This week’s small pleasures #236

Today (Monday 7 June) is a public holiday in New Zealand. The Queen’s Birthday holiday is…well, I believe the official birthday of the Queen in New Zealand. Canada has Victoria Day, and most of Australia has a Queen’s Birthday holiday next week. Ah well….it is just lovely to have a day off.

Anyway, let’s move on to this week’s pleasures, starting with one of my favourite trees at this time of the year, the gingko in the Botanic Gardens. The leaves turn to an amazing golden yellow, and then fall off leaving the bare branches, which return to green glory in the spring. Lurking underneath, are the first signs of the daffodils that grow underneath (as mentioned on Saturday).

And so to this week’s food treats. These ranged from a lovely lunch at Dixon Street Deli on Wednesday of toast topped with avocado, tomato, and halloumi, to one of my favourite dishes at local Italian restaurant Cosa Nostra, namely the spaghetti carbonara which I enjoyed on Thursday evening after Pilates. On Saturday, I picked up a kohlrabi, half a gorgeous cabbage, more persimmons (’tis the season), baby carrots, mushrooms and yams (or oca). I made a batch of granola on Sunday morning from this recipe from Pick Up Limes, using hazlenuts instead of almonds as that is what I had to hand. I tried it with Greek yoghurt and macerated tamarillos as part of breakfast this morning (pictured top right)- it was good.

Moving away from food, and to things watched. If you haven’t seen the 2010 animation A Cat in Paris, then do so. It is funny and touching and just the thing for a cosy evening in. On Monday afternoon, we went to see Days of the Bagnold Summer, a gentle comedy about a mother and her teenage sun over one summer. A beautifully observed film and funny as well.

On Saturday evening, I went to see the New Zealand School of Dance contemporary students’ evening of their own choreography that is showcased each year (apart from 2020 of course). This year they performed at BATS theatre instead of at the school. It is a really small space and not really a dance venue, but the dancers were full of energy and performed with great spirit.

So those were my small pleasures this week – what were yours? As usual, I like to feature other bloggers who have made me smile, made me think or generally shared some interesting aspects of their lives.

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. What delightful pleasures. Mine was having lunch with friends on their farm yesterday: glorious to get out into the country and to catch up after an absence of over a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the gingko tree too, it is gorgeous in autumn. Are the lovely red berries in the first photo from a tree or bush in the Botanic gardens?


  3. Spaghetti carbonara, yum. The late food writer Calvin Trillin was a passionate advocate for the proposal to change the national (American) Thanksgiving dish from roast turkey to spaghetti carbonara.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Calvin Trillin is my favorite food writer, though he wrote about many other topics. You may enjoy his food trilogy: American Fried, Second Helpings, and Alice, Let’s Eat! A bit dated now, perhaps, but beautiful writing and a lovely sense of humor.


  4. I love how the autumn tree is kind of leaning away from the path as if to say here let me let you through, so pretty. Persimmons my favorite, yum to all the food really. The theatre looks really cozy. Great moments to share thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Isn’t it funny how we have different holidays for the same thing? You’ve had some great activities happening. We are in for a cold snap here and it’s currently raining heavily so time to cosy up with a good book. Thanks for including my Bold post 🙂 Much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know – and if I am right Western Australia and Queensland have different dates to the rest of the country? It hasn’t been too bad here this doubt the rain and cooler weather is headed our way. Thanks for your post and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another series of beautifully composed food images – how do you do it? I love the granola set on the rustic wood and against the greenery. And you always make your vegetable stash so enticing!

    Liked by 1 person

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