Sunday, 13 January 2019

Week 21 - The Grambler has a haircut


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've just been for a haircut [Really? How interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] Just a number two at the back and a little off the top. Ooh, and a trim of the eyebrows. And the ears got a burning bit of cotton wool swung at them. [Is this relevant? - Ed.] Relevant? Not really, but you will realise from the brief description that this was a Turkish barber I was visiting. Not in Turkey, you understand, but here in polomint city.

There seems to have been quite a proliferation (That’s a good word. Wonder what it means.) of Turkish barbers setting up business in the town and it started me wondering... Is this a way round immigration restrictions?

Racist? Me? Never. Mind you, the wee barber I go to... That's the premises, not the guy who cuts the hair... did raise some suspicions.

When I first went, there was a talkative guy ran the one man operation. Blimey, he could rabbit. A haircut should have lasted less than ten minutes; with him, you could bet on it lasting twice that. I learnt all about his family and how his brother owned another barber shop in another part of the town. I also learned that he was something of a racist which struck me as odd considering his background.

Any road up, after a while, another, younger, Turkish guy took over. In his not very fluent English, he told me he was working for his 'uncle'.

The next time I went, another young Turkish guy was running the shop. He said, in broken English, that he was the other guy's 'cousin'.

That was when I began wondering about the immigration thing. Was this shop just a front to get so called family members into the country?

The next time I went, nephew number one was back in charge and I discovered that he and his cousin were sharing the shop, one working three days, the other working four.

So my immigration theory was wrong, I'm pleased to say. Since that time I have made a couple of visits and he manages to get some information across as his English improves. I know which football team he likes... Borussia Dortmund in case you were interested. I know that he goes to college on a Monday to improve his English.

Anyway, on this most recent visit he asked me how I had enjoyed the holiday (Christmas). I told him that it had been quite boisterous with our grandchildren aged five, seven and nine. I realised then that, although he was able to ask a question, he wasn't quite able to grasp the answer because, after thinking for a minute, he asked if they were all the same age.

I then tried to explain that they had all had chicken pox over the holiday. That was perhaps a step too far. He wanted to know if that was what we had instead of turkey. The more I tried to explain what it was, the less he seemed to understand what I was prattling on about and asked if they liked chicken.

He muttered the words 'chicken pox' a few times as if he was enjoying the sound of the words, then he stopped cutting my hair and picked up his phone to check the internet for chicken pox. I think it made his day when he found out exactly what it was.  He had learned something new.  I reckon the next time he met his English teacher he would be desperate to tell him of his new-found knowledge.

My views on immigration, in typical grambler fashion, tend to be the opposite of those you hear on the news bulletins. What makes somebody want to give up everything to move to another country where they cannot even speak the language? Maybe they live in abject poverty. Perhaps they are living in fear of persecution. Whatever it is, it’s a brave decision to up sticks and head into the unknown the way some people do.

It always strikes me as odd when I hear Brits bleating on about there being too much immigration; Britain was built on immigration... The Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Irish, Indians, West Indians and now eastern Europeans have all arrived down the years as well as people from countless other starting points. Eventually, they all fit in to and shape the culture of their new chosen country.

So all this talk about reducing immigration is just nonsense spouted by hateful jingoistic types who think that any change is a bad thing.

Britain is a melting pot of peoples. Long may it continue.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 12th of January? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Jack London 1876 (The writer, not the boxer. Nor is it anything to do with a short-lived dance style from the nineties popularised by a troupe known as the Reynolds Girls.), Hermann Göring 1893 (... has two, but very small.), Georges Carpentier 1894 (Boxy bloke.), Woodward ‘Tex’ Ritter 1905 (Curntroy n wyusturn sanger n ayuctor. A clip? Here he is with Rye Whiskey.  Think he spent too long in the green room.), Mary Wilson 1916 (Harold’s missus. Lived to be 102.), Tim Horton 1930 (Ice hockey player and businessman. Guess which fast food chain he co-founded.), Des O’Connor 1932 (Comedian and singer. Another clip? Here’s Des doing his best Roger Miller impression.), Michael Aspel 1933 (Newsreader.), Shirley Eaton 1937 (Ectress. Got gold-plated in a 1964 Bond film.), Bob Hewitt 1940 (Sarth Ifrican tennisy blike.), Long John Baldry 1941 (Singer. Here’s his only number 1, Let the Heartaches Begin.), Joe Frazier 1944 (Boxy bloke.), George Duke 1946 (Musician. Have some jazz funk.), Anthony Andrews 1948 (Ectaw.), Brendan Foster 1948 (Geordie sprin’er.), Kirstie Alley 1951 (Actress.), John Walker 1952 (New Zealand runny bloke turned politician.), John Lasseter 1957 (Animator or ‘imagineer.’), Heather Mills 1968 (Ex Mrs Macca.), David Mitchell 1969 (Orfer. Not the comedian bloke.), Melanie Chisholm 1974 (Chanter. Known as Melanie C or Sporty Spice. Here’s a solo hit,  I Turn to You.), Victoria ‘Pixie’ Lott 1991 (Another chanter. Had three number ones. Here’s her last charting song Caravan of Love... it reached number one... hundred and twenty nine.) and Zayn Malik 1993 (Solo singer... then a bit of One Direction... then a solo singer again. His first solo record to chart reached number 1. His last charting single Entertainer reached number nine... ty five.).

