(Health Warning: If you’re in a good mood do not read on!)

WE LIVE in an Age of Anxiety. Granted, it’s not as bad as our grandparents on the eve of the Second World War – that must have been like staring into a chasm of the unknown.

But today it is the accumulation of things and the ending of the old certainties.

Of course there is Isis, mass migration of refugees, global warming, nuclear weapons, global poverty and hunger.

Set against that background, our problems on this island seem small.

We live in a stable, beautiful country, one of the richest in the world.

We are lucky.

So why increasingly do we not feel like it? As one tiny indicator, why is the prescription of anti-depressants spiralling out of control?

I think it’s because we live like small fry swept this way and that by the out-of-control whirlpools of the global economy.

We have no way of predicting what will happen in our lives, unlike our parents who, post-war, had a fairly linear narrative to follow.

That global capitalism is like a many-headed hydra: voracious, capable of destruction and self-destruction.

We are pedalled visions of the future by snake-oil salesmen.

They’re just trying to get on the life raft ahead of us.

We connive in supporting our slavery to just a few global corporations.

How is it that the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft are still viewed as benevolent, shiny, must-haves rather than near worldwide monopolies?

Except for the lucky ones, we’re a zero-hour, small-pension, getting-by kind of society.

The old politics, Tory or Labour, have no answer to what ails us.

We seek sanctuary in the laughter of friends, cooking, jumping on our bikes, flying to Rome for a hedonistic to-hell-with-Monday weekend.

We don’t look to the horizon.

It’s usually enough.

Salvation probably lies in taking a gamble, and jumping off the materialistic whirligig for a time.

Few of us are brave enough.

From the outside, the young have it worse than we did.

Brighter, smarter, better-looking, they come out of college ladened with debt loaded on to them by baby boomers into non-jobs.

But they will take us to a better future.

I’m at my son’s graduation today.

He got a First in English and American Literature at Goldsmiths College and I’m very proud of him.

When I’m with him and his friends I’m always bowled over by their spirit of youth, the devil-may-care, headlong rush at things.

One once told me after I was lambasting the iniquities of tuition fees: Relax Mike, I’m never going to pay it off anyway.

I loved that mix of insouciance and rebellion.

We need him as a chief exec of the future.

Today as I watch those young people collect their scrolls, self-conscious under their mortar boards, I’m going to allow myself to believe that they are just the sort of next generation we need to sail us through the doldrums and ito a brighter future.

(Okay, you can come back now).

Talking of my son. He is shortly to leave along with his younger brother, both off to continue studying.

The Argus:

You can hear the house groaning with relief.

The poor old girl’s taken a bit of a battering over the last few months.

And of course there’s been the enduring mystery of the socks.

I know blokes are always banging on about this sort of thing, but I am genuinely baffled to the point of obsession.

When both are at home socks simply disappear.

This summer I’ve experimented by constantly topping up the house supply, regularly putting five pairs of M&S 100 per cent cotton into circulation.

But it’s no good.

Once in the linen basket they’re gone, settling like primeval layers of silt into the detritus of the house where they cannot be reached.

Occasionally one of the boys will appear wearing an odd pair but that’s it.

It’s a scientific conundrum.

Solve this and you are halfway to understanding black holes in outer space.