Ah, the Winter Olympics!
Every morning when I come downstairs in my slippers and dressing gown, looking forward to my first
cup of coffee of the day, I can guarantee that Mr B will be ensconced in his comfy armchair watching some kind of Snow or Ice Related Sport.
Mr B is one of the
world’s greatest sports fans. I once commented that, should Tiddleywinks ever become an Olympic sport, he would be studying form and plotting strategic winking. Or Tiddleying, I’m not sure which. We were among the very first customers
to sign up for Sky Sports so that Mr B could watch the first live cricket from abroad - West Indies versus England. That was about 21 years ago. It feels like a lifetime.
The coverage of the
Winter Olympics feels a little bit frenetic to me. The commentators keep switching from one strange sport to another and I no sooner think I am getting the hang of the snow boarding, then we are hurtling down the double luge, battling it out
in the ice hockey or triple lutzing about in the skating rink.
At the moment we are watching the curling. At least, Mr B is watching the curling while I am typing
this blog and stealing occasional glances up at the TV screen to check on what I am missing. Mr B tells me I will find it helpful to draw comparisons between curling and our short mat bowls. Stones instead of woods, ice instead of carpet, I’m struggling
a bit. It's when they start sweeping the ice with their brooms that I completely lose the plot. However England have won their game against Switzerland and suddenly we are watching ice skating instead. The transitions are making me dizzy and I’m
not talking about what’s happening on the rink.
My biggest problem with the Winter Olympics, however, is that it is making me feel so cold. It’s all
that snow and ice that does it. It’s bad enough here at home, with the rain and the flooding and feeling chilly – but out there in Sochi it is white-out. I feel as if I need to don a ski-suit, gloves and a woolly hat just to watch TV.
Some people are naturally warm people, some tend to be shiverish. I am of the shiverish variety. Stand me at a bus stop in the rain for ten minutes and by the time the bus
I arrives I will be like jelly on a plate. Wibble, wobble, wibble, wobble, jelly on a plate. I know a poem about that. In other words, shiverish. It happened to me yesterday when I was making my way to the bus stop through the pouring rain, only to see
the Pulse bus bearing down on me. Well, I waved manically, put on my most pleading look, would have got down on my hands and knees but I knew I’d never be able to get back up again. The bus driver definitely saw me – but he sailed past me,
and past the bus stop without so much as slowing down, let along stopping.
There are a few bus drivers who will take pity on a person and stop for them. Mostly they drive on by, doubtless comforting
themselves that the Poor Unfortunate will have but ten short minutes to wait till the next bus arrives. Except that ten minutes in the pouring rain is very different from ten minutes in the sunshine. By the time the next bus arrived (it was, to be fair, exactly
ten minutes later) I was distinctly shiverish and once I start shivering, well, there’s no stopping me.
Over a steaming skinny latte at the community cafe,
I slowly returned to normal. Or as normal as I ever get. By the time I left to catch the bus back after my meeting, I was feeling almost warm.
When I arrived
home, the Winter Olympics was still on TV. The snow was still deep and crisp and even. Good King Wenceslas would be in his element.
Not I. I'll be wearing my polar bear dressing gown and
hugging the radiator for the duration of the Games.
I think I deserve a medal. Gold, silver or bronze, I'm not that fussed...