Shot from the cab of my Peterbilt 389 ‘The Undertaker’ dressed up for Halloween. Three fun drives carrying Meat (aka dead bodies), Petrol and Used Packaging. So we’re all set up for a Barbeque (or a Cremation) 😉 I Hope you have / had a great Halloween today 🙂

The week before last I was depressed – I realise that now. I went through a period when I couldn’t settle to anything. Not even my favourite games were holding my attention. I did get some farming done and you’ve seen the posts about that but I did little else. Some afternoons I was just binge watching tv re-runs of things like NCIS – anything that has a ‘happy ending’. We’re not talking clinical depression, just the loss of that sense of wellbeing and a lack of get up and go. I think all the Covid news did finally get to me, as it has to a lot of other people. Last Friday I had a few extra beers and went to bed early to sleep it off…

I woke on Saturday with a bit of a hangover – nothing serious, just evidence that I had overdone it the previous evening in the form of a stuffy nose. When I fired up the pc I decided to do some gentle driving in Euro truck. I think it proved to be a good choice.

It started with a trip east in Maria, my MAN TGX. I had drifted over to Kaliningrad on Friday morning before that beer. One of the long outstanding achievements in Steam requires delivering from the Russian Enclave there to the Motherland. I’ve never had much luck in getting jobs to Russia – just one from my previous visits but this time it was different. There was a job to Vyborg that Saturday morning. It was the start of a weekend’s driving in Maria that would knock out 2 of the required deliveries for the Enclave Transit Achievement and push Maria’s driven distance up to over 45000km. Here’s some images from those trips…

By late Sunday afternoon, I’d reached a point where there were no new jobs from Kaliningrad going to ‘Mother Russia’ so I decided to head back to France – time to give Maria a rest and get another of the fleet out of the garage or possibly try a new truck. I picked up a load back to Strasbourg. By the time I got there I’d completed 5569km of in-game driving since Saturday morning…

It fell to a new truck to take up the baton and return to Kaliningrad. I’ve been looking at a mod of the Mitsubishi Fuso superGreat V for a while. It’s a good looking truck and I finally decided to give it a go. There were a couple of issues with that decision, the main one being that it’s only available in right-hand drive because it’s a Japanese domestic market version. There are a number of other minor issues with the sounds and the coupling to trailers but over all it’s a nice mod.

I did some early runs in northern France and Germany as I tried out various things. Here’s some shots…

…Our company standard metallic blue seems to suit this truck well and I really like the layout of the instruments in the cab. What I don’t like is the small fuel tank – only 350l and those coupling issues which I think I’ve narrowed down to a mix of tyre sizes affecting the 5th wheel height for all trailers along with a real dislike of certain Krone trailers. That’s something that I’m sure the modder will work on although it may not be an issue on their target Project Japan map audience.

The worst of the glitches overcome and I took the Fuso, now christened ‘Fujin’ after the Japanese Wind God, back to Kaliningrad. We then continued our good fortune of finding the jobs needed to complete the Enclave Transit achievement, hauling to Sosnovy Bor and Luga. On the 27th I tweeted to my trucking colleagues “Sunrise to sunset driving in SCS Software ETS2 🙂 Fujin brings another day to a close with a run from St Petersburg to Kaliningrad. Glad to find that gas station open – running on fumes about then 😉 ” with these images from that trip…

…Then it was time for Fujin to head home to Lille via Sweden and Germany. After the relaxing roads through Scandinavia there was lots of traffic on the autobahn to keep our attention…

…Back in Lille yesterday evening, it was time for Fujin to rest with 9880km covered since Sunday evening. Today Renzo will take over and we’ll be doing some heavy-haulin’ 🙂

And me? – My Shiny Side is back up thanks to Euro Truck Simulator. I hope your Shiny Side is good too 🙂

That sounds like the sort of thing that nefarious agencies and corporations do doesn’t it? And we all know that they do 😦 This, however, is much less sinister 🙂

A couple of days back I shared some of my recent Farming Simulator activity on Twitter – some of these images may become part of my future post from my Boundary and Rosland Farm series, so I won’t share the initial media at this time.

I’ve mentioned before the great friendly community on Twitter centred around the Truck Simulator games that I am lucky enough to be part of 🙂 As in any good community, there is always banter, so my post of recent farming activity elicited the following response…

“If I had a chance to get you here (by your will, of course, I’m not a maniac) I would give you the IMT 533 and I’ll let you plow my land and see how you handle it 😉 “

Firstly – I should make clear that my firend is not a native English speaker, hence the odd choice of words. This should really be read like an invitation to holiday at his place 🙂 It’s also a sort of laying down of a gauntlet – a challenge if you will 🙂

I asked (using my recently gained knowledge of ploughing from my research) – “Is the plough set up for in-furrow or on-land? 😉 “

There was a hiatus at that point and I’m guessing my young friend either had to go and check with his Father or he might have just been busy in their fields – They’re clearing an area of grass you see. I should add at this point that all of this is visible to the rest of our followers, so not a private conversation, and several are marking our chat with likes 😉

He finally tells me it’s “On-land. We just need a little chunk done for healthy growth of our trees. We are currently mowing it.”

A while later he posts – “Martin will get this chunk done in March next year but for now we are preparing it for winter.” – with a photo of him strimming an area of grass as part of the work.

But while he’s been busy on the family farm, I’ve been busy tracking down an IMT 533 tractor mod for Farming Simulator 19 🙂 As far as I can tell, this tractor is a Massey Ferguson 35 manufactured under licence. I also sorted out an IMT plough and a map set in Eastern Europe, not too far from my friend’s homeland so that I could at least catch the flavour. I posted back to him, “Thought I’d better get some practice in… 😉 ” with these images from Farming Simulator…

And I got the great response… “You just made my day!” with appropriate emojis 🙂

Social Media may be one of the evils of our modern world but it can also be a bridge-builder between people of different ages, cultures and religions. We really shouldn’t let governments, or corporations, own and control it. Neither should we allow the haters to guide our behaviour – there’s a lot of opportunity for friendships to be forged on social media and just maybe that can lead to a better world 🙂