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…
If I could speak to a Mr R. Dahl (which I can’t, obviously, since he is dead) I would tell him that I do not find Mr Fox fantastic. I’m with Messrs Boggis, Bunce and Bean on this one. What am I talking about, I hear you ask. Do you recall a (g)ramble from back in early summer (Week 45 - Euro 2016 - another gramble) when I had a moan about foxes digging up my garden? [Well, hide the spade, then. - Ed.] You may also recall that, at that time, I thought I had found the perfect solution. Actually, it wasn’t a solution at all; it hadn’t been watered down. It was, you may remember, urine. Human urine. Mine. Well, after a while, I realised that my solution was a lot of pish. It didn’t work. Old Foxy became so used to the stuff, it made absolutely no difference; he still dug the garden up. The only effect the urine had was to make our garden smell like a shop doorway after the pubs have closed.
Sometimes, a few days would pass and there was no sign of digging. More often than not, however, I was out in the morning with a shovel putting all the disturbed soil back into my ‘garden’ or oversized garden tub as it is more accurately described. Foxes are brilliant diggers, I have admit. Often the hole was more than two feet deep. You can imagine the mess of the surrounding area, with the soil from a hole that big strewn all over it.
The end of my tether was reached long ago, but I had to try and find a way to beat old foxy. This was war. Somebody told me that foxes really hate those blue slug pellet things, so I sprinkled enough of them over my garden to kill off every slug and snail for miles around. There was more blue than brown. Did it stop Mr Fox? Did it fu... No it didn’t.
Next, I saw an advertisement for a solar-powered, motion-activated, ultrasonic cat and fox repeller. The device is ultrasonic; not the cats and foxes. Any road up, I purchased one of these gadgets. I assembled it and placed it in the garden at the very spot that Foxy likes to dig. I then sat inside my living room in a position where I could watch what happened next. Sure enough, Foxy appeared. Now we’ll see if this clever ultrasonic thingy worked. Foxy barely noticed it. He just jumped up into the same spot he always dug and proceeded to scatter soil as before. Right next to the gadget. You may well have heard my screams.
Was there no way to stop this battle? I have come up with another solution (no not that again) and, this time, I do believe it will work. I have taken a large piece of heavy wire mesh... I’ll give you an idea of just how heavy. The wire is about an eighth of an inch in diameter (that’s 3mm in new money) and, when it came to cutting it to size, wirecutters couldn’t cope; I had to use a hacksaw. [That is so interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] So, I cut this sheet of mesh oversize so that, with a bit of twisting and bending it is tucked under the top layer of bricks and sits flat on top of the soil. No fox is going to shift that... unless he uses a hacksaw. Mind you, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he could.
So, is that the end of the story? Almost. I told a friend of mine about this brilliant piece of engineering. I won’t tell you his profession but, if I tell you he tends to work on Sundays, you might work it out. He made a suggestion to improve this garden fortress... ‘Why don’t you run a high voltage through the grid? Foxy won’t see that coming.’ How very un-christian, I thought. I was shocked. [No, the fox would be shocked, surely. - Ed.] Don’t call me Shirley.
Incidentally, I think the designer of that sonar animal repeller might be a fan of a certain Disney/Pixar film...
What do you think? Wall e is the top one the animal detector is on the lower picture... or is it the other way round?
You know my views on footballers wages, don’t you? The players in the top teams in the top divisions around the world get paid far too much, in my opinion. Apparently, the Welsh wonder winger, Gareth Bale, has been offered a deal worth £91 million to commit his future to Real Madrid. Excuse me? This is one person we are talking about, not the national debt of a small nation. £91 million? That is obscene. Also obscene is the demand from Arsenal players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez who each want £250,000 in wages per week. You read that correctly. Per week. They are citing the fall in the value of the pound against the euro. Come off it. Ozil already gets... I nearly said earns... 200 grand a week having been given a 60 grand pay increase just four months ago. So, having already had his pay increased by over 40 per cent (a little bit more than the rate of inflation) he wants to increase it by a further 25 per cent. So, poor old Ozil can’t manage on a mere 10.4 million quid a year. He needs 13 million. Greedy fu... [I’ll have to stop you there. - Ed.].... I blame Jimmy Hill. I do.