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Rumpler,

Thank you for giving us a song from Des O’Connor. He is a very amusing comedian, as we all know, but he was also a talented singer. He had a number one with his song I Pretend, but I believe he had a top ten hit prior to that one. I can’t remember what it was called. Can you assist?

Your servant,

K. R. Le Sands.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? A little better than the previous week. At least we got something back. Okay, it was only 66 pees. Better than a smack in the puss. What happened? Read on...

 

Annan vs Elgin - Prediction Home win

Result - Annan Athletic 2 Elgin City 0

Yay!

Cowdenbeath vs Berwick - Prediction Home win

Result - Cowdenbeath 2 Berwick Rangers 0

Yay!

Edinburgh vs Stirling - Prediction Home win

Result - Edinburgh City 0 Stirling Albion 1

Boo!

Peterhead vs Clyde - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterhead 1 Clyde 2

Boo!

Queen’s Park vs Albion - Prediction Home win

Result - Queen’s Park 2 Albion Rovers 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

 

Hmm... not a great showing from The Grambler. Can he/she/it improve this week? Let’s see this week’s predictions.

Game - Result - Odds

Leicester vs Southampton - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Burton vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 8/11

Portsmouth vs Blackpool - Prediction Home win - 8/13

Exeter vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home win - 17/20

 

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...

 

£10.00

 

Ooh... there’s a nice round figure. Talking of nice round figures...

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what Sutton’s goalkeeping coach, Wayne Shaw, was doing during the cup between Sutton and Arsenal that resulted in him receiving a fine? He ate a pie. Is that all, I hear you ask. Well, no. Here is the Daily Telegraph article on the matter (in full).

Former Sutton United goalkeeper Wayne Shaw has been charged with breaching betting rules after eating a pie live on television.

Shaw, who was forced to resign after being filmed eating what he said was “a pasty” during his side’s FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, faces punishment for intentionally influencing a football betting market, and improper conduct.

He was given until 6pm next Friday to respond to the Football Association charges.

The 45-year-old, dubbed the ‘Roly-poly goalie’, ate the pasty in the dugout towards the end of February’s fifth-round tie after a bookmaker had offered odds of 8/1 on him doing so.

As well as being investigated by the FA, the incident was probed by the Gambling Commission, after Sun Bets claimed to have paid out a “five-figure” sum for a bet placed on their promotion.

Shaw, who returned to the game in May after being appointed as AFC Totton's commercial manager, told the Daily Telegraph he would take “legal advice” before deciding whether to accept or deny the charges.

Insisting he had not “put a bet on” himself eating the pasty, he described the incident as “something I’ve done for a little bit of fun” which had been “taken out of all context”.

“Hopefully, common sense will prevail,” he added, comparing the matter to John Terry’s contrived farewell substitution on the final day of the Premier League season, also under investigation by the FA.

Revealing he had shared his bank and mobile phone records with the governing body, he said: “They were looking to obviously get me on spot-fixing.”

Speaking shortly before his appointment at Totton, Shaw told the BBC he had suffered “depression” as a result of the fallout from the affair.

He said: “My world fell in. I was in tears. I had never been sacked in my life. It’s on my mind every day; it probably will be for a long time.

“I’ve been through depression. I wasn’t sleeping right, I could feel myself getting stressed. And I’ve still got that knot in my stomach.”

He added of his departure from Sutton: "It was a situation where I either resigned or they sacked me.

“No-one asked for my side of the story. The club’s knee-jerk reaction was that they wanted nothing to do with it.

“I haven’t made any money and my friends haven’t made any money. I probably got carried away, after a whole career of having the mickey taking out of me. That was all it was meant to be.”

Guess what they called the whole affair. Yep, you’ve guessed it ‘Pie-gate’. Groan.

Okay, after all that, how about a teaser for this week? Which Englishman has managed Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace and Hull City in the Premier League? Answer next week.
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual, 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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to Messrs W. Cobham and, from the birthday honours, G. Duke for this week’s closing item. It is a long time since we finished with an odd album cover, so let’s remedy that with something truly weird from the two gentlemen mentioned.

 

 
The product of a truly warped imagination.
Don't have nightmares


 

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.

 

Friday, 4 January 2019

Week 20 - The Grambler on... That's never Marilyn Manson!


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

 

Well it's the end of another year and, in spite of Donald, Vladimir and Kim's threats to each other, we are still here.

As always at the end of a year, there are lots of retrospective items in newspapers and on television; cheery things like who has died, either naturally or in natural disasters that have occurred, or thanks to wars.

