In spring a young man's fancy turns to love, and why not an older man's?

Bill English will be wooing the coy and enigmatic Winston Peters tirelessly with flowers, chocolate and scotch in the hours, days, weeks and years ahead. And possibly kittens. They were big this year.

I'd call it a pyrrhic seduction, but love in election time is all about who's left standing at the end of the party. It leads to unlikely couplings, disgruntled aspirants, and the jilted sobbing in the loo.

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I call it love, but let's not call it romance.

I blame Metiria Turei for the collapse of the left. If she hadn't blurted out her past welfare rip-off, the Greens would have stood a decent chance of forming a government with Labour.

In the cocoon of mutual love among her colleagues was she deluded enough to think the whole country had a crush on her?

We'll never know, but her former leadership partner, James Shaw, has looked stiff and stunned ever since.

Maybe the pair of them thought her confession would automatically lead to applause and exoneration. How quaint.

Never justify, never explain, and above all admit nothing should have been their mantra. And her a lawyer.

The other culprit, if you ask me, was the TV makeup crew for the final debate between English and Jacinda Ardern, which had me in despair.

As any woman knows, handing yourself over to makeup artists is an exercise in horror as they plaster over the cracks and gaily heighten the horrid.

If you're a teenager they make you look middle-aged, if you're middle-aged they make you look ancient.

You can expect nothing less when they're face-painted up like budgies themselves, loose and shiny, but by the time they'd finished thick with product, twirled with heated rods, brittle looking. It did her no favours.

I recall a similar experience long ago getting my hair sorted to go to a ball.

Aghast, I held my head under the tap at home until all the goo had rinsed out and didn't go to a hairdresser again for a decade.

But they hadn't finished with Jacinda.

Next, they did what they all do, spread pale highlighter thickly over her upper cheeks with a small trowel, especially on the cheekbone line, to attract any light bouncing around, while underneath painting gaunt hollows in various shades of henna and shoe polish.

The effect - and this is an attractive, healthy woman - was to make her look like a 19th-century TB sufferer aged 93.

You know when makeup women have finished with the slap that you look weird, and it saps your confidence.

This would explain why I detected a new hesitancy, an urge to look down at notes with the camera on her, on Jacinda's big night, while kindly viewers must have wondered if the poor girl had caught the nasty flu that's been doing the rounds.

Let that be a lesson to her. Fight the makeup department off at all costs. Always be yourself.

Overseas more couplings are being monitored among the aristocracy and the famous.

It may be autumn up north but Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are skipping about like young lambs in the giddy grip of romance, women's magazines tell us, complete with exclusive magazine interviews (hers).

Prince Harry is at the Invictus Games in Toronto, her home town, and she is expected to appear at his side, fuelling speculation that she'll soon get a huge rock on her finger and they'll live happily ever after. Or not.

I mentioned that in the course of love some people are jilted. They may turn bitter and seek revenge, and surely Markle's ex-husband, with whom she has a young child, has that down to a fine art.

Trevor Engelson, a producer, is pitching a concept at Fox that explores a "fictional" divorce followed by a new life sharing custody with Britain's royal family.

The concept, Fox has revealed goes, "Divorce is hard. Sharing custody is harder. Sharing custody with the British royal family in the unforgiving spotlight of London's tabloid media is next level".

Such an orgy of bad taste from an ex could only be bettered by a promise of Harry making a guest appearance.

Yet - what makes me think that even this is possible?