This week’s small pleasures #171

Here we are again with a round up of this week’s small pleasures, the last one before Christmas. It is the start of the summer holiday season of course here too, and I am now looking forward to some much needed weeks away from work and am taking an extended break. First up, New Zealand’s Christmas tree, the pohutukawa, which is in full bloom just now and signals Christmas is here. They are so distinctive and a proper part of Christmas in New Zealand.


It was my last Saturday morning visit in 2019 to Squirrel before my Pilates class. I look forward to many more visits in 2020 for some of their delicious toast and to say hello to the staff and regulars. I know I mention this every week, but it really is a small pleasure to start the weekend in this way. I love the big wreath on the wall put up for this holiday season.

Squirrel cafe

And so to this week’s food pleasures…from the simple joy of Kalles Kaviar (a famous Swedish cod roe spread) and boiled eggs, with fresh orange juice and a few thin slices of cucumber for breakfast, to a twist on potato salad. This version, with mint, peas and crisply fried shallots, is from Peter Gordon’s book Savour.

A new version of potato salad

Outside, as you may have seen in the SoS post on Saturday, the alstroemeria is running wild and filling our garden with brilliant, yellow flowers – really quite lovely to see.

Outside the house

Sunday was of course the fourth Sunday in Advent. We lit the final candle and also decorated the Christmas tree and put up a few decorations. The featured image at the top of the page is of my favourite tree decoration, bought in Paris when I was 11 years old. It has remained with me ever since, and always features in pride of place on the tree (and has featured in this blog before).

4th Sunday in Advent

What were your small pleasures this week? 

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. Your alstroemeria act as brilliant rays of sunshine as they ramble round that spot. Nice effect! Our Christmas tree decorations are a result of years of collection, but I can’t claim back to my childhood.
    Happy Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

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