One more amusing thing that crops up is word of the year. Perhaps a new word has been coined that deserves the accolade.

For some odd reason, the word that has been selected by some know it all types at the Oxford English dictionary is toxic. How excited are you by that one? Not at all, I imagine. Why toxic? It's not a word that has been bandied about too much. The folk from that dictionary obviously think differently. I'm just disappointed that a new word hasn't been selected... remember twerk or selfie?

I would like to nominate not a new word, but an overused one. What should it be, I hear you ask.  Brexit? It's a word that has been used on every news bulletin over the past year and more. Usually, it's closely followed by words such as 'deal', 'negotiations' and 'complete and utter shambles'. The words piss up and brewery come to mind.

Politicians talk of a smooth transition. Oh, aye, sure. They'll be the same ones that think Boris Johnson has one of the sharpest minds in politics and Theresa May is the epitome of elegance.

Any road up, Brexit isn't my overused word of the year... Mind you, it could be used for one hell of a drinking game. Listen to a news bulletin and down a shot every time you hear the word Brexit. You'd be rat-arsed within two minutes.

My overused word? Robust. Sorry pardon excuse me? Robust. Every time a politician talks about any topic, no matter what, you can bet your house that the word robust will crop up... How is the national health service these days? Robust. How is the economy? Robust. Jobs situation? Robust. The housing market? Yeah, we know... Robust.

I don't know who first began the trend or when it started, I just know that I am sick to the third molars of it. I'm guessing that one person composes all the speeches made by every single politician.

Well come on Mr or Mrs scriptwriter, open up a thesaurus when you are putting a speech together. There are other words out there. According to my own thesaurus there are...

Booming, hearty, hefty, potent, powerful, prosperous, sturdy, tough and vigorous.

Plenty in there to choose from. Robust, indeed. It’s time politicians were more in tune with the voters.

There were also some possible, but less specific words in my thesaurus. What about well? Or wicked? If you really want to get down wiv da massive, just combine the two. ‘De conomy is well-wicked, innit.’

Hmm... Perhaps robust isn’t so bad.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 5th of January? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. King Camp Gillette 1855 (The razor blade bloke.), Jane Wyman 1917 (Actress. The first Mrs Reagan.), Sam Phillips 1923 (Founder of Sun Records.), Zulfikar Ali Bhutto 1928 (Politician. President of Pakistan.), Walter Mondale 1928 (Politician. Vice-President of the US of A.), Alfred Brendel 1931 (Ivory tickler.), Robert Duvall 1931 (Actor. Boo Radley, that was him.), Juan Carlos I of Spain 1938 (A king.), Atholl Guy 1940 (A Seeker. Time for a clip?  Here's Georgy Girl.  Atholl’s the Buddy Holly lookalike.), Jan Leeming 1942 (Newsreader.), Diane Keaton 1946 (Actress. Works with Woody Allen a lot.), Chris Stein 1950 (A bit of Blondie. Another clip? Here’s Union City Blue.), Vinnie Jones 1965 (Footy bloke. Famous for his uncompromising approach to tackles.), Brian Warner 1969 (Who? Oh, Marilyn Manson. Want another clip? Tough. We have standards to maintain, you know.), Iwan Thomas 1974 (Sprinty bloke.) and Bradley Cooper 1974 (Actor and film-maker.).

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Groaming,

Thank you for giving us a little song by The Seekers. They were very popular in the 1960s and had six top ten hits. I believe one of them even reached number one, but can’t remember which. Can you help?

Yours curiously,

Dee Carney, Val E. Sover.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Oh dear. Not a brass farthing back. What happened? Read on...

 

Watford vs Newcastle - Prediction Home win

Result - Watford 1 Newcastle 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

The Hornets had dominated possession during the match but found it difficult to create chances against the Magpies, who took the lead when Salomon Rondon nodded in. The Venezuelan striker also had two goals disallowed for offside, although the first decision was marginal.

Watford finally breached Newcastle's last line of defence in the 82nd minute when Abdoulaye Doucoure powered home from Gerard Deulofeu's right-wing cross.

Forward Isaac ‘Not always guaranteed’ Success was impressive in attack for the home side, and went close when his goal-bound shot was brilliantly blocked by Federico Fernandez.

 

Bolton vs Stoke - Prediction Away win

Result - Bolton 0 Stoke 0

Ooh! ’It the bar! Again!

Stoke took the game to their hosts, with Tom Ince and Tom Edwards combining to good effect on the right flank, but they were unable to find a way through.

Ince set up Sam Clucas for a shot that rolled wide, while James McClean fired another chance over the bar.

At the other end, goalkeeper Jack Butland denied Christian Doidge after the Potters defence failed to clear a throw-in and produced another crucial save when Josh Magennis set up Mark Beevers.

Oghenekaro Etebo went close for Stoke, while Tyrese Campbell might have won it in injury time, but his curling drive fizzed wide of Ben Alnwick's goal.

