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.
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…
Space. The final frontier. So said a wise man some fifty odd years ago... James T. Kirk, to be precise. [I think you'll find that it was more likely to be a script writer who came up with the line. - Ed.]
Mankind has always had the urge to venture far from home in the hope of reaching a far off land with interesting inhabitants... who can then be subjugated (That's a good word; wonder what it means.) in the name of colonialism.
History has been littered with famous names who went pioneering; great explorers like... Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Captain Cook, Roald Amundsen, Thor Heyerdahl and Ranulf Fiennes to name but five... and Ranulf Fiennes.
Add to those the names of Beardy bloke and Baldy bloke... You know who I mean. Two of the world's richest men? Pioneers?
Indeed. Two men with so much money that they don't know what to spend it on. So what do they do? Attempt to solve world hunger? As if. Try to halt global warming? Not a bit of it. Provide pandemic vaccines to the poorer countries of the world? I should cocoa. No. They want to spend their dosh on going into space. The expression about a fool and his money comes to mind.
Only, these guys are not fools. Look at their business ventures. They know how to make money, and lots of it, that's for sure. This, to them is just the start of something big... Space tourism. Who can blame them when there are so many countries we’re not allowed to visit without proof that we have been double jabbed.
And they certainly know how to get publicity.
Beardy bloke was the first to boldly go where no bearded multi-billionaire has been before. He reached the edge of space in his Virginia Galaxy craft (Yes, I know that isn't quite the name. I don't want any calls from lawyers.) which unlike other spacecraft, doesn't leave debris behind it. Rather than being fired into space by rockets, it hitches a lift on a specially designed aeroplane which takes it up to a height of 15 kilometres after which it utilises its own power to reach approximately 90 km above the Earth from which altitude it glides back to the planet's surface. And guess what... It doesn't even count as a space flight, although Beardy bloke and his crew did experience weightlessness.
Not a space flight? How so, I hear you ask. Well, it didn't reach the magic 100km, the so-called Karman line accepted by astronomers and the like as being the proper start of space... hmm, seems a rather convenient made-up figure to me.
Anyway, no doubt Baldy bloke (Remember him?) will claim bragging rights because even though he was not the first billionaire to attempt the trip to space, his craft did go up to and beyond that line. So he can say that he more baldly (Do you see what I did there?) went where no bald multi-billionaire has gone before. He took three others with him. One of the passengers who was meant to be on the flight couldn't manage the trip even though he had won an online auction by bidding... wait for it... $28 million! Twenty eight million dollars and he didn't even get to go! [What were you saying about a fool and his money? - Ed.]
The difference between Baldy bloke's craft and Beardy bloke's is that this time it was a proper rocket that took the four passengers up into space. I don't know if you saw pictures of it, but news programmes should really have censored the images. Mary Whitehouse would not have approved, that's for sure. It couldn't have been more phallic. In fact, I wonder if Baldy bloke was having a laugh when it was designed that way. And I suspect that Baldy bloke is Jewish. [Eh? Oh, I see. Yes, definitely. - Ed.]
Tuesday's lift off with Baldy bloke [Lift off with Ayshea, surely. - Ed.]... showing your age there... was all over the news media. P.T. Barnum, the nineteenth century showman said that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I think Baldy bloke has taken it one step further believing that any publicity is good publicity. I would suggest that is not quite true. Ask a tory minister who recently had to resign because of a little too much publicity, if you don't believe me.
I would say that foolhardy wasting of cash is not going to endear you to your customers, though. Even worse were his comments after the 10 minute space flight. (That's all it lasted. Seriously. At least Beardy bloke was up there for an hour.) He thanked everyone, that is, his customers, by stating that they had paid for his short excursion. Arrogant tw*t.
From now on, whenever I want to buy anything on line, and I suspect a lot of people think the same way, I plan to use Baldy bloke's company as infrequently as possible.
Another bloke with too much money might be making a similar trip soon. Ian Musk ox, he of electric car fame, is planning his own trip into space. [I can't wait... yawn. - Ed.]
Did I call these guys pioneers? Sorry guys, as far as space tourism goes, some ultra-rich bloke was there before you... twenty years before you, in fact. In 2001 Dennis Tito spent eight days (See that guys? Not ten minutes. Not an hour. Eight days.) aboard the International Space Station. He paid $20 million for the privilege.
Two and a half million a day? A bargain.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 24th of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Renee Houston 1902 - Actress. Agatha Spanner in Carry On at Your Convenience. Her.
Nora Swinburne 1902 - Actress. Aunt Hester Forsyte in The Forsyte Saga. Her.
Peter Yates 1929 - Director. Bullitt. One of his.
Les Reed 1935 - Songwriter. Have a clip. This is a tune used by Radio North Sea... Man of Action.
Heinz Burt 1942 - Musician. One time Tornado, here’s a solo toon... Live It Up.
Martin Edwards 1945 - One time chairman of Manchester United so, I suppose that counts as a footy bloke.
Chris Smith 1951 - Poltician.
Lynval Golding 1951 - Musician. A Special and one third of Fun Boy Three. Here’s Our Lips Are Sealed.
