In case any of you have been nodding off in front of Turkish soaps, or not noticing Google’s newest banner, you might recall that quite an important sporting event is starting shortly. Round here, there’s not a lot of interest in the ladies luge or speed skating, but on the other side of the globe it’s rather different. Vancouver is a lovely city, I am told, despite the fact that the bars apparently close early. At 11. In the morning. It rains quite a lot and can be quite chilly during the winter months, which has equipped it well for the quadrennial shenanigans in the snow which start tomorrow. Helicopters are augmenting the meagre precipitation to give the snowboarders some white stuff to slide down. Torchbearers included Sebastian (Lord) Coe and the Terminator, inter alia, braving inevitable protesters and sub-zeroes. AS was heard to remark with typical Austro-Californian directness that it was ‘colder than a Newfie’s arse up here’. I wonder what he meant..
There’s drama aplenty so far – a one-man ski team from Ghana, via Milton Keynes – a drama indeed if he can manage not to come last – and an Irish bobsleigh team which has qualified despite Australian protests. It’s probably unwise to talk about hockey, since the Canadians have only taken gold once since 1952.
I do like Canadians, they’re Auntie Bessie in a mukluk, preposterously nice Americans with manners and a rare economy with words which I find soothing and will host a wonderful Games, despite having moaned endlessly for seven years about how much it has cost them. Go, Canada. Or, is it ‘Oh’. I hope we hear it often.