Plunkett… Watching the fish from the quayside!
Plunkett Ponders the Fish - Sea Zoo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Meanwhile, Paddy has taken a trip to the Moon!
Paddy and the Moon Jellies - Anglesey Sea Zoo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWell, moon jellies, if you’re going to be particular about it… But they do have an otherworldly look to them, don’t they? He could have watched them for hours – which is unusual for Paddy!

Plunkett is nice and relaxed now too, now that he’s been gazing at the gently waving arms of the sea anemones for a few minutes. Aaaahhhhhh!
Plunkett and the Anemones - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd although Paddy was momentarily distracted by the starfish that was taking a stroll across the front of the tank…
Strolling Starfish - Sea Zoo Anglesey - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… It wasn’t long before he found a new way to pass the time – playing hide and seek with the fish!
Paddy plays hide and seek - Anglesey Sea Zoo - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut what’s that stirring in the hidden depths of the aquarium? Uh-oh!
Octopus Hug - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesWill the boys be able to wriggle free and swim to safety? Or will they remain imprisoned in the darkest depths of Davy Jones’ locker? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out!

See you then!

Paddy Meets The Nomadic - CrawCrafts Beasties

A Titanic Adventure for Paddy and Plunkett!

Hello everybody! Well, I think the title says it all – the terrible twosome are out on tour again, and look where they’ve washed up! I think Belfast’s Titanic Quarter had better brace itself…
Titanic Belfast, With Beasties - CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy was only a little disappointed that he wasn’t allowed to climb up on one of the silvery points and shout “I’m the king of the world!” at passers by. But once Plunkett pointed out that no-one would be able to see him up there anyway, he agreed that a portrait on the steps was a better way to go.

They also encountered a Beastie-sized version of the famous ship herself!
Airfix Titanic - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis sculpture by English artist Andy Stallard shows the celebrated liner as an Airfix model kit… And local engineering firm Harland and Wolff (who built the real Titanic) assisted in its creation!

Further along, you can meet another member of the Titanic family… Not a sister ship exactly, but definitely part of the clan!
The Nomadic in Belfast's Titanic Quarter - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is the Nomadic, the last surviving White Star Line ship in the world!

White Star’s “Olympic” class of liners, which included the Titanic and her sister ships the Olympic and the Britannic, were designed to impress the whole world with their over-the-top luxury and enormous size. Unfortunately, this meant that some of the ports they called at were simply too small to let them in! That’s where the Nomadic and her sister ship, the Traffic, came in handy.

These smaller “tender” ships brought passengers and their luggage, plus cargo, mail and supplies for the ship, from the harbour at Cherbourg out to where the massive liners were moored. Nomadic was primarily reserved for the first and second class passengers, which meant that she was much fancier than your average tender! In her heyday, she was tricked out with cushioned benches, tables, porcelain water fountains, a buffet bar and separate ladies’ and gents’ toilets, and her interiors were lavishly decorated.

It hasn’t all been fun and games for her though… In her lifetime, she’s served in two World Wars, performing duties such as minesweeping and transporting troops. She’s been a floating restaurant in Paris, and has narrowly avoided being scrapped on more than one occasion! She finally came home to Belfast in 2006, after several maritime and historical groups clubbed together to raise the money to buy her and restore her to her former glory.

The first phase of renovations were completed in 2012, and isn’t she looking great?
Paddy Meets The Nomadic - CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy is most impressed!

And there was more to come in their tour of Belfast’s historic docklands! Time to hop on the Wee Tram, to take us to our next destination!
Beasties Resting Their Wee Legs - CrawCrafts BeastiesBeastie legs are of course wee-er than human legs, and more in need of rest!

And here we are at… The Titanic Slipway!
Plunkett at Titanic Slipway - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is where the Titanic was built and launched, more than 100 years ago. This slipway was originally designed to accommodate 3 ships, but because the Olympic-class liners were so big, the area was reconfigured for 2 larger vessels. The line of posts down the left side of the photo shows how long Titanic was – Plunkett is mesmerised by the sheer scale of it! Meanwhile, Paddy has gone to trace the ship’s “footprint”, which is outlined in granite cobbles, and lit up in blue after dark!

