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Everything posted by Alfa2Evora

  1. JENNIFER : LATEST UPDATE OK, so it's been about 8 weeks now since my last update and that's mainly because there's not a lot to report - I don't know whether to look on that as a good thing or a bad thing. Good I suppose from the standpoint that she's not regressed in any way but bad in as much as she hasn't made any significant progress either. The only real negative over the period is that, just after Christmas, Jennifer caught that nasty flu bug that was doing the rounds and instead of throwing the worst of it off in a couple of days as she has in the past, it took her a couple of weeks to get on the road to recovery but once she did start to throw it off she did so quite quickly and is now back on form. Similarly, the weight loss she suffered, and which she could ill-afford, during this illness has now been reversed as she regains her appetite although it could be several weeks yet before she restores all the pounds lost. On the positive side, her conversational skills are progressing with more and more vocabulary coming into play - she's even correcting people she hears speaking on the TV if she feels that there was a more appropriate word or grammatically correct way that they could have expressed themselves. Those moments are more glimpses of my 'old' Jennifer creeping through, . She is still a long way from getting her reading and writing abilities back though - numbers and letters on the page are just a jumble of shapes but ask Jennifer to solve an arithmetic problem or spell out a complex word and she's right on the case so I think it's simply a matter of keeping plugging away with the "My First Alphabet" and "My First Numbers" books and it'll all click into place some day. Every day, so long as it's not persisting down, I take her to the nearby loch to watch the wildfowl and she always returns from those trips with a smile on her face. Also, I'm taking the dogs in to visit at least once a week and that is having a great therapeutic effect on Jennifer, and the staff and other residents alike. That's about it. She seems to have settled well into her new surroundings, she's made a number of new friends among the residents, the staff all seem to love her, and any small step of progress I view as another move towards my ultimate goal of getting her back home where she belongs.
  2. I just noticed in the second picture I posted above, that there is a symmetrical pattern to the levels of dirt deposited on the rear - that diffuser must be doing something, .
  3. @exeterjeep Still awaiting the repair to the front unfortunately, although the bodyshop are finally hoping to have all the necessary bits within the next couple of weeks. Everything seems to be made of Unobtainium these days, . It'll be great not to have to keep playing 'dodge the speedhump' and remembering not to use the screenwashers if the headlights are on.
  4. Tell me about it @mcdonaa. With mine having sat for over a week unused due to the lingering snow and ice, I finally got the chance the other day to blow away the cobwebs with a good thrashing, I mean Italian-style tune-up, . 100 miles or so on the still damp roads and this was the result - still looks good though, even after a dirty stop-out.
  5. @bogle So sorry to hear your news Bill - my condolences to you.
  6. Alfa2Evora


    Nah, that's not low. You could easily fit a Buccaneer under that!
  7. JENNIFER : LATEST UPDATE I've deliberately held off posting this until now as I wanted to let the dust settle a bit and get a truer picture of what was actually happening in the longer term. As I mentioned in my last post, Jennifer was offered a place at one of the nursing homes on my shortlist of 3. As you can see from the pic, for a relatively modern purpose-built structure, it still retains a bit of character rather than being a simple rectangular box like most of these places seem to be. Its location in terms of its immediate surroundings is by far the best of the 3, being as it is a short 5 minute walk (or slightly longer 7 minute push with a wheelchair) from Linlithgow Loch and its abundance of wildfowl, which Jennifer has absolutely loved visiting for as long as I've known her - a couple of pics below for those of you unfamiliar with the area. It's location in terms of ease of visiting is unfortunately for me by far the worst, being as it is a good 25-30 minute drive in the wrong direction from everything else I need to frequent, especially my work, but Jennifer's well-being overrides any of my selfish requirements so I was more than happy to accept their placement offer. So on Tuesday, 8th November, after 267 days in hospital, Jennifer made her tearful goodbyes to the staff there and moved into the nursing home. I fully expected her to regress for a bit and to take several days if not longer to adjust to her completely different surroundings but she took to the place straight away. While I had the job of unpacking all her stuff and personalising her room, Jennifer was sitting through in the dining room chatting away to a couple of the other residents and scoffing down her first 'sample' of the catering department's capabilities. I have to confess that they did bring me through a meal as well, and very nice it was too. I may have to make this a regular dining stop, . Every day since has been a good day. Jennifer has taken full advantage of the various activities on offer (there's something on the go every weekday morning and afternoon) and seems to be making friends with everybody, staff and residents alike. The home staff have already had her walking around the corridors using a zimmer frame with a member of staff only cradling her elbow to give her balance a little support. I think what was holding her back in the hospital was the shiny floors; now that she's got carpet under her feet, it seems to have boosted her confidence that she's not going to lose her footing any second and take a tumble. I've arranged for her to be assessed by a member of the Community Care Team who'll be able to organise regular visits from any therapists that it's felt Jennifer requires, be that physio, occupational, or speech and language - I'm hoping it'll be all 3 as it can only help to push her ever onwards towards some form of meaningful recovery. The early signs are more promising than I could ever have hoped for and my only regret is that the legal process took so long otherwise we could possibly have had Jennifer following this new path that much sooner.
