This week’s small pleasures #297

The days seem to be flying past. We are well into the second half of August, which means proper spring can’t be far away. I also have a trip coming up which for which I really need to get organised, as well as appointments for this and that. Anyway, there were lots of little things to make me smile this week from all the daffodils coming into bloom, to Charlie cuddles and week-day lunches with friends. So here we go with this week’s small pleasures….


First up, a huge thank you to our wonderful neighbour who cleared a path through the landslip so we can at least access the steps down to the main road below. My husband popped round with a bottle of wine to say thank you – very much deserved! There have been 160 slips reported this week in the Wellington region, including our little one.  I believe there has been 237mm of rain so far in August: the average is 134mm. Of course, this is nothing compared to the devastation over in Nelson and Marlborough – news stories like this just show how bad the flooding has been.

Eating and drinking

So to food, and we enjoyed a pea soup packed with carrots, kale and pancetta on Wednesday evening, and on Thursday had our first burger as part of the Burger Wellington fortnight of Wellington on a Plate. We headed over on a rainy night to Boulcott Street Bistro where we enjoyed their Bull & Beak burger – a brisket and prime beef patty with duck breast bacon, served with plum chutney and havarti on a spelt bun and served with duck fat roasted potato bites. Lovely!

We got bread delivered on Saturday morning from Arobake, just before the slip (thank goodness!). Just for Off the Edge Gardening, here is the bread – a weggli toast loaf for weekday breakfasts, poppy seed bagels (which look huge for some reason in the picture) for Sunday breakfast (served with cream cheese and smoked salmon as you can see below), rolls and a bretzel baguette.

On Saturday we went to the Beervana craft beer festival – but more of that on Wednesday, Once the path had been cleared on Sunday we got out for some food shopping, picking up lemons, golden kiwi fruit, a red grapefruit, another of those Rangpur limes, some white button and shiitake mushrooms, dark red yams (oca) and spinach, as well as a bunch of garlic scapes, some of which I will use with the mushrooms to make a sauce for pork fillet.


Our winter evenings are spent with candles lit, a glass of wine or cup of peppermint tea, watching dramas. This week we enjoyed The Undeclared War, a British drama set in GCHQ, involving the prevention of a major cyber attack. We thought it great fun and most entertaining. Series 2 of Lykkeland (State of Happiness) is proving good too, though we are spending a bit of time recapping to each other what happened in series 1. If you haven’t seen it, it is set in Norway at the start of the big oil boom. I at least enjoyed the first episode of Magpie Murders, based on the books by Anthony Horowitz (which I haven’t read) – detective fun in the English countryside.

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. 

Also entered in this week’s coffee share hosted by Natalie the Explorer.

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. I do love your beautiful photos of such colorful and nourishing food. And I’m eager to hear about the craft beer festival.

    Finally, I appreciate your salute to your kind neighbors. I have kind neighbors too (and try to be one myself). Some efforts — like the one you describe — are extraordinary, and are often done with such kindness. I’m happy for all of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, Barbara – I am always impressed (and I might add – hungry) when looking at your food pics. So nutritious, delicious and beautifully photographed!
    Thanks so much for the shoutout – it is greatly appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ❤️❤️ the Beervana website is so funky… Glad you had fun! ❤️ For me this week’s small pleasures was to help my family in the ceremony we had planned😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goodness! It must have been harrowing before the path was cleared – what a wonderful & thoughtful neighbour indeed!

    Your bread delivery looks delectable! I am particularly taken by the darker loaf on the right, with the dramatic scores – it looks almost like a pretzel skin on it. What does it taste like?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Barbara,
    I had to verify my understanding of what you meant by the word, “slip” and I was right that here, we call these landslides. They can be extremely dangerous as you know well. Your neighbor must be a saint to have done the hard work of clearing that path for you. What a gem he (or she?) must be.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your pea soup looks so cozy. I can’t wait until it gets cooler on my side of the world. With my new commute to work, I drive through the hills. As much as we need the rain, I am hoping there is enough vegetation on the hills where there won’t be a landslip. It would be an awful commute!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.