I left Pelion very early on Wednesday, getting the bus from Volos at five o'clock in the morning. There was a full moon looking down on a calm sea, giving the water an extraordinary luminescence. I travelled up the peninsula to Volos in Yeorgos's taxi. Two pine martens crossed the road, looking over their shoulders at the headlights of the Mercedes, reflecting the beam back from their eyes. And so I left behind a village culture, difficult and warm in equal measure. I abandoned the need to struggle with my appalling grasp of the Greek language and passed the hospital where my friend was mounting a spirited fightback against a sudden illness. It is a hard place to leave.
As the bus reached Athens the driver cursed his way through the appalling traffic and the courageous and foolhardy driving of those trying to beat it, before reaching the narrow streets where the bus station sits and from where the express airport bus departs. Then there was the tedium of air travel enlivened by excited conversations about the long delays due to the volcano and someone recounting the tale of a Yorkshire fair with an entertainment that featured a man with exploding testicles.
So it was back to Manchester, a host of everyday hassles and the sixties night in my local pub when the landlord's band plays. They enjoy every minute of it. They have been playing cover versions of sixties classics since around the sixties and the audience is made up of people mainly in their sixties. Ageing women jived over the Victorian tiles by the bar. It was lovely in its own way.
And so there I was - two very different, and flawed, cultures. I love them both and I was born into neither. One day I will have to choose and I know what the choice will be. For now, I have the pleasure of both, though I long to be back in Greece and will return shortly. I am a very lucky man.