Denise Irvine

Endless sunny weeks bring joy

	 Golden summer

OPINION: While the fluffy ducks are still around, I want to mention three things I'm loving about this summer.

Christmas's changing times

Splash of colour: The Christmas tree lit up in Hamilton’s Garden Place. Christmas is a watershed for so many people.

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.

Rats! Panic and calmness when stuck in a lavatory

Rats still cause me to shudder after I heard a graphic story from a friend.

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.

We'll always be red, gold and black right through

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".

The car park serves as the battleground of the sexes

Burgermeister Strobel last week introduced a dozen women-only parking spaces in a new three-storey parking building in his town.

When the whole online world goes to pots

I bought an expensive saucepan last Saturday night.

Gays not 'others' but family

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.

Not really fitting

Julia Gillard

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.

United we stand as our tragedy unfolds

One the day before the quake, my husband Bill was diagnosed with a neurological illness with a long name and a cruel outcome.

How to deal with wildlife in a wallet

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.

Slothful summer holiday bender

OPINION: I had a moment to think "s..., he's coming straight for me", before I swerved towards the mercifully broad shoulder.

Time-honoured advice from a fully restored family heirloom

OPINION: She arrived home at exactly this time last year, looking very grand after serious cosmetic surgery.

V8 resignation calls a bit rich

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.

Mount feels swimmingly reclaimed from calamity

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.

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