ISN’T it odd the regrets you carry around? Many of mine stem from a youthful tendency to be utterly compliant in the face of authority. So, doing a part time job, when we were told the shop toilets were for customers only, I’d be damned if any non-paying pedestrian was taking a free pee on my watch.

There’s one woman in particular I remember turning away. What a sanctimonious little horror, she must have thought. What a sanctimonious little horror I was, a guard of the loo.

I saw her in the street not too long ago and wanted to run up and apologise but it would have been a weird encounter for her and self-indulgent of me.

Anyway, the reason it bothers me particularly now is that I need to pee roughly every eight seconds. Ten on a good day.

I have a mental encyclopaedic knowledge of all Glasgow’s conveniences and would be in serious trouble indeed should a sniffy little shopgirl turn me away.

As I watched the royal wedding I was burning with equal parts envy and wonder. Meghan Markle, resplendent in her gown, how did she do it?

Not keep her cool under the gaze of millions of international eyes, not restrain herself from whooping at the glorious Reverend Michael Curry, not go through with marrying into the royal family.

No, how did she last all that time without a quick trip to the WC?

With scene set, you can possibly imagine my horror when I arrived at Troon beach last week (not on the day of the well-publicised rammy; the day I visited it was perfect and peaceful) after an hour’s journey, before which a litre of water had been drunk, to discover the public toilets have started charging 30p since my last trip to the beach.

This is always annoying. We live in an increasingly cashless society. If you don’t have money on you it’s a case of waddling off desperate to find the nearest cash machine, taking out a tenner and finding something to buy that will give you change.

In Spain public toilets are called necesidades, much more aligned to the true severity of the situation than our polite “conveniences”.

Network Rail made £4.8 million in the year 2016/17 from its station toilets yet announced in April this year it is planning to axe the charges from 2019.

Its two main Scottish stations, Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley, have also agreed to take the step of introducing free sanitary products and, thanks to the scrapping of the entry charge, all women will be able to access them.

This is some decent civic thinking.

There is currently no law to compel local authorities to provide public toilets and so, according to the British Toilet Association, Britain has lost more than 40 per cent of its facilities in the past 10 years.

Yet it’s beneficial to the Government to get us out of the comfort of our homes and onto the high street. The economy needs it.

They want us shopping and spending but aren’t willing to provide the facilities necessary for us to do it in comfort.

Is it time for some thinking outside the cubicle? If councils and private businesses insist on charging for lavatories then perhaps there could be some joined up thinking around cashless entry – a pre-pay card or a contactless payment.

The Community Toilet scheme asks businesses to sign up to make their lavatories available to the public in exchange for £500 a year and signage to let passers-by know they can stop for a pee.

It’s a decent idea but there’s not much in it for the businesses. It’s extra cleaning, added footfall and for a token sum of money.

The lure is the opportunity to show some corporate social responsibility – a current buzzword for faceless corporations everywhere – but it’s hardly the most glamorous.

They manage clean, available and free public toilets in other countries – what does it say about us that we can’t have nice loos?

It will take public investment to change the status quo but, with budgets stretched every which way, that’s unlikely to happen. In the meantime, private goodwill, such as the Community Toilet scheme, seems the best way forward – and hopefully quick, too. We can’t hold on.