This week’s small pleasures #259

Another week over and time to think about the small pleasures of the past few days. There was sunshine, there was Charlie’s 14th birthday (which seemed to pass him by….), there were trips to the cinema, a dance performance and lunch with friends. And while Covid cases are on the rise, 12 district health boards (there are 20 in the country) have now passed the 90% vaccination rate for first doses, and 82% of the eligible population of the country is now fully vaccinated.

And so to food…and this week I picked up some blood oranges which just have a short season, an aubergine (or eggplant), spinach, more fresh peas and seasonal asparagus, tomatoes, broccolini, chilli and some gold kiwi fruit for a change in the fruit bowl. There were strawberries and blueberries too. On Wednesday, we went to one of our favourite restaurants, Capitol, for dinner before going to the cinema. I had the fish (which was lookdown dory) with celeriac puree and crispy silverbeet, Karl had the beef and we shared some wonderful crushed potatoes with rosemary and garlic.

There were croissants for a Sunday breakfast treat, some bread from Arobake topped with hummus, tomato and micro greens for Saturday lunch, and I think we can say we are entering the season to enjoy rosé wine – at least when the sun shines. There was a long lunch with some lovely Vietnamese food at friends on Sunday too.

I got to the cinema twice this week. On Wednesday, we saw My Salinger Year, a lovely film based on based on the 2014 memoir with the same name by Joanna Rakoff. It tells the tale of a recent graduate who goes to work for a literary agent in New York who happens to represent J.D. Salinger, how she finds herself, as well as getting to know something about the reclusive author. I really enjoyed this film (which was no car chases or super heroes, just books and good dialogue). This was our last movie on the film festival, but on Saturday a friend and I went to see Breaking Bread, a documentary about the A-Sham food festival held in Haifa, Israel, which brings together Arab and Jewish chefs to share recipes, stories and techniques. Another lovely film, and a celebration of food in the region.

On Friday evening, I went to the graduation season of the New Zealand School of Dance, an event I attend every year. It is always fun to spot the young dancers who are likely to go on to great things. I particularly liked two pieces choreographed especially for the classical dance students, one by Loughlan Prior and the other by Shaun James Kelly. Prior is a graduate of the school, who danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and is now choreographer in residence at the company, and Kelly is a soloist with the company. When we came out of the dance performance, we were lucky enough to see the blood moon that was clearly visible in the night sky.

So, what were your small pleasures this week? Here are some other blog posts from a few fellow bloggers looking at the good things in life. The flowers in the featured image at the top of the post hang over a neighbours’ fence.

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. What a lovely week of interesting food and entertainment. I love the look of the lookdown Dory…it looks very tasty. I’m sure you will be able to make some nice meals with all those fresh vegetables. I’m with you on enjoying movies about books and conversations rather than car chases and super heroes. I must look out for the documentary Breaking Bread, food is such a way of bringing people together.
    Happy birthday to Charlie, he looks very content sitting in the sun…cats always know the best places.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, too, love movies that have a lot of dialogue. But then again I am a huge fan of plays, which probably explains it. However, much as I am fine with slow-paced indies, I have discovered my favorite movies are both character driven and plot driven. Not always an easy combination to find.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your cat is very cute! And we are enjoying the golden kiwi fruit at the moment, very short availability and not as cheap as the usual ones, but oh, they taste so much nicer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The golden ones are nice. Zespri, who are the big kiwi fruit producer, has also ‘created’ a red one that was trialed here a couple of years ago. They looked quite spectacular when you cut them in half.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t seen them for a while. I got the feeling they were an experiment – if I see any again I will definitely get one and put it on the blog.


    1. The tomatoes are what are called ‘cocktail tomatoes’ – bigger than a cherry tomato but not as big as a ‘regular’ tomato, so the kiwi fruit is pretty normal size for what we get here at least. I love reading your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy birthday to Charlie who looks very content in the sun. Glad to hear you’ve had a wonderful week with good company, good food and good performances. Thank you for the mention and for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like you had an eventful week; a healthy dose of culture & entertainment!
    Your vegetable tray looks wonderful as always – you arrange them so artistically. My daughter loves golden kiwis as well – she actually doesn’t like green kiwis at all so we are very glad that she tried the goldens and enjoyed them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The cat in the sun ❤ Gorgeous. Sounds like a lovely week with delicious food and wine. I haven't been to the movies in years. My Salinger Year sounds good. I'm glad to hear vaccination rates are increasing there. Hope your week has been a good one


  7. Strawberries are being sold up here now too, they seem to be not just in supermarkets but in little stalls on the side of the road, bit expensive though.

    Liked by 1 person

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