I don’t actually subscribe to the notion of a third party that I have this obsession, to me it is actually a sensible pecuniary interest in the price of petrol. I am told, however, that it has now reached new, and potentially insufferable, proportions.
You see, I read the price of your bog standard unleaded petrol, of every petrol station I pass. I appreciate on a long journey this might become somewhat tedious, when I point out that a Tesco petrol station in one part of Essex (Southend-on-Sea if you care) is far cheaper than a Tesco petrol station in the same county. (It’s Braintree… don’t stop to fill up there).
Although I live a stone’s throw from a BP garage, I don’t use it much (except for food and rather heavily in that department) because it is not CHEAP. Now, I know it is only a matter of a few pence per litre I am saving, but if I leave town, I carefully think about where I am going to fill up. Yesterday, I had enough to get to at least Chelmsford before the matter became urgent so, in my head, I’ve got to work out the cheapest from the ten petrol stations we will pass en route…
When you put it like that – it’s sad.
Sadder still? Yesterday I screwed up. I plumped for the Kent Elms garage which matched Tesco on price (Asda is usually cheaper but was in the wrong direction altogether.) I knew I was taking a risk.
Let me tell you, if you want to fill up between Southend-on-Sea and Sudbury in Suffolk, your best bet is the Sainsburys in Chelmsford. Ok?
I think this non-obsession arose in the 1970s, when I was that child who closely monitored Lincolnshire filling stations for the catastrophic day came when the 0.99 a gallon would click over to the whole pound. I had a long and anxious wait for that event I can tell you. It’s clearly left its mark.
Nb 1 imperial gallon = 4.54609 metric litres – that means that if we paid today’s prices at the pumps in the 1970s we’d be coughing up between £5.67 – £5.90. Now that’s what I call inflation.