Then there was one more famous ship to visit – one that, unlike the Titanic and her sisters, survived the First World War, and got to retire to the Belfast docklands! Meet HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland… One of the largest naval battles in history.
HMS Caroline in Titanic Quarter Belfast - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd as the sun set on another Beastie adventure, the boys took a detour to visit a new addition to the Titanic Quarter… One that they thought I would especially like to see.
The Great Light, Titanic Quarter, Belfast - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is the Great Light, which was opened to the public last summer. It’s made from the lenses of a lighthouse on Mew Island, the smallest of a group of 3 islands called the Copelands that lie just off the coast of north County Down. As a young’un, I spent many happy weekends running around neighbouring Lighthouse Island (yes, I know… The lighthouse used to be on Lighthouse Island!), and the sweeping light of the lighthouse became a familiar sight after dark. I was also rudely awoken by the foghorn one night as well, but that’s another story!

Anyway, the lighthouse was upgraded in 2014, and now has a blinking, solar-powered LED lamp. And it turns out that the 130-year-old original lamp is a valuable part of the area’s maritime heritage! So now it lives here, where it’s much easier for people (and Beasties) to visit. Thanks, boys!

That’s all from us this week… Join us again next Tuesday, when we’ll be back on dry land for more monster shenanigans! See you then!

PS Any links in this post are there because I think they’re interesting, not because Paddy and Plunkett are being paid to promote certain attractions!


Paddy and Plunkett in Poreč

It’s starting to feel decidedly wintry here in Beastie Towers these last few days – the trees outside are almost bare, and the sun seems to be getting up ever later every morning, and having A LOT of early nights! So I’m sure you can understand why I was very happy to discover this last update from adventurous Irish Beasties Paddy and Plunkett in my inbox this morning… The final installment of their recent Croatian adventure! Care to join us as we take a sunny wander through the cobbled streets of Poreč, a pretty harbour town on Croatia’s Mediterranean coast?
Cobbled Streets of Porec - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Plunkett is certainly enjoying himself here – the back streets are so peaceful, and this place is brimming over with history. The town centre stands on the site of a Roman castrum (or fortified military camp), which was established there in the 2nd century BC. Then, a century later, Poreč (or Parens, to give it its Latin name) was officially declared a city, and it’s been continuously inhabited ever since. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though – during its lifetime, Poreč has survived almost complete destruction by the Genoese in the 14th century, a nasty brush with the Plague a couple of centuries later, and Allied bombings during the Second World War. Oh, if these streets could talk!

Meanwhile, Paddy is more interested in THIS…
All you need is... Ice Cream! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
However, since it was still quite soon after breakfast, he agreed that it was probably better to have a nice cup of tea instead.
Beast-Teas - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
But what’s going on over there?
Wedding Crashers - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
It looks like they’re setting up for a wedding party!
“Oh Plunkett, let’s go! There might be some free cake and champagne!”
“No way, Paddy! Anyway, you can’t – it’s bad luck to show up at a wedding wearing white unless you’re the bride.”
“Ah, you’re probably right. I’d hate to upstage her with my beee-yooo-tiful smile!”

With that settled, the boys decided to take a stroll down by the harbour.
Paddy and Plunkett at Porec Harbour - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd then Paddy spotted this…
Paddy Finds Something Interesting! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
“Hmmm… Rent a boat? Yes please!”
Paddy's Dream Boat - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
“This one looks perfect… Nice and speedy!”
But Plunkett isn’t so sure.
“NO WAY am I letting you drive that thing, Paddy!”
Fortunately, Paddy has a plan up his woolly sleeve…
Paddy and the Pirate - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
“Don’t worry, Plunkett! Meet my new friend Captain Jack… He says he’ll get us back to Ireland no problem, and it’ll only cost us 3 barrels of rum!”

