Paddy uses Plunkett as a ladder - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

New Adventures Ahoy!

Hello there Beastie friends! How are things where you are? Here on the Emerald Isle, we’re getting ready to start opening things up again… And I know two intrepid little monsters who are looking forward to setting out on some new adventures this summer!

Sure, they’ve enjoyed their virtual travels over the last few months…
Paddy and Plunkett's Virtual Tour - CrawCrafts Beasties… But it’s not really a substitute for the real thing, is it?

So that’s probably why they started hatching travel plans the very second they spotted this unattended knitting bag.

“That looks like it might be going somewhere interesting! What do you reckon?”
Paddy and Plunkett Plotting - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Possibly, Paddy… But how on earth are we going to get up there? Normally the humans leave their bags on the floor.”

“Don’t worry, Plunkett…”
Paddy has an idea - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… I have a cunning plan!”

Unfortunately, Plunkett didn’t realise that this cunning plan involved using him as a stepladder.
Paddy uses Plunkett as a ladder - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Ouch! Paddy, you’re going to have to start going easy on the Full Irish breakfasts… You weigh a TON!”
“Neeeeearly there. Hold steady, Plunkett!”

Finally…
Paddy Climbs Up - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Success!”
“That’s all well and good for you, Paddy. How do I get up there?”
“I told you, I have a plan. Hold on a sec…”

Paddy's Plan, Part 2 - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“Here you go! Now climb up.”
“Oooh, very clever!”

Plunkett Joins Paddy - Beastie Adventures - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

And much huffing and puffing later…

Ready to go? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“There, I knew you could do it!”
“…”
Ah. Sounds like Plunkett was still catching his breath. So Paddy packed all the wool back into the knitting bag, making a nice cosy place for them both to hide.

“Where do you think we’re off to, Paddy?”
“I’m not sure…”

Let the adventures begin! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“… But I bet it’s going to be fun!”

Hopefully they won’t have to wait too long for the adventures to begin! Have you any interesting journeys in your future? Be sure to tell us all about them in the comments!

We’ll be back next week to catch up with Explorer Beastie. I’m sure he’s got some adventures up his woolly little sleeves too!

Where are We? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Outstanding Blogger Award

Oh looky! We got an award!Blog Award Pedro L - CrawCrafts BeastiesThanks to Pedro at worldwidepedrol.com for nominating us!

Now, it’s been a while since I did an awards post, but I happen to know a pair of attention-hungry woolly monsters who would LOVE to tell you a little more about themselves.
A Snack for Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

So, here are Pedro’s award questions – take it away, lads!

What would you say about yourself that can be surprising?
Paddy:
People are often surprised to find out how tall I am. They always think I look smaller in photos.
Plunkett:
I think a lot of humans are amazed that we can travel by ourselves. They think Helen just picks us up and photographs us on her own travels, but that’s really not true.

Where do you live and what are your 3 favorite things about this place?
Plunkett: We live in Northern Ireland, and I think I like the beautiful countryside the best.
The Lads at Gleno Waterfall - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy: Yeah, and the beaches!
Paddy and Portbraddon - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s also easy to travel around because it’s not very big.
Plunkett: Yes, that’s true. But somehow there’s still lots to see.
Paddy: I know! It must be some kind of magic!

If it wasn´t the pandemic and you could be abroad, where would you be at this moment and why?
Plunkett: The pandemic hasn’t really slowed us down that much. We’ve been some pretty interesting places these past couple of weeks.
Lockdown Tour Summary - Award - CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy: I think he means ACTUAL travel, Plunkett, not just photoshopping ourselves into pictures. I choose LA!
Plunkett: Hmmm… In that case, Iceland! Lots of interesting geology there. Or I’d even go back to the Giant’s Causeway. I enjoyed our trip there last year. Why do you want to go to Los Angeles?
Paddy: To work on my tan, obviously. And launch my film career.

