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…
Apologies for this week’s blog being a little bit... erm... late. Blame tinternet. No, blame the lack of tinternet. Anyway, better late than never, [You reckon? - Ed.] let us begin...
A sad start to this week’s blog as it marks six years since Stewart died. Sometimes it seems like only yesterday when we, his family, were gathered round his hospital bed feeling helpless that we couldn’t help this young man whose life was being taken away. He had endured so much suffering in the months... years... leading to this moment.
Other times it all seems a lifetime ago.
Although we think of him every day, this week he is in our thoughts even more as we curse bowel cancer for taking Stewart from us. Please, take the time to read some of the important links highlighted in this blog. Being able to spot the early signs of bowel cancer is important.
Nobody deserves to suffer the way Stewart did.
And now, on with the usual drivel...
I wonder if, like me, you have an acquaintance who you must never greet with the words ‘how are you’; the reason being that he or she would be only too willing to tell you... at length. Let’s face it, when we ask how someone is, the answer should be ‘I’m fine’. We don’t want to know of any coughs/sniffles/operations. It’s a silly question to ask, really; far more sensible to just say hello.
It is odd that some people just love being unwell and telling everyone about it. My own dear departed mother was very much someone who ‘enjoyed poor health’. I lived a distance away from her so would ring each week and the conversation would always begin the same way. I would ask her how she was and these are some of the responses...
‘I’m no better,’ or ‘They’ve changed my prescription,’ or ‘I can’t get an appointment til a week on Tuesday.’ These were her opening remarks. There was never any lead in. Thus, I was unaware what she was no better than or what her prescription consisted of or who she couldn’t get an appointment with (although, I always suspected she was talking of doctor rather than hairdresser).
Other people love to ‘big up’ whatever is wrong with them. How often have you heard somebody announce that their ailment is ‘the worst case of (insert ailment of choice here) the doctor has ever seen’? Why should that make your illness special?
Another example is saying that the doctor told them that they had got to see him just in time. They never add anything to that; you are left to infer that if they hadn’t seen him when they did, they would be dead. It’s more likely that the doctor said they had got to him just in time because he was about to leave the surgery to play golf.
Any road up, where is all this leading, I hear you ask. There is another type... the type with a condition. It might not be anything life threatening; instead it is probably something that can be contained by drugs or sensible eating. Many people have what is known as type 2 diabetes which can be kept under control by improvements to diet and lifestyle. Most people just get on with it, realising that it is of no consequence to anyone else. Others have to tell everyone they meet. To be honest, bloke standing next to me at the checkout in Tesco, I really wasn’t in the least bit interested that your shopping basket contained very few sweet things because you are diabetic. I felt like announcing that my basket had only sausage rolls and cola in it because I’m a lazy lard-arse. I didn’t though, because it didn’t and I’m not. [Mrs G might disagree. - Ed.]
I remember a business meeting taking place at work many moons ago. There must have been twenty or so individuals sat around a large table discussing some important topic. I knew it was important because several senior managers were present. As is the norm with such meetings, this one dragged on a bit and, after a couple of hours, one individual (not a manager) reached down into a bag he had with him. He then placed on the table his lunch-box [Steady on. - Ed.] from which he removed a sandwich. As the rest of those present looked on incredulously, he began to eat. After a while, he explained that he was diabetic and had to eat at regular times.
Fair enough, but did he have to make such a show of the fact? The only thing missing was a checked napkin tucked into his collar in the style of Oliver Hardy sitting down to a meal. He could surely have brought some less ostentatious food with him to keep him going until his proper meal time; something he could have eaten without drawing attention to himself. But then, that was the point... ‘Look at me. I’m diabetic.’
Then there is Tom. Who is Tom, I hear you ask. Tom is intolerant. That’s what he keeps telling anyone who might be around when there is food about. ‘I can’t eat that; I’m gluten intolerant,’ he will announce to no-one in particular. The simple answer for most people who must eat a gluten-free diet is to seek out those foods which they can eat. If they are in a restaurant, they will look for the gluten-free options. Not Tom. He has to go through the menu, item by item, telling those about him that he can’t eat it. He’s gluten intolerant, you see.
Do the get the impression that his behaviour annoys me? Yes? Well, you’d be right. I mean, I can’t sleep on those low Japanese settee type beds. Do I tell the world that I’m futon intolerant? Of course I don’t. I really don’t like a town in Bedfordshire, famous for car manufacturing. Do you care that I’m Luton intolerant? [Okay, I think we’ve spotted the trend. - Ed.] Of course not. I’m not enamoured of the people who lived in Jutland in the 4th century BC, but I don’t tell everyone that I’m Teuton intolerant. [Yes, all right, we get the picture. - Ed.] And I can’t stand those crunchy bits of bread you get floating around in soup. [Crouton intolerant? - Ed.] Exactly. And don’t talk to me about gravity. [Sorry? - Ed.] Don’t stop me now; I’m on a roll. An apple falling out of a tree proves gravity? Do me a favour. I am definitely Newton intolerant. [Groan... - Ed.]. Russian politics? No thank you. I want my politics totally Putin free. [All right! I give in! Please stop. - Ed.]
