Realy sorry to hear of your owes, chaps. Being knowledgeable does help greatly, but doesn't mean it won't stop a major breakage.
3 years ago, I had a 155 1.8 16v on 126K. It didn't need more than about 1 litre of oil between the 10k service intervals I use. Before Christmas, I topped it up, and ran the car. At the time, I ran it very hard. It was only afterwards that I was reminded of something strange. I went to startup and drive away from the workshop as per normal. It didn't start easily or cleanly and produced quite a lot of smoke when it caught. The other mechanics said it was bad news. I dismissed it.
Two weeks later (I hadn't checked the oil level since Christmas- 2 weeks earlier), the oil light flickered on round a bend 3 miles from home as I was returning from Carlisle. I knew it was really bad. No oil on dipstick and 3+ litres suddenly used- very uncharacteristic. The top end and variator became noisy so I decided not to repair. My point is, was the bad start and smoke indicative of a breakage, and the cause of something, or just a symptom of running it hard? I never stripped it down, but I ran it until mid March (sounded really bad by then) and performance was also really poor (oil consumption 1 litre every 100 miles).
On reflection, I think that something failed which produced excessive oil consumption, and although it was run hard, I was not really to blame for it using 3 litres of oil in 800 miles. If I was more diligent, I could have prolonged it, as perhaps a seal let go in the head, and prompt investigative action could have prevented complete engine damage. It could have needed the head off and stripped to find out, but as I was getting married soon, I didn't have the time.
My point is, if it happens to a reasonably switched on mechanic, it can happen to anyone. Beware of the the Twinspark.
BTW, the first thing I did was go out and buy another 1.8 16V 155!
I had too many goodies on the old car to simply let go of (new suspension, exhaust etc)