Tag: Beaufort Scales

A Dragonish Q&A with Beaufort Scales

A Dragonish Q&A with Beaufort Scales

Introducing Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly Dragons and lover of tea, cakes and barbecues, if you haven’t met before.

Beaufort: So, what are we doing, Miriam? Lovely scone, by the way.

Miriam: Thank you, Beaufort. And we’re going to do a blog.

B: Which is neither a bog nor a log, or any combination of those?

Mm: No. It’s just an article, really, but it goes on my website instead of in a newspaper.

B: And the website is in the twitter machine?

*Mortimer sighs loudly in the background*

B: Alright, lad. No need to get sniffy. Old dragons will learn new tricks, we just take a little while to do it.

Mm: Okay. So – are you ready?

B: Fire away!

Mm: Okay, so – can you explain to the readers who the Cloverly dragons are?

B: Of course. We are a very ancient clan, and have been living in the area ever since that whole St George incident made us decide we were best to move to less populated places. I saw that, you know. High Lord Catherine was sleeping, and he just –

Typical. Making High Lord Catherine look ten times the size of that ‘knight’, rather than her true size- that of a Shetland pony.

Mm: Oh dear. Maybe we should move on…?

B: There’s a whole day devoted to him! Where’s High Lord Catherine’s day?

Mm: Well, that does seem unfair –

B: And a flag! St George’s cross! Cowardly monster. And did we take revenge? No! We just moved away and left the humans to it! Some days I’m not sure that was the right choice. Maybe we should have taken a stand against such vulgarity, then and there!

Mm, hissing: Mortimer, what do I do? He’s going to scorch the tablecloth!

Mortimer: Beaufort, sir? Would you like some more tea?

B: I – ooh. Are there more scones too?


…a little later…


Mm: So, what made you decide to, um, visit with humans again?

B: Well, that’s all down to Mortimer, really.

Mort: What?

B: Yes, lad. First that clever idea of changing our definition of treasure, then those wonderful baubles you created to enable us to actually start trading – wonderful!

Mort, spluttering: I didn’t – I never – it was meant to be all anonymous!

B: Nonsense. And then you made friends with Miriam here, and she introduced us to all her Women’s Institute friends –

Mort, faintly: I think that was called you gate crashing a meeting, not being introduced.

B: And then it became very clear that the WI needed our help when the vicar was poisoned last summer, and you were ready to help straight away.

Mort, fainter still: I really wasn’t…

Mm: Mortimer, are you alright? Your tail’s gone blue.

Mort: Am I stress-shedding again? Again? We’re not even doing anything! Just talking about it! Just talking about it upsets me!

B: Mortimer, I think you could use another cup of tea. Sit down and leave your tail alone. You’re not helping, worrying at it like that.

*Mortimer mumbles indistinctly but furiously*

B: Miriam, do you have any cream? It goes terribly well with scones, and it always seems to calm him.

Mort, indistinctly: I shall be fat and bald. Fat and bald and stressed.



…a little later again…


Mm: Does everyone have enough scones and tea? Okay, let’s talk about something else. Beaufort, you’ve been High Lord for centuries-

B: Ever since High Lord Catherine was slaughtered.

Mm: Um, okay, yes. What are the greatest changes you’ve seen?

B: Oh, what a terribly exciting question! It’s been wonderful. Humans are so interesting. You never rest, do you? Always something. Trains, and cars, and airplanes, and rockets. Satellites up among the stars, and people on them. People! Such clever things, you humans. But at the same time you don’t change a lot. Still fighting with each other over everything, and never looking up from all the clever things you’re doing to really appreciate everything. What else? *pauses thoughtfully* Vegetarianism. Yes. Vegetarianism in dragons. I mean, humans are always a little odd, but dragons? I consider myself very tolerant, but that is strange.

Mm: I – okay. Yes, I can see how that’s a really big change.

B: And village fetes. The standard of cake has really gone up in the last millenia.

Mm: So, the biggest changes since the days of St George are vegetarianism in dragons and cake?

B: Well. We notice the small stuff, don’t we? The big things are wonderful, but it’s the small things we really live, don’t you think?

Mm: I guess so.

B: And there’s no point dwelling on the changes that help no one. This is a positive glob, isn’t it?

Mort: Blog.

B: That’s what I said.

Mm, quickly: Absolutely.

B: Anyway, I think there’s more positive than negative. All species have their funny little scuffles and problems. But, individually, you’re all quite lovely. And you do all these things to connect to each other, like the twitter. All these little people living in the machine and chatting to each other and supporting each other. It’s wonderful!

