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?