I PRESS A TRIP odometer when I fill up the tank of our car and when the 90 euro fill-up becomes fumes, we still have a minimum of 28 miles to complete the week.
We don't have the discretionary income to add more fuel so we have to cut back on family trips to cousins several counties away. It has to be a funeral, christening, or wedding to turn the wheels nowadays. Festivals, day trips, garden shows are parked in our memories.
I haven't done an econometric analysis on the prime determinants of fuel costs but I know the Irish government fondly calls its excise duty on fuel one of its "old reliables" so I can assert that we are helping pay down Irish debt whenever we refuel and when we pay annual road tax.
So we are sitting on our empty wallets home along with dozens of other households living through fuel anxiety in austere Ireland today. It doesn't feel very patriotic watching the needle drop to to empty. It happens a lot as we drive around with a little yellow light illuminating the petrol gauge.
Bernie Goldbach curates links about Ireland and will write an ebook on what it means to be an American in Ireland.