Saturday, 27 May 2017

Week 41 - The Grambler with a bit of Michael Jackson


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

 

You may have heard the phrase supply and demand. It basically means that if there is a demand for a product or service, somebody, somewhere will supply it. It also seems to mean that, the greater the demand, the higher the price that can be extorted, sorry, charged. Think holidays, for example. Book a holiday for, say, June (that's the month, by the way. I am not suggesting that you should pay the holiday costs of somebody called June.) and the price would be a reasonable one. Not too many people want to go away in June, it would seem. Book the same holiday for a date in July and it is a different story. That's school holiday time, so lots of people want to take their holiday then. It ought to make no difference to the cost. After all, you would be getting the exact same deal. However, because that is when so many people have to take their hols, the travel agents/airlines/hotels bump up their prices. If other businesses behaved in such a way, it would be deemed illegal. You can't go charging exorbitant prices just because something is in demand.

‘Can I have a Mars Bar, please?’

‘There you are; £3.70.’

‘£3.70? For a Mars Bar? They’re usually about 70 pee.’

‘Ah, but there’s been more demand for them today.’

I think you will agree with me that such a notion would be nonsensical, so why should other industries operate in such an unethical manner?

It is absolutely shocking that anyone involved in the tourist industry is allowed to screw the paying public in this way, but it happens. All the time.

Why am I telling you this? I have heard a tale of another industry that charges way above the going rate simply because they can get away with it. It is an industry I (g)rambled about on Week 26 - Happy grambleday Alice Cooper http://www.thegrambler.com/2017/02/week-26-happy-grambleday-alice-cooper.html . Good old insurance companies.

A famous footballer ­ who shall remain nameless ­ was due to renew his car insurance. He filled out all the necessary paperwork and put as his occupation 'professional footballer'. Okay so far? Back came a quotation for £2500. A bit steep, you are probably thinking. It did, however, provide cover for three vehicles. He decided to go with it anyway. Before he could actually make the payment, somebody from the insurance company phoned him to say that they had googled his name and found out that he was a 'high profile' player. What difference does that make, he enquired. According to the insurance company spokesperson, it meant that they would have to adjust his premium accordingly. How much were they going to charge, you are, no doubt, eagerly asking. Are you ready for this? £8400. What! That, to me, is just extortion. How can a company more than triple the first premium simply because a player is famous. Not all players are nutters, but to this insurance company, they obviously are. They also seem to think that they are all rich nutters.

I will end this rant with a story from way back. A guy needed to get a new door for his Transit van, so went to a scrap yard.

'How much is a door for a Transit?'

'Eighty quid.'

'The scrappy down the road only charges forty.'

'Well, why didn't you get one there?'

'They hadn't got any in stock.'

'Ours are forty quid when we haven't got any in stock.'

As I said, supply and demand.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Well, East Kilbride came within a whisker, well a couple of penalties actually, of gaining promotion to the Scottish big boys’ league. Unfortunately, although they scored an away goal, they don’t count double as they would in other competitions, so the match went to extra time and then penalties which, sadly, went Cowdenbeath’s way.

East Kilbride Thistle, the town’s other footy team (founded a little earlier - 1968) were also in the news. They gained promotion from the snappily titled West of Scotland Central District Second Division to the West blah blah First Division. Well done to the Jags. [Oh what an original nickname. - Ed.]

 
.....oooOooo.....


