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 omplgood. 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.
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…
There are some aspects of life that are not really suitable for inclusion in a blog of this sort, Ill-informed or otherwise.
Toilet activities and problems associated with same are best left undiscussed... Actually, now I think of it, a blog about bowel cancer is exactly where you should discuss such things. Thus, it is something related to such matters that has caught my ire this week.
Constipation. There. I've said it. Bunged up bowels. It’s not a nice thing to have. And I certainly had it, last week. After several days, I was looking for a way to alleviate the problem. There are plenty of so-called 'cures' on the market. Some claim to be natural. One such makes great play of the fact that it has the natural ingredient of senna pods. I can't recall ever eating senna, so being told to consume the stuff to aid constipation strikes me as being most unnatural.
And they don't always work. Such was my problem last week. No matter what I tried. No result. After suffering for what seemed like a fortnight (probably no more than four days, but this was man-constipation; always the worst kind) I had to resort to another method. Suppositories. Yep. Those things.
Well, let me tell you, they work. And how. [Please spare us the details. - Ed.]
Okay, having gone into such detail, why am I even telling you about this particular pessary predicament? It is all to do with being ripped off.
When seeking a cure for my worsening condition, I looked on line for something that might help. Having decided against having an enema, I spotted a product called Dulcolax, a pessary which ought to do the trick. Twelve capsules with a recommended retail price of £2.99. Perfect. Off I trotted to my nearest pharmacy to purchase same. Cost? £4.99. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes, you read that correctly. £4.99, or 66% more than the guideline price. That is scandalous. Did I pay it? Of course I did. In my predicament, what other option did I have?
And therein lies the very reason why this crooked chemist could get away with charging such an inflated price. I was desperate for any kind of cure and was willing to pay anything to get it. Blibbing rip-off merchant.
And, of course, this all reminds me of a joke...
A man suffering a similar problem visits his doctor. After examination the doctor concludes that the poor chap needs pessaries to relieve his problem. So having got said suppositories, the guy uses them for a few days and, getting no relief goes to see his doctor again. [How does he get an appointment so easily? - Ed.]
'Did the suppositories work?'asks the GP.
'No,' answers the patient, 'for all the good they did, I might as well have stuck them up my a***!'
Boom and, without any doubt whatsoever, tish!
[Well that just shows the stupidity of some people. Did he not think to read the label? - Ed.]
It was meant to be be funny.
[Nothing funny about bowel problems, mate. - Ed.]
You're right. I do apologise.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 19th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
James VI 1566 - The well-known king.
Douglas Haig 1861 - Poppy salesman.
May Whitty 1865 - Ectress. Played Lady Jane Stackhouse in Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air. Her [I thought it was Lady Penelope in that. - Ed.]
Nigel Gresley 1876 - Engineer. Had a locomotive named after him.
Barbara Everest 1883 - Jobbing actress. 118 IMDb film/TV credits between 1916 and 1969.
Roddy Hughes 1891 - Actor. Fezziwig in Scrooge. Him. 129 IMDb film/TV credits. Take that, Everest.
Wally Hammond 1903 - Crickety bloke.
Sidney Allard 1910 - Racing driver and car maker.
George Pravda 1918 - Jobbing actor. 155 IMDb film/TV credits. Up yours, Hughes.
David Peel 1920 - Actor. Baron Meinster in The Brides of Dracula. Him.
Muriel Young 1923 - TV presenter. She worked mainly in children’s television and introduced us to Pussycat Willum, Ollie Beak and Fred Barker. Ask your dad.
Sandra Dorne 1924 - Actress. Blonde bombshell type, she was often called the B-movie Diana Dors. Remember King of the River? No? Neither do I. Apparently, she was Nel in that.
Charlie Drake 1925 - Comedian, actor and singer. Let’s have a clip. Here’s My Boomerang Won't Come Back. Hmm... Proof that sixty years back, people laughed at anything.
