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
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…
Have you tried to see a GP lately? That’s general practioner, as in doctor, not grand prix, as in a procession of cars going very fast. Not easy is it?
Yesterday, I managed to drop an enormous weight on my big toe. [Ouch! - Ed.] Not just ouch; squelch as well. Blood everywhere. Mrs G put a dressing on it and I thought that was all that was needed. However, when I removed my shoe in the evening, I realised that a dressing hadn't been all that was needed. My sock was saturated and the inside of the footwear in question now had a new colour inside it: crimson.
Here's a thing; why does red have so many variants? From pink through to maroon. Every other colour is basically lighter and darker versions of the same name... blue is always blue with an adjective before it. The same goes for green and yellow. What's so special about red, that's what I want to know.
Where was I? Oh yes, my blood soaked sock and shoe. Mrs G put a new dressing on the still-bleeding toe with a polythene bag over it and I retired to bed.
The next morning I expected all to be tickety boo. Sadly, it was neither tickety nor boo. As soon as I put weight on my foot, the bleeding bleeding well started again.
Obviously, something had to be done. Get an appointment with my GP? Fat chance. The last time I tried to get an appointment, I rang the number over 100 times before getting connected to an answering machine followed by the usual Vivaldi's Four Seasons. [Was he before or after Frankie Valli? - Ed.] Ahem... When I did eventually get to speak to a real live person, the doctor's receptionist, that ogre who was obviously a Stasi police officer in a previous life, I had to reel off all my symptoms before being told that I could only have a telephone appointment... a fortnight on Thursday.
No, trying to see a GP was not worth the hassle, so I decided to take myself off to the nearest Accident and Emergency department.
I'm guessing from the number of people there, that everyone was having the same experience with getting an appointment with their doctor... The place was heaving. Two metre distancing rule? Forget it. There wasn't the space in the waiting room to allow it. Thankfully, everyone was wearing a mask so I didn't panic too much.
After spending about 40 minutes waiting, my name was called. Yay! No not yay, I saw a nurse who checked my details, removed the makeshift dressing protecting my toe and sent me back into the waiting area.
Three hours later, I was called in to the 'minor injuries' area and led to a cubicle and told that someone would be with me in a minute.
An hour later, a nurse came to see me and my toe. After a sharp intake of breath, she said that I needed an x-ray.
Off I toddled to the x-ray department, where I had to wait yet again.
On returning to the minor injuries department, I was sent back to my little cubicle and told by the nurse that she would be with me in a minute. By now I was getting pretty cheesed off. I had to say something, ‘Oh really? And what clock is it you are working from? A decimal one that has ten hours instead of 24 per day and only ten minutes per hour instead of sixty, so that every minute actually lasts about 20?’
Actually, that's what I wanted to say, but I just said okay and waited. Guess what... she was back in just about a non-decimal minute. She had been away merely to check my x-ray results. After a few minutes, my toe (not broken, thankfully) was dressed and I was back in the outside world, blinking at the bright light in the sky. As Mel Gibson would say 'Freedom!'... in an American/Australian accent. I could head home after how long? From arriving at the A&E department to leaving? 6 hours.
Now, I'm not one to criticise the NHS, it has done much to help me during my life, and I am no expert, but surely its resources could be better utilised.
What a waste of time... theirs as well as mine... I could have been doing something useful like writing an article for this week's edition of your favourite ill-informed blog. As it is, I haven't got a clue for a topic this week... hang on a minute.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 31st of July? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Sydney Tafler 1916 - Actor. Joe Green in Alexander the Greatest. Him.
Percy Herbert 1920 - Actor. McGregor in Cimarron Strip. Him.
Roy Walker 1940 - Comedian.
Daniel Boone 1942 - Singer. Here’s his hit, Beautiful Sunday. That is one weird video.
Jonathan Dimbleby 1944 - TV and radio presenter.
Geraldine Chaplin 1944 - Actress. Played Wallis Simpson in The Crown. 162 Credits on IMDb, ranging from 1952 to date; nigh on 70 years.
Allan ‘Sniffer’ Clark 1946 - Footy bloke. Not sure what sniffing he indulged in.
