No tulips with Octane 95 or Ethanol.


With our ‘almost’ new car came a 300 page manual. We are faced with having to make a choice of fuel. Throughout life I never gave buying petrol much thought.  Petrol would be last on the list of urgent considerations. One pays for it after studiously watching the bowser tick over to the exact cent. A boring unavoidable duty sometimes made better by watching others going through the same ordeal.

Some petrol stations now are like supermarkets. One sees people coming out with both arms laden with mainly sugary or salty items. Huge quantities of food. Sometimes the arms are so full that car keys are held between their teeth. Heaven knows what it does to their health.  It annoys the shit out of us. Yet, the bowser has a strict notification not to move the car before paying for the fuel.  There is no option but to grit teeth and hope the owners of the car queueing in front isn’t on an eating while shopping expedition.

The 308  petrol Peugeot we bought makes a recommendation on the inside of the fuel cap not to use fuel less than 95 Octane. I might be skating on scientific thin ice here, but I assume, the higher the octane level, the lower its needed temperature for combustibility. In other words, the higher the octane,  the lesser temperature is needed for the fuel to ignite/explode driving the engine.

In the handbook it also approves of a fuel with an ethanol (alcohol) component of not higher than 10%. This fuel E10, is less polluting and cheaper, more environmentally friendly. However, this ethanol added fuel seems to be confusing. It doesn’t come with an octane level at most petrol oulets. Researching the issue the Government gives a list of cars and models that can safely be driven on this better and cheaper fuel. At the risk of boring the faithful readers so bravely following this blog, I give you the site;

The manual that came with this car does also approve the cheaper E10 fuels with a proviso it is at least rated at 95 octane.

I filled up with the E10 fuel and the car drives well, and without any difference. Mind you, I drive slowly in direct proportion to my ageing.  The older I get, the slower I drive. If you see a stationary car sometime in the future, take a peak inside, in case I have carked it! My last will is in the glove box underneath the manual!

Another perplexing issue that has also now popped up is that of tulips. One of the main yearly tourist attraction’s of our town of Bowral in the Highlands, is the yearly tulip festival held in a local park. It attracts tens of thousands of locals but many too from all over the world. This year it is not any different. Busload after busload it disgorges loads of tulip aficionados.  Many Chinese, Indians, Japanese and Europeans. Many decked out with cameras and held on the end of selfie sticks at the ready.

Except…there are hardly any tulips. Someone must have done a terrible miscalculation in the timing. We had some unusual warm weather, yet the tulips are just not there in flower. This has now become a calamity. All those people who pre-paid to come here to admire tulips are now faced with just a conventional municipal park with many venues set up for tourists to buy hats, or jumpers, scarfs ,belts meat pies and other products.  But…no tulips. The music is louder than normal I suppose to compensate for the lack of tulips. Counsel has put a large notification that entrance fees have been waived. “FREE” in large lettering. But what about the overseas visitors who pre-paid their flight and entrance tickets? What about all the busloads of Sydney pensioners looking forward to tulips?

I reckon someone will get an ear-bashing over this. It can’t be all that difficult to have bulbs coming out in time for the yearly fortnightly tulip festival.

Ah well, we can listen to Tiny Tim once again.

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30 Responses to “No tulips with Octane 95 or Ethanol.”

  1. Dorothy Brett Says:

    It’s just nature, can’t be helped. I paid to go north of Perth to see the wildflowers, of which there were very few. On a visit to beautiful Kings Park a few days later there were many and beautiful displays of wildflowers.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You could be right, Dorothy.
      I would have thought tulips grown under the right conditions are predictable when they will flower. The watering is automatic and it wasn’t through lack of water.
      Wild flowers do depend on weather conditions. During prolonged droughts they don’t come at all.


  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    A 300 page manual for a car. Lord have mercy. And 95% octane. I put 87 or 89 ( don’t remember which one) in my GMC truck. It runs really good on the lower percentage.

    What no tulips? How can that be? It seems strange that you are entering spring and over here it will soon be Fall. I love Fall weather. It seems the best time of the year.

    Anyhoo. happy driving in your Peugeot.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Helvi just checked the Peugeot manual and it has a staggering 404 pages.
      I will be busy till next year. Good reading for the insomniac.

      People are upset about the lack of tulips. There is a big banner strung high up across Bowral’s main street; “Tulip time in Bowral” 12 September till 24 September.

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        What a shame with little or no tulips.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, Ivonne, it is a shame.

        Even while the tulip festival goes on, our counsel still doesn’t ask for entrance fees. That is fair enough. You can’s charge for tulip festivities without at least having tulips on show. It would be like a dog show without dogs.

        What really is perplexing why they have stuck a lot of fishes amongst the tulip greenery. They are not really fish, just a type of Walt Disney fish pastiches or cut-outs that smile or have facial expressions. Also calamari and octopuses with tentacles between primulas and pansies.

        The Chinese tourists must be so amused if not puzzled by it all.