Were any famous or notorious people born on the 27th of May? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. James ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok 1837 (Drover, wagon master, soldier, spy, scout, lawman, gunfighter, gambler, showman, and actor. Hmm. Seemed to have a restless nature.), Arnold Bennett 1867 (Playwright famous for... erm... an omelette?), Dashiell Hammett 1894 (Creator of Sam Spade and Nick Charles.), John Cockroft 1897 (Nuclear physicist. Switched on a reactor about 200 metres from where I live. Seriously. B******!), Hubert Humphrey 1911 (American presidential candidate who lost to Richard Nixon. Imagine that. Americans voting a crook into the White House. Whatever next?), Vincent Price 1911 (Ectaw in horror films. Here’s an interesting little clip.), Sam Snead 1912 (Golfy bloke.), Harry Webster 1917 (Car engineer. Gave us many Triumphs - Herald, Spitfire and Stag - and a few disasters - Morris Marina.), Bob Godfrey 1920 (Animator.), Christopher Lee 1922 (Ectaw in horror films.... hang on.), Henry Kissinger 1923 (Template for Dr. Strangelove.), Don Williams 1939 (Murcan curntry singer. Want to hear his biggest hit? In Britain, anyway... I Recall a Gypsy Woman.), Cilla Black 1943 (Not-that-good-a-singer who had a lorra lorra luck. Want a clip? No, didn’t think you would. Oh, go on then. Here’s her very first record, a Lennon and McCartney composition entitled Love of the Loved.), Marty Kristian 1947 (A New Seeker. Clip? Go on then. Apparently Mr Kristian - real name Martins Vanags - took lead local on this one Come Softly to Me.), John Conteh 1951 (Boxy bloke.), Neil Finn 1958 (Split Enz or Crowded House? Hmm... Split Enz I think.), Pat Cash 1965 (Strine tinnis blark.), Heston Blumenthal 1966 (Chef/engineer. Eh? Well, you can’t call what he does cooking.), Paul Gascoigne 1967 (Lovable loony.), Rebekah Brooks 1968 (Journalist. Obviously, the basis for the Merida character in Brave.)
 
 
Dead ringers?  Rebekah is on the right.  No left.  No ri...
 

Lee Sharpe 1971 (Footy bloke.), Andre Benjamin 1975 (Who? Oh, Andre 3000. Him off of Outkast. Another clip vicar?  Here is the wonderful Hey Ya. ) and Jamie Oliver 1975 (Chef and Roy Hattersley impressionist.).

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Well, not too badly. Only three horses of the five selected actually won, but that still gave us a useful return of £4.45. Do you really want to know which horses won? Okay. If you insist...

 

Newbury - 2.55 - Mucho Applause - 7-2 - Second - Ooh! Close!

Bangor - 3.05 - Too Many Diamonds - 4/6 - Won - Yay!

Thirsk - 3.20 - Edward Lewis - 5-4 - Fourth - Boo!

Newbury - 3.30 - Ribchester - 6-4 - Won - Yay!

Thirsk - 3.55 - Naggers - 9-4 - Won - Yay!

Not too bad a start to The Grambler’s nag betting. Can he/she/it repeat or better that performance this week? [Doubt it. - Ed.]

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Haydock - 5.40 - Chessman - 5/6

Ffos Las - 6.00 - Delface - 11/8

Salisbury - 7.45 - Pow Wow - 5/2

Salisbury - 8.15 - Gunmaker - 11/4

Ffos Las - 8.30 - Get Home Now - 10/3

 

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...

£76.60

Crikey, that’s even more whopping than last week. I shall repeat what I said then... Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which club has the unwanted distinction of scoring the fewest goals in a Premier League season. The answer is Derby County who, in season 2007-08 scored just 20 goals. They also accumulated fewer points than any other side before or since: eleven. A final unwanted claim to fame is that they also won fewer games than any other team before or since: one.

One for this week? As it is FA Cup Final day, let’s have a teaser related to that competition. What ‘first’ was achieved at the 1901 cup final between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United?

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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


…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr R. Godfrey. He was a British animator/director and had a particular style of creating cartoons. He gave us Roobarb, Noah and Nelly, Henry’s Cat and that annoying ad for Trio chocolate biscuits; the one sung to the tune of the Banana Boat Song. All were famous for his ‘wobbly’ technique. If you want to see any of those, they are all easily found on line, so, The Grambler being The Grambler and tending to do things a little differently, here is a little film he directed... Know Your Europeans.

