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…
I was having a glance through some old editions of this blog. One I spotted was a list of anniversaries commemorated in 2015 and I wondered what events might be (or have been) marked this year...
Apparently, William Shakespeare died 400 years ago this year. He is responsible for many words in our language. I’ll bet you don’t know how many... 1700 in all. At least, he is credited with their first being printed for posterity. Many seem modern to us. I used ‘bet’ there; that was one of his. Others include bedroom, elbow, luggage, hint, torture, grovel, dwindle, zany, gust, buzzer [Zany Gust Buzzer? Wasn’t that a 70s prog rock band? - Ed.]. I could go on, but won’t. [Good. - Ed.] But did you know he invented an oaty biscuit? Yep. Hobnob. That was one of his.
The Battle of the Somme took place 100 years ago. Between the 1st of July and the 18th of November 1916, 127,751 British soldiers lost their lives; an average of 893 per day. Total casualties are estimated to have been around 1.2 million. During the conflict, the advance made by the British was a mere seven miles. A hundred years on, war has changed, but we haven’t learned much. Wars still take place, for one thing.
Other warring events are also commemorated this year. It is 75 years since the invasion of Pearl Harbour and 950 years since William the Conqueror made his presence felt. Not to be confused with the more agreeable chap, William the concurrer.
It was 350 years ago that London burnt to the ground. Samuel Pepys survived the conflagration (That’s a good word; must look it up.) as did his cheese. Sorry pardon excuse me? Apparently, the only thing that Pepys was desperate to save was a cheese which he buried in his garden. Now, I enjoy a bit of Welsh rarebit, but come on.
Another invasion took place 1000 years ago when King Cnut (I said Cnut) invaded London by digging a canal in South London to bypass London Bridge. Hmm... As invasions go, it couldn’t have been the quickest route into the city.
Here’s a more trivial anniversary, 40 years ago her maj sent the first royal email. I wonder what she said... Please make sure thet this communication is forwarded to et least ten people to ensure good fortune. End here is a picture of a kitten looking incredibly cute.
It is 40 years since the aircraft that was going to revolutionise air travel began a service between London and Washington. Whatever happened to Concorde?
It is 90 years since the UK General Strike. Thank goodness for the might of the Trades Unions. Things have moved on a bit since then... zero hours contracts, people working for less than the minimum wage and facing the sack if they go to the toilet too many times a day. [This is you being sarcastic, I hope. - Ed.]
It is ten years since the British Broadcorping Casteration’s only TV programme dedicated to chart music was dropped from the schedules. They still manage to repeat most of them on BBC4 though. Strangely, we never see those presented by Jimmy Saville. I wonder why not. It’s as if he never existed. Same goes for Gary Glitter. And Rolf Harris. Isn’t that odd?
Talking of telly programmes, did you know that the Beeb’s Casualty has been on the air for 30 years? Did you care?
Did you know that the first regular ‘high-definition’ TV service began 80 years ago? No, nor did I.
Onto radio programmes, Have a Go with Wilfred Pickles began 70 years ago. An odd concept. Who would have thought somebody belting the living daylights out of a famous broadcaster would make for a popular radio programme?
800 years ago King John lost his crown jewels in the Wash [Ooh! Nasty! - Ed.]. I know how he felt; I’m forever losing socks in the wash.
And finally, something that makes me feel incredibly old. Forty years ago The Damned released the first record of the style called ‘Punk’. Later in the year John Lydon and his fellow Sex Pistols achieved notoriety (or fame depending on your viewpoint) when being interviewed on a live show at 6pm by veteran broadcaster, Bill Grundy. Would you like to see what happened? Here is your first link of the week. Ladeez and genullum, I give you - that interview . A survey conducted in 2008 claimed that this was the most ‘requested’ television clip. Not sure if that meant requests to YouTube or Points of View. Whatever, it is totally embarrassing to watch; more for the handling of the situation by Bill Grundy than for the band themselves. Most requested clip, eh? What, more than Del Boy falling through the counter? I don’t believe it.