Hmmm… Does anyone else think this might not be such a good idea? Hopefully we’ll catch up with Paddy and Plunkett again soon, but I’m not making any promises!

And before I go, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to some fellow bloggers, who have been keeping me cheerful this past (hectic!) week with their kindness and generosity. Check out this haul of happy mail!
Happy Mail from Tierneycreates and The Snail of Happiness - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe box of goodies is from Jan at The Snail of Happiness, who sent me something from her garden (I can’t say any more on that one until after Christmas), plus some incredibly soft Welsh wool (I’m mentally running through project ideas already), locally-produced soap and a lovely card. Best of all, everything now smells deliciously like zesty black pepper – glorious! Then in the front, there’s one of Tierney’s (from Tierneycreates) little wallets, which I was lucky enough to WIN in her 4-Year-Blogiversary Giveaway! She’s been making these little wonders from leftover quilting fabrics, and it’s such a neat, lightweight purse. Plus she also included a handmade card, made from upcycled old business cards! So once again, thank you both – your parcels have really made me smile this week!

I’ll be back next Tuesday with more monster adventures, so stay tuned! Have a great week, everyone!

Paddy and Plunkett, Random Punters - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Cambridge – Worth a Punt!

I’ll be honest with you… Paddy and Plunkett were more than a little miffed that Explorer Beastie didn’t invite them along on his recent trip to Copenhagen. So, when they had the chance to hitch a lift to another bike-loving city (one a bit closer to home), you won’t be surprised to hear that they were off like a shot!

And where did they end up?
Paddy and Plunkett Cycle Cambridge! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAha! In beautiful sunny Cambridge!

Although it’s most famous for its universities – Plunkett actually considered applying here, but was disappointed by the human-centric approach these institutions take to the history of architecture – this little city that sits just outside London has plenty of other activities to keep a pair of curious little monsters entertained.

…Like these!
Punts Along the Cam - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Awww, Plunkett! Let’s have a go – the humans make it look so easy!”
Punting on the Cam - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Hmmm, let’s see… Yeeees, it feels stable enough! But maybe we should let someone else drive?”
Paddy and Plunkett Set Sail - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“DEAL!”

As it turns out, Plunkett took to these little boats (called “punts”) like a duck to water. He appreciated their sturdy construction, visibly-displayed safety information cards and the fact that they packed cosy blankets and umbrellas for the inevitable quirks of the British weather. And after a few minutes of gliding gently under the weeping willows, he was utterly sold!
Not Your Average Punter - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesA punt can hold 12 humans, plus a couple of stowaway Beasties, so Paddy and Plunkett were happy to share theirs with a family from the US. Strangely, they’d never met a Beastie before – what are the chances?

As for Paddy… Well, you know Paddy. Not even the “Bridge of Sighs” could dampen his mood!
The Bridge of Sighs, Cambridge - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThis Bridge of Sighs got its name courtesy of Queen Victoria, who said it reminded her of the famous Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice. It didn’t matter that she’d never been to Venice, and that the two bridges actually look nothing alike… I don’t think even Paddy would have dared to contradict her!

And although the bridges gave Plunkett plenty to look at, he was also interested in the brick walls that line the river and keep the banks in check. These walls are carefully maintained, and repaired when necessary.
Inspecting the Brick Walls on the Cam - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesFurther along, the boys came to the part of the river known as “The Backs” – so named because you float past the back doors of some of Cambridge’s most famous colleges.
Floating Down the Backs, Cambridge - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesKing's College Cambridge - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look at this, Paddy! The guide says this is King’s College…
Plunkett Plans his Next Move - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… I think I’d like to go here next!”

Join the boys when they return to dry land in a couple of weeks. Next week, I hope to have something new to share with you, so stay tuned!

The Voyage of the "Beastie" - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties Ahoy!

