My life, like many other people’s, is currently very much ‘indoors’. And a lot of that life is spent in a virtual ‘outdoors’ via Truck and Hunting simulations. However, there is always the window on the world outside and nature is gearing up for the birth of new life. Birds and animals are pairing up and some already have young. There’s a lot of activity to watch and sometimes photograph. Let me share a few photos from last week.

The Tits have been very active with Blue’s and Great’s coming to my window sill. Here is one of the Blue Tit’s that happily flitted back and forth despite me sitting right next to the window…

The Robin is a little more circumspect, watching with care before making a lightning fast smash & grab…

The Squirrels come every day at various times and, if the food has been hoovered up by the Feral and Wood Pigeons, sometimes tap on the window and look through the glass at me. I’m not sure how much they can actually see – they certainly see nowhere near as well as the Pigeons who observe my every move no matter how far back from the window I am! Here’s one of my regular Squirrel visitors approaching to get some nuts I’ve just put out…

It’s been a long time since I posted a Digest. Initially it was because I was getting to grips with the changes in The Hunter Call of the Wild and I put most of my trucking on hold in that period. Then, back on 17th February I decided to do one of the Steam Achievements that had caught my eye in Euro Truck – Orient Express. This became available with the ‘Road to the Black Sea’ map dlc. It’s a simple enough achievement provided the jobs fall for you. Deliver loads along the route of the famous VSOE train – Paris-Strasbourg; Strasbourg-Munich; Munich-Vienna; Vienna-Budapest; Budapest-Bucharest; Bucharest-Istanbul. Having positioned to Paris I set out on the journey on Feb 18th in my DAF XF……it took me 3 irl days with a small hiatus in Vienna when I couldn’t get a job going on to Budapest but on 20th we finally rolled into Istanbul to claim the achievement…

One thing leads to another and being part of the vibrant virtual trucker community tends to result in a snowballing of things as we spur each other on. One of my friends who was struggling with that same achievement due to jobs not falling for him, tweeted that he’d completed all the achievements in American Truck. That, of course, was a reminder to me that I’d fallen behind on those during the past year of so as I concentrated on the community events. So I decided it was time to get all the outstanding achievements in that game completed too. One of the outstanding ones required visiting tourist sites in Oregon, so off we went to Crater lake……and to Thor’s Well – actually Cook’s Chasm……along with Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Crooked River Gorge. In Washington a similar sightseeing achievement required a visit to Mount St Helens……and the Grand Coulee Dam……seen during a visit for another achievement – ‘Go Big or Go Home’ – shifting oversize loads on all the routes for that type of load. Here we are completing one of those jobs – a Turnkey House, Oxnard-Barstow…

Other achievements included visits to all Oregon’s forestry sites, and shifting every type of forest machinery as well as visiting a lumber site outside Bellingham in Washington. Here we are coming back down the track from that one with a Knuckleboom Loader in tow….

The jobs required for two achievements just wouldn’t fall for me. One required me to deliver a boat to one of the Washington shipyards. In the end I had to take a ‘Hire job’ and wound up driving this ‘Varicose’ blue Mack R from Holbrook to Port Angeles……With no wing mirrors, it was a pain and I was glad to get back in our very own Ol’Dawg afterwards…. That was all the achievements done except one which is still outstanding. Deliver 5 Frac Tanks to drilling sites in Utah. I can’t seem to get any of these to drop in my own trucks so again I’m having to take Hire Jobs between doing normal runs to likely origin locations. Yesterday I took a hire from Ely to Moab in this rather nice Freightliner Argosy……an impressive piece of kit – though I think 600HP was overkill for an 8200lb load πŸ˜‰ I have three more of those deliveries to make after which I shall be fully up to date in ATS – 22 achievements completed in around 6 weeks. Hopefully that explains the hiatus between Digest posts. I will now be turning my attention to the many outstanding achievements in Euro truck – it’s a good way to keep busy in a time of lockdown!

Stay Safe and Well everyone – Keep the Shiny Side Up!!!

Alone in Solo walks today – passing neighbours; become strangers

Wondering – am I clean – itchy nose

Fearful of the unknown – known

Mother’s day without flowers – without hugs

Family time is the time of separation

No hands; no contact

Love clings to hope for tomorrow

The chance to open arms again

And hold each other

In the Warmth of Togetherness

A dim light – glowing in the dark of now