So, back to Sochi, and we apparently have a new national sport, curling. Yes, curling, at which we appear to be doing as well as at our other national sports, although, in what is becoming something of a theme, the women are doing better than the men. The women are close to beating Russia (yay!) to reach the final four, whereas the men apparently have a tough match against China coming up.
China?!? When did they become synonymous with curling? Did a call go out from the Communist Central Committee twenty years ago: “Get us…. a curling team!” Forth go functionaries the length and breadth of the land, seeking toddlers with embryonic Scottish accents and an ability to unerringly slide their toys across the kitchen floor to collide painfully with their parents’ ankles. Whisked to a secret training centre in northern China, the children are forced to push heavy stones for hours a day and to brush miles of ice as tears freeze on their tiny cheeks. (I once saw a documentary about a Chinese circus school and, believe me, this wouldn’t be a million miles from the truth.) Finally the great day arrives: Sochi 2014, and the path to world domination. At last, a curling gold medal shall be theirs!
Meanwhile, British sport has apparently spent 5 million pounds on our curling teams and is slightly miffed at the likely result. When the reporter first announced that £5 million had been spent on curlers, I assumed he meant hair products to keep the athletes’ hair nice after all those helmets and bobble hats. But no, it is money apparently lavished upon our curling teams, and the ingrates are unlikely to deliver shiny metal in return. 
I can’t help wondering how much has been spent on Chelsea and Arsenal, neither of whom seem to be in the top three of anything. But no matter. At least it allows us to enjoy the wit and wisdom of Jose and Arsene, who are still pushing at each other in a corner of the playground. Arsene’s latest sally is to say that he is “embarrassed” by Jose’s “stupid, undignified remarks”. I guess in the Premier League that counts as a dignified silence, and for that, at least, we can only be grateful.