Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.
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. Read on and enjoy…
In case you good folk out there in Gramblerland were wondering why there was no edition of thegrambler.com last week, the reason was that Mrs G and myself were off on our travels again. Yes, we are very lucky. Pardon? Oh yes, we had a lovely time, thank you for asking.
Sorry about this, but you are now in for a ‘what I did in my holidays’ type of thing reminiscent of those essays you were forced to write when school began again after the summer break. Sort of.
I wrote this piece while flying to our holiday destination. On a plane. Just thought I ought to make that clear. We were flying along, the air hostesses had done their ludicrous safety routine... Yes I’m sure a lifejacket having a little light and a whistle is going to be a lot of help in the middle of the Atlantic. Not that you are likely to have time to put on a lifejacket if the plane is plummeting to earth or sea. And why do they take such an interest in rearranging the furniture? Excuse me sir, could you put your armrest down? Why? Why?
Ahem... Anyway, I am looking out of the window (yes, I bagged the window seat) as we fly eight miles above land and sea and very nearly that amount above the few wispy clouds I can see below me. I have flown many times and still get that childlike feeling of awe every time I travel and look out of a plane window. It still amazes me that I can travel and enjoy such a view. What? A (g)ramble waxing lyrical about flying? Is that it? Of course not. A (g)ramble without a moan? That would never do. I have a bit of a gripe to tell you of.
You see, when I look around at the other travellers on this aircraft it seems that I am the only one on board who seems to appreciate the awesome view; most of the passengers that I can see are sleeping, reading or watching the in-flight entertainment which could be any current animated film as far as I can tell.
Nobody else seems to be in the least bit interested that we are travelling in such a splendid manner with views that 99 per cent of the world’s population will never get the chance to see and this reminds me of another holiday we took a couple or five years ago.
We were on the return flight from a holiday. The date was November the 5th. Why can I recall the date so precisely? All will be revealed, later in this (g)ramble.
As the plane took off, the weather was beginning to get quite stormy. We could be in for a bumpy flight, I thought; indeed the take-off was very rocky. However, the aircraft became more steady once we got above cloud level. It was an evening flight and was getting quite dark so a lot of the passengers settled down for a sleep; others read; others watched the in-flight film. I did my usual thing and watched what was happening below us and I was treated to a spectacular display. Have you ever flown while a thunderstorm was playing out below you? It is a fantastic thing to see as lights pulse every few seconds miles below you. For a good ten minutes, I watched as bright white lightning veins lit up sections of the sky. It was a phenomenon which, to me, was every bit as special as seeing the aurora borealis.
The others on the flight didn’t see it; they were too busy sleeping, reading or watching TV; things that they could do anytime anywhere. I couldn’t stop myself. I just had to stand up... ‘Do you lot know what you are missing here? This might be the only time in your life you will get this opportunity and you are not even watching! You are privileged... yes, privileged... to be able to afford to travel in this way! Most people in the world can only dream about such an experience! You get the chance to see one of nature’s miracles in action and you are just not interested? Shame on you all!’ Actually, I didn’t say that. What I said was, ‘excuse me’, as I asked someone to move so that I could go to the loo. But I felt like saying it. I was that close, that close to saying it. I really was.
Worse was to come, and this is why I recall the date. November the 5th is the date that we in Britain remember a historical figure called Guy Fawkes. He was a ringleader in what has become known as the Gunpowder Plot which was a botched attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. He was hanged for his part in this treasonous affair. For some strange reason we commemorate his failure to burn down parliament by burning an effigy of Mr Fawkes on a bonfire. How weird is that? After 400 years we still remember his failure. What subliminal message is at play here? Are we secretly wishing that he had succeeded? After hearing the sh*t* being spouted by our politicians - especially those in power - as we head for a general election, more people than ever must be thinking along those lines. Mrs May (we trample all over you for another five years) wants Britain to be a meritocracy? Hah! Who is she kidding? Sure, anyone who was privately educated and went to Oxford or Cambridge can get a top job based solely on ability.
Sorry, getting a bit politically corrective there; back to the plot... There are fewer bonfires nowadays thanks to ever more stringent fire and safety laws being forced on us in Britain. What we are still allowed to do is set off fireworks and, as the plane (Remember that?) was approaching Glasgow Airport, the passengers were all awake and becoming quite animated. They were looking out of the windows and telling their neighbours to do the same. The source of their attention? Fireworks being set off below us. Yes, it was worth seeing, but this man-made display was as nothing compared to the light show provided earlier in our journey by mother nature which the morons on this plane had chosen to ignore.