And as for Tom... Do you know what? I’m you, Tom, intolerant!
I can’t stand burnt toast either. [Pardon? - Ed.] I’m black toast intolerant.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 24th of August? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. William Wilberforce 1759 (Politician. Slave trade abolitionist.), Max Beerbohm 1872 (Writer don’t cha know.), Jean Rhys 1890 (Writer don’t cha know.), Alyn Ainsworth 1924 (Musician.), Yasser Arafat 1929 (Politician.), Kenny Baker 1934 (Actor. R2-D2.), Antonia Duffy 1936 (Orfer A.S. Byatt.), Mason Williams 1938 (Guitarist, composer, writer, comedian, and poet... in fact, a right old smarty boots. Here’s his most famous guitar piece.), Jean Michel Jarre 1948 (Musician. Have a clip.), Carlo Curley 1952 (Organist. Have a bit of cult'yur.), Linton Kwesi Johnson 1952 (Poet. Here’s Englan is a Bitch.), Sam Torrance 1953 (Golfy bloke.), Jeffrey Daniel 1957 (A bit of Shalamar. Another clip? Here's A Night to Remember.), Stephen Fry 1957 (Writer, actor, comedian end netional treasure don’t cha know.), Steve Guttenberg 1958 (Actor.), Mark de Vries 1975 (Voetbal kerel.), Denílson de Oliveira Araújo 1977 (Cara de futebol.) and Rupert Grint 1988 (Actor.).
August the 31st. Caligula 12AD (The well-known emperor. Who would have thought a complete nutjob could be in charge of a country. Looked nothing like John Hurt.), Fredric March 1897 (Actor.), Bernard Lovell 1913 (Astronomer.), Richard Basehart 1914 (Actor.), Alan Jay Lerner 1918 (Librettist... They can’t touch you for it. Here is a selection of his work from Julie Endrews.), Buddy Hackett 1924 (Comedian. It says here.), Herbert Wise 1924 (Television producer... I mean he produced TV programmes... not... actual... tellies. I Clavdivs was one of his. You know, the one with John Hurt as Caligula, the well-known loony.), James Coburn 1928 (Actor.), Roy Castle 1932 (Dancer, singer, comedian, actor, television presenter and musician... yeah... right.), Martin Bell 1938 (Journalist. Aka The Man in the White Suit.), Jerry Allison 1939 (A Cricket. Played the drums. Have a clip. He co-wrote this.), Roger Dean 1944 (Artist famous for his album covers for certain prog rock bands.), Clive Lloyd 1944 (Crickety bloke.), Van Morrison 1945 (A charming singer. Have a clip. Here’s Les Them with Gloria.), Itzhak Perlman 1945 (Fiddler. Here’s a wee bit cult'yur.), Bob Welch 1945 (Musician. Another clip? Here’s Sentimental Lady.), Richard Gere 1949 (Actor. Don’t mention the hamster.), Edwin Moses 1955 (Runny jumpy bloke.), Glenn Tilbrook 1957 (A bit of Squeeze. Have a clip. Here’s Pulling Mussels (From the Shell). Don’t ask what the lyrics mean... You really don’t want to know.), Debbie Gibson 1970 (Chanter. Time to shake your love. Just do it when no one’s watching.), Greg Mulholland 1970 (Politicky bloke.), Kirstie Allsop 1971 (Presenter presenter presenter.), Ian Harte 1977 (Footy bloke.), Simon Neil 1979 (A bit of Biffy Clyro. Have a clip. Here is the band’s highest-placed single - Mountains.), Pepe Reina 1982 (Portero de fútbol.) and Cédric Soares 1991 (Cara de futebol.).
An example of Roger Dean's work -
a gentle, giant octopus
Do you also need reminding that a certain Princess died in a car crash 22 years ago? No? Okay.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr. Tangler,
Thanks for giving us a link to a song from one of my favourite bands, Squeeze. Listening to music is something I enjoy doing as I travel the canals of England in my large work boat.
Here is a question you might be able to answer for me. What Squeeze album included Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)?
Yours with love,
R. Gee (bargee).
Now it’s time to look at the last bets we had based on The Grambler’s predictions. Did we win? Did we fu... No we didn’t. Well, that’s not quite true. We actually had a return of 62 pees from our £2.20 bet. Does that count as a win? Nah. What happened? Read on.