Any birthdays of note to celebrate? Did any famous or notorious folk come into this world on the 24th of September? Most definitely. Sir Arthur Guinness 1725 (Inventor of the world’s greatest laxative.), F. Scott Fitzgerald 1896 (F Scott Fitzgerald? Why? What has he done to upset you?), Ruholla Khomeini 1902 (Supreme leader of Iran between 1979 and 1989. Would you like another link? Ladeez and genullum, here is Mrs Billy Connolly - helped by Messrs Smith, Jones and Atkinson - with There's a Man in Iran ), Konstantin Chernenko 1911 (Another supreme leader. [I thought Diana Ross was the Supreme leader. - Ed.]), Anthony Newley 1931 (Trivia: Did you know he composed the Goldfinger theme with John Barry? Or that he and Leslie Bricusse [Brick arse? He wants to try some prune juice; that’ll get him going. - Ed.] wrote the music for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Well, he did.), Jim Henson 1936 (Kermit’s dad.), Linda McCartney 1941 (Let’s dust off the old gag... What do you call a pig with wings? I know I’ve done that one before. I like it.), Gerry Marsden 1942 (Fehhhry Cross de Mairsey.), Kevin Sorbo 1958 (Actor made of rubber.), Jack Dee 1962 (Nicholas Parsons impersonator.) and John Arne Riise 1980 (Norvegian furtburller.),
Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? Do you really want to know? We could move straight on to this week’s predictions if you like. Oh. You want to know. Okay, we got precisely fu... nothing back from last week’s bets. Basically, The Grambler was shi... not very good. What happened? Read on...
Bradford vs Bristol Rovers - Prediction Home win
Result - Bradford 1 Bristol Rovers 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Substitute Charlie Colkett capitalised on a slip by Bradford defender Romain Vincelot to level in the 86th minute after James Meredith had headed the home side into a 73rd-minute lead.
Accrington vs Portsmouth - Prediction Away win
Result - Accrington 1 Portsmouth 1
A qualified boo.
The home side took the lead six minutes after the restart when Lacey collected the ball 20 yards out and found the top corner of the net with a superb strike on his league debut.
The Grambler should have known better than to bet against the best-named team in the league. All together now... Everybody Stanley. Keep it in the family...
Exeter vs Plymouth - Prediction Away win
Result - Exeter 0 Plymouth 2
Paul Arnold Garita set up the opener as he played Craig Tanner's cross into the path of Graham Carey.
He powered his way through the Exeter centre-backs 20 minutes later to score the second before Robbie Simpson missed an excellent chance for City.
Garita was forced off with a knee injury just after half-time before Lee Holmes hit the post for Exeter.
Crawley vs Luton - Prediction Away win
Result - Crawley 2 Luton 0
James Collins struck with a fine header shortly before the break and Dutch midfielder Enzio Boldewijn raced through to fire the second in stoppage time.
Leyton Orient vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win
Result - Leyton Orient 0 Yeovil 1
Tom Eaves' second-half goal proved enough to hand Yeovil Town their first win in six League Two matches as they claimed maximum points at Leyton Orient.
So there we have it, my gramblerinis. One week’s predictions of utter mince (bar one, of course). Can The Grambler make amends this week? Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly chosen...
Game - Result - Odds
Millwall vs Rochdale - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Carlisle vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win - 3/4
Raith vs Dumbarton - Prediction Home win - 13/20
Stenhousemuir vs Alloa - Prediction Away win - 8/13
Annan vs Edinburgh - Prediction Home win - 11/20
The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...
That is far from whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what Giorgio Chiellini, Otman Bakkal and Branislav Ivanovic had in common. The answer is that cannibalistic diving striker Luis Suarez has attempted to eat them at some point.
One for this week? This month sees another anniversary. It is 20 years since that chirpy cheery chappie Arsene Wenger was given the job of manager at Arsenal. Your teaser for this week is - who did he replace? Another one to ask down the pub.
As usual, 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
And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr J. Henson who provides us with our amusing finishing link. As you might know, artist, cartoonist, inventor, screenwriter, songwriter, musician, film director, producer and all-round smarty-boots Jim Henson was the puppeteer who dreamed up the Muppets. I sat dreamed, it was either that or he was wont to partake of some seriously hallucinatory drugs. Some of the Muppets were a bit... um... weird. What the hell is Gonzo meant to be? Nevertheless, he certainly altered our perception of puppetry. Until he came along, puppets were mostly of the glove or marionette variety. His humans out-of-sight or humans in costumes approach was completely different to everything that had gone before. Although, Henson had been popular in the US of A with his work on the educational programme Sesame Street, it is ironic that when he produced The Muppet Show, it was turned down by American TV networks and it was a British TV company, ATV, that took a chance on producing the programme. It was something of a chance too; the Muppets were unknown in Britain at that time. However, as history has shown us, The Muppet Show was a roaring success. Another anniversay I could mention is that very show. It first aired 40 years ago and, in all, there were five series and a total of 120 shows made. It is difficult to pick a single item to give you as this week’s closing link, so I have relied on my grandchildren for this clip. It is their favourite Muppet moment... Ladeez and genullum, I give you Mahna-Mahnam .