This week’s small pleasures #191

It is hard to know where to begin this week. The fact that there have been very few new cases of Covid-19 reported for the past few days, or that there have been glorious autumn days, or that we are in Level 2 and can go to restaurants and visit friends…it has been quite a week. No new Covid-19 cases today, 96% of cases have recovered, 21 deaths. Of course, New Zealand’s borders are still closed, so it remains to be seen what happens when that changes. At the moment though, we are moving slowly back to a bit more normality, with restrictions in place still regarding things like the number of people in a gathering.

Anyway, first up, autumn days in all their glory. Gorgeous trees, flowers still in bloom, and one day last week there seemed to be an inordinately large number of butterflies around (see featured image at the top of the post of one on a heliotrope). All so very lovely and such a small pleasure to see such glorious colours around us.

Autumn colours in the Botanic Gardens
A stunning fatsia – a favourite for the bees who were observing no social distancing

On Saturday morning, for the first time in many weeks, I took a bus into town, heading to my favourite cafe, Squirrel, for tea and toast. I was there early, and while it was a bit unusual to check in with a QR code on my phone and sit and wait for table service rather than ordering at the counter, I was back and able to enjoy some smoked salmon toast. After that there was time to pop into Commonsense Organics before Pilates. Not Zoom Pilates, but real Pilates in the studio, albeit slightly different with us all having our own designated area. Then it was shopping at Moore Wilson’s for all sorts of treats to be enjoyed during the week. It was so good to be almost back to my normal routine, though using as much hand sanitiser is not the old normal!

Almost back to normal

In my shopping bag this week there were root vegetable aplenty from celeriac to potatoes to kumara to carrots to Jerusalem artichokes – ’tis the season! There was kale, a gorgeous cabbage, limes, and some lovely goat cheese from Over The Moon. Sunday saw us enjoy a celeriac and potato mash, with cabbage and pork fillet with mushrooms: the joy of autumn eating.

There was toast in all sorts of guises this week. Of course you need good bread for good toast, such as Arobake’s sourdough or parmesan and polenta, both of which make really good toast. There was a crushed minted pea and prosciutto for lunch one day during the week, the salmon toast on Saturday morning, and today, a toast topped with garlic sautéed mushrooms and kale on hummus from Good Eatings.

A loaf of bread


On Saturday evening we went to visit friends – in their house. How wonderful that was to eat, drink and chat in person. The new week has begun, and part of my walk today took me to the top of the cable car, where I got this view of the city below, slowly emerging after lock down. There are appointments in my diary again – flu vaccine, chiropractor, Charlie’s vet appointment – who would have thought this time last year that these would have been small pleasures!

Looking down at Wellington, and beyond

So that is it for this week. Wherever you are, take care and look out for those little things that bring you joy in these strange 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. Yay for New Zealand and yay for autumn. Wonderful to read about how your live is approaching normal. Alas, in the U.S. we are far, far from approaching normal. I can’t even conceive when we will be. Anyway, I hope normal continues for you and your beautiful country.


  2. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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