I am not what you would call a conventionally sexy person. Not especially good-looking, a solid five out of 10, I do not dress with flash and verve, and the only six-pack you'll find on me at any given time will be one containing a half-dozen Cadbury's Mini Rolls. Definitely nothing to email home about. And yet, once this annoying non-summer is out of the way, I will start to feel HOT. Why? Because of that strange phenomenon that occurs every time the thermometer starts to plunge, which I am calling Seasonal Affected Sexiness.
If you don't know what Seasonal Affected Sexiness (or SASS for short, I've added an extra S to make it sound funkier) is, then it's likely that you've never experienced it, in which case, congratulations on being lithe, lissom, muscular and generally perfect. But for those of us who are less than faultless, perhaps a touch on the heavy side, and in ownership of bits that wobble where wobbling is maybe not considered entirely proper, SASS is a very real phenomenon, and it will soon start happening for many of us, as the nights draw in and the cold winds start to blow.
I'll explain. I don't much care for summer. It makes me hot (as summer is prone to do), bothered, sweaty, and limits my fashion options to ghastly shorts and T-shirts that tend to be figure-hugging nowadays whether I want them to be or not. Meanwhile, on holidays or even in the parks of London, I am confronted at every turn by figures of youthful nubility, all tight and toned and blemish-free, and given constant opportunity to envy them for their beauty. Put all this together, and I have a tendency to feel - how to put this? - about as sexy as mildew. When you're too embarrassed to take your shirt off because of the very real possibility that what quivers within might make small children cry, you're at something of a disadvantage to the buff and beautiful. Nope, in summer, I am not sexy.
And then autumn happens. And then winter happens.
Aah, winter. How could anybody be in any doubt that this is the greatest season of them all? All those cosy fireside pub drinks, giggly snowball fights, days off work and long lie-ins. And, to top it all, for me and people like me, there's the knowledge that, all of a sudden, we're sexy!
Yes, it may not be readily apparent just by looking at me, but I am ABOUT TO BLOW UP, and it's all down to Seasonal Affected Sexiness, that strange moving of the goalposts that affects us all during the cold months, and the surge of confidence that it instills in those of us who have just endured six months (well, about two weeks, as it turned out this year) of sun-scorched sexlessness. The very things that would be considered our weaknesses in June and July, become the things that make us desirable in September - February. That soft midriff of mine is suddenly something to cuddle up to in bed, a snuggly cushion of warmth for a potential snugglee.
My wardrobe possibilities multiply exponentially - I can rock adorably fuzzy jumpers, cute duffel coats, manly stomping boots and thick, outdoorsy lumberjack shirts and look for all the world like I ought to be fighting grizzly bears and eating log cabins. And, crucially, I look like I am in my element - warmth and bonhomie glows out of me like I'm in an old Ready Brek advert, and I'm told that the ladies pick up on that kind of thing. And all the while, my more slender counterparts shiver and goosepimple under clothes that look just like mine, but which hang and flap where mine hug snugly (one's essential snugness is a fundamental defining feature of SASS) and add to my general air of cuddlesome loveliness.
And it's not just restricted to us chaps. My friend Reese is a beautiful size 12, but even she feels the benefits of SASS: "Slender people dislike winter because all the layers hide their gorgeous figures, whereas those of us with less-than-perfect bodies embrace the opportunity to dress like an Eskimo," she explains. "The blacks, plums, dark greens and browns of the colder months are inherently slimming, and you can always blame any errant rolls of flab on your chunky-knit jumper 'bunching up funny'. In the bedroom you get to snuggle under a duvet citing a winter chill, instead of being expected to frolic al fresco in the unflattering, full-beam glare of the summer sun. No-one expects you to don a bikini, the only bit of flesh that needs to be on show is your face, and even then you can disguise a wobbling chin with an artfully arranged scarf. Which is just as well, because winter is about sausage hotpots, not salads!"
Imperfect people of Britain, your time is coming. Shoo away the summer, and invite the world to step up and kiss your SASS!