It’s not often my partner and I would both agree on going for a drive, but on this night we didn’t want to slouch in front of the TV as normal. The simple idea then was to take the car down to Newcastle to have an ice cream by the sea.
There are a number of nice roads that can be taken into Newcastle. Most of them these days have been resurfaced and widened. On this occasion, the route would be through Bainbridge, passing through Castlewellan, and on to Newcastle.
Over 95% of the time, I would be the driver. On this occasion however, I would be the passenger. I didn’t mind as this allowed me to relax and take in more of the scenery. As we approached the Mourne area, more of the mountains revealed themselves. Driving into Newcastle I could see Slieve Donard dominating the town (and the sky).
As we parked, things had changed.
The ice cream in question was to be a relatively new place in town, a much talked about Nugelato. Not letting the weather spoil things, we joined the queue. Our hopes of this fantastic ice cream were dashed as we watched the staff slap together a mess. We dashed back to the car to avoid a soaking, and to start to indulge ourselves in the flavours.
To begin, I’m positive mine wasn’t made to the description on the menu. The ice cream itself, I thought tasted cheap. There wasn’t much difference in the flavours and it did seem like a cup of crap with a small bit of cheap ice cream on top. Ashley refused to eat his, as it was just a mess the taste didn’t make up for.
I know every place can have it’s time of bad service and food. It might have just been an ‘off’ time or the staff member who didn’t want to work that night. Most places I would give the benefit of the doubt and try again. This place is not one of them. Even if service was good and the cup was made correctly, the flavour of the ice cream is just a cheap one. I would not go back, nor can I recommend it to others.
I haven’t tried other ice creams in Newcastle to recommend an alternative. However, if on the journey back home you pass through Rathfriland. There is a small shop called “Grahams ice cream” that does excellent vanilla ice cream.
*Having just researched that name, I’ve discovered that they have a shop in Newcastle too. I might try their outlet next time.
A Moment of Madness.
After this disappointment, Ashley was just ready for home. Out of the towns and on the open road, Ashley being filled with rage was driving more furiously. For once I was a passenger when the ‘Lancia’ Delta was being driven hard.
On this journey back I would have a moment of realisation. Gazing out over the landscape, seeing the cows the fields settle down for the night. They seemed to understand a certain peace of the world I was blind to. Witnessing flocks of birds taking their last flight of the day, the whistle of the turbo seemed to sing to them as we passed. One corner to the next felt seamless and swift. I had a feeling of my partner, myself and the car being somehow in harmony with the environment. Passing Corbet Lough, I spotted a lone fisherman out on a row boat and it was at this moment, seeing all of the worlds tiny wonders to the grunty tone of the Lancia, I felt a completeness and I had my realisation.
All these beautiful sights in nature I’m seeing through new eyes. Without a car I would never get to see them, and without a nice car, I would never notice them. I was starting to fall for a car again. With this brought a dilemma. It is not by definition a sports car. It is a front wheel drive family hatchback, with lots of room in the back and a good boot. It’s unbalanced with the engine sitting forward of the front axle, but somehow it works. It can give me that fizzy feeling that only a sports car can. It has the smallest engine I’ve owned (apart from a rover I had for one month), but yet I know it’s faster than the MG I had. There is a certain something that’s hard to pin point.
Standing back from my car the Styling of the car is…daring. The front has styling cues from the Afla Romeo Giulietta. The rear is unique, with lines around the wheel arches which pay homage to the Delta HF Integrale, and tail lights wrapping around the rear wheel arches. From the side, I feel it looks like a back taxi with its extended look.
Think of it like the romance in the movie ‘The Crying Game’. Initially off-putting, but something draws you back. Spending more time with it (the car), you start to fall for it to the point where you just accept, it’s not perfect, but I’m in love and it’s where I want to be. The whole dilemma disappears.
What was a rain filled, disappointing visit and angry drive home turned into my second romance with a car. The secret Lancia in the UK - My Chrysler Delta.