 

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

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Week 40 - Happy grambleday to Cher


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.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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!

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

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.).
 
 
Chair

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

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

Boo!

 

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

Boo!

 

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...

£42.99

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!!!

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

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?

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

Happy grambling.

 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Week 39 - Happy grambleday to George Clooney


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

 

I use Twitter occasionally and think, this is a bit random isn't it. People write (in less than 140 characters) any old drivel. I use it to advertise The Grambler [Any old drivel, as you say. - Ed.]. Really it would be far more sensible to have several social media services each of which addressed a more specific topic...

Ladies, do you enjoy making woollen garments but don't know how to get in touch with others who enjoy the same hobby? Then head to Knitter where you can talk all about your latest knitted garments... in 140 stitches or less.

Budding comedians, have you ever wondered how you can get in touch with others in the same position? Wonder no more; just head straight to Titter where you can try out all your latest jokes... in 140 giggles or less. Of course, Titter might be confused with a similar titled social media site which refers to something else entirely; something which you might feel embarrassed to be looking at. I know I would be embarrassed if I was caught looking at pictures of small finch-like birds in public.

Eaters of a particular form of unhealthy food, have you ever wondered how to share your ideas for deep fried battered vegetables, spam and mars bars? No problem. Fritter is there just for you and like minded lardies to talk about all your recipes and clogged arteries... in 140 calories or less.

Council workers who are employed during the winter to clear ice from the roads, have you ever wanted to have a good old moan to others doing the same job for other councils? Then head to Gritter where you can complain away by sending them messages, or 'greets' as they are known in Gritter speak.

Talking of winter, that's when the weather is at its coldest and we in Britain just love to grumble about how perishing it is. Well, specially for us Brits there is the perfect social media site known as Bitter. Of course, it might get confused with similar named sites aimed at beer drinkers and polite Germans, not to mention a certain group of people who like the colour orange and have a penchant for wearing bowler hats and listening to flute music.

Finally, let's hear it for the media site which could be aimed at this very blog. Yes, another topic Brits love to discuss is toilet habits, so what better place to discuss everything related to bowel movements than the aptly named Sh*tter?

.....oooOooo.....

 

Manchester United players have been banned from posting on social media from inside the changing rooms after Ander Herrera posted a video of him pretending to throw birthday cake into Juan Mata's face. Watch the 'incident' by clicking here. I’m sorry, but I can’t see any problem other than it being a rather silly bit of footage. Or is Man U embarrassed about how untidy the dressing room is? Honestly, socks, boots and shorts just lying around; absolutely shocking.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 6th of May? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Maximilien Robespiere 1758 (L’incorruptible.), Sigmund Freud 1856 (Drug using misogynist polyglot with an oral fixation), Robert Peary 1856 (Arctic explorer who explored some regions he shouldn’t have, managing to father two sons on his expeditions even though he had a wife and daughter back home), Rudolph Valentino 1895 (The original screen idol), Stewart Granger 1913 (Ectaw. His real name was James Stewart), Orson Wells 1915 (Actor, director, writer and producer who produced his best work before the age of 30. Later advertised sherry.), Bob Seger 1945 (Musician famous for his Silver Bullet Band. This week’s only musical link coming up. Here’s We've Got Tonight... apologies for the video quality), Tony Blair 1953 (Not a war-mongering megalomaniac), Graham Souness 1953 (Footy bloke.), George Clooney 1961 (Actor. Played Batman, you know.), Tom Hunter 1961 (Wealthy bloke) and Dani Alves 1983 (Footy bloke.).

 
.....oooOooo.....
 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Well, we did win some money; however, I should apologise for not checking that all the matches selected by The Grambler would be played on Saturday the 29th of April. I can only assume that he/she/it had the computery equivalent of a brainstorm. Anyway, we won the grand total of £3.92; a profit of £1.72. Not too bad. What happened? Read on...

 

Oxford Utd vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win

Result - Oxford 2 Shrewsbury 0

Yay!