Either on blogging or arts or maths, what are your biggest inspirations and how do they inspire you?
Plunkett: I love nice, green, mossy places. Somewhere quiet where I can relax and watch the world go by for a while. And gardening! It’s so satisfying to watch things grow.Plunkett Likes... Award Post - CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy: Action films! And fast cars!
Plunkett: You’re supposed to say why, Paddy.
Paddy: What’s to explain? Because they’re AWESOME!!

What are your tips to have a successful blog?
Paddy: Oh, tricky one! I think you should have loads of cool stuff, like high speed car chases and glamorous locations. We should definitely be doing more of that.
Plunkett: Or maybe just keeping it simple? Travel and banter with a buddy, for example?
Paddy: Hmmm… Yes, I suppose that’s good too!

What are your goals for this year and how do you imagine yourself in a decade?
Paddy: Be more famous. Then in ten years I will be SUPER FAMOUS, and a Formula One driver, and a film star with my own clothing line.
Plunkett: I’m pretty happy as I am, really. I’d like to see more of the world though, and perhaps add some more interesting specimens to my rock collection.

If you had the chance, what would you ask about me? (and I promise to answer in a future post! ahah)
Both: We heard you once visited Northern Ireland. Tell us more!

Outstanding Blogger Award, Part 2

Okay, now you know everything there is to know about Paddy and Plunkett! Next I need to pick out some nominees of my own. Here goes…

Handmade Habit

tierneycreates

Tammie Painter

Fabrications

Simon’s Space

Tesserology

Daze and Weekes

Quiet Water Craft

For those of you who are up for participating, here are the rules: provide a link to the creator’s original award post; answer the questions provided; create 7 unique questions; nominate up to 10 bloggers; ensure that they are aware of their nomination.

Nominees, please don’t feel under pressure to take part! We all have a lot going on these days! But if you do want to share a little more about yourself, here are Paddy and Plunkett’s questions for you. They’ve cut the question list down to five as well, to make the whole process a little easier 😉

  1. Coffee or tea? (Or no hot beverages at all?)
  2. Where in the world would you most like to visit, and why?
  3. What is the most delicious meal you’ve ever eaten, and where did you have it?
  4. What have you made that you’re most proud of, and why?
  5. What’s your plan for today?

And Finally…

Where in the world were Paddy and Plunkett last week?
Perseverance Panorama - Paddy and PlunkettAnswer: Nowhere. Because they weren’t on this world at all! As spotted by some eagle-eyed readers, the boys have magicked themselves onto Mars. Overall, they enjoyed the experience, but Paddy says the nightlife isn’t really up to much.

Plunkett “borrowed” the pictures for this adventure from NASA’s website. This link will take you directly to the gallery of images from the 2020 Perseverance Rover mission – there’s some really cool artwork on here, as well as actual photos from the surface of the Red Planet! Enjoy!

We’ll be taking a break from blogging for a little while, to get caught up on some other bits and bobs. But don’t worry, we’ll be back to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with you in a couple of weeks! See you then!

View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

New Year? Snow Way!

It’s the first BeastieBlog of 2021… Happy new year, everybody! And although this first week of January didn’t bring a whole lot of good news on the pandemic front, in some parts of the island of Ireland it did bring something a little unusual – SNOW!

And some of it fell in the back garden of a pair of familiar Beastie friends.
Paddy Spots the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy was up nice and early, so he spotted it first. And of course, the very next thing he did was…

Paddy Wakes Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

… To go and wake up Plunkett.

Poor Plunkett. He was having a lovely dream about igneous rock formations.
Plunkett Wakes Up - Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“What IS it, Paddy?”
“SNOW! It’s been snowing, Plunkett! Get up get up get up!”

View From Beastie Towers in the Snow - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look at that!”

It really is rather lovely. And every window revealed a fresh, snow-dusted view.
Snow at Beastie Towers - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut just looking at the snow was never going to be enough for Paddy. I think it’s time to head outside and play in it, don’t you?

Paddy Builds a Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt looks like he already has a project in mind, too. Look at him go!

“Ta-daaaaah!”
Paddy's Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“It’s a SnowBeastie, Plunkett! What do you think?”
“I think it’s not quite finished yet… Hang on a sec!”

