OPINION: While the fluffy ducks are still around, I want to mention three things I'm loving about this summer.
For years now, one of my colleagues has marched through the building each day on the week leading into December 25, playing the feel-good song Snoopy's Christmas loudly on her ghetto blaster.
We've all got a few irrational fears. Quite often they involve sinister stuff like spiders, cockroaches, vermin, old boyfriends, burning houses . . . That kind of thing.
A few years ago I was at a train station north of London, wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo "Hawke's Bay Wine Country".
Burgermeister Strobel last week introduced a dozen women-only parking spaces in a new three-storey parking building in his town.
I bought an expensive saucepan last Saturday night.
OPINION: It's interesting how something that starts out as intensely controversial can seep into public consciousness as being harmless, and cause you to quietly wonder what all the fuss was about.
You've probably read about it: Greer opined on an Aussie television show that Gillard had a large bottom, and she should get rid of the fitted jackets that accentuate this.
One the day before the quake, my husband Bill was diagnosed with a neurological illness with a long name and a cruel outcome.
I was carefully brought up by parents who had social rules for all manner of occasions, but nothing in my past instruction had ever covered the public display of a cockroach in one's wallet.
OPINION: I had a moment to think "s..., he's coming straight for me", before I swerved towards the mercifully broad shoulder.
OPINION: She arrived home at exactly this time last year, looking very grand after serious cosmetic surgery.
OPINION: Some years back, a woman I knew quite well stood for the Hamilton City Council. She was well known in her ward, was elected by a decent margin and took on her new role with enthusiasm.
OPINION: When the doomed ship Rena began spewing oil into the ocean near Mt Maunganui about three weeks ago, the armchair experts reckoned no-one would be swimming on this coast for a very long time, maybe not even by Christmas.