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Steven162

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About Steven162

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  • Name
    Steven
  • Car
    Turbo Esprit HC
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  • Location
    Martham, Norfolk

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  1. More perspective, as I wrote in my "I'm in China thread" I believe there are more people alive in China than would have been if the virus had not come. Approximately 260,000 people die on the roads in China per annum, assuming a reduction of 66% of road deaths for February (very conservative, I estimate road traffic is about 10% of normal) over 7000 people have not died on the roads, versus 3000 people dead of the virus. Of course I am not belittling the virus, its the reason I am stuck in my apartment and have only worked 1 day in the last 5 weeks.
  2. Quick update, I have an Employment Certificate now from my company so I can leave the community to work whenever I need to. I went to work today, reduced hours 8.30 until 3.30. 10 of our team of 12 were in, 2 are still in quarantine. We are the Manufacturing Engineering team, we specify, buy and install machining equipment to machine cylinder heads, blocks and crankshafts and support Production. There are not enough production operators to start the lines this week so we made a schedule where each of us will work 2 days this week, I will work again Thursday. Work was OK, temperature check on entering plant, one after lunch, one on leaving the plant. Some odd behaviour, one being keyboards covered in cling film. No change outside, no small shops open, no schools open etc. Several videos going round of people jumping from high buildings and of apartments of families doing quarantine literally being nailed shut for 14 days, they get 14 days food, the door is covered over with steel which is opened 14 days later. Just seen a message on the work WeChat group as I write this, they are suggesting we work from home this week due to a suspected local outbreak, not sure how local at the moment. To put things into perspective, Chongqing Province has about 32 million inhabitants, five hundred and something people have been confirmed with the virus and 6 have died, many more than 6 people have not died in car accidents in the Province because there are fewer cars on the road. Steve
  3. USAndretti42, that sounds right. I get a text from Unicom (my mobile company) every day in Chinese, I have forwarded to friends and they say the texts say things like "wear a mask, don't go out unless you need to, contact a hospital if you feel unwell etc. People are desperately trying to return to their normal homes from their hometowns so they can resume work, there are many stories of people getting medical clearance, police clearance etc. to leave their hometowns and arriving at their work city to either not being allowed in, or allowed in but then not being allowed into their communities. In most cities hotels are closed or have been taken over by the government as hospitals. There are people living in tents and their cars in several cities. I am going to work from Monday, the whole department had to do an online test covering the new rules to return to work, I also need a work permit and work license to leave the community every day from Monday. All restaurants, shops etc. still closed except for a few supermarkets, again plenty of food in the supermarkets that are open.
  4. China is easy for me, I first came here in 2006 when I worked for Lotus, I have been coming back for work ever since, I spent halve of my 4.5 years at JLR in China, on 3 or 4 week business trips. The new job is a bit different as I live here, so no more business class flights, 5 star hotels and meals on expenses. During my traveling years I usually travelled alone, I soon realised that you just have to make things work, I've had a few issues, like checking out of a hotel, getting a taxi to the airport and finding all flights cancelled because of fog, returning to the hotel and finding it full and having to find another hotel. Language at work is not an issue, most of my team speak reasonable English, the last hour every Friday is English lesson time, I will having them speaking with a Norfolk accent by the end of the year. The things on social media, some are true, I have heard real horror stories, I have heard if you get admitted to a hospital your phone is taken away and there is no contact with relatives, the next thing they know is when either the patient leaves hospital cured or they receive a message to say the patient has died and the body cremated. Many Chinese don't believe the numbers, thinking its an order of magnitude worse than being reported. Westerner's in China, whether tourists, business visitors or expats only see the best 5% of China, there are terrible things here which would not happen in the UK. Looks like work will start next Monday, looking forward to it but a bit nervous! I've now done 18 days in my apartment, I have to look at a calendar to find out what day it is.
  5. A short update... I got my pass today so I can leave the community once every two days, so I went shopping. The one person per apartment allowed out once every two days rule is now Chongqing wide. This means that it is very quiet outside, I saw hardly anybody on my walk to the shop, which is not normal in China. Again the shop had everything, no apparent shortages (except fresh bread) although most people were buying more than the normal amount of shopping. Shopping here is very cheap if you shop in the local Chinese supermarkets, 24 big cans of decent local beer is under £4, fruit and veg very cheap. Some things are not available at the local shop, things like butter, cereal and Western brands, these can be bought at the foreign supermarkets like Carrefour, a bit expensive though. Lots of small businesses are in real trouble, two Chinese friends who own bars have asked to borrow money in the last week, they closed a month ago and don't know when they can reopen. TV is interesting, a screen now appears on my TV when I turn it on saying fight the war on the virus, don't go out, look after each other and that a load of films are now available to watch for free, these would usually be pay to view. In my friends building in Suzhou they have a family who have travelled back to Suzhou after Spring Festival, they are on quarantine in their apartment for 14 days, a big sign on the door warns people of this, saying stay away, do not get close to these people, a CCTV camera has been set up looking at their door to make sure they don't go out. One good thing to come out of this, I can cook some Chinese food now