And with a few finishing touches from Plunkett…
The Finished Snow Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesMuch better! It’s almost as cute as you are, boys.
“Almost!”

But even little woolly monsters start to feel the cold eventually. With their SnowBeastie finished, the lads decided it was time to head back indoors…
Warming up by the Stove - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… And get toasty again by the stove!

So, how have you all been spending the first few days of 2021? Did you get any snow? Be sure to tell us all about it in the comments!

Also…

Don’t forget that a new year means a new Beastie Calendar! This link will take you to the listing in our store… Download once, print off as many copies as you like, and be monstrously organised all year!
Beastie Calendar 2021 - Cover - CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – The Hunt for Red October

Hello Beastie friends! I hope you all had a spooktacular Hallowe’en! We’ve been busily stitching away here in Beastie Towers, so it’s lucky for you that Paddy and Plunkett have been in touch… Otherwise you would have been treated to a series of pictures of me at my craft table today. After their recent adventures in the most northerly parts of Northern Ireland, the lads tell me that they have been taking advantage of the latest lockdown and having a quiet October at home.

Unfortunately, they have also been spending quite a lot of time on the internet, and they are now suffering from the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out).
Paddy has FOMO - October - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Awww, Plunkett! Look at all the fun they’re having down in Dublin! I want to go out and collect colourful leaves in the park with Autumn Beastie!”

Like a lot of humans, Paddy is feeling the pinch of these antisocial times. But isn’t it lucky that Plunkett has an answer for everything?

“I know where we can find some colourful leaves. Come on, Paddy!”
Not So Colourful Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Taaa-DAAAAAAH!”

Paddy is unimpressed.

“Huh. Bit green, aren’t they?”

“Only for the moment, Paddy. For this to work, we’ll need to climb the tree where these came from…”
October Leaves - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… And wait for a bit. That’s it, straight ahead.”

Let’s get climbing! And look, it seems that Plunkett is not wrong…
Reddening Leaves - Red October - Paddy and Plunkett - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… As the leaves had turned vibrant red before he’d even finished climbing up to where Paddy was sitting among the branches!

“How’s that for Autumn colour, Paddy? I think our work here is done!”
Climbing Down the Tree - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd with that, Plunkett started to clamber back down to ground level.

It’s a pretty spectacular display of colour though, isn’t it?
Red October Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd now Paddy can scoop up giant pawfuls of red leaves, and give Autumn Beasties everywhere a run for their money. Nice hat, Paddy!
Paddy and Plunkett and the Leaves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesI still haven’t figured out why Beasties love Autumn leaves so much, but hey, at least they’re happy!

And I know we’re into a new month now, but did you have a colourful October? Be sure to share your many-hued Fall (or Spring) stories with us in the comments!

Tales of the Giant’s Causeway, with Paddy and Plunkett

Hello everyone! Well, last week I promised you a visit to one of County Antrim’s most famous landmarks… And here we are! Plunkett is especially excited – this attraction does have a very geological slant.
Plunkett Spots the Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHe’s just spotted it there in the distance… The Giant’s Causeway! Time to rush over for a closer peek.

“Look at these basalt columns, Paddy! Incredible!”
Plunkett Up Close with the Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesNormally Paddy is left stony-faced by Plunkett’s enthusiasm for rocks, but even he has to admit that this is pretty cool.
Paddy at the Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesEven more so when he hears about how they got here. Volcanoes are always awesome, even if they happened 60 million years ago! And this is just the beginning.

Giant's Causeway Stones - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties
As you get closer to the sea, the grass and plants disappear and you can see the hexagonal stone columns all the more clearly. The Giant’s Causeway is made up of more than 40,000 of these hexagons, neatly stacked together!

