Goodbye AVFMW!

We would love to thank all of those who contributed to the A View From Moving Windows blog. We really appreciate the time and effort you put into writing such beautiful stories and memories.

Thanks to all of those who contributed to the blog:

Jessica Bellamy, Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki, Wayne Tunks, Patrick Lenton, Nick Parsons, Noelle Janaczewska, Erica J Brennan, Emrys Quin, Marnya Roth, John AD Fraser, Marcelle Schmitz, Sarah Carradine, Gavin Roach, Luke Carson, Jessica Chapnik Kahn and Nadav Kahn, Katie Pollock, Jodi McAlister, Melita Rowston, Miles Merrill, Teik Kim Pok, Sam Atom Stewart, Pip Smith, Melissa Werry, Alison Rooke, Ildiko Susany, Bronte Kelso-Marsh, Shauntelle Benjamin, Helen O’Leary, Eileen McIlwain and Lib Campbell.

And lastly, we’d like to thank Augusta for the opportunity to do help out with the ‘A View From Moving Windows’ and to the whole Crew, Cast and Writers for being so incredibly welcoming and wonderful. Below is a second longer tribute to the A View From Moving Windows process.

The video was created by Felicity Pickering and the song used is ‘Precious’ by the amazing Appleonia (Jessica Chapnik Kahn).

 

A View From Moving Windows Video

Music by Jeremy Silver. Video created by Felicity Pickering.

Pictures from Closing Night!

All pictures are by Felicity Pickering (except for the ones she’s in).

Luke Carson

Luke is currently filming his hardcore rap video “East Suburbia Gangstas” for the Hugo Posse Bosse which he wrote & produced. Luke is currently working on the final draft of his first full length play “Second Time Around” Dramaturged by Augusta Supple. This is his hilarious train story… 

A View From (not so) Moving Windows. – A true story by Luke Carson

9:45pm I catch a train at Newcastle to Central.

As I take my seat on the train I remind myself that I need to feed Mingo, the French bulldog I’m puppy sitting. With two hours before my change over at Gosford the humming of “the last train to Sydney” sends me off to sleep.

11:45pm I wake from my slumber, the train has stopped, probably waiting for a signal. I drift back to sleep.

11:55pm I wake again with a jolt, the train is still. I look out the window onto an empty car park protected by a metal spiked fence.

I look around but I don’t see anyone. I go from carriage to carriage trying to find the platform. I’m sure Gosford isn’t a short platform. A door is open and I can see there is no platform either way. I bang on the security door, nothing. I run through every carriage pressing THAT red button, I always thought it would be a thrill. It wasn’t. No alarm, no bells, no computerised voices.

I lean out the open doors. I look out – car park, I look down – train tracks, I look to my right and see my fate for the night. A stationed train.

“What the fuck” I yell at it.

Okay breath, first things first. Work.

“Hey dude, I can’t come in I’m stuck on a train.”

“What, Where are you?”

“I don’t know”

“That’s really inconvenient.”

Yes, yes it is. I call my mum.

“Mum, I’m stuck on a train” “What do mean you’re stuck on the train.” “I’m stuck on a train they didn’t do a walk through and wake me up” “It’s hardly their responsibility to wake you up.” “What do I do.” “I don’t know Luke. Should I call the police?”

My phone beeps 10% battery WTF!

“I got to go. I’ll call security.” “I’ll wake your father”

Father’s day. Shit!

I call the security hotline. They say the will send out a team. I imagine a pack of burly men with Pit bulls fighting through electrical wire to save me.

Fifteen minutes later a stocky woman in her 20’s yells from across the tracks.

“You alright mate?” “Not really. I’m stuck on the fucking train.” “You’re the third one tonight. I’ll go get my toey.”

The second in charge arrives and opens up the driver’s compartment. I exit via the train stairs and am back to civilisation.

He explains that he had to put his dog away that’s why he took so long. I tell him about Mingo. He points to a gate.