Two goals in a minute early in the game put the U's in charge.

Centre-half Curtis Nelson ran through on goal from Rob Hall's backheel to hammer past goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler in the 16th minute to open the scoring.

And in the home team's next attack, Hall turned in Chris Maguire's cross from the left to make it 2-0.

 

Southend vs Bury - Prediction Home win

Result - Southend 1 Bury 0

Yay!

The hosts made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute when Jason Demetriou's right-wing cross was tamely headed out by Leon Barnett, enabling Stephen McLaughlin to drill a right-footed half-volley into the right-hand side of the net.

 

Cheltenham vs Hartlepool - Prediction Home win

Result - Cheltenham 1 Hartlepool 0

Yay!

The decisive goal came after 17 minutes when Harry Pell's cross was headed home by Danny Wright from six yards.

Scott Brown touched a header from Lewis Hawkins over the crossbar a minute later as Hartlepool responded well.

A poor backpass from Carl Winchester presented Padraig Amond with a good chance to level, but Brown blocked well to ensure his side led at the break.

Pell nodded a cross into the path of Wright, but he shot wide, and Hartlepool had appeals for a penalty turned down before Amond's cross was cleared at the far post by Liam Davis as Cheltenham were forced to defend.

Brown was called on again to deny substitute Connor Simpson late on as Cheltenham held on.

 

Doncaster vs Exeter - Prediction Home win

Result - Doncaster 1 Exeter 3

Boo!

Jordan Moore-Taylor smashed in a 30-yard thunderbolt after 16 minutes, but Rovers were level in 26th minute when James Coppinger finished well from a tight angle.

The Dons endured a frustrating second half attempting to break Exeter down, and the visitors regained the lead just after the hour.

They were awarded a penalty when Joe Wright handled on the line, and although Ryan Harley saw his spot-kick saved by Ian Lawlor, David Wheeler drilled in the rebound.

The win was sealed late on when Ollie Watkins squared for substitute Liam McAlinden to score.

 

Plymouth vs Crewe - Prediction Home win

Result - Plymouth 2 Crewe 1

Yay!

James Jones volleyed in front from 20 yards to put Crewe ahead when Argyle failed to clear George Cooper's corner.

Luke McCormick then made a brilliant save to deny Cooper as the visitors pressed.

Crewe goalkeeper Ben Garratt made a superb save to deny Blissett, and force a corner, but from the set-piece Argyle levelled when target man Ryan Taylor spun to redirect David Fox's shot into the far corner.

Nate Blissett, who came on as a second-half replacement for Jake Jervis, powered home a header from Graham Carey's cross from the left to cap an incredible five-minute turnaround.

 

Not too bad a result for The Grambler. The reason for the games being played at different times can be blamed on the fact that the end of the season is fast approaching and this week’s predictions could also be for games that are on at different times as English Championship games all take place at midday on Saturday the 6th of May and Division Two games all take place at 5.30. This is all down to the fact that these are the last matches for both divisions other than promotion playoffs. Indeed Division One games are now complete and only the playoffs take place this Saturday.

I think we must give The Grambler all times to select from this week, if that’s okay with you readers. [What, both of them? - Ed.]

Game - Time - Result - Odds

Wigan vs Leeds - 12.00 - Prediction Away win - 6/5

Aston Villa vs Brighton - 12.00 - Prediction Away win - 11/10

Brentford vs Blackburn - 12.00 - Prediction Away win - 8/5

Crawley vs Mansfield - 17.30 - Prediction Away win - 5/6

Stevenage vs Accrington - 17.30 - Prediction Home win - 3/4

 

All matches kick off at the times shown on Saturday the 6th of May. 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...

£16.44

That really is whopping. If it wins, I’ll eat my hat... I wonder where I can purchase an edible hat; just in case.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who the 1982 gates at Anfield were named after. I am sure you all knew that they were named in honour of one of the club’s greatest managers, Bill Shankly.

