A Couple of Christmas Competitions (if you’re quick…!)

ChristmasHow are your Christmas preparations going?

I had a small panic today when I realised that, apart from a little book on ‘Short Walks in the Cotswolds’ (‘short’ in case I have to go too) and a key ring in the shape of a golf club, I haven’t actually bought HIM indoors a Christmas present yet! Eeek! I am now having a big panic. If anyone has an amazing idea, please let me know.

Win Books!

And if you’re one of those well-prepared people, who finished their Christmas shopping on October 9th, then here’s a book competition to keep you from getting bored:

You can win a book a week for a whole year IF you can identify these 100 books, all published in 2012, from their covers (or at least, from a bit of their covers).

If you want to have a go, I’m reliably informed that these answers are correct and might start you off (I only knew numbers 4 and 7, which are currently sitting on my bookshelf, waiting to be read).

2 The Life
3 A Street Cat Named Bob
4 My Animals and Other Family
5 The Prisoner of Heaven
6 The Little Paris Kitchen: Classic French recipes with a fresh and fun approach
7 The Casual Vacancy
8 Bring up the Bodies
9 Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals
10 Ratburger

You only need to send the correct book title – they’re not interested in the author or publishers or any other details.

Oh, go on! Well, what else have you got to do between now and 31st December?

Willesden Herald Short Story Competition (closes 21st Dec 2012)

And for anyone who’s got £3 to spare and a fairly literally-type short story (up to 7,500 words) hanging around, there’s still time (closing date 21st December) to get your entry in for the Willesden Herald Short Story competition. Details here.

This short story competition is famously the one that Zadie Smith judged in 2008 – and decided NOT to award a winner, as none of the 800 or so entries were deemed ‘good enough’ to win! All a bit odd – you can read about it here.

But don’t let that put you off. Back then, it was free to enter. As they’re now charging £3 per entry (which isn’t a huge amount, let’s face it), the rules state, “we guarantee that a short list of ten will be selected, from which a winner and two runners-up will be chosen.”

Good luck if you decide to enter!

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19 Responses to A Couple of Christmas Competitions (if you’re quick…!)

  1. Jackie Sayle says:

    I really like the smell of Davidoff ‘Cool Water’ fragrance for men, judging from a scratch’n’sniff thing I once found in a glossy mag. But that doesn’t tell me what it would smell like on my Beloved (you know body chemicals and all that – it smells different on everyone). However, I thought I might buy him this despite my destitute state until I found out you need about 25 quid to get any and I knew, dedicated Lynx (how that chemical crap makes me COUGH!) man that he is, he’d begrudge that much money spent on a fragrance for him (though he’d happily spend that and more on me if I said I liked a fragrance). So, I didn’t send for it. I did, however, notice that there’s also a ‘Hot Water’ fragrance in the range now. I’d suggest either for your man once you’ve sniffed both and worked out what you like.

    • ‘Hot Water’ sounds good (as Patsy said, it made me laugh) BUT the only problem is, he’s not really an aftershavey-type. I bought him some Paul Smith stuff for our first Christmas, eight years ago … and he’s still got half the bottle left! Bless

  2. Jackie Sayle says:

    As for an amazing present – Well I don’t know your Beloved so have no idea if a day on a racing course or whatever would appeal. The only other thing I can suggest is that you wrap yourself up in some costume he never imagined you would and act in a way he only dreamed of. When it comes down to it, religion aside, Christmas is only about being with the people you love and making them happy. Nuff said!

    • Now then Jackie, what kind of costume were you thinking of? Elf? Reindeer?!
      I agree with you about Christmas. I’m not getting too stressed about it – he just needs a few things to ‘open’ on the day! Thanks for the advice though.

  3. Patsy says:

    Jackie’s comment about ‘Hot Water’, made me smile. Wouldn’t most men be concerned if their wives mentioned they were about to be in hot water?

