This week’s small pleasures #194

At 3pm this afternoon, the Prime Minister announced that New Zealand is moving to Level 1 from midnight tonight. There are no active cases of Covid-19 in the country. This will mean that life will almost go back to normal…except of course the borders are still closed and it doesn’t mean the virus will never resurface here…but for now we can move about more freely. This, of course, is good news for the country and all of us living here.

Last week, I posted a picture in a Wordless Wednesday post of the ginkgo tree in the Botanic Gardens – below is what it looked like today. The yellow leaves are so gorgeous against the blue skies, and are such a joy to behold.

The ginkgo

As usual, there were lots of foodie highlights, from shiitake mushrooms on toast topped by a fried egg, to an apple tart from Arobake for our weekend dessert, to some macerated tamarillos topped with thick yoghurt (for recipe see here), to a cheese scone on Saturday morning at Squirrel to make a change from toast. On Thursday we went for dinner at Tinakori Bistro. We shared the wild pork and duck liver terrine, served with their own sour dough bread, then Karl had the steak frites and I opted for the gnocchi with pumpkin, sage butter, walnuts and blue cheese. Luckily we had to walk uphill home! It was so nice to get out for dinner for the third week in a row and a real small pleasure.

And so to Sunday, where a friend and I went to the cinema. Yes..the cinema…with social distancing. We went to see the Bolshoi Ballet’s Giselle, which was quite lovely and of course, some wonderful dancing.

The Lighthouse Cinema

And I will end with what I more or less started with, today’s walk in the Botanic Gardens. If you have been following my Six on Saturday posts, you will have seen much talk and several pictures of the tecomanthe speciosa. Today I found two plants in the Botanic Gardens I had somehow missed before, one of which was flowering. What a wonderful thing to find – it really made my day.

Tecomanthe speciosa

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 and unprecedented times. What were your small pleasures of the week just past? Stay safe wherever you are…

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 very, very wonderful that for now, at least, New Zealand has vanquished covid-19! Here’s hoping that it’s vanquished for good. As for the rest of the world, including our country…sigh.


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