Saturday, 2 April 2016

Week 35 - Easter grambling


Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy

 

Last week in this very blog I mentioned that it was Easter weekend. As everyone knows, Easter is the time that Christians mark the demise of their religion’s founder by eating chocolate. Odd way to commemorate it, but who am I to argue?

When I were a lad [Uh oh, Hovis time. - Ed.] we used to decorate a hard-boiled egg and then roll it down a hill. [You were barmy, were you? - Ed.] No, apparently, it is to do with the stone that blocked the entrance to where Christ’s body was placed after he ‘died’, but when it was rolled aside, would you adam and eve it, there he was, gorn! Something like that anyway.

Obviously, a hard-boiled egg rolled down a hill is a bit boring for kids so, nowadays, Easter egg hunts seem to be the popular choice. I can understand the appeal. A chocolate egg is quite an easy thing to catch. It can’t run away. So not a lot of actual hunting involved. I’m sure Jesus would have approved that the untold suffering he endured by being nailed onto a cross to die is ‘remembered’ by kids searching for chocolate in the shape of eggs. [Do I detect a touch of sarcasm? - Ed.]

Last weekend, Mrs G and I, together with the family, trooped off to a local hotel, which just happens to be located in picturesque, wooded surroundings, for the grandnippers to take part in an egg hunt. The event was staged by the local hospice to raise funds. The idea was that the children would have fun looking for eggs and the parents and grandparents would donate lots of dosh to the fund.

So far, so good. Now, there were around thirty kids there for the start of the hunt. Not many, but the event was to last three hours so obviously others would arrive later. Apparently, around 800 chocolate eggs of varying sizes had been donated by local businesses and these were ‘hidden’ around the shrubs and trees surrounding the hotel car park. I say hidden, if a child were blindfolded and spun round to induce dizziness, he or she would still manage to find eggs within a few footsteps. Everywhere you looked there were eggs.

All the kids were given a large carrier bag, which could carry quite a lot of eggs, and told to help themselves to as many eggs as they wanted. Big mistake. You don’t give a child instructions like that. For the next five minutes chaos reigned supreme. Kids were filling their bags to the brim and still collecting more.

I mentioned that other children would be arriving later, didn’t I? I don’t know what they would ‘hunt’, because every egg had been claimed within that first five minutes.

Okay, so it was badly organised. It was the first occasion the hospice had tried such an event; next time will surely be different. Nevertheless, it did raise a lot of money for the funds, because everyone was very generous. Everyone, that is, except one parent...

The hunt was just starting and a large 4 x 4 vehicle pulled into the carpark. Out stepped a man and two children. Without speaking to any of the organisers, they set to searching for eggs. When they each had as many as they could carry, they loaded them into the back of the car. You probably expect me to say that they then drove off without giving the organisers a penny piece. They didn’t. No, they went on a second sortie and again loaded themselves up with eggs which they then put into the back of the car. Then, they drove off without giving the organisers a penny piece. Isn’t that despicable? Greedy fn b******s! Basically, they stole about 50 chocolate eggs. They weren’t to know that they had all been donated; for all they knew, the hospice might have had to buy each and every one of them.

One of the organisers watched this take place and could only stand open-mouthed at the sheer audacity of it. Shocked and stunned she was.

By the way, I hope you don’t think we encouraged our own grandkids to grab as many eggs as they could. They didn’t need any encouragement. What we did though, was to return most of their stash to the organisers. If nothing else, latecomers would get something to hunt. I just hope that bloke with the 4 x4 didn’t come back for seconds. Or is that thirds?

 

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Any birthdays to celebrate this Saturday, the 2nd of April? As Buddy Holly once said, maybe baby. Giacomo Casanova 1725 (Satyromaniac.), Hans Christian Andersen 1805 (Famous for writing some pretty gruesome kids’ stories. The little mermaid committed suicide, the little match girl froze to death and the steadfast tin soldier melted. Really cheery stuff. His private life was a bit complicated. Funny he never married.), William Holman Hunt 1827 (Painter. His famous picture ‘Light of the World’ scared me s***less when I was a kid.), Emile Zola 1840 (Type of cheese.), Max Ernst 1891 (Dada artist [What? He only painted his dad? - Ed.].), Buddy Ebsen 1908 (Trivia: He was the original choice to play the Tin Man in the 1939 film Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, he had to pull out after he fell ill due to the aluminium in his makeup. He had already recorded the vocals to ‘If I only had a heart’ before taking ill and his voice was left in the group vocals in that song although his solo - click here - was obviously not.), Alec Guinness 1914 (Genuine class.), George MacDonald Fraser 1925 (Flash geezer.), Ferenc Puskas 1927 (Footy bloke), Serge Gainsbourg 1928 (Trouser material.), Mahmood Hussain 1932 (Crickety bloke.), Brian Glover 1934 (I read a book once... Green, it was.), Diane Cilento 1934 (The first Mrs Connery.), Jack Brabham 1936 (Racey car bloke. What a great name for a racing driver. Sounds like a car accelerating. Brabhammm!), Marvin Gaye 1939 (‘Politics and hypocrytes is turning us all into lunatics.’ Erm... wise, though grammatically suspect, words there Marvin.), Penelope Keith 1940 (Ectress who first got noticed in TV ads. Click here for an example), Leon Russell 1941 (Wrecking Crew member.), Emmylou Harris 1947 (Has collaborated on albums with... deep breath... Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.), Paul Gambaccini 1949 (He did the telephone answering voice on ‘The Sporting Life’ on Godley and Creme’s album ‘L’. Yes, I know he didn’t write it, but it gives me an excuse to give an example of Kev and Lol’s wit...