One for this week? Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion have won promotion to the Premiershit. Brighton has been in the top flight once before, so this week’s teaser is, who was the manager when they were promoted on that occasion?

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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


…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr W. Shankly, the answer to last week’s teaser, for this week’s concluding section. Shankly was a great football manager who gave us some wonderful quotes to remember him by. Here are a few belters to end this week’s edition.

‘A football team is like a piano. You need eight men to carry it and three who can play the damn thing.’

‘Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.’

‘The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they don’t know the game.’

‘If you’ve got three Scots in your side, you’ve got a chance of winning something. If you’ve got any more, you’re in trouble.’

‘If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.’

‘At a football club, there’s a holy trinity: the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.’

‘Pressure is working down the pit. Pressure is having no work at all. Pressure is trying to escape relegation on 50 shillings a week. Pressure is not the European Cup or the Championship or the Cup Final. That’s the reward.’

‘I want to build a team that’s invincible, so that they have to send a team from bloody Mars to beat us.’

‘This is to remind our lads who they’re playing for, and to remind the opposition who they’re playing against.’ (About the “This is Anfield” plaque.)

‘Bob [Paisley] and I never had any rows. We didn’t have any time for that. We had to plan where we were going to keep all the cups we won.’

‘A lot of football success is in the mind. You must believe you are the best and then make sure that you are. In my time at Anfield we always said we had the best two teams on Merseyside, Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.

‘If you can’t make decisions in life, you’re a bloody menace. You’d be better becoming an MP!’

‘For a player to be good enough to play for Liverpool, he must be prepared to run through a brick wall for me then come out fighting on the other side.

‘Yes Roger Hunt misses a few, but he gets in the right place to miss them.’

‘Tommy Smith wasn’t born, he was quarried.’

‘He’s not just the best centre-forward in the British Isles, but the only one.’ (On Ian St. John.)

‘If you’re not sure what to do with the ball, just pop it in the net and we’ll discuss your options afterwards.’

‘Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.’

‘Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present. It was her birthday. Would I have got married in the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.

‘Forget the Beatles and all the rest. This is the real Liverpool sound. It’s real singing, and it’s what the Kop is all about.’

‘Although I’m a Scot, I’d be proud to be called a Scouser.’

‘I was only in the game for the love of football – and I wanted to bring back happiness to the people of Liverpool.’

‘But that’s where I live!’ (To a Brussels hotel clerk who said Shankly couldn’t just put ‘Anfield’ as his address.)

‘It was the most difficult thing in the world, when I went to tell the chairman. It was like walking to the electric chair. That’s the way it felt.’ (On resigning in 1974.)

He occasionally took a pop at Liverpool’s local rivals...

‘When I’ve nothing better to do, I look down the league table to see how Everton are getting along.’

‘If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains.’

‘Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands, and cut a hole in the lid.’ (After Liverpool beat Everton in the 1971 FA Cup semi-final)

‘Never mind Alan, at least you’ll be able to play next to a great team.’ (To Alan Ball, who had just signed for Everton)

‘The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers!’

Finally, you may have seen this quote attributed to him...

Football is not about life and death; it’s more important than that.

Actually, what he said was this...

 ‘I’ve seen supporters on Merseyside going to the ground together, one wearing red and white and the other blue and white, which is unusual elsewhere. You get families in Liverpool in which half support Liverpool and the other half Everton. They support rival teams but they have the same temperament and they know each other. They are unique in the sense that their rivalry is so great but there is no real aggro between them. This is quite amazing.

‘I am not saying they love each other. Oh, no. Football is not a matter of life and death … it’s much more important than that. And it’s more important to them than that. But I’ve never seen a fight at a derby game. Shouting and bawling … yes. But they don’t fight each other. And that says a lot for them.’

 
 

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

 

Happy grambling.