  8. The benefit of running Italian cars most of your motoring life - you learn from an early age that the towing eyes are reverse-threaded, and get plenty of practice in fitting them, .
  9. Race Control : "Lap times disallowed for exceeding track limits".
  10. Exactly! Mine is far from pretty looking at the moment, as we await the other driver's insurance accepting the repair quote, but I've still managed to put 1.5k miles on it in the past 6 weeks.
  11. @johnpwalsh I know John. I'm just wondering who I've upset that much, . Beginning to feel that I should maybe just lie down in the middle of the pavement somewhere with a sign reading "Go on. Take a kick. Everybody else has so why should you miss out on all the fun?"
  12. @exeterjeep When I viewed the place a couple of weeks ago, I got a really good feeling about it, hence why it went on my (very) shortlist of just 3 establishments that I deemed suitable to meet Jennifer's needs. Although it's of fairly modern purpose-built construction (the other 2 were old converted buildings with loads of 'character' features and felt more like hotels than care homes), it's not like any of the other generic 'out of the same mould' buildings that I've viewed. It too has a lot of character to it, with lovely large well-appointed rooms arranged in groups around a central hallway rather than a long corridor of prison cells, several acres of well-planted landscaped gardens which Jennifer will absolutely love, there's an over-generous staff allocation on each shift with 2 of the nursing staff having stroke recovery experience, a fabulous menu that wouldn't be out of place in a posh restaurant, and all the staff and residents appear to be enjoying each other's company. It get's a 9.9/10 review rating from the relatives of current residents and the Care Inspectorate reports for the last few years all rate it as either 'Very Good' or 'Excellent' in the various categories assessed, so fingers crossed it fits the bill. I'm keeping my options open on the other 2 places just in case though.
  13. This should really have gone in the "What made you unhappy for the past 6 weeks" thread but since it doesn't exist and I didn't want to create yet another new thread in this ever-expanding series, I'll just post it here. As if I haven't had more than enough to contend with of late, I've also been dealing with a several-weeks-long saga surrounding our daily driver Alfa Romeo Giulietta. A fair proportion of the on-going grief emanates from that esteemed organisation, The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and in fact I think it does deserve its own separate thread which I'll get around to preparing later. With its MOT (annual safety inspection for those not of this land and therefore unfamiliar with this term) due at the end of September, I stuck the Giulietta into our nearby independent Alfa specialist a week or so in advance as I knew that there were a few things that might need attention - the rear brakes were near the end of their life and I could hear some clunks and knocks from suspension bushes for starters. A couple of days after I left it there, I got the dreaded "We think you should come and have a look at this" call, . With more than a little trepidation, I attended their workshop to be shown that although it's a modern model, it would appear that it is a real Alfa after all with a lot of shared 'features' from the 'classics' of old, not least their reputation to dissolve in the first shower. This is the rear wheel arch where it meets the rear of the door sill at the bottom of the C-pillar. Apparently, Alfa had the brilliant idea of stuffing the sill full of foam rubber (already removed prior to the photo) for sound deadening but of course all it became was a giant sponge soaking up a few gallons of rain water along with no doubt road salt from the winters, which it then retained in close contact with the minimally protected insides of the sills. No wonder I couldn't get the extending 'wand' to go very far inside each of the drain holes when I was trying, on several occasions, to inject rust-inhibiting wax into those cavities, . Here's a shot of further up inside the wheelarch showing how little surface protection has been applied by the factory before installing the arch liners which of course then conceal this area from general view - out of sight, out of mind and all that. .....and a shot of the suspension turret which is of course a load-bearing structure so will be a major issue sooner rather than later. OK, so I acknowledge that the car's now 12 years old and has done almost 120k miles but we've owned it from new and know its exact history - it's been pampered and cosseted all its life with frequent steam-cleaning of the underside and regular applications of rust inhibitors in the areas I could reach. I dread to think what state it would have been in if I'd just ignored these albeit temporary preventative measures. Anyway, the metalwork guru at the garage performed his magic over the following days and weeks and fabricated repair panels for the bottom sections of the wheelarches and the C-panels, and the rear 12 inches or so of the door sills on both sides of the car. They had warned me that they would probably end up resorting to painting everything in that area with a black rubberised paint but would try to make it look like a neat factory-intended protective section (a bit like the shark's fins on the Evora) rather than just slapping the stuff on at random. Imagine my surprise therefore, when I went to collect the car this morning, to discover that they had in fact managed to repaint the whole area in the original Rosso Competizione finish - no mean feat as it's a 3-stage pearlescent red and by all accounts a real bar steward to replicate and blend into the surrounding 'old' paint. I was even happier when he said that they'd had to mix a larger quantity of paint than was needed just for this small job so rather than waste it, they'd noticed that the front bumper had a number of stonechips so they'd taken the liberty of flatting it back and repainting it, at no extra cost as a gesture of goodwill to me as a customer of more than 30 years standing, . I've still to get the bill for the whole job so when that drops into my In-box in the coming week, I might not be smiling quite so much. As time was pressing on, I drove straight from the garage to the hospital to do Jennifer's lunchtime assist. While I was there, I heard a car alarm going off. Jennifer is in a different section of the ward now from which you can't see the car park but you hear alarms all the time, and I didn't recognise it as being necessarily the Alfa's, so thought nothing of it. When I got back to the car about an hour later though, the display on the instrument panel was advising that the alarm had indeed been triggered. A quick walk round the car revealed the reason................. Unbe-blinkin'-lievable, . The paint's barely dry for pity's sake. What is it with people in white cars in that car park? At least it's only a surface scrape this time rather than what the Evora suffered, but still somewhat vexing shall we say?