Richard Griffiths 1947 - Actor. Henry Crabbe in Pie in the Sky. Him.
Karl Green 1947 - A Hermit. Here’s a clip, No Milk Today. Karl’s the guitarist on the left.
Susan Wooldridge 1950 - Actress. Jeanetta Scarry in All Quiet on the Preston Front. Her.
Mark Arden 1956 - Comedian.
Daniel Ash 1957 - Musician. Here he is in his post-Bauhaus band, Love and Rockets with So Alive.
Sue Jenkins 1958 - Actress. Gloria Todd in Coronation Street and later Jackie Corkhill in Brookside.
Andrew Marr 1959 - TV presenter.
Kim Newman 1959 - Orfer.
Pete Tong 1960 - DJ and rhyming slang.
Malcolm Ross 1960 - Geetarist. Here is his first band Josef K with Heaven Sent.
Jackie Bird 1962 - TV news presenter. Not a real bird.
John ‘Fuzz’ Townshend 1964 - Motoring journalist and TV presenter. Also, in a previous life, a drummer for, among others, Pop Will Eat Itself and Bentley Rhythm Ace. He even had a solo hit... if number 51 in the charts counts as a hit... with Hello Darlin'.
J.K. Rowling 1965 - Orfer. Wrote them there Harry Potter things. You know, things like Harry Potter and his chamber pot... or something.
Rob McKinnon 1966 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Derek Ferguson 1967 - Fitba guy.
Ben Chaplin 1970 - Actor. Duncan Allen in Press. Him.
Eve Best 1971 - Actress. Wallis Simpson in The King’s Speech. That was her.
Daniel Evans 1973 - Actor. Cliff in Look Back in Anger. Him.
Emilia Fox 1974 - Actress. Dr. Nikki Alexander in Silent Witness. Her. Not a real fox.
Will Champion 1978 - Drummy bloke with Coldplay. Here’s a jolly toon, Higher Power.
Titus Bramble 1981 - Footy bloke.
Karen Hassan 1981 - Actress. Lynsey Nolan in Hollyoaks. Her.
George Rainsford 1982 - Actor. Ethan Hardy in Casualty. Him.
Raymond Pickard 1982 - Spiller in The Borrowers. Him.
Rebecca Atkinson 1983 - Actress. Karen Maguire in Shameless. Her.
Charlie Clemmow 1986 - Actress. Imogen Hollins in Doctors. Her.
And what about the 7th of August?
Kenneth Kendall 1924 - Newsreader
Dudley Foster 1924 - Actor. Inspector Hook in It’s Murder But Is It Art. Him.
Jack Good 1931 - TV producer of music programmes such as Six-Five Special and Oh Boy!. Ask your grandad.
Edward Hardwicke 1932 - Actor. Arthur in My Old Man where he played the son-in-law of Clive Dunn’s character Sam Cobbett. My Old Man was developed from a Ronnie Barker series called 7 of 1 which also included pilot shows for Porridge and Open All Hours. Barker’s loss was our... loss as well.
Sue Lloyd 1939 - Model and actress. Cordelia Winfield in The Baron. Her. Ask your dad.
Duggie Brown 1940 - Comedian.
Kenny Ireland 1945 - Actor and theatre director. Arthur Nubble in Paradise Postponed. Ask your mum.
Nick Ross 1947 - TV presenter. Don’t have nightmares... Name that programme.
Matthew Parris 1949 - Journalist.
Pete Way 1951 - Bassist. [Who for? - Ed.] UFO. [I only asked. - Ed.] Here’s Doctor Doctor.
Suzanne Bertish 1951 - Actress. Frieda Gottlieb in Shine on Harvey Moon. Ask your granny.
Alexei Sayle 1952 - Comedian. He had a hit record, you know. Here’s 'Ullo John Gotta New Motor.
Lesley Nicol 1953 - Actress. Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey. Her.
Colin Blumenau 1956 - Actor. Taffy Edwards in The Bill. Him.
Julian Wadham 1958 - Solomon Langfeld in The Singapore Grip. Him.
