This week’s small pleasures #303

The biggest small pleasure this week was the return of Charlie on Sunday morning. A neighbour returning from holiday, found Charlie in their house. It appears he had been locked in, either for the whole time or part of the time if he had found some way in. They gave him something to eat, then he left their house and turned up at 5am at a house we know he visits, but didn’t stay. There was no sign of him all day Saturday, and then on Sunday morning I got a text to say he was sleeping in another house! He is now home, has lost quite a lot of weight, but he is home and that is all that matters and has been checked over by the vet.

Anyway, on Wednesday, I said hello to these little ducklings in the Botanic Gardens. Momma duck was very protective, and when someone threw in the special duck food the gardens provide at the other end of the pond, those little creatures sped over so fast, the parents couldn’t keep up. So lovely!

On Friday, after a particularly horrible morning at work, I switched off by looking at some art in Te Papa. The pictures don’t capture the peace of the work, the colours or how it is the perfect thing to look at to de-stress. The work, Indra’s Bow is by New Zealand artist Tiffany Singh. The glass bells hang on ribbons and are filled with things like pink peppercorns, orange lentils, camomile flowers and blue stones. The work sits on a salt ground, a symbol of cleansing and ritual. The title refers to the Hindu god Indra, who used a rainbow to destroy evil.

And so to food….and there was a kale salad with roasted chickpeas and feta for weekday lunches and a glorious pea soup on Wednesday. I made a batch of granola, and baked scones for a Saturday afternoon treat (see the featured image at the top of the post). We went out for Thai food on Thursday after Pilates (the picture was not good enough to share), and enjoyed snapper for dinner on Saturday. In the shopping basket this week were onions, another of the lovely grapefruit around just now, tangerines, asparagus (it is spring after all), silverbeet for our leafy greens, a pot of goat cheese with dill from The Drunken Nanny, some feta from Zany Zeus, and a few earth gems (bottom left), which will form the basis of a couple of lunches during the week.

The highlight of this week (apart from Charlie coming home of course) was going to this year’s the Word of Wearable Art, performed for the first time since 2019, thanks to you know what. We had fantastic seats, as you can see below, with a full view of the stage. The pictures below were taken before the show started during the pre-show entertainment.

WOW, as it is known locally, has been going for over 30 years. It is a blend of art, design and fashion and a theatrical performance. The founder, Dame Suzie Moncrieff’s vision was to take art ‘off the wall’ and display it on the moving body. The show is split into different themes, and this year they were Aotearoa, Avant-Garde, Monochromatic, Open, Architecture, and Elizabethan Era.

We spotted the Finance Minister in the audience, and noted he was joined by the Prime Minister’s partner. Interesting we thought….well, it turned out that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came onto the stage at the end of the Aotearoa section, wearing a specially-commissioned piece, Digitally Grown, by New Zealand born industrial designer and 3D artist, Dylan Mulder. You can see it if you follow this link.

It was a fantastic show, with amazing costumes, dancing and incredible aerialists. WOW is also a competition and the Supreme Award this year was the creation on the left, by Hawke’s Bay artist Kate MacKenzie, Wanton Widow. My favourite was the one on the right below, Hidden Layers by
Anna Weszelovszky from Hungary, which when opened up looked just like a dahlia. The pictures are taken from the programme, which is a fantastic souvenir as it has pictures of all of the works and details of all the performers. The pink fan? Well, we all waved them during the finale, creating a sea of pink. You can see the rest of the winners here.

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. I would also like to give a very special mention to Joanne Tracey over at And Anyways for her Instagram pictures of Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a place that we have visited many times when my mother’s cousin was alive.

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. HOORAY for the return of Charlie!!!!! What a relief for you both to have him home again. You have a wealth of culture (and good food) in your part of the world. Here we are grateful for a slight easing in the load-shedding of electricity and are enjoying the first real spring in terms of wild flowers for many dry years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW in two ways – the show and Charlie

    I’m going to Wgtn tomorrow with a tour/travel company and will be at WOW on Thursday night. Wednesday is a day trip to Wairarapa – so just a few days away, but nice to leaving Aks for some place else…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Some great little pleasures Word of wearable art looks like an amazing experience, and I’m so happy your cat Charlie is home. It sounds like he had quite an adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post and especially hearing about Charlie’s return. I know how happy that must make you. Cats are so resilient. It’s fall here in my neck of the woods. The weather has turned cool and leaves are both turning brilliant colors and falling fast. I love this time of year!! My small pleasure this week was returning home from a week long work trip. My family was glad to see me and I got lots of kitty snuggles. There’s no place like home. Have a wonderful week!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Charlie’s return is a BIG pleasure! I love the way he didn’t even go home straight away but visited another house where he is known. Typical cat! Reminds me of the children’s book Six Dinner Sid where six households thought they “owned” the same cat,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Vary good news about the return of Charlie. I was going to tempt fate when I read of his disappearance by saying the cats always come back, but even the smartest cat can’t come home if he is locked up. What a relief. That show looked like a really big pleasure. My small pleasure this week was reading your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Big sigh of relief! I am so happy for the return of Charlie … it must have been so traumatic for him, and you! Anyhoo, he is home now, and I am very glad.

    I love that you can pop into Te Papa to destress by enjoying the beautiful works there. Indra’s Bow looks & sounds so enticing and mysterious.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So glad Charlie found his way home! We have lots of baby ducks on our pond in spring and I just love watching them. That art installation sounds so peaceful.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a fabulous week, especially with Charlie’s return. Indra’s Bow and the WOW event look amazing. Thank you for your weekend coffee share and the shoutout.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Charlie sounds like my kind of gato. The one cat I had before going off to college was a good pal. Once we adopted each other, we were quite the team. He once, and only once took exception to a girl friend, a lovely woman many thought I was going to marry, but my cat oddly did not approve. I later broke up with her for unrelated reasons and she became so nasty about it that I recall wondering how that cat knew she had such an evil streak in her.
    I would not have been pleased to lose him and am glad you got your little guy back.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am so glad your cat came back! It’s so scary when your pet goes missing. I have neighbors that let their dogs and cats wander around the block and they trust that they return home (which they do). I don’t think my pets could do that. I’d be too worried.

    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 )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.