Mark Warburton is relaxed and in full swing.
It's the first time since leaving Glasgow in February last year that he spoke in every detail of his turbulent tenure as Rangers manager. In no case in public.
Less than 20 months have passed since he fled the madhouse in western Scotland, but it has been time enough to change the man. Maybe even cure him.
The old suspicion and mistrust, which he claims to have worn for two years as a shield around Scottish football, has long since become firmly established.
"You have to understand," he says as his mind drags back into the wake he left behind on the other side of the border. "If you're the Rangers manager, you feel like you're always having eggs, a slip of the tongue, a bad word, and you're being hammered for it.
"I like talking to people when I talk to you now, frankly and honestly, but as a Rangers manager, you're always careful, maybe that's just the job.
"There were certain people and certain experts who were always out to trip you, and that part was disappointing.
"If we played S ****, then you tell us that we played S ****, that's part of the job, do not lose 3-0 and expect a pat on the back.
"But at the same time, when you are open and honest with people, you expect a fair, reciprocal relationship, and that was not always the case in Scotland.
"Nothing really prepares you for the intensity."
Part of him seems relieved that it's Steven Gerrard's turn to walk around this minefield – another part, jealous.
Accused, as he tried to develop an escape route from Ibrox – an assertion he still unswervingly denies – his hasty, cumbersome staged departure always had the feeling of cloak and dagger over it. Suffice to say, Warburton is the only Rangers manager in history to be "resigned" by his own chairman.
But now that he's back in a quieter place, he does not hold a grudge.
"Do I miss it? Absolutely," Warburton nods his shaved head, "You never go away from a club like Rangers.
"I would go back because it was a privilege to be there, something you'll never find.
"I remember one day when I went to Waitrose and it was absolutely mobbediert – manic.
"So I came to the cash register with a loaf of bread and a box of tomatoes, the usual things. Anyway, this guy discovers me and runs over. He just opens a new trail for me and leads me on.
"I was embarrassed, everyone looked at me like," Who does he think he is? "I told him not to be stupid, that I was fine, like everyone else.
He said, "No, no, no, Mr. Warburton, come here, it's Old Firm Week."
"Then there was a guy behind me, all he had was a bottle of wine, but the same guy said to him," Sorry, mate, you have to queue again. "
"It might sound like a no-story, but it was so funny at the time, it was like the guy was thinking, 'This is Old Firm week, you can not waste your time going shopping!'" That's what Glasgow has just summed up, I loved it. "
And yet, Warburton knows from experience that life on the Rangers Hot Stool is not just about skipping the line for overpriced quinoa.
It is a pressure chamber existence. Often a grueling experience and in the worst of times also a tough one.
When Gerrard unexpectedly broke away on the first day of the season in Pittodrie last weekend – when he claimed the whole world was already against him – Warburton was not entirely surprised.
He said, "I have to be honest, it changes people.
"If you're from Glasgow, you're suddenly going to become yourself." What was that?
"Listen, I loved the Old Firm games and it was a privilege to be involved in them.
"But after I joined Nottingham Forest, there was an Old Firm game, and nobody knew it was on, we got ready for our own game, and one of our players watched TV and said," Oh, look, an Old Firm Derby ".
"I remember laughing and looking at Davie Weir, we had just come out of this bubble.
"But if you're in the middle of it, you can not help but catch yourself in it.
"I've talked about pro-license courses and FA courses, you do not realize what's up here until you're in the middle of it.
"You go to Glasgow and you tell yourself you're not going to get mad, then you're totally immersed in it within three days, there's no way to avoid it, there are 20 pages in the paper every day Rangers and Celtic There's a radio show every night, it's constant.
"So you're wrapped up in. What you can not do is darken your judgment because you have a job to do, I'm sure Stevie will recognize that for yourself."
Yet, Warburton admits that in Glasgow the established lines of good management can easily blur. He added, "I have never seen such a paranoid environment.
"When we first went to Aberdeen, everyone said, 'They hate us up here, they're going to kill us.
"If you remember that our team bus was made in the parking lot, it was scratched and destroyed, you think, 'What's going on here?'
"I mean, it's not like we have no rivalries here, my first game for Forest was against Derby and there is a rivalry between them.
"But it's not the same as in Scotland, they make so much up there, they almost revel in it.
"The biggest difference was probably the rhetoric used, the vocabulary, the vocabulary, the extent of hate, it's just a different environment.
"Building big games was something I found hard to understand, it's almost as if they wanted this war footing.
"Maybe there is a difference in the level of passion, they are the ingredients you have up there, the rhetoric, the passion and the feeling of everything, maybe that takes a little getting used to.
"But I'm sure Stevie will be ready with all his experience."