Man About Town: Enjoying Sochi from the comfort of my recliner

Man About Town: Enjoying Sochi from the comfort of my recliner

Man About Town: Enjoying Sochi from the comfort of my recliner

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Features Editor. Call me on 01865 425435

Drop me at the top of a mountain with my ski mitts on, my ski hat donned, my bright blue ski suit stretched tight and taut across my ripped bod and my boots clipped into my skis, and I’ll tell you this... I’ll be a happy man.

The fact I then have to stand there, proud and sleek, while everyone else launches themselves into the white abyss of powdered heaven, does not discourage me.

I can and have stood there for hours, happily taking in the scenery, the pine-scented air, waiting for my friends to return, so I too can finally descend the mountain on the ski lift.

You see, as regards the crisp white joy of alpine pursuits, that really is enough for me.

I’ve tried skiing, snow shoeing, tobogganing, and snowboarding, while clearly my evolutionary adaptations prove I’m more suited to golden sands and piña coladas than ‘black’ runs and gluhwein. Consequently, and maturely too I think, I have accepted what nature has bestowed – and not bestowed – upon me and decided instead to only enjoy the art and thrill of skiing from the comfort of my 42inch, HD Samsung and Sofa World recliner.

Which is why today and for the next seven days I shall be rising early, eating my sugar puffs and switching onto BBC 2 for my ‘fix’ of this February’s Winter Olympics.

I have taken the whole week off, including last Friday for the opening ceremony, and right now am living and breathing the entire Sochi experience. And dammit I’m loving it.

Usually of course I try to ignore sport as best I can (since the Mail’s sports desk sit behind me, I know what a sensible decision this is) but come the major sporting events such as the World Cup and of course the Olympics, I can’t help but get involved.

Of course it’s still sport, but not the ho-hum tedium of every day competition; events such as these focus upon the Herculean, the mammoth, the once-in-a-lifetime battle for total and absolute world domination, and it’s the theatre of that confrontation which so excites me.

Like when England play Germany, the whole country stops; St Giles is quiet and calm, Cornmarket is dead and the bus station deserted.

The tension is palpable and it’s impossible not to get caught up. So this year will, for me, prove to be a once-in-every four year sporting orgy, the like of which I usually avoid like the plague.

I’ve learnt the terminology (I know what ‘off side’ is) and can hang loose with my snowboarding brothers getting ‘sick’ off the ‘screws’. For just 12 months in fact, like the butterfly emerging from its husk, I can spread my wings, chat to taxi drivers, mingle with golfer-types and wear Pringles jumpers. God I love Grandstand and A Question of Sport...

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