Season’s End

The last two weeks have been busy especially from a perspective of my role as Wingate & Finchley’s photographer. Last week saw a final push by the league to drive through all the lost fixtures from the bad weather in March. It saw many teams including us with a 4 games in 7 days scenario – imagine the wailing and screaming on national TV if the premier league clubs were asked to do that. Ironically, for a club with such a small squad of first team players, it opened the opportunities for the youth players to step up and gain experience / show what they can do. They didn’t disappoint!

Your cameraman isn’t as young as he would like to be. I waived the opportunity of attending the first game which was away to Billericay Town on the Saturday. The team secured a very creditable draw against a side that has several ex-premier league players and runs on a huge wage bill. Why didn’t I go? It was my Son’s last weekend of freedom before knuckling down to his GCSE exams and I felt he deserved my time. We went to a computer gaming show – EGX Rezzed. Here he is contemplating what to look at next……and crashing a game on the Nintendo Switch!…

The other reason to give the Saturday a miss was the midweek games. On Tuesday the first team were away at Lowestoft Town which I attended and enjoyed photographing us getting a 1-1 draw – the first time we’ve ever had any sort of result there (but then circumstances have seen them cut their budget!). It was a very late night for us – kick-off was delayed because we were held up by an accident on the M25 and despite Coach Driver Tina’s best efforts we didn’t get back to the club until 01:30 in the morning. I actually think Lowestoft’s floodlights are worse than ours but I did get a few reasonable shots – Rob Laney not quite getting to the ball in this one…

On Wednesday it was the turn of the Under 23’s team – a couple of whom had filled in the previous night to help out with the first team. This was a cup game against local friends Haringey Borough and was hard fought. Boro’ had a great chance in the first half that drew a fantastic save from Reuben……definitely a keeper for the future though he’s off to study in the US this summer!

Haringey took the lead in the second half before, with 10 mins to go Ben Pattie stole an equaliser. Into injury time and that man Pattie got across the defender with his left foot…..putting it past the Boro keeper and making the kids behind jump for joy……Tragedy for Haringey and a fantastic win for us 🙂 I’m sure Haringey’s manager, Tucker, will be plotting revenge next season 😉

On to Thursday and we’re off to Dorking Wanderers. Their ground at Westhumble sits below Box Hill which gives it a special ambience on a spring evening which is enhanced by the railway line passing a few yards to the west. This was a classic game of two halves where the home side took the lead early on and then scored a second to seemingly make the points safe. Come the second half and it was the turn of the visitors to show their steel. Mid-season signing Layne Eadie scored the first – that was a direct result of me invoking the ‘curse of the cameraman’ – going to the burger bar because I knew we needed a goal and goals happen when the cameraman isn’t there to photograph them 🙂 Then Luke Ifil did a classic wing-back run to send in a beautiful cross for another of our ‘kids’ filling in for the first team to score his first goal at senior level. It wasn’t quite the elegant ‘Rose like a Salmon’…..but it was down into the ground and defeated the keeper……Resulting in a justified celebration……Well taken Ned Clarke 🙂 Final result a 2-2 draw.

Saturday saw Dorking paying a return visit to us. It finished 2-0 to us but it could have been so different. 1-0 up and early in the second half Dorking have a great strike on goal. In a season where he’s been a crucial part of our team yet again, earning perhaps the most coveted award of the lot – players player of the season, Shane Gore got a glove to the shot and parried it onto the crossbar to effect a brilliant save……Another Goal Keeping Legend at Wingate & Finchley 🙂

As you can appreciate – processing the photos from all these matches takes time. They’ve played their part in me not blogging this past week and a half. Every game needs 2 to 3 hours of post match selection and processing of the images that are captured. Then I want to drive my trucks and try other computer games too! Tends to get in the way of blogging 😦

My last job for Wingate & Finchley this week was the awards night photos last Saturday. It’s the bane of my life – lots of repetition and awkward lighting. This year’s awards had a sting in the tail for me though. I was awarded ‘Club Person of the Year’! Shocked and embarrassed 🙂 Kindly presented by David and photographed (with my camera) by one of our players – Rob Laney……I’m not too comfortable on that side of the camera 😉

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Objects or People Older than 50 years

One single object for this challenge – The Palm House at Kew. Built in 1844 it clearly is over 50 years of age. Some of the people in the images may also be over 50 and the photographer definitely is 😉

All shots were processed in B&W by the Fuji X-Pro2 camera using the Across film replication setting – only some vignette and clarity added in post processing. Catch up with Cee’s B&W challenge and other entries Here.

