This week’s small pleasures #179

Here we are already into the middle of February – hard to believe. It is Monday and therefore time for another round up of this week’s small pleasures. I’ve started to note down a few of these as I go each day – not exactly a gratitude journal, more of a good things notebook – using this gorgeous diary from Emma Kate Co.

For Small Pleasure


Monday was, of course, the Margaret Atwood event I wrote about on Wednesday. Tuesday started with seeing a little hedgehog, snuffling in the leaves in the Botanic Gardens, and ended with cocktails and tapas at Havana Bar followed by the cinema for a fund raising event to raise money to buy books for women in Arohata Prison. The film was Another Day in the Neighbourhood, based on the true story of Lloyd Vogel, an investigative journalist who receives an assignment to profile Fred Rogers aka Mr. Rogers. I had kind of heard of Mr Rogers, but of course had never seen any of his TV shows or really have any idea of who he was. The film was good, but I do strongly suggest if you don’t know who Mr Rogers is, that you at least at minimum read the Wikipedia entry about him as it really helps to understand the film. Tom Hanks, was, as usual, excellent.

A little hedgehog


A trip to the market for a mid-week top of vegetables, some rye sourdough bread from Shelley Bay Baker and these dahlias made up Wednesday’s small pleasures.

Dahlia season


The second half of the working week saw a new posting from Good Eatings (I love Malin Nilsson’s videos on YouTube…so peaceful and inspirational whether you are vegan or not), greengages at lunch, and fish and chips at the pub after Pilates. A good day!

Greengages – summer eating


Friday saw sushi in the park with sunshine and the sound of cicadas and a little shopping in Cranfields which resulted in this lovely soap and two little bowls (you can see the blue one above, with more greengages, the other one was a dark pink).

Soap time


As all regular readers know, I love my Saturday mornings. From the toast, tea and a chance to read at Squirrel, to Pilates to food shopping, it is my special time of the week. I so enjoy saying hello to the regulars in Squirrel, chatting about this and that and feeling part of that little Saturday morning community.

I made a rather good dark chocolate brownie cake from the above mentioned Malin Nilsson’s Good Eatings. It is vegan and gluten free, and a handy dessert to have up your sleeve if you need something like that. I served it with fresh berries and a little coconut yoghurt: it was absolutely delicious.


On Sunday, two friends and I went out for brunch and then to see the new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. The film was stunning, with beautiful costumes and settings. Billy Nighy was a delight as ever as Mr Woodehouse, and the rest of the cast were also excellent in their roles. A real delight and highly recommended. The screenplay was by New Zealander Eleanor Catton.


A grey, damp day, so I popped along to Unity Books to pick up Scarlett Thomas’ latest book Oligarchy (so sorry she has had to cancel her planned trip to New Zealand), and Zadie Smith’s latest book of short stories. Ruth Reichl’s book about being a restaurant critic, Garlic and Sapphires, arrived in the post, so my reading pile has only got bigger.

New books

What were your small pleasures of the week past? Do tell me.

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. So many good things and so much to comment on. First, a hedgehog! I am positively green with envy as I have never seen a hedgehog. Second, those dahlias! Thirds, wonderful to have a Saturday routine that you eagerly look forward to. Fourth, that cake looks positively scrummy. Fifth, and last, what a great idea to have a notebook for jotting down all the good things in your life.


    1. Thank you! Hedgehogs aren’t native here, but still such a delight to see one. I had a lot of small pleasures last week when I thought carefully about them – hoping the notebook will help me to appreciate them more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love hedgehogs in the garden, always try to encourage them, it’s so dry out here that I’ve been putting out ice cream containers full of water to feed them and other creatures.


  3. What a lovely post 🌿

    Hedgehogs are really common here, (so common that we have a village hedgehog charity to care for all the lost and ill ones) but I am always delighted to see one, they are such lovely creatures, and keep down the slugs and snails in the garden for us 🙂

    Our first seedlings of 2020 popping up was a nice moment from our week x

    Liked by 1 person

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