The London Olympics had finished, leaving this weary but exhilarated hack with a couple of days to kill in one of the world's great cities.
After extensive research - five minutes of Googling "free things to do in London" - I settled on long walk along the Thames, punctuated by various touristy stop-offs, one of which included the Tate Modern, an internationally acclaimed art gallery.
I'm no connoisseur. But it was in closer proximity than the free museums, so it was time for this self-proclaimed Aussie neanderthal to get a touch of culcha.
For an hour or so I wandered around looking at all manner of paintings, sculptures and abstract whatevers, 99 per cent of which I have long since forgotten.
One exhibit did stick in my mind. I walked in a room and there was a black canvas on the wall. Square, maybe three metres by three metres. Totally black.
That was it.
I remember thinking: "Jeez, somebody probably sold that for a million quid, and it took him/her 10 minutes with a roller and a can of Dulux."
The point being that art is subjective. What one person regards as a work of genius, somebody else views as absolute rubbish.
Which brings me to the back page of last Saturday's Newcastle Herald.
Most of our back pages these days are produced in collaboration with an excellent team of graphic artists based around various papers in our group.
We send them pictures and suggested headlines and they bring a page to life.
Occasionally, as was the case last Saturday, we don't actually run a story on the back (or front) page, which makes it literally a work of art ... graphic art.
I sent Jamie Horne, our senior artist, two images, both of the Newcastle Jets' men's and women's teams in their pre-game huddles before kick-off.
The headline "Short-term goals ... Jets chase first wins of the season" was to run between the two images.
I had envisaged heads and shoulders of both teams, with the headline separating the two photos.
Jamie misinterpreted and sent back an image of the top half of the men, above the headline, and the women from waist down below it. I was surprised, but interested. The image immediately caught my attention, because it was so unusual.
The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. I thought it encapsulated two teams, joined at the hip, united as one. Nonetheless I called Jamie to say we'd better change it, because I had my doubts whether some readers would get it.
But then I studied it a bit more, called him back, suggested a slight tweak and said: "Let's go with it."
It did cross my mind that it might not be unanimously well received. Oh well, whatever.
Sure enough, the next morning I had a text informing that the W-League players weren't happy.
Then the very capable Kate Haberfield of NBN tweeted: "I don't like criticising fellow local media outlets, so instead I'm just going to offer a small piece of constructive feedback. Next time, show their faces. Not their bums. "
Fair enough. Kate is entitled to her opinion, as are all those who jumped on that particular bandwagon.
It worries me not one bit. If anyone found that image offensive or inappropriate, perhaps a Valium and a lie-down might help.
If it had been the men's backsides in the image, would anyone have even raised an eyebrow?
(The reason they weren't incidentally, is they were the first game in the double-header, so I thought it made more sense to have them at the top of the page.)
Anyway, I don't recall any complaints (or thanks) from the Jets a couple of weeks earlier, when we ran a back-page photo of the W-League players and a "Go you good things" headline on the day of their season-opener.
Feel free to show me a paper that gives women's football, or football in general, better coverage.
With regards to NBN, I wouldn't dream of offering any criticism, constructive or otherwise, of our neighbouring media outlet.
Not only do I have massive respect for what they do, but despite spending more years as a newspaper journalist than I would care to remember, I've never worked one day for a TV station, so I wouldn't feel qualified to comment.
For the past five years, I have been the Herald's sports editor, during which time I have probably helped design 1000 back pages.
I can remember only one other that prompted this sort of reaction.
On that occasion, the Knights weren't happy when I ran a story about a former player, who, years after a brief stint with the club, had been remanded in custody on gun charges. That back page prompted the one and only spray I received from then Knights coach Nathan Brown, which is possibly why it stuck in my memory.
Anyway, I live and learn and remind myself that we live in an age of outrage, when people get offended if you're not sharing their offence.
On Monday, I bumped into a true legend of Newcastle cricket in the aisle at our local supermarket.
We stopped for a chat, during which he said: "I enjoyed your [Sporting Declaration] column on Saturday."
I felt quite proud and thanked him for the feedback.
I didn't ask him what he thought about the back page. I figured it was better to quit while I was ahead.