Sunday, 17 July 2016

Week 47 - A Tea for Stewart


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

 

This week, a very different (and shorter) version of thegrambler.com for your edification (That’s a good word; must look it up.)...

You were probably wondering what had happened to this week’s edition of thegrambler.com. Oh. You weren’t. Well, I am going going to explain the reason for this week’s tardiness. I am sure all you regular readers out there in Gramblerland (Hello to you both.) were asking yourselves why there had been no post this week. Let me elucidate (They can’t touch you for it.).

Each year at about this time Mrs G has a little garden party [Are all little gardens invited? - Ed.]. Ahem. It is called a Tea for Stewart, who, as you all know, was the founder of this wonderful blog. So, over the course of a single day, (yesterday) over one hundred people visited our garden (or backyard as it is more correctly termed.) and yea did partake of all manner of delicious comestibles (I’m full of good words today.). There were four sittings, of course. How on earth do you expect us to cram a hundred people into our pokey little garden? So, people came at specific allocated times; 11am to 1pm, 1pm to 3pm, 3pm to 5pm and 6.30 pm til... well, put it this way, we didn’t get to bed much before 2am.

There was absolutely no charge. What, you ask. No, it was a freebie. Indeed, it would be quite possible for an individual to come along and have a good fill of sandwiches, cakes and tea and do so without having to spend a penny [I couldn’t drink much tea before I’d have to spend a penny. - Ed.]. However, such an individual has never yet come along to these teas. You see, everyone who comes knows that the aim of these little occasions is to raise funds for The Grambler’s favourite charity, the Bobby Moore Fund; an official Cancer UK collecting bucket is provided for the guests to drop in some pennies.

So, why should that affect this blog, you may ask. Well, there are two reasons. The first is that I wanted to delay publication until I knew the amount of money raised at the event. The second is that I was a little too busy to come up with anything. Let me enlighten you.

These afternoon teas take rather a lot of planning. There are gazebos to be erected [Steady on. - Ed.]. The gazebos I am referring to are, basically, giant tents that, in this instance, allow the afternoon tea takers to remain dry if the weather on the day should be a little inclement. Here in Polomint City we get a lot of inclement; it is to do with us being several hundred feet above sea level. Wet and windy seems to be the default weather setting.

Any road up, we had two of these gazebos placed side by side in the garden and, for the days leading up to the event, I was on ‘gazebo watch’. Sorry pardon excuse me? I was to make sure that these tents with ideas above their station didn’t decide to take flight. It wasn’t the wet I was worried about; it was the windy. Despite having them tied down with guy ropes and having weights strapped to the uprights to prevent movement, the entire structures could be shifted by a single gust of wind. Hence gazebo watch. Luckily, any movements were spotted before the whole frame became twisted beyond repair.

That wasn’t the only job I had. Oh no. I had the very important task of punching holes. You what? Very important job, punching holes is. I had to make holes in each piece of bunting so that it could be tied to the next piece of bunting. We had to have bunting. Essential for an afternoon tea, bunting is.

Cutting up menus. That was another important job entrusted to me. Yes, everyone who came to the tea was to be given a menu to choose their sandwich filling - ham, tuna, egg or cheese savoury, incidentally - and their ‘waitress’ would bring the correct choice. Somebody with the necessary cutting skills had to be assigned to do this job. Somebody with a keen eye. Somebody with a steady hand. All right, somebody with a guillotine for cutting paper.

Chair collecting. That was another of my jobs. Somebody has to do it. If you are having 25 or more people sitting in the garden, you can’t expect them to sit on upturned plant pots and buckets. So I had to fetch a few garden chairs from any friends who had some to spare. Some of these chairs were a bit heavy, so I had to get them loaded into the car for me. And, of course, somebody had to lift them out again when I got back to the house. But, hey, another necessary job.

Talking of friends, I often played the role of Tootles the Taxi for those who Mrs G had roped in to help. Those friends who would be preparing sandwiches, for example. Or cakes. So, another important job for me, ferrying people to and fro. Mmm. Very important. Aye. Essential, even...

All right, I admit it. My role throughout the whole organisational process was peripheral (another good word). Basically, Mrs G organised the whole thing and made a wonderful job of it too. On the day, everything was absolutely perfect.

Except for the weather, that is. The wind did not relax for the day. Those gazebo guy ropes don’t tighten themselves when the wind buffets them, you know. Somebody has to do it. Yep. Me. Had I the inclination, I could claim to have played the most crucial part in the day’s success. But I haven’t. So I don’t.

The total sum raised on the day? I think a drum roll followed by a fanfare is required here. Are you ready for this?

£1456

How whopping is that?

May I finish by suggesting that you click on https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 to see how our fundraising efforts are going? We are proud to have raised so much for bowel cancer research. We will continue to do so, because that is what Stewart would have wanted. He always said that the Bobby Moore Fund was a charity close to his heart (and his bowels).  Boom and, indeed, tish (as Stewart would have said).

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I will simply say that normal service will be resumed next week.

 

Happy grambling.

 

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