Twelve Months with APPI - An Interview with Myself
Ross Downie, APPI's resident blogger, talks about the past year as being an APPI volunteer :)
Ok APPI fans – it’s been a while since I have written an APPI blog and for some weird reason I have always wanted to be interviewed reporter style by someone about a subject of interest to me, so I thought why not combine the two activities? So here it is – the first ever interview with myself.
So you joined the APPI crew as a volunteer back in October 2015? Is that right? Yes that is correct. I went on my first APPI tour at Parramatta Gaol as a paying guest, liked how they did things and asked to be a volunteer. Peet then interviewed me at Casula Powerhouses and Arts Centre the next week, and then my first “official” duty in my APPI gear was Fairfield City Museum.
How many of their locations have you gone to since you joined? Let’s see – probably eight at Parramatta Gaol; three at Roughly House; two at Fairfield City museum; three at Liverpool TAFE and three at Casula Powerhouses and Arts Centre. That’s sixteen in all. Have not been able to make the Australian Pioneer Village or Bella Vista Farm, which are relative new APPI locations, just yet (but I will – eventually).
What “stuff” have you seen and experienced at these locations? Way too many things to go into here – check my previous blogs.
So, these experiences of which you speak and write – are they “real”? Ok – I know where this is heading so let me tell you some things first to head this off. Firstly, I did not ask to join APPI because I wanted to “expose” them as some kind of undercover investigative reporter. Peet took my request and motives at face value and allowed me to join. But – think about it. If there was anything going on do you seriously think they would let me join the group? I knew no one there at the time of asking to join – so why would they do it – it wouldn’t make sense?
Let me put it another way – this is a typical night. The APPI crew arrive about an hour before the guests and get everything ready – tea, coffee cakes, biscuits – check bathrooms – get gear in place ready for activities. Then we all regroup and stand around chatting and drinking tea and coffee until the guests start arriving, then it’s all hand on deck. Simple as that. And if I did find something not right was going on, I would have left long ago, and I am still here. Finally, I have put my name to several blogs about the things I have seen and experienced, a thing I would never contemplate if for one minute I thought the events were anything but genuine.
How have you found your fellow APPI team? I say this with all sincerity and truth – they are one of the best and friendliest groups of people I have ever come across, and that is a big call on my part as I have been part of many groups over the years. I was made to feel welcome from day one, even though I felt a bit stupid and out of place at first. But that quickly disappeared as I got to know the group and understand the routines at the various locations. And as for Peet, the group support her 100%, which speaks for itself about the person I call (behind her back) “The Boss Lady”. The APPI team come from far and wide, including the Blue Mountains and Canberra. They come from all types of career backgrounds – architecture, catering, photography, motor mechanic and child care to name but a few. Even a currently retired old dude from the Northern Beaches. Naturally not everyone can make every event, a point Peet completely understands, but if the team can be there to help then they are there – and it is great meeting up with them.
How have you found the APPI guests? Generally speaking, the APPI guests have nearly all been a friendly bunch of people, keen to explore really old but cool places and learn a bit more about the paranormal, and in many cases, actually experience things. I have seen guests walk into a venue a total sceptic and walk out a total believer!
What have you learned personally about yourself? Quite a few things actually – mainly that I have got accustomed to walking around old and dark places without getting completely spooked. Also experiencing and seeing things and not being freaked out. There are some other things which I prefer not to go into.
So what is in store for 2017? For me or APPI?
Both Well, if Peet and the team will still have me, I would love to continue as an APPI volunteer. As for APPI I believe Peet is currently planning and putting together the 2017 schedule as we speak, so it will be another fantastic year!
Thanks for your time. No problems – maybe we can do the same this time next year for an update. Now think I have earned a cold beer if you would like to join me.
Ross Downie And its goodnight from him and goodnight from me (with apologises to the Two Ronnie’s) Google it! 4 December 2016