 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Week 38 - The Grambler on Gollum, sorry, meant David Moyes


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. Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy

 

I watched a programme on TV recently. [Really? How interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] It was about those little day cruise ships that used to operate on stretches of water such as the Bristol channel or the River Clyde. Very interesting it was, too. [If you say so. Yawn. - Ed.] As every schoolboy knows, the first ever passenger carrying steam ship was the Comet [I didn't know that. - Ed.] which began carrying paying passengers between Greenock and Glasgow. Educational, this is. Any road up, one of the people talking on the programme described the ship as the Concorde of its day. Sorry pardon excuse me? You mean it cost millions to develop, was years behind schedule and when it did finally get built, the cost to use it was prohibitive? So all the other shipbuilders of the day took one look at it and decided to stick with tried and tested sailing ships, but made them bigger to carry more passengers than ever before? Of course the talking head didn't mean that; his comparison was that the Comet and Concorde were examples of the most modern engineering skills available in their day. Unlike Concorde, the Comet was viewed as the way forward and soon dozens of similar vessels were plying the waters of the Clyde and other places. The Concorde was, indeed, the fastest passenger aircraft ever made, but operators could not afford to buy and run it and passengers were not exactly queuing up to pay a couple of grand to fly the Atlantic when a slower aircraft could be used for a tenth of the price. Those airlines that purchased the plane could only ever use it as a 'flag ship' (flag plane?) which would never actually earn money. Thus, the aircraft manufacturers of the time (ie. Boeing) took a different approach and, rather than make passenger aircraft faster, made them bigger, more economical and able to carry more passengers at a fraction of the price of Concorde. It would be a bit like buying a people carrier rather than a Ferrari. So, those Eagle comics of the fifties got it all wrong; planes would not be capable of getting around the world in an hour or so.
It set me thinking. This was an example of the latest technology not succeeding with old technology being preferred. Has such a thing ever happened before? Well, yes it has. Way way back in the nineteenth century, in fact. Maverick engineer Isembard Kingdom Brunel was the man responsible for an example of forward thinking that could have paved the way for a public transport system that would have been the envy of the world. I called him a maverick, because although he was undoubtedly a brilliant engineer, he had little regard for costs involved and most of his work went well over budget because of his attention to detail. Sometimes projects went over budget due of his sheer bloody-mindedness; he had an attitude of always thinking himself right even when he was obviously wrong. His Great Eastern steam ship was built side on to the water it was to be launched into, which caused massive problems for the engineers tasked with this part of the construction process. In the end, the cost of launching the ship was a third of the total build cost.
That isn't the project I wish to discuss, however. In 1838 Brunel's first foray into railway engineering began operations. As always, Brunel eschewed (That's a good word; I must look it up.) current practice and went about things his own way. Up until that time railways had been constructed with a gauge (the distance between the rails) of 4 feet 8 and a half inches. Brunel realised that this was too small and increased the gauge to a whopping 7 feet. His Great Western Railway provided the most comfortable travel of the day. Had the railway been constructed just five years earlier, the wider track might have been the norm throughout the country but, by the time the Great Western was up and running, too many other railways had been constructed with the narrower gauge and so, after an act of parliament of 1846 which standardised all lines, Brunel's line had to be altered to conform. It is a great shame, because railway carriages of the standard maximum width (9 feet 3 inches) would be far more stable with a wider gauge track. Indeed, it would be possible to have carriages as wide as 15 feet and still have a better ride than those currently in use. Double decked trains, anyone? If railways were being built using the construction methods available today, wider, two-level carriages would be quite feasible.
Anyway, where is this all leading us? [Nowhere? - Ed.] There is another example of modern technology being tried and then dropped with old technology continuing to be used regardless. Quilt covers. You what? Yes, quilt covers. It is something that bugs me no end. Whenever I am changing the quilt cover on my bed, in fact. [A bed bug! Ha! - Ed.] What has happened to popper studs? They were great. Pop pop pop, all done. What have we got nowadays? Buttons. Old-fashioned, awkward to fasten buttons. Bring back popper studs, I say.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