 

Swansea vs Wigan - - Prediction Home win

Result - Swansea 2 Wigan 2

Ooh! ’It the bar! Yet again!

Wigan were in control at the interval thanks to a double from Joe Garner. The striker scored from the penalty spot and headed home from a corner.

However, Swansea responded and scored two goals from corners themselves as Mike van der Hoorn blasted home on 82 minutes after a Dan Burns own goal.

 

Accrington vs Peterborough - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Result - Accrington 0 Peterborough 4

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Ivan Toney opened the scoring after 19 minutes when he headed home Marcus Maddison's free-kick.

Toney made it two after 41 minutes when Louis Reed's ball over the top found the frontman and, with keeper Connor Ripley* rushing out, he had an easy task to fire into the empty net.

It should have been three a minute later in a carbon copy move but this time Ripley got a hand to Toney's goalbound shot and turned it onto the post.

Stanley looked for a breakthrough in the second half with sub Offrande Zanzala forcing Conor O'Malley into a save after 51 minutes.

However, Posh made the game safe in the 67th minute when Maddison's free-kick hit the crossbar and bounced down and Rhys Bennett headed over the line.

Toney completed his hat-trick after 85 minutes as Stanley failed to clear their lines and the striker stooped to head home from close range for his 16th goal of the season.

*Stanley’s keeper Conor Ripley is actually on Middlesbrough’s books but, since joining them in 2011, he has been put out on loan to eight different clubs. Do you think they are trying to tell him something?

 

Sunderland vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win

Result - Sunderland 1 Shrewsbury 1

Ooh! ’It the bar! Yet a-fn-gain!

Shrewsbury took the lead after half an hour when defender Luke Waterfall glanced a header from 12 yards off Greg Docherty's free-kick.

Sunderland pulled a goal back a minute before the break when Josh Maja's downward header from close-range hit the net after Bryan Oviedo's fine run and cross.

Oh dear. Four ‘It the bars’. How unlucky was that? Let’s see if The Grambler can improve on that this week.

The predictions are in and this week’s selections are...

Game - Result - Odds

Annan vs Elgin - Prediction Home win - Evens

Cowdenbeath vs Berwick - Prediction Home win - 13/20

Edinburgh vs Stirling - Prediction Home win - 13/20

Peterhead vs Clyde - Prediction Home win - 7/10

Queen’s Park vs Albion - Prediction Home win - 8/15

 

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...

 

£8.62

 

That is mince. There’s no whoppingness at all there.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which striker scored the first hat-trick of the 2018/19 Premier League season. The answer was Sergio Aguero in the August the 19th game between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town which City won 6 - 1.

One for this week? Here’s an interesting one. Sutton United faced Arsenal in the 5th round of the FA Cup. What was Sutton’s goalkeeping coach, Wayne Shaw, doing during the match that resulted in him receiving a fine? Hmm... Try that one out down the pub before resorting to Googlie.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual, 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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr B. Warner who celebrates his birthday today. Mr Warner is better known by his stage name of Marilyn Manson. He is a singer whose work I have decreed is unsuitable for inclusion in this esteemed blog. I may not be keen on his vocal style, but that doesn’t stop me appreciating his views on himself and on the world today. He actually comes up with some thought provoking ideas; think Bill Hicks without the underlying humour. So let’s finish this week with the thoughts of Mr Manson/Warner.

Music is the strongest form of magic.

If you want to find out who your real friends are, sink the ship. The first ones to jump aren't your friends.

I never said to be like me, I say be yourself and make a difference.

Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised.

We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.

Most of the world's problems could be avoided if people just said what they f*ck*ng meant.

The death of one is a tragedy, but death of a million is just a statistic.

When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.

Relationships never break cleanly. Like a valuable vase, they are smashed and then glued back together, smashed and glued, smashed and glued until the pieces just don't fit together anymore.

All the drugs in the world won't save us from ourselves.

Find what you are afraid of, face it, and then you won't be afraid of it anymore.

We don't like to kill our unborn; we need them to grow up and fight our wars.

Not only are love and hate such closely related emotions, but it's a lot easier to hate someone you've cared about than someone you never have.

Is adult amusement killing our children, or is killing our children amusing adults?

The aspiration to save the world is a morbid phenomenon of today's youth.

If you intend to create something that people will observe and listen to, you've got to listen to them first.

A lot of people don't want to make their own decisions. They're too scared. It's much easier to be told what to do.

This is the culture your raising your kids in, don't be suprised when it blows up in your face.

If every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off of your life, every game of Dungeons & Dragons you play delays the loss of your virginity by seven hours.

People are too lazy and too stupid to think for themselves that we've got sitcoms with canned laughter that lets you know when to laugh if you're too stupid to know when the joke is.

Art is a big question mark.

The imagination is precious. Don't lose it. Don't lose the child in you.

As a performer, I wanted to be the loudest, most persistent alarm clock I could be, because there didn’t seem like any other way to snap society out of its Christianity and media-induced coma.

