Saturday, 8 December 2018

Week 16 - The Grambler on Pete Shelley


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

 

It's that time of year again. The time when common sense is cast to the wind and people just go a bit mental. Yes, gramblemas is on its way and the shops are full of expensive tat which retailers have the cheek to call gifts. Well, you know my views on gifts. Please don't buy me any. Vouchers, yes. Money, yes. Indeed, I am happy to receive anything that is on some way useful. But don't get me a 'gift'.

Gifts tend to be something considered as witty by whoever designed them. I've had my fair share of 'amusing' underwear and socks over the years and I've hated every single example.

I particularly dislike Christmassy socks. Underwear can be worn simply because it remains out of sight. Socks, however, are visible to others. Thus, they can see what dreadful taste you have in hosiery.

So, if anyone is interested, please... definitely no novelty socks.

Mrs G recently bought me a pack of socks; just plain black socks. I say plain, they did have the makers name discreetly embroidered on them. I won't say the name of that company except that it makes jumpers which are popular with golfers.

Everything was fine... initially. The problems arose after the first wash. When they dried, I paired them up in the right colours... Did I tell you some had red embroidery and some had blue? Any road up, the next time I was wearing a pair, somebody remarked that I was wearing odd socks. How can that be, I thought. I paired them myself, how can they possibly be odd?

He was right though. The right sock had its embroidered name, but the left one didn't. What kind of witchcraft was afoot? [A foot. Sock. Very good. - Ed.] None, obviously. except that these socks are handed, or should I say, footed. There is only embroidery on one side. Thus, for a right foot sock it is to the right of the heel and on the left foot to the left. Dead simple. Bloody annoying though that I have to check each sock has the correct partner when I'm pairing the damn things.

I tell you what, just don't buy me Pringles' socks. Oops... I've said the brand name now. And their crisps are rubbish too.

Here's a story (supposedly true, but more likely apocryphal. Ooer, that's a big word. Wonder what it means.) which is loosely related.

Some lads in a small village decide that, as a change from their usual evening haunt, the local pub, they should visit the nearby golf club for a drink or two. When they enter the bar there are sharp intakes of breath and tutting sounds from the golf types drinking there. Ignoring these, one of the lads orders some drinks, but the barman refuses to serve them and points to a sign on the wall which reads - ‘No denims or trainers to be worn’.

Rather than cause trouble, our thirsty crew head back to their local. A discussion ensues about the treatment received at the golf club. They all agree that it was a bit unfair when it was quite acceptable for members of the golf club to drink in their pub, which they frequently did. They also agree that they should get their own back...

The next night some golfers drop into the hostelry for a drink after playing a game at their club. One orders drinks and is refused service. The barman nods towards a sign on the wall which reads - ‘No Pringle jumpers to be worn’.

Boom and, as it were, tish.

 

