This week’s small pleasures #286

As June began, the rain did as well, as I mentioned in my last two posts (here and here). The weather did improve though, with sunshine on Sunday and a dry today. It isn’t cold either – 15-16C – which for us who spent much of our lives in Northern Europeans is positively balmy! The picture below was taken early on Thursday morning on my way to work as the daylight begins to dawn.

Winter is a time to curl up on the sofa with a soft blanket, a pot of tea and a good movie, book or podcast. As today is the Queen’s Birthday holiday here in New Zealand, the afternoon was spent with tea, an audio book (The Bertie Project – one of Alexander McCall Smith’s Edinburgh set Scotland Street series), magazines, booking tickets for the forthcoming French Film Festival and perusing the Wellington on a Plate catalogue. Lovely!

On Sunday, we headed out to see Operation Mincemeat which had an afternoon showing at one of our favourite cinemas in town. Based on the true story of a World War II plot to hide the allies invasion of Sicily, it was a perfect film for a Sunday afternoon with a cast of well known actors. You can read more about the story here. We’ve been watching Stranger Things (and now have to wait until July to see what happens next) and also enjoying the latest series of the long running UK series, Silent Witness. Oh and did you all see the Queen with Paddington Bear?

And so to food….and for those of you who may wonder at the orange ball in the coffee spoon, it is a Jaffa, a ball of orange flavoured chocolate with a crisp coating that actually goes very well with coffee. In the shopping basket this week was a swede, to be mashed and served as part of Sunday’s dinner, Meyer lemons, persimmons, satusumas, tamarillos, kale, broccoli, onions and the first of this season’s yams (or oca). There was some warm fruit toast dusted with cinnamon and an excellent coffee at The Oatery on Wednesday after I got very wet in the rain, and a venison sausage and puy lentil dish for Sunday’s dinner.

I started today with a walk in the Botanic Gardens, stopping to admire the leaves of the ginkgo trees turning gold (see featured image at the top of the post), say hello to the ducks, admire the fatsia and enjoy the fresh, crisp morning air. I don’t normally listen to anything when walking, but today enjoyed catching up on an episode from Cooking the Books with Gilly Smith on the Fortnum and Mason Awards, which gave me lots of ideas of things to look out for.

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 small pleasures include aloes coming into bloom, more birds visiting my garden and the prospective pleasure of warmer weather this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My small please use this week actually included some work I did at my house. I put together a large cabinet I bought so I would have more yarn storage. I loved adding my yarn that had been stored away out of sight for so long. It makes me want to start 100 knitting projects lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wellington is positively balmy compared with Canberra, and that is lovely for you. Raining and cold here. I like the sound of the movie Operation Mincemeat, I’ll look out for that one. Paul has read most Alexander McCall Smith books, and is always encouraging me to read the Scottish ones, he says I will love them. Sunday dinner sounds lovely, I hope you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The food and drink on your plate this week look absolutely delicious. I love the little Jaffa Ball – I never heard of that but am positively sure that I would love one with my coffee. I am still officially on my blogging break but saw the pingback and thought that I would sneak this post in ahead of time. Thank you for the mention. It is greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You recount so many pleasures. I’m grateful to be reminded of Alexander McCall Smith; I’ve just cued up #1 in his Lady’s Detective Agency series. And I’m thrilled to learn of the film “Operation Mincemeat.” I remember when the book came out and wanted to read it. I’ll look for the film instead! (And as always, thank you for the mention and very kind words.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just watched Paddington & the Queen (thank you!) – it was rather moving and so well done!

    Your vegetable tray is always a source of much delight & education for me – I tracked the list of vegetables & fruit … the oca is at the bottom left? Our yams look nothing like this – it must be a very different breed? What will you do with them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paddington and the Queen was fun – apparently he is a favourite of the great grand children. Yes the yams (as they are called here) or oca are the knobbly looking things at the bottom left. They are lovely roasted until they go all soft and slightly sticky. I usually cut mine into small bits for quicker cooking. They aren’t yams as others use the term though.


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