Morals are worn as a badge to make you look good and it's so much easier to talk about your beliefs than to live up to them.

And lastly, a comment which is almost humorous...

I have mood poisoning. Must be something I hate.

 
Yes, this really is Marilyn Manson


 

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, 29 December 2018

Week 19 - The Grambler congratulates Sir Michael Palin


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

 

 

This week's article may upset a few people... Well, American peopIe. I recently bemoaned the fact that supposedly educated beeb beeb ceeb news correspondents didn't know how to pronounce the word harassment (See Week 5 - The Grambler on Alex Salmond.). Well, I'm on my high horse again...

I am becoming increasingly miffed that Americanisms are creeping into everyday talk here in the old country.

Shoot! Whut you talking bout bro, I hear you ask. Well, here are some examples.

Because so many tv programme providers originate in America, when people refer to a series of programmes, they now seem to say season rather than series. And that bugs me. Why should it, I hear you ask. Simply, I feel that season suggests something that happens year in and year out. Sadly, that is the case with American programming; if a programme is successful, it will be continued until people get fed up with it, whether the quality of the show has been maintained or not. Generally, the quality is no longer there. Basically, an idea is milked dry and then some. Think Last of the Summer Wine here in the UK, a programme which ran well beyond its sell by date. Mind you, it did provide employment for many over the hill comedy actors. Still Open All Hours seems to have taken on that role of late. Any road up, the point is that, in America, it is expected that a programme will return year after year, so the use of the word season is apt. In Britain, there might be three series and no more; how the fu... How can each series be called a season?

Yeah, I know; I'm just a grumpy old git who hates Americanisms.

Movie for film is another that bothers me.

Butt. That's another one I can't stand. It seems to be used an awful lot these days. What's wrong with bum, backside or good old arse? When did this butt nonsense start? At least we haven't started calling it a fanny, as they do over in the good old us of a. I nearly fell off my seat when I first heard someone describe what we would call a bum bag, as a fanny pack.

When you go into a coffee shop to buy a cup of coffee to take away you are no longer expected to use that term; instead, you ask for whatever beverage it is to 'go'. What is wrong with asking for a cup of coffee to take away?

Speaking of go... don't stop me now, I'm on a roll... I hear people talking about the start of something being the 'get go'. To me, that is just meaningless drivel. What is wrong with a proper word... beginning, that makes some sense? Get go? Utter nonsense.

Twenty four seven. That one really annoys me. Surely it's easier to say I'm always available rather that I'm available twenty four seven.

Nine eleven. That's another one that has been used and overused since the attack on the twin tower buildings in new York. It happened on the eleventh of September, not the ninth of November... Honestly, some people!

Elevator for lift is another I've heard. Call me old fashioned [You're old fashioned. - Ed.]... thanks... but I just don't want such words in our language.
Poor grammar seems to feature as well. When I ask someone how they are, I am not wishing to know if they are good. Good at what? The answer required is that they are well or unwell, not good or bad. I am enquiring about your health; I couldn't give a monkey's about your behaviour.

Business people seem to have picked up on Americanisms in a big way. One expression that I have heard reasonably normal people use is touch base. Sorry pardon excuse me? Touch base? Sounds too close to touch cloth for my liking. They will say, 'We'll touch base soon.' What they mean is, we'll meet and talk. Why can't they just say that.

British people calling our currency bucks is another that I can't abide. We use pounds sterling not bucks. And we've got enough decent slang terms of our own without borrowing the slang for dollar. Smacker, nicker, and my own favourite quids are all there without resorting to U.S. terms.

How long have you been reading this? A half hour? I hope not. It's half an hour, all right?

Where do you go for a meal out? Hopefully, you go to a restaurant and not the horrible sounding eaterie.

Here's another one. Issues. Nobody has problems these days; instead, they have issues. I'm sorry, I just don't get that one.

Thankfully, there are some words which haven't crossed the Atlantic yet. Not quite...

Why do Americans say alternate when they clearly mean alternative? To me, alternate is to move back and forth between two things. Alternating current, for example. The clues are there, American people.

And what is expiration all about? It's expiry for crying out loud.

Math for the shortening of mathematics. The s on the end of the word suggests a plural so maths seems eminently preferable. To old grumpy here Anyway.

Pronunciation is also becoming a bit of a peeve of mine. Over here in dear old Blighty we have begun to pronounce words the same way as they do in America...

Schedule is one that annoys me when people pronounce it skedule instead of shedule.

Lieutenant is another that gets on my wick. So many young people pronounce it as loo tenant [Someone who lives in a bathroom? - Ed.] Ahem... instead of the correct leftenant. Although I have no idea why that pronunciation was ever adopted in English in the first place, as the word obviously comes from the French. We don't say lef when we mean lieu, do we?

Talking of French words do you play the old party game of charades? How do you pronounce the word? [You don't pronounce anything; it's a game of mime. -Ed.] Ahem, where was I? Do you pronounce it charades as in shades or as in cards. You see, again, many are adopting the American 'ades' pronunciation.