Many of us who are fortunate enough to go on holiday forget that the flight should be treated as part of the vacation. You are not on the tube train travelling through a tunnel; you are on an aeroplane and there is much to see. Open your eyes and enjoy the ride.
As the footy season draws to a close, most of the winners and losers have been settled, but there is one very important match this Saturday the 20th of May when East Kilbride FC head to Cowdenbeath for the second leg of the Scottish Division Two playoffs. They held Cowdenbeath to a nil nil draw at the K-Park after EK keeper Matt McGinley saved a late penalty. Maybe that can be seen as a good omen. This could a historical day for the East Kilbride, a team which was founded only seven years ago; if they win they will be in the Scottish senior league. Come on the Kilby!
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 20th of May? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. William Congreve 1772 (Military inventor. Think 19th century weapons of mass destruction.), Honore de Balzac 1799 (Novelist and playwright. Factoid: his surname translates as scrotum.), John Stuart Mill 1806 (‘The most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century’.), R.J.Mitchell 1895 (Spitfire designer. Looked nothing like Leslie Howard.), James Stewart 1908 (‘I am James Stewart playing James Stewart.’), Frew McMillan 1942 (Tennis-playing Andy Capp impressionist.), Joe Cocker 1944 (Aka the Sheffield Soul Shouter. First clip coming up; here’s his first big ‘it. All together now... What would you do if I sang outta toon... ), Cher 1946 (Songstress. Here she is turning back time while wearing a few strips of sticky tape.), Roger Milla 1952 (Footy bloke.), Jane Wiedlin 1958 (A Go-Go. Another clip? Here’s her solo hit, Rush Hour.), Nick Hayward 1961 (One sixth of Haircut One Hundred [Haircut Sixteen Point Six Six Recurring? - Ed.] Another clip? And why not. Here's Love Plus One.), Charles Spencer 1964 (Diana’s brother. [Diana who? - Ed.]), Louis Theroux 1970 (‘Oh my god, It’s a swan.’), Trevor Smith 1972 (Who? Oh, Busta Rhymes. Wonder why he changed his name. No clip? No, this is a family blog.), Petr Cech 1982 (Footy bloke in sensible headgear.), Jessica Raine 1982 (Not really a midwife. She’s pretending.) and Chris Froome 1985 (Bikey bloke. Why hasn’t he been knighted? Eh? Tell me that. Wiggins only won that French race once and he’s a ‘sir’, Froome has won it three times and all he gets is an ‘obe’. Who wants an obe? No one. Give the man a knighthood.).
Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do two week’s ago? Terribly. Didn’t get a penny back. Not one. How did that happen? I won’t bother you with match details, other than the scores...
Wigan vs Leeds - 12.00 - Prediction Away win
Result - Wigan 1 Leeds 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Aston Villa vs Brighton - 12.00 - Prediction Away win
Result - Aston Villa 1 Brighton 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Brentford vs Blackburn - 12.00 - Prediction Away win
Result - Brentford 1 Blackburn 3
Crawley vs Mansfield - 17.30 - Prediction Away win
Result - Crawley 2 Mansfield 2
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Stevenage vs Accrington - 17.30 - Prediction Home win
Result - Stevenage 0 Accrington 3
There you go; our football season ended not with a huzzah but a whimper. You know what happens now, don’t you? Blibbing horseracing until the new footy season. Oh well. Here goes. What nags has The Great and Powerful Grambler predicted will run faster than any other nags?
Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds
Newbury - 2.55 - Mucho Applause - 7-2
Bangor - 3.05 - Too Many Diamonds - 4/6
Thirsk - 3.20 - Edward Lewis - 5-4
Newbury - 3.30 - Ribchester - 6-4
Thirsk - 3.55 - Naggers - 9-4
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 too whopping for my liking. I have only one thing to say... Do I think it wil come up? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Teaser time. Yay! Two weeks ago, I asked you who was manager of Brighton and Hove Albion on the previous occasion that Brighton and Hove Albion gained promotion to the English top flight. The answer was Alan Mullery way way back in 1979.
One for this week? Which club has the unwanted distinction of scoring the fewest goals in a Premier League season?
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 R. Milla... No not the Engerland swings like a pendulum do bloke... the footbally bloke. This Cameroonian was more or less unheard of until the World Cup of 1990 when, at the age of 38, he proved to be the star turn of the tournament scoring four goals and helping his side to be the first ever African nation to reach the quarter finals. In 1994 he was at the finals again and entered the record books as the oldest World Cup goalscorer; a record which still stands. But his biggest claim to fame? As you can see from this montage of his goals, he was the inventor of the silly goal celebration .
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com