I know that we will soon need wheelbarrows full of cash to buy the liquid gold that is automotive fuel, but should it really be that difficult to buy the stuff?

I say this because I was in West London the other day and there was a great big sign on the fuel pump that politely asked me to report to the cashier before filling up. After queuing up to ask they said OK. I then asked why I was being asked to do this. Apparently it was their policy. However, I noticed that others were pulling in and filling up without popping in to say hello.

I was hardly in the badlands, as detached residences were just around the corner from the fast food and nail bar, hell-hole high street. I suppose they are relying on nice middle class people to do the decent thing, whilst they can harangue a hoodie in his boom-boxed Corsa via the Tannoy.

I do remember in the States, more than 20 years ago, being expected to pre-pay before I filled my Buick Century, which I found odd but understandable in the land of the freely-carried firearm.

So I just wondered whether you now have to pre-pay, report to bored members of staff for approval or even leave your first born as collateral before you are allowed to brim the tank these days?

Meanwhile, I’ve just considered and rejected a wood burning stove on the back of the motor as alternative power. Although I have a lot of wood it works out little better than a electric car on a long journey and a big old boiler to tow around on local journeys. Meanwhile I’m still looking.