As I write, I have an impressive view of a row of trees from my living room window; they are, currently, almost bare and the few leaves that do desperately cling to the branches do so with a stoic and determined, but also grim, acceptance of their fate. There is something of the pleasurable melancholy about this time of year. The season just past, and the one to come, offers a time for reflection, enjoyment and anticipation of frivolity to come. I love the delightful feeling of cosiness and contentment that comes from being inside, beside a roaring fire with a fine dram carefully balanced on the arm of a well-worn armchair and armed only with a good book and time to read it as the rain does its best to get it - but fails.
Autumn, and especially Winter, are my favourite times of year; I live for the cool breezes, the crunchy leaves, the snow, the crisp mornings, Christmas, hot chocolate and the strolls in the early evening moonlight. Essentially, I like everything that the Danish refer to as 'hygge' or 'hyggeligt'. This word is, much like the German word schadenfreude, a non-English word without a direct English equivalent that desperately needs one. I suppose that the closest approximation is 'cosy'.
I'm also an overweight man. Not to the point where my health is in serious danger - at the moment - or that I can't make it up the stairs without losing my breath and resembling a gasping eggplant but there's a little extra around my tummy that, I suppose, I could stand to lose. I could be slimmer and fitter but I don't have any difficulty buying trousers, if you see what I mean. There are euphemisms like 'cuddly' and 'a few extra pounds' for this but overweight or chubby works just fine; I wouldn't take any such term to (my only slightly overworked) heart.
It may be possible to dismiss my enjoyment of the colder end of the year and my 'husky' build as a matter of mere coincidence but I don't think that is the case. This time of year is far better suited to us Seth Rogen types than it is to our Jim Parsons or Zac Efron counterparts; besides, they have the other parts of the year to enjoy because they are, you'll pardon the expression, weighted in their favour just as the Autumn/Winter period is in ours.
You may have noticed that I'm only talking in male terms here. That's a pattern that will continue for the most part through the rest of this piece - besides, my articles probably aren't the best places to be looking for gender balance anyway. I write from a male perspective, especially on matters like this.
I will make one observation - if the number of my chunky brothers who have lost hoodies, sweaters and other items of clothing to their svelte companions in the name of warmth and who are generally getting laid more often has taught me anything, it is that the cooling of the temperature tilts the sexual balance in favour of the larger chap. Could this be because while muscles and bones may be nicer to look at, when pneumonia becomes a factor, cushioning and a bit of heat retaining blubber become essential?
I would suggest that the winter period is better suited to us big lads in every aspect. In addition to the objects of our desires becoming far more interested in the sharing of our suddenly precious body heat surpluses (and the acts of depravity that inevitably accompany it) we also benefit from body heat and bulk as regards our own comfort- as comedian Dara O Briain puts it, we "winter well".
Winter fashion also looks far better on the big than the brawny or bony. Anyone with senses can observe that the swish of an overcoat, the click of a Chelsea boot heel or the fuzzy warmth of a dashing scarf and jumper set look more suitable, more distinguished and are better filled by a big chap than a lanky or trim Jim. Also, as the group most likely to be averse to exercise and in favour of the luxury end of gastronomy, what could be more tailor-made for us than the coldest, darkest seasons of the year, where sedateness is encouraged and indulgence is mandatory?
But what of the other groups in society? What of the chaps and lady-chaps left shivering on train station platforms as we trundle past, worried only about where we're going to hang our coats on the train or if there may be the beginnings of sweat stains on the backs of our shirts? What of the muscular chap who is tempted to scoff everything during the winter period and put his valuable training regime in danger? What about these poor souls?
Well, on behalf of the portly gentlemen of the world, we don't really care.
We don't care because we had to suffer through summer and spring as the temperatures rose and it became more and more uncomfortable to have a little extra paunch about oneself. We had to endure the seasons of shirtlessness, fitted-Ts and light, airy fabrics that do nothing for us aesthetically, we waited patiently during the chubby-chaser quiet season, and, worst of all... endured fucking salads!
I guess my point is this.
To my non-chubby pals, please, just deal with it. The autumn and winter will be over soon and then we'll be back in the time of year suited to you. But for now, please stop complaining about the temperature and how you hate this time of year and how you long for the time of year that makes us literally sweat. Perhaps even show your solidarity with the solid and ask to join us in the over-indulgence, to borrow a hoodie and maybe, if you like, ask us very nicely to share some of our body heat - we're an obliging lot, I'm sure it'll be ok.Suggest a correction