Derek Burrows

Barminess that relieves gloom

magnamail

It's cloudy again this morning. In fact, it's been gloomy weather now for what seems several weeks.

Pity the airline, too

Malaysia conference on MH370

At the time of writing the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is still baffling the world.

Feeding the powers that be

power prices

I've just received my monthly power bill and it's for nearly $200, even though we are hardly in the middle of winter.

Long live meat-lovers

steak

Recent research carried out in the United States claims that middle-age people who have a high-protein diet are at much greater risk of dying from cancer than those with a less protein-rich diet.

Brits in pieces without Andy Murray

saltire

There's a debate going on in the United Kingdom that's been overshadowed in New Zealand by more pressing international news.

Dressing down for dinner

derek burrows

It was surprisingly easy to slip into the role.

Comma's demise coming

john mcwhorter

There are already a copious number of preservation groups in existence but I feel inclined to launch yet another one.

Talent squandered by alcohol

jesse ryder

Why does God waste so much sporting talent on the undeserving?

Sponsored flag, anyone?

computer geek

Here we go again ...

Planning near perfect b'day

Roger Federer

Melbourne ain't so hot; in fact it's quite cool.

Phrase for every occasion

diana rigg anthony hopkins

Over the past few days - on the radio or the TV, I can't recall which - I've heard people misquote a couple of well-known phrases.

Beware of seat mates and their baggage

Helen Milner

In a few days' time I will be on an Air New Zealand flight and I'm a bit concerned about who might be sitting next to me.

Drivers up for a challenge

india traffic

The least surprising story of recent days was the criticism by a judge of an Indian tourist's driving habits.

Guide to enjoying a guilt-free holiday

marlborough sounds

It was a holiday that could have been lifted straight out of one of Tourism New Zealand's promotional films - perfect weather, idyllic setting, total tranquillity and more wildlife than you'd find in a Richard Attenborough documentary.

Despite all, she is the light of my life

timaru christmas lights

It's been an illuminating week. Literally.

Difficult choice, but ear wax wins

gift box, present

It's that time of year when our attention turns to thinking about what Christmas gifts we should buy for family and friends.

Miracle won't save Herbert

Ricki Herbert

Thirty two years ago - on December 19, 1981, to be precise - the All Whites kicked off on a seemingly impossible mission.

So that's twerking then ...

selena gomez

Jennifer Lawrence has a new pixie haircut.

Chivalry dead? This might kill it

stroller

OK, I'll come clean. It's now official. I'm a sexist.

Lesson: Paint and phones do not mix

Smartphone apps

Bear with me, because this week I'm writing about my new smartphone - again.

Room with a view

hospital food

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.

Animal accents - pull the udder one

yellowhammer

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.

All hail the mighty handy smartphone

smartphone

I read an interesting article the other day that claimed that smartphones are taking over Kiwis' lives.

Of course $33m win will alter your life

Cash, money, dollars, millions, billions

OPINION: It's surprising how many lottery winners claim they won't let it change their lives.

The geography of naming a baby

Beckham family

Since the Beckhams naming of Brooklyn got so much publicity it was inevitable that the celebrity-worshipping herd would follow suit.

Sporting curse back with a vengeance

2013 America's Cup

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.

Little green men? Close, but not quite

Yoda

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus - right?

Another nice-guy leader bites the dust

David Shearer

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.

When a dinosaur tries to get smart

Smartphone

Now I know why the most recent mobile phones are known as smartphones - they are infinitely smarter than their user.

It doesn't follow, but the screaming does

JONATHAN COLEMAN

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.

George short-changed in name game

Prince George

At last, all the fuss surrounding the birth of the royal baby is beginning to die down, and not before time.

With my connections I'm a bit spooked

Kim Dotcom

I'm more than a bit nervous writing this column - it's about . . . (whisper) the GCSB.

Death in a flash, or by cloak or cow

the goodies

As Euripedes, that great writer of Greek tragedy, once wrote: No-one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.

Parking fit for a royal

cameras

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.

The horror of the 4 o'clock village nude

john nettles

Hands up all those people who have watched Midsomer Murders.

Fido not slumming on holiday

dog

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.

Mixed feelings over getting to know apps

iOS 7

Nearly half a century ago I worked with a fellow journalist whose name was Apps.

The scrum's the thing

batsman

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.

Let's act for hungry children

school breakfast club

What a furore the Government's breakfast-in-schools programme has ignited, Derek Burrows says.

It would be wizard if I still had them

beano

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.

Tarantula drumstick anyone?

locust

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.

Plenty of questions, few answers

peter dunne

Why? It's one of the shortest questions in the English language, yet the breadth of its scope is almost infinite.

A Nashville cat gets me in the swing

chet atkins

It's no wonder my mind has long since gone blank at the thought of embracing any form of new technology.

On a summer holiday with a pill or two

cliff richard

I knew it! I knew Cliff Richard couldn't be maintaining his Peter Pan looks without chemical assistance.

Internet is fertile territory for vigilantes

classroom

It's human nature that most of us care what other people think of us.

Problem dental not dementia

cat

Contrary to my report in last week's column, it transpires that our cat, Tashi, is neither depressed nor demented.

How scratchy will demented Tashi get?

cat

Columnist Derek Burrows' cat is succumbing to the advances of old age.

Dangerous old world we live in

flapjack

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.

Such responsibility is hellebore on earth

ochran mill

The plight of an award-winning gardening couple from Wales catches columnist Derek Burrows' attention.

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