  4. Clare Banks says:

    I bought a friend a “laird-ship” of a Scottish castle. You buy a square foot of the grounds which helps to restore and maintain the estate. In return, you get a deed which entitles you to call yourself Laird or Lady of Dunan. It’s just a bit of fun, as it’s clearly not recognised by the Heraldry Society, but it could lead to quite an interesting dinner party conversation to drop in that one is a laird or lady. Google Scottish Laird for more info. I got mine on Buyagift.co.uk. Merry Christmas to you, Helen, and all your blog-followers.

  5. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    I’ve just spent a very entertaining hour or so reading the comments made by people regarding the WH’s decision not to award a prize in the 2008 comp. I’m undecided about whether that was fair or not-there are some persuasive arguments for and against it. One thing I do know is that it’s not one for me- far too erudite!

    • Christine, I agree with all you’ve said (especially about it being too erudite! Not worth wasting £3 on an entry from me!). By the way, congratuations on winning the Writers’ Forum short story competition this month! (£300, that’s handy for Christmas, isn’t it?). I haven’t had chance to read your story yet, as I only got the magazine yesterday and I’ve been whizzing about today but I look forward to reading it soon!

      • Christine Steenfeldt says:

        Hi Helen-sorry -only just read this. Thank you for spotting that-I was dead chuffed, as you can imagine. I hope you’ve managed to read it and enjoyed it- a real heart warming story for Chirstmas, don’t you think? Haven’t been paid yet-anyone else won with WF? How do they pay?

      • Christine I’ve read it now and enjoyed it – although not exactly the Christmassy story I was expecting…! But a brave choice of ‘hero’ and, as Sue Moorcroft said in her comments, it certainly makes you think! Don’t worry about WF – they do pay up and usually pretty promptly. I think in the past I’ve had a copy of the magazine + a letter + cheque sent to me at about the time of publication. I suppose, given Christmas, yours might have got delayed but if you haven’t had anything by early January, I’d give them a nudge in case it’s gone astray.

        ________________________________

  6. Linda says:

    Sorry, can’t help with the amazing present – I had the same problem. I couldn’t think what to get my husband so when we were out buying Christmas presents for the rest of the family I kept pointing things out to him, and asking if he liked them, but I didn’t get any positive feedback … I’d also decided to treat myself to a new dress but when I found one I liked my husband almost snatched it from me and said ‘I’ll buy that, it’ll be my Christmas present for you.’ He then showed me some jumpers he’d noticed in the men’s department so I bought one for him. I’ve wrapped his present up but I’ll be wearing mine on Christmas day. It’s boring, but at least we avoid nasty surprises!

    • Not that boring, Linda. But if you’d only done it in July then you’d both have forgotten what you’d ‘chosen’ so it really would be a surprise!! But I agree, nasty surprises aren’t good. Apparently 30% of the men who haven’t yet bought any presents will be getting them from a GARAGE! Some have been known to give WINDSCREEN WIPERS! Can you imagine?? I’d have to (gently) wrap them around ‘someone’s’ neck if he bought me windscreen wipers!

  7. Debbie W says:

    Pressie for OH? Something to make himself feel good?

    Chocolate.

    Then, on Christmas Day, you can ask him share it with you. The fact he’s being sharing and caring ought to make him feel good, lol.

  8. Something like a dvd to make him laugh I’d say Helen, and he’s got you so what more would he want? You could cook something he likes, there’s a great recipe in this weeks People’s Friend for millionaire’s shortbread… I’ve given you an award on my blog.

  9. Tracy Fells says:

    My hubby is terrible to buy for, never needs or wants anything. As a surprise I’ve got him the book version of 50 sheds of grey – that’s SHEDS not the other one. It’s a spoof of THAT book and ridiculously funny. You can also follow on Twitter @50shedsofgrey if you like a titter.
    I’ve entered Willesden but don’t hold out much hope. I tried to read the collection written by the judge, gave up as didn’t understand any of the stories…Will definitely have a look at the book cover competition for a fun Xmas quiz. Merry Xmas and all that 🙂

  10. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    Glad you enjoyed the story – a bit grittier than my usual! And thanks for the info on WF and how they pay. I did wonder if they paid via Paypal as that was how I paid for the entry. Now I’ll stop checking my Paypal account every day!

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