Larry Gott 1957 - Musician. One time member of James. Let’s have some Sound.
Joe McGann 1958 - Actor. Edward Hutchinson in Hollyoaks. Him.
Mick Karn 1958 - Musician. He was a member of Japan, but here’s a track he made with Midge Ure... After a Fashion.
Jim Leighton 1958 - Fitba guy.
Leo Williams 1959 - Musician. Co-founder of Big Audio Dynamite. Let’s have a track from them (second in four weeks). Here’s Sony. An irony is that Sony, the company being lambasted in that song, later bought over the label which made B.A.D. records... When I say B.A.D. records, I don't mean the records were bad, but that they were records made by Big Audio Dynamite aka B.A.D. [A few would say they were bad; really bad. - Ed.]
Kerry Dixon 1961 - Footy bloke.
Cleo Rocos 1962 - Actress. Famous for being a stooge to Kenny Everett.
Julie Graham 1965 - Actress. Rhona Kelly in Shetland. Her.
Martin Keown 1966 - Footy bloke.
Julia Bradbury 1970 - TV presenter.
John Partridge 1971 - Actor. Christian Clarke in Eastenders. Him.
Laura Fraser 1976 - Actress. Sarah Gordon in Traces. Her.
Jack Tarlton 1976 - Actor. Fiscal John in... would you Adam and Eve it... Traces.
Danny Dire 1977 [You’ve spelt his name wrongly. - Ed.] No, I haven’t - Ector, innee.
David Leon 1980 - Actor. DS Joe Ashworth in Vera. Him.
Jai McDowell 1986 - Singer. Winner of Britain’s Got Talent in 2011. Here’s a song both of you might know. When I say both, I mean you two.
Jay McGuinness 1990 - Singer. One time member of The Wanted. Have a toon. Here's Walks like Rihanna.
Jordan McGhee 1996 - Fitba guy fae Polomint City.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Leo Grambliams,
I absolutely loved Big Audio Dynamite and have all the records. What was the last single to chart before you left and the band became Big Audio Dynamite II?
With kind regards,
[Are you a closet Big Audio Dynamite fan? - Ed.]
I might be. Doesn't make you a bad person... Hang on, yes, it does make you a bad person.
What happened with the gee gees last week?
Horse - Meeting - Time - Odds
Beauty Inspire - Curragh - 2.20 - WINNER
Alqamar - Cartmel - 2.30 - WINNER
Tadreeb - Ripon - 5.05 - THIRD
Moon Island - Doncaster - 6.35 - WINNER
Montather - Doncaster - 7.35 - UNPLACED
Three out of five. Hey ho, at least we got something back from our £2.40 stake. How much? £3.10. 70 pees profit... not to be sneezed at.
What has The Grambler got up his/her/its RAM this week? Oh, more horseracing.
Horse - Meeting - Time - Odds
Mohaafeth - York - 3.15 - 11/10
Wahraan - Newmarket - 3.40 - 5/4
Liquid Luck - Gowran Park - 4.35 - 2/1
American Star - Salisbury - 6.35 - 11/10
Nine Tales - Salisbury - 7.05 - 4/6
Well, the bets are placed. As with the footy bets, there are ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. And to make things interesting, we have an each way bet on the accumulator. Woo! If all five horses run quicker than all the others in their respective races, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of... fanfare please...
[You’re having a laugh, right? - Ed.]
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1978 in Camberwell. I played as a centre back. I began my senior career with West Ham and made over 150 appearances before moving for a brief spell at Leeds. The bulk of my career was spent at Manchester United; I made over 450 appearances for the Old Trafford side. I was capped for England 81 times. After retiring from football, I considered becoming a boxer. I have now settled into a career as a football pundit.
Answer - Rio Ferdinand
2. Back to Euro 2020, who was named as player of the tournament?
Answer - Gianluigi Donnarumma
3. Which German player has scored the most Premier League goals?
Answer - Mezut Ozil
4. Another Euro 2020 one. Which is the only one of the 24 countries that took part in the finals not to have any players from its national league?
Answer - Wales
5. Bukayo Saka won Arsenal’s Player of the Year Award, the first English player to win it for ten years; who was the recipient in 2011?
Answer - Jack Wilshere
How about five for this week?
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1989 in Laval, France. I started my senior career, though never played, at A.C. Milan. Instead, I was loaned out to various clubs, the last of which was St. Etienne who signed me in 2011. In 2013 I moved to Borussia Dortmund. In 2018 I joined a Premier League side and have, so far, scored 64 goals in 114 appearances. I have been capped 66 times for Gabon.
2. Which Belgian player has made the most Premier League appearances?
3. Patrick Vieira, Richard Dunne and Duncan Ferguson share which Premier league record?
4. Which Ballon d’Or winning player had a galaxy named after him in 2015?
5. Which former Tottenham Hotspur manager has competed in the Dakar Rally?
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
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I thought that as the 2020 Olympic Games have finally begun, it would be nice to view a video for Scotland’s last Olympic Games bid which showcased not a city, not even a town, in fact, it was more like a village. Its name? Stoney Bridge.
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.