Like many people with ADHD, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was a grown adult. There I was, out in the world: setting several dozen alarms in my phone to remind me to clean; leaving the supermarket without the one thing I went there for; replying to emails in the first 30 seconds or never. Every day I looked at my list of tasks and thought, yes, that seems doable. And every day I found myself knee-deep in the etymology of “binomial nomenclature”, at which I had arrived because of an urgent need to remind myself of the relationship of Richard…

I have only written about my miscarriage once. It came out in a rush and I have never been able to write about it again. If you’ve read my book The Paper House, you have also read the only words I’ve ever used to recall what happened.

I was about twelve weeks along. At the time, I was working at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Laverton, west of Melbourne. My security clearance hadn’t come through yet. …

On Monday an important email goes around. You can tell it’s important because it has the little red exclamation mark, and because it’s from the CEO (well, not from him, but his EA has sent it on his behalf from his inbox). INVITE: MORNING TEA. An important morning tea. Hosted by the CEO. You feel a shiver of excitement at how transformative it will be.

By Thursday, the anticipation or maybe the clinical mental illness is almost too much to bear. You’ve been waiting so long for real change, and it has finally arrived. If you’re lucky, Liam, the new…


Absolute wonders Nova Weetman and Emily Gale are running a Twitter auction to raise money for various fire-related charities.

In my wisdom, I started a bunch of auction lots and don’t know how to keep track of them, so I thought I’d helpfully post them here and update as bids come in.

If you want to bid, just click on the link and reply with the amount!

Auctions end 11pm AEDT (Melbourne/Sydney) on Saturday the 11th.

The first advance copy of my new book [bid now]

Current high bid: $550

Win this auction and you’ll be the very first…

In the last moments of 2019, a town gathered by the water under a red sky. The fire had come too quickly, there was no time to evacuate. In the distance, the popping of gas cylinders as they exploded in the heat. A row of tankers would fend it off, brave volunteers fighting against the flame, and if all else failed, which it might, everyone would have to get in the water.

As I watched, like so many others, in abject horror, I thought, Could I do that?

Photo: NSWRFS via Twitter

Mental illness is often about internal battles, but the past 12 months…

I needed a couple of fitted sheets, so I went off to my local linen store.

Well. There is a huge sale on today, and every blonde woman in my posh council area was there.

These women DO NOT wait in queues. So they kept leaving their bags to hold their place and wandering off to find people to complain to. While I was waiting, I watched one Lululemon-clad woman reach into a Burberry-clad woman’s bag and take out a single cushion.

Eventually the second woman returned to her gigantic bag of stuff and slid it over to the checkout…

When I was 14, I went with my boyfriend and his parents to Footy Park on a Saturday afternoon. We had never been to the football together. He was a Crows fan. It was the 1997 semi-final, and we had seats in the members’ stand.

It was a nail-biter. As the minutes ticked down, I realised I was scraping my fingernails along the back of the metal bench in front. My half-cold pie sat thick in my stomach. Nine points the difference. Eight points. John Barnes with a kick to the forward 50 with no seconds to spare.


By the time I turned 18 in 2000, I had met more than 300 people from the internet. Lots of them were dudes. My first boyfriend, and my second boyfriend. A guy who dated my friend to get me alone in his house. One who followed me home and sat on my letterbox for a whole night. Two incredibly sweet men I could and should have married.

And later, “Karl”.

Fifteen years ago I was unhappily married, lonely in my own home. My husband and I fought all the time. By day, I juggled self-employment with motherhood. …

We can be immortal.

We can dance around the pearly gates, sneak past the reaper’s scythe, give the finger to the Angel of Death.

In fact, we already do. For millennia we have slipped the chains of our mortality.

We are not fallible beings but shape-shifters, merely undertaking a transformation from one kind to the next.

We do not die.

We bite the dust. We give up the ghost. We push up daisies. These are not the actions of people dead in the ground but of breathing, pulsing humans.

Could a dead man pop his clogs? Has a cadaver ever…

(Makes 10 small pies + domestic bliss)


  • 2 x chicken (about 500g) — thighs or breasts, please don’t make a joke about what kind of man you are
  • 300g of assorted mushrooms — any of the ones that make kids go “ew!” taste best
  • 1 medium leek
  • 3 white potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • Frozen peas and corn
  • About 1tbsp of thyme (just the leaves)
  • About ¼ cup of plain flour
  • A couple of cloves of garlic (crush it)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • ½ cup cheap white wine
  • ⅓ cup thickened cream
  • Puff pastry sheets (this is not a health…

Anna Spargo-Ryan

Sometimes writer, frequent emotion haver. Tops mother, massive try-hard and friend. Wrote THE GULF and THE PAPER HOUSE.

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