You may have heard the expression ‘It is political correctness gone mad’. This week’s news that Sunderland manager and Gollum impersonator David Moyes has been charged over his playful comment threatening to give a female interviewer a slap is very much a case of that. How often have you made such a remark to someone? I’m sure many of you have. You never actually intended doing it; it was probably just said as a joke. Moyes’ comment was no more than that. He would never have struck the woman, but some busybody has put in a complaint and the matter (which should never have been taken seriously) has ended up with him being charged by the Football Association. Ridiculous. Whoever complained deserves a slap.*

*Please be aware that The Grambler has no intention of causing actual bodily harm to anyone. I thought I should make that clear before somebody reports me to the Ill-informed Blog Writers’ Association.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 29th of April? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. William Randolph Hearst 1863 (Scored the winning goal in 1966. [Surely some mistake. - Ed.]), Malcolm Sargent 1895 (Conductor. Damn, I did the bus gag a few weeks ago.), Edward ‘Duke’ Ellington 1899 (Composer, pianist and bandleader. Here’s your first clip of the week. Ellington composed many decent toons, the most famous being Take the A Train so here’s It Don't Mean a Thing.), Fred Zinnemann 1907 (Film Director. He directed a favourite joke of mine. Sorry pardon excuse me? What would be a good name for a pet jackal? Dave. Boom and indeed tish.), Zizi Jeanmaire 1924 (Ballerina. Actually, I only ever knew she existed because of that pretentious song by Peter Sarstedt.), Heinz Wolff 1928 (Churrrman zientist. Remember The Great Egg Race? That was him.), Jeremy Thorpe 1937 (Politician and one time leader of the Liberal Party.), Lonnie Donegan 1931 (The most successful British chart act of the 1950s; I think he deserves a clip. Here’s Battle of New Orleans), Rod McKuen 1933 (Gravel-voiced singer. Here’s one of his most famous toons... Jean.), Willie Nelson 1933 (Gravel-faced singer. Here’s one of his most famous toons... Always On My Mind.), Klaus Voorman 1938 (Bassist. Worked a lot with the Beatles. He also was the producer behind this catchy little toon. All together now... Aha aha aha... ), Jonah Barrington 1941 (Squashy bloke.), Francis Lee 1944 (Footy bloke with a penchant for diving. His nickname was Lee Won Pen. After his footy career he made toilet rolls.), Tommy James 1947 (Singer. With the Shondells, was famous for being a bit of a Mony Mony.), Johnny Miller 1947 (Golfy bloke.), David Icke 1952 (Footy bloke. Now a conspiracy theorist. Sorry, I meant loony.), Jerry Seinfeld 1954 (Comedian... ‘I turned 60 this year and people around that age make a bucket list. I made a bucket list, turned the "b" to an "f" and was done with it.’), Daniel Day-Lewis 1957 (Ectaw dear leddie. Won an oscar for being able to wiggle his toe, or something.), Michelle Pfeiffer 1958 (Half woman. half cat.), Andre Agassi 1970 (Tennisy bloke with a shaving rash in some odd places.) and Uma Thurman 1970 (Actress. Not a patch on Diana Rigg.).

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? We won. No, really we did. The Grambler got every prediction spot on. [I’ll just check if there is a blue moon tonight. - Ed.] So, the winnings this week really were whopping. £10.75. Woo hoo! What happened? Read on...

 

 

Hull vs Watford - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Result - Hull 2 Watford 0

Yay!

Hull endured a nightmare first half with striker Oumar Niasse being shown a controversial straight red for a challenge on M'Baye Niang in the 25th minute.

They also had a decent penalty appeal turned down, but kept their composure in the second half. Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic was central to the win, tipping over from Sebastian Prodl in the first half and then producing a point-blank save to keep out Etienne Capuoe just a minute before Hull took the lead.

The breakthrough came when a quick break ended with Kamil Grosicki crossing for Lazar Markovic to fire in on the rebound after his header came back off the bar.

