Shunning my Sunday arvo sandwich

The number staring back up at me from the scale on New Year's Day did indeed prompt an internal cry for help.

It didn't hit me until I was at home, watching something on Sunday TV I can't even remember now.

Songs for the Don

US President-elect Donald Trump at a USA Thank You Tour event in Alabama on Monday.

OPINION: So, another entertainer has decided they really don't want to perform at US President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremony at the weekend.

Focusing on the next half-century

South African opening batsman wants Dean Elgar of South Africa raises his bat to his team-mates after reaching his ...

"So, what does it feel like to be (insert appropriate age here)?"

Didn't see 'that' coming

Surprise! Some predictions for 2016 didn't make the mark.

OPINION: This is the time of year when numerous crackpots come out of the woodwork and give us their predictions for the year ahead.

No harm, but good riddance

Jeff Elston in the Timaru Boys' High School archives with Bertie the Biff and the coffin he was consigned to.

Bertie the Biff, Tom Tickle, Oscar; it reads like a slightly macabre roll call of schooldays past.

Is this really my future?

There's definitely more white in there now than anything else.

I think I'm moving up the shortlist. And it's a little worrying, to be honest.

Giving bad driving the finger

This wasn't taken from my car, and to be fair, the manoeuvres we encountered weren't as dangerous as this, but if I'd ...

It was never going to happen, as I knew by the time the thought was fully expressed.

Tangled - a modern Christmas tale

The owners of this house in the Philippines seem to have avoided the problems I encountered in my tangles with Christmas ...

OPINION: It's still 10 days to Christmas and already the festive season has left me in a bit of a tangle.

Cricket needs its own 'Christmas Carol'

Bill McLaren's autobiography has some fascinating insights into the art of commentary.

As I turned away from the TV screen I was already in full rant in my head.

Worried our grass might not be carted

We were confronted with the possibility our grass clippings may not be removed in time for a garden wedding on Saturday.

OPINION: The heavy clattering of a helicopter passing over seemed to confirm my worst fears.

Tragedy tears at my heart

Fans pay tribute to the players of Chapecoense killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains, at the club's Arena ...

OPINION: A little piece of my heart has been in Brazil all week.

Faulty switches turn Friday Black

An employee scans a purchase during a Black Friday sale in California.

Opinion: Last week we had another day when we could worship at the altar of consumerism – Black Friday.

An invention with a net benefit

The internet can help you do pretty much anything, from what Elvis Costello is doing here, to fixing a creaky bed.

OPINION: Does your bed creak?

Doing our bit for the bees

Beekeeper Mike Grice and his son, James, service the hive in my garden.

OPINION: Yes, I've got a bee in my bonnet.

How are you sleeping?

A seal pup at the Ohau Stream colony, north of Kaikoura, which was reportedly destroyed in this week's quake.

OPINION: How are the sleep patterns right now, folks?

Preparedness key to meet emergency

A tsunami information panel at Caroline Bay, Timaru.

OPINION: Timaru's emergency management adviser says now is a good time to think about how you can be ready for disaster.

No time to 'Abbandon' hope

Remember Abba? Derek Burrows' fandom of the 70s supergroup has been more trouble than it was worth of late.

OPINION: Last week I recounted my fruitless efforts to get a refund for the Abba Show in Timaru.

Sorry Michael, and good luck

Film-maker Michael Moore correctly forecast in July Donald Trump would win the US presidency by taking four Rust Belt ...

Opinion: I'm sorry, Michael Moore. Sorry you turned out to be so right.

'Still wearing my campaign T-shirt'

Former Timaru woman Alison Lund has lived in New York City for 23 years

Dear Hillary, as you know, even the weather is dark today.

Abbasolutely flummoxed at their Waterloo

A performer in ABBAsolutely fABBAulous, The ABBA Show, which Derek Burrows belatedly discovered would not make it to Timaru.

Opinion: A costly purchase for a no-show left the Burrows muttering "mama mia".

I did it, and I'm not ashamed

Some of the members of my daughter's leaving class carrying out their early morning mission on Wednesday.

Opinion: OK, so I cried.

Why would they flick the tick?

Derek Burrows wonders why the Heart Foundation tick is being given the flick.

Opinion: So, the Heart Foundation is phasing out the red tick.

Excitement of a new beginning

Going to university is one of the best new beginnings there is, in my opinion.

OPINION: New beginnings. They're exciting, right?

Desperately seeking debate insight

A banner hangs at the University of Las Vegas, site of the last 2016 US presidential debate.

OPINION: And now, the third and final presidential debate.

Time to surface my anger

The discovery of the entry of 'surface' into business-speak made me wonder about the meaning of Bob Geldof and the ...

OPINION: It came up, as so much does these days, on social media.

Dark, doorless pub prompts retreat

Derek Burrows thinks one of the best-known songs of legendary Australian country singer Slim Dusty, here immortalised in ...

OPINION: It was a classic case of: "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

My activism in a nutshell

The press release announcing our intention to demonstrate against media hotel beer prices at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

OPINION: Sick of reading about politics?

Time for councillors to step up

Voter turnout was disappointingly low in South Canterbury this year.

OPINION: Disappointing voter turnout in parts of South Canterbury should spur successful council candidates into working much harder to engage the people they represent.

Nearly time to give up the keys

Friday afternoon traffic Johannesburg style, and it wasn't even rush hour yet.

OPINION: I have a question for some of you, and possibly a cautionary tale for others.

Age is just a (high) number

I'm not quite as badly off as basketballer Andrew Bogut, of the Golden State Warriors, during this year's NBA playoffs, ...

OPINION: I'm getting an idea of what Dylan Thomas was on about in one of his most famous poems.

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