How much?!

I love it when I am so right in the face of a crowd of doubters. Huddling in Wakefield in a little shelter as the rain sluiced down hard and the jagged forks of lightning marched across the sky, One man commented forlornly that his car was in a carpark at the other end of the site and he was going to get soaked. I pointed to the sky and told him that the harder it falls, the shorter the squall. He didn’t believe me, but I told him to wait five minutes, as the sky was lighter in the upwind direction. The whole crowd swore blind I would be wrong, but I wasn’t. Sure enough, the rain eased and the clouds parted and sunshine ruled the evening!

I get to go to some interesting places in my travels. Yesterday I went to a factory where they prepare fresh fruit salads for supermarkets all over the country. Now, usually refrigerated factories stink. It’s a sort of gone off milk smell that is foul. But this one smelt (I suppose obviously given what they were making) of fruit. It was very nice indeed. Over the years I’ve been to many places, but this certainly came joint first as smelling the best (along with a factory that made incense oils).

I filled my car with petrol last night. It’s one of those things that I have to do with trepidation every so often. It’s been a shock for the last year filling it up, since ever since I learnt to drive petrol was fairly stable at costing about £30 to top up my tank. Now it can cost wildly differing amounts up to frightning levels. For the last three monthsd I’ve been taking to putting £20 in and struggling on. It’s less frightning that way. But next week Zoë and I are out to North Wales on a caravanning week, and we’ll need a full tank to go so I squeezed the filler, watched the pump readout and hoped for the best. It clicked full at 24p under £40. Ouch! Still, it was just over half a tank, and I was wondering if it was going to be closer to £50. Petrol isn’t quite £5 a gallon at the moment, but that’s still a lot of money to travel given the rip off price and unreliability of public transport means that often car is the only serious choice. Don’t get me started on that argument!

I also checked the tyre pressures. I think I may have mentioned something about this before. For years I’ve pumped car tyres to 32PSI and never thought any different. With high fuel prices, rolling resistance became more of an interest, so I read the manual for the car. It sits on sporty low profile alloys, and apparently these should be inflated to 40PSI at the back and 36 PSI at the front. For the last two weeks I have been trying these pressures, and it seems to run better. The only thing is that three of the five tyres (yes, I always remember to check the spare too – never know when you need it) lose pressure, though never lower than 32PSI. It means remembering to pump up the tyres every time I fill up I suppose.

I have noticed with the high fuel prices more people driving slower on the motorways. Only a select few arrogant arseholes still insist at travelling at warp speed. I too have curbed my speed, and totter along never faster than 65, and usually at bang on 60. Sometimes I think it is rather tragic that my 170bhp turbocharged and sportified monster never gets unleashed any more. I think on paper it is good for around 130mph+, but it’s been several years since it went anywhere near there. I seem to remember though at that speed you could watch the fuel gauge dropping every mile.