Barry Took 1928 - Comedian and scriptwriter. Wrote Bootsie and Snudge and Round the Horne with Marty Feldman.
Thelma Barlow 1929 - Actress. Mavis in Coronation Street. Her. She appeared in over 1200 episodes.
Brian London 1934 - Boxy bloke.
Derren Nesbitt 1935 - Actor. One of those actors that seemed to be in everything at one time. Detective Chief Inspector Jordan in Special Branch. Like Attenborough and Law (You regular readers will understand.) has been on our screens in eight different decades.
Michael Standing 1939 - Jobbing actor. Arthur in The Italian Job. Him.
Paul Shane 1940 - Comedian and actor. Ted Bovis in Hi-de-Hi! Him.
Peter Bardens 1944 - Musician. Have a clip from his time as keyboard wizard with Camel; here’s Lunar Sea (Geddit?).
Aung San Suu Kyi 1945 - Myanmar politician.
Jimmy Greenhoff 1946 - Footy bloke.
Salman Rushdie 1947 - Novelist and essayist.
Nick Drake 1948 - Musician. Another clip? Here’s the beautiful Northern Sky.
Barry Hearn 1948 - Sports promoter.
Hilary Jones 1953 - TV doctor.
Moira Foot 1953 - Actress. Effie the maid in Hark at Barker and the follow-up His Lordship Entertains.
Paul Raffield 1957 - Actor. Robert Glazebrook in Joking Apart. Him.
Michael Maloney 1957 - Actor. He played Edward Heath in The Crown. Nearly up there with George Pravda - 149 film and TV credits on IMDb.
Sophie Grigson 1959 - Celebrity chef.
Paul Coia 1960 - TV presenter.
Jeremy Bates 1962 - Tennisy bloke.
Fiona Gillies 1962 - Actress. Becky Johnson in Joking Apart.
Philip Middlemiss 1963 - Actor. Des Barnes in Coronation Street. Him. He only appeared in 755 episodes.
Boris Johnson 1964 - Who?
Sadie Frost 1965 - Actress. Did you know she appeared in videos for Gold (Spandau Ballet) and Holding Back the Years (Simply Red)? No? Neither did I.
Simon O’Brien 1965 - Actor/presenter. He was Damon Grant in Brooookside.
Samuel West 1966 - Actor and director. Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small. Him.
M.J. Hibbett 1970 - Singer/songwriter, blogger. Have a clip; here’s M.J. and the Validators with Hey Hey - 16K
Hugh Dancy 1975 - Actor. Daniel Deronda in Daniel Deronda. Him.
Paul Parris aka Paul Adams 1975 - Actor. Matthew Pearson in Grange Hill. Him.
Robbie Neilson 1980 - Fitba guy.
Mark Selby 1983 - Snookery bloke.
Laura Norton 1983 - Actress. Kerry Wyatt in Emmerdale. Her. She appeared in 956 episodes.
Beattie Edmondson 1987 - Actress. Louisa Radlett in The Pursuit of Love. Her.
Ricky Holmes 1987 - Footy Bloke.
Paul Taylor 1988 - Booler.
Will Payne 1989 - Actor. Tony Travers in Mr. Selfridge. Him.
Chuku Modu 1990 - Dr. Jared Kalu in The Good Doctor. Him.
Molly Windsor 1997 - Actress. Emma Hedges in Traces. Her.
Andrew Scott 2000 - Footy blook. Surely nigh.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear (the late) Peter Grambledens
Though I loved your music from the Camel years, I much preferred your solo material. It was a shame that none of your albums or singles ever made the charts. I particularly liked the single you released in 1987, but can’t recall what it was called. Can you remind me?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last week? Not too badly; four out of five correct.
Wales vs Switzerland - Sat/2pm - Switzerland to win - Wrong!
Belgium vs Russia - Sat/8pm - Belgium to win - Right!