A 'tasteful' garment

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 8th of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Horace 65BC (Poet. Want a sample? Here goes... Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa / perfusus liquidis urget odoribus / grato, Pyrrha, sub antro? / cui flavam religas comam / simplex munditiis? heu quotiens fidem / mutatosque deos flebit et aspera / nigris aequora ventis / emirabitur insolens! Wise words there, mate.), Mary, Queen of Scots 1542 (The well-known queen. Factoid: she married the Dauphin of France when she was 15 and was widowed just two years later.), William C. Drant 1861 (Founder of General Motors and Chevrolet.), Georges Méliès 1861 (Film pioneer.), George Feydeau 1862 (Playwright.), Jean Sibelius 1865 (Composer. Time for a clip, methinks. Here’s, arguably, his most famous work, Finlandia.  Go on, have a guess where he came from.), Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez. Blimey, no wonder he shortened it to Diego Rivera 1886 (Artist.), E. C. Segar 1892 (Cartoonist. Created Popeye.), James Thurber 1894 (Humorist.), Arthur Leslie 1899 (Actor. Played Jack Walker in Corrie.), Lee J. Cobb 1911 (Actor. An angry man; one of a complete set of 12.), Richard Fleischer 1916 (Film director. Fantastic Voyage, that was one of his.), Lucien Freud 1922 (Artist, it says here. Grandson of Sigmund and big brother of Clement.), Sammy Davis Jr. 1925 (All-round entertainer, it says here. One of a pack of rats.), Jimmy Smith 1925... or possibly 1928 (Musician. Let’s have a clip. What about some jehhhzzz, or is it soul funk? I said funk. Here’s Midnight Special.), Julian Critchley 1930 (Journo and politico.), Maximilian Schell 1930 (Actor. Won a Noscar for Judgment at Nuremberg. He must have been good at pretending, then.), Flip Wilson 1933 (Comedian, it says here.), David Carradine 1936 (Actor. Glasshopper, that was him.), James McArthur 1937 (Actor. Danno, that was him.), James Galway 1939 (Flautist. Another clip? Why not.  Let's rawwwk!!!), Soko Richardson 1939 (Drummer. He is responsible for this arrangement of Proud Mary featuring her with the legs.), Bobby Elliott 1941 (Another drummer. A Holly. Another clip? Aye go on then. Here’s a smashing bit of footage.), Geoff Hurst 1941 (Footy bloke. Factoid: he is the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final. [When was that, then? - Ed.]), Jim Morrison 1943 (A Door. A clip? Here’s Hello, I Love You... or is it All Day and All of the Night?), George Baker 1944 (Singer/songwriter. With his Selection, produced this song which a certain Mr Tatantino must have liked.), Ray Shulman 1949 (Musician. A bit of Gentle Giant. Have a clip from his Gentle Giant  days and another from his time as Head-Doctor.  Contrast and compare.), Dan Hartman 1950 (Musician. Have a bit of 70s’ disco with Instant Replay.), Bill Bryson 1951 (Writer.), Kim Basinger 1953 (Actress.), Kasim Sultan 1955 (Musician. A bit of Utopia. Here he is asking to be set free.), Teri Hatcher 1964 (Actress. Lois Lane, that was her.), David Harewood 1965 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Les Ferdinand 1966 (Footy bloke.), Sinéad O'Connor aka Magda Davitt aka Shuhada Davitt 1966 (Singer. Here’s her biggest hit... Nothing Compares 2U.), Amir Khan 1986 (Boxy bloke.) and Raheem Sterling 1994 (Footy bloke.).

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Strangler,

I am pleased that you gave a link to some Hollies footage; they are a much underrated act. I know that the dirge ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ reached number one, but I am sure they had another number one record back in the sixties, but can’t remember the name of it. Can you help?

Yours quizzically,

I. Mallive.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? We actually made a profit. Woo hoo! £4.58 back from our £2.20 stake. Not bad at all. What happened? Read on...

 

Leicester vs Watford - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 2 Watford 0

Yay!

Taking the ball beautifully from Marc Albrighton’s crossfield pass, Leicester’s James Maddison advanced towards goal and then took full advantage of Adrian Mariappa’s attempted clearance to crash a volley past Ben Foster.

On 23 minutes, a Ben Chilwell pass released Jamie Vardy and he was taken out in the area by Watford’s goalkeeper Foster, presenting referee Graham Scott with a simple decision.

Vardy’s penalty was equally simple, directing the ball into the bottom left corner with Foster diving the other way.

Blackburn vs Sheff. Wed. - Prediction Home win

Result - Blackburn Rovers 4 Sheffield Wednesday 2

Yay!

Danny Graham scored a hat-trick for Blackburn Rovers as his side claimed a deserved 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Goals from Graham and Bradley Dack gave Blackburn a 2-0 lead with less than half-an-hour to go, before Lucas Joao's thunderous strike put Wednesday within touching distance.

Graham's second restored Rovers' two-goal lead before a David Raya own goal against the run of play gave Wednesday hope once again.

But Graham had the last word as he prodded home from close-range.

 

Derby vs Swansea - Prediction Home win

Result - Derby County 2 Swansea City 1

Yay!

Derby again benefited as Harry Wilson made the most of his chances with a spectacular opener after half an hour and equally impressive second effort ten minutes later.

The hosts could have scored more after the break, but a lack of accuracy allowed the visitors to gain second-half momentum.

That culminated in Tomori putting the ball into his own net under pressure on the line from Leroy Fer with three minutes remaining.

It made for a tense final few minutes, but the Rams held on to secure a victory .

 

Nottm. Forest vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win

Result - Nottingham Forest 2 Ipswich Town 0

Yay!

Bartosz Bialkowski's inability to hold Tendayi Darikwa's shot allowed Lewis Grabban to fire home the opener on the rebound.

