This week’s small pleasures #288

This week seems to have flown past, and before we know it, July will be knocking on our doors offering up more winter days. The weather has been mixed but pretty mild until today, when it really feels quite cold. These darker and chillier evenings mean lighting candles, getting out the blankets and being cosy. Other winter small pleasures at the weekend included enjoying a hot chocolate, the sofa and a good book on Sunday afternoon. Wonderful!

Mother Nature

The gingko tree in the Botanic Gardens has now turned to its seasonal glorious golden colour. It is a beautiful sight to behold. Lurking underneath, can be seen some early narcissi. It is always a joy to spot these early signs of the next season. There have been some amazing sunrises and sunsets recently, apparently due to an ‘afterglow’ from the volcanic eruption on Tonga earlier this year (read more here). The featured image at the top of the post is the sky from our house on Tuesday evening.


And so to food….and we will start with these beautiful greens from Commonsense Organics. The chard was put into Wednesday’s soup, which had broth mix, also pictured below, as its base. The collard greens were added to a pork based pasta sauce and the cavolo nero enjoyed as a side dish, tossed in lots of garlic. I also picked up a few golden beetroot. Now, I don’t like beetroot at all, but every now and again I try it again, roasted with garlic topped with feta perhaps. I will report on my trial later! Other than that, in the shopping basket this week were basics such as carrots, potatoes and lemons, along with golden kiwi fruit, persimmons, oranges and these dark red yams (oca) which just look so beautiful


The French Film Festival is on just now and I managed to catch two films this week. On Wednesday, I went to see Murder Party which I am still not sure about, though I did like the fact that the characters were dressed in monochrome bright colours as if they were pieces of Cluedo. Karl and I went to see Maigret with Gerard Depardieu in the lead role on Saturday afternoon which we really enjoyed and would recommend. The pictures below are of the slice of ginger and pear loaf I had at the Lighthouse Cinema before the film on Wednesday and of the lounge area at The Embassy cinema where we saw Maigret.

A birthday

Finally, today is Karl’s birthday, and we started the celebrations on Saturday with cake from Arobake, a double chocolate cake for him and a lemon sour for me. There were bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese for breakfast on Sunday and Monday, and dinner at Daisy’s on Sunday (more on that on Wednesday).

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. Delightfully introduced pleasures all. Mine include some thick mist (we haven’t had any rain for months); bird song in the garden; and the prospect of baking a banana and blueberry loaf later this morning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was interested to read about the Tonga’s volcanic eruption, and the amazing sunsets as a result. It reminded me of the terrible 2019 bushfires here in Canberra, for a long time afterwards we did have vivid orange skies.
    Re your cooking, I have never eaten or cooked red Yams (oca) although we had yellow yams where I was growing up in Africa.
    Happy birthday to Karl, I hope he enjoys his chocolate cake, but I like the look of the lemon sour for me too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hadn’t realised that the orange sunsets were due to the Tongan eruption. The bushfires of 2019/20 were awful, and Covid distracted us from the after effects. The vegetables called yams here aren’t yams as others know them by – seems to be a Kiwi term for oca.
      The lemon cake was really good and thanks for the birthday wishes!


  3. Your Small Pleasures post — which I look forward to as much as you do mine! — is full of so many lovely things. Narcissi in winter! What a lovely treat. And the sunset (from your house!) is splendid. Of course, I always love your food writing and photos; your shopping basket inspires me. Finally I send a belated Happy Birthday to Karl. The beautiful cinema and delicious desserts sound like a perfect celebration.

    Thank you for your kind mention. I wish you a snuggly and happy week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We eat ginkos often enough, in sweet as well as savoury dishes, but I can’t remember ever encountering a ginko tree! Thank you for your gift – it is lovely!

    Love your feature photo – stunning … also sobering to consider what the colours & beauty originates.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen golden beetroot before – I am looking forward to hearing whether you enjoyed them …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The gingko tree is supposedly a ‘living fossil’ with ancient origins. As far as I know the leaves are used for herbal medicine. I wonder if we call the ones you eat something different? You know what it is like with names of things!

      The beetroot….well they were fine actually. The golden ones are nowhere nearly as strong tasting as regular beetroot, which is something I just don’t like. My husband though would not try them. A good experiment!


  5. I love the idea of sharing small pleasures. It’s like reading positive news.


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