02062007025Swap sardines for whitebait, and Portuguese conference food would closely parallel North Yorkshire’s. Though somehow I suspect Bridlington might struggle to accommodate a conference of 850 science centre and museum personnel and associated hangers-on. But I digress. Daily staples included roast potatoes and rice pudding – thankfully not served together – and coffee breaks were enlivened by these things. Which are basically egg custards, but sweeter and with more vanilla and a whole lot less nutmeg.

And very fine they were too, usually running out within seconds. On the last day of the conference, however, somebody had obviously been totting up the last cents, and great heaving plates of the things appeared. The coffee tables groaned beneath their weight, and under the pressure of bodies as we unceremoniously elbowed each other aside.

We ate every last one.