This week’s small pleasures #273

It’s Monday evening here in Wellington. We are sitting enjoying the aroma of chicken cooking in the oven (Diana Henry’s chicken with feta, lemon and harissa yoghurt to be precise), and feeling glad to be home. As some of you may know, New Zealand has had a different experience with the pandemic than many other countries. With no or few cases in the country for the past two years, since Omicron arrived, cases have jumped from zero to 200,000 active community cases in a matter of weeks. The virus is about to (hopefully) reach its peak, and at least 94% of those over 12 years of age are vaccinated. However, I heard today that someone on the floor I work on at work has tested positive, so I’ll be working at home from now on and using RAT tests to make sure I am not sick.

This is hardly a way to start a post about small pleasures (other than the smell of dinner)…so we will move swiftly on to our little black cat Charlie who sometimes appears in the blog, usually sleeping, sometimes contemplating life in the garden. Today he features running up…and down…a tree in the garden. He had gone out to…ahem…do his business, and when finished ran at top speed up the tree, paused, then edged his way down, before heading back into the house and falling asleep. At 14, he still has great bursts of energy…but is also sleeping a lot these days.

The hospitality industry is really suffering what with people working at home, not coming into town because of the demonstrators (who have thankfully gone now) and of course Covid. We are trying to get out and support the cafes and restaurants as much as possible at the moment while we can. On Thursday, we went to one of our regular places, Field & Green. I enjoyed grilled aubergine with tabouleh, confit cherry tomato and dukkah followed by salmon Florentine with a rice puff that was a bit like a prawn cracker in texture and kelp. Karl chose chicken beignets with sweet corn curry sauce and sirloin steak with peri-peri cauliflower and pistachio crumb. Lovely food all round and, of course, no room for dessert.

Still on food, I enjoyed one of my favourite lunches of avocado, tomato and halloumi on toast at Dixon Street Deli on Wednesday and made a good dressing with buttermilk and tarragon, fresh from the garden, for green beans. In the shopping basket this week could be found aubergine, courgettes, capsicum, lemons, sweet corn, silver beet and new season pears and apples. There was also a tub of locally produced goat cheese. There was a plum crumble for dessert on Saturday, but I forgot to take a picture….

We’ve been lucky with weather this week, with a lovely sunny weekend in particular (you can see we are still in shorts). On Sunday we drove over the Remutaka Hills to Featherston, stopping for lunch at Brac & Bow, where I had their gorgeous smoked fish and prawn chowder. We drove on to Martinborough for a stroll, before returning home. The featured image at the top of the page, however, shows the weather in Wellington today…..

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 picture above was taken on my way home from work today.

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. We appear to be nearing the end of the Omicron wave in South Africa … although with the schools and universities ‘back to normal’ albeit requiring masks to be worn and with Easter coming up, a fifth wave of you-know-what is expected to hit us in April or May. It is uplifting to read of your small pleasures before I go outdoors to enjoy my breakfast whilst watching birds in my garden 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it when the animals go nuts like that for a moment, Our little old Princess dog of 15yrs still has a nutty moment round & round the house & like your Charlie sleeps the rest of the time in fact as I am typing Princess is snoring peacefully at my feet. You truly do know some wonderful places to dine. Have a wonderful week & may you have many inner Charlie moments to bring you peace & joy. lol

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  3. It seems like the likelihood & inconvenience of encountering Covid-positive folks has jumped exponentially … it’s now a matter of minimising risk given our circumstances & resources. Am so glad you have the option of working from home.

    I am salivating just thinking about the flavours of your roast chicken … crumbly salty feta, fresh tart lemon, spicy harissa …. never mind the chicken!!!! 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sirloin with peri-peri cauliflower and pistachio crumble? That sounds divine! Supporting your small businesses is a kind (and yummy) thing to do. I always enjoy hearing about it. And thank you for the mention!

    Liked by 1 person

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