Author's note:

Here's Margaret's philosophy. So you know the torture I must go through every day.


Fortunately, all I own is myself. Everyone else mentioned belongs to themselves. Margaret owns the rest.


The River of Insanity : Part 1 - Margaret and her mind

Once upon a time, before Margaret terrorised poor red necked Australians (actually that's a good thing, I take that back) on her exchange, she made up this philosophy. Now Margaret, you kind of have to meet the girl to understand what she's like. But I'm going to describe her anyway. Have fresh in your heads a Viking heroine complete with long, auburn plaits. Now make the following moderations. Make her lanky and 6 foot tall, add glasses, a large sprinkling of freckles, a dark green cotton track suit, untied, black, Doc Martens, and a rather enormous hardback book. Take away the outfit and the mace. Well, actually, her book is used for the same purpose of a mace. She's violent, quite strong and beats the crap out of you if you annoy her. In fact, she's given everyone I know mild concussion. I'm not being mean, this is Margaret. As I said. You kind of have to meet her to get the picture.

Anyway. Margaret has adopted this metaphoric philosophy comparing insanity to a roaring river, sanity to a bank on the left side of the river, and the other bank being beyond insanity. Let's make it easier to imagine. Say you're in a medieval type place and you're walking in a happy long grassed meadow when you come to a river. On the bank you're on there are several calm, collected, serious people. Lets call them doctors, accountants, scientists, mathematicians, selected university lecturers and all those other jobs in society which produce such people or for the sake of it, people who are quiet, meek and mild who have no weird thoughts and are perfectly normal. On the bank across the roaring river you see animated people spouting the law, weird thoughts, dreaming etc.

Lets call these people artists, musicians, actors, drunk debaters, the other university lecturers junkies and alcoholics out of rehab, and other jobs in society which produce people who others don't understand. Most sane people think they're weird. There's another word for them.

They're "creative" apparently, as Margaret says. You see, most people who want to become "creative" swim to the bank of beyond insanity. Most of those who choose to swim drown. Some get to the other side. And some people are crafty. They take a boat that gets them across the river safely. They are neither sane, insane or beyond insanity (beyond help).

They stop in the calm patches and view life in such beauty, intellect, calmness and grace. In the middle there is a rock covered in algae. There is a girl sitting on it who is, like the people on the boat, neither sane, insane or beyond insane. But she's strange. She chose to be different in the first place. She tried to swim down the calm patches of the sane side down river to see what would happen. Someone stopped her swimming in the calm patches, as she discovered it was pointless. She decided to be like everyone else and swim to the other side but never made it. She didn't drown but the current in the river swept her to a rock in the middle of the river covered in algae which people say is her sappiness. So she sits there, yearning to be on the boat, hoping someone will save her, but knowing it isn't in her right as she's already made her choice and has to live with it.

Now imagine my friends and I. Witty, intelligent Amanda. Calm, placid Gillian. Sardonic, calm, mild Katie. Giggly, beyond insane Melanie who has an obsession with plastic spoons being evil imitations of metal ones. Margaret who's just... Margaret. Animated, but silly-as-a-wet-hen Courtney. And me, the blonde who no one takes seriously. Lets see where they stand. Of course, none of us are on the sane bank. Margaret and Melanie swam to the bank of beyond insanity but stay in the calm patches as none of them want to be artists, musicians, junkies out of rehab, alcoholics, drunk debaters and such like. Courtney drowned in the River of Insanity as she couldn't work out how to swim. Amanda, Gillian and Katie are on the boat. And the girl on the rock. The weird one. The one who everyone ignores. The sappy, melodramatic one. Yearning to be rescued. Well guess who gets that mundane job. Me. Woah is me.


You see?! You see what I have to put up with?! Oh dear... so where do you stand? Are you "creative", swimming in the calm patches, taking the boat or sane? Or are you like me and sitting on the rock? You decide. It's strange. Now you know how nuts my friends are. Or how "creative".