Friday, 29 May 2015

Reasons to be pleasant

I'm going to let you into a secret about this blog. When I started it, I fully expected it to be a hilarious take-down of the National Trust. The fuddy-duddy rules about not being allowed to exit through certain doors. The passive-aggressive volunteers bossing each other about. The moody teenagers serving the tea. What a laugh I was going to have.

This idea lasted about 15 minutes. I got to Petworth and a lovely woman spent 10 minutes telling me how they made ice-cream in the olden days and I thought to myself "do you really want to be the sort of person that sees something negative in this?"

And so the snarky sarcasm went into the bin (well, most of it) and I decided to give it all the benefit of the doubt. No scones at a property? Never mind, no-one died, the property itself was fabulous. Tea-room packed to the rafters and no seats? That's good that it's popular, I'll come back later.

I'm mentioning all of this because this week another blogger posted a negative review of the scones at a small NT property. He dragged me into it and I felt really crap about it. I couldn't message them to say that I didn't agree with him. I started writing them a letter and then I realised it was just came across as pompous and condescending.

This blog is first and foremost about me getting out and about in this beautiful country and finally learning all the history that my schools failed to teach me. The scones are my reward to myself. The blog is my way of sharing it and remembering it. That's it; I don't want to cause anyone even two minutes of unhappiness because there's way too much unhappiness in the world already.

I'm going to end with the Scone Sidekick's favourite quote from his favourite film, Harvey, as it's pretty darn apt for this post and this whole blog:

"In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. For years I was smart. I recommend pleasant."

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow with the 78th scone mission! 78! I'll be finished by 2025!


  1. Oh well said... couldn't agree more!!

  2. I love this post. It's the perfect moment to say that I've been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now, and I like it even more after hearing what it means to you. I try to do something kind of similar - to share beautiful and interesting things - with my heritage-property posts. (And whenever I have a NT scone (often) I think of your blog!)