Gil Dias saw a headed effort come off the inside of the post for the Reds before Grabban met a Darikwa cross to tap-in from close range before the break.

Forest hit the woodwork twice more after half-time, Michael Hefele sending another header against the post before Grabban was denied a hat-trick by the crossbar.

 

QPR vs Hull - Prediction Home win

Result - Queens Park Rangers 2 Hull City 3

Boo!

Jarrod Bowen scored two and created a third as Hull City had an entertaining win at Queens Park Rangers.

A fine left-footed finish from Bowen and a header from Markus Henriksen put Nigel Adkins' side two goals up inside 25 minutes, before Pawel Wszolek halved the deficit for QPR.

Bowen's second-half effort looked to have sealed the win for Hull before a Luke Freeman goal in injury time ensured a nervous finish for the visitors.

 

 

Not a bad showing for The Grambler, can he/she/it repeat or even improve on that result this week? [Don’t talk daft. - Ed.] Let’s see the random predictions.

Game - Result - Odds

Leeds vs QPR - Prediction Home win - 7/10

Aston Villa vs Stoke - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Bolton vs Leeds - Prediction Away win - 4/6

Swansea vs Sheffield Wed. - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Wycombe vs Barnsley - Prediction Away win - 10/11

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...

 

£10.48

 

Back to normal... not in the least bit whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which famous ex-politician was escorted from his seat in the home section of Fulham's Craven Cottage ground after 'wildly celebrating' a goal scored by visitors Cardiff City in a Premier League fixture. The answer is pretty obvious when you consider that the ex-politician was celebrating a goal by a Welsh side; how many famous Welsh politicians have there been during the time the Premiershit has been in existence? It was, of course, ex-Labour leader Neil Kinnock. As he himself would have said, lovely, lovely, lovely.

One for this week? Here’s a good un. Who was the first black player to win a full England cap? A secondary question - What year? Hmm, very interesting. That could start a conversation or two down the pub.

 

.....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, there is a sad ending to this week’s edition as news arrives of the death of Pete Shelley, singer and guitarist with the Buzzcocks. Having lived through, and thoroughly enjoyed, the ‘punk’ era, I am saddened to hear of the demise of one of the more original singers from that time.

Shelley formed the Buzzcocks with Howard Devoto in 1975, taking over as frontman in 1977 when Devoto left to form Magazine. Several hits followed for the Buzzcocks including the song later covered by Fine Young Cannibals ‘Ever Fallen in Love (with Someone You Shouldn’t’ve). He left the band in 1981 to pursue a solo career and had some success with his album ‘Homosapien’. The Buzzcocks reformed in 1989 and continue to this day.

You’ll have gathered that I was a Buzzcocks fan in the ‘new wave’ days, so I will end with a link to an early hit of theirs. Here’s Love You More.

 

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, 1 December 2018

Week 15 - Grambleday wishes to Woody Allen


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 topic is towel origami. Sorry pardon excuse me? Towel origami: the art of folding towels into the shape of various animals, although a swan tends to be the favourite choice.
What the blithering flip are you talking about, I hear you ask.
Okay, anyone out there who has ever stayed in a reasonable holiday hotel with daily maid service has probably experienced this phenomenon. The room gets cleaned each day and before leaving the room, the maid takes a towel and folds and twists it into the shape of some creature. Sometimes the maid in question is quite artistic and the envisaged animal is easily recognised. Other times, the towel looks like a... towel that’s been twisted a bit.
I have some questions regarding this. Who came up with the concept? Is there a towel twisting school these maids go to? More importantly, why does anyone bother?
While I was on the ship the other week.... I told you. I did. Do you remember? The one about the whistle. On the lifejacket... Anyway, the cleaning service on board was great. Beds made every day; loo cleaned; towels and sheets changed. The only thing they didn't do every day was Hoover the carpet, but you can’t have everything, I suppose.
What they did do every day was leave a towel sculpture. We had swans, crabs, turtles, etc. (That was my favourite; it's not easy to make an etc out of a towel.)
All very clever, but again I ask why. The answer is this: they want a decent tip at the end of the voyage.
Cynical? Me? As if. Don't worry, they got a good tip.
Mind you, it might have been more if they had vacuumed the carpet a bit more often.

 
A swan? An elephant's trunk? A cobra?
No, it's a badly folded towel.


