This week’s small pleasures #296

When I start to put my weekly list of small pleasures together, I often forget those little things that bring a smile for even just a fleeting moment – spotting a perfect rainbow through the window, listening to the bus driver singing in Samoan and having a very close encounter with a kākā at the stop of the steps leaving the house this morning (it was literally an arms length away from me on the fence). These momentary occurrences are what brighten our every day lives. Here are some other small pleasures of this week!


The sun finally came out on Saturday so I was able to walk to Pilates. Instead of pictures of the Botanic Gardens, here are a couple taken on Lambton Quay, one of the main shopping streets in the city. I have walked past these shells so many times I hardly notice them, but they sit on the corner of Waring Taylor Street and Lambton Quay on part was the original Wellington foreshore before land was reclaimed. You can see the building I work in too! The second picture below is the former Australian Mutual Life and Citizen’s Assurance Company or MLC building, built between 1939 and 1940. It’s corner situation gives its distinctive shape and by this point, I have almost reached the Pilates studio.


Well, it has been some week for some really good food. From the amazing pasta dish I mentioned on Wednesday, to the Kosher and Spice event at Field & Green. The menu is a celebration of Jewish cuisine in India which you can read about here. We ate poppadoms with three different chutneys – a green coriander, an aubergine (which was amazing) and a yoghurt and cucumber raita. We also enjoyed pantra which was a lamb stuffed pancake, mukmura, a dish of chicken in lemon sauce, Arrok tahim bel samak, a type of fish cake and a pumpkin curry. The only photo that was any good was the one of the poppadoms so you will just have to imagine the rest!

In the basket this week were more oranges and golden kiwi fruit, both of which I am really enjoying at the moment, red and yellow tamarillos, half a cabbage, some spinach and kale and another fennel bulb. There were some good pork and fennel sausages, cheeses and some beef to make Carbonnade à la Flamande for our Sunday lunch visitors.

On Friday after the cinema, we popped around the corner to Koji (as seen in the featured image at the top of the post) where we ate one of the best meals I have had in ages. We opted for the chef’s menu, which was made up of nine dishes. We started with the pie tee, a lovely little thin and crispy pastry filled with venison which was fantastic, followed by an excellent trevally (a type of fish) sashimi (there were six pieces but one had already been eaten when I took the photo!). The chicken and prawn dumplings that came next were so tasty, before a savoury yellow curry beef doughnut. I don’t like doughnuts that much, but this savoury one was wonderful. Then came four dishes – udon noodles with the softest wagyu beef, eggplant (or aubergine) topped with nori, puffed grains and pepita (a strong contender for favourite dish), a pork belly that I actually liked and another beef based dish with chilli and coriander. The dessert was a simple coconut and mango ice cream.


We also managed to squeeze in two more films on the Film Festival. On Wednesday I went to see The Humans based on a play by Stephen Karam which I thoroughly enjoyed. Friday’s film was Triangle of Sadness directed by Ruben Östlund which one the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year. I can see why it might have divided the critics – but I certainly thought it a good film and a worthy winner.

At home we started watching the latest series of Shetland. It is going to be the last starring Douglas Henshall as DI Jimmy Perez – if you are a fan, you will probably know this already! We also re-watched that classic Catch Me If You Can (it is 20 years old would you believe) and the semi final of The Great Big Tiny Design Challenge which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Below you can see the newly refurbished entrance to the Embassy Cinema where we went on Friday.


On Sunday we had my nephew, wife, her parents visiting from Japan, and the two wee ones for lunch. Here is Nico, now aged three months. It was a great pleasure to see them all.

So, 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.  Post also entered in the weekend coffee share hosted by Natalie.

Thistles and Kiwis is a Wellington, New Zealand based blog written by Barbara, who likes cats, summer, good food and pretends to garden.

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. An uplifting post to read on my return from an impromptu walk around the suburb with a dear friend – followed by coffee and lemon cake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely to see the streets of Wellington and the building you work in, I like getting the ‘feel’ for cities. Field and Green seems a very versatile restaurant, I enjoyed reading about Jewish cuisine in India …something I knew nothing about! Your basket of fruit and veg reminded me that we had the BEST kiwi fruit (the green ones) in Queensland, but grown in New Zealand. They must travel well.
    Nico is very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought I would try to show a bit more of the city – other than the Botanic Gardens! Field & Green have done a few themes of Jewish cooking from different parts of the world over the years. It was very good. Glad you enjoyed the Kiwi kiwi fruit!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s good that you record those very small incidents that brought you a moment of pleasure, the kākā close encounter, the singing Samoan and so on. So easily forgotten, but your blog will enable you to recall these events years from now and give you the warm glow that comes from happy memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nico is adorable. I enjoy seeing your pictures of streets and buildings in Wellington. Your meal at Koji looks amazing. Thank you for the mention and your weekend coffee share.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a week you’ve had!!!! I am sooooo fascinated by the meal you had at Koji. The pie tee is not a food item often seen and comes from our neck of the woods. The shell is tricky to make and has to be fresh. It is traditionally filled with a vegetable filling made with jicama & carrots, so it sounds like the chef did quite a unique spin with the venison. I see that the rest of the meal is beautifully plated, and from your description, must have been extremely enjoyable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh how interesting about the pie tee. The shell was indeed very delicate, and really had to be eaten in one bite. I had to check on what jicama was – always such fun to learn about new foods! It was a lovely meal – quite special.


  6. Dear Barbara — I am so grateful that you showed us photographs of your walk to Pilates. I hadn’t quite realized that you truly are in walking distance of what looks like downtown! Wellington must be a magical city, with its cuisine, waterfront, gardens and hills. (I’ll omit a recent over-abundance of rain.) I’m so happy you are in the midst of it, and surrounding by gardens and flowers too!

    I love the list of simple pleasures you offer in the first paragraph. Delights, indeed. And congratulations on seeing your beautiful nephew. Finally, thank you for calling me your wonderful blogging friend. I feel the same way about you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Those shells are so neat. At first I thought they were cactus. I always love to see what your market basket holds, and your food always looks so amazing!!! Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

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