This week’s small pleasures #328

It’s Monday evening here in New Zealand. The days are definitely getting shorter, with darker mornings making it just a little harder to get going. Next weekend our clocks go back, so then we will really know we have arrived in autumn and the cooler seasons ahead. There are, of course, good things to look forward to and some small pleasures of the week to smile at and remember. So to this week…..


On Sunday afternoon, we headed over to CubaDupa, New Zealand’s largest outdoor arts and music festival, centred around Cuba Street in the city centre. It was a lovely, warm and sunny day, just right for walking around seeing what was on. The streets – and some shops – are decorated in the spirit of the event as you can see below.

We watched aerialists perform on a giant key, suspended in the air, listened to music as diverse as a Balkan brass band, jazz influenced sounds and a metal band playing in a courtyard. There was dancing, music and performance of all varieties, you just need to find something that grabs your attention. We picked up some lunch at one of the stalls (I had a great sausage from Waiheke Island based Babikas Table), and stopped for a beer at The Rogue and Vagabond while listening to music,

Below you can see one of the stages (where we stopped to listen to the Balkan band), street art on Cuba, and crowds enjoying the sunshine and music.

The edibles

On Wednesday, I picked up some lovely leafy green veggies from Commonsense Organics and also two, small golden beetroot for my annual taste test. I have to say that I managed to eat the, well roasted and surrounded by lots of other things. Progress? Not sure! I also picked up a bunch of rainbow carrots and these gorgeous turnips, some of which I roasted with the rest of the butternut squash for my lunch box.

I enjoyed a halloumi based sandwich at Mystic Kitchen (bottom right below) on Wednesday, and picked up red skin potatoes, feijoas, a head of broccoli, lemons and pears along with some feta and ricotta on Saturday, I made a celeriac and potato gratin on Sunday evening which I have to say was delicious.

Simple things

  • A biscotti, a cup of coffee and a book
  • The nodding heads of the Japanese anemones
  • Waking through the meadow grass in the Botanic Gardens
  • Coming home with a basket of vegetables
  • Getting home from work on a Friday knowing it is the weekend ahead.
  • Fresh bread and orange juice on a Sunday morning

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. The celeriac and potato gratin looks delicious. I love the idea of settling down with a good book to read now that the evenings are darker and chillier.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, thank you for the mention. That festival looks like so much fun. And the gratin looks very yummy. I don’t mind shorter days, but I always dislike the time change, no matter which way it goes. I find it disorienting to either lop off an hour or to add one. I wish the powers that be would settle on either summer or winter time and leave it at that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t mind dark evenings, but not so keen on going to work in the dark. Still, it isn’t as bad here as it was in Scotland or Denmark. The festival was fun – so nice to see everything back to normal too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think that the things that I might like most about living in a bigger place than we do would be the opportunity to drop into casual culture and find sources of more interesting food than we generally eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love the sound of CubaDupa, and it looks like a lot of fun too. Lovely food selections! Our mornings are so dark at the moment but clocks go back this weekend so yes, we’ll know that autumn really has arrived then! Thanks for the mention as always, you are too kind 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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