  6. Hi all, Writing this because I am a bit bored and a few of you might be interested. I left a good job at JLR last year and began a job at a Chinese company in Chongqing last August. Chongqing is normally a fantastic place, very vibrant, great people, a great metro system and very picturesque. I get a long winter break, I left China just before Christmas and returned to China to start work after Spring Festival. I actually flew to China on the day BA said they were stopping flights to mainland China. I flew Heathrow to Beijing, then Beijing to Chongqing on Air China, I have never seen Beijing airport so deserted, 500 domestic flights were cancelled that day, new flights were scheduled using the big planes that had arrived on long haul flights to do a few domestic flights, I actually flew to Chongqing on the same plane that brought me from Heathrow. I have now been in my apartment for 15 days, up until Tuesday this week I could come and go as I pleased, I went out every couple of days for groceries etc. everything is shut except pharmacies, where you are not allowed in, you stand behind a table at the door and ask for what you want, and a few supermarkets, you cannot enter a supermarket unless you pass the temperature test (temperature gun on forehead. On entry back into my community (walled area containing 13 high rise blocks of apartments, surrounded by a high wall with 4 entry exit points through security) temperature is checked again. Supermarkets are quiet but have plenty of stock. Work was supposed to have started on the 3rd of February, then it got delayed to the 10th, now its the 24th. Things have changed now, on Tuesday this week I went to go out and found only one exit/entry point open. They would not let me out because I did not have a pass. I phoned a Chinese friend who spoke to security who then let me out. What my company didn't tell me was that I or they should have registered me with the community management when I arrived, although they did arrange for the Police to visit me on my first day here who gave me information about the virus. This means my first day here is officially Tuesday, so now I am not allowed out of the community for 14 days from Tuesday. My company are talking to the management company to see if the Police visit can be enough to prove I have been here for two weeks already to allow me a pass, which will let me go out every other day, if not no going out for 11 days. People who have not left Chongqing are allowed one person from each apartment to leave every other day. The government delivered me a parcel of vegetables and my friend just arranged a delivery of beer, other friends can help me get food, all the online shopping apps are in Chinese so I cant do it myself. I won't starve. To kill the time I have been learning Chinese, doing lots of free online OU courses, (now doing Learning to Code for Data Analysis) exercising and watching lots of TV, although my VPN has stopped working today. This site is one of a few that I can use with no VPN, obviously the CCP are not threatened by Lotus enthusiasts. People are starting to slowly return to work, but its more office people working from home rather factories re-opening. The virus is being taken very seriously here. Some of my Chinses colleagues are still in their hometowns because they have not been able to return to Chongqing after spring festival. Everybody is very bored staying indoors. The Esprit is safely tucked away in my garage in Norfolk, it passed the MOT in January but I returned from a 200 mile round trip a few days later and the exhaust is blowing a little from somewhere around the wastegate, something to look at next January. Sorry for the long post, I will answer any questions if I can find the time! Steve
  7. First magazine I have bought for ages, it's a great article
  8. Where's the Pistonheads parrot when you need it?
  9. I have been around Lotus for most of my life. My parents took over a pub in Wymondham in 1974 when I was 7. Lots of the customers worked at Lotus and some of them would take me to the open days. I remember Donny McLocklen (not sure of spelling) coming to our junior school and giving a talk about Lotus, the next Friday night he came into the pub and became a regular and a good friend of my parents. He was the coolest bloke on earth, driving through the town centre in the dark in his brand new company Esprit with just the side lights on, and parking it outside the pub, I think he also used to drive one the white James Bond cars. At 21 I started work at Lotus, a lot of the customers were still there, which was strange, they remembered be a little boy. Lotus owned my Esprit for 10 years before I bought it from them, it was always around somewhere, I never expected to own it. My colleague Peter was telling me I should offer to buy it for about 4 years before it came up for sale in a blind auction along with a few more cars. I put in my bid then went on a long working trip to China, I hadn't heard anything for a few weeks so emailed Scott Walker who was running the auction saying that as I had heard nothing I assume I have not won the car, he said on the contrary, its yours. I collected the car August 2014 and took voluntary redundancy from Lotus after 26 years in the November and have worked for JLR ever since. I returned for the 70th party last year.
  10. Reference valve clearance, I am a automotive manufacturing engineer and have specified, signed off the design, and carried out final acceptance and handover to production of 2 tappet selection machines, both cost over £1m and are still in production today. The machines measure the cams before they are assembled into the head ( base circle diameter, cam journal diameter and centre to centre distance) and the head ( cam journal diameter and distance from valve tip to cam journal centre) and probably some stuff I have forgotten. The machine then calculates the correct size bucket tappet for each position and walks the operator through a process of filling a mask with the correct tappets, these are then all measured to ensure they are correct before the operator puts the mask on the head and presses the tappets into the head. After all this measuring the machine still has a 'fudge factor" built in so each tappet position can be tweaked up or down until the selected tappet gives the correct clearance, although once set over a number of heads the fudge factor remains stable.
  11. Hi all, I passed the test on Saturday, I can thoroughly recommend this, I enjoyed every minute, learnt a lot and now enjoy driving more. Thanks to Clive from the Norfolk and Norwich group.
  12. Colourcote in Hethel, they did them first time round after all!
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