I'm not known for my indulgences. I am, if anything, rather cautious with my money (miserly, Mrs Stan would say) and if I can do without something then I do without it. I don't smoke, I don't drink very much and I don't have any expensive hobbies.
But there is one indulgence which I do have - Cadbury's Bournville dark chocolate.
I first got a taste for Bournville chocolate when I was a very small boy in junior school. It was considered a bit of an oddity for a child my age to like dark chocolate, but the first time I felt that marvellous smooth dark chocolate melt in my mouth I was hooked.
Of course, as a child growing up in the sixties, a bar of Bournville was a rare treat (particularly as my dad was an employee of Mars!) and generally restricted to Christmas and birthdays. Every time I got a bar I'd make it last. I'd have just one square a day and I'd sit down and let it melt in my mouth for a minute or so - savouring the sensation - before biting into the shrinking lump and releasing a burst of flavour that was, for me, heavenly.
And I still do the same today. Although buying a bar of Bournville is a far more regular occurrence than twice a year these days, the habit is the same - one square a day and the same routine to eat it. And part of the enjoyment I get from eating my little bit of Bournville was the knowledge that it was so British - because Bourville is unlike any other dark chocolate.
Over the years, various people have given me the occasional gift of a bar of dark chocolate which wasn't Bournville. "I know you like dark chocolate" they say and I usually smile politely and thank them kindly - but I don't "like dark chocolate" - I like Bournville. I'm sure the chocolate snobs will sniff at it and say that the quality isn't anything like as good as Lindt or what have you - but for me no other dark chocolate comes even close.
Bournville is British and it is unique - and I am devastated that Cadbury's is now going to be owned by a foreign firm. They will ruin it. They will move production to somewhere in eastern Europe and Bournville will become just another dark chocolate. I don't blame the board of Cadbury's - they got a very good offer and they did what they thought was best for them - but I do blame the government who still fail to understand that a country that makes nothing is worth nothing.
For now, I'll keep enjoying my indulgence. I might as well make the most of it while I can.