This week’s small pleasures #196

It was a week in which we had a lot of rain…and I mean a lot of rain. The skies were grey, and the wet weather seemed never ending. We saw our first bit of blue skies in what seemed like ages on Sunday afternoon, such a joy to behold. I had to go back to the office last Monday. There are 9 cases of Covid-19 in the country, all people who are returning home to New Zealand. But at least today it was dry with even a bit of sunshine, and of course as it is Monday, it is time to round up this week’s small pleasures.

Eating out

On Thursday evening, we headed to Ortega Fish Shack for an early celebratory birthday dinner for my husband. The food here is always good, and it was hard to decide what to go for, but in the end I opted for the smoked blue moki* rillettes with pickled radish and sourdough crostini followed by seared octopus, preserved fennel, yams, potato and nduja stew. Karl had duck liver pate and beef fillet, and we shared a carrot side dish. It was all quite lovely and a good early birthday celebration. To quite a different tasty offering, instead of toast at Squirrel this week I tried their new offering of sourdough crumpets with blossom mascarpone and burnt honey, topped with blueberries and puffed quinoa. This was a real treat, and the perfect thing on a wet Saturday morning.

Eating in

Saturday was Karl’s birthday, midsummer in Sweden and obviously the winter solstice here, so we had a midsummer in midwinter birthday party. I managed to find a small midsummer pole for the table, used the summery blue table runner, and some bright napkins to decorate the table. We had three types of herring, smoked salmon, smoked mackerel pate, potatoes, potato gratin, meatballs, sausages, a spinach and feta quiche, bread, coleslaw, cucumber and radishes. And that was followed by cheese or prinsesstorte, a special Swedish cake I had made at Arobake, to celebrate the day, which you can see below. It is a cake made of layers of light sponge, layered with cream and covered with jam and green marzipan. We toasted with snaps, and enjoyed beer and wine. What a feast! One of our friends crocheted us flower garlands to wear, in true celebration of midsummer in midwinter.


Reading, resting and good in the world

Sunday was mostly a lovely lazy day, with a chance to read and rest in between laundry and food shopping. It was so nice to just do nothing for a while. And with all the unpleasantness in the world right now, it was lovely to see an email from my chiropractor who is donating all his takings from today, which happens to be his birthday, to Wellington Women’s Refuge. What a special thing to do and it makes us realise there is also a lot of good in the world.

*moki is a fish

So that is it for this week. Wherever you are, take care and look out for those little things that bring you joy. What were your small pleasures of the week just 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. In Manchester, many years ago, there was a cafe called The Danish Kitchen.
    They had a sponge cake with cream, jam and green marzipan.
    I used to have that every time I went there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy birthday to your husband. What a fun way to celebrate for someone who is used to having a birthday in midsummer. That was quite a feast you had!


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 )

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.