Every summer, as soon as the school holidays started, I went out with my friend Audrey for a sundae. Our destination was Morelli’s, an ice-cream parlour in the Northern Irish seaside town where I grew up.
Its 1950s Formica tables had pictures of sunflowers on them; the coffee machine spluttered; sometimes there was an olive-skinned Italian behind the counter (usually a handsome teenage boy). We found it hard to believe such boys – or somewhere as beautiful as Italy – existed.
It was embodied in the picture of the Amalfi coast that ran along one wall. Could the sea be this blue, the flowers this red, anywhere?
There were no fancy ice-cream flavours (just vanilla, though at least it was made on site). Every year I spent ages trying to decide what to have and then ordered the same thing: vanilla with chocolate sauce, fruit and chopped hazelnuts.
The peaches were tinned and I nearly always regretted...
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