This is the Bad Samaritans
Hello loved one
Sorry there was nobody here
To take your call personally
However, we understand
What you're going through
How you've travelled life's highway
With your smile on upside-down
And now you think you've found
The ultimate answer to all your problems
Don't be hasty
Why waste a life
Wait until there's a crowd down below
Give a little when you go

Rather clever, I always thought.), Linford Christie 1960 (Athleticky bloke.) and Teddy Sheringham 1966 (Footy bloke. Trivia: In England’s game against Greece in October 2001 he came on as a sub and scored within seconds - the fastest ever goal by an England substitute),

 

We can’t leave the birthdays section without mentioning that Stewart David Smith, the founder of this wonderful blog, should have been celebrating his 31st birthday this Monday. Click on Week 35 - More words from our founder to enjoy a few examples of his sense of humour.

 

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Let’s move on to grambling matters. How good was last week’s bet? Not very. What happened? We won. Yay! No, not yay. We only won 56 pees. Oh dear. All is revealed below, fair reader...

 

Alloa vs St. Mirren - Prediction Away win

Result - Alloa 0 St Mirren 1

Yay!

Alloa are still searching for their first home win, but kept Buddies keeper Jamie Langfield busy early on.

Matchwinner Keith Watson cleared Iain Flannigan's effort off the line following a scramble.

And the defender netted the clincher to leave Alloa 13 points adrift at the foot of the table.

 

Falkirk vs Livingston - Predication Home win

Result - Falkirk 1 Livingston 2

Boo!

A missed penalty in injury time from John Baird saw Falkirk slump to a shock 2-1 defeat at home to second-bottom Livingston in the Scottish Championship.
Jordan White and Sam Stanton put the visitors 2-0 up before Will Vaulks pulled one back and Baird missed the opportunity to salvage a point in a dramatic finish.

 

Ayr vs Stranraer - Prediction Home win

Result - Ayr 2 Stranraer 1

Yay!

Alan Trouten's shot found the net off the inside of a post to give Ayr the lead.

And, in the second half, Stranraer goalkeeper Cameron Belford failed to clear a passback and Michael Wardrobe was left with a simple tap-in.

The visitors pulled one back through Ryan Thomson's header but Ayr held on.

 

Clyde vs Arbroath - Prediction Home win

Result - Clyde 1 Arbroath 2

Boo!

Debutant Jordan Kirkpatrick put Clyde in front after eight minutes but Arbroath turned the game on its head early in the second half.

Bobby Linn's penalty levelled 11 minutes after the break, then Richard Little's right-footed effort two minutes later left Clyde stunned.

 

East Fife vs Queen’s Park - Prediction Home win

Result - East Fife 1 Queen’s Park 1

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

Jamie Insall's early strike gave the hosts an advantage against the Spiders.

However, a shot by Chris Duggan levelled matters for the visitors and neither side could find a winner in the second period.

 

Rubbish, or what. Can The Grambler make amends this week? Doubt it. A full schedule this weekend so she/he/it has 56 games (kicking off at 3pm on Saturday the 2nd of April) to choose from. And the five lucky games to be awarded the honour of being selected by The Grambler are...

Game - Result - Odds

West Ham vs Crystal Palace - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Burton vs Bury - Prediction Home win - 7/10

Rochdale vs Doncaster - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Accrington vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win - 4/5

East Stirling vs Berwick - Prediction Away win - 3/4

 

If the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of fanfare please…

£10.76

1076? Did anything of interest happen that year? Well, it could well have been the first time British folk talked about their favourite topic. Which is, you may ask. The answer is the weather. You see, on November the 1st 1076, there was a frost; not just your average touch of frost in the morning. No, this was a real freeze up and it lasted. And lasted. And lasted. Come December, England was still iced up. Probably everyone thought, ‘How nice, a white Christmas.’ White new year, too. By February, folk must have been getting a tad peed off. It was still there in March. Indeed, that frost lasted right through to April. A full five months and more. So think about that next time you have to scrape a bit of frost off your car windscreen.

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Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you how old Johan Cruyff was when he first joined AFC Ajax. He joined their youth system on his tenth birthday. Who cried foul? That was his age when he joined Ajax and he stayed for 16 years.

One for this week? Okay, a real oldie for you. What first was Arsenal’s 1927 match against Sheffield United known for? One to ask them down the pub.

 

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Once again, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

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And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, this week saw the passing of another comedy great (it says here). Ronnie Corbett has popped his clogs. It would be fitting then, to finish with a link to something of his. We did the Mastermind clip a few weeks back, so how about this? Click here to enjoy one of the wee man's early television performances.

Happy Grambling.

 

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