Wednesday 26 June 2013

Win one of 10 £500 John Lewis vouchers have 10 - yes TEN - £500 John Lewis vouchers to give away. You could stock up on clothes and toiletries for your holiday - or use them in Waitrose to restock your fridge when you get home (and for several weeks after that).

To enter, all you need to do is sign up for their newsletter. The closing date is August 4th.

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Win £100 to spend at Bras4Mums

This week is Breastfeeding Week. As my "babies" are in their thirties, I'm not joining in, but if YOU are a breastfeeding Mum - or know somebody who is - you could win £100 to spend at Bras4Mums. Just head over to their competition page and use the Rafflecopter widget to like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter and tweet about the competition.  You'll see from the samples they show, that £100 would go a long way!

But hurry, the competition closes on June 30th!

Sunday 23 June 2013

Check out your local takeaway and win £100 cash!

Take-a-way  is looking for your takeway menus! And they are offering prizes of £100, £75 and £50 to the three people who send them the most menus by September 27th, with 5 runners up prizes of £15 each to be drawn randomly from everyone who enters.

To enter, simply collect together as many different takeaway menus as you can and send them in by post or as emailed scans. You can read full entry details on their competition page. And don't worry about finding more after you've sent in your entry - they've thought of that. You can send your entries in as many batches as you like, and they will add them all together to get your total.

Their previous competition closed on June 21st - here is the winners list. I can see several familiar names there - well done to all the winners!

1st C. Gilbert - Belper - £75
2nd D. Lindsay - Kirk Sandal - £50
3rd A.Sales - Stoke-on-Trent - £25

Runners up £10 each
S. Armstrong - Carlisle
K.Lam - Bulwell
S. Peppercorn - Bretton
H.Newton - Leytonstone
I. Nagle - Retford

Saturday 22 June 2013

Come to a comping day in London on June 29th!

The annual Summer Meeting of the London Competitors' Club takes place next Saturday 29th June near Victoria in SW1 and we have a few spare tickets up for grabs!

The ticket price is £22 and includes a Pimm's welcome, buffet lunch (created by Extravaganza Foods), comps, quizzes, puzzles and PRIZES! Not forgetting a bulging raffle table, lots of fun and laughter and a chance to make new comping friends as well as meet some old ones.

This year's theme is "Seaside Special" so we will be hanging up the bunting and getting out our buckets and spades to show that it really IS Summer! (Kiss me quick hats optional!)

Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis so please apply in the first instance to Wendy Penny  who is handling the ticket distribution.

Doors open at 12 noon and the event usually finishes at about 5pm with most people going home with lots of prizes! 

Please note: admission is strictly by ticket only.

If you've never been to a comping meeting before, or are worried about coming alone and being a billy no-mates, don't worry! Lots of people, myself included, regularly arrive alone - but don't stay alone for long! Meetings are very friendly, with lots of  quizzes and puzzles that encourage chat and mingling. And what's more, I will be on the door greeting people - so you already know one person who will be there!

Friday 21 June 2013

Some new competitions - a round up

While I was away, quite a few people got in touch about new competitions they are running, so I'm going to do a quick round up of what's new.

First of all a new site that I've not had time to take a close look at yet, but sounds as if it could be interesting to bargain hunters as well as compers. Suppose!com is a deal-sharing site, featuring many well known retailers, and you can collect points by sharing or voting for deals and then use those points to enter the competitions listed in the Latest Rewards section on the left.


Next up, a wonderful idea from Mama Jewels - three people will win a bespoke jewellery set. The details are on their Facebook page - you need to email them a photo that shows the inspiration for the colours you would like, and then leave your details in the Rafflecopter form. The competition closes on July 13th.

Brabantia are giving away a WallFix washing line with a cover, peg bag and pegs. Enter by answering a simple question on their Facebook page by July 5th. Incidentally, if you entered their Wall Fix Experience competition, the winners are to be announced at the end of this month.


Anglian Home Improvements are giving away Google Glass - you could become one of the very first people to own it! Here's what they have to say about it:

Is this the first Google Glass competition in the World? One lucky winner will take home the most hotly anticipated tech product when it launches later this year thanks to British firm, Anglian Home Improvements.

The prize will allow the winner to be one of the first to enjoy Google Glass. Google launched the product to a lucky few in an ‘ambassadors’ programme and the web is already buzzing with the possibilities for this piece of technology.

