This week’s small pleasures #249

So at 4pm the Prime Minister announced that all of New Zealand, except for Auckland, will go down to Level 2 from Wednesday. This is of course good news, though it will be a little bit of a stricter Level 2 than we had before, for example, the largest gathering can be 50 instead of 100. Still, it does mean we can get out and about a bit more.

Meanwhile, it has been another week in lockdown Level 3, and one filled with several sunny days, lots of good food and time to enjoy walks in the Botanic Gardens. I know it sounds a little bit Pollyanna-ish, but at times like this you have got to put a brave face on things. Like many other people I know, this lockdown seems to have hit us hard after months of near normality. I have had my wobbly occasions, but I have also had some lovely moments, like having time to admire what is my probably my favourite flower of the moment (wait for a sudden change once the tulips appear), the camellia. These two were spotted on one of my walks.

On Friday, my walk took me up to the herb garden in the Botanic Gardens which sits above the rose garden and from where you get a lovely view over the city. Lockdown has meant seeing more birds, and if you look very carefully in the third picture, you can see one of the eastern rosellas that have made a new home for themselves in part of the gardens – at least I have seen the pair three times now.

Of course, no Small Pleasures post would be complete without food. I was lucky enough to get to Moore Wilson’s on Wednesday where I picked up a few things including these goregeous yams (oca) and cavolo nero. We had bread delivered again from Arobake on Saturday, the order including a couple of the lovely rhubarb and custard tarts for a treat with a cup of Earl Grey tea. I made a wonderful meal on Sunday which you can read about here. But you know what was really the best thing I ate thing this week? There were some soft, white rolls for Saturday breakfast, so I fried an egg and popped it in the middle. I was immediately transported back to childhood and my dad making my mum and I fried egg rolls for Sunday breakfast. The taste, the messy yoke, all came flooding back. Lovely.

I have to say, connecting with and reading other bloggers from all over the world is a real small pleasure in itself. Hearing and learning about different places and discovering all sorts of new foods, plants, books and places is always really interesting. As regular readers know, on Saturdays I participate in the Six on Saturday gardening blog hosted by The Propagator. One of the regular contributors is Jim of Garden Ruminatons, who is the opposite end of the gardening spectrum from me, being a retired horticulturist as well as an expert on camellias. He read about the Kate Sheppard camellia in Saturday’s post, and sent me a really interesting article about the history of the plant. I was so touched and it made a wonderful start to Sunday morning. A real small pleasure.

What were your small pleasures? Here are some other blog posts from fellow bloggers looking at the good things in life.

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistlesandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on


  1. Great to read your update and small pleasures! I love the blogging community and your camellia informant is a great example of the spirit being alive and well.
    My small pleasure last week was picking up our new car, which was an interesting experience being contactless without another person in sight! We got out of our old car, got in t he new one and drove home! The only problem is that we’re still in lockdown so can’t take it for a drive anywhere!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting but I’m not so stressed about being still in lockdown (L4) whilst you and the rest of the country is going into (L2.5) – it’s growing on me the lack of being able to do much. And I’m starting to relish the solitude, even though I still have wifi if I wish to surf the net etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad to read about the lockdown improvement in New Zealand. The numbers must be going down. Wish I could say the same about Maine and the rest of the United States. Our numbers continue to rise. Sigh. But lovely to read about your small pleasures, especially those fried egg sandwiches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hard lockdown has brought the numbers down, but Auckland is still closed off. Vaccination rates are creeping up slowly….but only 29% are fully vaccinated so far. It was funny with that egg sandwich…just the taste, the runny yolk..brought back memories.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I always love the idea of your custard and rhubarb tarts, but failing that, the fried eggs rolls dripping (with butter of course) and egg, would be just perfect. I think Lockdowns give us an extra focus on food, and its a good time to try out new recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nature in spring time is beautiful as shown in your photos. When I go outside to open spaces, I forget about the troubles in the world. I agree with you that connecting with and reading other bloggers is a real small pleasure in itself. I enjoy reading your post, seeing signs of spring in NZ as I’m heading towards autumn, and fresh and delicious-looking food. Thank you for the mention. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad restrictions are lifting for you. The gardens are just stunning & how beautiful to see the Rosella’s they are quite a shy bird, lol, unlike our Kookaburra that just landed on our veranda with a thump looking for breakfast. Have a wonderful wonderful rest of the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for liking my blog, and I enjoyed reading yours! I have been to NZ once and absolutely fell in love with the country! Wrote about it in two posts “An Old Blog Revisited 1 and 2”. I like your concept of small pleasures. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Apart from wondering when I’m getting my car back, the saga continues, I’ve actually enjoyed lockdown. I’m an essential health worker so I’ve still had clients to go to but the rest of the time has been about hibernating and trying to make new Vietnamese recipes.

    Liked by 2 people

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