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I've not been feeling very inspired recently, and, doing a little self-analysis, it's clear that worries of varying natures from my mother-in-law's health, the topsy-turvy polemics of the Presidential elections and the stomach-churning gyrations and uncertainties of the financial markets are all contributing to this sense of unease.

My mother-in-law? Well, she's been in hospital with back problems and, hopefully, they are on the mend. As to the elections and the markets – well, the election only has a bit more than two weeks to go. I will be glad to see the end of it, not least because it brings out the most absurd over-reactions in people. Your man (or woman) becomes a saint, the opponent the Devil him-(or her)-self. It's all so overblown: none of these black-and-white judgements are true, but it's easy to get caught up in the winner vs. loser gamesmanship. I have to step back from it. I mean, I know who I support – Obama – but I certainly don't think he's going to solve every problem with a wave of a magic wand. Nor do I think, should McCain be elected, that a Reign of Terror will be inflicted on liberals like myself.

Whoever wins is going to find that the world will impose its own order on them. And let's hope they can adapt.

That brings me to the financial woes of the world. To my eyes, this looks like a very large forest fire in a very dry and windy season. You can put out vast swathes of it, but a change in the wind and a spark carried through the air, and off it goes again.

Who knows if the measures taken recently will really help. The fact is that a financial edifice several times larger than this planet and built solely of straw is falling down. Personally, I think those responsible should have their fortunes removed and a few years of their lives devoted to a jail cell, but that's not going to happen. It's a mess, and it's going to be a mess for a long time. I guess we'll get used to it.

Meanwhile, I'll end with the finest musical ode to uncertainty I've ever heard:

I'm a leaf on a windy day
Pretty soon I'll be blown away
How long will the wind blow?
How long will the wind blow?

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