On quests and hobbies and 'pointless' things that can brighten up your life no end.
All of this heated sectarian debate between rhymes-with-cone and rhymes-with-gone and we haven’t even gotten into whether you put the jam on first or the clotted cream on first.
Will there ever be peace?
So maybe I didn't need to know Mr. Buckland was able to identify bat urine with one quick taste. 😝😝😝
you know, I've been vaguely thinking about driving over every mountain pass in Colorado, & writing a bit about each one...
course, I'd need a list of them, & I bet there's some controversy about what counts as a pass. off to research! *tips hat*
I am called out on the Doctor Who thing. BritBox has them. Am only just through Patrick Troughton's era. And I love visiting the houses of writers and poets or settings of favorite stories. I had purpose until midlife and it was exhausting. Now in my 50s I am following the On A Whim philosophy. As long as it's real to me that's all that matters.
Reading this at 5am, with the rest of the household sensibly still abed and not facing a shift at Tesco, I was forced to muffle my giggles until the point at which I was obliged to laugh out loud. Nice one Mr S.
ps I am apparently a rare beast - southerner born and bred and yet use the "sconn" pronunciation.
Oh, I love this. Sort of like the look my wife and I give each other when we see something cool on the Baking Show, and just wordlessly we know that we need to get to the kitchen to try it *right now* (and it will likely fail, but still will taste good, and we'll have a blast). Or working on my drum practice pad to get my double-stroke roll better. Why? I have no idea. It's just fun, and feels weirdly Zen and relaxing when it's working. The fun is where life is.
Oh my lord I thought that scone rhyming with gone was the posh pronunciation and scone rhyming with cone was the kind normal everyday people like me used.
OMG I have SO MUCH TO SAY.
1. Here in NYC everyone says "scone" (rhymes with "cone") and I have always said "scone" (rhymes with "gone") but only to be contrary and disingenuous and drive everyone crazy by pronouncing it wrong. I had no idea it was the actual preferred pronunciation in half the UK. Now I will have to reevaluate my strategy.
2. Scones are DELICIOUS.
3. I also love quests! In his "The Art of Noticing" substack Rob Walker had a great post about different varations of trying "Every Single X," and there are so many great examples in the comments. Visiting every single swimming pool in one's city seems to be a common pastime.
4. Thanks for the SHOUTOUT Mike! Much appreciated!!!
Loved this Mike, and reading it on a rainy bank holiday Monday made me decide to actually get started on a silly quest that I've been mulling over for a while, so thanks!
Also, there's a small minor mistake in the bit about Doctor Who. They didn't store the shows on film, it was on Video Tape, that's why they could record over it. Films damn near permanent, unless it's the really old stuff that used to spontaneously combust and burn warehouses down, hence the bit on modern film footage that says "safety film". You can have that one on me sir! :-)
Newish subscriber here -- this was fun -- cannot resist the observation that the Isles are not famous for their food gifts to the world but scones are an exception -- such a treat whether sweet or savory. As for the pronunciation of the treat, regardless of how you may pronounce scone, you are nevertheless prone to say phone.
Loved this. What an ace quest. I too am in the UK and think your map graphic has it about spot on. Who could want for more than a bun, cake or pastry quest. I am partial to a vanilla slice but sadly they seem to be a dying breed.🥲
That was a great listen, thanks 😊
The pronunciation map for “scone” explains so many mini arguments in my life! I was born in North Lincs, now live in Hull, but my family are from Teesside - I’ve always said ‘sconn’ like them, not ‘scohn’ like the folks around me.
Anyway, if you say it sc-oh-ne, you can’t make the old joke: “Oh no, they’re all scone!” 😉
(Also: What’s the fastest city in Scotland? Scone )
(What’s the second fastest city in Scotland? Nairn )
Such a joy to read, as always! Somehow I'm reminded of a short-lived fixation I had on souvenir spoons as a child. As in, we'd go to a new national park -- maybe in Canada -- and I'd save up my coins to buy a little souvenir spoon at the gift shop. I'm honestly glad it didn't last or I ran out of coins (probably spent them all on candy) because then I'd have a bunch of tiny spoons now that I have no use for and don't want, but it's nice to be reminded of the joy of things that aren't pointless but that we call pointless. Thanks, Mike!
I love that you included Brendan Leonard's piece at the end there. He is a master of this sort of thing!
Wow. Just...wow. A triumph of the wit.
You know me better than that. It was such a pleasure to read.