WHEELIE bins, wheelie bins ... who would ever have thought that a simple bin could cause such exasperation?

You see, I’ve never had much luck with wheelie bins, as to date I’ve had five stolen.

On one occasion after I had reported yet another stolen bin, two police officers appeared at my house. One officer handed me a giant chain and padlock and proceeded to give me expert advice on how to chain my bin to a secure item in my garden, and as I didn’t have a secure item, I chained a couple of my bins together.

This worked fine for a while, until our good old Scottish winter weather kicked in, bringing sleet, snow and thick ice, and suddenly my padlock and chains were frozen solid.

But I had another idea! I bought myself one of those combination cable locks used to chain up bikes, and all was fine until...

“Is that a three or an eight?” I muttered to myself as my nimble fingers rotated the combination for the umpteenth time.

“Argh... bloody lock.”

You see I had lost my reading glasses and couldn’t see the tiny numbers. I fiddled and fiddled in the dark and even tried holding the torch on my phone next to it, but having only two hands and needing four, I threw in the towel and missed my weekly bin slot.

Pouring out yet another long yarn about my wheelie bins to my daughter Jenna, I moaned: “It’ll be easier in the long run if I just store up my rubbish in the shed and go to the refuse centre every Sunday morning.”

And it was.

My Sunday morning routine included driving to the refuse centre, dumping my rubbish – and all was going tickety boo until the Covid lockdown kicked in.

“All rubbish dumps and recycling centres across the UK to close,” the headlines said.

“Close... close!” I ranted.

“Well, what the heck am I supposed to do now?”

Jenna got the full force of my frustration.

So, for the first time in years, I was now having to be aware of collection times and colour-coded bins.

“I don’t have a grey bin, so I’ll just put my general waste in the green bottle bin.”

“They won’t take it mum,” Jenna was adamant. “I’ve tried.”

“Oh yes they will.”

So, Sunday morning and aware that the bin lorry was in the area, I waited patiently in the garden for it to enter my street.

To be honest, I was out there for so long I pretended I was pulling weeds as I didn’t want my neighbours to know I was hovering about waiting for a bin lorry.

As far as the eye could see, there was a long line of grey bins, apart from mine which stood out like a sore thumb making me look a complete idiot.

Finally, the bin lorry stopped at my house and as Jenna predicted, the refuse collector took one look at the green bin and walked on.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” I yelled. “Can you empty my bin please?”

“Nope, it’s the wrong colour.”

Like I hadn’t noticed.

“I know it is, but I’ve had five bins stolen... blah, blah, blah”

Perhaps he had heard every wheelie bin tale under the sun, but next minute my odd-one-out bin was emptied.

Two weeks later and I’m on sentry duty again in my garden.

“Might be a different guy this time so better keep a look out.”

This had now become a Sunday morning mission.

Casting aside my French toast and bacon, I sprinted outside the second I heard the rumble of nearby bins being emptied.

However, my solitary green bin remained unemptied.

“Excuse me, excuse me,” I bellowed.

“Can you empty my bin please?”

“Em, it’s grey bins today and yours is not the right colour.”

“I know it’s not the right bloody colour or I wouldn’t be standing in the street in my jammies screaming like a banshee,” is what I really wanted to say, but...

“Yes, I know it’s not the

right colour, but I’ve had five wheelie bins stolen and... blah, blah, blah.”

I was like a stuck record and now boring myself.

“Sorry, but I can only empty the grey bins.”

“But this bin is full of general waste,” I pleaded.

As he attempted to tell me again that this task was not happening on his watch, I butted in.

“Listen, your mate emptied this very bin two weeks ago and if you don’t empty it...”

I took a deep breath.

“I’m going to spray paint it grey and put the exact same rubbish back in it for next time.”

“Okay Mrs,” he puffed in submission.

“Just leave your blinkin’ bin there and I’ll empty it.”

I’ve now come to realise that

it’s the small things in life that make me happy. After all, who would have thought I would be

so elated at a recycling centre