Any birthdays of note to celebrate? Did any famous or notorious folk come into this world on the 8th of October? Well, obviously some did. Juan Peron 1895 (Eva’s man.), Ahmed Bey Zogolli aka King Zog 1895 (Dictator and, later, King of Albania. Loved Charlie Chaplin and Shirley Temple films, apparently.), Bill Maynard 1928 (Oh no! It’s Selwyn Froggett!), Betty Boothroyd 1929 (Tiller Girl.), Ray Reardon 1932 (Snookery bloke and vampire.), Fred Stolle 1938 (Tennisy bloke.), Paul Hogan 1939 (This is a knife.), Jesse Jackson 1941 (Randy Marsh from South Park didn’t really kiss his backside.), Chevy Chase 1943 (Popular US comedian, it says here.), Johnny Ramone 1947 (A Ramone.), Stefanie Mariann 1948 (A lady who is well-known to older readers of the Sun newspaper.), Hamish Stuart 1949 (Guitarist and singer with the Average White Band. I believe he is Scottish. A lucky guess.), Sigourney Weaver 1949 (Her first film appearance was in 1977’s Annie Hall; she was on screen for six seconds.), Matt Biondi 1965 (Swimmy bloke.), Ardal O’Hanlon 1965 (Ruud Gullit sitting on a shed.), Matt Damon 1970 (Vic’s lad [Some mistake, surely. - Ed.]), Sadiq Khan 1970 (Mayor.) and Bruno Mars 1985 (Was an Elvis impersonator when he was little. Oh, hang on, he’s still little. I mean, he impersonated Elvis at the age of four. Elvis wasn’t four; Bruno Mars was. What? Oh, 5 feet 5 inches.).
Let’s move on to grambling matters. What happened last week? Well, it was a little bit better than the previous week. But, not much. We won 69 pees. That’s 11 pees up. Still rubbish, though. What happened? Read on...
Bristol City vs Nottingham Forest - Prediction Home win
Result - Bristol City 2 Nottingham Forest 1
Apostolos Vellios gave the visitors an early lead at Ashton Gate as he found the back of the net via the post.
The home side pressed for an equaliser after the break and Abraham netted his 11th goal of the season when he pounced on a mistake from Danny Fox and rounded goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic before slotting in from a tight angle.
Three minutes later, City turned the game on its head as a long free-kick was headed down in the box by Abraham allowing Jamie Paterson the simplest of goals.
Carlisle vs Colchester - Prediction Draw
Result - Carlisle 2 Colchester 0
The home side were second best for periods before half-time, but improved after the break and Michael Raynes forced Sam Walker to tip his close-range header on to the crossbar.
Raynes was involved again when Jason Kennedy gave Carlisle the lead in the 50th minute, the defender heading Nicky Adams' corner back across the face of goal for Kennedy to force home.
Colchester missed a great chance to level the scores in the 66th minute when Sammie Szmodics found himself one-on-one with Gillespie but lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and over the bar from eight yards.
Szmodics then had a diving header cleared off the line, but substitute Jabo Ibehre relieved the tension in the 79th minute when his header from Danny Grainger's corner on the left slipped through Walker's hands and into the net.
Plymouth vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win
Result - Plymouth 4 Yeovil 1
Argyle striker Jimmy Spencer scored a superb 39th-minute opener, shimmying his way past two defenders before sending an angled strike from the right into the far top corner.
Jake Jervis doubled Argyle's lead four minutes later when his 20-yard effort spun off a defender's boot to wrong-foot keeper Artur Krysiak.
Yeovil's response was swift as skipper Darren Ward tapped in from a few yards out as Argyle failed to deal with a low 45th-minute cross from the right-hand side of the penalty area.
The Glovers should have levelled in the 50th minute when Ward's far-post cross fell to unmarked left-back Nathan Smith, whose diving header flew wide.
Playmaker Graham Carey nonchalantly swept the ball home on the run from 25 yards into the top corner as he spotted Krysiak out of position after 71 minutes to make it 3-1.
Jervis then profited from substitute Craig Tanner's unselfish play to claim his second goal four minutes from time.
Edinburgh City vs Arbroath - Prediction Away win
Result - Edinburgh City 3 Arbroath 3
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Forfar vs Montrose - Prediction Home win
Result - Forfar 1 Montrose 3
Ah well, once again The Grambler’s predictions were a bit... crap. Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly selected for this week. Unfortunately, the number of matches available for consideration was pretty meagre as the top league’s have all shut down thanks to something called World Cup Qualifiers. I wish FIFA would give The Grambler some consideration when it stages these games.
Game - Result - Odds
Bradford vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win - 4/7
Scunthorpe vs Northampton - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Rochdale vs Southend - Prediction Home win - Evens
Doncaster vs Barnet - Prediction Home win - 13/20
Luton vs Crewe - Prediction Home win - 4/5
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...
Hmm... reasonably whopping.
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which manager the Ricky Tomlinson character Mike Bassett was based on. The answer was Graham Taylor. Did you not like that?
One for this week. In September 2013 which former Labour politician was escorted from his seat in the home section of Fulham's Craven Cottage ground after 'wildly celebrating' a goal scored by visitors Cardiff City in a Premier League fixture? Quite an easy one that. Even Mrs G, whose knowledge of football is next to nothing, got that.
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 Messrs D. Morgan and A. O’Hanlon for this week’s closing link, a memorable moment or two from Fathers Ted and Dougal. .