I’ve held £300 in Premium Bonds for decades. I’ve had them so long, they’re probably worth half what I paid for them. It’s sod’s law: my numbers never come up. Then there’s the Lotto. I’ve never won so much as a tenner. To make matters worse, I’ve bought so many losing scratch cards over the years that I’m personally responsible for the felling of a small copse. Still, I’m happy to do my Good Samaritan bit for lost causes. It’s my civic duty. The Victorians endowed schools for paupers, I gamble. It’s the modern way. My one consolation is that I may have been unlucky in Lotto but I’ve been lucky in love.
Ever since we moved back to Blighty, I’ve entered every bleedin’ competition going, composing slogans to promote low-fat baked beans for the weight-watching generation who can’t be arsed to exercise, OMO whiteness for working scrubbers, breakfast bars for coffee-on-the-go bores and energy-saving vibrators for tight-fisted lonely hearts – whatever it takes to stave off a stint in the work house. One thing’s for sure. There’s no point selling my tired old carcass in the personals column of the local rag. These days, I can’t give it away.