competitions

Why I am proud to be a Comper!

I have been planning on writing a post on why I enter competitions for a long time. I believe that people are not just lucky (or unlucky), you make your own luck. I have always entered a few competitions but about 11 years ago I started to take things a little more seriously and since 2013 I have been comping avidly. We have our own business and that brings in enough funds for us to live comfortably, but the extras from winning give us our days and nights out, holidays and luxuries. It is my hobby but also makes a big contribution to funding our lifestyle.

The fact is that most people will not bother to enter. Those of us that do will have as much chance as the next person of being picked as a winner. There are no set rules to how you go about it, you do what suits you. I spend about 2 hours a day entering comps and win between 12 and 24 prizes each month.  There is a great online community of compers and if you are lucky there may even be a real life group in your area. This year I have joined The Bristol Compers Club who meet every month to talk wins, competitions and motivate each other.

There is lots of info on winning competitions online which I don’t want to duplicate here. I highly recommend Superlucky Di as a place to start.

The main sites I use are MSE Forums Competition Time and Competition database .

Here are a few of my best wins:

£4320 cash Dickensons Real Deal

Leith’s Cookery Course (1 week) plus travel and accommodation

Cooking with Jamie Oliver

Holiday to Iceland/New York (£1000 Groupon travel voucher)

Weekend in Dublin and VIP tour of Guinness Storehouse

ipad Air and ipad Air 2

Kitchenaid foodmixer

Front door and back door

25 kg of cheese!

Harvey’s furniture voucher for new sofa

£500 lulu guinness spend plus lots of benefit goodies and makeover

£500 Karen Millen voucher

2 nights in Sloane Club apartment London plus show tickets

1 night in Ampersand Hotel London

1 night in Bovey Castle Hotel Devon

1 night in Oakley Court Hotel Windsor

Port Elliot Festival tickets

Bridget Jones Baby world premiere tickets

Lots of my wins are tickets for events and meals out. I never have to spend money on make-up or perfume, Christmas or birthday pressies and I am able to really treat my friends and family. In just over 4 years my prize fund has totalled over 50k.

It is such a buzz when you get a win. Entering competitions is now a way of life for me.

Be lucky xxx

 

 

 

 

2014 summary…..still learning

I just want to sum up some of the highlights of 2014. Sometimes it is easy to only focus on the things I haven’t managed to do yet, but if I look at what I have actually done then I think “WOW!” and hope I can not just motivate myself but others too.

I managed to attend around 8 Bike Rallies and had mainly good weather, the last one being the most eventful when my boots laced themselves together and I went flying onto my nose. Had first hand experience of the new hospital set-up at Southmead, and after a 3 hour wait had brilliant treatment. Result one glued up hooter and now hardly any scarring. I have been using bio-oil and it is really good. Planning on making it to the local rallies again next year and looking forward to seeing all the usual suspects after the winter break.

Two trips to Lundy this year to see little sister. March was a day delay in getting there and December both myself and Mr.M have been permanently sickly with a cold that won’t go away. Was still brilliant to get there and away from the mainland for a bit. So four helicopter flights which I love. It is one of the best ways to travel.

We had 3 successful hatches of chicks and think we have 6 girls versus 5 boys atm. Two are going in the pot very soon, but the 3 Poland bantam cockerels will be allowed to stay if they behave themselves.Next year we hope to get some peafowl eggs to hatch.

Gigs and events

We went to the motoGP at Silverstone for the first time and that was amazing! The roar of the crowd when Rossi goes past is incredible. Makes watching it on tv even better once you have seen it live.

Back in June we saw The Pixies at The Eden Project which was very exciting too. I love Eden at night when all the domes are lit up. We managed a couple of night in Boddinick and explored Fowey and a little of Du Maurier country. We also managed to see Rob Newman in Bath and Sean Hughes in Corsham. Got a quick chat and signed books from both of them. Saw Dame Edna and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue both in Bristol, Tom Rob Smith and Count Arthur Strong at the Bath Literary Festival and Andrew Lawrence at the Komedia.

Competitions

This year I have had a great comping time. Wins total over £7k and some of my friends are catching the bug. I have also met some like minded compers who live locally. The highlight of the year was cooking with Jamie Oliver, followed a couple of weeks later by cooking with Omar Allibhoy.

Shar & Jamie omar

I am going to persevere with more effort and recipe competitions in 2015 and will be sure to let you know if I win any. My motivation for the competitions is the money can’t buy experiences. It does take a lot of time and is not for everyone but I love the excitement and fun.

I also want to spend more time with this blog, now I am slowly getting my head around it. I am still finding my way around but hope to go self hosted next year and post more often, the next aim being twice a month. This is very much work in progress!

The lovely Mr.M gave me the best Christmas present ever! For those of you who haven’t seen him yet, meet Clive. My restored 1979 mini 1000 and I wish you all a wonderful and prosperous 2015 xxx

clive

Be lucky, be safe and above all be happy!