Sam Clucas made sure of the points with a superb shot from distance, the midfielder controlling 25 yards from goal and firing ferociously beyond the reach of Heurelho Gomes.

 

Chesterfield vs Charlton - Prediction Away win - 17/20

Result - Chesterfield 1 Charlton 2

Yay!

Chesterfield needed a fine save by Thorsten Stuckmann in the 16th minute to keep out a Ricky Holmes free-kick from just outside the box.

Joe Rowley almost gave Chesterfield the lead in the 35th minute but two minutes later, Charlton scored when Jake Forster-Caskey was given too much time to fire a 20-yard shot into the bottom-left corner.

Chesterfield should have equalised in the 47th minute when Kristian Dennis robbed Ezri Konsa but blazed over from 12 yards and Charlton took advantage when Holmes' free-kick was deflected past Stuckmann in the 57th minute.

Reece Mitchell scored in stoppage time for Chesterfield before Forster-Caskey had a penalty saved after he was fouled by Jon Nolan.

 

Port Vale vs Bolton - Prediction Away win

Result - Port Vale 0 Bolton 2

Yay!

The home side had Riginio Cicilia sent off after 33 minutes when he was shown a second yellow card for handball following a foul on Gary Madine eight minutes earlier.

Wanderers took the lead after 66 minutes when David Wheater rose highest to nod in Filipe Morais' free-kick.

In the aftermath, referee Carl Boyeson took the players off the pitch for 10 minutes after clashes broke out between both sets of fans.

Madine then doubled the visitors' advantage, sliding home from Morais' pass in the 80th minute

 

Luton vs Notts County - Prediction Home win

Result - Luton 2 Notts County 1

Yay!

County were ahead in the sixth minute through Elliott Hewitt's finish after the ball broke to him inside the area.

Dan Potts fired into the side-netting, but Luton were level after 16 minutes as Danny Hylton's wonderful 25-yard curler hit the underside of the crossbar and Ollie Palmer headed the rebound beyond Adam Collin.

Jorge Grant flicked a header over, with Pelly Ruddock hammering off target and then making amends on the stroke of half-time, finding the bottom corner from 18 yards.

After the break, Hylton put a great chance wide, while home goalkeeper Stuart Moore made a fine stop to turn over Adam Campbell's effort in the 64th minute.

Hylton was denied by Collin, with Moore turning Mark Yeates' effort away, before Hylton saw red in stoppage time for his second booking.

 

Portsmouth vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win

Result - Portsmouth 2 Cambridge 1

Yay!

A first-half strike from Karl Baker and a superb free-kick from Kai Naismith eased Pompey to victory over a Cambridge side who turned in a lacklustre performance and only had Luke Berry's late free-kick as a consolation.

 

The best result from The Grambler for a long time; can he/she/it do it two week’s on the trot? [No. - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly selected this week.

Game - Result - Odds

Oxford Utd vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Southend vs Bury - Prediction Home win - 8/11

Cheltenham vs Hartlepool - Prediction Home win - Evens

Doncaster vs Exeter - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Plymouth vs Crewe - Prediction Home win - 3/4

All matches kick off at 3pm on Saturday the 29th of April. 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...

£10.70


How whopping is that? Fives pees less whopping than last week.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the Scottish midfielder who nearly emulated his father by playing in the 1998 World Cup finals, but didn’t because he remained an unused squad member. The answer was Scott Gemmell whose father, Archie, scored this goal in the World Cup finals against Holland in 1978 as featured in the film Trainspotting.

One for this week? How well do you know your football grounds? Most clubs have a stand or two named after famous people associated with the club and Liverpool are no exception. In 1982 new gates were erected at Anfield; whose name do they bear? Quite an easy one methinks.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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



…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr P. Cook for this week’s final clip. One of the names in our birthday listings was a Mr J. Thorpe, a politician whose career was ended rather abruptly thanks to a high-profile court case. Here, Judge Peter Cook gives his summing up. .

 
 


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

 

Happy grambling.