Next week, when the Winter Olympics come to Vancouver, the eyes of the world will be on Canada, the sprawling, frigid nation of my birth. It doesn’t happen often, so when the international spotlight swivels our way, we Canadians do our best to hog it. We don’t go in for patriotism and self-belief like our American cousins, but like the shy wallflower who ends up closing the karaoke bar with a lampshade on her head, Canadians are compelled to make fools of ourselves if we are flattered into thinking anyone might notice. So brace yourself in the coming weeks, Britain, for a gushing torrent of maple-flavoured praise for all things Canuck. You are going to hear about our glowing social democracy, our courageous war record, our unparalleled health and welfare system, and our ability to maintain trim waists and white teeth despite an insatiable appetite for honey lager and harp seal (which is exceptionally nutritious and a boon to the Nordic economy, no matter what Stella McCartney might say).