Google Glass is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone built into spectacle frames. It allows users to film, take pictures and access web services on the go.
Matt Carey, Head of Digital Marketing for Anglian Home Improvements said: “Our products, like Google Glass, give people a better view of the world and we wanted to enable one lucky winner to be among the first to enjoy this amazing piece of technology.”
The competition closes on December 31st.
City Academy run classes across Central London. There is a wide range to choose from, ranging from dance and drama to business and fitness, and they are offering a £1,000 voucher - which would go a long way! You could take several courses, or maybe do one course with a group of friends. Enter here before July 14th.  
Finally, here is a chance to win a copy of the Drummond Park game "LOGO What Am I?" by completing the Rafflecopter form at Crazy Life of a Supermum There are the usual tweet, follow and subscribe options and you have until June 28th to enter.


Money Magpie are giving away five Huawei Y210 smart phone from Talk Talk. Follow the instructions here by July 1st - the competition closes at noon.

Your comping questions answered - by an expert

I know that lots of you enjoyed reading the recent guest post from Sarah Burns of Spark and Fuse, who gave us a promoter's eye view of competitions. So I'm sure that you'll be delighted to learn that Sarah has offered to do a question-and-answer session for us.

How will it work? Well, think about what question you have about comping that might benefit from an answer from an experienced promoter. For instance, you might be unsure about how those one-entry-per -person rules are implemented (If you enter twice by mistake, will all your entries be deleted or just the duplicates?) or feel that a particular promotion has been run unfairly and want to know what your rights are. Or you might like to ask Sarah a more light hearted question, like whether she has ever won a competition herself.

To submit your question, either leave it as a comment on this post, or as a comment on the Grape Vine Facebook page  or email it to janesgrapevine with the subject "Comping Question"

Let me have your questions by June 30th and Sarah will answer as many as she can - and as  an incentive to join in, I'm going to do a  draw for a £10 Amazon gift voucher, and everyone who submits a question will be in the draw, whether their question is used or not. (If you leave your question as an anonymous comment, please leave a Twitter name so I can contact you if you win the voucher.)

Thursday 20 June 2013

Who's luckier - men or women?

The text below is a press release I have been sent. It is from a betting site - and we compers know that betting is rather different from comping. So what do YOU think? If similar statistics were compiled for compers, would the results be the same? Do you think it is biased or sexist? Or do you, like me, have as little faith in statistics as you do in horoscopes and weather forecasts? I'd love to read your opinions!

Are Men luckier than Women? New data says yes
Does Lady Luck really favour the males? 
Men are luckier than women both in games of chance, and in everyday events such as finding lost items, according to new data. 
According to, men are more likely to lay winning bets while gambling, and will walk away from a casino or race course having won more times that their female contemporaries. 
Gents are also more likely to find lost items around the house, such as mislaid keys or jewellery, the website said, but will fail horribly in feats of memory. 
"Men and women have their own particular skills," said Yoni Sidi Head of Data at, "Where it's nature or nurture, each gender tends to be better at some things than the other. 
"And we think that men are better at making their own luck, and come out on top in things that involve chance. The male memory, though, is like a Swiss cheese." 
When it comes to betting, found that men are likely to win 45% of the time, while women only win 39% of bets. 
Women are more likely to bet on impulse, while men habitually take their time to study odds, form and other factors, Winner said, citing its own studies that involved talking to and observing gamblers. 
"Men like to think of themselves as experts on sports betting and are more likely to make what they think as informed wagers which might – on average – do slightly better," said Yoni, "but experience shows again and again that luck always has a role to play in gambling. 
"But being great at betting doesn't cut much ice when you forget your wedding anniversary, and that's where men fall down." 
Some psychologists think men's brains are better wired to find things. One Dutch study found that men are better than women at finding their car in a crowded car park. 
"This probably goes back tens of thousands of years," said Yoni, "When men were hunters and gatherers, they needed these unconscious skills. 
"Translated to the modern world, the location of an animal den becomes a set of keys for this year's Toyota Prius. Not much of a difference really, but it shows that 'luck' may be wired into your brain without you knowing it." 
"It's swings and roundabouts," said Yoni, "While men are great at finding lost items, a collective male memory loss means that they're more likely to be the one that lost them in the first place. 
"You can be the greatest and luckiest gambler in the world, but if you can't even remember where you left your wallet, you're in trouble."

