Virginia Ironside

Virginia Ironside is an agony aunt, columnist and author. She writes the weekly Dilemmas column for The Independent.

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Grey power: families that have strong connections with grandparents are likely to have more stable children

Life is grand as a granny

The unexpected pleasures of ageing are the theme of Virginia Ironside's new book. And the greatest of all those joys, she says, is having grandchildren

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Coping with an empty nest

A child leaving home can be like the death of a friend and being made redundant all at the same time. Virginia advises a mother on how to cope

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: It's me or the puppy

This reader bought her young son a puppy for Christmas, now her partner claims he's allergic and has issued an ultimatum. Should she ditch the puppy? Or the puppy-hater?

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: Our dad abandoned the family. How can we forgive him?

This reader's father left the family for another woman last year. Now mum's taken him back, but his children are in a less forgiving mood

Virgina Ironside's Dilemmas: I ran off with my husband's best friend. What now?

Her new partner says she should go for the money she's entitled to, but what if that means her ex-husband has to sell the home that's been in his family for generations?

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: My hopelessly romantic ex says I'm not 'the one'.

This reader's ex-boyfriend says he just wants to be friends. Is it possible to convince him otherwise?

Christopher Ironside examines one of his designs in 1968

The true story of how my dad made the mint

He designed the first decimal coin, and now Virginia Ironside’s father is getting one of his own

Virginia Ironside's Dilemmas: How can I get rid of my daughter's boyfriend without alienating her?

This reader's daughter recently moved in with her obnoxious boyfriend, but the two of them are still bringing their laundry home to mum

Pushing the envelope

Whatever happened to Christmas cards? These days we send mass-produced rubbish, if anything. But a handmade creation is a joy for ever, says Virginia Ironside

To lose your mother, as Murdoch has, is part of the slow progression into adulthood. Yes, even at 81

Rupert Murdoch's mother Dame Elisabeth died this week, it's a devastating and sometimes transformative experience at any age

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?