All Dressed Up and Ready to Dive! CrawCrafts BeastiesAttentive Beastie fans will surely remember this guy from last Tuesday’s post! Diver Beastie headed off to join, of all things, a marauding crew of pirates across the water in the UK. Incredibly, his arrival coincided perfectly with his new pirate captain’s birthday… They even had a portrait photographer handy when they met for the first time!
Diver Beastie Meets the Cap'n - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesAs you can see, he made his journey in a treasure chest – I figured it was the best way to help him fit in.
Diver Beastie and His Treasure Chest - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like he’s got on the Cap’n’s good side already!
Diver Beastie and the Cap'n - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesI reckon it’s time to meet the rest of the crew! All aboard the good ship Beastie!
All Aboard the Good Ship Beastie! FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesPirate Beastie is on the lookout for treasure in the crow’s nest, while Diver Beastie has found himself a comfy seat in the stern…
This is the Life! FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like the hold is already packed with pieces of eight… But is any pirate likely to pass up the opportunity to find MORE TREASURE?

Nope, I didn’t think so! Off we go!
The Voyage of the "Beastie" - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut wait a second – the ship seems to be riding low in the water. What’s going on here?
A Stowaway on the Pirate Ship - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesEeeeeek! A stowaway! Looks like Pint Beastie might have had one too many bottles of grog and fallen asleep in the hold. Well, it’s probably too late to turn back now, so… Congratulations Pint Beastie! You’re the newest member of this happy band of buccaneers! Now it’s time for them all to sail off in search of adventure – and yes, more treasure!
Pirate Beastie and Crew Sail Off in Search of Adventure - FocalHeart/CrawCrafts BeastiesWho knows where this boatful of brigands will wash up next?

Thanks to Noémie at FocalHeart for sending me her photos, including some taken by the Cap’n himself! All of us here at Beastie Towers love to see how our monster friends around the world are getting on.

As usual, we’ll be back on Tuesday – stop by to find out what Explorer Beastie and I have been up to over the past week! And in the meantime, have a great weekend!

A Sunny Stroll by the Grand Canal

Explorer Beastie at the Canal - CrawCrafts Beasties
New year, new feature… Welcome to the first instalment of Explorer Beastie’s Dublin!

Explorer Beastie had a bit of a quiet year in 2015…
Explorer Beastie Takes a Weight Off - CrawCrafts Beasties
… So we thought that it would be fun for both of us to get out a little more, and show you the hidden corners of our city from a Beastie’s-eye point of view!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, so we scrapped our original plans for an indoor adventure and made for the canal instead. There are two canals in Dublin’s city centre, the Grand Canal in the south and the Royal Canal in the north, and both canals eventually link up with the River Shannon in the west, via a whole string of towns and villages throughout Ireland’s midlands. The Grand Canal is nearer Beastie Towers though, so that’s where we headed.

The first part of our route was along the side of a busy road (boooo!) but once you pass the top of Clanbrassil Street Upper there’s a pedestrian path along one side of the canal, which makes for a much more peaceful walk… and better photos!
The Start of the Grand Canal Footpath - CrawCrafts Beasties
There’s plenty of wildlife to see along the canal banks – we spotted mallard ducks, mute swans, moorhens and a couple of different species of gulls.
Swan and Gulls on the Grand Canal - CrawCrafts BeastiesMoorhen on the Grand Canal - CrawCrafts Beasties

Explorer Beastie even tried to make friends with one of the swans…
Explorer Beastie Meets a Swan - CrawCrafts Beasties
… With limited success.
Hello there... (CrawCrafts Beasties)Oh. Okay Then. (CrawCrafts Beasties)

Never mind, there’s much more to see…
Canalbank Collage - CrawCrafts Beasties

… And sunny streets to explore!
In the Streets by the Canal - CrawCrafts Beasties
This canal is still in use, and the working lock gates along the way break the waterway into smaller sections, each with its own distinct character!
Grand Canal Locks Collage - CrawCrafts Beasties
This stretch beside The Barge pub is especially popular – it looks quiet now, but you should see it in the summer! On a warm evening, you’d think half the city had turned out to enjoy a pint by the water’s edge!
The Barge Pub, Grand Canal - CrawCrafts Beasties
And further along, this wall usually has some interesting graffiti to look at…
Shadowbeasties and Graffiti! CrawCrafts Beasties