Red Lion Performance

In my last report from Euro Truck I announced that I was driving the 1980’s Scania 113 after a period driving the latest in the MAN TGX line of trucks. Time to tell you about my time in that MAN truck and also the ‘Trade Connections – Sweden’ event that SCS Software launched on 26th March.

After carrying out 18 jobs in the current Scania S series I decided it was time to buy a Euro 6 MAN TGX to get a direct comparison. I was parked up in Milano where I’d also taken the opportunity to buy a garage and expand our company into northern Italy. I ordered the TGX online from the dealer in Marseille for delivery to Milano. She was to have the top of the range XXL cab with highest spec interior. The engine was to be the D38 500HP with a 12 speed Tipmatic gearbox and retarder. Finally, she was going to be finished in a special Red Lion paint scheme. In game configuration and ordering takes longer than delivery; which is instant – don’t you wish it was like that in the real world! On delivery her first job was a delivery of Pesto from Milano to our home town, Montpellier. Here she is after completing that delivery, parking up for the night at our garage……with all our usual spotlight and Michelin add-ons 😉

After rushing some urgently needed medical equipment across to Genève, we took a load of oil filters south through Italy to Napoli. This shot taken as we drove south between Firenze and Livorno shows the instrument layout of the MAN TGX……Rain in Firenze – Reminds me of the first day of our Honeymoon! 🙂 The descent into the port area of Napoli presented this pleasant evening view…

A trip to Taranto with a load of cars provided the opportunity to purchase a second Italian garage in the heel of the boot. Then it was off to Sicily and the city of Palermo before driving back east to Bari. As an aside, in Italy I often see these Polizia di Stato Lambo’s……Eat your hearts out Perps! These do actually exist in the real world but I understand that there’s only two of them used for organ and blood transfer duties. You see them so often in game that one can only assume they are so fast that they have the ability to be in two places at once and sometimes pass themselves on the autostrada 😉

I was kickin’ my heels in Bari when SCS announced the new ‘Trade Connections – Sweden’ event. The storyline for the event was ‘As you know, our ETS map design team is currently working hard on the upcoming Beyond the Baltic Sea world expansion. You can imagine how much material of all types would be needed if this was all happening in the real world. There are so many kilometers of roads to build, so many buildings, intersections, industries and landmarks, so much landscaping! Maybe we can all help shorten the world-building process by transporting any supplies that we can up north? We’ll need to build a new ferry on Sweden’s Baltic coast to facilitate the transport of goods over to Finland!’ The challenge – ‘to complete a delivery of any cargo to or from Sweden with at least 10 different other countries in the rest of Europe.’

Bari is a long way from Sweden. Nevertheless, I took up the challenge immediately and headed north with a load of Computer Processors bound for Kalmar routing via Austria and Germany. It was a filthy night in Austria so I’m afraid there’s no pretty shots of the Alps, just rain…

Any challenge to deliver cargo to and from Sweden is bound to result in multiple crossings of the Øresund bridge. Here we are heading west to København with used packaging for recycling on a beautiful sunny morning……and on a different day, crossing east with a load of tractors bound for Goteborg in the fading glow of evening…

Traffic varies a lot in game. Compare that last late evening shot with this one ‘somewhere in England’……Great Britain is one of the oldest and least accurately portrayed sections of the map so although this is somewhere between Sheffield and Hull it would be rash of me to attempt to say where in real world terms. SCS have dropped a hint that they intend to revisit the core maps and bring them up to the current standard. I’m guessing that Germany will get first dibs on that upgrade which is definitely long overdue. Big thanks to SCS for putting the wheels in motion 🙂

I completed the challenge over a period of a week with deliveries from/to the following countries:- Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Germany, France, Switzerland, Great Britain, Norway and Holland. The last run was a load of flatbed trailers from Amsterdam to Linköping which is illustrated fittingly with a sunset shot…

To celebrate, a few trips later I repainted her in the blue ‘Lion Performance’ livery. Here’s a shot of her at one of the numerous toll stations in France near Paluel……That’s a load of Ice Cream and it’s going to – you’ve guessed it – Sweden! 😉