This week’s small pleasures #284

Phew! Monday evening, work done for the day, dinner has been eaten and now time to get this post out and relax. A friend and my Pilates teacher helped provide hot showers (regular readers will know the situation…), I found a great pair of dark purple jeans and we had some fantastic weather on Wednesday. It was even warm enough to walk along the waterfront without a jacket. In the featured image at the top of the post you can see Len Lye’s Water Whirler, and below Solace in the Wind, first installed in 2008. I don’t think one could ever tire of walking here.

And so to food….starting with a cinnamon morning bun at Squirrel on Wednesday morning following my waterfront walk. It was just the sweet treat I felt like that day. I baked a pear, ginger and pecan tray bake from Steffi Knowles-Dellner’s book Lagom, most of which went to a morning tea at work, and, no picture, I made a pot of Mormor’s curried fish soup from the same book. Both were really good, the cake full of pears and just enough ginger (love the idea of serving it warm as a dessert), and the soup…well it was excellent and I will definitely make it again, so simple and full of flavour and lots of fish and shrimp.

We went out for dinner on Thursday to Koji, an ‘Asian fusion’ restaurant in town. Unfortunately we were a bit stressed (just let me say the hot water situation and getting people out to fix things), so must go back for a more leisurely meal. We had pie tee with venison and star anise and Korean bbq beef toast with bechamel and Szechuan pickle, both of which were utterly divine and bursting with fresh flavours. There was a bowl of steaming noodles, runny and nestling in a flavourful broth, and beef cheek, so soft it melted in a moment. Gorgeous food and we will be back.

In the basket this week kumara (sweet potato) which went into a mash with potatoes on Saturday, some baby carrots of different hues which we had this evening, spinach and fennel for Tuesday’s dish, sprouts for Wednesday perhaps (though I also picked up a cauliflower and broccoli for NZ$5 for both of them), and some apples and passion fruit.

On Sunday morning, a friend and I headed over to Makara Beach Cafe for a craft fair that they have started hosting once a month. I picked up some new beeswax wraps and a catnip fish (which was not played with….) from the Feral Nation (non-profit foster-based cat rescue charity) stall, some delicious sounding raspberry and rhubarb jam and this gorgeous bunch of flowers for only NZ$15.

It was my parents’ birthdays on 20th May: both born on the same day a year apart. They would have been absolutely delighted to have known of little Niko, born 10 days before them many years later. We had the joy of meeting him on Sunday for the first time – my greatest small pleasure of the week.

So that is me for this week. 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. My birthday was on 20th May too 🙂 I empathise with your hot water problems – here, as you know, it is actually having water. I have bathed at a friend’s house more than once and she here. One simply has to make do. The pear, ginger and pecan tray bake sounds scrumptious to me. The main pleasure for me today will be participating in a reading of “Macbeth” this evening 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Anne. I just wanted to say “hi” from Fashioned for Joy. It seems we’ve all had hot water problems lately….. How fun to be part of a reading of MacBeth. It is indeed one of my favorite plays.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love your walks along the water and the art (or industry) you find there. I salute your delicious food (the pear, ginger & pecan bake sounds divine) and the wonderful pictures. And best of all, thank you for sharing a bit about your parents (always loved) and the newest member of the family. A “small” pleasure indeed. (And thanks for the mention!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Niko is gorgeous- the ultimate small pleasure! The raspberry and rhubarb jam sounds beautiful, did you try it yet?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m just catching up on my blog reading today…..your first two photos of Wellington are lovely. New Zealand really specialises in beautiful clear air, and wonderful views. Little Niko looks very cute, and lovely that he is born close to your parents birthdays…another reason to remember the dates in May.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The city looks lovely in the sun. I of course agree that little Niko is very cute! My husband is on his way to Canberra…just to get a new Swedish passport and come home though.


      1. I hope he has a good trip. The Swedish embassy used to have lovely Open days, with fun for the kids etc. Now with all embassies, security has taken over. Is there a Swedish embassy in Wellington?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. How delightful that your parents shared the same birthday – what are the chances of that happening?!!!! Did you grow up thinking that all parents had their birthdays on the same day?

    What a lovely haul at the craft fair … too bad about the catnip fish: has it received better response since?

    Liked by 1 person

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