This week’s small pleasures #326

Some weeks pass with very little happening, while others are full of things that before you know it, you realise the week has gone. Last week began with the third anniversary of my brother Peter’s death and also what would have been his birthday. We also collected Charlie’s ashes from the vet, though we are still not sure what to do with them. You can read more about his life here. There were lots of small pleasures though this week too.

Fund raising for Hawke’s Bay

On Thursday evening, we headed over to Floriditas for a fund raising dinner in aid of those affected by the devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. The ingredients were all donated and staff were volunteers from other restaurants around the city: the list of sponsors can be seen below along with the menu. We were welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine, before moving on to the first course which was focaccia with tzatziki and some wonderful tuna crudo which was the highlight of the dinner for me (and of course I didn’t take a photo of it). The beef served for the main course was so soft and the jus made from smoked brown butter and mushroom was delightful. Dessert was chocolate profiteroles with strawberries, followed by Mt Eliza Blue Monkey cheese. Matching wines came from Wet Jacket wines in Queenstown. The event raised just over NZ$21,000 (US$12,872 or 12,078 euros).

More food

Still on food, and I made a potato salad with dill, chives and thinly sliced radishes on Saturday, enjoyed a favourite lunch on Wednesday of avocado, tomato and halloumi at Dixon Street Deli, and on Sunday, a salmon roulade at Main Street Deli over in Greytown. There was still half a head of broccoli and some spinach left over from last week, so in the basket this week was a bag of salad leaves, a cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and aubergines to make a moussaka on Sunday. I picked up a couple of pears (there are still some apples left) and a heap of very ripe plums that I made into a crumble for a weekend dessert.

A trip on Sunday

The sun was shining on Sunday, so we got out of the city and drove over the Remutaka Hills to Greytown where we had lunch (see above) and a lovely walk around. I spotted this sign outside Greytown Butchery (one of the oldest butcher’s shops in the country) which, if you come from Scotland, may make you smile. No I did not buy any, but did pick up some black pudding. If you don’t know what it is, ‘square sausage’ as it is known, is a type of sausage without a casing that is sliced in squares. The wine shop below was also spotted in the town, which is full of interesting little shops and cafes.

We then drove to Martinborough, where I picked up bottle of pomegranate molasses and some cheese from The Grocer, and smiled at this sign for fish for sale.

Simple things

  • Sunshine!
  • Hearing that a cousin I haven’t seen for many a year is going to travel from England to see us in Copenhagen in June.
  • Watching the final of Melodifestivalen
  • Enjoying the Japanese anemones in the garden.
  • The first cup of tea in the morning.
  • Spending time on the sofa with a pile of cookery books.

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.

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 love your list of simple pleasures 🙂 I spent yesterday in the company of wonderful people as we explored monuments, old bridges and forts dating back to the frontier wars. We began in mist and ended the day in the hot sun, but it was glorious having a picnic amidst the ruins of an old stone and brick fort with remnants of summer flowers still making a show here and there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The fund-raiser for Hawke’s Bay was a big success, such a great idea to have a set menu and also show local produce. I hope things have settled down around the Hawke’s Bay area.
    Your fruit and vegetables look fresh and healthy as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your fund raising meal sounds absolutely delicious. Lorne sausage, which we call “square sausage” is an acquired taste in my view. Thank you very much for your kind link. This is much appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Simple pleasures are the best aren’t they? Thanks for linking to my recent post about Deb’s Nation 🙂 lots of good reads listed as always. Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find it’s often the simple pleasures that make a great week but you’ve had some wonderful highlights here also. Your food photos are mouth watering especially those food photos

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely simple pleasures, Barbara. I’m sorry for your losses. Copenhagen in June sounds wonderful. Thank you for the mention and for your weekend coffee share.

    Liked by 1 person

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