  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    No tulips for the tourists. Oh well, I was in Switzerland for one day on a cruise stop this summer. Paid to go all the way up to Mount Pilatus in Lucerne for the incredible view. 7000 feet up and we saw nothing but white. Clouds, fog, rain all day. Oh well, my husband and I had a good laugh over our selfies with fog in the background. Guess we’ll have to try to go back some day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Aw. Sad about the tulips. 😦 They are such a beautiful flower! 🙂
    What you said about the loud music made me snort-laugh! 😀
    When I was a kid, Tiny Tim always freaked me out a little bit. 😮
    I understand what you mean about driving slower as we become well-seasoned. (We are not getting older, just more well-seasoned. 🙂 ) I used to drive fast. Now I drive the speed limit. As I get more well-seasoned, I’m sure I’ll slow down the driving even more. 🙂
    HUGS!!! and drive safely! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the tulips are there but still subterranean. They have substituted the lack of tulips with lots of artificial marine creatures stuck in between the greenery of tulips, apparently because the tulip festival coincides with a ‘below the sea event.’
      This makes it even more confusing for the tourists.
      They might have been better of to visit the Sydney aquarium and watch sharks swimming aimlessly with no chance of ever biting a juicy surfer.
      Hugs too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Robert Parker Says:

    Had to look up “bowser,” I was thinking of the lead singer for an old doo-wop group “Sha Na Na”. Almost all the gas in my state is 10% ethanol. Here, the price jump going from “regular’ 87 octane to “premium” 91 or higher, can be $.45/gallon, and unless you’re driving a European car, there’s few cars that require the expensive stuff – most of the price difference is pure profit.
    Sorry about the tulip festival, but thanks for Tiny Tim!!! My morning dose of weirdness.
    Maybe the parks people will consider some temporary cold frames next year to force the bulbs along? They have the same situation sometimes in a city near us, with their Lilac Festival, when things get flattened by late snows. The folks who come for a flower festival generally aren’t enthusiastic about arriving at a Snowman Fête instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Robert.
    The E10 ethanol fuel is accepted by most post 2000 model cars but is being resisted by many motorists. In desperation I contacted Shell direct and was assured my car can safely run on this much cheaper fuel. The dealer I bought the car from also assured me that warranty will not be voided using the E10 fuel.

    The local tulip festival is in disarray and our local shire is missing out on year’s best revenue windfall. Everyone is let in free. You can’t charge for a tulip festival without tulips, can you? Each day I walk by hoping to finally see bursts of colourful tulips.

    The tourists soon focus on a few solitary tulips and send photos of them off, back to whatever country they might come from.

    Funny you should mention Lilac festival. We lived in Goulburn for some years which at that time was called ‘Lilac-City’, except that the Lilac was so rare, one needed an expert lilac guide with a torch to find any.

    The name was finally dropped.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tulipels Says:

    I presume the flower buds are there and they will flower eventually? Nature is complex and tulip flowers have very much their own regime, depending on temperature at different stages of growth. Timing of festivals will always be a gamble! The tulip festival in Silvan Victoria has the same problem! Lots of visitors and also no colourful tulip flowers to be seen as yet.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right, Tulipels.
      The tulips are there but are yet to flower. I am sure that another week or so, they will be seen in full glory. Each year they appeared on time during the festival.
      However, the event has shifted to a different date this year.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres Says:

    People have become so disconnected from nature they’ve become convinced they can force flowers or trees or crops to do what they want: and they can’t. Predict a hurricane landfall two days out? It’s not always possible. Predict a tulip bloom? Within certain parameters it can be done, but anyone who books for a festival without understanding that everything is contingent on that fine combination of temperature, light, water, and soil nutrients risks disappointment if things don’t come together properly.

    Every year, Houston has an Azalea festival, and this year the flowers bloomed so early there were none to be seen during the festival. So, people toured the fancy homes that had the gardens. Galveston is known as the city of oleanders, and has an oleander festival in May. This year, the flowers were late, and people who visited in June and July were treated to glorious displays.

    I suppose in such cases the basic choice is to enjoy what is, or fuss over what isn’t. There’s always something to see, after all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The event was moved one week earlier, Linda. All hope is now vested in this coming last week for tulips to burst forward.
      People still are having a good time, and there are other flowering plants in full bloom.
      The tulip festival event is yearly, and I found a photo of my mother with her sister visiting Bowral tulip festival in the early sixties.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres Says:

        That would have been the same time that I was going to the Pella, Iowa tulip festival every year with my high school band. I thought I had a photo of me on the computer, but I can’t find it. When we marched in the parade, we all wore wooden shoes. 🙂


  9. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Perhaps Tiny Tim was a replacement to soothe tourist hearts into thinking tulipmania. Too bad but we can’t always have it our way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. gerard oosterman Says:

    “Tulip mania, the flowers that cost more than houses.

    The tale of the Dutch tulip craze is a cautionary one –Tulip mania, tulipmania, or tulipomania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. Wikipedia”

    In a much lesser way is the present collapse of the artificial currency of the ‘bitcoin’ and in Australia the same is predicted to happen to the prices of real-estate whereby in the big cities housing has risen to such levels that only millionaires can now afford them.

    Many of the apartments are left vacant in the expectations that their value will just keep on rising.

    All bubbles finally burst!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It’s really amazing to see houses which are sometimes quite ordinary sell for over a million. More often than not they are snapped up by Asians who seem to pay cash. Where is the money coming from? The schools are becoming overcrowded and the freeways are atrocious. Developers are putting up high rise apartments on vacant lots with no thought of water shortage. A small apartment will rent for perhaps $2800. The Glory days are here for some, but as you say, the bubble must burst at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. KathrinS Says:

    True about people shopping at gas stations!! It’s the trend of every place selling everything. I think the gas stations mostly make money off those people, I’ve heard selling unhealthy snacks is more lucrative than actually selling gas.

    Kathrin —


  13. berlioz1935 Says:

    Gerard. the E10 petrol has 91 octanes.


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