Really thoughtful article here from the BBCs Stephen Sackur on his return to the UK after 15 years of foreign jaunts.
Until I was 18 years old, I had never met a black man or woman. Nor, knowingly at least, a Jew nor a Muslim.
I was a farm boy born and brought up in Lincolnshire – among the whitest of white English counties.
I remember the stir in my primary school when a family of Vietnamese refugees was housed in Toynton All Saints.
We stared and we prodded and we mimicked because these were people with whom we could make no meaningful connection. They might as well have come from Mars.
They were not threatening, they were not aggressive, but to us they were overwhelmingly weird.
For the past 15 years I have been living far away from my homeland – in Cairo, Jerusalem, Washington and Brussels. And while I have been gone I know that things have changed.