Protected home page even for admin

Hi,

I have setup a new staging site and I'm in the process of reconfiguring the skin and layout. I imported all the plugins from my existing site including membership. I hadn't set up any settings as yet but it didn't matter as only the admin login was using the site and I am not ready to go live.

I was changing a widget to put in a slider when suddenly I was booted out, (the message said something about login timed out) and when I logged back in it has made the home page protected. I can't seem to unprotect it in any of the settings or even by disabling the Membership plugin. I can't see the home page when I go to view page and it doesn't even show the admin bar at the top. It's like it will not see me as logged in when I view the page. I've tried undoing the widget settings, The skin settings and even setup a blank home page and set it in the Settings -> Reading. I've also run a repair on the database under phpMyAdmin. I've run out of ideas.. your help would be appreciated. Thanks.