/ 5 min read

Well, there you have it

Well, there you have it
A scene from the Galah book launch at Stonefruit, Tenterfield. Photography by Sera Wright.
Annabelle Hickson
Annabelle Hickson Tenterfield, NSW
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"There you have it" and other scripts for life. This is a fortnightly newsletter from Galah's editor Annabelle Hickson, made for our Galah paid subscribers. Although this week, we're sending it out to all Galahs, free and paid. Why not fling open the doors every once and a while?

Dear Galahs,

It can be handy to have a few scripts up your sleeve; a collection of phrases to draw on in times of need. Like when someone asks you to do something you don't want to do, or when someone gets angry and you want to diffuse the situation, or when you find yourself as a passenger in a car that's going too fast.

"I'm sorry for your loss" is one of these scripts. Even though it's been overused to the point of cliche, I still consider it useful. The task of coming up with a thoughtful phrase in an uncomfortable or sad moment can sometimes feel so daunting that we end up saying nothing at all, paralysed by our good intentions. Saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is better than saying nothing.

Another handy script for life comes by way of my friend, Kim Ramsay. If your teenage child finds themselves in a speeding car full of revved-up teenagers and feels frightened, tell them to yell "I'm going to vomit. Stop the car". With this script, they don't have to worrying about coming across as a killjoy in front of their mates. The speeding car will stop and all they have to do is momentarily pretend to feel a bit sick on the side of the road.

Then there are the occasions when you wish you'd had a killer comeback, if only you'd thought of one in real time. Paul Keating is a great primary source with his desiccated coconuts and all-tip-no-iceberg one-liners. But may I offer something less caustic for your collection.

It comes by way of writer and poetry podcaster Amanda Holmes Duffy and is the perfect phrase to have up your sleeve when someone is really having a go at you and you want to wind up the conversation while remaining polite and professional.

"There you have it" is a script for life, and here it is in audio form (which I recommend because Amanda's voice is like honey) or a slightly edited written version below:

There you have it by Amanda Holmes Duffy
My friend Walter gave me a wonderful comeback to use when somebody lets in to you in a public setting, or when you are in a professional capacity, and have no recourse except to listen to them. And that is to say, "well, there you have it".
I used this comeback for the first time when I was working at a bookstore as a bookseller and a customer started telling me off. It was all about a special order, and why weren't we able to fulfill it. I tried to explain, but it wasn't going anywhere. I thought to myself, "do I dare use it?" And then, after she had her say, I replied, "well, there you have it".
It put an end to the conversation in the most polite and delightful way. And she walked away, a little mystified because she wasn't sure whether she had been insulted or acknowledged.

In this spirit, I'd like to start a public collection of handy scripts for life.

What other phrases out there make certain situations easier to deal with? What do we need in our arsenal? I'm not sure what form this collection will take, but I do think it lends itself to a podcast.

I'd love you to send me voice recordings of your scripts for life. Most phones have a voice memo app. Just record a voice memo with your script for life–anonymously or with your name, whatever you prefer–and share it via email with me at annabelle@galahpress.com

There could be a lot of value in this collective wisdom.

Love Annabelle

Postcards from a long-lunch book launch at Stonefruit, Tenterfield

This week, the Galah book was officially published–you can now find it in all good bookstores–and we celebrated with a book launch in the courtyard of my local (and favourite) wine bar, Stonefruit in Tenterfield. Here's a few snapshots from the afternoon under the autumn leaves. Special thanks to Goondiwindi Cotton for my lovely outfit, to Knucklehead and La Petite Mort for the superb wines, to our Stonefruit hosts Karlee and Alistair, photographer Sera Wright and to the fab group of people who came to make it such an enjoyable afternoon.

GALAH x Goondiwindi Cotton exclusive

To celebrate the launch of the new Galah book, Goondiwindi Cotton is offering Galah readers an exclusive $30 gift voucher to shop its new season. Enter the code ‘GALAH’ at the check out, and your discount will be automatically applied. But hurry, offer ends 30 April, 2024. Shop Goondiwindi Cotton.


So much listening. So many podcasts. It's getting a bit out of control, but there could be worse vices I suppose. One particular episode of note was Ezra Klein's How Should I be Using A.I. Right Now interview with author and professor Ethan Mollick, who sheds light on how we can incorporate A.I. into our lives right now. If you are like me–amazed by ChatGPT in theory but unable to work out how to use it in daily life–this pod will be right up your alley. Mollick talks about the different personalities the different chatbots have (Claude is warm and intellectual, ChatGPT is more of a workhorse) and suggests we'll get more out of them if we treat them as relationships, rather than tools. The whole episode is fascinating.


Garden photographer Claire Takacs has released her third book Visionary: Gardens and Landscapes for our Future and it is sublime. In it she has documented more than 80 gardens–14 of which are Australian–to explore how garden design is evolving in the face of climate change. One of the gardens in particular caught my eye because of its use of sand to simulate a creek bed. We've published this story in our Galah world here, in case it is as interesting to you as it was to me. I'm ready to jump into the bobcat* to bring in bucketloads of sand from our creek and make a creek-bed garden of my own.

A scene from the "creek bed" Glenluce garden in Victoria. Photography by Claire Takacs.

*I just need to learn how to operate the bobcat first.


I've just uploaded Galah's Orange travel guide on our online world. Written by local cook and author Sophie Hansen, it is jam-packed full of tried and tested local human intel (not A.I.). I'm doing some serious dreaming about anchovy toast and a glass of something at Hey Rosey wine bar. Should we do a Galah dinner in Orange? I need an excuse to go.