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What I did on my holiday

So, decided to bunk off the second day of the conference and head up to the in-laws in Portstewart; ias and the garklet were already there, having left for Ulster the day before me. The train ride from Belfast to Coleraine was less picturesque than I'd hoped, the view consisting mostly of boggy ground and assorted sedges. Spent the journey hacking TiddlyWiki instead.

Generally a very relaxing time in Portstewart. sideshow_al made a truly heroic roadtrip up from Dublin to see us, which was dead good. We celebrated by taking him out to Morelli's on the prom (this Morelli's, rather than that one) to watch us feed the garklet his first ice cream. At this point you should go and watch The Simpsons episode 4F13 (title: My Sister, My Sitter) for an idea of the effect that much sugar has on a toddler. Anyway, he seemed to enjoy it, although when the sugar rush really took hold he seemed to lose interest in the ice cream in favour of giggling maniacally and flopping on each parent in turn.

I'm still not sure whether I prefer Morelli's to Rossi's; Morelli's are the older (est. 1911 to Rossi's 1932), and while the prom at Portstewart has the better view, Southend (home of Rossi's) has the better pier (it actually goes as far as the sea, for a start). Rossi's have the better plain vanilla ice cream (effectively a semi-freddo), they do a fantastic morello cherry sundae, and they make the lemon sorbet that's the Proustian madeleine for my childhood summers in Essex. If for no other reason than marital peace, however, I'll declare it a draw.

Other highlights included Alex's first trip on a steam train, on the narrow-gauge Giant's Causeway and Bushmills Railway; he enjoyed the trip, but was a little put out by the locomotive up close, especially the amount of smoke it was producing (I'd guess that they were burning lignite). We've had a couple of walks down to the prom, and one very windy walk on the cliffs overlooking the harbour (windy enough for his pushchair to be blown along), so I seem to have got the best of the weather that week.

Photos when I manage to upload them...

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Gosh, but I'd forgotten Morelli's. But the best ice cream in Norn Iron used to come from Caproni's in Bangor: they're of an age with Rossi's as far as I can tell....

I've never yet been to Bangor (well, not to the one in Northern Ireland - I've been to the one in North Wales many times), but I'll keep an eye out for Caproni's when I do.

Did you know that there is a Rossi shop in Brentwood ?

Good grief - where?

You know where Clement Joscylene or whatever the posh home ware store is ? At the end of the high street nearest Wilson's Corner. But on the Ongar Road side.

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