Today is reputedly the most miserable day of the year and labelled 'Blue Monday'
So I began looking round for something a wee bit more cheerful and came across an article about the first beauty queen. In 1908 the Daily Mirror opened a beauty contest and attracted 15000 entrants.
Ivy Close, aged 17, beat off the competition and won herself a new Rover car and a portrait of herself exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.
The portrait covered the whole of the Daily Mirror and can be seen on the left. If you wanted to see it today it is in 2017's City of Culture - Hull - exhibited in the Ferens Gallery.
After the fuss had died down and Ivy slipped back into obscurity she became the matriarch of a theatrical dynasty that persists today in the form of her great grandson Gareth Neame, a Bafta winning TV Producer, who came up with the idea of Downton Abbey. In fact after a brief career in films she bowed to the directing and producing talents of her son Ronald (Poseidon Adventure, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie); grandson Christopher Neame who was also Bafta nominated producer; and, currently Gareth.
It just goes to show that from little acorns great oaks can grow. I'm not suggesting we all enter beauty competitions but there are plenty of writing competitions in which we can easily enter. It is good experience and gets your name out there.