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Everything posted by Alfa2Evora

  1. Hi Al - yes it was indeed after the bug-induced isolation. The photos are on their (CCT) Facebook page - I can copy yours and your laddie's and PM them to you if you don't have access to FB.
  2. Jennifer's underlying health issues prior to her stroke meant that the house had to be kept reasonably warm as she had trouble maintaining her body temperature, even with extra layers of clothing, so I wasn't surprised that the dual fuel utility bill for our modest 3-bed bungalow was somewhat higher than the 'national average'. With Jennifer currently in hospital, I've cut back as far as I can on our energy consumption (if I'm out at work, the heating doesn't need to be on as the dogs have got fur coats after all) so I was still a bit surprised when the latest bill arrived from Octopus. Despite reducing our electricity consumption by 16% and gas by 42%, the bill is still 18% higher than last month. Closer examination of the costings reveals that for electricity, the daily standing charge has increased 99% and the kWh price has gone up 41%, whilst for gas it's an increase of 14% for the standing charge and 94% on the kWh. Really looking forward to the pre-winter increase - NOT!! This is their current estimate for me for the year....... Just as well that I'm not solely reliant on the State Pension to fund the household budget, .
  3. This ^^^^^^^^. When I started looking for mine way back in the mists of time (well late 2013 actually, ) I was determined that it was going to be Laser Blue with an Oyster interior - price was of lesser importance than getting the right car. Well, I got what I wanted eventually but it took the best part of 16 months to achieve it.
  4. Were it not for a couple of 'events', this would probably have qualified for the 'Happy' thread. FURTHER UPDATE ON JENNIFER: Well, quite a lot has happened since my last post. Over the period, Jennifer has actually made some reasonable progress apart from a couple of glitches which were the result of outside influences and which I'll come back to in a minute. The most important thing to note is that I have come round to accepting that Jennifer's future recovery would probably be best served in a nursing home. She doesn't really need to be in hospital now as she doesn't require emergency medical intervention facilities to be on hand 24/7. The ward must seem quite daunting to her at times with all the activity going on around her - the comings and goings of the staff, the various beeps and so on given off by the equipment, and the sounds of the other patients. Perhaps, therefore, some time in a more relaxed environment with her own private space will actually promote a speedier recovery process. She'll still be getting all the interactions and stimuli she needs, just with more chill-time in between. Last week, the hospital Social Worker and their Mental Health Officer decided that it was time to conduct an assessment of Jennifer's cognitive levels. This was supposed to be done in my presence as Jennifer is still quite wary of anybody she's not familiar with so you can imagine how pleased I was to learn that they'd visited just after I'd left Jennifer's side last Monday. Apparently, they'd gone into the ward, pulled the curtains around Jennifer's seating area and parked themselves right in front of her. Isolated from her familiar surroundings and confronted by 2 strangers with only their eyes visible above their face-masks, of course Jennifer got somewhat distressed. After about 10 minutes of Jennifer becoming more and more agitated they eventually decided to terminate their visit. When they contacted me later to inform me of what had happened I left them in no doubt as to how I felt about their approach and insisted that I be there during any future attempt. They rescheduled for Thursday and this time they did at least not set about pulling curtains etc. In fact, they agreed to my suggestion that we all go out of the ward area, however they insisted we use the visitors' room rather than my preference of the outside patio. It was a nice day and Jennifer is totally at ease every time she's out there whereas the room would be just another enclosed space that was unfamiliar to her. Surprise, surprise, despite my calming influence Jennifer quickly became more and more ill at ease - not a meltdown perhaps but she definitely was far from happy so I called a halt to the proceedings before she became any more upset. Why won't these supposed 'experts' listen to family members? They might have knowledge of their subject matter but they don't necessarily have any knowledge of a particular patient and how they're going to react to a particular situation. Jennifer and I have been together for 30 years (come June 10th) - The Social Worker and the MHO have known her for less than 30 minutes but seemingly they know best, . The good news is that, once away from the Spanish Inquisition, Jennifer quickly regained her composure and has been having a good day every day since. The conversations have flowed, all her responses have been relevant and totally coherent and she's even taken the lead and introduced new topics for discussion on several occasions. She's well aware of her surroundings, commenting on such things as the trees and flowers out in the grounds, the aircraft flying overhead to and from nearby Edinburgh Airport, items that have been on the ward TV, and the various members of the medical staff, most of whom she knows by their first names. That's much more like the Jennifer that I know and love but the so-called experts who are making the decisions on her future aren't giving her a chance to show them that side of her, . I'll be spending the next few days visiting a number of nursing homes to try and produce a shortlist for inclusion in Jennifer's discharge plan - there's one that I'm particularly keen to see as it looks nothing like your typical nursing/care home but more like a luxury hotel and it gets an 'Excellent' rating across the board by the Care Inspectorate too. If it meets my high expectations, I might even enquire about moving in there myself, .
