Over a year ago I wandered into the competitions section on the Money Saving Expert and started entering competitions. A new hobby was born which is fun, time consuming and has the added bonus that nice surprises arrive though your door from time to time. Is it a hobby or is it an obsession? That I am not sure of.
Its easy to spot a comper, they have the latest gadgets, go on lovely holidays, have bookcases filled to bursting with books and cupboards full of beauty products. When they go to the supermarkets their trolleys are piled high with magnums, biscuits, pepsi and anything else that is running a promotion at the time. Their children come running up to them going Mam, a competition! They avidly watch all the ITV programs and are regularly seen going to the post office with stacks of postcards. Their desk is littered with old wrappers and ringpulls, and it is hard to get them to leave the computer, they regularly mutter about closing dates and getting finished. They lurk on twitter and facebook in the hope that a competition will come along. They can be spotted in the newsagent buying stacks of magazines. They wait behind the door in suspense, hoping the postman will arrive soon with a parcel.
So how easy is it to win? Well, if you do not enter you can’t win. All a comper is doing is increasing their chances of winning by entering loads and loads of competitions. At the end of the day its still luck, there is no magic formula. Some people are lucky and seem to win loads. Other people do just as many competitions and seem to win nothing. I spend hours every day doing competitions. I sometimes wonder why, but at the end of the day its fun, I have found some good friends and I have a good laugh along the way. The prizes are a bonus.
There are many places to find competitions. Money Saving Expert has a good competition forum http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/. Loquax http://www.loquax.co.uk/ is another good place to visit. You can also get magazines dedicated to competitions, like the Compers Grapevine http://www.compersgrapevine.co.uk/site/1.asp This site also has good advice about entering competitions on Twitter.
Be warned, don’t start if you are not dedicated. It will take over your life!!
After You is a compelling and haunting story about Ellie, she learns her best friend Lucy has been murdered leaving behind her husband and young daughter. Ellie drops everything to travel to London, for the funeral and to do what she can to help. She leaves her husband Phillip behind in Boston.
She arrives to find Sophie, Lucy’s child has witnessed the murder and has stopped speaking. Lucy’s husband is not coping and has had to let the childminder and other staff go as they were releasing personal information to the press. Ellie decides to stay until the situation can be resolved. In order to help Ellie she starts reading the book, The Secret Garden with her. As the book starts to weave its spell round both of them, Ellie is uncovering secrets that Lucy kept from her. She is also forced to confront problems in her own life, the loss of her baby and the distance that has grown between her and her husband. Events begin to spin out of control and all their lives will be changed forever.
This is a haunting book. The parts where Ellie is reading The Secret Garden to Sophie for the first time cast you back to the first time you read the book in your childhood and the wonder you felt when the garden was found. As Ellie uncovers the secrets Lucy has kept hidden you are compelled to keep reading, wondering what the final outcome will be. You are walking with the characters, experiencing their emotions and understanding the difficulties they face. I wasn’t sure if I would like the book at first but within the first few pages I was hooked.
Yesterday we visited Royal Quays. Most of you compers out there will know this as a shopping outlet near North Shields which runs competitions. It is shopping centre with a number of outlet stores for Marks and Spencer’s, Next etc. What you may not know is that is also home to the Lightning Clock.
The clock is a statue by Andy Plant. It doesn’t look like anything special, there are two round balls one with a clock with a small man standing on the top and a larger one just in front of it that does not seem to do anything. At the base you will find instruments measuring the temperature, wind speed and wind direction and barometric pressure.
However on the stroke of the hour things change. The sound of thunder is heard from inside the large ball. Suddenly the face of the North wind, with his eyes rolling starts to appear. The storm gets louder and louder and suddenly there is a large gust of wind and smoke from the North Wind which causes the weather man to float into the air. Calm then returns and the face rotates away.
When Andrew was in nursery they decided it would be a good idea to take all the kids to see this clock. Unfortunately it all ended in tears, the kids were all terrified!
Recently I was lucky enough to win some Trollbeads from the lovely @mytrollbeads http://twitter.com/mytrollbeads on Twitter. I have been admiring Trollbeads for some time, you get a bracelet and then choose from a vast array of beads to make a gorgeous bracelet. The most exciting thing is that every bracelet is unique, no one will have the exact same set as you. You can also swap the beads around to suit your mood and your outfit.
The beads arrived in a lovely little box, tied up with blue ribbon and with a lovely blue bag to put them in.
The beads are all glass and each one is different. My favourite one is the red one which has little eyes in it so it looks like it is watching you. They all together really nicely and look really well on my bracelet.
This is jewellery that I will treasure for a long time and I am looking forward to getting more troll beads to make more unique creations. One thing I didn’t know is that you can also get Trollbeads necklaces, rings and earrings so there are plenty of options to keep you happy exploring for some time.
More information about Trollbeads can be found on their website http://www.trollbeads.co.uk/
The comping fairy is elusive by her very nature. You do not normally see her but you know she is there but the little sprinkles of fairy dust she leaves in her wake. You win a prize, you know she has been to visit and you and your friends are happy. The fact that she is still around and visiting others leaves you filled with hope, spurring you on to enter more competitions.
Recently though, she has been missing. Wins have been elusive and this has led me to the conclusion – someone has kidnapped the comping fairy!! This must not be allowed to continue, we must set her free. Be vigilant, look for clues. Someone must have seen something. Ask witnesses! We must find her. If anyone has any idea as to her whereabouts please comment here and we will plan a rescue mission together!!
The fairy has been spotted! She flew over the Isle of Wight, popped briefly into Southampton then came to Newcastle. Has she been weighed down with the weight of deliveries that she is unable to fly quickly? Has she lost her sat nav? Maybe its time she had some helpers! Anyone any ideas how we can make the comping fairy’s job easier so she manages to visit more quickly?