08 October 2021

Fuel shortages

This country keeps surprising you! Years ago it surprised me by voting for Brexit. Now my surprise is being illustrated. A while ago the first signs appeared of a fuel shortage. And, of course, as soon there was mention of a shortage, the system turned into a positive feedback loop where people decided to get some fuel in before it would run out, which of course meant that it ran out. And soon I could see that happening in front of my my nose! In the first week of term I did keep an eye out to see what the situation was in my environment. And I saw precisely one gas station that actually sold gas in the entire week. When I saw that, I was driving a rental vehicle with a full tank. I did not need a lot of fuel that week myself; I could mainly manage by bicycle. But it was a bit disconcerting! One of my friends who lives in the middle of nowhere and really needs his car to get around, went to 10 petrol stations that didn't sell any fuel until he finally, at the 11th attempt, managed to fill up. I heard that when Kate visited me, she struggled to get home afterwards as there was no fuel to be had between where I live and where she lives.

When I had a plan to go walking with Kate I knew I needed to fill up beforehand, as I really wanted to be sure I could make it home as well. So on a Sunday morning I ventured out! And the nearest gas station did indeed sell some fuel! Most pumps were disabled, but I only need one. There was also a £30 spending limit.

When I was there anyway, I topped up the pressure in my tyres to make sure the fuel I had just got would last me as long as it could. And that would save me lugging my 30 kg bagpack around!

I don't know when the situation will get back to normal. One wonders what normal even his. The UK deserves everything that is coming to it; of course you suffer negative consequences if you withdraw from a trading block. Of course you suffer negative consequences if you try to keep foreigners out of your country, if these foreigners are the only ones willing to put up with the rather unpleasant working conditions you have created in your deeply unequal society. I think this issue with gas stations closed, big queues at gas stations that are open, and even knife fights on gas station forecourts, might make it increasingly unlikely that other countries will want to follow suit and leave the EU. I will just sit back and manage. I am convinced I can! And I really hope that the next time the electorate has a choice to make, they choose a bit more wisely than they did in 2016…

The most welcoming pump you will be likely to see these days

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