Debris with the emphasis on the bris rather than the deb is another.

How long till people in Britain start saying leisure as lee instead of le? Talking of faucets instead of taps? Soda instead of fizzy drink? The list would seem to be endless.

So there you have it; a right old belly ache (grumble) from A for automobile (car) to Z for erm... zee (zed).

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 29th of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Charles Goodyear 1800 (The well-known chemist who developed vulcanised rubber.), Andrew Johnson 1808 (The well-known president of the United States of America.), William Gladstone 1809 (The well-known prime minister.), Pablo Casals 1876 (The well-known cellist. Time for our first clip. Have a bit of Bach.), Magnus Pyke 1908 (The well-known scientist known for his eccentricity. Have another clip.  Here he is being blinded by science.), Mary Tyler Moore 1936 (The well-known actress and producer. Married to Dick Van Dyke. [Really? - Ed.] No.), Harvey Smith 1938 (The well-known showjumper.), Jon Voight 1938 (The well-known actor.), Ray Thomas 1941 (The well-known Moody Blue flautist. Time for another clip. Here's a toon about night attire.), Marianne Faithfull 1946 (The well-known singer. Another clip? Why not.  Here are some tears going by. [I don’t know why, but I could go a Mars Bar. - Ed.]), Ted Danson 1947 (The well-known toupee-sporting actor.), Cozy Powell 1947 (The well-known drummy bloke. Have a wee jig with Satan.), Yvonne Elliman 1951 (The well-known singer of this song. If she can't have you, she don't want nobody.  Shocking grammar.), Jim Reid 1961 (The well-known bit of the Jesus and Mary Chain. Another clip? Apparently, they are happy when it rains.), Allan McNish 1969 (The well-known racey car bloke.), Jude Law 1972 (The well-known ectaw.), Kieron Dyer 1978 (The well-known footy bloke.) and Steve Kemp 1978 (The not so well-known drummy bloke from Hard-Fi. Here's Cash Machine.).

 
I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Flambeau,

How nice to hear Yvonne Elliman again. We are three fans who enjoyed her music back in the seventies. We know If I Can’t Have You was her only top ten hit in the UK, but can’t recall what her next best performing song was. Can you help?

Best wishes,

Ike Ontget, U. Outham, I. Mined.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? We got a little money back, though not enough to recoup all our stake money. £2.14 back, so a loss of six pees. I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just move on to this week’s games. What has The Grambler randomly predicted for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Watford vs Newcastle - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Bolton vs Stoke - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Swansea vs Wigan - - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Accrington vs Peterborough - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Sunderland vs Shrewsbury - Prediction Home win - 17/20

 

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...

 

£11.80

 

Ooh... actually more whopping than last week.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which Premiershit club has the smallest capacity at only 11,329. The answer is Bournemouth, or Athletic Football Club Bournemouth to give it its full Sunday name.

One for this week? Which striker scored the first hat-trick of the 2018/19 Premier League season? A secondary question: which club did he score it against? Easy peasy?

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

As usual, 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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I believe congratulations are due to Sir Michael Palin and Dame Twiggy. Well done on living long enough to get a gong. It is only right that we should end with a clip featuring Sir Michael from way, way back. Ladeez and genullum, enjoy The Fish Slapping Dance.

 
Congratulations Dame Twiggy
 

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, 22 December 2018

Week 18 - A Christmas cracker from The Grambler


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

 

And so this is Christmas,

And what have we done?

Another year over,

And a new one just begun...

 

Oh, there’s nothing like an jolly Christmarse song to start off an grarmble. Arnd that was serpently nothing like arn jolly Christmarse song. A dismarlly dull dirge if you arsk me. His calendar’s an bit mixted up as well. New year is the week arfter Christmarse, so it harsn’t begun yet. Mind you, he couldn’t really sing ‘Another year over... next week... arnd an new one will begin... erm... next week.’ That would be darft.

That was an song by that Neil Lennon, bloke. Ooh, I never rated him, me. He wrote some right dispressing songs, he did. That one about the raspberry... no... strawberry picking. Miserarble. And it doesn’t even make sense... the strawberry season only lasts an couple of months... you carn’t pick them forever like what he says. What about the one where he’s an farmer selling his eggs? What’s arn blibbing walrus got to do with the price of fish... they eat fish, though.

How’s it gaun, bud?

Why it’s my old alcoholic acquaintance, Dougie (the local inebriate). How the blibbing flip are you?

Kin brilliant, by the way. Kin mad wi it. Full of kin Christmas spirits, so ahm ur.

You mean Christmarse spirit, surely?

I kin know what I mean. How’s yoursel?

I’m not too bard, tharnk you for arsking... I like the crutch. Very Christmarsy. Nice tinsel. Erm... why does it never touch the ground?

That’s cus it’s a kin special crutch.

What? It hovers?

