Saturday, 2 June 2012


We're in Hay-on-Wye for our seventh visit to the annual literary festival. Things didn't start so well for us. We arrived in the evening, had a late tea, then set the bed up for an early night, and found that the locker where we store all the bedding was full of water. The duvet and pillows and pretty-much everything else was soaked. We salvaged what we could and spent the night with just one, single-sized, paper-thin blanket and a cotton sheet to protect us from the harsh mid-Wales June climate.

So this morning I set about tackling the problem. It was, of course, the water heater – the cause of so much woe in recent weeks. I thought I'd fixed it. It worked fine in Cheshire. I left Sarah to wring-out the bedding and drape it around the inside of the car, out of the rain, while I completely dismantled the water heater and scattered bits of it all around the field.

Turns out the 'O' ring, which connects the main tank to the wall fitting, had a kink in it. I smoothed it out, refitted the unit to the wall, connected up the pipes and switched everything on.
"I can smell gas!" shouted Sarah.
I sniffed around the gas fitting but could smell nothing.
"There's gas in the caravan!"
Nonsense. The gas fittings were outside by the... ah. I'd forgotten to reconnect the pipe to the unit inside the van.
So we opened all the windows and let the rain in while we ventilated the caravan. And I reconnected the gas pipe.

But everything seems okay now. Water heater is re-assembled. No leaks. No gas. Bedding is steaming away nicely inside the car.

All ready for our first event in the How-the-Light-gets-in philosophy tent, a discussion about time's arrow. This is what I'm here for. A bit of brain food. Escape from the real world.

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