These are strange times as fuel prices rise exponentially and the country seems on edge, as if preparing to fall over a precipice and into a deep recession. While everyone is getting caught up in what the future might hold, no one really knows, and the best anyone can do is stick to the day job, and do it as well as possible.

Of course no one wants to pay the increasing and extortionate prices for fuel. But most of us don’t have any choice. Unless you live in and work in a big city, there are few alternatives to match the cost and convenience of driving a car. We’ve all geared our lives around it for years and it can’t be changed overnight. For myself, buses are slow, trains are crowded and expensive, and none of them stops outside the many forecourts I have to visit! Food is the same - it may be increasing in price, but we all need it.

Buying habits may adjust slightly, but customers won’t stop coming to your forecourt any time soon - unless you’re not giving them a good service. (Although they might look pretty miserable while they are standing at the pumps watching the figures spin round!)

While all this is going on, don’t forget other important matters - such as getting involved with the consultation on the tobacco proposals (see tobacco feature which starts on page 45).

And then there’s your entry for the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards to send in right now. I’m waiting!