And while Plunkett admires the stones, Paddy has been learning about how this place got its name. It turns out there are lots of myths and legends about the Giant’s Causeway! Early people apparently had a lot of fun figuring out how the stones came to look this way.
Hexagonal Rocks at The Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

The most popular story, and the one I learned as a child, is that local giant Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill in Irish, and you’ll come across lots of alternative spellings that fall somewhere in between the two as well) had an ongoing rivalry with another giant who lived across the water in Scotland. After a few rounds of long distance name-calling and threats, Finn decided to kick things up a gear, and he built a series of stepping stones – the Giant’s Causeway – so he could cross the sea and challenge Benandonner, the Scottish giant, to a physical fight.

The Causeway and the Sea - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Unfortunately, the downside of exchanging insults across a stretch of ocean is that it makes it tricky to gauge the size and strength of your opponent. Once in Scotland, Finn discovered that Benandonner was a good bit bigger than he’d expected. Oh well, never mind. There was still time to leg it back across the causeway, breaking it up on the way so that Benandonner couldn’t follow him. Right?

Nope.

Benandonner spotted Finn, and started chasing him home. And Finn would have taken a giant-sized beating, had he not been married to a smart lady called Oonagh. She had the genius idea of wrapping her big-mouth husband in blankets, and popping him in an oversized crib – which she’d apparently been keeping in the house for just this sort of eventuality. When Benandonner showed up at the door, she invited him in, and introduced him to her sweet little baby boy. Thinking that Finn in disguise was his rival’s son, and in that case that he was the one who would most likely come up short in a fight, Benandonner turned tail and ran. Nice one, Oonagh!

Fortunately, the boys didn’t see any warring giants on the day they visited.
Paddy and Plunkett at the Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd yes, you are allowed to walk on the stones! The lads took full advantage of that.
Nearly there, Plunkett! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

“Nearly there, Plunkett!”
Paddy and Plunkett on the rocks - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Aaaaah! It’s actually quite comfortable up here.”

Then there was just time to grab a couple more photos…
Beasties at the Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… Before heading off.
Leaving the Giant's Causeway - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Come on Paddy, we don’t want to miss our train home!”

Made it! And with seconds to spare!
Paddy Catches the Train - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesSee you all next time!

Beastie Travel Guide

Access to the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage Site is free, as long as you arrive on foot. If you drive there, expect to pay a hefty fee to park your car in the Visitor Centre car park! The Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills Railway train takes about half an hour to travel from Bushmills to near the Causeway. That means you can sit back and enjoy the scenery… And sneakily avoid paying for parking by using their free car park at the Bushmills station.

 

Breakfast Fit For A Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Beside the Seaside on the North Antrim Coast

Hello Beastie friends, and welcome back to the beautiful North Antrim Coast! Where’s that? Right here… Although we are gradually working our way north from the red arrow, and we’re currently hanging out on the flat area just below that little offshore island.

Ireland Showing Antrim
Map borrowed from Wikipedia

Adventurous Beasties Paddy and Plunkett have been touring this scenic part of Northern Ireland for the last couple of weeks (catch up here and here if you missed the first instalments) and today, they have an appetite for even more seaside.

But first, they have an appetite for something else… BREAKFAST!
Breakfast Fit For A Beastie - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesLooks good, lads… But check out the size of that portion! Where do they put it all?!

Thoroughly fuelled up for the day, the boys headed for their first destination – Dunseverick Harbour. And it looks like there’s some activity in the waters of the harbour this morning!
Paddleboarding in Dunseverick Harbour - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Oh Plunkett, can we have a go?”
“Probably not, Paddy… We are made of wool, after all. It looks like fun though!”
“Yes…”
Paddy Watches the Paddleboarders - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… It really does!”

Not to worry, Paddy. The company behind this aquatic expedition also offer other activities that don’t involve getting your paws wet, such as rock climbing and abseiling, so you can put that on your to-do list for next time. Interested humans can find out more about Rathlin Adventures on their website, or show them some love on Facebook and Instagram!

For today, let’s find a more land-based activity. How about a trip to the local museum? That’ll do nicely… Especially since the building is so delightfully nautically themed!
Paddy and Plunkett at Dunseverick Museum - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut once they’d untangled themselves from these coiled ship’s ropes, Paddy demanded more shoreline sightseeing.

