Yesterday, Sunday, was the first Sunday in Advent, and we got out our candles and lit the first one to mark the day. It is hard to think that Christmas is so close when work is busy and the list of things to do before our visitors arrive is not getting any shorter. It is at times like this that it really is worth stopping and taking a breather: try walking on the other side of the road you normally do and see what new things you spot; stand outside and just gaze at the sky; stop and listen to the birdsong in the morning. Or do what I did on a very wet Sunday afternoon – lie on the sofa, read and drink tea.
In the Botanic Gardens on Saturday, I saw that one of the white ducks has had a whole bunch of bright yellow fluffy ducklings. They were bobbing around appearing to have fun and she was constantly calling and watching them carefully. A little lost mallard duckling appeared, calling for its mum, but mamma white duck was having none of it and chased him away. I do hope he found the rest of his own family. The featured image at the top of the post is the display of Japanese primroses that are next to the pond at the moment.
I had to take a slight detour on Saturday as I approached the building work still going on next to Parliament. I spotted this new art work, He Auripo, in between two of the new buildings. It will be interesting to see once things are finished and the plants are growing how it will look then.
On Thursday, after a pain free check up at the dentist, I popped into tLeafT with the intention of just buying a couple of new tea infusers, but also came out with some Passionfrutti green tea with papaya, pineapple, lily flowers and calendula (see picture of it below). It is really refreshing and I think will be perfect chilled on summer days. I also went to the special evening shopping event at Small Acorns, and picked up quite a few things such as this gorgeous pāli basket made in Myanmar, a lovely tea towel (too nice to use perhaps?), candles, a couple of presents, a magazine and got a bonus gift bag which included these scented t-lights.
And so to food…and we had a lovely dinner out at Field & Green which you can read about here. In the basket this week was the first of the season’s sweet corn (still a bit expensive but I couldn’t resist), more broad beans and peas, asparagus of course, tomatoes, lemons, strawberries, oranges and another grapefruit – and a tin of these lovely sardines with lemon. I made chicken breasts stuffed with leek and feta for Sunday dinner and orecchiette with sausage, spinach and a creamy sauce tonight with asparagus on the side as you can see below.
The week ended with two dance performances: the classical students end of year performance at the New Zealand School of Dance and the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s triple bill Venus Rising. The students’ danced works by choreographer Loughlan Prior, which formed a lovely evening of bright, light and captivating pieces that allowed the dancers to really shine. The picture below is of the entrance to the school.
On Saturday, we went to the RNZB’s much delayed thanks to you know what, evening of works by female choreographers. The opening piece Aurum by Australian Alice Topp, was a lovely lyrical piece inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold lacquer. The second piece by New Zealand choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull, The Autumn Ball. was my least favourite of the evening. It never really ‘went’ anywhere, though the dancers were excellent. The evening ended with Twyla Tharp’s 1994 work Waterbaby Bagatelles which was my favourite of the three pieces. A suite of dances set to seven short twentieth century compositions, it was an exuberant display of dance set in and around a swimming pool.
However, in amongst the many small pleasures, was some very sad news. The day before Thanksgiving in the US, a member of my extended family who lived in Maryland, died suddenly. Giving thanks for her life seemed the thing to do.
That is it for this week. 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.
- Carol Ann over at Fashioned for Joy celebrates Thanksgiving and shares some lovely photographs.
- Ju Lyn at Touring my Backyard spots signs of Christmas.
- Natalie the Explorer shares the Toronto Music Garden in autumn.
- Anne over at Something Over Tea shares more pictures of indigenous flowers.
- Share a coffee over at Trent’s World in Cape Cod.
- Popsicle Society motivates us on Monday.
- Green Dreams grows sprouting seeds – which reminds me I have packets to get started myself.
- Thanksgiving Eve and other delights over at Southern Patches
- Retirement Reflections shares a lovely guest post – do check it out – lovely and serene.
- Deb writes about the gift of sisters. As someone with only brothers it is something I haven’t experienced, though there are a couple of people who I have always thought of as big sisters.
- Jo over at And Anyways popped over to Wellington, went to a party and also ate lots of good looking food.
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. If you want to get in touch, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com