I gave him a tour of past, present and modern Manchester with visits inside Chetham's, John Rylands Library and The Briton's Protection. The latter for a fine pint of ale and a general chat about what makes Manchester tick.
The rendezvous time had been 2pm so after arriving back from Washington DC at 6.15am and having had no sleep, I felt somehow otherworldly with jet lag.
Yet the guiding concentrated my mind, the discipline of public performance does that; although I confess on leaving Ben at half four fatigue set in so heavily I found myself outside the Town Hall looking up at it and wondering what on earth it was and what did it want from me?
Ben was here researching material for various pieces including a regular blog - God I hate that word - called The Backpacker.
He also writes for The Sydney Morning Herald and lots of other publications, a classic freelancer. Good man.
His theme on this trip was finding out places in Manchester for Aussies to go during The Rugby League World Cup this October from bars to culture - although we did wonder whilst stood outside the Bridgewater Hall whether Classical Music would really be the fans' thing.
That's another reason why we went for a pint in the Briton's Protection. Seemed more suited to the theme.
I've taken a few Sydney Morning Herald journalists around and read the paper occasionally online to see what is happening in Oz. When Australia was doing so badly at the 2012 Olympics it had been funny to read the commentators appalled lack of comprehension over how it was possible that Britain could trounce them in the medal table.
Ben correctly pointed out we have a bit of a chip on the shoulder about Australian sport. The conversation spread to the myriad chips on sporting shoulders. For instance how frantic the Welsh and Scots are to beat the English at rugby, at anything, and that the English don't care anywhere near as much. Same with Leeds fans and their not massively returned dislike of Manchester United.
The whale hardly cares what the minnows do after all.