A girl in a van.

So it’s more of a fire truck.

And he would probably be offended being called a van.

His name is Hans.


Seven days ago I left Suffolk.
I was about 10 days later in leaving than expected, but I had rear brakes. And a hand brake. And all good things.

My sewing curtains for a houseboat came as handy practice while I sewed my mismatched collection of fabrics into Hans Curtains.

I borrowed cooking utensils and was given the most amazing esky that turns into a fridge when you plug it into your cigarette lighter!? Also an amazing solar panel in a jar that is a light, the cutest kettle… I packed all this (plus a bike and a suitcase and a bed….) into the back of Hans and drove up into Norfolk.


Having made it through Lincolnshire and most of Yorkshire I stopped at a small town called Guisborough.

The main employer in the 1900s in Guisborough was The Shirt Factory, which later became Burtons, then Baird Menswear Brands and then was closed and sold to developers in the late 1990s.

After half an hour of interviewing the most wonderful woman in the local church about the changes in the town over her lifetime I emerged to find a plod peering into Hans.

A little nervous that I’d parked in the wrong area I enthusiastically waved at him and ran over to say hello.

The policeman asked me if Hans’ siren worked.
I said it did.
I said I never used it though, obviously.
The policeman nodded thoughtfully and then proceeded to tell me that he had seen the “for sale” sign on the window and was a little nervous about it.
Obviously I was a law-abiding citizen, but what if the new owner wasn’t?
And the police had been told to keep an eye out for vehicles with sirens selling as the next terrorist attack was going to be one where they charge through to the centre of a busy area with their fake siren bomb vehicles.
He stopped there and looked at Hans.
He admitted that, even if Hans’ siren was on it would look a little bit more amusing than like an emergency vehicle. But what if he was painted white with a yellow stripe down the side…


Sneaky Hans.


So what am I doing traipsing around the UK with Hans and Fireman Sam?



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