Today Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States of America. I'm British, so this should not be of any relevance to me, but of course the influence of the US is felt across the world.
Many outside the US watched the elections and were quite confident that Mr Trump would not be elected, as in much the same way most thought we in the UK would vote against Brexit.
No one quite knows what to expect now. Brexit & Mr Trump are paradigm shifting moments of the 21st century. I find it hard to summon the confidence I once had in the democratic process. Can elections be a good way to make decisions if these are the are the choices the public makes?
I have this forlorn hope that, through some bizarre accident in the physics laboratories where I work, I have been transported to a parallel universe temporarily and it is just a matter of time until a rubber band effect yanks me back to my own reality.
Meanwhile I wonder whether the ordinary people of the late 1930's felt this sense of disbelieving dread as events sucked them into WWII.
If the potential consequences weren't so apocalyptically terrifying, "Trump in the White House" has all the ingredients for a great slapstick comedy. It would be so pleasant to sit back with popcorn and be entertained by his outrageous antics for the next 4 years - if only it weren't so damn real.
Hang on to your hats, people of planet earth, the ride is going to be bumpy.