England vs Croatia - Sun/2pm - England to win - Right!
Austria vs N. Macedonia - Sun/5pm - Austria to win - Right!
Netherlands vs Ukraine - Sunday/8pm - Netherlands to win - Right!
Not too bad. It all meant that from our £2.20 stake we saw a return of £3.44. Not a lot but, a profit’s a profit. So what has The Grambler selected for us from this weekend’s Euro 2020 games?
Game - Day/time - Result - Odds
Portugal vs Germany - Sat/5pm - Germany to win - 5/4
Italy vs Wales - Sun/5pm - Italy to win - 1/2
Switzerland vs Turkey - Sun/5pm - Switzerland to win - 4/6
Ukraine vs Austria - Mon/5pm - Draw - Evens
Russia vs Denmark - Mon/8pm - Denmark to win - 4/6
The bets have been placed - 1 x 20 pees accumulator plus 10 x 20 pees doubles. If they all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to win the magnificent sum of...
That must be a new meaning of the word ‘magnificent’.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1960 in Schönau im Schwarzwald, West Germany. Most of my playing career was spent at SC Freiburg. I played 252 games for the club and scored 81 goals, a club record which stood until 2020. I managed several clubs in Germany, Turkey and Austria, before becoming coach for a national side which I have managed since 2006.
Answer: Joachim Löw
2. In the first competition (1960) how many teams took part?
Answer: Four - Soviet Union (winners), Yugoslavia (r/up), Czechoslovakia (3rd) and France.
3. Since its inception, how many host nations have won the competition?
Answer: Three - Spain (1964), Italy (1968) and France (1984)
4. Who holds the record for scoring the most goals in a single tournament?
Answer: Michel Platini - 9 goals (France 1984)
5. The oldest player to appear in the competition was Hungary’s goalkeeper Gábor Király in 2016; how old was he?
Answer: 40 years and 86 days
How about five for this week? Let’s stick with the European Championships.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1991 in Drongen, Belgium. My senior career began at Genk, making 97 appearances in four years. In 2012 I moved to Chelsea, but was loaned out to Werder Bremen (33 appearances). I left Chelsea in 2014, having played only three times for the club, and moved to Wolfsburg. In 2015 I joined Manchester City for a club record fee of £55 million.
2. In the 15 competitions since 1960, winning teams have, generally, been coached by someone of the same nationality. Only once was this not the case; what was the winning team and what was the coach’s nationality?
3. A new award was given at the 2016 competition: Young Player of the Tournament. Who was the inaugural winner?
4. Between 1960 and 1992 a ‘Team of the Tournament’ was compiled featuring the best performing players in each position. Only two players featured in more than one such team; one from Germany and the other from Netherlands. Can you name them? [No. Do I win? - Ed.]
5. Which is the only team to feature in the final without ever winning the tournament?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie or Bung (or any other search engine, for that matter)?
Remember the serious message...
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, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4
[Well, at least we got through an entire blog without one of those awful dialogues between Angus and Gordon, or whatever they are called. The ones with the dreadful tenuous punchline that sounds almost nothing like a footballer’s name. - Ed]
HAMISH: Dougal! It’s yoursel’.
DOUGAL: Oho, there’s nothing gets past you.
HAMISH: What’s the matter, man? You’re covered in oil.
DOUGAL: I know, it’s off this new bike I’ve bought from Turkey. You’ve to assemble it yourself and I can’t get this chain thing to go round the sprocket.
HAMISH: Let’s have a look. Aha! There’s your answer.
HAMISH: You’re trying to get it over. You’ll never get it over.
DOUGAL: Not at my age.
HAMISH: No no no. Look, I’ll show you. See?
DOUGAL: By the beard of Moira Anderson, you’re right! Chain goes under!
(With apologies to Messrs Garden and Cryer.)
[You promised you wouldn’t do one of those again after last week’s Harry Kane one. - Ed.]
I tell lies.
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.