This week’s small pleasures #173

A week that began in 2019 and ended in 2020. A week that saw a road trip. A week where it was hard to avoid the news even if one wanted to. The purpose of these small pleasures posts is to focus on the positive, on the little things that make us smile and perhaps give us fond memories, and that is what this post is going to be about as usual, this Monday evening.

Road Trip – the start

We are just back from a short trip up to The Coromandel, which was a small pleasure in itself. I’ll report more about that on Wednesday, but the featured image at the top of the post, and a couple of pictures I posted on Saturday, gives you some idea. Early on Thursday morning, we set off on our trip north. The sky was hazy with Australian dust, and there was an eerie orange-red ring around the sun. Things gradually cleared, but it was still a little cloudy when we crossed The Desert Road and drove past Mount Ruapehu (in case you don’t know, this is a still active volcano). I often see this from the air, so it was so good to see it from the ground once again.

Mount Ruapehu


As you may have seen in Saturday’s post, the place we stayed was surrounded by some amazing hydrangeas, mostly blue, but some this gorgeous pink. What a fantastic small pleasure it was to see these gorgeous blooms.

Rest and relaxation

Our holiday was definitely one of a lot resting and relaxing, so much needed after a very busy end to 2019. I found my perfect spot at the house we rented, a little sheltered hut by the swimming pool that made an excellent place to sit and read. Below you can see a lizard crawling up the wall…obviously just a friendly decoration…and one of the books I read, Sir Elton John’s biography which is hilarious and honest and a perfect holiday read.


No small pleasures post would be complete without food. Going back to New Year’s Eve, we had dinner at Capitol, before heading home to see in the new year. I had some excellent scallops and fish with spaztle as a perfect ending to 2019.

When we were away, we enjoyed a lovely lunch on Friday at Wharf Road which allowed me to have my Saturday avocado toast (though on a bagel with feta and an egg as well! And on Friday). I picked up some fruit vinegar dressings at the Cook’s Beach fair on Saturday that I look forward to using this summer, and we stopped at Over The Moon’s dairy and shop in Putaruru where I bought the four cheeses you can see below.

Lunch on Friday

The biggest small pleasure of the week, was sitting in the sun with half a dozen oysters and a glass of wine at Pepper Tree with friends we met up with in The Coromandel. Perfect.

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. Phew! What a week for the world. And, yes, small pleasures are more necessary than others. Also hope, despite the fact that our species is full of folly. In my small corner of the world—Maine in northern New England, I have indeed found things to be hopeful about, and I will be writing about them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.