This week’s small pleasures #308

It has been a busy week, but one full of lots of small pleasures of all sorts. The weather really showed signs of improvement (see Saturday’s post), there was a trip to Hawke’s Bay and I enjoyed and finished a good book (Jane Harper’s Exiles). Charlie is getting better every day, eating a lot and returning to his old self – that is so good to see. Anyway, to the rest of this week’s small pleasures.

A conversation

On Tuesday evening, a friend and I went to An Evening With Jane Campion, a fund raising event for the Katherine Mansfield House and Garden. What a wonderful evening that was – she was funny, engaging and so interesting to listen to, and even brought along her most recent Oscar, all dressed up in sparkles. This is the third of these events my friend and I had been to, and the best so far.

A trip

On Wednesday I flew up to Hawke’s Bay for a work visit, and after a visit to the Mitre 10 Park, a huge sports venue near Hastings, I had a beer and dinner at local brew pub Brave Brewing. There was a delay to the flight home on Thursday, so there was lots of time to enjoy a glass of wine and some cheese in the lounge at the airport. Not ideal being home an hour late of course!

A walk

It was so nice to walk to Pilates on Saturday, enjoying the sunshine, having moments to breath and appreciate all around me after a busy work week. I walked past the Turnbull Library. Opened in 1920, it was founded on a bequest from Alexander Turnbull. The building itself is closed for earthquake strengthening at the moment, and the collection now falls under the care of the National Library. The Beehive (as the Parliament is known due to its shape), stands on the other side, was opened in 1977. It is such a distinctive building, and so striking against the blue spring sky.

A shopping basket

In the shopping basket this week could be found both green and purple asparagus, oranges, lemons, aubergines, a cucumber, and fresh peas. There was goat cheese from Nieuwenhuis Farmstead Cheese which I haven’t tried before but it looks really good. I couldn’t resist this ruby red chard, adding some to Saturday’s dinner and making a quick pickle with the jewel like stalks. There were also some gorgeous blood oranges (see the featured image), that almost looked too good to eat.

An aperitif and a cocktail

I had some manuka smoked olives and a glass sherry for Saturday’s aperitif for a change, and with lunch at Liberty I had a Pink Grapefruit Spritz made from Campari, prosecco, soda and grapefruit. While it was extremely refreshing, it perhaps was not the best accompaniment to the gnocchi! Anyway, a good lunch (a burger for Karl) was enjoyed.

A moment of creativity

Another highlight of the week was attending a writing workshop on Sunday morning as part of the Verb Wellington festival. It was hosted by a favourite writer of mine, Laurence Fearnley, and we spent two hours listening to how she crafts her work, doing some fun writing exercises around the five senses, and hearing her read from her work. I felt so inspired at the end and I had a head buzzing with ideas. Now just to get those words down…..

A bowl of peas

I came home after a rather stressful day at work and wound down by shelling peas and listening to The Jazz Show with Jamie Callum. The peas were added to pasta, a sauce was made of sausage and passata, the parmesan was grated and we settled down to dinner. Perfect.

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 or


  1. An evening with Jane Campion sounds lovely, I imagine she has many stories to tell. And Verb Wellington also looked interesting, there is always something going on in Wellington…. Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We do also have takeaway pizza and often follow the Swedish tradition of ‘Tex Mex’ with the ingredients all from a box on a Friday 🙂 In case you are wondering, that started through an old advertising campaign!

      But I do enjoy being in the kitchen!

      The blood oranges tasted as good as they look.


  2. My goodness! it has been a busy week for you!
    I love how you take time pause to enjoy a drink, delight in a meal, breathe in the sunshine.
    And that capture of the blood oranges! They look so ordinary until they are cut open! I have seen them offered at my online grocers but have never tried them – how do they taste?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a busy, delightful week you had! Thank you for taking us along. The evening with Jane Campion sounds amazing, as does the Verb Wellington writing workshop.

    And I hope you continue to send us “postcard” photos of the beautiful buildings in Wellington. (I love the Bee Hive!) Finally, I’ll join you in my imagination at the airport with “found time” and wine & cheese. I loved it all! (And thanks, as always, for mentioning me!)


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