This week’s small pleasures #306

I’m writing this post on the Labour Day Monday holiday in New Zealand. The sun has been shining and I had time to sit out in the garden, reading, watching the bees visit the lavender and listening to the birds. However, all is not so well in the world of our little cat Charlie, who got bitten and attacked by another cat late on Saturday night. We had to take him to the emergency vet where he got something for the pain, some antibiotics and had his eyes checked out. He is still not good this evening, so we will call our own vet in the morning. Poor Charlie – he really has not had a good time recently.

So we move on to this week’s small pleasures. On Tuesday, I spotted this duck in the greenery (note the hellebores!) next to the pond in the Botanic Gardens, and then another one just popped up just next to him…they certainly made me smile on the way to work.

On Wednesday I went to the City Art Gallery, pictured below on the left with the giant hand (Quasi by Ronnie van Hout) on the roof. The gallery is housed in what used to be the central library building in Civic Square. My goal was to see the the Joanna Margaret Paul exhibition Imagined in the Context of a Room, covering her career from the 1970s to the 2000s. I loved her pictures of the ordinary and the mundane, such as a pile of dishes drying by a kitchen sink. I’ve put a couple of her works below to give you an idea.

From there I walked along to the ‘bottom end ‘ of Cuba Street, where you can see the early 20th century Kennedy Buildings (read more here), the sculpture The Philantropist’s Stone by Scott Eady and this lovely art nouveau building from 1903.

I continued to walk up Cuba Street and stopped at Floridita’s for lunch, enjoying their green eggs and ham, which at this time of the year sits on a bed of asparagus. During the week, I made a rather good lamb burger topped with halloumi – a lot of eating and I should not have bought such big buns! In Saturday’s basket this week there was the citrus trio of grapefruit, lemons and oranges, asparagus (of course). spinach, green beans and fennel.

On Friday, I attended the leaving reception for the former owner of the Pilates studio I go to – a sad event but time for her to enter a new phase in her life. We then had dinner at Olive on Cuba Street, with me opting for a lovely mushroom starter, while Karl a venison carpaccio. We both had a lamb based past dish which was really good. In fact, there has been a lot of good food this week, with lunch at a colleague’s on Saturday which included the Jordanian dish mansaf as well as the most delicious home made baklava.

Away from food, and I picked up these gorgeous tulips on Saturday – the check out lady thought they looked like Brussels sprouts – what do you think? Other beautiful flowers can be seen in the featured image – a whole bank of lavender in Kelburn, the heady smell greeting me on my walk to the cable car on Wednesday morning.

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. 

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. Your food photos are always so very tempting! You have some great restaurants in Wellington. Eating out here has become so expensive we tend to only do it on special occasions. I miss the spontaneity of just going out for lunch. The lamb burger and halloumi is a good combination, I might have to try that. Any recipe for the burger?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You make your week sound very pleasurable indeed and so it is fun to read about your various outings. My greatest pleasure so far this week has been the flowering of poppies in my garden for the first time in six years 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I adored the ducks — what a fun sequence! — and the art gallery visit. I appreciate Paul’s use of windows in her tableaux: the “ordinary” mixed with all that lies “beyond.” The lamb burger looks amazing; good for you! And thanks for the mention!

    Finally, I’m rooting for Charlie and all of you. Loving is so hard.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the ducks in the gardens, that could be a painting in a gallery. Speaking of which, I liked the paintings of Joanna Margaret Paul, I’ll look out for her work. I hope Charlie gets better soon, he’s had quite a time of it lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve learned not to read your posts when I am already hungry – but I forgot to remind myself not to read them before I go grocery shopping. I am just on the way out the door to shop – hopefully I can now control myself! 😀
    Poor Charlie has definitely had a tough time lately. Sending warm thoughts his way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the artwork by Joanna Margaret Paul. I was not really familiar with her so when I read this I did some research. She was quite a woman so sad that she died so young at age 59. I also love the ducks. Your week sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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