This week’s small pleasures #210

What a week! We have had storms and we have had sunshine (sometimes both in one day). I received notification that my application for New Zealand citizenship had been accepted. I heard that I had become a great aunt for the tenth time. I was sick with a migraine related episode on Wednesday. It was our 16th wedding anniversary on Friday. We heard that there will be a family wedding in Sweden in August 2021. And finally…there are some flowers on one of my new(ish) cactus plants. I think that is all…quite frankly, it was enough!

Anyway, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, we headed out for dinner to Capitol, a restaurant we last visited on Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve). To start with we shared some wonderful scallops and very finely sliced squid with aioli that were both exquisite. I then had parmesan crumbed lambs’ liver on a spinach salad with gorgonzola dressing which was really tender as well as being full of flavour and Karl had beef fillet with parsnip puree. Our waitress was from Glasgow and had also lived in Edinburgh, so it was fun to chat to another ex-pat.

I took Friday off work – a small pleasure in itself, and I finally picked up Ottolenghi’s Simple, having almost read the whole book in various shops over the past year. I also treated myself to some L:A Bruket body wash and lotion (a lovely natural brand from Sweden), a new Breton top (a favourite garment of mine) from Kowtow, an almost iridescent plate and brilliant green chopsticks (because they look so beautiful) from Orient. I also collected my 2021 diary/planner by Emma Kate Co from Small Acorns. A lot of shopping for one week but it has been a while.

Of course, food shopping is always a small pleasure, particularly, as you know, when it comes to vegetables. Asparagus as it is spring, avocados and aubergines are back and yams are still around. Kohlrabi because is looks so cool and tastes so good and celeriac and potatoes to make mash.

I listened to a quite wonderful interview on ABC’s Conversations podcast, The Weabonga Lessons with a man who as a new teacher in 1960 took a job at a one-room school in the New South Wales bush. There are a lot of really interesting conversations on that podcast, on all sorts of topics and with all sorts of people – highly recommended. Meanwhile, I’m re-reading Barbara Pym’s Less Than Angels which is perfect for time on the sofa with a pot of tea. It will also be a second book for this week’s book club meeting at work, where the theme was a book by an author with the same first name as your own (the other book was by Kiwi author Barbara Else, Gingerbread Husbands). This week also saw a trip to the cinema with a friend and her children to see the latest version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic The Secret Garden. The film is not at all faithful to the book, but still lovely to look at, so if you are thinking of going to see it, keep that in mind.

Anyway, that is my quick round up on some of this week’s small pleasures. Check out Laurie Graves’ Friday Favourites over at Notes From the Hinterland and Ju Lyn’s birthday cake and other small pleasures.

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? 

The featured image at the top of the post is of one of the cherry blossom trees in the Botanic Gardens which was gifted in 1963 by the then Prime Minister of Japan.

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. I’ve missed your beautiful uplifting posts whilst I have been away from WordPress … at least I have your Instagram for my daily dose of lovely pics x You somehow make kohlrabi look incredibly artistic :p

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That top picture is fantastic! I can almost smell them. Happy anniversary! And congratulations being accepted for New Zealand citizenship. I must admit, I am envious. I’ve read quite a few Barbara Pym novels, but I haven’t read “Less than Angels.” I’ll have to look it up. As always, thanks for the shout-out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on your Anniversary! and on the confirmation of your citizenship!
    Sorry to hear about your migraine – that must have been a dreadful day!

    Thank you for sharing in your Anniversary celebrations …. and in your shopping expedition. Living vicariously, you know?

    May your week ahead be filled with many little joys!

    Liked by 1 person

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