This week’s small pleasures #269

What a week of ups and downs….the downs include things going on at work, humid weather followed by 48 hours (at least) of rain, the news, Omicron…. but there were lots of good things too…making funny faces with the gorgeous wee daughter of a colleague, cuddles from Charlie, laughter and friendship. There was a free bus ride to Pilates on Saturday morning – not really a small pleasure but, you know, it made me smile. On said bus I saw a girl with beautiful hair of brown and deep pink – not for me, but gosh she looked just right. There was also a perfect agapanthus seed head next to the bus stop.

And so to food, and we enjoyed an excellent dinner at Mari Luca Ristoro on Thursday enjoying excellent bruschetta to start, then I opted for Linguine ai Gamberoni and Karl had Agnolotti alla Piemontese (braised beef pasta parcels with butter and sage sauce). It was really lovely, and we really should go back sometime soon. I made turkey meatballs to have with pasta earlier in the week (yes I do love pasta!) and in the basket this week there were giant nectarines, lemons, broccolini, apricots, tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries….and of course pasta!

The rain kept us indoors on Saturday, and it was lovely to spend the afternoon on the sofa with tea and a book. We went to the cinema on Sunday, to see the new Kenneth Branagh film Belfast, based on his experiences of growing up in that city in the early days of The Troubles. Filmed in black and white, it is a beautiful film to look at. Since it is based on childhood memories, there are a few things that are obviously how he saw things rather than how it would have been – the crowds of children running around, an airport bus that went a peculiar route through a residential area, the small world he lived in. I found the film a little sentimental, but it is still worth seeing if you get the chance.

I am not someone who pays much attention to sport, but Scotland beat England at rugby at the weekend and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has made history by winning New Zealand’s first gold medal at a Winter Olympics. Congratulations all round! The rain also finally stopped so Charlie got to go out (note the mat outside which has been well scratched by various cats and used by birds to build nests is a little worse for wear!).

Finally, I was reminded of this quote the other day from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince thanks to Gilmours Nice Place:

All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

What a great reminder not to always take life too seriously and to bring some play into our lives.

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. Oooh, all your lovely food makes my mouth water! Turkey meatballs are only a thing here in care facilities and the like, so I know and appreciate them, but my husband at one point didn’t know you could make meatballs out of turkey. That film you saw sounds so intriguing. Oh yes, how some (most?) people don’t even remember that they were once children. I remember when I was a child saying, how could anyone not like children, because they were all once kids? Now I’m childfree myself, but I do like children (to babysit for a while, not to parent permanently indeed).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a great week, mine was interesting from the point of view that “Cousin Anxiety” has almost disappeared and that equals almost “no more FOGO”

    Yes flipping adulthood on its head, look for ways to incorporate kids stuff… Lego has some interesting kits, eating breakfast for dinner, PJ’s at the drive through for ice cream cones…building a fort in the living room. Coming up soon in NZ running through Autumn leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, the Agapantus! I’m a big fan of them. Maybe I should get one for my garden this year. The Italian food looks fabulous and I’m impressed that pasta from the tiny region of Molise has found its way to NZ!
    The Belfast film sounds interesting. Is it available to see online yet? Thanks for the recommendation, I didn’t know about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The weather sounds exactly like what we’re getting on the other side of the Tasman Sea! Your food adventure picture always look so delicious! Reminds me that I haven’t had bruschetta for ages and now I feel like some. Love that quote from the Little Prince.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your header photo shows the simple beauty of water drops on a green leaf. All of your meals look and sound delicious. Thank you for the mention and for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Noticing the finer details of beauty around is great mindfulness — a girl’s beautiful pink-brown hair on a bus, agapanthus seed head at the busstop. Thank you for this reminder to focus on the wonder all around us!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A week filled with simple pleasures – always good to note. Mine include seeing more birds around – although I still have to chase the marauding cats – and experiencing some thunder and lighting during the night – sadly, not much rain to go with it but it was invigorating after having been absent for so long. Thank you for directing readers to my story 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the review of the movie Belfast, my mother was born in Belfast, so I would like to see it. Your meal at the Mari Luca Ristoro looks absolutely delicious, it is hard to beat Italian food ….oh to be in Italy again!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your eye for detail is inspiring. Thank you for giving us pictures in words as well as photography. And congratulations on the New Zealand gold in the Olympics. Finally, thank you for the mention and your very kind words!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That Agapanthus is beautiful. I love bruschetta!! I really try to notice things about people that I can compliment them on, and take time to notice everything around me. So much we can miss if we are in a hurry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right – sometimes we just need to take time to notice what is around us. I found I did during the 2020 lockdown, when the world turned silent apart from the birds.


  11. I basked in your Feature for a long time, several times – the light & water is so magical ….

    As I read your post, I am struck by your positivity and choice to focus on the good things that came your way, despite circumstances which are less than stellar; one of the many reasons I enjoy visiting your space.

    Thank you for the Little Prince quote – we can choose to be a child again.

    Liked by 1 person

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