Strange loss and gain

Just take it as follows  – because no questions will be answered and no further details provided.

Yesterday I was about to fill up my car with diesel. Well not exactly my car – who the devil fills their car with diesel? I obviously mean the tank of the car! Chyrsst!! I have to explain every minor point, just in case some idiot decides to have a go. Anyways, I had this coupon from Tesco that would give 10p/L off the price. My tank was only down to half capacity. I had about 200 miles of a journey ahead of me. I pulled into a Tesco fuel station with still about 190 miles to go. There was a  queue – unexpectedly to get to the pumps. I lost 7 min in getting to the pumps. Then, as the driver in front of me moved on, it was my turn. Quickly a few thoughts ran through my head that caused me not to fill up my tank. I drove on. The driver behind me looked puzzled – I could see the person behind hesitating to take my place at the pump.

So what thoughts weighed on me? All the following came in almost at once:

  1. £138.9/L – which isn’t bad but could be about 4p/L cheaper. (keep in mind that I’d get that down to 128.9/L with the discount coupon).
  2. If I filled up from half-tank, I would only get the benefit of the discount on half-tank.
  3. I could see on my dashboard that the half-tank would take me to my destination with 100 miles to spare. (i.e. the meter thing on my dash was indicating like 300 miles).
  4. So I thought that I’d better get the tank much more empty and then fill up.
  5. I also calculated that I could use my reserve 10 L of diesel which is kept in the car, in an approved container and use that to get back near home to fill up. 10L will take me 123 miles (plus that 100 miles left = 223, so I would get back).

So that’s what made me fall out of the queue and set off on my journey which lasted 3.75 hours (with one short stop for about a min). Yes – I’m used to driving for 5 hours without stop – and yes I do all my leg exercises, breathing exercises, ‘reading books’, listening to music, talking with people from all over the world from my car. And no – I don’t have a toilet in the car, but there is  a strategy for taking on long journeys to avoid toilets. Chyrsst! I now have to deviate onto that. It’s simple: 1. Don’t drink too much fluids before getting into car 2. Empty bowels and bladder, then get into car, 3. Don’t drink anything in the car until half-way through the journey. Can I get back to the main topic now – please?!

Right – so I head off – yes, me alone in the car. I lost 15 minutes in total, for not doing my math ahead of time – and queuing up etc. I get to my destination – no major traffic jams or incidents on the road. Checked in hotel, had dinner and hit the sack around mid-night.

Breakfast was good. Did some work on the computer then, took of in the car in search of lunch around 12:30 PM. I could see that what was left in the tank would take me 107 miles, so I’m not worried at all. No – I was not thinking of going that sort of distance for lunch. So – I just set off in any old direction, totally carefree! Five miles away, I decided to get some KFC. I pulled into some side road, got out my Google maps on my superior handheld technology (LOL – it’s called a Galaxy Note 2), and realised I was 0.5 mile away from a KFC. I plugged the location into my SatNav and got there within 2 min.

Right so had my KFC – very leisurely. I don’t even know how long that took, because I was on the internet reading stuff whilst eating etc etc. Right – so I decide, ‘Maybe it’s time to head back and get some work done’. Plugged in coordinates on SatNav and I take off in the car. As I get out of the KFC, I approach a junction with traffic lights and the SatNav says turn right.

But this is the amazing part for me (not for you): as I look beyond the traffic lights I see a Tesco Superstore that sells Fuel. I stay in my lane, go straight ahead, keep the right lane, do not turn right, and 400 yards later straight across the traffic lights I’m into the Tesco Fuel Station. As I’m entering it’s advertised that they honour the 10p/L discount. I’m feeling good about this. I mean, I wasn’t even looking for a Tesco fuel station but would have had to at some point over next two days (working away from home). But I felt even better when I realise that the price of diesel here is 4p/L cheaper at the outset (compared to when I started my journey).

I fill ‘er up with 50 L. So what does that mean?

  1. Had I filled up at near home the 10p/L voucher would have only brought £3.00 savings. (30L x 0.10p i.e. to fill up half-tank).
  2. Then if by chance I found a station near my destination that sold at £134.9 I’d have to fill up 20L more to get back to comparable situation above (yes – I know this is straining your poor brain).
  3. By delaying and filling up with 50 L, I saved £5.00, just for the voucher.
  4. But also 4p x 50L = £2.00.

To cut a long story short (avoiding more complex mathematical comparisons), I reckon I saved £7.00. But that’s nothing great – really. That’s not the point of this blog at all!! I don’t need to save £7.00!! “So what is the point?” you scream!

What ‘is’ – is that:

  1. The idea of this saving came to me spontaneously.
  2. Once the idea came, I then did some rough mathematics and found that it made ‘sense’ to delay and travel the longer distance before refuelling.
  3. But he craziest part was finding the Tesco fuel station near my destination. Remember I had not set out to find it – I had only set out to get some food, and by chance I happen upon this KFC that was 400 yards away from a Tesco fuel station!

So why is any of this important? A lot of the time I just listen to an inner voice – no it’s not a real voice, like speech. It seems to know something about the world – even when I haven’t thought things through – and without hard evidence. When I do listen to that ‘voice’ – a fair amount of the time it is right. At times when I haven’t listened, I have suffered. There we go, somebody starting up about the ‘power of intuition’ and the ‘subconscious’ and all that jazz – I don’t even mean to get that technical. All I’m saying here, is that this ‘thing’ is something to be listened to. No! I’m not saying it has to be obeyed. The unconscious often throws up fears and anxious feelings that could make us avoid things when we ought not to. All I say is that – minus the emotional drive or inhibitions – if it brings up an idea, just listen to it (not obey it).

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