This week’s small pleasures #312

Summer is here – and so far we have had a fair bit of sunshine, and certainly warmer temperatures. The longest day approaches, and it won’t be long until I am on holiday too. It is hard to believe we are nearly at the end of 2022 already – where has the time gone? These ducks look like they are looking for the answer…or maybe just something good to eat.

Fruits of the season and other food

It was lovely to see the first of the cherry sellers on Friday, and the ones I picked up were particularly good and sweet. We are also enjoying strawberries of course – in fact nothing beats summer fruit. In the basket this week was more asparagus and sweet corn, tomatoes, peas, grapefruit and a bunch of garlic scapes. I enjoyed a pastrami sandwich for lunch on Wednesday at Pickle & Pie, always a small pleasure.

Thorndon Fair

On Sunday we headed down to the annual Thorndon Fair, which takes place on the first Sunday in December. There are stalls selling everything from wine and olive oil to dog treats and cheese. The grey skies don’t give an idea of the temperature, better shown by shorts and short sleeves! In the picture on the right below you can see not only my husband but the grey building in the background is Premier House, the Prime Minister’s residence. The front entrance of the house is open for the Fair, home to a small stage and a few stalls like the one below.

We picked up bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard for lunch, and spotted Tree walking about. We somehow missed the Morris dancers though, always a favourite of mine. In any case, it was great to be at the fair again after it was cancelled last year. I picked up a few things of course: some stocking fillers which I can’t show (just in case!), two pieces of cheese from Geraldine Cheese Co and some crackers from The Baked Dane and this lovely little bowl from Galit Maxwell and what I hope will be useful, a bowl with holes for pulling leaves off herb stalks – I’ll experiment and let you know how that goes.

Out for dinner

Sunday was of course also the second Sunday in Advent and St Barbara’s Day, that is my Name Day. Name Days are celebrated in many European countries such as Poland and Sweden. We headed out for dinner to Liberty to celebrate. As is the case in so many places now, the dishes are made for sharing, and we opted for tostadas with pulled pork which had just the right amount of spice (not pictured), the extremely delicious burrata, prosciutto, olive and ‘gin melon’ with a side of lovely warm bread that was served with black garlic butter (see Karl digging in below), grilled octopus with white beans and a mint salsa verde (see below), fish and prawn dumplings and gnocchi with venison bolognese. It was a lot of food, and all very delicious.

So 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. 

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 or


  1. Hi, Barb – As your longest day approaches, our shortest day looms near. I will be delighted for our days to become longer again. The fair that you visited sounds like a Christmas Fair in Vancouver that I went to this past weekend. So many yummy treats! It was very hard to choose. Thank you again for the shoutout!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara, What a lovely week you’ve had. I think it’s cool that the front entrance of the Premier House is open for the Fair. Your photos of the ducks and the walking Tree made me smile. Thank you for the mention and for your #weekendcoffeeshare. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that cherries are just about ready Barb! Those ducks made me laugh, it’s just how I feel sometimes :). Thanks for the mention of my post – you are very generous and it’s much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your words, “Summer is here” brought a big smile to my face this morning. Where I live, we are in the middle of bitter-cold winter. So, I am living summer through you with your fresh fruit and fair share. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy beginning of summer to you! I love summer fruit too. How interesting that you had bratwurst at the fair. My husband and I had that for lunch this afternoon. My husband had the traditional German version, so including the sauerkraut, whereas I just had bratwurst.

    Liked by 1 person

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