Naw naw naw. See they wee kin holes fur making it longer or shorter?

Yes... No. No I don’t.

That’s cus they’re no kin there. Ah’ve hud them filled in.

Oh, I see... No, I don’t see. Why?

Kin tube.

There’s no need for larnguage like thart just because I don’t understarnd.

Naw naw naw. It’s a kin tube. And you know what you can put in a tube?

Erm... enlighten me.

Kin voddie, that’s whit.

Oh, I see. No I don’t. What the blibbing flip hars that got to do with it not touching the ground?

See that kin rubber bit at the bottom?

Yarse.

That’s the kin tap.

The bottom is the top?

S’right.

No... You’ve lost me.

See, it’s full of voddie an’ that’s the screw tap. Wouldnae want that getting damaged; I’d lose aw my bevvy. Here, talking of bevvy... Fancy a wee salvy?

Ah... a Savlondor Dalai Lama ... rhyming slarng for drink; I thought you’d never arsk. It is Christmarse, arfter all. (Slurp) Oh, I say, That’s an bit... erm... interarsting.

Kin brilliant, intit?

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that.

Here, huv another wee swally.

Ooh, my word. I’m getting a burning senstation.

Whereaboots?

In my testincoles. Oh, my goodnarse me. Mind you, it’s becoming more palastable, the more I drink. What the flip is it.

It’s a kin cocktail I’ve made up up for Christmas. See aw these kin prosecco cocktails ye get?

Prostecco? Yarse.

Well, me an ma buds cannae afford them, cus of this minimum pricing shite for alcohol. I’m telling ye, it’s kin discrimination, so it is.

Discrimpination? Against who... whom?

Us! Me and ma buds! It’s discriminating against drunken bastards who sit on their arses aw day getting kin blootered!

I suspose you harve an point... an strupid one, but definartely an point.

Onywey, I’m come up wi ma ain kin cocktail fur Christmas. It’s a mixture of Buckfast and cider.

Harve you given it an name?

Oh aye... Buckie’s Fizz. Cheers!

Cheers!

Yes... well. Thank you for that Christmas cheer, Arthur and Dougie.

Before I begin a short (g)ramble, I have to make an apology. Last week’s teaser seemed a good one to me. It must have been, because I used the same question in Week 11 - The Grambler congratulates Rod Stewart.  My only excuse is that it happened over two years ago and the memory isn’t what it once was. [Two excuses, I think you’ll find - Ed.]

Anyway, on with the (g)ramble. It is Christmas, as Arthur and Dougie (the local inebriate) reminded us, and it is a time that many people use to take a holiday abroad. Instead of spending a bit of time celebrating the most significant celebration we have each year, they decide to bog off out of it... miserable cu [Steady on. - Ed.].

Well, the main lunchtime news item of today was that Gatwick airport had been closed since 9 o’clock last night resulting in hundreds of flights having to be cancelled and leaving thousands of people stranded in the airport building.

What was the cause of the closure? Baggage handlers on a go slow? As if. Air crew refusing to fly? I should cocoa. French air traffic controllers on strike? Not this time. No, the reason for the complete shutdown of England’s second busiest airport was that two drones were spotted in the vicinity.

The whole escapade has led to a discussion in the House of Lords, no less, that there should be a strengthening of the sentences meted out to those idiots that choose to fly their clever little toys in airspace around an airport. Currently, there is a drone no fly zone around all airports and if anyone breaches that space they are liable for an unlimited fine or up to five years imprisonment. You would think those laws are already strict enough to dissuade anyone from being stupid enough to break the rule.

My view on the subject, in typical Grambler fashion, is there is a simple solution which nobody has mentioned.

How much do these droney things cost? A thousand? Two thousand? I have no idea, but I imagine they are not cheap, especially if equipped with cameras. My solution? Blast the f*****s out of the sky with a shotgun. Cost? A bung of a few quid to the nearest farmer. Job done.

I would wager that losing their fancy gadget would be enough to stop anyone troubling the airport authorities again.

No no, I don’t ask for reward; just look on it as my Christmas gift to you all.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 22nd of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Giacomo Puccini 1858 (Composer. Have a link. Here’s One Fine Day from Madame Butterfly.), J. Arthur Rank 1888 (Film maker and rhyming slang), Peggy Ashcroft 1907 (Ectress. Worked for Old Vic. I’ve no idea who he is.), Patricia Hayes 1909 (Comedy actress.), Lady Bird Johnson 1912 (Wife of Lyndon B. Not a real ladybird.), Peregrine Worsthorne 1923 (Journalist. Not a real peregrine.), James Burke 1936 (TV presenter of science type programmes. Here is an extract from his Wikipedia page... In 1973, Burke predicted the widespread use of computers for business decisions, the creation of metadata banks of personal information, and changes in human behaviour, such as greater willingness to reveal personal information to strangers. Hmm.), Dick Parry 1942 (Who? He’s a saxophonist... They can’t touch you for it. You might recognise this piece of music.), Rick Nielsen 1948 (Geetarist with Cheap Trick. Have a clip. Here’s their early hit.), Chris Old 1948 (Crickety bloke.), Maurice and Robin Gibb 1949 (The late Bee Gees. I think another clip is in order... But which one?), Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960 (Artist.), Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes 1962 (Ectaw dear leddie.), Dan Petrescu 1967 (Fotbalistul.), Richey Edwards 1967 (The Manic Street Preacher who disappeared in 1995. Here’s an early one.), Vanessa Paradis 1972 (Singer and actress. Here’s a nice toon.) and Meghan Trainor 1993 (Singer/songwriter. Have a clip. This is her hit.).

