Off to Laugharne, West Wales, home of Dylan Thomas for a long weekend to stay in the house where he lived and wrote Under Milk Wood. Cue thoughts of using the same shower as a literary genius is a very cool subject for the April blog of a year of showering variously. Closely followed by if its being rented out as a holiday home the owners will have surly refurbished the bathroom since the 1950’s and he would have had a bath anyway… But hey, it’s probably still the nearest I will get to using the same bathroom as a famous author.

On arrival in the village I found that he hadn’t lived where we were staying at all, (though he had lived in the house opposite) and that where he had written Under Milk Wood was several hundred metres further along the estuary. However, my disappointment was offset by the fact that our holiday “cottage” was in fact a six bed house with three different showers and as I was going to be there for three nights I would have a chance to try them all out! The house is off the mains gas grid and so is fed by oil. The boiler is a new condensing system boiler. (A Grant Vortex pro 26-36 as you asked) with an unvented cylinder. Two of the showers are fed from the boiler, one is electric.

Shower 1: Top Floor. Flow rate of 6.5 litres a minute. Unfortunately after 90 seconds waiting for the hot water to arrive I gave up, with an extra ten litres of water now needing to be added to my subsequent shower. The shower had been used successfully earlier that day so maybe all the hot water had been used up (I was the last out of nine to shower that morning), or maybe Rohith had taken advantage of the hiatus in hot water arrival to shave…and wasn’t counting litres used.

Shower 2: 1st floor. An electric shower, the Mira Sport and my first of the year. I had recently researched the Mira Sport for a TSB report on rainwater harvesting (don’t ask!) so I knew that it is rated at 9.8 kW and the flow rate from the shower at 35 degrees C is 4.5 litres minute. Cue mental note to myself that I need to buy a thermometer to check temperatures as part of this experiment. However as I didn’t have one I was reduced to the very subjective “cath hassell temperature scale”. I set the temperature at about 75% of its maximum and flow rate to medium, had my shower and quite enjoyed it. Tried to think less of the fact that every kWh of electricity produces 0.57kgCO2 and concentrate more on the fact that the flow rate was far lower than our shower at home, so it didn’t get me as hot, therefore I was colder when out of the shower soaping up. After my shower I checked out the flow rate. It was only 2.7 litres/minute! In terms of CO2 emissions it was the same as an 8 litres/minute shower from a gas condensing boiler so I didn’t feel so bad.

Shower 3: ground floor. Thermostatic mixing shower. Considered a rehearsal for a cold shower. However, at 30oC (on the temperature dial) the flow rate was 16 litres/minute. So to save water I had a shower at 38oC which was a flow rate of 6.5 litres/minute.

And I couldn’t finish this month’s blog without quoting something from Dylan Thomas himself about showers… Unfortunately he wasn’t as eloquent on the subject as I had hoped, so with apologies to him (and all his fans) I give you the following: “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether I showered six times a week when I was twelve or whether I showered twelve times a week when I was six.”

April 2012 – Showering with a literary great!