Wednesday 8 August 2012

When a prize goes on giving

It's lovely to win something like a holiday, but once it is over all you have is the memory, precious as that can be. Cash and vouchers are soon spent, books read, DVDs watched, chocolates eaten, cosmetics used up and toys outgrown.

Some things, like kitchen equipment, electrical goods and, should you ever be lucky enough to win one, cars, last for much longer and become part of your every day life. And sometimes when you are using them, you might stop and smile to yourself "I won this!". Moments like that can be encouraging when you are going through a bleak patch and not winning anything.

But there  are just a few prizes that go on getting better and better. Long term compers may remember a competition run by Copella about 7 or 8 years ago, where there were thousands of prizes of a tiny apple tree sapling. Many people I know won them, including me.

At the time my husband had just bought an apple tree and we didn't have room for a second one, so I gave my sapling to my friend Adrian who grew it espalier-style along his fence and always had a good crop of apples from it. In fact our own apple tree only yielded one or two fruits a year, and I often came home from Adrian's house loaded down with pounds and pounds of apples.

Sadly Adrian died three years ago, but his parents uprooted the tree and moved it 150 miles to their own garden, where it has taken some time to settle down. This week, the third  anniversary of his death, I phoned them and they told me that this year the tree  has a bumper crop, weighed down with ripening fruit. So from that one little apple sapling,  there have already been many pounds of lovely fruit, that has been made into sauces, desserts, pies, chutneys, jellies and mincemeat. Truly a prize that has gone on giving.

A friend recently harvested the fruits from her blackcurrant bush, won some time ago in a Ribena competition, and said she feels the same way about it, pleased each year to see how much pleasure that one small prize has  brought her.

So what about you, have you ever won a prize that kept on giving? Maybe you won a Copella apple tree or Ribena blackcurrant bush and are still getting  crop from it every year?



  1. Probably 8 or 9 years ago I won my height in duracell batteries. I got 8 boxes of batteries with best before date of 2007. I'm now finally on the last box, and despite use by date being long gone, they do work. It always makes me smile when I get some out of the box!

  2. A wonderful story, Jane. I don't remember that comp, but last year you could get an apple tree with Copella by collecting the collars. Ours arrived in the late autumn, I planted it in the garden, it was almost killed by the frosts this spring, and is slowly recovering. Hope I will see fruit on it one day.

  3. What lovely stories, I used a voucher from a blog competition to book a 160ft bungee jump I made today, raising funds in the process towards helping my close friend to get treatment overseas for her rare form of cancer. It was both scary and fun and I have the video to watch time and time again. I may possibly have a new hobby as well as comping!


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