The sheer relief of standing by a pump. Who would have believed it? The first time since mid-August that I have filled up the car. How long has Petrolgate been going on? I know it was a Friday that it all kicked off. I only found out because I was out for a walk and the local roads were jammed solid. The mad rush of people to snatch up petrol was widely condemned. Not enough drivers. They’ve all gone home. Send for the Army!
I read a comment in the paper from some official that even with the Army it would take about a week for things to get back to normal. They are not back to normal though are they? A delivery is lasting 24 hours, if that, then the station is out for 2 or 3 days so when they get another, more queues. What happens when the Army goes back to manoeuvres? Will there be enough new HQ (hastily qualifed) HGV drivers – that can’t reverse – to keep up with this silly demand?
Back to my Mini. Having been caught up in petrol stationary traffic a number of times and having to turn around and go miles out of my way, I vowed never to be caught up in that stupidity. I would just ride it out and only drive where essential – physio mainly. I am lucky as I can do that. I have worked from home since 2015 and there is a Tesco within walking distance. So my car has not moved for a week, but disaster was looming. Hospital appointment on Wednesday and on Friday the car has to go to a bodyshop for some overdue repair. (I scraped a pillar in our car park which I have been parking next to for over 16 years.) Petrol was low. Would I have enough to make it?
For the past few days I have been walking down to the local station to check the lie of the land. Wednesday, there were queues halting traffic. Thursday no petrol. Friday no petrol – and I walked over there 3 times to check. They could not verbalise any ETA. I asked if it was possibly they would get a delivery during the night so I could turn up at 5 am but they said no. This morning at 5.30 am I thought, should I get up and check? I didn’t. At 6.30 though I decided what the heck, got up and walked over. As soon as I turned into the street, I could just see some rear lights protruding from the forecourt entrance. I rushed down. There were cars filling up but I went over to the pumps to check it was unleaded. It was. Just one pump out of the four at each berth.
I ran back home and drove back. I managed to get on the forecourt, in line behind one other car. Yes! Mission accomplished. Not quite. I didn’t get a full tank because the flow kept cutting out on me (it does that to me even on the first squeeze of the pump for some reason – every time) and so I had to err on the side of caution – not wanting to be the one flooding the forecourt with overfill. Only 7/8ths of a tank but that is good enough for me. I kept my vow and was not part of a traffic busting queue. By the time I exited, stage left, such a queue was forming and it was already a few cars into the street. And to think, I nearly didn’t get up. I would have missed my shot.
I should be OK for a while now but when will this end? I bet all those with electric cars are laughing their socks off.
Still one good thing has come out of it. You all know what to buy someone for Christmas!
PS – Another rejection on the novel which is now at 6. Lucky 7 awaits.