Mort: That’s not-

Mm, talking over Mort: You’re right, Beaufort. It is kind of wonderful, isn’t it?

B: And having human friends again is a beautiful thing. It teaches an old dragon all sorts of new tricks.

*Mortimer sighs heavily and picks at his tail*

B: What else do you want to talk about?

Mm: I think that’s perfect. Unless you have anything else to say?

B: Hmm. Only that too many humans think they are very small and unimportant, and it makes them sad, or angry, and sometimes hurtful. But every one of you is beautiful and wonderful and fascinating, with the most astonishing thoughts and ideas and potential. You should all remember that, and tell each other the same every chance you get. *pause* Mortimer, do stop picking your scales. You are far too young a dragon to be having a bald tail.

Mm: Mortimer, do you want some more cream?

Mort: No.

B: Come on, lad. A scone, some cream – maybe a little something stronger?

Mort: Noo…

Mm: How about hot chocolate?

Mort: I’m not sure.

Mm: With Baileys and cream?

B: Well, I certainly want one. Come on, lad.

Mort: I guess I could.

B: There we go. Hot chocolate. Chocolate in general! That’s another wonderful advance!

Mort, whispering: He’s so enthusiastic. It hurts my head.

Mm, patting him on the back: I know. I’ll make you that hot chocolate now.


…and later still…


B: How’re you feeling, Mortimer?

Mort: Mush – much better.

B: There we are, then. Life should always be contemplated with plenty of tea and cake. And spiked hot chocolate, when necessary.

Mm: And that is a universal truth.




Do you have any questions for Beaufort? Ask away in the comments, or you can find him on twitter here. Well, when Mortimer lets him use the twitter machine, anyway…



If you enjoyed that little insight into the world of Beaufort, you might want to jump over here and read one of his short stories – or ask me about his others! Don’t forget that most of the short stories will be coming down from the website at the end of the month, but if you sign up to the newsletter below you’ll get a link to a new story every month (and yes, this month it’s a Beaufort story!)



Dragon Soup

Dragon Soup

You need big pumpkins to feed hungry dragons.

Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly dragons and aficionado of well-built barbecues, would like to offer his recommendations for the best way to cook rabbits.

Unfortunately, we seem to be missing some rabbits.



Beaufort: Mortimer, they were right here.

Mortimer: I know, I can’t quite imagine what’s happened. There were six of them, two each and two for, ah, trials.

B: Are you suggesting I might not cook the rabbits to perfection first time?

M: Ahem. Of course not. Just that we might, um, need a couple of goes to get the recipe to where the humans can follow it accurately.

B: Ah, I see. That makes sense. It must be quite tricky, using an oven rather than just a little puff of flame.

M: Exactly.

B: So where are the rabbits?

M: Umm. Is that Gilbert? Gilbert!

Gilbert (nervously, in far too bright a voice): Hi! Hello. Ah – what’re you two up to, then?

B: Oh, we were just about to do a lovely rabbit cooking demonstration.

G (faintly): How… lovely?

M: Gilbert, we seem to be missing some rabbits. Would you know anything about that?

G: Me? No. No! Why would I know anything about it?

M: Well, there was that incident with the turkeys at Christmas.

B: Mortimer, there’s no need to accuse the lad like that. He wouldn’t steal another dragon’s dinner, would you, Gibert?

G: Umm.

M: Dammit, Gilbert! We were going to take photos and everything!

G: But they’re cute! And fluffy! And their little paws are just so, so – little! And paw-y!

M: Gilbert!

B: See here, lad, you can’t be setting people’s dinner loose like that. What’re we going to eat now?

M: What’re we going to photograph now? I promised Alice we’d do this for the WI blog!

B: I’m slightly more concerned by how long it’s been since lunch, personally.

G: I can make something.


B: I don’t mean to be rude, Gilbert, but you are a, a vegetarian. We’re dragons.

G: So am I!

B: Well, of course you are, lad, but, well, I think I may be a little old to become a vegetarian dragon.

M: To be fair, sir, one meal won’t make us vegetarian dragons. We’ll just be dragons that ate a vegetarian meal.

G: Yes, exactly! Besides, I don’t think there’s any getting those bunnies back. They were running pretty fast.

(Beaufort growls. Gilbert looks alarmed.)

B: Alright. But if I start craving celery for breakfast I’ll be sending you out to get it.





