It's a sunny, unseasonably warm October day. A Friday, and late afternoon so the weekend is tentalisingly close. It's quiet. Especially now that the scaffolding people across the street have departed back to whatever demented planet they came from.
There're a couple of pubs on my street (the other one, I live on a corner). And usually by now, you can hear the sound of glasses and conversations drifting up to my windows. But not today. Today is quiet.
Maybe it's the financial crisis. The banking crisis. The credit crunch. The American Elections. The sub-prime debacle.The housing collapse. The global crisis. Or maybe everyone decided to go home early and spend Friday evening all cosied up with the Missus and the kids, around a home cooked meal (vegetarian) before settling "en famille" to watch a family movie. Like Madonna and Guy. Maybe?
Just as I seem to be growing calmer and more serene (a couple of hours at a time) thanks to yoga and witht the Greater Universe as my guide, the world appears to be going to pot. It's spinning faster and faster on its axis. Greed and Fear are everywhere. I'm resisting the temptation to become a Buddhist Nun and move to a Nepalese monastery high up in the Himalayas. (Not sure Nepal is in the Himalayas but I'm claiming poetic license for today's fantasy.)
What I want to know is, what happened to the carbon footprint and green issues every news channel and supermarket was raving on about a few weeks ago? Surely the planet is still in need of saving? The orang-outans, the gorillas, even the humble hedgehog and sparrow of our hedgerows? And starving people in war torn countries. Darfur? Somalia? And M&S are still charging 10p per new plastic bag...
What I also want to know is when did Iceland go from being an exotic ice garden of Eden for Innuits and polar bears, and well, Icelanders, to being a financial centre of global significance? Who invests in Icelandic banks? Or rather who hasn't? They were all at it.
Maybe with all that global warming Gore tried to warn us about, all those Icelandic deposits have just melted away - a fitting moral to the story.