Middle of the Month and it’s time to join in with Clare’s Share You Desktop Challenge ๐Ÿ˜Ž Clare’s got a rather nice Orchid adorning Her’s which you can see when you follow the link above. I have two desktops, so let’s start with the Gaming PC.

This time, instead of a shot of one of my trucks in the scenery, it’s the view I get from inside the cab of Azyet, my DAF XF 105.460…

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The shot is taken as I pass through the tunnels of the Pyrenees on the Spanish side of the border with France. It was an overnight leg of a long-haul trip from Cordoba to Amsterdam with a load of Carrots, so it was darker outside than it was in the tunnel ๐Ÿ˜‰ At the end of the tunnel, the lanes merge before joining another autoroute, so I’ve positioned myself to allow room for the ‘Bear to come across in front of me. There’s the usual array of ornaments on the dashboard and screen. Pennants including Le Tricolore – we are a French company. There’s also Monsieur Bibendum – the Michelin mascot – and a DAF mug for my tea. I’ve got a satnav stuck on the screen – the lady speaks to me in French – and I’ve got a pair of Michelin shades next to the wheel for when it’s sunny. Unfortunately, you can’t put them on in game ๐Ÿ˜‰ As you can see from the gauges, we’re cruising at 80kph – that’s a good economy speed in top gear so, although much of the road network in Spain and France permits 90kph for trucks, we rarely go faster than 80 ๐Ÿ™‚

The Photo PC has something altogether more simple and also somewhat prettier…

7-spot Ladybird

A Ladybird, or Ladybug if you wish, on a Fresia leaf. There are many variations of Ladybird and this is the 7-spot. These are a friend of the gardener as they consume large numbers of aphids while in the larval and adult stages of their lifecycle. They’re also one of the most attractive of insects you come across regularly in summer.

Because of the hectic period of trucking after the release of the Montana map DLC in American Truck Simulator, I’m running a bit late with my entry for Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge. So lets start with the gaming pc and a screenshot from American Simulator taken during the event. On my last run of the day on August 9th, it shows Miss Lola heading south on route 212 past Laurel Refinery on her way from Bozeman (MT) to Cody (WY) with a load of Hay…

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…The event started on the evening of 4th August. The target distance for the Community Goal of the event was 100 million miles to unlock the community rewards. It was reached on the evening of August 16th at 22:46 London time. My personal contribution was very nearly 24000mi ๐Ÿ˜Ž You can read about the trucks I used during the event in Trucking Digest ๐Ÿ‘ The event will remain open until 25th September to allow time for members of the community to complete their personal goal and earn the rewards.

On my photography pc I currently have an old photo that I took back in 1987. It shows Class 416 electric unit 6315 departing Willesden Junction High-Level with a train from Richmond to North Woolwich…

6315 at Willesden Junction (JUL87)

…Much has changed in the 35 years since. The 416 class worked the line between 1985 and 1989, having replaced the ancient Class 501 units. They were replaced themselves by dual voltage Class 313’s in readiness for the line being converted from the 3rd rail 630v system to 25Kv overhead electrification – something which took place over several years.

The cooling towers on the right belonged to Acton Lane Power Station. The station had already closed in 1983 but the buildings were hanging on in 1987 having been used the previous year as a filmset for Aliens. They were used again in 1989 for Batman but have subsequently been demolished. The site is now a major electricity network switching centre. The yellow gantry in front of them is for container traffic arriving a Willesden Euro Terminal – it’s still there but doesn’t handle international trains any more.

The lines on the extreme right are the connecting chord for trains leaving the North London Line at Kensal Green Junction and connecting to the London-Birmingham mainline at Harlesden Junction – normally only used by freight trains and also now 25Kv electrified.

One final change is the fencing of the footpath from which this shot was taken – it’s now 6ft high and made of thick metal railings. So replicating this shot nowadays is almost impossible ๐Ÿ˜’

Middle of the month and time to join in with Clare’s Share Your Desktop Challenge. Same format for me as last month’s entry – two desktops.

On my Gaming PC I have a desktop that ties in nicely with Clare’s, since Space is involved. This is a screenshot from a game called X4…

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It’s a view of my ship, a small fighter, docked at station. The ship is an Elite Vanguard and is the first ship you are given when you start the game. It’s an interceptor rather than a dogfighter. As I’ve only recently started playing this game, I can’t really tell a lot more about it and certainly no plot details. I’m not even sure it has one in the starting option I chose – more of a sandbox where you make your own way in the galaxy๐Ÿ˜…

On my Photography PC things are a lot simpler. Here’s a photo taken on Brompton Road…

Robinsons PE56 YXS on Brompton Road

Centrepiece of the image is a Volvo FH12 belonging to Robinson’s Haulage of Sandy. Fitted with a 520HP engine, the tractor unit has a 6×2 Tag-lift chassis – note that the centre axle is the driven one. This configuration is a little unusual in London as it is commonly favoured by companies that work on untarmacked roads. There is also a crane fitted behind the cab to assist with loading flatbed trailers. The truck conforms to the ‘You can never have too many lights’ rule-of-thumb and has a nice set of air-horns too๐Ÿ˜… If you look in the centre of the windscreen you can see an Angry Duck – the hood ornament from Rubber Duck’s Mack truck in the 1978 film Convoy. There are a lot of other ‘Volvo’ details added to the vehicle which tells me that the driver loves his truck! Finally, for those that haven’t recognised the large building in the background – it’s Harrods ๐Ÿ˜Ž