1 dragon-approved pumpkin

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic

1 large mild chilli, including seeds (or to taste)

Approx 1 cm ginger

Sesame oil


Ground cumin

Ground coriander

Whole cardamon

Soy sauce

Veggie stock (powder or liquid)

1 165mL can coconut milk (or more if you prefer a creamier soup)

3-4 lime leaves

1 lemon

Fresh coriander



Chop pumpkin into manageable pieces – Gilbert likes a small pumpkin that he can pull into quarters easily. Remove seeds (you can eat these while you’re cooking, if you’re as passionate about pumpkin as he is). Roughly chop (with a knife or claws) onion, garlic, chili and ginger.

Heat spices in dry saucepan – dragons have difficulties with fiddly things like measuring spoons, so just shake a generous amount of each ground spice out and add 6 or more cardamon pods. Let them heat until fragrant, then add a healthy glug of sesame oil.

Add chopped veg, give it a quick stir, then drop the pumpkin on top. Add a few shakes of soy sauce and the zest of the lemon (you can scrape it with dragon scales or a grater). Cover and cook on a low to moderate heat (this is much easier on a stove than with dragon flame, which runs terribly high to scorching), checking occasionally, until the pumpkin is so soft you can scrape it off the skin with a spoon. Remove the skin, and take the cardamon pods out at the same time (count them in and out – no one wants an unexpected cardamon pod in their teeth).

Add coconut milk, lime leaves, and enough stock to cover the veg. Cover and cook on low for 10 -15 minutes, then taste for seasoning. Remove the lime leaves before blending (blend with your claws if you want, but a stick blender tends to get it smoother). Add as much extra stock as you need to get the desired consistency, then add a healthy handful of chopped coriander and some lemon juice to taste.

Serve with lots of crusty bread, and a little creme fraiche and coriander scattered on top if you’re feeling posh. Gilbert prefers just to drink it straight from the pot with no messing around, but this may be frowned upon if you have company.



Beaufort: Well, lad. I’m not saying I could ever be a vegetarian dragon, but I see your point.

Gilbert: I’ll make you jambalaya next week. It’s got okra in it.

B: Okra? Are they hard to catch?



Do you eat much veggie food? What’s your favourite easy recipe, veggie or not? Feel free to share in the comments!








Dragons, & the Stories We Tell Ourselves

Dragons, & the Stories We Tell Ourselves

It’s short story week, and we’re joining Beaufort Scales, High Lord of the Cloverly dragons and barbecue aficionado. Jump straight to the story here, or read on for a chat! (And if you’ve not encountered Beaufort before, there’s a Q&A with him here, or you can ask me about his other short stories!)

Dragons don’t swim! That’s a truth.

One thing I have always known, is that I am terrible at drawing. I failed art at school (somewhat like PE (sports), I doubt anyone knew it was possible to fail art until I came along). I have a terrible sense of proportion and no spatial awareness whatsoever. Hence, I spend a lot of time measuring and using spirit levels before drilling holes anywhere, as eyeballing it is not an option for me (and pictures are still usually wonky, because even if I get the holes in the right place, I can’t sit them straight), most of my photos have horizons with more angle than the Tower of Pisa, and cakes are never cut evenly.

And this generally doesn’t bother me. Drawing has never been a passion for me. I love other people’s drawings, and admire anyone who has the talent to create such beautiful things. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to do.

But. I have a dragon. And of all my characters, he’s the pushiest and the one I’d most like to see. Plus I can only illustrate his stories with so many cups of tea and slices of cake, especially as the latest one has no tea or cake in it. (Sorry, Beaufort.)

But I can’t draw. This is one of those truths I know about myself.

Like, I can’t dance. I’m no good at maths. I’m terrible at sport. I’m even at worse at small talk.

All these things I know, although, when I think about it, I’m not sure how I know. I dance at home and scare the cat, because I’m not one for going out. I haven’t had to do maths since I was at school. I haven’t played sports since I was at school. And I go into every social occasion so convinced that I can’t talk to people that I’m stressed out before I even begin.

The only one of these truths I’ve tested is the drawing.

Hands up, they’re not brilliant, and I’m not digging for compliments there. I can only draw his little dragon face at one angle, and it’s best you don’t look too closely at his paws. However, he is recognisably a dragon, which was more than I’d hoped for. So maybe I’m not as terrible at drawing as I thought.

Maybe I can still learn these things.

Of course, high levels of motivation will be required before I tackle sport or small talk. And I’ll probably keep the dancing at home, and the maths to my phone. But, y’know. I could try.

Truths. Aren’t they funny things, sometimes?

And, on that note – Beaufort looks at a truth he thought he knew about dragons in this week’s short story. Enjoy!

Beaufort Scales & A Rather Difficult Flying Lesson

PS – the drawings are actually mostly of Gilbert. I’m still working on Beaufort.



Do you have any truths about yourself you’d like to test out? Let me know below!