Bradford vs Oldham - Prediction Home win
Result - Bradford 3 Oldham 0
Goals from skipper James Vaughan, Clayton Donaldson and Sean Scannell gave Bradford a comfortable win as they swept aside Oldham 3-0 at Valley Parade.
They took the lead in the fifth minute when Connor Wood crossed from the left and Vaughan scored at the far post from close range.
Oldham had most of the possession after that setback, with some neat, constructive play causing some anxious moments in the Bradford defence.
And captain Mohamed Maouche was unlucky to see his shot from the edge of penalty area rebound off a post in the 21st minute.
However, it was the home side who went further ahead in the 32nd minute when right-back Kelvin Mellor's lofted pass found Donaldson unmarked and he lobbed the ball over the head of advancing goalkeeper Gary Woods for Bradford's second goal.
The second half was an evenly fought affair before the Bantams put the result beyond doubt. Donaldson held the ball up on the right before laying it into the path of the onrushing Scannell to score with a superb shot into the far corner.
Colchester vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win
Result - Colchester 1 Cambridge 2
Substitute Harry Darling's goal was a late winner as Cambridge came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory at Colchester.
The hosts had made a fast start, taking a ninth-minute lead following a confident penalty by Luke Norris.
But they failed to add a second despite dominating the first half, with Luke Prosser heading against the crossbar from Jevani Brown's corner late in the opening period.
Cambridge were on level terms 10 minutes into the second half as Marc Richards headed home from a Leon Davies cross.
And their winner came four minutes from time when goalkeeper Dean Gerken was unable to keep out an acrobatic effort from Darling.
Northampton vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win
Result - Northampton 1 Macclesfield 2
Theo Archibald scored a last-minute winner as Macclesfield secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Northampton.
Macclesfield led at half-time through Ben Stephens' strike.
Jordan Turnbull equalised, only for Archibald to win it at the death.
Joe Ironside headed an early chance wide for the visitors but Northampton pressed for the opening goal with Matty Warburton off-target from long range and Scott Wharton heading over.
Macclesfield struck against the run of play six minutes before half-time when Archibald's perfect through ball was swept into the bottom corner by Stephens.
Jak McCourt smashed a post with a free-kick in first-half stoppage-time and David Cornell was at full stretch to deny Stephens a second after half-time.
Northampton levelled with 18 minutes to go when Charlie Goode flicked on a corner and Turnbull poked in at the back post.
Andy Williams missed an open goal three minutes later and that proved costly when Archibald found the bottom corner in the last minute.
Scunthorpe vs Crawley - Prediction Home win
Result - Scunthorpe United 2 Crawley Town 2
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Crawley squandered an opening inside the first 20 seconds as Rory Watson saved from Ashley Nadesan, but went in front when Bez Lubala drilled home from inside the box in the 20th minute.
Scunthorpe levelled not long after the half-hour mark as Rory McArdle headed in from a corner and 10 minutes into the second half they led after Matthew Lund rifled home from 20 yards.
Crawley hit back with Nathan Ferguson's equaliser in the 73rd minute - and would have won it but for Watson's acrobatics - a series of fine late saves - one of which kept out a Bez Lubala penalty - denying them. He got down well to his right to push away Lubala's 79th-minute spot-kick and later tipped a long-range strike from the same player onto a post.
Annan vs Albion - Prediction Home win
Result - Annan Athletic 3 Albion 2
No match report... this being a lower Scottish league and therefore non-existent to the English-based Beeb Beeb Ceeb... so here are the scorers for you.
For Annan - Swinglehurst, Nade, Lynas (og)
For Albion - Wilson, East.
There is no bet for this week as the blog is being published so late. Rest assured, The Grambler’s predictions will be back next week. [Is that a promise... or a threat? - Ed.]
Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you which companies sponsored various English Premiershit teams. The answers were...
M88 - Bournemouth
W88 - Aston Villa
American Express - Brighton and Hove Albion
Lovebet - Burnley
Chevrolet - Manchester United
Yokohama Tyres - Chelsea
SportPesa - Everton
Union Standard Group - Sheffield United
Etihad Airways - Manchester City
AXA - Liverpool
Incidentally, it is sad that, despite all the noises being made about the evils of gambling, ten teams in the Premiershit are still sponsored by betting firms.
Any road up, how about a teaser for this week? Here’s one that is current, but might change very soon. Without referring to the senior league tables (English and Scottish) can you name the three clubs which, as of today (September the 3rd), have a 100% points tally? You will get two, but the third? Hmm...
As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you 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
Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am not known for serious thoughts on political matters, but I am indebted to a Mr S. Fry who gave us some wise words regarding the recent machinations from Bozo Bojo to force the Brexit decision to go his way...
Weep for Britain. A sick, cynical brutal and horribly dangerous coup d’état. Children playing with matches, but spitefully not accidentally: gleefully torching an ancient democracy and any tattered shreds of reputation or standing our poor country had left.
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