Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Return from Holiday

I'm all for holidays. As long as I can find someone to feed the gold while I'm gone, I enjoy two weeks spent in relaxation and hotpants as much as the next giant lizard. And as long as the next giant lizard is a kind of hybrid of salamander and Kylie Minogue, that's lots. 

There are, however, a couple of things I'm not so fond of. One would be flying. Which is weird, because I actually do that all the time, and if I worked out more, I could probably have flown by myself. I don't charge as much for luggage and I get all the leg-room I want, although on the downside there are no hideously overpriced plastic cups of alcohol. But there wouldn't be the sheer panicked terror of being in a metal tube. 

See, I understand how I fly. The wings move, I go up. I find a comfortable air current and I float on it until I gently touch down in an area where people are unlikely to scream and scatter at the sight of me. Aeroplanes are metal tubes. They don't even flap their wings with sufficient force, and all the air stewards are brainwashed into smiling placidly as they explain that if it plummets to the ground, oxygen masks will fall from the sky and it's all okay because there are dinghies attached to the doors. 

Nothing wrong with airports. Sure, you hand over your belongings to a stranger who puts them on a conveyor belt before they're swallowed into who-knows-what subterranean world of suitcasing. On the way out, you're busy changing your money into money that could have been drawn by children with crayons, and on the way back, you're trying to spend the last shreds of your strange foreign coinage on souvenir piƱatas. 

I honestly saw a shop in the airport selling cactuses for tourists to take home. There are no words, so I have to express this in italics. Cactuses. And it doesn't matter how much you buy, you will always end up with 3 euros and sixty cents that you'll intend to keep for the next holiday but will actually spend months trying to fool vending machines into accepting. 

But that's all fine, because that's the airport. If anyone doesn't use the airport as the last place to stock up on being-too-drunk-to-be-afraid-of-aeroplanes, then they are a braver creature than I am. And I've faced down mountain trolls, although really that whole thing was a misunderstanding. I would take angry, mildly singed mountain trolls over planes every time. 

The only other downside to holidays is the physical. 

I shed an entire layer of crinkly, sunburnt skin after I returned. I feel a kinship with my snake brethren, and also mildly flayed. 

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The First Bee Of The Year

I saw the first bee of the year today. He looked confused. I looked confused.

We will remain confused until the warmer weather comes. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Madlibs With Manticores #1

For my Twitter followers, a special present. A beautifully hand-scrawled drawing of them performing an action with a mythical beast of their choice. All, surprisingly, entirely safe for work and no-one has come out with a weird fetish for skydiving basilisks.

Add me on Twitter, link on the right! Or the left, if you're sitting in the internet and looking out...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Dragons

I may have said it before. Dragons aren't romantic. We have a tendency to set fire to things, and not in a "hey baby, you're on fire, come back to my place for a drink". More in a "hey, that baby is on fire. I SWEAR I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT".

This is how you imagine dragons are at Valentine's Day

This is how dragons actually are at Valentine's Day.

Note the difference between the first and the second pictures. The first one has a cutesy dragon curled around a heart. The second has a dragon holding the still-beating heart in his curled talons. It's a big difference, and if you're planning on dating a dragon, it's one you really should think about. Seriously. I cannot stress that enough. Breaking up because you were growing apart is one thing. Breaking up because you've been ripped apart is another.

But let's be honest, even dating other dragons is complicated.

I'm going to stay in this Valentine's Day

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Year of the Dragon

Xin nian kuai le!

You have no idea how much yoga it took to get myself fit for that photo. 

Here we are, in the Chinese Year of the Dragon. This means there are a lot of babies born in the last twenty-four days that are claiming to be dragons, which is both incorrect and quite impressive for an infant. Those born in the year of the me will never have the overwhelming craving for gold, or tasty charred human flesh that a true dragon has. But they may share some apparently common characteristics of dragons.

Like being strong, powerful, intuitive and artistic.

Of course, loath as I am to admit it, there are downsides to being a dragon. We are stubborn, ferocious, and terrible at romance...

Whatever our negative points, though, it's better than being an ox. No-one ever said "wow, guys, did you see that film with the really impressive ox in it? Man, I wish ox were real. I would totally get one as a pet. I would have such a deep emotional bond with my ox it would be like it could read my mind!". No-one says that.

I feel a bit sorry for the ox now.

Friday, 6 January 2012


As a dragon, I defy the laws of science. Not deliberately, because I've turned over a new leaf since the days of slaughtering, and now I try and avoid so much as a speeding fine because let's be honest, a dragon getting arrested would be a media circus. And then, possibly, a real circus. I saw what you humans did to King Kong. I have no desire to go down that particular route. 

Back to my point. I am, as a giant lizard, cold-blooded. But as a dragon, I spew fire from my mouth at temperatures that would melt your flesh (but leave your suit of silver armour remarkably untouched; it's a very specific temperature). For the most part, I'm self-regulating, like those boilers on an automatic timer, only much easier to use. 

However, it is now January, and I am in England, and it is freezing. Internal thermals can do nothing against the bitter winds of the Midlands. God only knows what it's like in the north. I imagine they've started selling ice blocks to Farmfoods. It's really very cold. 

And no-one seems to take my earmuffs seriously. 

It wouldn't be so bad if it was just chilly. It's the wind. I can hear it howling constantly, and yesterday I saw it blow a bird out of a tree. 

One minute the bird was quietly minding its own business

And the next it was suddenly six inches sideways. 

Time to break out the hot water bottles and start nailing the birds to their perches.