This week’s small pleasures #228

It is somehow hard to believe it is almost half way through the month already. Easter has come and gone, Anzac Day approaches, and the daylight hours are definitely shortening. We have even taken to lighting candles in the evening. In the news, we have seen the opening of the Trans Tasman Bubble, and the possibility of travel to and from Australia. I will wait to plan a trip for now – not only do I want to get the vaccine, but it is early days and I don’t want to get stuck should there be another lockdown. Meanwhile, flights to and from India have been cancelled for two weeks as the majority of cases found at the border are people coming in from that country. I feel sorry for those stuck, but it seems like a necessity. And of course, this week saw the death of Prince Philip at the age of 99, two months short of reaching 100. A 41 gun salute took place at midday here in Wellington on Sunday.

But let’s look at the small pleasures of the week…and whilst we have had some rain (see Saturday’s post) there have also been lots of blue skies and warm days. The picture below was taken on Wednesday, when I returned to work for a short week after a wonderful and relaxing holiday.

And so to food, and in the shopping basket this week were aubergines to make a moussaka, green beans, tomatoes, onions of different kinds, broccoli and pears. We ate at our local Italian restaurant on Thursday, where I had carbonara again as they do make a good one. Back at home, I made a lovely sausage and Puy lentil dish on Saturday from one of my favourite cook books, Diana Henry’s From the Oven to the Table. Sunday was the moussaka, with lots left over for dinner tonight.

I know that for some of you, the idea of going to the cinema is something you may not have done for a long time, but here in New Zealand it is possible to go and do that very thing. On Sunday we went to see The Courier. Based on a true life spy story, it tells the story of British business man (played but Benedict Cumberbatch) who was recruited to act as a go-between with a Soviet officer to provide intelligence that helped defuse the Cuban missile crisis. It is a gripping thriller and spy story: worth catching if you get a chance. If you are curious as to what is sitting on the spoon beside my coffee, they are Jaffas, a lolly (or sweet or candy depending where you come from) consisting of a solid, orange flavoured chocolate centre with a crispy coating.

To end with, these lovely lilies spotted during a walk in the Botanic Gardens. The featured image at the top of the post was also taken there this week. I know I feature things from here often, but we feel so lucky to have these gardens on our doorstep.

What were your small pleasures this week?

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. Thank you for this very interesting report. How wonderful that you can visit restaurants and cinemas again 😊. I would love that too but those places are closed in Germany. But we can visit museums with advance booking when the daily incidence is under 100 😉.
    Wishing you a good week

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard that movie is a good one! I especially love that photo of the vegetables, the layout is really clever. Thanks for sharing my post and I’ve been to visit most of the others too, all good reads 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First, rest assured that you can NEVER feature too many pictures of that beautiful botanic garden. Second, the jaffas look as though they would be right up my sweet-tooth alley. Third, I will be looking out for “The Courier.” A huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The film has a few horrible moments – just say a Soviet prison – but it is so well acted. I’m sure you would enjoy Jaffas! I’m hoping to catch some autumn colours soon in the gardens.


  5. Great food, I was curious about the movie I have seen the trailer. We are pretty blessed here too our theatres are open & our restaurants so it is all good here too. I haven’t had a Jaffa in years, lol. My small pleasure this morning was reading my wonderful blogger friends stories & lighting our fire, it’s oddly cold for this time of year. Have a wonderful week.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are so lucky to be able to live near that wonderful Botanic gardens, and some of the trees are not only exotic, but very old I’m sure, nice for us to see them regularly!
    I like both of the dishes you have there, I wish you were coming over to our house to make this lovely food…..I’ll just have to lift my game.
    We’ll look out for The Courier, because Benedict Cumberbatch is seldom in a bad movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your botanic gardens is looking decidedly radiant! and almost tropical! Walks there must be such a pleasure!

    Your food images are delectable as always – particularly all that crusty cheese on the casserole! Makes me want to dig in!

    Liked by 1 person

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