Almost everything that I could do wrong, I did.
The butter, instead of being ice-cold, was somewhere just below room temperature.
I used the wrong flour -- on purpose -- despite knowing that wholemeal tends to produce dry, hard, unpalatable results compared to white. But that's the kind of allowance you make once you decide to stop letting white flour cross your doorway.
I added water to what looked like too dry a mixture, only to realise the error in the recipe book that put this step before the addition of the milk.
This left me with, instead of a malleable dough that I could roughly knead and cut, a glob of sticky and stretchy that provided my forearms with a thorough workout as I tried to separate my hands. I began to wonder if I would need to call/go outside for help. I walked further along the wondering trail, which brought me to the question of how I would manage to use my touch-screen phone or open/knock on doors while my hands were effectively glued together, with my fingers embedded in dough.
Fortunately, I didn't come to that. I still don't know how, but I eventually got the dough to stick to the floured pastry board. Still humming prayers that my many mistakes not be visited upon these innocent third parties, I closed the oven door and turned my back.
What do you know, grace shows up again in my kitchen. (Given the slapdash, misdirected way I tend to approach most food preparation projects, I think grace has permanently set up home in there. As you can see, it's a very welcome guest.)
They did take twice as long to bake as the recipe stated, and after the third day had reached a consistency that lent itself more to holding down paper documents than chewing. But still. I'm glad I tried, so now I know they really are easy to make. No longer will I mourn the loss of my favourite savoury scones from the line-up at the bakery; I can make up my own flavours.