We carried on past the top of Leeson Street, right in the city centre. A perfect chance to sit on an old bench and admire the view…
Relaxing by the Canal - CrawCrafts Beasties
…Before heading to one of our favourite cafés for a sandwich and a warming cup of tea!
Lunchtime! CrawCrafts Beasties
Remind us to take you there sometime…

We’ll be back with another slice of Dublin life in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, you can find out more about the Grand Canal here – this site lists all kinds of interesting canal-based activities, including walking tours, food markets and dinner cruises. Or if there’s anywhere you think we should visit, let us know in the comments!

Pirate Beastie Full Length - CrawCrafts Beasties

Postcard From Pirate Beastie

Pirate Beastie, by CrawCrafts Beasties
Diligent BeastieBlog readers will surely remember this cheeky little ruffian! Pirate Beastie has been an important part of the crew here at Beastie Towers for a while, and I was wondering if he’d ever get a chance to set sail and see the wider world. But while I was on my holidays, I got a message on Etsy from Noémie at FocalHeart… Turns out her son is quite the pirate enthusiast, and he couldn’t wait to welcome Pirate Beastie aboard! Piggy banks were frantically raided, and Pirate Beastie was dispatched that very same day… Then last week I received a message in a bottle (an online bottle) to say he’d arrived safely, and it included PHOTOS!

It seems that Pirate Beastie has really landed on his feet – he’d barely arrived before he started gathering up treasure!
Pirate Beastie's Treasure - N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties
A lot of treasure.
More Pirate Treasure - N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties
He also got a new custom-built pirate ship, carefully constructed by his new shipmate!
Pirate Beastie's Ship - N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties
And that’s not all – a couple of days later, he was invited to a pirate party!
Pirate Beastie's Hallowe'en - N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties
Another great opportunity to gather up a few pieces of eight…
Even more treasure - N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties
… Rub shoulders with famous scurvy sea dogs, like Captain Jack Sparrow…
Captain Jack and Captain James  N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties
…And have a swig of grog with some mysterious maidens!
Pirate Beastie and Mysterious Lady Friend - N Rimmer/CrawCrafts Beasties

Thanks so much to Noémie and Thom for giving Pirate Beastie such a good home, and a new name! He now answers to James – Captain James to us landlubbers, I’m sure. And I’ve been super-impressed by Thom’s photography skills… he’s responsible for a lot of the pictures I’ve used in this post, so thank you for letting me use them!

You can read the full story of James the Pirate Beastie’s arrival (including unboxing video!) and big Hallowe’en night out on Noémie’s own blog. And make sure you stick around to check out her awesome handknits and paintings!

Oooookaaaay, time for me to head below decks and get ready for my market tomorrow! Have a super weekend, everybody!

Submarines and Seascapes… Paddy and Plunkett in Portsmouth, Part 3

Paddy at Victory, Portsmouth - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Last week, we left adventurous Irish Beasties Paddy and Plunkett in something of a sticky situation… captured by an irate security guard who objected strenuously to Paddy’s attempts to take HMS Warrior for a test drive!

However, this week I’ve received another round of photos in which the pair of them appear to have eluded their captor… How can this be?
“A good escape artist never reveals his secrets,” says Plunkett. “And anyway, we had to go and have a look around the Alliance submarine.”
Plunkett with the Alliance Submarine - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Fair enough.

Although it seems like Plunkett was really only interested in hanging out in the bar…
Plunkett in the Torpedo Tube Saloon - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Apparently when Alliance was in use, food was stored just about anywhere they could find space. So yes, those beers are indeed being stashed in a torpedo tube! Fortunately, it’s a long time since any torpedoes were launched from this submarine – Alliance has been a museum since 1981, so Plunkett can enjoy his tinnies in peace.