  5. When I had mine 'black-packed' (7 years ago mind you), I just went for broke from the start and had it painted - roof, splitter, sills and mirrors, £500 all in which was less than half the cheapest price I'd had at the time for wrapping it. Still looks pretty much as good as new today (after putting 45k miles on it) with only a couple of tiny chips on the sills, so great value in my opinion. Here it is from a couple of weeks ago, ignoring the front bumper of course as it's a recent aftermarket mod.
  6. Me departing the 'Classic Car Tours' breakfast meet on Sunday.
  7. I too just stuck mine on top of the existing PPF after a quick wipe over with some isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any polish/wax residues.
  8. We had a Regera turn up at a breakfast meet last weekend. As @Redwing says, the attention to detail is truly mind-boggling.
  9. That's true - a dog-eating Grumpysaurus, .
  10. I should really have posted this on Thursday after my chat with the doctors but it has taken me until now to even try to come to terms with it. LATEST UPDATE ON JENNIFER: Very much mixed emotions over the period since my last update. I'm happy to report that apart from a slight glitch Tuesday before last, the cause of which was ultimately traced to a bowel obstruction which must have been causing her a fair amount of discomfort if not pain, Jennifer has had a settled time over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately however, this settled time is also causing some concerns for the medical team, as she has not really made any significant progress either. This static period in her rate of recovery is worrying as she really needs to continue to be making steady improvements during this latter part of the post-trauma phase. Sooner rather than later now, she will reach a point where the recovery graph is going to flatten out anyway, after which time her progress is going to be noticeably slower so she needs to make-up as much ground now as possible - the setbacks she suffered previously have certainly not helped with that. Her consultant has gone so far as to warn me that as things stand, Jennifer may never make anything near a full recovery and in fact she may never even reach a level where she can resume a relatively independent life at home. Devastated and utterly heart-broken doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling right now at the thought of having to place my darling girl in a nursing home, possibly for the rest of her life if her 24/7 dependency continues as is. That will kill her, and me - maybe not as quickly, but certainly as surely, as plunging a knife into our hearts. I'm exploring every avenue looking for alternatives but my biggest concern is that when Social Services inevitably become involved as the hospital moves towards Jennifer's discharge, I'm going to have about as much say in her future as the guy who comes around every fortnight to jet-wash our wheelie-bins. We were in the process of organising Powers of Attorney when Covid struck so never got the paperwork signed-off. In her current mental state it is unlikely that Jennifer will be deemed able to make this decision so I'm having to consult a lawyer this coming week about petitioning the Probate Court for me to be granted Guardianship. Take it from me guys and gals, if you don't have a PoA in place - do it now! Marriage etc counts for nothing in this situation.
  11. Awarded myself a bit of downtime today before the daily hospital visit and took myself off for a couple of hours to the monthly 'Autobahn Scotland' breakfast meet at South Queensferry. The old girl scrubs-up not too badly for 111⁄2 years old and just shy of 80k miles on the clock, . Looks pretty good from all angles too,
  12. Mostly, the transition occurs over time such as she goes to sleep in one frame of mind and wakes up in another. Sometimes, however, it can be almost instantaneous and she goes from calm and relaxed to agitated and screaming the place down in a matter of seconds - a bit like a child throwing a tantrum when things are not going their way. It's quite distressing for all concerned when this happens as you can imagine. I will admit that it's starting to take its toll on me - I'm feeling more and more frayed around the edges as time goes on but I just keep trying to focus on all the positives and not dwell too much on the other occasions.
