First, the bad news: I still ownan Arsenal football shirt, signed by last season's first-team squad, that I absolutely do not want.
Despite my threats last week that if no Gunner buyer came forward by the time of the final whistle at the game between my team Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal last SundayI would publicly destroy said shirt, I had only a couple of tentative and inconsequential offers.
But when the whistle blew, and left Spurs with a precious 2-1 victory, I felt a strange new emotion: sorrow for the hapless Gunners, who had been so humiliated. In such circumstances, I felt unable to carry through my threat. I must be going soft.
The good news, however, is that I've found a use for the shirt. I noticed the other day that we were running out of floor-cleaning equipment, and the shirt will fit nicely on the end of a mop. It will spend the rest of its days dangling in a bucket of dirty water. Entirely appropriate.
Enough football, for now. At a dinner party recently with a few business people and some journalist colleagues, the conversation got round to branding and the quest for the next big consumer brand. The question that was left unanswered was this: is there, or can there ever be, a consumer brand from the Arab world that will take off in the rest of the world?
My dinner companions were all well-travelled people, many of whom regularly cross the world between the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and all were agreed: European consumer brands such as Armani, Gucci and Louis Vuitton still dominate the retail universe, and there is little sign of any challenge emerging to threaten them.
The evidence was all anecdotal but compelling nonetheless. Malls and shopping streets in Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai and even New York all had the same basic "designer" names, all from old Europe. There is no great Asian clothing brand, with the small exception of Shanghai Tang, the Chinese designer label that has made some headway outside China.
Somebody such as the insufferable Tyler Brűlé, the Financial Times' connoisseur of the high life, will probably correct me, and point to some obscure Tokyo outlet where the mens' cuffed shorts are to die for, but I think the rule generally holds true: Europe dominates designer retail.
And Middle East retail brands are nowhere. Sure, there are big corporate brands from the Arab world, such as Emirates Airline, Al Jazeera in media, and DP World in ports. But none of us could think of a single retail brand from the Arab world that had any cachet on the international scene.
If any readers can point one out, or tell me where one is likely to emerge, I'd be very grateful.
My colleague Rupert Wright recently gave a good going-over to Johann Hari, the British journalist who has fessed up to plagiarism and inaccuracy in his columns for The Independent, most famously the one from Dubai where he viciously laid into the emirate.
What Mr Hari did was indeed reprehensible, but at least he had the good manners to actually visit Dubai and conduct some interviews over a couple of weeks as the basis for his criticisms. Whether or not the infamous "Range Rover lady" ever existed is still being debated. There is at least some evidence that she did, though Hari may have changed her name and nationality.
But two other examples of sloppy and unjust journalism should also be re-examined in the light of the Hari scandal. About the same time that Mr Hari was penning his poison, The Guardian published two pieces about Dubai, one from its senior commentator Simon Jenkins, the other from its sometimes architecture critic Germaine Greer. Both were vitriolic in the extreme.
Ms Greer's assessment was written on the basis of a Big Bus tour of the city, while Mr Jenkins's appeared to have all the erudition and insight of an airport stopover. Here is just one gem of a prediction from Mr Jenkins for the emirate: "Gangs will seize the gated estates and random anarchy will rule the soulless boulevards."
He must have been on some kind of medication.