It was going to be one of those days. My reporter, the wonderfully named Poppy Sebag-Montefiore, and I were in a bit of a corner. We were filming together in China and our government minder, a man who was improbably fluent in Esperanto (who did he speak to??), had made it clear that we were not to leave Beijing without permission, writes Iain Overton.
And as our story was meant to be about rural pollution and rural land grab, this but a bit of a restriction.
So - we met for a morning coffee and brainstormed.
"What about Lesbians?" Poppy said. I did a double-take.
Not sure it was that sort of show, I offered. She kicked me.
"No, we should cover the way in which the Internet has transformed the Beijing gay scene."
It sounded like a good idea. So a few phone calls later we had arranged to meet the Lala club (Chinese slang for Lesbians) who were having a 'salon' meeting. Poppy persuaded them that, though I was a man, I was OK.
We rocked up and then I had a thought. What, exactly, would I film? By the very nature of it all, filming Lesbians being lesbians wouldn't rest well with Ofcom.
So we opted just for interviews, which, in retrospect, worked bettter. Their stories were powerful and thought-provoking. It is only four years since China dropped homosexuality from its list of psychiatric disorders. And today many of the Lesbians we met still feared for family and friends rejecting them when they come out.
It was an eye-opener to see how the liberties that we in the West take for granted are so hard-fought in other countries. These women were thoughtful and passionate.
China's reach for modernity might broach concerns to us all, with rampant pollution and deep-rooted nationalism as a by-product of this leap forward, but we can't forget the plus sides. Liberty, freedom of speech and the right to self-expression are also part of that modern shift. And that can't be a bad thing, can it?