Having a love affair can be a complicated business. There are the long absences from home to be explained, the penchant for new underwear, the ripping of hair from your lady garden and a new gym subscription. Then there are the texts and emails which must be deleted immediately and, the hardest part of all, not daydreaming with a big smile on your face in the middle of date night with your spouse.
Fortunately, my love affair with Winston Peters is not so complicated. For a start, it's completely unrequited. I've never met Winston so he is completely unaware of my feelings. The only problem I have is the daydreaming with a big smile on my face.
Because, when I think of Winston, I am transported back in time to when politicians were sharp as a tack, masters of the one-line put-downs, amusing and witty one moment, serious and insightful the next.
I grew up with Robert Muldoon: "New Zealanders who leave for Australia raise the IQ of both countries", and David Lange: "And I'm going to give it to you if you hold your breath just for a moment ... I can smell the uranium on it as you lean forward."
In those times we had an expectation that our politicians would run the country with our interests at heart but also do a jolly good job of entertaining us at the same time.
Then we had Helen Clark who, despite her immense intelligence, did not have a stand-up comedian gene in her body, and then it was John Key whose idea of a fun day out is harassing a young woman's ponytail.
So it is no surprise that the old warhorse Winston Peters appeared before me at the time of the Northland byelection as a welcome Knight in Old School Armour.
I live part of the time in Northland so I have a keen awareness of what is needed up there. Investment in jobs, education and health - the sort of things which can fix cycles of poverty. Not two-lane bridges or faster broadband because people with no money rarely drive or own a computer.
There was Winston on his tour bus visiting every depressed little town and posting on his Facebook page.
I liked the page, then I liked every post on the page, and now I get all his updates and I love every one of them. Could it be that the man I spurned for years as a racist conservative has now won my heart?
I've watched him in Parliament staring down John Key and treating him like the petulant schoolboy he is. I've seen him pull out the bag of tricks he's been using for years to deflect journalists and actually thought, "good on you, mate".
And then, on Anzac Day, he posted poetry on Facebook:
"Words from New Zealand poet Julie Collier, sadly pertinent to countless towns and villages in New Zealand and Australasia:
A cold August morning in 1915
The mist was on the harbour,
The constable had been.
Our Mother clutching her apron;
Reported missing in action
They'd never come home to be heroes
Her boys from Rawene."
I was in love. Poetry can do that to a woman.
Winston is only 18 years older than me, after all. And I know when someone asks me who I'd most like to share a dinner table with it will be Winston.
We'd probably meet on my deck in Hokianga, drink good wine, smoke good cigars, get a little drunk and talk politics, life lessons, Northland, and have a laugh. Then the next day he would send me a billet-doux with a haiku or something.
My husband is choosing to ignore the change in his wife from rabid left-winger to lover of the right. He recently explained it away as a severe grief reaction. I miss my good friend, Paul Holmes. If you put him next to Winston Peters you would find a similar old-school style, wit and intelligence.
So without Paul, I've found Winston. And, in a moment of clarity rarely found in a love affair, I realise that Winston should take care of the North - which sounds thrillingly Game of Thrones, without the incest and dragons. Because like all old-school politicians, he knows that things are so bad up there, that doing half of sweet f-all will have a huge impact.
Dancing with the Stars
is back and so begins another round of ritual humiliation.
I love Jay Jay Feeney and Pam Corkery too much to watch.
While I celebrate the fact that these two wonderful women are putting themselves out there, I once had a job writing scripts on that show and I wouldn't want to see anyone I love go through the weekly stress and abuse from the public they will have to endure.
Jay Jay and Pam should close their Twitter accounts, find a support network and come to me in the Hokianga when it's over.
I'll tuck them up in bed with a hot water bottle until they learn to love themselves again.
• Kerre McIvor is on holiday for three weeks.