Right now there is only one name on the lips of 40-something women across the country. Move over Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman and your ilk - Tom Hiddleston is the new man on the block. I know I am not the only one who feels like this - my Facebook sharing of a video of TH dancing last week demonstrated that he is not just my guilty pleasure.
While the rest of the UK is talking about politicians' tax bills, my attention is fully focused on marginally less taxing issues - more 'form', less substance. I should I suppose apologise to my husband for writing about this but since my TH eulogising is met with an expression of pity by him, I don't think he is particularly threatened by my latest crush. Perhaps he should be as surely I've got more chance with TH than he has with Megan Fox or whoever it is that 40-something men currently lust after: TH and I are at least vaguely (very vaguely) in the same age bracket and apparently he, like me, read classics at university (on finding this out, I have to admit to a rather sad little fist pump) - well, come on, there can't be many of us who thought Latin and Ancient Greek would be a vocational choice for modern living (although one could argue that TH has made rather more of a success out of his career thus far).
Before you wonder I must reassure you that I haven't tried out my name with his surname (well I just have just now and it isn't bad...). What I have thought about though is that with my latest "weakness", I think I have finally gone mainstream. Thinking back over years gone by I must admit to some slightly bizarre infatuations.
In my early teens it was all about James Dean. My room was plastered with black and white posters of the late, great James Dean. That is precisely the point - the late James Dean. What was I thinking? Looking back being infatuated with a dead man is at best a bit morbid and at worst downright weird. Surely I should have given myself an outside chance of fantasy becoming reality by picking someone who at least was still alive when I was born?
Next up was Bruce Springsteen. I have to admit to still having a weakness for The Boss although I think it is more about the music than because I have a thing for sexagenarians. I did cry when he first got married (being very young is the only excuse I can offer for this) and I have never really forgiven Courteney Cox for being picked from the concert crowd to dance with him in the video for "Dancing in the Dark". Back off Courteney, that should have been me.
My next phase can only be described as "experimental". Boris Becker. Not an obvious replacement for Bruce in my affections I grant you. I'm still not really sure what that was all about but I can only imagine I got swept up in Wimbledon mania and perhaps I had sat out in the sun for a bit too long... I don't know but there was a time. That is one "weakness" that has not lasted at all and anyway I don't like confined spaces or Japanese food very much...
My next pin-up, however, has retained a place in my affections. The only Officer and a Gentleman for me is Richard Gere. I must have watched that final scene in the film a thousand times when he sweeps Debra Winger off her feet ("Way to go, Paula!") and takes her out past all her colleagues to the stirring strains of Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong. Oh how I wanted to be Debra/Paula! I can just imagine it as it would have been in my life at that time... I am working in a Harvester restaurant, Richard sweeps in (without a table reservation, just a small detail), I am standing by the salad cart when he swings me up in the air, off my feet and into his arms whilst my colleagues are cheering and whooping, "Way to go, Kathryn, way to go!" and then I look into his eyes and deliver the immortal (but company policy) line of "Have you been to a Harvester before?"
Fast forward at least 25 years and here I am with my latest 'weakness' - TH. I have to admit that my 'weaknesses' over the last 30 years have been an eclectic bunch with no obvious connecting factor - if you can find one between Richard Gere and Boris Becker, then please let me know. Before you judge my taste - or lack of - remember there are plenty of you who cried when Take That split up (at least I didn't do that).
It remains to be seen whether TH is a more permanent fixture in my affections or just a passing fancy -he is certainly a welcome diversion and escape from the more monotonous elements of child-rearing and if you're reading this, TH, then I'm more than happy to discuss with you the finer points of Dido's demise in Book 4 of The Aeneid or the complexities of Achilles' characterisation in The Iliad.Suggest a correction