Nearly Deddington

Nearly Deddington

Yes indeed. This was the scene just outside Deddington when I went on my cycle ride yesterday.

A trailer loaded with bails had toppled over and crushed the motorist inside.

An ambulance was in attendance when I arrived and the road had been closed to all traffic.

It didn’t look too serious, but the motorist had obviously received some injuries looking at the state of the vehicle and the emergency. So, serious but not that serious.

Had it have been a cheaper vehicle than the BMW in certain it would have been a lot more so.

Car crushed by hay bales - Deddington A4260
Car crushed by hay bales – Deddington A4260

Adjourn to pub

Took this as a sign from god to adjourn to the pub where a group of motorists travelling on the A4260 had had the same idea.

Another ambulance and a police car arrived while I was having my Amstel in the beer garden of the Red Lion in the sunshine.

The police got a round of applause when they arrived, they must have felt proud.

During the course of the day I cycled around some of the villages in the Cherwell Valley. It sure was hot! and I had to stop off and get some water, not that I didn’t have some on the bike, but I discovered this ancient water fountain with an inscription over the top, like something out of a fighting fantasy book!

North Aston water fountain
As the birds drink and so lift up their head, so must man sip and think of better drink he may attain to after he is dead.

I’m not sure about the health and safety implications etc. but drink I did, being a bit of a risk taker and all that.

I left feeling refreshed…..

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Top 10 Tips for Amazon Flex drivers

Top 10 Tips for Amazon Flex drivers

Christmas is approaching and it is the season to be on Amazon looking to take advantage of lightening deals and let someone else take the strain of delivering your freshly ordered goods to you.

They say that in the logistics business, the last few miles of delivery are the most expensive.

Amazon pays drivers from it’s own logistics department to complete deliveries that final few miles.

This may be through their paid or contracted fleet, or it may be from the self employed gig delivery workers otherwise known as ‘Amazon Flex‘.

Amazon Flex

I’ve been doing Amazon Flex for nearly 3 years now.

This is my top 10 tips for Amazon Flex Drivers.

In my experience, these are the tips that are going to make you a better driver.

1- Check your insurance | 2- Use the technology | 3- Always check the flex app’s routes | 4- Amazon flex automated tapping machines | 5- Update your amazon flex app | 6- Parking tickets when delivering for Amazon flex and how to avoid them | 7- Don’t forget the essentials | 8- Using a storage box | 9- Record your mileages for HMRC | 10- Dealing with payment and other Amazon Flex problems | 11- Non deliverable and returned parcels 12- Map of Amazon Flex depots UK | 13- Maximum number of hours or days delivering for Amazon flex in one week | 14- Loading your car for Amazon Flex | 15 – Amazon flex mystery shopper test

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Things I’ve seen around Oxfordshire 🧐😲😍

Things I’ve seen around Oxfordshire 🧐😲😍

Yeah bouy.

There’s so much to live for around here, at least that’s what the animals believe, as there seems to be rather a lot of them. Flying insects and birds…… birds on the water, animals that crawl and creep, hop and swim. There are a great diversity of the critters here. There is no doubt….

What I’d put this down to I don’t know. I can only guess that the local wild spaces by way of the country park and the Cotswold AONB has let some of those that would otherwise have perished, survive.

Time spent – time wasted

Seeing as I have so much time on my hands at the moment, I’ve taken some and committed it to a little fishing.

I’ve been a few times, 4 to be exact, with varying results. 2 times I caught these.

Bream from Cropredy Marina
Bream from Cropredy Marina
A 2lb roach from Oxford Canal
A 2lb roach from Oxford Canal

They are biggies….. especially the second one.

The other 2 times I caught nothing, or very little, just sat in the sunshine drank and listened to Youtube music streaming on my bluetooth speaker until it got dark, or I got bored. Whichever came first.

These two grand specimens more than make up for it.

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Painting a narrowboat water-tank – The third coming…..

Painting a narrowboat water-tank – The third coming…..

** Update 5th June, 2021.**

Corroded watertank
Corroded watertank

How long does Vactan last?

I’d say the last coat, (of Vactan), stopped working around 12 months ago. That’s around the summer of 2020, so it lasted around 2 years.

The symptoms of it stopping working were; flaking into the watertank, sinking to the bottom, and after some time, maybe a year, going into and clogging the waterpump filter.

That is: the very thin coating that is Vactan eventually flaked off, sometimes taking a coat of the Rylards beneath it, sometimes not, coming free from the sides of the tank and falling to the bottom…

Dirty narrowboat watertank
Dirty narrowboat watertank

This is what the watertank looked like as I started work on it.

It’s a combination of the paints that I’ve talked about lower down in this post. As you can see, some of it has been flaked off, either by me going around with my

Triangular headed scraper
Triangular headed scraper

or come away over the course of time.

There isn’t much bare metal, nor is there a lot of the original iron oxide that I put on there to start with.

It took from the 27th July 2018 to get fully to this point. So 3 years.

Prep for a brighter better future (for your watertank)

In my case, the prepping is already done…

The majority of the paint remains intact on the layers beneath. To prep in this case, I need to remove the flaking paint. Then make sure the surface is good to receive another 2 coats of Vactan.

Doesn’t take long. Maybe an hour to get it all off.

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In and around Cropredy

In and around Cropredy

It’s taken a while to get to this point….

Sailing from Napton to Claydon

After being stuck in Flecknoe for so long with the bad weather, things eventually improved and I managed to move the boat down from the Grand Union canal onto the Oxford canal via Napton Junction.

Once I’d issued my crew with badges, they set about their businesses…

Sailing took from 11am to 7pm, so about 8 hours in total including a little stop-off for lunch.

The weather was mostly fine. Some rain, some sun, sometimes both at the same time, which was better than the forecast, which had pictures of rain clouds?

Managed to take some pictures on the way down.

Here’s a picture of my crew…

From left to right: Kerri, Craig, Aurelia and Finn

For those who haven’t been introduced; Aurelia is Craig’s daughter and Finn is Kerri’s son. Kerri and Craig got married about 5 years ago, and fairly obviously, but in case you missed it, Kerri is my sister!

Lunch

We stopped for lunch in Fenny Compton and had a game of cards called Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza which basically involved everyone thumping each others hands on the table, or pretending to be gorilla, (thump chest), or narwhal’s, (make triangle above head), thumping the table or whatever, (groundhog)…. then thumping each others hands.

I wasn’t very good at pretending to be the animals, otherwise, I did pretty well considering it was the first time I had played! Kids loved it though, although Aurelia seemed to think she was a Narwhal whatever animal came up.

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Bye bye Bosworth

Bye bye Bosworth

Hello rainy Flecknoe.

Yes my time ran out in Leicestershire. I’ve decided to re-locate down here to Flecknoe. On balance of things, I think that’s the best thing to do.

As with the other jobs that have happened to me in the past, this one went pretty much the same way. Still, not to worry. We have to learn from the experience and move on.

I left Sodexo on good terms, (with most people).

Leicestershire

I did enjoy my time here, and I think in many ways the job working at the test center did me a lot of good.

Before that, I didn’t really realise how depressed and low I had become. My time there made me aware of this, and a couple of other things which it would’ve been impossible to see on my own.

Still, things started to go strange on a social level with certain people and the job itself changed and became a lot more boring.

Bosworth was perhaps my favorite place. The people there were the friendliest I’ve met anywhere on the canal network. Or even anywhere in the UK. Full stop.

All good things must come to an end.

Here’s some pictures from my final days up that way.

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