It is going to be one of those days. When I wake, there is water dripping into the flat. At first I think it is coming from the tank above the hot water cylinder. It turns out it is coming from somewhere above the tank, possibly the flat above, or the flat above that, or potentially even the sky. But it is landing in my flat, which is the important thing.
I ring Mr Davies for advice, because as everyone knows, Mr Davies is a plumber as well as a chicken-keeper and a Chief Eggsek (excuse the pun). He uses some technical terms and I pretend to understand them. He asks me to describe the component parts of the apparently un-watertight hot water system. I say there is a big black tank at the top and a big yellow tank underneath and a lot of water dripping into a roasting tin that I have placed on the floor. I say there are two pipes, a big one and a little one. Gently, Mr Davies talks me through establishing which of the pipes leads to which tank. We agree I will turn off the water and empty the tank, although not into the roasting tin because the roasting tin is unlikely to hold the entire contents of the big yellow tank and the big black tank put together.
Mr Davies also suggests I take the lamb chops out of the roasting tin, which is probably a good idea.
I attempt to turn off the water. This proves impossible because the flat is in a hard water area and the stop-cock has chemically bonded itself into the open position. I know this because I am a chemist.
I think Mr Davies will probably get cross with me if I ring him again, especially as it is Congress soon. So I ring up my friend who is the owner of the flat and he rings up his son who lives near the flat and the son rings up a friend who knows a bit about flats and eventually they visit the person in the flat above who thought it might be fun to install a water feature on top of our tank. And eventually everything gets resolved. So who needs plumbers after all?