This week’s small pleasures #260

It is a bit of a grey day today. It has looked like rain all day but none has materialised yet as I type this. We had some rain last night at least which meant I didn’t have to water the plants – a small blessing there I guess! New Zealand has now moved to a ‘traffic light’ system instead of ‘alert levels’ to ‘manage Covid’. For us it means no real difference except we will need to show our vaccine passports from Friday when going to venues such as the hairdresser and restaurants. We have no problem with this, but there will be people who will object of course. 85% of the eligible population are now double vaccinated, 92% have had at least one dose. However there are regional variations – 90% are fully vaccinated in our region but only 75% in Tairawhiti (figures from the Ministry of Health website).

Anyway, to this week’s small pleasures which included a lovely conversation with my brother in Vancouver, getting my hair cut, two good Pilates classes and Sunday lunch with my nephew, wife and son, who has grown so much since we last saw him.

There was some good food, both at home and out. This week’s Saturday food shopping resulted in a cornucopia of delights, from the first sweetcorn to seasonal asparagus, bright yellow scallopini (patty pan squash), green beans and peas in the pod, courgettes, a red capsicum, tomatoes of differing colours and some more golden kiwi fruit, blueberries and strawberries. I cooked salmon topped with Za’atar, sumac and a tahini lemon sauce from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Shelf Love on Saturday (with the green beans and couscous) and chicken cooked with Calvados from Sophie Hansen’s In Good Company on Sunday served with asparagus, peas and new potatoes (with leftovers for lunch today).

On Thursday, we ate at The Shepherd’s Arms pub in Thorndon, with me opting for fish and chips and Karl sausages and mash. Just the thing! We had lunch on Sunday at Field & Green (see above), with the first rate fish finger sandwiches a firm favourite.

I had a bit of time to read, gasped at the last episode of the most recent series of Shetland (there has to be another series…) and enjoyed lots of sunshine.

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. 

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. I find that having a haircut gives me a mental boost, even for a short while. How lovely to meet up with family again. Thank you for pointing readers to the other side of my home town too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Little Nephew has grown so much, such a sweet bundle of fun. Love how the colour of the flowers stand out on dull days. Yum to all the food, this time of year is pretty yummy. I am taking a drive to a property that grows nectarines & peaches & sells them at the side of the road, YUM

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always love your round-up post – and look forward to seeing what you’ve been cooking from. We’ve just begun watching the latest series of Shetland and yes, gasping.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoy the Shetland series too and have read a few of her books on which the series is based, always more info in the books isn’t there? Good to read of NZ high vaccination rates, we’re going well here too after a slow start. Thanks for the shout out and inclusion of my Taking Stock post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely photo of your nephew & his son – glad that you got to catch up with them. It’s the little ones which mark the passage of time – they just grow so quickly!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful food and I have just finished all six Shetland seasons one after the other without having seen any before. 🙂 The accent is a bit tricky but by now I’ve got used to it. Bring on the next one!


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