Sitting, lounging, reading books - as I am now - by a swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, it is natural to absorb more sunshine than news. But the full horror of the Denver Dark Knight killings has penetrated this tranquil state and destroyed the lives of hundreds of innocent people oceans away from here.
As I cycled along the Thames this morning on my way into Pearlfinders HQ, I saw the Olympic rings hanging high above the water from Tower Bridge. I felt pride in my city and some excitement at the impending visit of the world's best sportsmen and women. But like many business leaders, I also contemplated the effects this year's games would have on my company.
Welcome to London, the host city of the 2012 Olympic Games. This is the message that greets you at Heathrow Airport. Despite the sometimes negative attitude of the British to the hosting of the Olympics, it is pretty darn difficult not to notice that London has caught the Olympics fever. From the Games Lane that takes you to Central London and the Olympic Park, to the Cultural Olympiad events happening round the city. There is no mistaken it. A cable car across the Thames has even been built to coincide with the Olympics.
After the flags have come down in Regent Street, the athletes have departed the village, and the nation reflects on Britain's performance as both host and competitor, a particular observation may dawn on public and punditry alike. The extent of Team GB's medal table standing may well be due to the disproportionate success of its women athletes.
Long after the last athletes and spectators have left the Olympic Park in September, London 2012's organisers will be obsessing over the much-hyped Olympic Legacy. London won its bid for the Games on an explicit promise of 'greater inclusion' for all communities. Recent research conducted by the University of Cambridge for Stonewall's School Report 2012 reveals something that should seriously worry those responsible for achieving this worthy goal. In light of these findings, it's unsurprising that gay people are almost invisible in professional athletics (in Team GB there are just two openly gay athletes). But remarkably, London 2012 has done little of value to make sure gay people share that Olympic Legacy of 'greater inclusion'.
As afternoon teas go, I've had some truly horrendous experiences, some especially wonderful experiences and some in between; afternoon tea at The Soho Hotel, was charmingly decadent and very much a wonderful experience.