Fortunately, Plunkett knows all the good spots around here. Let’s go rock pooling!
Plunkett and the Pool - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIn certain places along the north Antrim coast, the sea has created a number of large rock pools… Perfect for a cooling dip away from the currents and waves. There’s this one, above…

… And sheltered away among the rocks, in a top secret location known to only the most informed of Beasties, you’ll find Peggy’s Well.
Peggy's Well, North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Who’s Peggy, Plunkett?”
“That’s the biggest secret of all, Paddy. I have no idea!”

And it turns out the internet doesn’t either! This is one mystery that even the Beasties can’t solve.

Still, it’s a pleasant place to sit and watch the waves for a while. Aaaaaah!
Paddy Watches the Waves - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd then, to wrap up today’s coastal sightseeing tour, let’s swing by what might be one of the most beautiful beaches anywhere – Whitepark Bay.
Plunkett at White Park Bay -  Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesOn a bright day, the sands on this beach gleam white in the sunshine. But even when it’s a bit overcast, it’s a lovely spot to stroll and look for fossils. As Plunkett contemplates the wilder side of the beach…

… Paddy peers down on the tiny hamlet of Portbraddon at the other end.
Paddy and Portbraddon - North Antrim Coast - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look how big this beach is, Plunkett! Those people look Beastie-sized from up here!”

But of course, there’s one very famous place nearby which the Beasties haven’t visited yet… Can anyone guess where? Find out in next week’s post, when it’s the final stop on our North Antrim Coast tour! See you then!

Paddy and Plunkett at Castlerock Beach - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Bushmills Beasties

Hello everyone! We’re coming in a little bit later than usual this week, but rest assured that Paddy and Plunkett are very keen to share their latest holiday adventure with you all. This week, we’ll be swinging by the small town of Bushmills and taking a stroll on one of County Antrim’s famous sandy beaches.

But first, let’s catch up with the boys where we left them last week – at Antrim Castle Gardens. And it looks like they’ve made another friend!
Paddy, Plunkett and the Hound - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThis fearsome-looking beast is the Massereene Wolfhound, and he was a handy pooch to have around back in the days when wolves still roamed free on the island of Ireland. In life, the hound saved Lady Marion Clotworthy when she was cornered by a pack of wolves on the shores of Antrim Bay. And having got a taste for heroics, he subsequently alerted the castle’s residents to an advancing party of human attackers, allowing them to mount defences and save themselves and their home.

His stone counterpart, seen here with the Beasties, dates back to the early 17th century, and for nearly 300 years he kept watch from the castle battlements. Unfortunately, his talents didn’t extend to protecting the building from fire, and the old castle burned down in 1922.

But you can still trace its outline in the granite-paved paths that wind through the gardens.

“Do we have time to walk the old castle walls, Paddy?”

“Eeek! No – our lift is leaving! RUN!!”

Looks like we’re on the road again. And where is this rather beautiful place? It looks exactly like Plunkett’s kinda town.
Plunkett at the Bushmills Mill - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Aaaah, lovely. Welcome to Bushmills, Beastie friends!”

You can understand why it’s called Bushmills. This small town used to have 11 waterpowered mills working away along the riverbanks! Today, only this one is left. Bonner Mill has been here since the early 19th century – although the building in the picture, with its cheerful red door, only dates back to about 1850. It’s now a private house, but Bonner Mill did actually keep working up until the 1950s.

So, that’s the mills taken care of… And Paddy’s found the origins of the other half of the town’s name.
River Bush, Bushmills - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThat’d be the River Bush, supposedly one of the best salmon fishing rivers in Ireland.

“Hang on, Plunkett! I’ll see if I can catch us some lunch!”

Well, you could… Or you could just head over to the Bushmills Inn.
Bushmills Inn - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s one of over 80 listed buildings in the town, although I reckon the boys’ interests are more gastronomic than architectural. They tell me it does a very good Sunday carvery lunch, and then there’s that very tempting garden.