  13. Despite a significant blip earlier in the week, on balance this still deserves to go in here. JENNIFER - LATEST UPDATE: A bit of a mixed bag this week again, with what was probably her best day to date immediately followed by her worst since she left the High Dependency Unit, . Monday started the week on a high. Being a nice day, I'd taken Jennifer out to the patio area to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. She was watching the aircraft passing over on their final descent into Edinburgh and started asking me what each one was, adding little comments such as "You always call them that, don't you?" when I described one as 'Queasy Jet'. In between, I was making small talk about the weather and the birds and flowers that were present when Jennifer suddenly came out with "That's all you seem to keep talking about. When are we going to have a proper conversation?" I almost fell off my seat at that, but then proceeded do do as requested. On Tuesday I went in all buoyed-up from the previous days 'successes' only to find Jennifer sitting staring at a point on the ceiling, completely oblivious to everything going on around her, she never said a word the whole time I was there and gave no reaction to anything I said or did. The medical team were concerned enough to send her for a scan in case she'd suffered another 'event' but fortunately the results came back clear so I can only assume that her brain was having an off-day to recharge its batteries. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were all much the same - she was a lot better than Tuesday (not as great as Monday though) and was able to have a bit of a chat with me although some of what she was saying was not very coherent whilst other phrases and sentences were spot-on. Yesterday was dog therapy day and as before, it had the desired effect. It was a bit chilly out so the session had to be limited to about 30 minutes but that was still enough to give Jennifer the boost she was needing. After popping the dogs back in the car, I returned her to the ward and just at that, the menu for today's meals arrived. I ran through it with her, only for her to comment at the end of the list of choices, "Just tick anything as they all taste the same anyway". . That's more like the Jennifer of old - just maybe better not mention to anybody that she used to be a Catering Manager with the NHS, . Finger crossed for more of the same when I go in this afternoon.
  14. LATEST UPDATE: Well, it has generally been a not too bad week for my Jennifer. Apart from a minor blip with her digestive system on Thursday which left her feeling decidedly under the weather that day, she has been quite settled all week. A couple of her nurses who had been off for a few days through the week commented yesterday that they could see a marked change in her since last weekend. She was clearly taking in everything that was happening and being said around her, and was able to reply with some fairly coherent phrases and/or recognizable facial expressions. It also helped that Saturday was another canine-therapy day and that always seems to give her a noticeable boost. With the weather having been so good, I've been able to take Jennifer out to the ward patio for an hour or so every day this week. The combination of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the ward environment, fresh air, sunshine, a nice selection of flowering plants to look at and lots of birdsong to listen to has certainly done her nothing but good, then add in the dogs' visit and she's ended the week on a high. Today, as I expected so I wasn't surprised, all the stimulation of the past few days finally caught up with Jennifer and she slept through my entire visit. The nurses said that she had been in good spirits earlier this morning and was looking forward to my arrival but in the end she just couldn't keep those eyes open. Oh well, fingers crossed for tomorrow.
  15. I'll see your house contents and raise you the fabric of the house itself - fortunately our youngster has now outgrown this trend, .
  16. 7 years ago today and I was being handed the keys to complete my long-standing dream of becoming a Lotus owner. 55k miles later, the smile hasn't left my face and my P&J is still going strong albeit with a few bits of personalisation, both mechanically and aesthetically, along the way.
  17. We seem to have now moved on slightly from the immediate post-trauma critical stage to a more settled 'repair and recover' stage with several consecutive days of relative stability with only the odd blip here and there. Day to day, there's not been a huge amount to comment on so from now on I'll just be posting periodic updates (maybe every 5-7 days or so) or when any significant event occurs. LATEST UPDATE: Wednesday and Thursday were more of the same, with a bit of interaction between us and some coherent responses. Friday, however, was one of those expected blip days - in fact it's probably the worst Jennifer has been since way back at the start. Afterwards, I did learn that in the morning she'd already had a 'poke and prod' session with the doctors, an assessment session with the speech therapist, a half-hour manipulation session with the physiotherapist and finally, just before I arrived, the phlebotomist had visited and extracted several blood samples so I think that Jennifer had decided enough was enough. When I walked up to her and started to speak, she didn't open her eyes but instead started screaming the place down and shouting "Shut up. Shut up". I tried to calm her by stroking her forehead but as soon as I touched her she pushed me away quite forcibly with a very distinct "Go away and leave me alone". I asked her if she was sure she wanted me to leave and was told "Yes, just go away". Whilst it was not the most enjoyable of encounters, I have taken a positive from it in that although she didn't appear to recognise that it was me beside her, the responses she was giving were pertinent to the situation she felt she was in. To avoid stressing her any more, I took my leave at that point. Saturday, and Jennifer was more like herself. As soon as she saw me, her face lit-up and as I approached she put out her hand and stroked it down my cheek while telling me that she loved me. As it was a lovely day, we got her outside into the sheltered patio next to the ward and I fetched the dogs from the car. On seeing them, her excitement got dialled up to 11. She had a great time stroking them and chatting away, not always making full sense but then that doesn't really matter when the listener is a canine. Sunday, as expected, she was a bit drowsy after all the previous day's activity but she seemed contented enough and we did manage some chat between her nodding-off periods. Today, she was initially quite talkative and making a fair bit of sense but eventually she started to wear out so I left her in peace to have a nap before her lunch. She is eating quite well apparently, although everything still has to be pureed as she can't yet handle solids but I'm sure that'll come in time. So in summary, Jennifer has made another small step forward over the course of the past few days and it's just a case of building on that a little bit at a time.
