One prize definitely does not fit all

(Re Memory Lane, Mercury June 27, and Mrs Moore’s unwanted prize of a year’s supply of beer) in 1987 when I lived in Gravesend, I entered a competition which invited readers to write a story around four lines of romantic poetry. I couldn’t resist it, assuming that at the very least the story might be published.

Unfortunately, I won - a ‘romantic meal for two’ at a bistro with courses on the menu that began with ‘The Courtship’ and ended with ‘The Great Affair’.

Apparently this was the brainwave of the owner’s wife who had carried the theme to such great lengths that he had to censor it for public digestion!

Not being ones for eating out at the best of times, least of all in the evening, my husband and I nevertheless went along to claim our prize. It had to be the most excruciating and embarrassing experience ever. We were the only ones in the restaurant and the waiter hovered over us the entire time, which left no space for personal conversation of a leisurely meal, as we couldn’t get out fast enough.

As I wrote to friends at the time, I’d rather have had the story published and no payment.

Since then, I’ve been very careful to study the prize on offer before succumbing to the challenge a competition offered!

One prize definitely does not fit all and, being teetotal, I’d hate to have been in Mrs Moore’s shoes.

Dr P. Batstone