Time for a nice refreshing Beastie beer in the sunshine? I think so!

And then… Let’s round off our visit with a trip to the oldest distillery in the world.
Old Bushmills Distillery - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe Old Bushmills Distillery opened its doors in 1608 – I’m sure they’ve made a whole lot of whiskey in that time!

Clearly the boys were very excited about seeing it, because they could barely stand still for the camera.
Paddy & Plunkett Old Bushmills Distillery - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesFortunately, they didn’t consume too many free samples, and they were able to round off their day with a nice stroll along Castlerock Beach. Just as well, because this is a big beach! You can’t tell as you approach it over the dunes…
Paddy and Plunkett at Castlerock Beach - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… But it’s really huge!
Beach Time! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAntrim’s north coast is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches, and like Downhill Beach…

Which we visited a couple of years ago!”
Beach Beasties Frame 3 - CrawCrafts Beasties… Humans can bring their cars right down onto the sand.

However you get there, it’s still a great place to enjoy a sunset.
Sunset at Castlerock Beach - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd that unusual little building on the headland? That’s Mussenden Temple, a private library built by the 4th Earl of Bristol in memory of his cousin. Am I the only one would would LOVE a private library with a view like this?

But that’s more than enough monster activity for one day. I think the boys are “bushed” after their day in and around Bushmills!
Paddy & Plunkett Say Goodnight - Bushmills - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesNight night, lads!

P&P at Antrim Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Escape to Antrim!

It’s been a while since we heard from the boys, hasn’t it? But don’t worry, they’ve just been getting away from it all (locally) again! Now they’re back and ready to share their latest adventure – in Antrim!

Ireland Showing Antrim
Map borrowed from Wikipedia

Of course, at first they didn’t know they were going to Antrim. When Beasties travel, the luck of the draw prevails! This is how they planned their trip.
Paddy and Plunkett plan a trip - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, Plunkett! I think there might be another staycation in the pipeline. Shall we?”
“Hmmm… Maybe. Where are they going, do you think?”
“Does it matter? Come on!”

Ever the opportunist, Paddy knows exactly where the best seats in the house are.
Getting Away From it All - Antrim - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“If we climb into the knitting bag, we’ll get to travel in the car, not the boot. Then we can look out the window all the way to our destination… Wherever that might be!”

However, Plunkett needs a little more convincing.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea, Paddy? That bag says ‘Colditz’ on it. Do you not remember the film we watched last Wednesday?”
“Ahhhh, it’ll be grand. Hop in!”

Well, he makes a compelling argument.
Destination - Colditz? H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“If we end up in an escape-proof prisoner of war camp, Paddy, I’m holding you responsible!”

It looks like young Paddy might have made the right call, though.
Travelling in Style - Paddy and Plunkett in Antrim - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“There! What did I tell you? Floor-to-ceiling windows, soft carpeting under our paws… And the humans will never spot us back here!”

But when the car stops…
“Paddy…”
A Castle - Antrim - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“… Is this a castle?”
“Errrrrrm…”

Well yes, it is. But fortunately, it’s Antrim Castle – not Colditz.
We're at Antrim Castle! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesYou wouldn’t mind being locked in here though. Look at these beautiful gardens!
Antrim Castle Gardens - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThe locals seem friendly too… And it looks like there might be a happy event in the not-too-distant future!
Scarecrow Family at Antrim Castle - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHuh. I always wondered where new scarecrows came from – I guess we know now!

More from the boys next week. In the meantime, stay safe wherever you are!

PS…

I should probably mention that the lads took this trip before the latest round of coronavirus-inspired restrictions came into effect on both sides of the Irish border! If you find yourself in a similarly Covid-ey place, please let the Beasties do your travelling for you, and enjoy their adventures from the comfort of your own couch 🙂

Ready to harvest and eat! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy and Plunkett – Harvest Time!

Hey there everyone! Now, if the title of this post has you thinking that it’s really too early to harvest anything, please read on… You might be surprised!

