Round and about Weedon

Round and about Weedon

To look at the photo’s, you’d think there’s not a lot there.

In fact, the canal is on an embankment which curves across the Nene Valley at canopy level.

There are in fact other things in the village.

Here are some of the other things in the village of Weedon.

Tesco Weedon

Tesco Weedon
Tesco Extra Weedon

Handy Tesco about 300 yards from the canal at it’s closest point.

Stock up on your beer and rolls here.

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Dodford -> Weedon

Dodford -> Weedon

Weedon Central. Or Weedon Bec as some people call it.

New bypass

So… The new bypass opened next to my lovely spot in Dodford. Come 6am, I could feel the rumbling of artic’s, and couldn’t get back to sleep.

Here’s a picture of the new Weedon – Upper Heyford bypass.

As you can see, it’s probably about 300 yards from my boat at it’s closest point.

Didn’t fancy sticking around. I like my beauty sleep. It wasn’t the sound either, it was the vibrations from the road, which makes it slightly worse.

I’ve cut my losses, and moved down here to Weedon.

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Muscott -> Dodford

Muscott -> Dodford

I was here earlier on in the year opposite Cannah Mead Wharf, where they do the occasional bit of work.

It’s kind of a nice spot, opposite the meadow.

Dodford - Grand Union
Dodford – In the summer

There are many birds in the hedges here.

Solar is good. Phone signal is strong. When I got here, the C03 alarm was going off in one of the boats opposite and there was a couple of work boats moored behind me.

It had been raining. When I arrived, the owners of the work-boats weren’t aboard so I got the genny out and ran it for a little while to boost the batteries up a bit.

At about 7.30pm, I get a bang on the roof, so I pop my head out. It’s the owner of the work-boats, who’s obviously arrived home and says in a rather surly fashion, ‘Do you mind if you turn that generator off’. So I looks at my watch and says, ‘sure’, ‘it’s not 8 O’clock yet’. To which he says, ‘just a simple request’.

So, I said ‘fine’. ‘When it gets to 8, I’ll turn it off’. And got back on the boat.

It had been raining all day. I was hardly running it for the good of my health.

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Don’t get your Amazon Account banned before Christmas

Don’t get your Amazon Account banned before Christmas

Or so they say… Amazon has a return Police. Did you know that?

Making ‘too many’ returns gets your account flagged, and eventually, if you continue, will get you banned.

Since 2018, this seems to be an increasing common phenomenon.

Getting your Amazon account banned; too many returns?

This morning, I received an email. This is the ‘warning’ email, and in the UK, it’s sent by a .uk address called ofm@amazon.co.uk.

The email I received reads like this:

Subject: Your Amazon.co.uk Returns
From: “ofm@amazon.co.uk” <ofm@amazon.co.uk>
Date: 06/11/2018 20:01
To: m.tyler@virgin.net
Hello,
We have noticed multiple returns from your account in the past 12 months. You have also
requested refunds or replacements for some items that you returned.
We’d like to know how we can better support your shopping experience. Please reply to
this email and let us know why you returned your orders.
Please learn more about our return policies in the Voluntary Returns Guarantee section
of the Conditions of Use & Sale, available at the bottom of all Amazon.co.uk pages.
Sincerely,
Account Specialist
Amazon.co.uk
www.amazon.co.uk

I’ve checked my orders over the past year.

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Watford Locks -> Muscott

Watford Locks -> Muscott

Stopped for a couple of days above the locks at Watford.

Watford Locks - Staircase flight
Watford Locks – Staircase flight

They have a 48hr mooring and it’s fairly close to the A5.

Sound of the motorway is pretty overpowering.

Buckby Locks

After this, moved the boat down to the top of Buckby Locks next to the New Inn pub.

Was there for a day. Until my crew arrived, which this time was my Sister, Kerri and her offspring.

Offspring have grown slightly since the last time they were on the boat. Still difficult for them to manage the gates and paddles.

Even sister has a problem and she’s fully grown.

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Yelvertoft > Watford Park

Yelvertoft > Watford Park

Still on the Leicester Arm, one stop up from Watford locks.

The sound of the motorway is pretty strong round here. Apart from that, the countryside is idyllic.

I’ve got some overhanging trees and the solar ain’t great. There’s some in the afternoon but I’m currently waiting for the sun to emerge around the trees.

Here’s some pictures of the current spot.

Watford Park
Watford Park
Watford Park
Watford Park

As you can see, I’m all alone this time.

Crick Marina

Had to stop off here for some fuel, which was nice. Had a pump-out as well, the first for a 6 weeks or so. Since I left Braunston.

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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 12 months 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:

      Amazon has it’s own fleet insurance on your vehicle from the moment you pick up your first parcel until you’ve completed your round.
      If you crash within that period, (and you don’t have your vehicle covered for ‘commercial purposes‘), Amazon’s Fleet policy will cover you. You can read more about this in the Amazon Flex contract.
      The first thing you need to be aware of is this:- EVEN THOUGH AMAZON COVERS YOU FOR THE PERIOD  YOU DRIVE FOR THEM, YOUR INSURANCE MAY BE INVALID IF YOU HAVEN’T DECLARED AN ‘ADDITIONAL JOB’ TO YOUR INSURER.
      When you take your policy out, it will ask you for your main and any additional jobs.
      There are instances where drivers have had crashes whilst driving for flex, their insurer has found out, and they’ve had their cover cancelled.
      When it comes to declaring it, it’s better to declare it as a ‘retail’ company, rather than a ‘delivery’ company. Apart from the fact it will save you around £600, it’s also the truth.

    • 2. Never trust the App’s routes:

      Amazon Flex Route Before I start, let’s clarify two things 1) Route: The order taken between points 2) Navigation: The navigation in terms of exact streets and roads taken between each point.
      Induction videos and Amazon ‘Flextra Mile’ and other literature and releases from Amazon will tell you ‘the best and most efficient way to deliver is by following the route suggested by the app’. Sure, the Navigation between the points is the best and most efficient, it’s just the Route it selects between those points is wrong.
      Totally disregard the Route the app gives you. It’s wrong. It makes driver’s journey much longer in terms of time and distance.
      Amazon app does not suggest a ‘linear journey’. It suggests a journey with travel between two or more locations or districts or neighbourhoods; whilst not delivering all the parcels in that neighbourhood, it will send you to the next, then back again to deliver some more. It can do this anything from 2-4 different neighbourhoods, never delivering fully in that area, sending you somewhere else, then getting you to come back.
      To start my round, I check the waypoints and have in my mind the order in which I’d like to deliver them.
      I select my Route and let the app do the Navigation.

    • 3. Amazon Flex Tapping:

      amazon flex tapper swiperSome people used to do this to pick up the released blocks first. Some still do…. It’s basically sitting there and tapping on your phone’s ‘refresh offer’s until an offer comes up, then tapping to accept it.
      Some people even made machines and contraptions to do this automatically https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1odALfOIrg.
      This may sound like a great idea. The obvious drawbacks are
      1) Amazon doesn’t like you using automated devices. If they spot ‘irregularities’ with your app activity, they’ll exclude you from the program immediately.
      2) It doesn’t work out financially. As you can see from the video, the guy’s just accepted a 1 1/2 hour block in Springfield. To me, I wouldn’t even get in my car for a 1 1/2 hour block. Not unless it was Christmas.
      3) Blocks may not be at LOCAL depot. It may be a REGIONAL depot 40 miles away. If your soft-blocked and only receiving short notice offers, you’ve now got 30 minutes to drive 40 miles for a 1 1/2 hour block.