This week’s small pleasures #318

It has been another glorious sunny day today with blue skies and sunshine – something that always makes me smile and lifts the spirits. I was working at home today to look after Charlie. His eye is still not looking good and we took him to the vet again this morning. He now has some new medication, so fingers crossed this works and he doesn’t lose an eye. So to this week’s small pleasures, starting with the beginning of the week.

A drive and lunch

The weather at the start of the week was rather different to that today, with grey skies and some heavy rain on Thursday. At least we escaped the cyclone that devastated parts of the country. On Tuesday, the last day of Karl’s holiday, we drove over to Scorching Bay. The weather wasn’t that great, but the skies and sea looked suitably dramatic.

We had lunch at the wonderfully named Scorch-O-Rama, the walls of which are covered in old comic covers. It has been ages since we had been there so it made a nice change to visit again. I had The Bennyfishiary, a smoked salmon eggs Benedict and Karl the nachos, both of which we enjoyed.

Food and cooking

I didn’t go back to work until Thursday, so had a few days last week to enjoy messing about in the kitchen (see Wednesday’s post). On Wednesday, I picked up a head of lettuce, some green and yellow courgettes which I will use today with pasta, a small bag of white cherries as a real special treat, a jar of sauerkraut and one of grilled peppers. I also picked up a few plums. This should be the height of stone fruit season, but the weather in the north has really paid havoc with the harvest, and there isn’t the same choice and amount as usual. Still, I am making the most of what there is. In Saturday’s basket there was this glorious glossy aubergine, peas, baby carrots, shallots, sausages, chicken, and some gurnard which we enjoyed for Saturday’s dinner.

In the Botanic Gardens

I went for a walk this afternoon in the Botanic Gardens. Naturally, I said hello to the ducks, but I also spotted a few astronauts dotted about. Well, Gardens Magic is on just now, with free outdoor concerts, lights and a trail for children which this year involves finding the spacemen I presume!

Simple things

This week’s simple things included;

  • Spending time in the kitchen, cooking
  • Sitting in the sun, reading
  • Watching the 1985 film Witness – what a good film that is.
  • Walking in the Botanic Gardens
  • Enjoying a Campari and soda on a sunny evening

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. 

Also entered in The Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Natalie the Explorer.

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. I look forward to your Small Pleasures for they are both encouraging and uplifting. This year seems to have begun ‘on-the-go’ and your post serves as a reminder to take pleasure in small things like the birds in my garden, an unexpected e-mail, being able to visit a nearby national park … there are plenty of pleasures out there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you that it is the simple things that mean a great deal, I’m with you on reading in the sun in the garden, and walks around the Botanic Gardens.
    I loved the movie Witness, wasn’t Harrison Ford good in it? (well all of the actors really) I still remember the part where Harrison Ford puts his hand over the child’s hand so that he doesn’t speak and give away the culprit..(I think that is how it went!)
    Cross fingers for Charlie’s eye getting better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that Harrison Ford was good in that film. It was also beautiful to look at – think of the raising the barn scene – no surprise it was the same director as ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.

      Charlie was in good spirits at least this morning, though is eye is still not so good.


  3. I remember visiting Scorch-O-Rama one day in the late summer in 2020 (just before NZ was hit by Covid), and I fell in love! The sun was shining, we ate outside, ate something delicious, I couldn’t tell you exactly what. What a great cafe – to be honest, Wellington has amazing cafes and restaurants doesn’t it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Finding the astronauts looks fun. I wondered if the ducks were sitting on eggs. The comic book walls look like an inviting & comfortable place to enjoy. #Weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such lovely small pleasures, I love white cherries and botanical gardens. I enjoyed watching Witness, too. Do you have a simple and tasty recipe that uses courgettes? I call them zucchinis. They’re available year round and inexpensive here but I don’t buy them often as I haven’t got a good recipe for them. I hope Charlie’s eye is getting better soon. Thank you for the mention and your weekend coffee share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charlie’s eye is getting better bit by bit thanks. He was at the vet today and is making good progress.

      Courgettes/zucchini – I sometimes just fry them in olive oil and add them to pasta or make a ratatouille in the summer when they and aubergines (eggplants) are cheap. Many years ago I made a loaf cake with them. You could also make fritters?


  6. Last week I wrote in my post about appreciating “the tiny happy things” and that’s what your simple things list reminded me of – it’s so important to recognize and be grateful for all those little glimmers of joy that flow in and out of our lives – it helps distract us from the more difficult stuff. Loved the spacemen and the “planets” or whatever those orbs were supposed to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hope Charlie is okay. It is hard caring for pets because they can’t tell you much. I loved your astronauts and what look like UFOs to me. Vince was sure he saw a UFO last night and almost ran us off the road trying to follow it. It was a planet that we can’t usually see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charlie is definitely getting better – eating, drinking and starting to get bossy again. You are so right though it is hard as they can’t tell us how they are feeling.

      I don’t think I have ever seen a UFO……

      Liked by 1 person

  8. How lovely you got to go on a drive – beautiful & delicious! Eggs ben is one of my favourite things to order when eating out. I do need to have someone with me to eat either the salmon or the ham 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Barbara,
    I’d love to visit that wall of comic book covers to see if I recall reading any of them. I apologize to no one about them being one of the first things I enjoyed reading and rereading as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

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