 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 1st of December? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Marie Tussaud 1761 (Sculptress who began the waxwork museum.), Lilian Marks 1910 (Who? Oh, Alicia Markova, the hoofer.), Mary Martin 1913 (Chanter. Larry Hagman’s maw.), Dick Shawn 1923 (Actor and comedian. Played Hitler in ‘The Producers’), Keith Michell 1926 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Lou Rawls 1933 (No, not toilet paper. He was a singer. Here’s his best known song.  All together now... You'll never find... That was worth watching just to try counting the afros... No, I’m not being racist, it was the name of the hairstyle that black Americans all wore back in 1976.), Paul Williams aka Billy Paul 1934 (Singer. Have another clip. Here he is with Mrs Jones Mrs Jones Mrs Jones. More afros.), Allan Konigsberg aka Heywood ‘Woody’ Allen 1935 (Comedian, actor, writer and film director.), Sandy Nelson 1938 (Drummer. Another clip? Go on then. Here’s Let There Be Drums.  Or, indeed, let there be drummers... How many did you recognise?), Lee Trevino 1939 (Golfy bloke.), Mike Denness 1940 (Crickety bloke.), Richard Pryor 1940 (Comedian. It says here.), Eric Bloom 1944 (A bit of Blue Oyster Cult. I said cult. Here is their best known toon. Hmm... From a band labelled as heavy rock, that is decidedly wimpy.), John Densmore 1944 (A Door. The drummy one. Have another clip. Here's L. A. Woman.), Bette Midler 1945 (Singer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and film producer... In fact, a right old smarty boots. I suppose you want another clip. What will it be? The Rose? The Wind Beneath My Wings? I think not. Let’s have her first big hit... in the US anyway.), Raymond O’Sullivan 1946 (Who? Oh, Gilbert O’Sullivan. He wrote a song... Well, he wrote several... They just all sounded the same. Let’s have his first hit.  Here's Nothing Rhymed.), Sarfraz Nawaz 1948 (Crickety bloke.), Neil Warnock 1948 (Footy managery type bloke.), Pablo Escobar 1949 (Bad man. Drug ‘baron’. At the height of his drug running to the US, he was raking in $21.9 million per year in personal income... Sorry, billion, not million. Bad man.), Jaco Pastorius 1951 (A bit of Weather Report. Time for some jehhhzzzz... Have some chicken.), Treat Williams 1951 (Actor with a daft name.), Stephen Poliakoff 1952 (Playwright.), Alan Dedicoat 1954 (An ouncer. Known as ‘the voice of the balls’.), Julee Cruise 1956 (Singer. A clip? Why not. Here’s her hit, Falling.), Vesta Williams 1957 (Singer. Here is her only UK hit.) and Emily Mortimer 1971 (Ectress dontchaknow.).
 
 
 
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Gondola,
We are both great fans of Gilbert O’Sullivan and have got a little teaser for you. What song got to number one in the US but only reached number three in Britain?
Yours testingly,
Al O’Naggen, Nat Yurally.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? A little better than the week before, but still not great. £2.06 back from our £2.20 stake. Ho hum. What happened? Read on...
 
Leeds vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win
Result - Leeds United 2 Bristol City 0
Yay!
The game was evenly balanced before Josh Brownhill, booked on 20 minutes for a foul on Ezgjan Aliosk, was sent off for a poor challenge on Kemar Roofe.
Leeds took charge thereafter and Roofe gave them the lead from close range for his eighth of the campaign.
The hosts added some late gloss to the scoreline when Samu Saiz played Hernandez in with a well-weighted pass and the Spaniard finished neatly.
 
Wigan vs Reading - Prediction Home win
Result - Wigan 0 Reading 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Wigan paid the price for spurning a series of openings as they were held to a draw by battling Reading.
The home side created the better opportunities but could not find a winner.
Reece James and Josh Windass spurned good chances, while Nick Powell had a goal ruled out for offside.
A late goalmouth scramble almost saw Joe Garner grab the winner for Wigan, but his shot was cleared off the line.
 