  18. As the title says, westbound between Bathgate and Harthill Services, about 5.20pm yesterday.
  19. Posting in here again - this is one habit that I'll never tire of, , TODAY'S REPORT: As suspected, the dog-therapy session on Saturday did wear out Jennifer, but in a good way. When I went in on Sunday afternoon, the nurses informed me that the previous night was the first time since she had arrived on the ward that Jennifer had had an uninterrupted sleep and that she had in fact slept the clock round, not waking until almost lunchtime. She was still a bit sleepy during my visit, nodding off several times, but when she was awake she certainly seemed in reasonable spirits. About 50% of what she said was fairly coherent and mainly centred around the dogs so their visit has certainly given her something to think about. Yesterday, she was a bit more subdued and made it clear that she was bored and frustrated at being stuck there, and wanted to go home ASAP. It would seem that the dog visit coupled with some exposure to sunshine and fresh air has sent her stir crazy - she has sampled the good life and wants more of it. Today, she had perked-up a bit again. She was clearly pleased to see me and her speech is slowly coming along with her able to string together slightly longer coherent phrases. She was also picking up on things that the nurses were saying to other patients on the ward as she was repeating back some of what had just been said. She is also now able to hydrate herself. Several times, she reached out to the table in front of her, selected the beaker that she wanted from the choice of water, diluted orange juice, apple juice or tea (she likes it cold, ), held it to her mouth and controlled the tipping of it so that she could take a mouthful and swallow it without drowning in it. Tiny, tiny steps but I am now starting to believe that, at least in part for now, 'my' Jennifer is coming back, .
  20. Charis clearly found the whole experience pretty exhausting too, .
  21. This one definitely deserves to be posted here. TODAY'S REPORT: Well I'm delighted to say that today's visit with Macha and Charis appears to have been a great success. As the weather was a bit changeable and with Jennifer having been stuck in an overly-warm ward up until now, it was decided that they would take her down to just inside the back door of the gym and I could enter through there after being granted access to the adjacent staff car park. The look on Jennifer's face when she saw those 2 dogs was priceless - she was so excited I thought she was going to explode. Lots of cuddles were exchanged and I have to say that the dogs' behaviour was impeccable. I was initially concerned that they might go nuts at seeing 'mum' for the first time in 4 weeks and overwhelm her but, although they were clearly just as excited as Jennifer was, they kept their paws on the floor and it was only their tails that went berserk, . Jennifer chatted away to them (and me when I could get a look in, ) quite coherently, and even broke into one of the songs which the nurses have been singing with her these past few days, appropriately "How much is that doggy in the window?". Eventually, after the best part of an hour, the combination of fresh air, sunshine on her face, and the presence of her furry family seemed to have tired her out and Jennifer announced that she was starting to "feel cold" and asked could she "go back to bed please?" - her words in " " which is encouraging. While the nurse returned her to the ward, I popped the dogs back in the car then nipped into the ward to book tomorrow's visit and collect Jennifer's laundry. When I went to her bedside cabinet, she was already tucked up below the blankets, fast asleep but with an obvious smile on her face. We'll need to see tomorrow how she has fared in the aftermath of all that excitement but I'm sure overall it will have done her nothing but good (that's certainly what her consultant reckons will be the result) and I can't wait to repeat it all again next weekend.
  22. With my attention having been somewhat distracted in recent weeks, I've only just got round to catching up with all the other goings-on in TLF-world. Jeez, Tony, I'm really sorry to hear about your health scare and hope you're now well on the mend. I also hope that you are taking it as a timely warning shot across your bows? None of us is immortal and we work to live not the other way round. Take care mate.
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