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When things just go wrong, they go wrong in multiples. A week ago the final piece of our settling in plan – installation of sky tv + broadband – for Mr & Mrs Vysocina’s new flat was to be completed. Instead a week of misunderstandings, mistakes and just plain dumb luck has followed. Let’s take a look at why you didn’t want to be me this past 7 days.

Thursday 17th June:
Reject several offers of work for this day because SKY are scheduled to come between 8am and 12PM. Those who follow my blog posts will know that I do a lot of casual work, I have no guaranteed income so I really need to take what’s on offer so this rejection was a big deal but meant to be the last. Instead nothing happens. No Sky engineer calls, no body clambers up my walls, no Sky Movies to watch or World Cup games to see. I call them up and ask what’s the hold up (in so many words) and the woman replies quite regally that sky have no record of installation scheduled for today as it states they are coming tomorrow. But what of my email? She repeats her mantra and asks me if she can be of any further use. No you can’t, thanks for nothing.

Friday 18th June:
Turned down work again. Sky man arrives! He’s early too setting me up for a nice day of catch up TV. However there is a snag. He grimaces the moment he goes into the back yard. Trees. Nasty, green, wooden, living, solid state things! Tree’s are one of SKY’s most troublesome foe. Don’t believe the rain forest adverts on SKY. SKY hate tree’s. The satellite signal won’t be able to get to the dish. Yes it can travel thousands of miles through the atmosphere but it cannot punch through a six inch diameter tree trunk. Credit to the engineer, he gets paid per successful installation, he tried for half an hour adjusting the dish and marching round the estate for a good angle. No luck. No Sky. All because of Mrs Vysocina’s bloody beloved trees. SKY and Mr Vysocina share a common foe henceforth.

Saturday 19th June:
I manage to get to work to earn a little money for rent. However I have a full day shift for next month taken off me. 3hrs versus 7hrs isn’t a good compromise.

Sunday 20th June:
Found some job opportunities in a paper for Classroom Manager / Cover Supervisors. Okay. Today is a good day, it does mean more applications to fill in though.

Monday 21st June:
Starts great, as my twitter stream shows. I even get told that I might be paid for one of the school trips I’m out on as a guide for Mount Grace. Problem is we have to get there. A19 has a rolling roadblock slap bang on our turn off. No way of getting to the Priory. A little further down the motor way, guess what happens? The Bus breaks down!

Picture it me and a gtp student the only ‘senior’ staff stuck with 50 kids on a busy motor way. Urgh! To compound it we couldn’t get in touch with management at the school and had to relay messages through the school reception. Eventually we got a replacement and had our misery compounded by the news that if we had asked at the roadblock they would have let us through. We made it there in the end at least.

Tuesday 22nd June
Great news! Been asked to work an extra couple of hours tomorrow at the Dorman Museum. I keep thinking I have forgotten something.

Wednesday 23rd June
Oh yes. The England match. Doh! I miss it. Boss takes sympathy on me and gives me a few more paydays for next month though.

Thursday 24th June:
Mount Grace again! Problem with bus again. It’s too small. We’ve hired taxi’s for the rest of the students. Are we done yet?

I hope so.

Photo by Graur Razvan Ionut


Something odd has been happening near Casa Vysocina. It appears that, if I’m not mistaken, a terrorist organisation is trying to eliminate my family. It’s not paranoia when they’re really after you.

I was waiting by the bus stop on Thursday, waiting to go to college for the theory part of my Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Middlesbrough College. While I’m stood there contemplating how best to teach to constructivist learners without ignoring the odd humanist in the class (yeah right…), something grabs my attention.

A loud explosion.

Now there was no panic. Shopkeeper Dean emerged from his, uh, shop to look in the direction of the boom and I took a few steps to look down the alleyway. Fairly normal grass, birds, dog covered pavements…

And here come a gang of chavs running out of an estate, some of them laughing. One of them, well he fell flat on his face and didn’t move afterwards. I was going to go over and find out what happened and if they needed help. They could have set of a firework, a car could have backfired, maybe they had messed with an aerosol can. I even would have went over convinced it was a gunshot I’d heard. That’s what decent people do – help the idiots of this world.

But my bus came round the corner. And I went to college.

Hey we all have priorities. When I finished I found out from Shopkeeper Deans wife that the lads had built themselves a bomb from a YouTube video apparently and blew off two fingers belonging to one of the prior mentioned idiots. It’s not bad of me to feel pleased by this is it? Bleeding heart liberals may not want to face the fact that people exist who are just too dumb for words. You build a bomb, its your own fault what happens. What annoys me is the blood stains were still on the floor when the kids were leaving school. The police could have forced the gang to scrub the path clean.

The events of an eventful week don’t stop there. My dad, a retired RMN (Registered Mental Nurse) was heading off to work on saturday night to the care home he earns a booster for his pension. On the bus (he’s eco-friendly!) he had his own bang moment.

Somebody took a shot at the bus.

The back window was shot out. Apparently an air rifle according to the bus driver. He stopped the bus and wanted everyone to get off initially – which everyone was thrilled about with a gunman out there. However he changed his mind, taped off the back seats and pulled the window out entirely so no fragments could hurt anyone.

I do live in Middlesbrough, England right? Not Detroit, Not London, Not Baghdad, Not L.A, Not Rio. So why are we seeing bombs and shootings?

Atleast I can end this post saying nobody was hurt. Except the chav and his two fingers.

Themes of Interest

And in the Twitterverse…