This week's small pleasures #183

Where to begin this week’s small pleasures, when today our Prime Minister announced that New Zealand would go into a state of emergency under alert level 4 and going into a full national lockdown to prevent further spread of Covid-19. Like many of you, I’ve had my panic moments, getting up at 3am for some camomile tea in an effort to try to switch off. It is important to keep a positive attitude, only read reliable news sources (I’m sticking with Radio New Zealand) and avoid a lot of social media (except Pinterest of course!). And of course, it is important to remind ourselves of the small pleasures of life.

I am now working at home, which I personally don’t mind, and it allows be to be a bit more creative about lunch. For example, making these chickpea and avocado sandwiches from an idea from Good Eatings, or just some simple hummus on good bread from Shelly Bay Bakery. I managed a last avocado smash toast at Squirrel before they closed today for at least 4 weeks. How I will miss my Saturday mornings!

Hummous, chickpeas with avocado and avocado smash – lots of chickpeas and avocados!

The veggie market was still open on Wednesday, and I also found these baby carrots in the supermarket. Shops are being depleted as people panic buy, but am sure this will stop once cupboards are full and the shelves are restocked. All the restaurants are now closed, though we did manage some sausages and mash at the Shepherd’s Arms in Thorndon on Thursday. I do hope all our favourite businesses survive.


I am rewatching some episodes of The Gilmore Girls, have picked up some knitting (I am so bad…making a scarf for the coming winter…will not show the finished effort online I don’t think!), and of course like everyone else, I am baking. On Sunday I made these Salty Buckwheat Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Bon Appetit. Soft, chocolatey, with just a hint of salt, they went so well with a good cup of coffee.

Sunday’s baking

I realise that all the pictures so far this week are of food. This is completely unintentional. so for a bit of balance, let’s say hello to some of the ducks in the duck pond I see walking to work – or just in the Botanic Gardens. They always make me smile and help me to switch off from the world around me.

So wherever you are, take care and look out for those little things that bring you joy in these turbulent times. What were your small pleasures of the week past? 

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. No need to apologize for posting pictures about food. I love ’em! I know what you mean about feeling panicky. Completely appropriate, as far as I am concerned. After all, how many pandemics have we lived through? But I also think it’s important to find simple activities that will help soothe the spirit, and you have found some stellar ones.


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