As for my own opinion- they lost me in the first sentence. Men being better than women at finding lost items? Pull the other one.......

Back from holiday

I've not posted for a while as I've been away on holiday, on what should have been a dream cruise along the Danube. Unfortunately the Danube experienced severe flooding a few days before our trip, yet the tour company told us the holiday would go ahead with only minor changes. This turned out to be totally incorrect - the river was impassable and after several days spent moored in Budapest while the various people in charge argued about what to do, we were sent home five days early, having not really had any holiday at all.

I'll be writing more about the trip later, once I've caught up with all the phone calls and emails that I now need to send to the company!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Win afternoon tea for 6

Right Venues are giving away afternoon for six  at The Palace Hotel, Manchester. You can read full details here, but all you need to do is follow them in Twitter and retweet this tweet

The winner will be announced on June 24th.

And don't forget to enter their monthly competition - this month's prize is a break at Mottram Hall in Cheshire (by the way, they are happy for you to leave the Company and Job Title fields blank if you prefer to)

This is the last you'll hear from me for a couple of weeks as I'm just about to head off on holiday - the Danube cruise that I won from Waterstone's  last year. Because of the flooding, we were very worried that it might not go ahead, but the tour company called yesterday and confirmed that it IS going ahead, but with a few changes. I hope you'll all keep your fingers crossed for no more flooding for the area. And don't forget to watch  me in "Something for Nothing" on Channel 4 on June 18th at 8pm!

Monday 10 June 2013

Another chance to win an Ipad from 1st Choice Spares

1st Choice Spares are giving us another chance to win an iPad. This time you need to go through a poem, spot all the names of car parts that are mentioned, and then decide how many there are and choose your answer from the drop down menu. And beware of words hidden inside other words!

You can read the poem, and the full instructions and rules, here  and then follow their link to their Facebook page to give your answer.

You have until September 10th to enter.

The poem they have used was an entry to one of their previous competitions, and if you'd like to see the winning entry to their recent caption competition you can see it here

Friday 7 June 2013

My TV appearance, rescheduled

I've just had a phone call to say that my appearance on "Something for Nothing" has been rescheduled for Tuesday June 18th at 8pm on Channel 4.

I'm going to be at roughly the mid point of my Danube cruise at the time, so no, I can't remind you nearer the time, or explain to you what may have happened if it doesn't appear. You're on your own! Programme your mobile phone to beep you a reminder or something!

I hope the listings on my TV box go far enough ahead for me to be able to record it, I don't want to miss it!

Thursday 6 June 2013

Win an iPad mini for your views on hen and stag parties.

Eclipse Leisure would like to hear your thoughts on Stag and Hen parties,  and have set up two surveys where you can tell them about your experiences. Everyone who fills in either of the surveys will go into a draw to win an iPad mini.

 The survey is running until the 31st of July.


Win a beautiful bag from Belleau Kitchen

The lovely Dom at Belleau Kitchen has a new competition today - a chance to win this lovely retro style shopping bag - just the thing for helping you to avoid having to accept plastic carrier bags in every shop.

Enter over on his competition page, following the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget. The competition closes on June 29th.

Grape Vine readers, I need your help please!

This month, I accidentally deleted the tick boxes that go beside the listings on the first two pages of Grape Vine. I didn't notice until they came back from the printers, and I thought you wouldn't want to wait another couple of days while a new batch was printed, so I sent the magazines out box-less. And it made me wonder..... does anyone use them? Would you miss them if I didn't bring them back?

So I've set up a poll on the Grape Vine Facebook page, and I'd be very grateful if you would have a look at your June magazine, decide whether the lack of boxes leaves a hole in your life or not, and then pop over to the poll and tick your preferred option.

Win a water carafe

YouAndYourRights are giving away a Water Carafe courtesy of Dream To enter simply go to, click on the competition section on the bottom right of the page. One entry per person. Closing 3 July. 

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Win a £2,500 holiday

The Holiday Discount Centre are giving away a £2,500 holiday of your choice. Simply enter through their Facebook page  - closing 15th June.

Win a year's supply of Millies Cookies

Here's a really fun new competition for you from Millies Cookies. The prize is
a year’s supply of Millie’s Cookies, consisting of a box with 12 vouchers
each of them valid for a box of 12 cookies
All the instructions are in the illustration below  - good luck!

Monday 3 June 2013

Who won the Winn Sommor limerick competition?