“Through there”

“Thank you.”

12:45am A man brown eyes me twice and asks what I’m looking at.

1:00am I catch the security guard talking to himself.

1:20am someone starts to kick the bus shelter outside the train station.

The Security guard is mid argument with himself.

1:52am Dad picks me up 3:45am I arrive in Newcastle 6 hours after I left for Sydney

If Mingo could talk I’m sure she would say. “What the fuck.”

Photo Credit: Luke Carson

Photo Credit: Luke Carson

Gavin Roach

Gavin Roach has travelled to lots of places during the tour of his one man show ‘Confessions of a Grindr Addict’. He’s gone to Melbourne, Newcastle and even Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but he still has a soft spot for Parramatta and…

The Space Inbetween 

Gavin’s house in Newtown. Photo Credit: Gavin

I live between two worlds. Parramatta, familiar and full of childhood rich memories and Newtown borderline new with shades of independence. Both I feel at home in, both ground me and inspire, and since moving to the Inner-West five years ago, I have spent many hours traveling between the two.

The journey between can, for some, seem cumbersome and long. A journey not as straight forward as it would seem and one that has a tendency to abruptly stop for extended lengths of time between stations. But for me the trip has an almost romance to it.

After boarding the train at Newtown station, I usually like to head straight upstairs and grab a window seat. Sometimes on the right, other times on the left. The height gives me the perfect vantage point to watch the ever-changing landscape.

The station gives way to compacted terrace house, clinging together, saturated with old world charm. The scene is often dotted with plush new apartment buildings that is testament to the rapid gentrification of the inner-west. I count the houses I’d want, the changes I would make and the dwellings that I would discard, head shaking at the décor choices.

As the train speeds to Ashfield the houses slowly let go of each other, yard sizes increase, bikes with training wheels dot the front gates and cultures clash in harmony.

As we pull out from Ashfield the scene changes again, we glide rapidly through forgotten suburbs, areas of outer Sydney that have been neglected from limited station use, streets littered with cracking buildings and peeled paint. Faded reminders of a once prosperous time.

One can never get too settled on the journey though, as when the train arrives at Strathfield its time to alight and try with all your might to defy the speed of sound and make it to the connecting train in time. If the train is missed however, which is often the case, the station does provide a temporary inhabitant a true reflection of Sydney’s true diversity. Here all walks of life meet, pass each other, journey together. This is Sydney in its purest form.

Once settled on the train to further west, you can’t help but feel the push of the express service. The train gathers speed as houses briskly change to industrial land and back again. Suburban landscapes wash the windows; pillars of industrial glory rise and fall. Construction and change hurl into view as your eyes try to keep up with the train.

Familiar shades of suburbia fall upon me as we roll through Granville. A silence whispers through the carriage, a knowing of what once happened here. And there in the distance, just around the bend is home, is a childhood memory, Parramatta.

We all alight and go on our way, myself I continue on to a bus, ready for a new vantage point, a new burst of scenery, all the while holding the memories made from the space in between.

To read more of Gavin’s writing check out his Huffington Post blog.

 

Patrick Lenton

Patrick Lenton is here to spice up your Sunday Night with his comic musings. Patrick Lenton is a writer of theatre, prose and comedy. He has just finished up his show 100 Years of Lizards as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival. For more of Patrick’s musing check out his blog The Spontaneity Review.

Skynet’s terrifying caterpillar-horses, AKA the train.

From time immemorial, people have looked at that blue concave temptress known as the horizon and become daunted. It is not a small world, despite that moment when you meet your year eight maths teacher in the same brothel in Thailand. The world is large and notoriously difficult to circumnavigate. Distance, which the Latino’s named ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’, is a cruel overlord. Despite desiring to go to Finland, you probably cannot go to Finland all because of the tyranny of distance.

