Meet Hestur, our main transport for the upcoming emigration:

It’s a 1999 Ford E150 Econoline. We’re the second owners. The original owner bought it to continue moonlighting his plumbing business even though he had already more or less retired. It is in excellent shape because he hardly drove it, and treated it very well.

More pix will follow, clearly displaying the space in the back and the shelves and cubbies for plumbers' gear. Fab!

I’m referring to Hestur as “it” – but “he” and “she” are equally acceptible. Such is the malleability of inanimate objects: we project onto them whatever strange archetypes that haunt the darker corners of our psyches, like shadows on the back of a cavewall.

“Hestur” is Icelandic for horse, and as I understand it, the word is masculine and can refer to stallions specifically. So he would be appropriate in this case. But of course, all vessels seem to be female so, along with the homonym “Hester,” she would work just as well. And since our Hestur is a lovely shade of red, the allusion to Hester Prynn’s notorious letter isn’t completely out of line. (But not having read the book for maybe 25 years, I can’t recall: she ain’t a twit like Emma Bovary, is she? I hope not.)