It’s time to show my desktop once more for Clare. This is a nice simple challenge that doesn’t require a lot of work, so why not take part? You can catch Clare here and I know she’ll love your entry šŸ™‚

My desktop currently is a screenshot from American Truck Simulator. This truck drifting through the rugged landscape is an International LT and she’s called Kimberly. The LT is a new arrival to the game and represents what SCS Software do so well – providing free content alongside the paid expansions and often without any fanfare. But that’s not the whole story. This screenshot is taken in the Utah borderlands…

…and we’re on the Route 89 between Page and Kanab. Some of my US readers may actually recognise this as being a good representation of the area near Paria? When I say it’s not the whole story, I refer to the other things that go on unannounced. I drove along the I-80 through northern Nevada on Friday and that road has evolved in game to become so much more real – pure desert now has isolated areas of greenery and the road is no longer a flat run. That’s what happens in American Truck Sim – the geography changes as the dev’s update their skills. If you don’t drive a route for a couple of weeks, who knows what awaits you? šŸ™‚ Unlike so many other games companies, SCS don’t trumpet every improvement – we’re often left to discover for ourselves or be surprised by a new addition with minimal advance notification!

When I have one of my trucking shots on the screen, it’s a reminder of all the fun I’ve had in SCS Software’s trucking simulators. Tonight I’m parked up in Phoenix AZ and, in Europe, I’m in Nantes – not many people can be in two places at once;-)

I’ve had a little bit of a break since my last post. That means I’ve been busy doing a lot of non-blogging things. Clearing the garden, trying out new computer games, playing updates to existing computer games and photographing my football team. Today, for example, I completed a challenge in American Truck Simulator and processed the images from last night’s football match prior to publishing them. I think I’m now ready to get back to posting on my blog and I have a lot of gaming things to write about. But, for Clare’s ‘Share Your Desktop’ this month, I have a Wingate & Finchley football photo and a story to tell…

…This shot was taken at Leatherhead on August 21st. We had just beaten the home side 2-1. In the photo Tee-Jay and Marc Weatherstone, our new manager, salute the fans in celebration. Tee-Jay is, I’m pretty certain, our longest serving current player though he was only on the pitch for the final few minutes as he has an ongoing injury. Marc was a player with the club from 2008 until he was poached by Dulwich Hamlet in 2016. He has over 400 appearances for Wingate & Finchley, so it was great to welcome him back as manager šŸ™‚ The start to the season has been a bit up and down. Many of the players are young, though there have been some experienced players signed like keeper Ben Goode, on the left.

So why have I got this shot on my desktop? Leatherhead are one of our bogey teams – we usually lose against them at their place and it’s roughly honours-even when they visit us. So for Marc to engineer a win down there was quite a feat for a new manager and the team! I said to Marc on the coach as we travelled home – “You know, you’ve slayed one of our dragons”. It was a moment I’ve been savouring since. The rocky start continues for the team, a draw and 2 defeats but then, last night we beat the league leaders, Kingstonian, 3-1 šŸ™‚ It looks like it’s going to be an interesting season!

It’s that time of the month again when Clare asks us to Share our Desktop. This month I am using a shot that I took back on 24th June this year…

…Taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the 55-200mm zoom lens, it shows Class 66 locomotive 66596 hauling an intermodal service through Ealing Broadway on an overcast, typically English, summer day. The train is travelling from Wentloog near Cardiff to Felixstowe North freightliner terminal where the containers will mainly be loaded onto ships for international destinations. To get from West London to the east coast, the train will route over the North London Line and has slowed to around 30mph in preparation for diversion into Acton yard where it will await its slot between passenger services on that busy route. You may notice that the containers are sitting on wagons that sit very low to the track. This is because larger containers were introduced some years ago and wagon designers had to come up with a solution to allow them to be transported within the restricted British Railways loading gauge. Some routes are being re-engineered to overcome this issue but on others it is not viable to carry out such work in the short term.