Wake up Australia

Wake up Australia

raspberry and meWhere’s my bottle Mummy?

I won’t blame the mini goats this time 😉

Bottle feeding has finished – hallelujah – a fantastic experience but not one I want to do again in a hurry.

The best thing about bottle feeding is that the bubba goats get very attached to their ‘mummy’ and bowl you over everytime they see you.

No, this time I’m blaming asthma.

Isn’t oxygen just the best thing in all the world 🙂 breathe it in my friends.

If you say no, than you most probably have never suffered from asthma.

This week the children and I have all had asthma to varying degrees with the boy suffering the most and almost going to hospital with an asthma attack on Saturday. Very scary stuff.

He’s finally got some medication (on top of his preventer and puffer) that is working really well and the coughing/wheezing has almost stopped.

One day we might even get them back to school.

We’re about to do a rain dance so that the local allergens get washed away to the back of Bourke and we can breathe freely again.

Yours truly

wheezy and co.


Mooku for Michael

Mooku for Michael


mother cow

chewing the hay with her calf

contemplates life


ps. the boy went off on his 7 day bus trip to Canberra on the weekend – we all miss him very much but it will be something he remembers for the rest of his life (in a good way, we hope) – love you heaps Michael xxxx and the cows are moooing for you too 😉



A calf was born a couple of weeks ago in our back paddock. Our neighbour asked us if he could keep some cattle on our property for a while to separate them from the rest of his herd.

He also asked the kids to name the calf.

Tessa came up with Buttons for the calf and Rose for the mother 🙂

I love those names.

I wanted to call them both ‘the calf/cow that cannot be named’ so that we won’t get too attached to them (for obvious reasons).

I’m always saying to the kids ‘don’t get too attached to the cows’. We’ve already bought one beastie off the neighbour to ‘save’ him from his final trip (Black Moo – you may remember).

Which reminds me, the other day Michael had a day out with a friend and when he got home he said to me ‘don’t get too attached to me Mum’.


I said ‘it’s too late for that son, I’m your Mum’!

Michael has been taking some happy snaps and was keen to share them with the world:

Buttons the calf by MB (800x577)Buttons the calf with mum Rose (and friend) by Michael Bryden

Michael also got a couple of photos of the alpacas.

He was very chuffed with this one because it is very rare for both alpacas to have a rest at the same time in the day (one is usually standing up and on the lookout for predators – as you do, when you are a tasty herd animal)

smallerMerlin and Spirit having a snooze by Michael Bryden

I prefer this one (because you can tell they are still alive):

merlin spoils it by MB (small)‘Merlin spoils it’ by Michael Bryden

But Michael was unimpressed and hence the label ‘Merlin spoils it’ 😉

He cracks me up that kid!

Anyhoo, chaos is still upon us in Bryden land. We all had the flu which was great fun #not and Michael is off on Saturday for a 7 day bus trip to Canberra via Sydney (and even gets to go to a snow field).


Silkie chicks are hatched!

Silkie chicks are hatched!

IMGP3617 (1024x735)

silkie warmth
hovering over chicks
mother hen


Congratulations 🙂 on the chicks!

Edgar Allen Poe is the proud strutting father;

Snowy is the doting mother;

and miraculously we have 5 new Chinese Silkie chicks.

On Sunday Tessa went to check on Snowy who was sitting on her clutch of eggs in the coop. Well what a lovely surprise the little girl had when she discovered a chick instead of an egg (not a complete surprise, but a surprise nonetheless – new life is always a surprise I think).

Over the course of the next two days five chicks had hatched from the clutch.

I put the chicks and Snowy into a safe brooder in our shed, so they could have some privacy and space from prying beaks.

We have only used the heat lamp a couple of hours of the day, as Snowy does a wonderful job in the temperature raising department (this is what hens do best 😉 ).

The chicks are growing fast and Snowy is being very attentive and diligent (Silkie hens make the best Mums).

Edgar Allen Poe is quite the rooster around town and is hiding his despair at being separated from the lovely Snowy by courting the other ladies of the coop.

And so the story continues …


ps. The fifth chick is under Snowy’s feathers – that is what she is looking at 🙂 You should see her when all 5 are under her wings – she looks the fluffbucket indeed!



Very proud of my cousin Anna Burke (the Federal Member for the Melbourne seat of Chisholm since 1998) who was yesterday elected to the position of Speaker to the House of Representatives.

She is only the 2nd woman in the history of the Australian parliament to be voted into this prestigious position.

I’m so excited I’m doing the happy dance 😉

Anna is my Mum’s brothers daughter. My Mum (an Irish/Australian catholic) was born in Melbourne and had 3 sisters and 6 brothers. Between the 10 siblings were born a fair few children; so I have a lot of cousins (you can imagine – haha).

Congrats Anna!


ps. If you missed Julia Gillard’s spectacular and spirited speech in Parliament yesterday pointing out Tony Abbott’s sexist comments and behaviours over the years, it’s a ripper and went viral on the internet. The Australian media was embarrassingly quiet on the subject of her speech but the media around the world quickly cottoned on to the significance. The New Yorker has a great article about it here.


Sunflower Power and Happy Day Snaps

Sunflower Power and Happy Day Snaps

Archiving some photos for the Memory Bank 🙂

A while ago now, but worth remembering (Burkes Backyard Magazine, March 2009)
Michael’s super duper sunflowers!
‘smile and the world smiles with you …’
Andy the Great with his son Michael’s Super Sunflowers!
Yes, very tall they were!
Where’s the ball Jazz?
Do you want to play too Bruno?
One of you will have to be the umpire
That game of tennis was a dog’s breakfast – I’m off!
Emu’s are just plain rude (and scary)!