But it wasn't hard to fall in love with Nottingham. It has so much going for it you see: it's people, its leaders, its caves and its castle, its shiny new tram and its quirky medieval street pattern. And it could never be described as "sad". In fact, it has a rather wonderful and slightly off the wall sense of humour.
One of the most encouraging aspects of the city is the work under way by Nottingham city "Clean Safe Proud Ambitious" council to leverage up its asset base. UKR is working on one former Nottingham city council site, which is but one site for sale by the council to finance its move to Loxley House (a rather divine fit-for-purpose integrated HQ office) two years ago. Other city council's former sites are also being redeployed, the Treasury building on Burton Street is the new E-on headquarters and Lawrence House on Talbot Street is being converted into student accommodation.
And this is merely the start of the programme. You can expect more, much more, from Nottingham city council in the imaginative and holistic use of its assets and resources over the next few months. I am greatly looking forward to working with the city team to develop an exemplar of maximising assets for the good of the Nottingham community, through creative local governance.
And another piece of great news for Nottingham this week, which must play in and support this agenda, was the granting of its own Freeview channel, providing relevant TV content to local audiences. This is under an initiative launched by the Department of Culture, aimed at awarding 21 cities with a TV franchise, similar to the local TV franchise model which is well proven in the US. A number of bids were made, but the deserving winning consortium was formed of Antenna, Nottingham Trent University, Inclusive Digital and the Nottingham Post Media Group.
Just two days ago it was announced that the consortium had been given a licence to broadcast for 12 years - on Freeview Channel 8. It is anticipated that the first programmes will be broadcast from April 2014.
Nottingham is one of the first cities to be awarded its own TV licence and the process has now begun in developing the programme content. This is a very exciting opportunity for fostering and developing the next generation of exceptional talent in the digital world. The consortium has a solid track record of delivery in the media, Nottingham Trent University has a world-class course in broadcast journalism and the Post Group has the infrastructure to report news daily. And they have attracted a couple of senior ex-ITV and BBC professionals to head the team.
Yet another fantastic story for Nottingham. You can't escape the feeling that there is all to play for in that fine city, and I look forward to working with these guys to develop some localised content. Perhaps, dare I suggest, around developing new models of delivering urban regeneration? As with the people of Nottingham, I always find that it's best to travel in hope...