  14. JENNIFER UPDATE: My 'Certificate of Appointment' as Jennifer's guardian arrived in the post today from the Office of the Public Guardian. I knew that I'd been granted full guardianship for the next 5 years at the court hearing last week but it's not official until you get this piece of paper. Whilst I'm not happy that this process was necessary, at least now I've got the final say on any decisions anybody wants to take concerning either Jennifer's welfare or her finances. Also today I received confirmation from one of the nursing homes on the shortlist I had to draw up for the hospital discharge team, that they would be able to accept Jennifer from Tuesday of next week. Again, not something I'm overjoyed about - I'd far rather she was coming home with me of course - but in the scheme of things it's the best solution for now. The hospital ward environment is really starting to get to her so having her own quiet space when she needs it, but with access to all sorts of positive stimulation from a variety of available activities and interaction with a whole load of fellow residents when she wants either or both of those, will hopefully kickstart a new phase of her currently stalled progress towards recovery.
  15. @peteNo, they have all the mods detailed in the vehicle description in my policy schedule. They're just claiming that the modified front bumper caused the resulting damage to be greater than it otherwise would have been. Doesn't matter now anyway, as the other driver's insurance is picking up the tab. Won't cost me a penny for now, although I'm sure that my premiums will go up for the next few years since having had a bump makes me a greater risk of having another apparently, .
  16. EVORA UPDATE: There have been a number of twists and turns in this saga since my last post about a month back, some of which might have qualified for a post in the 'Unhappy' thread and some in the 'Neither Happy nor Unhappy' thread, but overall this update should firmly reside here. Having convinced my insurer that my car didn't deserve to be a 'total loss' and succeeding in persuading them to back off from sending in the local scrappie to collect it, I got on with my pursuit of the miscreant. It was obvious by then that local plod was too busy eating doughnuts to be bothered (I know, I know - some of you warned me of this) so I went back to the hospital security team, this time sending a lengthy letter, including photographs of the damage to both cars, to the Head of Security with a copy to the Chairman of the NHS Trust for the hospital. I gave them an outline of my reasons for being a daily visitor to the hospital and of how the repairs to my car could leave me financially stretched at a time when I'm needing to be getting specially-adapted equipment ordered for Jennifer in an unashamed attempt to garner their sympathy, and asked that the CCTV footage be viewed again, this time looking at all the other cameras in the vicinity and not just the one directly adjacent to the incident location. I scored on all counts. The main man in security got back to me the very next day to say that he was effectively 'on my side' in getting this resolved. He had reviewed the CCTV and had established a timeline of fairly compelling (to him) circumstantial (to plod) evidence. They had my car passing the entry barrier at 1719 with no apparent damage to it. Another camera further round the building catches me reversing in alongside the BMW, again with no visible damage, at 1721. That camera pans away but on its return at 1726, the BMW has gone and my car can be seen sitting there with now obvious damage. Meanwhile, the exit barrier camera shows the BMW leaving at 1724 with a clear scrape and smears of blue along its rear quarter. He was able to identify the owner of the BMW and had already contacted her (OK, so it was a female after all) detailing the "overwhelming evidence" (his words to her) that he had in his possession and advising her that as a member of the public complaining about a staff member, I was fully entitled to escalate it to involve the senior nursing management and personnel department if I felt so inclined. At this, she put her hands up straight away (although she did say that she thought she had only caught a kerb - curb to those of you over The Pond, ), and asked that he obtain my contact details so she could speak to me about what I wanted to do next. She sent me a text asking what she should do, I replied with what details she needed to report the incident to her insurance and after a delay of about a further 7 days, during which time I was beginning to think that she's had a change of mind and was giving me the proverbial raised middle digit, I got another text confirming her policy details and giving me the claim reference number. Meantime, without me having spoken to them again since the 'total loss' conversation, my insurance decided that it was time to send a recovery wagon to uplift the Evora and take it to a repair shop of their choosing. The one that they had selected has a certain reputation in the local car club circles and let's just say, I wouldn't send a wheelbarrow to them. I