A man who left England more than a decade ago, to live in southeast Asia, has said that, because of the Coronavirus, and the restictions on travel the pandemic has caused, he thinks he might never set foot back in his home country again.
Moys Kenwood, 57, left England in 2009, first to live in Thailand, and then, in 2016, for Cambodia. Both of these places are fine, he said:
"but they aren't England."
A lockdown and complete closure of borders throughout all the countries of the Asian region has meant that anyone there at the time the closure occurred, is still there, unless they managed to get a seat on an emergency 'last flight out' organized by various governments.
And now, with the future of long-haul travel in the balance, coupled with the enhanced threat to his own mortality, the Englishman feels he may already have clapped eyes on England's 'green and pleasant land' for the last time.
A disconsolate Kenwood said:
"I'm disconsolate. There's many a time, when I think of England, me mam, sister, mates and what not, and a tear comes into me eye. I start to miss Hull, the places I used to visit, the green and brown countryside, the long walks through cobbled streets and country lanes, the "Good morning!" of the early strollers and the dogwalkers, the chirpy old women at the bus stop, the seaside smell of fish and chips, the trips to the numberless charity shops and their shelves full of classic book bargains. It's home."
It's a place of stark contrasts, however, he said, adding:
"The imagery is strong. The cobbled roads, the potholes, the filthy litter-strewn streets, the boarded-up shops with tramps sleeping in the doorways, the telephone boxes reeking of piss, the decrepit old docks, the all-pervading stench of fish, the smog-ridden polluted air, the shopping trolleys in the drains, the burnt-out shells of last night's stolen cars in the middle of council estates, the glue bags, discarded empty beer cans and syringes in the children's playground, the gangs of louts throwing bricks through bus windows, the baby-faced, knife carrying juvenile delinquents waiting outside the shops to harass customers with their smarmy, threatening looks and their "WHAT YOU FUCKING LOOKING AT?" taunts, the loudmouthed drunks on every last bus, the sound of police car sirens at 11pm, and the whirring of an overhead helicopter's blades at midnight, drugdealers outside school gates, knives in satchels, traffic jams on the motorways, dogshit on every footpath and beach, queues outside the dole office, the dark, satanic mills.."
And he was philosophical about the state of his birthplace.
"Swings and roundabouts," he said