I’ve been away for a few days. I went off for a weekend with Nessie. She can be a bit cranky, but I think she’s beautiful.

She turns heads everywhere she goes. But I don’t mind.

She costs me a fortune but she’s worth it.

Nessie is my VW Campervan.

She’s named after the German number plate she came with.

She’s a 1976 pop top Westfalia and she’s the most eloquent two-fingered salute to the fast-paced, sleekly designed, sterile, comfortable modern world you could possibly muster.

Apart from the aforementioned beauty, she’s maddeningly temperamental.

With her air-cooled engine, she refuses to go on if the temperature goes above 28 degrees.

Just stops and sulks. Traffic jams are a nightmare.

She’ll go at her own pace, refuses to acknowledge the tailgating BMW drivers fuming behind.

Indeed, on some journeys, the queue behind her can be seen from space.

She’s clever too, once breaking down in the north of England so she could be transported back south on the back of an AA breakdown lorry.

Nice and easy for her, extremely embarrassing for me when she was unloaded back home while the neighbour’s curtains twitched.

And in winter she eschews niceties like in-car heating.

You have to dress like Sherpa Tenzing just to go to the shops in her.

I took her to Yorkshire last week to see some old friends.

It took us all day, but we didn’t care.

We were the coolest pair on the road.

There’s a snobbery though about us.

She flashes her lights at similar VW Campervans and we mere drivers wave our hands in smug “look-how-great-we-are” greeting.

But woe betide if a more modern “inauthentic” version, like the T25, tries to make with the eyes.

She sniffily ignores them and they trundle past crestfallen.

I’ve slept in her and a night in the Grand it ain’t.

It’s always cold, the mattress is rock hard.

Defrosting and actually getting out of bed is a ten-stage, two-hour process.

It’s like she’s saying: don’t make this a habit, buster.

When my sons were a little younger, they loved her.

For their school prom, while others booked stretch limos, they and their friends insisted Nessie take them.

That night she sashayed up to the hotel entrance amid all the bling without so much as a hissy fit.

Funny that.

A few years ago the last of the new VW Campervans came off the production line in Brazil, the only place where they were still made.

She’s a victim of the health and safety, with the government now insisting they must be fitted with fripperies like proper brakes and air-bags, ignoring the whole point of a VW that actually arriving at your destination is an astonishing achievement.

But me and Nessie don’t care about that.

Like others around the world, she’ll keep having money spent on her and she’ll remain an object of desire.

For she’s an uber-cool paean to less frenzied, more stylish times.

And she knows it.

The Argus: The National Picture Theatre in Hull has been given listed heritage status

While in Yorkshire, I went to Hull. I used to work there and my elder son was born there.

It’s a city out on a limb with not much of a reputation, but the people are warm and friendly.

The city itself, though, is a surprising gem, with a wonderful old town and, of course, the majestic Humber estuary sweeping past its door.

And here’s the lesson for us in Brighton.

It might be one of the least wealthy cities in England, but it is having plenty of money spent on it.

In 2017 it is the UK City of Culture and it is using that to tackle all kinds of infrastructure issues.

The old fruit market sector down by the estuary is being turned into a funky cultural sector, the great Ferens Art Gallery is in the middle of a three-year refurbishment and a massive digital industries hub is about to open.

Hull has been very, very good at pleading its case for government aid and not bad at getting businesses on board.

When the very fabric of our wonderful city is crumbling, is there not a lesson from the windy city of East Yorkshire for us?