I had a bright idea this morning. Rather than add another (albeit biodegradable) plastic bag to the ecosphere, I thought I’d deal with Monty’s morning deposit by scooping it up in a discarded (non-recyclable) coffee cup. I hadn’t formally worked out what my next step would be – I was torn between emptying it in the drain, or just putting the whole lot in the bin. While I was mulling my next step, my eye was caught by a book in the charity shop window – ‘Rosemary Shrager’s Yorkshire Breakfasts’. The author, a middle-aged woman, loomed hugely over a dry-stone wall, before which were arrayed various food items – none of which seemed particularly Yorkshirish. A loaf of white bread. Some eggs. A tomato. Of course the true Yorkshire breakfast would be rice crispies. Or Diamond White. Anyway, the hideous cover caught me for a few moments. Long enough, in fact, for an acquaintance I’d not seen for several years to come bustling along the street. She was a school gate mother, whose name I’ve never known, as I only ever learn names on a need to know basis, and we didn’t have kids in the same class, so our interactions were always brief and perfunctory, even though she was (and still is, sort of, it turned out) quite attractive. The trouble was that she’d come along as I was gazing in at the charity shop window (never a good look), while holding a coffee cup containing some dogshit. What to do? The key, I thought, was to keep the cup above her eyeline. So, as she approached, I raised it. I think it was this – it must have looked like a toast or salute – that alerted her to my presence – I don’t think she’d clocked me before. Now she gazed at me – the unshaven man in front of the charity shop, holding up a cup of … something. She stared into my face, trying, obviously, to place me. But nothing came up. Her focus shifted into the distance, and she continued briskly on her way. I looked back at Rosemary Shrager’s doughy face, expecting to see mockery or condescension there, but she appeared quite sympathetic. I dumped the cup of shame in the bin, taking solace from the fact I’d saved an albatross or octopus from some plasticky entrapment in the wild Sargasso sea, or the reefs of Bora Bora, or wherever these things end up.