In our column documenting the ups and downs of family life, local mum Harassed Harriet has high hopes of winning a competition
I don't class myself as a competitive mum but, when I hear that a new estate agent is running a competition for local children and an iPad is up for grabs, there is no stopping me. With a little prompting, my three daughters are soon sitting down to produce pictures of their ‘dream house’.
On the day of the estate agent's grand opening, the Mayor - who is due to pick the competition winner - seems to be a no show. In fact there is no one there at all other than our family and too many eager-to-please estate agents circling the room with trays of cakes and sandwiches.The entries are all on display and I realise that two of my daughters' pictures have been marked with a sticker to indicate that they have made the final four. We are in grasping distance of a spanking new iPad!
In the absence of the Mayor, the Branch Manager is left to pick the winner. I cross my fingers on both hands.
But, neither daughter wins - they don’t even come second. To add insult to injury, the lucky winner isn’t there to collect her iPad and, as we are the only people at the not-so grand opening, the local paper wants us to smile for a photograph. I struggle to hide my disappointment as we are handed a couple of keyrings as a consolation prize.
The following week my daughters are pleased to see our photo in the paper and the youngest insists on taking it to school for 'Show and Tell'.
Later, she says, “Mummy, I held up our picture in front of the class, but Miss didn't recognise you and wanted to know why you had such a cross face?"
Just days later, I get a call from my neighbour, Gilly, who is a sales rep for a line of beauty products. Unbeknown to me, she entered all her clients into a national prize draw, and I have been randomly selected as the winner. Gilly can hardly contain her excitement.
"You have won a very, very expensive pot of intense, age-defying cream! Not that you need it, of course," she adds, perhaps a little too quickly.
I can't believe my luck - I have managed to win a competition I didn't even know I had entered! And my prize is just the thing to get rid of those frown lines.