Ask a man what the weather?s like and he?ll say ?Eh? What weather?? Ask a woman, and she?ll produce a sheaf of satellite maps, ask whether you want that in Celsius or Fahrenheit, and offer you the option of a five or ten-day forecast.

 

This is due to the biological fact that women feel the cold more than men and need to be constantly prepared for any potential drop in temperature. Most men, however, still have trouble grasping this simple fact until their beloved loses at least two fingers to frostbite and collapses with hypothermia. Men, damn their insensitive hairy hides, are impervious to freezing cold conditions. How else can you explain their ability to survive sub-zero temperatures wearing only their favourite threadbare t-shirt? Even when it?s officially been declared the coldest day in fifty years, you will still see men gadding around in vests while most women are looking for a bear to skin.

 

Of course, just when the equivalent of a nuclear winter is upon us the bloody boiler will start to play up. When it eventually stutters to a halt, the plumber will require at least 500 begging phone calls and pleading letters written in your own blood, before he deigns to come and take a look at it. You in the meantime will have to spend your time swaddled in blankets  hunched over a one-bar electric fire like a neglected pensioner from one of those grim Age Concern adverts. On the plus side, you will have learned to layer clothing with the skill of a Polar explorer. When the plumber and his gormless assistant arrive, don?t forget to greet them like they?re a cure for cancer. Break open the biscuits as well, because the only machine they?re really interested in seeing work will be your kettle, as they stand in slack-jawed wonder at the stalactites on your ceiling. When they eventually look at your recalcitrant boiler, be prepared for a lot of head scratching and mutterings about ?loose fittings? and ?is it worth it?? Finally, after another KitKat they?ll tell you it needs a new part. But guess what? They don?t have that part with them! No, really? So, they?ll take off in their van to supposedly scour the streets looking for ?the part?, while the minutes and the pounds add up. What usually happens next is that they come back to you looking as cheerful as two grave-diggers to inform you that they?ll have to order the part from a factory in China and that it?ll be three months at the earliest before it arrives. Then they?ll slap their invoice on the table, and tell you to ?wrap up warm? as they make their getaway. You?ll barely notice because you?re too busy fantasising about blasting them with a shotgun and using their heads for firewood.

 

Even though I personally have enough blubber to rival an Alaskan seal, I still shiver uncontrollably if someone even breathes too hard in my direction.That?s why when I ask my other half how cold it is, he now knows to respond (after years of intensive training) ?three layers and your goretex hat with the ear flaps? or  ?balaclava and salopettes?. He has finally learnt that what is a mild breeze to him constitutes a blizzard in my book. Mind you, during the coldest months there?s nothing I like more than pinning a man down, gazing into his scared bloodshot eyes and thrusting my icy little paws into his warmest crevices. (If he puts up a fight, a syringe of ketamine and a steady hand will usually do the trick). So when you hear women bragging about how ?hot? their men are, don?t get too excited – we?re usually referring to your thermal prowess!

Unfortunately, the coldest environment I experience isn?t exactly weather dependent. Every time I see the in-laws there?s definitely an Arctic chill in the air.Right from the start they made me feel as welcome as an ice-cream headache. I like to think that  Ol? Knife Eyes (as I affectionately call the mother-in-law) has somehow cryogenically frozen all of her warm and tender feelings for me, lest she overwhelms me with them.  However given that she can strangle kittens using just her tongue, I?m not expecting a thaw anytime soon…..