Welcome to my nightmare!

sunshine-1Back in February I decided I would start writing a blog, it started with a post about the NZ Justice system and Queue Etiquette.  I had planned to start writing about my experiences with my adult son who has, what the doctors call, a mild intellectual disability.  I thought I’d throw in a couple of posts about crafts, some really easy food recipes (I have severe allergies when it comes to anything that might be located in or around the kitchen), some furniture up-cycling, gardening, maybe some updates on my latest life journey’s into menopause and to share the beautiful lifestyle that my man and I have on our 15 acre block of paradise here in New Zealand.

Well, as you can see from the lack of blog posts since February this just hasn’t happened.  This is because of one thing and one thing only.    No I didn’t go completely insane from an overdose of every menopausal symptom there ever was – that’s not to say I haven’t had them all!

My son and I have been overwhelmingly consumed with navigating the New Zealand Justice system.  For the last 7 months I have been frustrated to the point of tears, lost hundreds of work hours (and income) and my very independent (mildly intellectually disabled) son has been forced to live with us at home.  The last four months have been on a 24 hour curfew.

I have lost count of how many times we’ve been to court and been remanded for another month (last count it was 10 – back in June).  There have been 2 reasons for this, firstly my son couldn’t organise a nosh up in a kitchen let alone his appointments.  He missed court dates, appointments with psychiatrists, probation etc.  You see, here in New Zealand no-one can talk to me about His business unless he gives them permission (Privacy Act).  So even though he had been bailed to my place, they will only speak with him, that means I didn’t know when his appointments were!  His lawyer finally decided to take matters into her own hands and call me, or did I call her?  Who knows, my memory works as well as my periods (almost non-existent).

The 2nd reason is far more insidious, apart from the Forensic Services waiting list that is longer than the length of New Zealand (the people who the Judge refers to for mental health assessments) it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the people involved in the Justice system are actually floundering around the serious inadequacies of NZ law in relation to people with disabilities.  By this I mean everyone.  Lawyers, Judge, Forensic Services, all of them.   This inadequacy is shameful.

From the last 7 month’s I have a bucket load of examples of the failures of this system.  I’m going to share them here.




Yummy Yoghurt


Oh so easy and yummy.  Don’t forget to get it out of the hot water cupboard in the morning!!

I use this yoghurt everywhere I would use store bought – with cereal, by itself, with fruit, with a curry.  Eating plenty of this really helps me with that heavy bloated belly thing that goes on.


1 lt milk

1/4 cup plain/unsweetened yoghurt (must have active cultures listed as ingredient – I used Yoplait Natural)


Warm milk to 200 F (looks bubbly but not boiling)

Pour into cool container, place in cold water bath, cool down to 115 F (6-7 mins in water bath)

Add a little of the milk to yoghurt, mix well

Mix this back with milk

Pour into airtight container and place in hot water cupboard overnight.

When serving add a little honey to taste (I like it without), berries, or fresh fruit from the fruit bowl.

Free Patterns – huh what?


I’ve found conversions a little frustrating at times with my foray into free knitting and crochet patterns on the internet. The search ends up with a piece of paper covered in hand written notes on which site, which pattern, yarn weight conversion, yardage conversion, needle conversion, just to get me to the point where I can determine exactly what materials are required to complete the project.

So I decided to make a list of go-to lists, where I can quickly translate everything into NZ/Aus English!

List 1 – Yarn Weight (and uses)

Common Use Yarn Weight
Lace knitting Lace 1 ply 2 ply
Fingering 2 ply 3 ply
Light layettes, socks Sock 3 ply 3 ply
Light sweaters, baby things, accessories Sport/Baby 4 ply 4-5 ply
Sweaters and other garments, lightweight scarves Light worsted or  Double Knitting Double Kinitting 8 ply
Sweaters, blankets, outdoor wear (hats, scarves, mittens, and so on) Medium- or worsted-weight, afghan, Aran Aran 10 ply
Rugs, jackets, blankets Bulky or chunky Chunky 12 – 16 ply
Heavy blankets and rugs, sweaters Super bulky Super Chunky 18 + ply

List 2 – Knitting Needle Size (for yarn weight)

Yarn Weight (AUS/NZ) Knitting Needle Size
2 ply 0 – 2 14 – 11 1.25 mm – 3.00 mm
3 ply 0 – 4 14 – 10 2.00 mm – 3.50 mm
3 ply
4-5 ply
8 ply 4 – 6 9 – 8 3.50 mm – 4.50 mm
10 ply 5 – 7 9 – 7 3.75 mm – 4.50 mm
12 – 16 ply 8 – 11 6 – 0 5.00 mm – 8.00 mm
18 + ply 11 + 0 8.00 mm +

List 3 – Crochet Hook Size (for yarn weight)

Yarn Weight (AUS/NZ) Crochet Hook Size
2 ply B – C / 1 – 2 14 – 11 0.75 mm – 3.00 mm
3 ply B – E / 1 – 4 13 – 10 2.25 mm – 3.50 mm
3 ply
4-5 ply
8 ply E – G / 4 – 6  9 – 7 3.50 mm – 4.50 mm
10 ply F – G / 5 – 6 5 – 3 5.50 mm – 6.50 mm
12 – 16 ply H – L /  8 – 11 3 – 00 6.50 mm – 9.00 mm
18 + ply M + / 13+ 00 – 000 9.00 mm +

Now for the tricky part – how much yarn do i need?

Sites like Ravelry will tell you the total yards needed to complete the project.  Now we all know this means absolutely nothing when going to buy yarn (actually we call it wool) in NZ.  Here we buy balls of wool with that have a metric weight on them.  1700 yards is not an indicator for me how much I need.

What we need to do is convert that 1700 yds into a number of balls of wool at 50 grams / 100 grams / 150 grams. (or ounces or meters if your buying on the net).

List 4 – Conversion Chart – Yards to Grams

Yarn Weight (AUS/NZ) Yards (meters) per Gram
2 ply 8.8 yds (9m) / gram
3 ply 4.4 yds (4m) / gram
3 ply
4-5 ply 2.75 yds (2.5m) / gram
8 ply  2.5 yds (2.25m) / gram
10 ply 2.2 yds (2m) / gram
12 – 16 ply 1.1 yds (1m) / gram
18 + ply  0.8 yds (0.75m) / gram

The maths to convert how many grams I need is:

1700 yards (lets say DK/8ply) / 2.5 (yds) = 680 grams

Now take the 680 gms and divide it by the weight of the ball of wool you want to buy, for example the wool I want to use comes in 50 gram balls.

680 / 50 = 13.6 balls, I’d buy 15 balls (+1 for an extra bit of length).

And you know what, 14 balls of DK wool is about what it took last time I made a DK jersey!


Mr Vomitus Comitus and Furballs

jasper-vcAs our furry friend, Jasper, has been getting older the incidence of coughing up furballs and removing his recently eaten cat biscuits by way of projectile vomiting (across the living room floor) has increased.  Significantly.

Recent trips to the vet hadn’t shed any light on the issue and it didn’t seem to matter what type of biscuits we bought (senior cat, kitten, brand, flavor, really stupidly expensive ones from the vet), the issue wasn’t settling down. Continue reading

the NZ Justice system and Queue Etiquette

Thursday morning I took my 25 y/o son to the court to have his bail conditions changed (yes he’s coming to stay at Mums).

We get there 2 minutes before the court house opens (8.58am).

The doors are opened, as we have no idea what to do we jump in the ‘general queue’.  At this time there are 2 people ahead of us in the queue. Continue reading