Was this Britain? Every group of people I passed was speaking Russian. The shops were full of black bread, pickled cucumbers and vodka, the faces were Slavic. The advertisements in the windows were in the Cyrillic script I had come to know so well when I lived, many years before, in Moscow.
Yet here I was in the shadow of a lovely English Gothic church tower, half-way to dear old Skegness, surrounded by fields of English turnips, leeks and sugar beet, under an English heaven.
This was Boston, Lincolnshire, which I had first seen three decades ago as a somnolent, slightly shabby market town where a kindly traffic warden had found me a parking space, saying: ‘We can always find room for a foreigner.’