It's been an illuminating week. Literally.
It's that time of year when our attention turns to thinking about what Christmas gifts we should buy for family and friends.
Thirty two years ago - on December 19, 1981, to be precise - the All Whites kicked off on a seemingly impossible mission.
Jennifer Lawrence has a new pixie haircut.
OK, I'll come clean. It's now official. I'm a sexist.
Bear with me, because this week I'm writing about my new smartphone - again.
I have been to this hospital before and I have to say standards have slipped since my first stay - I was born in the maternity wing.
It's spring and the birds are in fine fettle, tweeting madly in the hope of finding a partner with whom to share an amorous encounter.
I read an interesting article the other day that claimed that smartphones are taking over Kiwis' lives.
OPINION: It's surprising how many lottery winners claim they won't let it change their lives.
Since the Beckhams naming of Brooklyn got so much publicity it was inevitable that the celebrity-worshipping herd would follow suit.
It was inevitable. The day I broke the habit of a lifetime and decided to watch live America's Cup sailing, the Kiwis lost their first race of the series.
Men are from Mars, women are from Venus - right?
The resignation of David Shearer from the Labour leadership last week was further proof - if proof is needed - that Parliament is a graveyard for good guys.
Now I know why the most recent mobile phones are known as smartphones - they are infinitely smarter than their user.
I was fascinated to hear that Jonathan Coleman was not born but constructed and such was the complexity of the task that it took two decades to put him together.
At last, all the fuss surrounding the birth of the royal baby is beginning to die down, and not before time.
I'm more than a bit nervous writing this column - it's about . . . (whisper) the GCSB.
As Euripedes, that great writer of Greek tragedy, once wrote: No-one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.
Lazy able-bodied drivers in New Zealand who park in a handy space designated for use only by the disabled can find themselves landed with a $150 fine.
Hands up all those people who have watched Midsomer Murders.
Dog owners and Facebook. Yes, they are topics I've discussed in this column before, but a couple of totally unrelated news items in the past few days have brought them to mind once again.
Nearly half a century ago I worked with a fellow journalist whose name was Apps.
It was a deadly combination - a week filled with enticing international sport on television and the absence of my wife on one of her tour-leading expeditions. The scene was therefore set for a viewing marathon.
What a furore the Government's breakfast-in-schools programme has ignited, Derek Burrows says.
When I was a young boy I did what most of the kids my age did in those days - I read a lot of comics.
Sheep, cattle, deer, even ostriches - New Zealand farmers have produced them all for our dinner plates. Now, it seems, insects may one day be on the menu - literally.
Why? It's one of the shortest questions in the English language, yet the breadth of its scope is almost infinite.
It's no wonder my mind has long since gone blank at the thought of embracing any form of new technology.
I knew it! I knew Cliff Richard couldn't be maintaining his Peter Pan looks without chemical assistance.
It's human nature that most of us care what other people think of us.
Contrary to my report in last week's column, it transpires that our cat, Tashi, is neither depressed nor demented.
Columnist Derek Burrows' cat is succumbing to the advances of old age.
With madcap state North Korea making bellicose noises and threatening to attack the United States the world is in a perilous state, particularly as a dangerous new weapon has been identified only in the last week.
The plight of an award-winning gardening couple from Wales catches columnist Derek Burrows' attention.
It was with only mild interest a few days ago that I read in a newspaper that a class action is being taken against New Zealand banks to win back up to $1 billion on what are considered unfair penalty fees.
More than 4.5 million census forms were distributed for completion last Tuesday and, for much of the important day, I thought I was going to be the only person in New Zealand not to be given the chance to submit my details.
Congratulations Air New Zealand, you've done it again.
Forgive me if this column is even less coherent than usual but it's being written at a time of extreme stress.
It was years since I had visited Napier, the city in which I first lived when I emigrated to New Zealand from England nearly 40 years ago.
This may comes as a complete surprise to you but I've just written this fantastic new computer payroll system.
It's Waitangi Day, New Zealand's national day, a day when Kiwis get together to amicably celebrate our nationhood.
Derek Burrows ponders the meaning of the "silly season".
The plane was almost full and the passengers were seated ready for takeoff when a flight attendant asked, most politely, if I would exchange seats with my wife.
Calls from the Otago Regional Council on December 6 for anglers to be aware of potentially toxic blue-green algae found at two popular Otago swimming locations probably alerted readers to a similar problem that has become commonplace in times of low flows in South Canterbury coastal rivers.
It was a race against time - and we lost.
It's a new year. A blank slate. Who knows what dramas the next 12 months will hold?
I should never have disbelieved - Father Christmas really does exist and he definitely tours the world distributing unexpected gifts.
Christmas is just around the corner and the better organised members of our community have already got their presents wrapped and stashed under the well-lit tree.