This week’s small pleasures #168

A bit of a strange week….with good things and bad things…with a lovely day on Wednesday and then having a very upset stomach on Thursday and having to stay at home. It was also a week which saw the deaths of writer and critic Clive James, director, writer, TV presenter and humorist Sir Jonathon Miller and chef Gary Rhodes. I still have a Gary Rhodes cookbook, and use his cauliflower soup recipe to this day. His method of cooking duck in this book is quite wonderful and makes a stunning Christmas centrepiece (or for any other time of the year). Let’s remember the lives of these men who contributed so much to the world as small pleasures.

RIP Gary Rhodes

Of course the best thing this week has been Karl’s return from Helsinki and Stockholm. He brought me back another Moomin mug for my collection. This is from the new series, ‘True to Its Origins’, based on Tove Jansson’s last Moomin novel, Moominvalley in November as well as Moominpappa at Sea. 

A little bit of Moomin

This week’s foods…..from tamales (see them cooking below) and tostada from Hillside Kitchen and Cellar at Thorndon Fair on Sunday, to avocado toast at Squirrel on Saturday morning, the weekend offered up some good things. I found some lovely looking green beans when out shopping on Saturday, and also picked up the first bag of this season’s cherries.

As mentioned above, we headed down to Thorndon Fair on Sunday. The weather turned and it was not the best, but we had a good walk about, and picked up some passion fruit curd, a plant and some Christmas cards.

Things for the garden….
A tree of toffee apples

Finally, I met my feline gardening companion’s owners, and discovered her name is Indie. She and Charlie can sit and stare at each other for ages, even sometimes dozing off if it is sunny. Apparently, they do the same at her house, and Charlie has even been known to pop in and sleep on Indie’s humans’ bed! He is some character.

Charlie and Indie

So that is me for this rather wet Monday. What were your small pleasures this week?

The featured image at the top of the page is of a little ladybird spotted on Saturday.

Thanks to Mani over at A New Life Wandering for the original idea.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. Yesterday, I read about Clive James in the “New Yorker.” I was unfamiliar with his work, and plan to put him on my TBR pile. Sorry you were unwell. Yuck! But that darling mug must have cheered you up. And then fresh cherries! Who could ask for anything more?


  2. I was very sorry about Clive James who had of course been terminally ill for years. His style of writing and presenting always made me smile. I remember Gary Rhodes when he was starting out with his spiked hair . Hopefully you are feeling brighter by now


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