In mankind’s endless war against Distance, one of the deadliest blows struck was the
invention of trains. Trains ate up the landscape with all the ferocity of a dog licking peanut butter. Trains swallowed up people and bore them uncomplainingly to work, the beach and even Finland. Historians, if drunk, will sometimes admit that the success of trains led to other such triumphs as planes, hot air balloons and whales.

But much like that legless veteran outside of the liquor store, rich people avoid trains. Trains have become the domain of the stinking working masses. Packed into the carriages like cabbages in a cabbage-box, the despair and hatred of the passengers seeps into the trains. And now, these once noble industrial steeds are twisted, graffitied wrecks of what they once were. Chugging along painfully like arthritis-ridden snakes on a fun run, they manifest their pain by being constantly late, stinky and full of drunks. They cover themselves in graffiti and honk loudly at night. In the early hours of the morning they rest uneasily in large depots, plotting revenge.

Illustration by Patrick Lenton

On a train in Vietnam I once spent nine hours playing the card game ’500′ with five other
people. It was a filthy sleeper train, with hard bunks along the wall where this was supposed to take place. The first two hours slipped by easily, filled with learning the game, drinking beer and general banter. After the third hour, the game had taken on a competitive edge, the conversation turned to quips and jibes. By the fourth hour, there were already call backs to earlier jokes. There was a strange feeling of timelessness, of endless hands of cards, the never ending rattle of the train.

Around the fifth hour, confidences were being shared. We were told of lost loves and past
mistakes. A story shared between three of our fellow card players turned into a dispute, and we lost a player, storming off into the rickety train. A brief lull followed. I made my way again to the swaying stench bucket that passed for a toilet and sang loudly as I urinated. It felt right.

The sixth hour was sad, filled with silence and terse commands. Looking around the room,
at these people we’d only met a day earlier, I began inventing a scenario where I would fight them on a battlefield. Charging across trenches in France perhaps, I wanted nothing more than to bayonet them directly in the face and have them realise it was that guy they beat in Vietnam in that stupid, interminable card game. Oh yeah, and I’d been losing for many, many rounds.

The seventh hour was filled with a reckless mania, an enthusiasm that was as directionless
as it was annoying. The conversation consisted of repeated Simpson’s quotes and then cackling wildly. I began to win, buoyed on by a rising tide of absurdity. I saw my foes begin to falter under the deranged onslaught of my ability to draw connections between two, three and even four completely separate pop cultural references. I began amusing nobody but myself, but I was happy.

In the eighth hour, we had an enforced ten minutes of silence. Most of us giggled all the
way through it. The game was close to being won, and our patience all but gone. But I think we wanted to do it – we wanted to be able to say we finished the game. And it was around this time that I realised this card game, this nine hour long monstrous train ride was an analogy for life. But I was too tired to think it through. I think in some ways I’m still too tired to think it through, but I do know this. I have no memory of who won that game.

Illustration by Patrick Lenton

Wayne Tunks

 

Wayne Tunk’s play ‘His Room’ was staged as part of the Riverside Theatre’s True West season from the 13-22 of September. He took time out of his busy schedule to write us a blog post. 

It was 1993 and the moment I had long been waiting for had finally arrived, Madonna was touring Australia. I was going to Uni in Wagga and was first in line to get tickets. I had good tickets and the day was finally here. Now anyone who knows me, knows the love I feel for the Queen of Pop, this was a big day. The biggest day of the year. It was Uni holidays and I was working in a call centre in Parramatta, yes, I was that guy who interrupted your dinner. I had worked the morning shift and was heading to meet my Uni friends who were coming to Sydney just for the concert. As we left work, it started to rain. This couldn’t be happening to me, it was an outdoor gig at the SCG and I needed it to
go ahead. There was a chance I could go postal if it didn’t.

So there we were waiting at the train station (Harris Park, the station before Parramatta) and somehow convinced myself that if I could stand in the rain and not need shelter, it was only a light shower and it would stop in time for me to see the gig. My friend was hiding under the shelter, but I refused. My Madonna shirt was getting saturated and I hate water at the best of times (seriously, I don’t get swimming), but I refused to get under shelter. Of course the train was late but I stood there. Thunder, some lightening. Nope, I stayed there until the train arrived, determined it meant that night I’d see Madonna.