contacted them direct to cancel the collection, citing the car still being part of an ongoing police investigation as the reason for it not being available for repair rather than getting into a slanging match about their abilities or lack thereof, and the guy on the other end of the phone said that they'd been looking forward to getting it into their workshop as they'd never worked on an Evora before. Well guess what, you'll still never have worked on an Evora, at least not my one that is! It would seem that somewhere along the line, my insurer had somebody come out and look at my car without my knowledge (I'm sleeping for a fair proportion of the day as I'm on permanent nightshift) as the very next day after the 'uplift for repair' attempt, they contacted me to advise that they would now not be covering any of the repair costs to my car. When asked for a reason, apparently their assessor reckoned that the damage was down to the design of my after-market bumper. The pronounced bottom lip allowed the BMW's wheel to drive up onto it causing the mountings to be ripped from the clam, and the bumper and undertray to drop taking the headlight with them. Had it been the standard bumper, there would only have been scraping along the surface, therefore they would not cover this 'consequential damage' So essentially, everything is now the fault of my bumper's design and nothing to do with the other driver not being able to exit a parking space without hitting something? Fortunately, the BMW's insurer then contacted me accepting complete liability for everything that's needed to restore my P&J to its former glory, was perfectly happy to allow me to choose where the car goes for repair (they fully understood my "specialist car with specialist materials and specialist repair techniques needs a specialist repairer" stance), and even offering me a 'premium' replacement car (whatever that means? Hyundai i20 rather than an i10 maybe? ) for the duration of the repair. They've since confirmed all this in writing, so all I'm waiting on now is for them to authorise the estimate my bodyshop guy has sent them so he can get the parts on order and I can get onto their nominated rental agency to arrange the Huracan or SF90 Stradale or whatever else is on offer, . Oh, and I've told my insurer to close the file on my case and stick it in whatever part of their anatomy they feel might accommodate it, . Guess where my business won't be going come renewal time?
  17. @NAC63It's a possibility worth looking at I suppose, especially when everything is coming off anyway. It's on the opposite side to where the hit was, but everything in the front end has moved about a bit, for instance the passenger's door now catches on the edge of the clam but hopefully that's just a bit of movement in the mountings.
  18. Andy, just remember who's already got an 'escape into blissful exile' bolt-hole over there - you could end up as neighbours!
  19. I don't quite know what's going on here - hopefully somebody can point me in the right direction. In the passenger's side sidelight, all the LEDs in the circle have gone dim, similar to what DRLs do when you switch on the main lights but the single one above, that projects out a bit to provide a degree of side-marker protection, is still at full brightness. One or two, I could understand as being individual LEDs on their way out, but all of them at once? Ignore the lacquer/PPF peel - that's getting looked at soon-ish as the lights have to come out anyway to replace the bumper. Just wondering if I now need to be considering shoving in a couple of new circuit boards (might as well do both, but more expense I could really do without right now) from Lotus Silverstone as the only sure cure? As you can see, the driver's side is fine. Ignore the collapsed headlight unit and the shocking even by Lotus standards panel gap but that'll hopefully all be rectified eventually, when the police conclude their hit-and-run investigations. I suppose I should just be grateful that I actually have a full set of LEDs working at all, .
  20. Alfa2Evora


    If you do it overland, at relatively low level, you can also see that effect in the local population's underwear, .
  21. Words fail me. It's just as well for our amateur tree surgeon that 'justifiable homicide' is not acceptable as a defence in this country. I'm on my way out to the car to go and visit Jennifer and chummy is out at his front hedge. "Oh hello. I'm surprised to see you out and about at this time of day. Not working tonight?" He was a few nanoseconds away from wearing that hedge-trimmer as a necklace. He just stared blankly at me when I controlled my response and limited it to "Possibly not. I don't think it'll be safe to be at the wheel of a 40-tonner on the hour and a bit's sleep I've had so far". I arrived back from the hospital about 10 minutes ago hoping that I might be able to squeeze in another 3 hours or so before I need to leave for work, but oh no, he's still at it.
  22. I've got my Evora sitting on a C-Tek charger - I'm sure that must qualify it as at least a plug-in hybrid, surely?
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