Royal Winchester Golf Club

Royal Winchester Golf Club - The 9th hole
The 9th hole

Had a great day today at The Royal Winchester Golf Club, nice weather, good company (thanks Pete, Doug and Paul) and reasonable golf. The course was in excellent condition, particularly the greens and bunkers and we had an unobstructed round.

At first, we were a little confused by the directional mowing of the fairways which made them look half as wide as they really were but after a couple of holes we got used to it.

Luckily for us, the round was part of a reciprocal arrangement included in our membership of Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club which meant it was free of charge.

We only managed to chat to a few members but were made to feel very welcome. I very much look forward to visiting again – the only problem with that is we have another 10 or so reciprocal clubs to visit!

Spark Energy…. Again!

The liars at Spark Energy have now tried to take over my gas supply as well!

During my last call with this bunch of idiots, I was told that they would not be trying to take electricity or gas from the suppliers I had chosen. I’m on the phone right now having just received a note from British Gas that says somebody is trying to change my supplier – that someone is Spark Energy.

I’ve had it with these tossers and will be making every effort to make as many people as I can aware of their deceptive sales and marketing schemes.

Energy Suppliers – The Lost Spark

I have recently moved house and, for the first time in my life, have rented somewhere for 6 months until I can find a suitable property to buy. It’s all been a bit of an adventure and so far almost everything has gone well.

The fly in the ointment has been ensuring I get the energy suppliers that I want and not those imposed on me by the rental agent. It seems to be common practice for agents to have agreement with certain suppliers and that as soon as a property is offered for rent, those suppliers take over.

Before moving, I made arrangements for all my preferred suppliers to take over provision at the new address. All went well and I was assured that, apart from having to change phone number, all was OK. I moved in, everything was still connected and after a couple of days I had letters from the gas, water and phone companies I had chosen telling me that everything was in place. The missing piece was the electricity supply, yes I had lights and power, but it wasn’t until a week had passed that I found a “Welcome Pack” from Spark Energy stuffed through the door. This pack contained no account number or details of anything other than a load of fluff telling me what a great company they were and providing a form for me to fill in to set up a direct debit. I chose not to fill the form but to phone them – that’s when things warmed up slightly.

It seems that my letting agent Watson Bull and Porter have partnered with Spark Energy who had been able to become my electricity supplier one day before I got the keys. After a heated phone discussion with Spark Energy it turns out it’s down to me to repeat the exercise and change back to SSEB (my chosen supplier) – do a search for Spark Energy to see what they’ve been up to in the past and read the Which? review to see their below average ratings. I want nothing to do with Spark but find myself having to to get involved just because someone in a suit in a rental agency gets some commission from them for this underhanded business practice.

I suppose I am lucky as I am more than willing to stand my ground and make a lot of fuss about this kind of thing but I feel sympathy for those too timid to argue and get what they want and to make a fuss with the agents.

Give it a couple of weeks and I guess things will be how I want them but, should I really have to go through all this rubbish and, more importantly, why should a distinctly dodgy supplier (more accurately a provider of monthly bills) get a chance to take money for a simple rental transaction?

More Humax fixing…


A few years ago I reported a problem with a Humax Freesat receiver which I successfully repaired. Well, until yesterday, the box has behaved itself perfectly.

The fault symptoms were very similar this time, a constant whirling display on the front panel with an occasional display of [APPL]. Humax Display

I also noticed something strange when I started to disconnect the box, the space below the TV has gained a load more cables and connections since I last had to look at it! It really was a mess.

Anyhow, all untangled now and the Humax fault was indeed another capacitor failure (not the same one though) so the details in the original post will help if you get the same problem.

All is now fixed, and for the princely sum of 54p (for the 680µF 25v high temperature capacitor from Maplin) and about an hour of my time – most of that spent untangling!