Bruce Dickinson 1958 - Airline pilot who also happens to be frontman with Iron Maiden. Here’s Can I Play With Madness. [Oh yes that's great fun. I often played with them as a kid... Oh, madness. I thought he said magnets. - Ed.]
Walter Swinburn 1961 - Horse racey bloke.
Brian Conley 1961 - Comedian.
Julia Forde 1963 - Director/actress. Jenny Weatherill in Happy Valley. Her.
Ian Dench 1964 - Musician. He wrote and performed on this, Unbelievable.
Shobna Gulati 1966 - Actress. Anita in Dinnerladies. Her.
Cathy Murphy 1967 - Actress. Julie Perkins in Eastenders. Her.
Paul Lambert 1969 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.
Jo-Anne Knowles 1969 - Actress. Janis Steele in Mile High. Her.
Melanie Sykes 1970 - TV presenter.
Dominic Cork 1971 - Crickety bloke.
Tina O’Brien 1983 - Actress. Sarah Platt in Coronation Street. Her.
Darren McGregor 1985 - Fitba guy.
Helen Flanagan 1990 - Actress. Rosie Webster in Coronation Street. Her.
Matty Cash 1997 - Footy bloke.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Will Gramblion,
It was nice to hear Coldplay’s latest hit. We are both big fans and were wondering if you could answer a question for us. What was Coldplay’s first single to reach number one?
Yours in anticipation,
What happened with the gee gees last time we had a gramble?
Horse - Meeting - Time - Odds
Mohaafeth - York - 3.15 - 11/10 THIRD
Wahraan - Newmarket - 3.40 - 5/4 WINNER
Liquid Luck - Gowran Park - 4.35 - 2/1 NON RUNNER
American Star - Salisbury - 6.35 - 11/10 WINNER
Nine Tales - Salisbury - 7.05 - 4/6 WINNER
Ooh, three out of five. Well, three out of four, really. How much dosh did we get back? £4.40. Woo hoo! We won two quids!
What will The Grambler predict for us this week? Hey, guess what. We’re back to footy. Yay!
Game - Result - Odds
Sheffield Utd v Birmingham - Home win - 3/4
Stoke v Reading - Home win - 21/20
QPR v Millwall - Home win - 21/20
Blackburn v Swansea - Home win - 11/10
Luton v Peterborough - Home win - 11/10
Well, the bets are placed. Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping
Too whopping by a mile, that is.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
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.
Answer - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
2. Which Belgian player has made the most Premier League appearances?
Answer - Vincent Kompany
3. Patrick Vieira, Richard Dunne and Duncan Ferguson share which Premier league record?
Answer - They have all been red-carded the most times (8)
4. Which Ballon d’Or winning player had a galaxy named after him in 2015?
Answer - Cristiano Ronaldo - Galaxy Cosmos Redshift 7 (CR7)
5. Which former Tottenham Hotspur manager has competed in the Dakar Rally?
Answer - Andre Villas-Boas
Would you like a few to test you this week? Of course you would.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1954 in Plymouth. I began my senior career at Birmingham City, making 280 first team appearances and scoring 118 goals. In 1979 my name entered the history books when I signed with Nottingham Forest for a transfer fee of over £1 million, making me the first player to transfer between English clubs for a seven figure sum.
2. On a similar topic, who has just become the first player to transfer between English clubs for a nine figure sum? [That’s inflation for you. - Ed.]
3. FC Cologne have which animal on their club crest?
4. Hungary and which other country has won three Men’s Olympic Football Gold Medals?
5. Who has scored the most Premier League goals for Manchester United?
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 am indebted to birthday celebrant Mr M. Arden. Mark Arden and Stephen Frost were a comedy duo you may or may not remember. They appeared on all sorts of ‘alternative’ comedy shows such as The Comic Strip Presents, The Young Ones and Blackadder II. They even had their own show, a cop show parody called Lazarus and Dingwall in 1991. However, the pair are perhaps better remembered for the Carling Black Label beer adverts from the 1980s. There is one which seems to stick in most people’s memories, this spoof of the Dambusters.
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.