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grambleu,

My good friend Mr. Hugh Wynn-Agenn wrote to you some time ago thanking you for including a Bee Gees song in among the links. I am also a big fan of the Isle of Man’s most famous musicians. I have a question for you. What was the last song that was a hit for the three of them?

Many thanks,

Al Owen.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Nothing. Obviously. There was no bet. Time to remedy that. What has The Grambler randomly predicted for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Ipswich vs Sheffield Utd. - Prediction Away win - 5/6

Reading vs Middlesbrough - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Rotherham vs West Brom - Prediction Away win - 5/6

Stevenage vs Mansfield - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Hamilton vs Kilmarnock - Prediction Away win - 8/11

 

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...

 

£11.00

 

Well, it’s a nice round figure, and moderately whopping I suppose.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I told you that the Second Division match between QPR and Luton Town played at Loftus Road on 1st September 1981 was a first in League history and I asked you what that first was. Well, those of you who have been paying attention will have spotted my foxes paw immediately. Imagine asking you the same question I asked on the 13th of October 2016. I feel such a fool. [Only now? - Ed.] Anyway, it was the first match in the leagues to be played on an artificial pitch.

One for this week? Which Premiershit club has the smallest capacity at only 11,329? Blimey, that’s even less than Motherwell (13,677). Mind you, I dare say the English club has every seat occupied... unlike Motherwell. Anyway, one to get you thinking, there.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual, 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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. Ian Dependent who recently conducted a poll to find this year’s best (worst?) Christmas cracker jokes which I include for your entertainment.

Did you know that Christmas crackers were invented by Tom Smith in 1847? No? Well, they were. They weren’t called crackers originally. Apparently, they were called cossacks. No, I don’t understand that either. Maybe it is just a wind up on Wikipedia.

Any road up, here are the 15 winners of the cracker joke poll...

 

1. What does Donald Trump do after he pulls a cracker?

Pays her off

2. Why is Theresa May encouraging board games at Christmas?

Because she’s trying to bring back Chequers

3. Why has Debenhams been forced to cancel its Christmas nativity play?

No prophet

4. What does Philip Green buy former employees for Christmas?

Their silence

5. When do sheep practice their new dance?

While shepherds watched them floss by night

6. What’s the difference between the Love Island villa and the stable where Jesus was born?

The stable had some wise men in it

7. Why does Kim Kardashian hate Christmas so much?

She’s always the butt of the Christmas cracker jokes

8. What is Meghan buying Harry, William and Charles for Christmas?

Suits

9. Why was everyone hungover after Roxanne Pallett’s Christmas Party?

She misjudged the strength of the punch

10. Why did Donald Trump invite Kanye West round to help with his Christmas presents?

Because Kanye is Trump’s favourite wrapper

11. What’s the biggest complaint about Network Rail’s Christmas seasoning?

They keep changing the thyme

12. Why has Boris Johnson bought mistletoe this year?

Because he’s tired of being in the single market

13. What’s the only thing that goes on longer than Christmas?

Harry and Meghan’s wedding preacher

14. What did Banksy serve with his Christmas turkey?

Shred sauce

15. Who won the North Pole Love Island?

Dani Deer

Oh deer... I think you will agree with me that they were, without exception, truly awful.
 
He's pulled
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

May I add an extra few words to end this blog in the week leading up to Christmas? It is, in the words of Andy Williams, the most wonderful time of the year. It can, however, be the saddest time of the year for many. I am thinking of those who have lost someone close. Christmas seems to be the time when they are most missed.

That certainly is the way Christmas affects us. Stewart (the founder of this wonderful blog) loved Christmas; it really was his favourite time. There are so many things we see and do that remind us of him. We remember how so many of our little family ‘traditions’ delighted him and how he began his own Christmas rituals like going to the Glasgow Film Theatre every year to watch It’s a Wonderful Life.

It may be over five years ago that he left us, but our memories of him don’t diminish and, especially at this time of year, we think of him a lot. We do try to concentrate our thoughts on the happier times rather than the dark days of his awful illness, but it is hard to forget his last Christmas at home which was such a terrible time for him.

Hopefully, those of you who are in a similar position will also be able to focus on the good times rather than the bad and will be able to smile as you recall them.

I wish you well, especially as you deal with the festive period.
 
 

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.