This week’s small pleasures #267

Today is the Wellington Anniversary Holiday. Auckland has its holiday next week, and other regions and cities have their own holidays through the year. So while of course it is lovely to have a day off, from 11:59pm on Sunday, New Zealand entered the “red” setting on the Covid traffic light system, after a cluster of Omicron cases in Auckland and Nelson/Marlborough were identified and with no known link to the border. The new restrictions mostly apply to the number of people at gatherings – we can still go to work, cafes and museums – but it is also a sign of things to come, with more cases of the virus inevitable. The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has even had to cancel her own wedding.

Considering the small pleasures of the week now seems even more important for me. We put brand new linen duvet covers on the bed, which look gorgeous and expensive even though they were just from H&M. There was a lovely long barbecue lunch with friends on Saturday, and, of course, lots of summer weather. Below is a bee feeding on the agapanthus for his Monday breakfast.

And so to food, and I had a hearty lunch of a tuna melt sandwich that came with “unexpected because I didn’t read the menu properly” chips (fries or whatever you call them where you live) before my vaccination on Wednesday. I also had to buy and enjoy some ajvar, that gorgeous Balkan spread made from red capsicum, after reading my new cookbook.

In the basket this week was some really fresh sweetcorn, apricots, nectarines, green beans, wee carrots, an aubergine (eggplant) some tuna for the store cupboard and these interesting sounding pork and feta sausages to have midweek. I also picked up a couple of very ripe figs (bottom left on the tray) which I enjoyed on Sunday morning – a very big small pleasure I can safely say! And…after reading Ju Lyn’s comment about eating apricot clafoutis in France, I just had to make one to enjoy as a treat for Sunday dessert.

Today we decided to go for a walk in the Botanic Gardens. When we got to the top entry next to the Cable Car, we couldn’t resist picking up ice-creams to take with us. I had a peppermint stracciatella and Karl had two scoops, vanilla and chocolate. It must be two years since we have had ice-cream cones – what a treat! Meanwhile, in the gardens, the hydrangeas are looking stunning right now – the pictures really don’t do the scene justice.

Thanks to Covid restrictions, the usual series of summer concerts in the gardens has been cancelled this year, but there are decorations all over parts of the gardens, with lights, sound installations and little surprises like these partying garden gnomes, complete with disco balls. There was also a teddy bear’s picnic going on, with a maypole, barbecue and even a swimming pool in a suitcase. What fun!

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 featured image at the top of the post was taken waiting at the bus stop on Saturday.

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. Thank you for the mention. I am grateful for the wild animals seen on our country drive; for a delightful anthology of short stories I am dipping into; and for a friend who will be joining me for tea this afternoon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The blooms (and bee!) are so lovely. What fun to see them amid the whimsy of the gnomes and disco balls! I hope all this beauty and yummy food help you navigate the latest restrictions. Thank you for linking to my Delights!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness! I was so delighted to see your apricot clafoutis – it looks soooooo delicious! Thank you for thinking of me as you made & enjoyed it.

    You are absolutely right that it is all the more crucial to give thanks for our little pleasures … the world raging around us isn’t helping. All the more grateful I am for our WP community – all the positive energy & inspiration we draw from each other … you are all my lifeline to staying sane & well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I do agree – the WP community we are in is positive and supportive. I feel I have ‘met’ so many interesting people in all corner of the globe. The clafoutis was good!


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