Suitably refreshed, the two lads set off for the Figurehead Museum…
Paddy at the Figurehead Museum - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
…Where they met some pretty unusual ladies!
Figurehead Museum, Portsmouth - H Crawford/Crawcrafts BeastiesScary Lady at the Figurehead Museum, Portsmouth - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYikes! Imagine if you saw those faces leering at you from the front of a battleship! But look what was waiting for the boys around the corner…
The Knitted Sea at Portsmouth's Figurehead Museum - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesKnitted Fishies at the Figurehead Museum - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesKnitted Mermaid and Friends at the Figurehead Museum - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesMore Knitted Undersea Creatures at the Figurehead Museum - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
…A whole knitted underwater scene! Look closely and you’ll see turtles, starfish and mermaids as well as hundreds of multicoloured fish! Paddy and Plunkett could have stayed here for hours, but then they saw this…
Plunkett with the Giant's Causeway Poster - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
“Is that the Giant’s Causeway? We really have been away for quite a while… maybe it’s time to head home. Hope you’ve enjoyed following us around Portsmouth, see you soon for more monster adventures!”

Paddy and Plunkett’s Portsmouth – Part 2

Paddy and Plunkett Continue Their Portsmouth Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
The last time we checked in with Paddy and Plunkett, they’d got carried away exploring the Isle of Wight and missed the last boat back to the mainland! Fortunately, it seems they eventually managed to make their return journey by stowing away on a passing ship … the cable pattern on Paddy’s jumper is perfect camouflage in among the rigging ropes!
Paddy in the Rigging - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Even though they’re now back on dry land, they couldn’t resist going to visit one of the city’s most famous attractions – the Mary Rose!At the Mary Rose - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
The Mary Rose sank in 1545 just north of the Isle of Wight, after 33 years of service in Henry VIII’s navy. Her wreckage was rediscovered in 1971 (although Wikipedia mentions an earlier rediscovery in 1863, after which some enterprising gentlemen tried to meet market demand for salvaged artefacts by blowing up parts of the ship with condemned bomb shells filled with gunpowder) and so began a decade of intense underwater archaelogy, legal wranglings and preparations to extract what remained of the ship’s hull from the sticky clay on the seabed. Finally, on the 11th of October 1982, the Mary Rose saw daylight for the first time in more than 4 centuries! Conservation work has been ongoing ever since… the ship is now in the process of drying out after 25 years of being sprayed with preserving wax.

Unfortunately, photo opportunities were few and far between in the museum itself – with so many visitors around, a Beastie could easily get trampled underfoot! The lads were happy to soak up the sights, and leave the happy snaps until they stopped for coffee at the end of the tour. Hey look – Paddy’s got his own personalised mug!
Paddy Stops for Coffee - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Then there was just time to pose with this scurvy sea dog outside…
Paddy, Plunkett and the Pirate - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
…Before going to seek more nautical adventures on board HMS Warrior. Warrior was Britain’s first iron-clad battleship, built in 1860. Her wrought-iron armour was a huge technological leap forward, and this development made the ship faster, stronger and harder to hit than anything else afloat at the time. Apparently, most rivals didn’t even bother to engage her – one look and they just slunk off into the sunset! She didn’t scare Paddy and Plunkett though – they were too busy hanging out in the rigging!
Paddy and Plunkett on HMS Warrior - H Crawford/Crawcrafts Beasties
They also had a look around below decks…
Paddy and Plunkett Below Decks on HMS Warrior - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
And then… oh no! Who let Paddy drive?
Paddy Takes the Helm - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
These mischievous monsters have gone too far this time – they’d better leave before someone calls security…
Captured! Security Catches Up with Paddy and Plunkett! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
Too late! Still, it’s not every day that you get forcibly ejected from a vintage battleship by a former film star… Super-observant readers may have seen this monster from the deep before, in the Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”!

Now it only remains to be seen if Paddy and Plunkett can wriggle free of the iron grip of the law! Stay tuned…