I was born in North America, and as the Team Canada-Team GB (a.k.a. Team Scotland, but whatever) women’s curling semifinal at the Sochi Olympics, which was on as I gave my fricking lifeblood to the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is that not enough what more do you want from me damn it, proves, I would fail the on-ice equivalent of the Tebbit Test. I describe myself as Canadian and could not do aught else, a successful Life in the UK test result and a permanent residency visa notwithstanding. But I’ve always been Europeanly inclined: in values, in urban aspirations, and increasingly in sport.
It wasn’t always thus. Ann Coulter would be pleased to know I grew up with a great love for ice hockey (go Flames go) and football–the Canadian kind, not the one the Americans play, uh, nor the one the… everybody else in the world plays. And I attribute this to my father’s enthusiasm. My father, with whom I made bets of Mars bars over the outcome of series of the Stanley Cup playoffs. My father, who cravenly swapped his allegiance from the Calgary Flames to the Vancouver Canucks after we moved to the West Coast. My father, who is Dutch. Continue reading