After planting courgette seeds a few weeks ago, Paddy and Plunkett are back out in the garden… And, unsurprisingly, they’re on the lookout for some lunch.
“Look, Plunkett! It’s that courgette plant we potted up a while back… And it’s flowering!”
Paddy, Plunkett and the Courgette Plant - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“I’m going in for a closer look – give me a leg up, will you?”
“Alright… Yeowch!”
Inspecting the Courgette Harvest - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPoor Plunkett! He didn’t think “leg up” meant “I’m going to stand on your head”.

Paddy’s impressed with what he sees, though…
Courgette Flower - Harvest Time - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Lovely! Hey, Plunkett – we could fry these up in batter like they do in fancy restaurants!”

But then, Paddy spots a baby courgette growing behind the flower… Can you see it?
Not ready to harvest yet - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Hmmm, better leave that for a bit. But I’m STARVING now!”

Just then…
“Paddy! You might want to come back down here!”
Plunkett’s made a tasty discovery.
Ready to harvest and eat! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Oh, that’s a beauty! Stand back, Plunkett – I’ll take it from here.”
Paddy and the Courgette - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“HEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAVE!”

And after only a bit of persuasion, the courgette breaks free!
Beastie Courgette Harvest - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Nice one – a successful first harvest, Plunkett! Now, let’s get it to the kitchen.”
Well, it’s lucky there are two of them.
Bringing home the courgette - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Y’okay back there, Plunkett?”
“Uuuuurrrrhhhhh! Is it much further?”

Oh dear. Seems this has been a more energetic outing than Plunkett was expecting. Hopefully he’ll feel better after he’s had something to eat!

So, what’s growing in your gardens (or on your windowsill) these days? I’ve already been enjoying fresh rocket, radishes and nasturtium leaves so far this summer. And after a couple of lazy years, my strawberry plants are finally bearing fruit! All I need now is a little bit of sunshine to ripen those green berries up. Yum!

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back later in the week for another Flashback Friday… See you then!

Relaxing on Glencolmcille Beach - CrawCrafts Beasties

Flashback Friday – Beasties by the Seaside

Hello Beastie friends! Is it really Friday again already? And what’s with all this talk about the seaside?

Well, this week for Flashback Friday I wanted to revisit a little lady monster from back in 2016 – hey there, Mermaid Beastie!
Mermaid Beastie Makes her Escape - CrawCrafts BeastiesBut her fishy tail…
Mermaid Beastie's Tail, by CrawCrafts Beasties… And aquatic-themed accessories…
An Unconventional Use for Starfish - CrawCrafts Beasties… Made me realise that it’s a veeeery long time since I was last at the seaside. So, as well as a timely reminder that Beasties are found under the sea as well as on land, I thought I’d take a trip to the coast through some of my old photos.

Look, here’s Explorer Beastie enjoying the sun and sand in Lanzarote, from this adventure back in 2014!
Explorer Beastie on Black Sand BeachAnd while he was living it up overseas, I took Victorian Explorer Beastie to the seaside town of Bray, just south of Dublin!
Victorian Explorer Beastie on the Beach

Paddy and Plunkett enjoy the odd day at the beach too. Here they are at my favourite childhood haunt… Crawfordsburn Beach in County Down, Northern Ireland. I spent a lot of time clambering over these very rocks looking for rock pools!
Paddy and Plunkett Take the Scenic Route - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThat said, not all of their seaside visits have gone so smoothly. In this post from 2016, the two of them ended up in a bit of a pickle after someone let Paddy take the wheel…
Beach Beasties Frame 3 - CrawCrafts Beasties

And finally – one thing I’m really looking forward to when the travel restrictions are completely lifted here is getting back to Donegal. Spectacular scenery, great eating spots and, if you visit off-season like we do, miles of deserted beaches to enjoy! See for yourself!
Beastie Hide and Seek - CrawCrafts BeastiesHow about you lot? Are any of you still able to get to the beach, or are you longing to feel sand between your toes again? Let us know in the comments!

And we’ll be back on Tuesday with the last part of June Beastie’s travel diary… See you then!