WHY do people insist on taking their dogs everywhere? I went to the Saltaire dragon boat race on Saturday, and everywhere I looked there were dogs on leads. Mostly the small ones that set each other off yapping and get under your feet, but some big ones in the crowds too.

It’s really annoying having to step over dog leads at a public event, and suddenly coming to a halt on a crowded path because a dog in front is checking out another one, sniffing something, or lying down for no reason.

Surely it’s not pleasant for the dogs either, being dragged around a busy place, full of strangers and loud noises. It’s not a proper dog walk, where they can move around at leisure. Some dog-owners appeared to be showing off their on-trend pooches, including those horrid little pom-pom things that look like topiary. (What is it with dogs going in and out of fashion? Even the once-beloved Dulux Dog is facing extinction, warns the Kennel Club).

Don’t get me wrong - I like dogs. Being a dog-owner is a huge commitment that I can’t offer, but I do love a dog walk. There’s nothing as joyful as walking my brother’s spaniel on the moors, watching him race around, tail wagging wildly.

When you’re out on the moors, in the woods, on a beach, you expect to encounter dogs and it’s lovely seeing them chasing balls and enjoying the outdoors. But I don’t want to be with dogs everywhere I go. I don’t enjoy tripping over them at galas, or some slobbering hound panting at the next table during my pub lunch.

Everywhere is ‘dog friendly’ now. Hotels welcome them. People even take them to work. My old boss used to bring her Golden Retriever (the imaginatively-named Goldie) in one day a week and she (Goldie, not my boss) would come wafting through the office, knocking things off desks with her tail, breathing over us and chomping on dried pigs’ ears while we tried to work. One colleague was allergic to dogs and spent every Thursday (Goldie day) sneezing and weeping.

Say what you like about us cat people, but at least we don’t take them everywhere. And because cats are contemptuous creatures who wouldn’t dream of leaping up at startled strangers, leaving dirty paw prints, we don’t find ourselves saying: “It’s okay, he’s just being friendly”.

* THIS weekend I will thank the universe for the sound of my flushing toilet. I went to Glastonbury 20 years ago and the horrific festival loos still haunt me.

Glasto looks fun on telly. Live music; vast skies; blazing sunshine; balmy nights; crowd-surfing; hanging out with celebs; plush yurts. Maybe... if you’re in the VIP pen with the beautiful people.

I didn’t have a Winnebago. I had a tent, on a muddy hill next to a cowshed. By the time we’d found a patch of grass, it was dark, and trying to pitch up in darkness, exhausted from a 10-hour journey, is a surefire way to fall out with your mates.

Next day, while we were off scoffing over-priced falafels, trying to avoid juggling poets and trekking miles between music stages, someone raided our tent. We returned to wet sleeping bags...it wasn’t raining.

The festival site was the size of a town, and the only place to wash was a cold tap, with a queue of 500 people. When I got home I was so filthy my bath was brown. But, oh, that beautiful flushing toilet, not to mention actual toilet paper.

* I RECENTLY spent a couple of hours with volunteers at Shipley Glen Tramway, which next year will celebrate its 125th anniversary.

The tramway is a delightful part of local history, and attracts visitors from around the world. Last weekend I had some relatives from the south coast to stay, and took them for a ride on the tramway. They loved it.

That this attraction keeps going, after opening in 1895, is down to the commitment of volunteers who run it. They're a great bunch, and deserve some long overdue praise.

* THE BBC is under fire for broadcasting a comedy show portraying the Duchess of Sussex as a trashy, aggressive American.

In spoof chat show Tonight With Vladimir Putin, a digital cartoon ‘Meghan’ ranted on about Kate and mouthed off in response to audience questions about her family.

Apart from being woefully unfunny, the skit was unsettling for various reasons. Yes, public figures should be able to take a bit of satirical fun, but this just felt nasty. Meghan can't answer back, so she's an easy target.

She strikes me as an articulate, self-assured woman, so why portray her as catty, foul-mouthed trailer trash? And she’s just had a baby, for heaven’s sake. Leave the poor woman alone.