It’s 2.53pm and I’m sat at Bolton Market in their newly refurbished food court with a small glass of Rose. I can hear you wincing.
I know, my fellow Boltonians, you are cringing at what I have just so openly divulged.
You might picture me in a dingy boozer surrounded by old men who have been unemployed since their paper boy days, aged 15.
You would, of course, be mistaken.
There has been a wave of renovation here.
A new lease of life has swept over the market, leaving its customers with smiles like the Chesire Cat and a new found love of quality produce.
Its visitors are once more, as I am assured by my mother they used to do, flocking from nearby towns.
Even from across the country, dare I say.
I’m here, not by the unfortunate circumstance that I am accompanying my grandmother to buy some new bedding, or by the chance that I have wondered in a daze down a darkened path.
I am here because I want to be and the smell of fresh Peruvian coffee is just too much to ignore.
As a student, the thought of a good bargain is just about as inviting as Wednesday Night Happy Hour down at the local pub.
A money-saving opportunity, especially in Newcastle, can often be as hard to seek out as an unopened bottle of cheap cider in some student houses.
Here, however, I am consuming a glass of Rose and have sipped good strong coffee for no more than five pounds.
Nothing excites an impoverished 19 year old more than cheap drinks, even if most my age might be indifferent to the origins of their coffee, as long as it arouses them from their post-vodka malaise in time for lectures.
Life’s good at this moment.
I may not be with friends or lay on a golden beach in the Bahamas, but I’m surrounded by the chit-chatter of people around me and that’s all I have come to need.