Last month I ran two competitions, each with a prize of a year's membership to the Winnin Post club. One was in the May issue of Grape Vine magazine and the other here on the blog.

Creative competitions always have fewer entries than draws, and this was reflected emphatically in the number of entries. The competition on the blog had only 26 entries while that in the magazine had just 13! Compare that to the Cheeky Shoes competition, which also ran during May and had over 1,000 entries.

For the subscriber-only competition, I gave a lead-in line, "I long to be first past the post" and the winner, chosen by a panel of experienced compers, is Jane Chand whose limerick was

I long to be first past the post
In Grapevine I'm always engrossed
So at the prize dinner -
Maybe I'll be the winner -
Who is raising her glass for the toast.

I gave rather more scope here on the blog, asking you to write any limerick as long as it had something to do with comping. This time the panel chose the entry from Stephy Buckridan - if the scansion puzzles you, try reading it out loud and you'll see that it needs to start with the first syllables run together, a technique often used in limericks.

A comper's thoughts were clouded by fog
So comping was becoming a slog
Then she had an idea
That was perfectly clear
She'd better start reading Jane's blog

Jane and Stephy have each won a year's membership of the Winnin Post club.

I'd also like to say a special thank you to Chris Hunt, who supplemented her entry with an extra limerick that isn't fit to publish here but made me laugh out loud!

Sunday 2 June 2013

Win Every Week With PayPal

A super new promotion has just started at PayPal - every time you make a payment, you will be entered into a draw. And what a draw! Every week there are 100 prizes. This week, up to June 7th, the prizes are iPad minis, and coming up shortly there are £250 Top Shop gift cards. New prizes will be announced each week - and what's more, all entries will go into a final draw to win one of EVERY prize featured throughout the promotion - a prize worth around £5,000!

Each weekly draw closes at midnight on Friday, with the final weekly draw closing on July 12th, although entries between then and midnight on the 19th will also go into the draw for the Grand Prize. You will only be entered into each week's draw once, however many transactions you make, so if you are planning some shopping, spread it  out over several weeks!

I know there are HUGE numbers of transactions made with PayPal every week, but remember you have to be in it to win it, and I have known people who have won in earlier similar promotions they have run even though there were far fewer prizes.

Stuck for something to buy using PayPal? How about a subscription to The Competition Grape Vine? If you like this blog you will love Grape Vine - 24 pages  every month packed with comps to enter, with advice on what products you need to buy, if any, tips about tricky rules, answers to competition questions and even a link-finding service to help you enter those links that vanish from websites long before the closing date. There's usually a mid month update, too, sent by email, with even more competitions to enter, many of which are those short-lived ones that give you an extra-good chance to win.

You'll find full details about subscribing on the How To Subscribe page - and if you already subscribe, I'm prepared to accept extensions to your subscription to enable you to enter the competition.

And now, since I can't really subscribe to my own magazine, I'm off to treat myself to some craft goodies!

How to comment on a blog that uses Disqus

If you use Internet Explorer, you've probably tried to comment on a blog and got a message along the lines of:

"Disqus does not support your version of Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to version 9 or above"

So you go to check what version you are using. Yes, you are using version 9 or even 10.  You try again - still the same message. You shout at the computer, "Look, it says it there in black and white, I AM using the right version!"  You refresh the page. You clear cookies. Still it stubbornly refuses to let you comment, and you eventually give up, leaving your comment unsaid, or the competition unentered. You might even go and leave the blog owner a sulky message on Facebook or Twitter.

Sometimes there is a little symbol, like a sheet of paper torn in half, in the address bar next to the refresh button. Clicking on this takes you to "compatibility view" which sometimes helps. The trouble is, if you ARE already using a compatible version, and Disqus can't see it, you won't be offered that option!

The most common answer to the problem is "use another browser" and if you have access to one, like Safari or Chrome, then that's great. But not everyone has one or wants to download one, and many compers aren't familiar with anything but Internet Explorer. So what can you do?

Actually there is a really easy solution!


When you do that, a box pops up. Look at the top right of the box - it will say something like  "Browser Mode IE 10 Document Mode IE8 Standards"  Click on where it says Document Mode and a menu appears. Choose "Internet Explorer 9 Standards" from that menu and the page will refresh, and the comments box will magically appear.

Disqus seems to have started trying to make you register and log in every time you comment, and so far I haven't found a way to make it keep me logged in - but when I do, I'll add that to this post!