If I were to list the most common day-to-day things which irritate me, I would undoubtedly place littering close to the top.
My hatred of seeing plastic bottles, packets, cartons and containers left lying in the street is a subject regular readers will recall me ranting about in a previous column.
However, never did I think one empty muffins box could rile me so much — but it did.
It wasn’t the discarded plastic itself which vexed me, it was where it was left and the sheer ignorance of the person responsible for dumping the container which did so.
Last weekend I headed to West Lomond in Fife for a hillwalk with a friend of mine to enjoy some exercise and fresh air. While I was prepared for both warm and torrential weather, what I didn’t account for was the sight which greeted us as we came to the end of our trek.
A four-pack of double chocolate muffins dumped by the roadside isn’t what you expect to see after a four-hour walk around what is a stunning part of the country.
Nor do you expect to see a half-eaten muffin from said box also chucked onto the main road used by hillwalkers. Although I’d had a great day, and picked up the culprit’s mess, their blatant disregard for the countryside and others’ enjoyment rankled with me.
So much so, I spent much of the journey home considering what I’d have said if I saw the person doing it. Though it was only one box, if everyone else using the area for recreation chose to chuck out the remains of their packed lunch, its entire appeal would reduce.
If someone willingly decides to ruin the image of such a picturesque place, I’m saddened to admit we might never win the war on littering.