Picked up my friends and the rain continued to fall, but my naïve hope had me still believing the gig was going to happen. It had to, it just had to. So we hopped on the train at Blacktown, rain intermittedly falling, with thunder teasing me every few stops. Finally we arrived at Central, with loads of other Madge fans, still clinging to hope. Then it happened, a guard asked us if we were going to Madonna. I think my shirt answered the question, but I did as well. She answered quickly, “Haven’t you heard, the show’s been postponed for 2 weeks”. Devo, absolutely devo. I stood in that rain for nothing.

We turned around and hopped straight back on the train with a whole bunch of other Madonna fans, me close to a nervous breakdown. Suddenly someone in our carriage started singing, I’m pretty sure it was Like a Prayer, and we all joined in. So did several others on the train. It was like a flash mob before they were popular and then unpopular again. It made me feel better as we took the train to Parramatta in a club where a DJ played us Madonna all night.

Two weeks later I took the same trip in again, this time with success. The gig was everything I wanted and more.

Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki

We have our first fan video for A View From Moving Windows! Pollyanna Kasia Nowicki is a very talented photographer, actor and best of all our poster girl (she’s the one in the red coat)!

 

Jess Bellamy

We are thrilled to have our first guest post from the ever lovely Jess Bellamy!!

I am writing this blog from Verona, because Fresh Ink Australia have very kindly sent me to Italy to see my film Bat Eyes be screened at the Venice Film Festival, as part of the YouTube Your Film Festival.

I’m on a Trenitalia train, and I am not sitting in the same direction as the train is going.

Trenitalia trains are not like City Rail trains, where you can grab a handle,
swing the chair up and over, and move it to face the direction you want.

No. I am stuck facing the city I am leaving, rather than the city I am getting
closer to, and I’m not sure how this is going to go down.

If I vomit on the guy across from me, who’s just trying to eat his crust-free
sandwich and read the newspaper in peace, this will not be a pleasant trip.

So I focus on what’s around me instead.

And I think, what is different about this train to the ones I’ve been travelling on
between Central and Parramatta lately?

But also, what is the same?

I can tell you that the sounds are the same. The same squeaks and sighs
of carriages rubbing against each other as they whirl around corners of
countryside. There’s the same odd silence, for a carriage full of people,
punctuated by occasional flurries of movement when the train stops at a
station and a new bunch of people move around finding seats and settling in
for the journey.

There are a few noticeable differences too. There are multilingual
announcements of train rules and upcoming stops, reflective of the huge
number of tourists and multicultural clientele. Is this multilingualism defined
by tourism, or just more openness to non-Italians? I think about the ride out to
Parramatta; so many different voices, different faces, different stories, and yet
a mono-language for announcements.

Most interesting to me are the beggars, two different women, who walk down
my carriage dropping off dark photocopies of their plea for charity. Again
multilingual, these are printed in English and Italian, and punctuated with a
picture of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. These slips of paper sit untouched on the
edges of each bank of seats, before the beggar returns to collect the papers,
and any returns she might have made.

The same quiet disinterest and disengagement is on display here as a night
of commuting home from the City to Parramatta. No one clocks her presence.
No one’s feathers are ruffled. It is different, and yet also oddly familiar.

But then, in any culture, we can always rely on the freeing presence of the
older woman who doesn’t give a crap. I love these people. She waltzes
onto the carriage, she holds up the line to put her bag away, she trills out
an “arrivederci!” at her friend on the platform, who can’t hear her through the
double-glazed glass. And, my favourite of all her quirks, she unashamedly
checks out the entire carriage, not shying away from her analysis when she
catches our eye. No shame or embarrassment at her interest in us.

Because interest is good. Engagement is good. Alive is good.

If you’d like to read more about her experience in Venice check out it out here.