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Small Business

Flashbacks at the filling station

I went up the street last week to pick up some milk at the filling station and suffered flashbacks.

You see the petrol station I visited is just up the street from my office and it is one I developed when I bought if from my dad back in 1996.

I spent the following ten years working hard, developing the business and the property, eventually falling for the seduction of the so called easy money to be made in the Celtic Tiger property boom.

We all know how that ended, but the good thing for me was the crash compelled me towards a career as a lawyer. It was the only game in town then because I had bet the farm and lost.

But that’s another story that I have told before.

Now the filling station up the street from my office is an Apple Green station and convenience store.

As I walk across the forecourt to pick up the milk for my office just down the street  I think of the many times I was kneeling on the damp, pebble strewn ground dipping the fuel tanks. Back in those days we dipped the tanks manually with long dipping rods which had quantities marked on them to allow you see how much fuel you had.

And when I walk into the shop I frequently have flashbacks and fond memories of developing the shop and installing a modern (at the time) deli with hot food and Cuisine De France, walk in refrigeration, memories of building workers queued at the deli wearing hard boots and high viz gear looking for breakfast rolls at 10 o’clock and 1 o’clock, memories of queues for the car wash on a Saturday morning and the local young lads who had summer jobs washing cars.

Funny enough, I have acted for 3 of those lads in buying their first property around Enfield in the last few years.

I think now of the short physical distance between my office and the filling station-it is only 500 yards or thereabouts.

And yet the distance between what I did then and what I do now is as wide as the Persian Gulf.

In terms of experience, knowledge, work, outlook, maturity, wisdom.

But I don’t think I would change anything and the flashbacks are a constant reminder of where I came from.

Having a reminder of where you came from is no harm on a dark, wet Monday or Tuesday morning when you go looking for milk for your coffee.

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