Barnsley vs Doncaster - Prediction Home win
Result - Barnsley 1 Doncaster 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Barnsley were better in possession in the first half and created more chances. However, Doncaster were always a threat on the counter attack. The best chance fell to James Coppinger, who hit the bar after cutting in from the left.
Six minutes after the restart Doncaster took the lead. The ball was won on the right-hand side and Coppinger aimed a perfect cross to Herbie Kane who headed in from seven yards out.
In the 62nd minute Barnsley were level. Brad Potts nodded on a free-kick to substitute Cauley Woodrow who poked the ball home to level the scores within two minutes of his introduction.
Fifteen minutes from the end, Alfie May missed a golden opportunity to win the game for Doncaster.
Barnsley conceded possession deep in their half and found themselves outnumbered at the back but May blazed his effort over.
 
Charlton vs Bristol - Prediction Home win
Result - Charlton Athletic 3 Bristol Rovers 1
Yay!
The hosts broke the deadlock in the 10th minute.
Jed Steer's long clearance was latched on to by Jamie Ward, who burst through on goal before coolly lofting the ball over advancing Rovers keeper Jack Bonham.
Rovers should have been back on terms but Tom Nichols was just unable to apply a vital touch to Stefan Payne's dangerous low cross.
However, they did not have long to wait to draw level as Joe Martin drilled an unstoppable left-footed effort from 20 yards beyond the reach of Steer on the half-hour mark.
With their tails now up, Liam Sercombe tried his luck with a long-range volley that flew just off target and then Steer produced an excellent reaction save from Ollie Clarke.
Nicky Ajose was denied at the other end by Bonham moments later and saw a free-kick deflected inches wide of the post just before the break.
Rovers' hopes of going in level were cruelly dashed on the stroke of half-time as some sloppy defending was punished by Joe Aribo's close-range header to restore the Addicks' advantage.
Patrick Bauer headed wide after the restart and Ajose was just behind Ward's inviting pull back on the hour as Charlton looked to move further clear.
Steer had to be alert to deal with Sercombe's volley at the other end and the Rovers midfielder blazed an effort well off target four minutes from time to sum up a disappointing second-half display from the visitors.
And Charlton wrapped it up deep into injury time as Karlan Grant capitalised on Bonham's decision to go up for a corner when he was set clear to fire into an empty net.
 
Gillingham vs Luton - Prediction Away win
Result - Gillingham 1 Luton Town 3
Yay!
Town midfielder Andrew Shinnie opened the scoring after 25 minutes, firing home from the edge of the box to end a move started by Harry Cornick in his own half.
Cornick appeared to have turned provider again four minutes later, but James Collins was ruled to have fouled Barry Fuller before heading home his team-mate's deep cross.
However, Luton did double their advantage shortly before the hour, as Elliot Lee capitalised on woeful Gillingham defending to fire in off the bar from Collins' low cross.
Lee scored another to make sure of the Hatters' victory after 68 minutes, coolly slotting home into an empty net after Cornick's low shot rebounded off the post.
Gillingham created just one shot on target before Tom Eaves beat James Shea from a tight angle for a consolation goal.
 
So close and yet so far. Three results spot on and the others hitting the bar. Perhaps The Grambler will come up trumps this week. Let’s see what he/she/it has randomly predicted.
Game - Result - Odds
Leicester vs Watford - Prediction Home win - 5/4
Blackburn vs Sheff. Wed. - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Derby vs Swansea - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Nottm. Forest vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win - 4/6
QPR vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 19/20
 
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...

 

£13.16

 

Oh dear, a little bit whopping.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I told you that Brazilian Alisson became the most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Liverpool this year for a fee of 72.5 million euros. I then asked you who was the most expensive goalkeeper prior to this and how much did he cost. The answer is, Gianluigi Buffon who cost Juventus almost 52 million Euros back in 2001. During his 17 year stay with the club, he played 656 times. In a career of over a thousand games, he has been capped for Italy a record 176 times, has won nine Serie A titles, the Coppa Italia five times, the Uefa Cup and the World Cup once each. At the end of last season he was transferred to PSG; not bad for someone who is now the wrong side of 40.
What about one for this week? Here’s a daft one for you. In September 2013 which famous ex-politician was escorted from his seat in the home section of Fulham's Craven Cottage ground after 'wildly celebrating' a goal scored by visitors Cardiff City in a Premier League fixture? 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 am indebted to a Mr W. Allen who provides us with some interesting thoughts to end this week’s edition.
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
 
To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition.
 
I don't believe in the after life, although I am bringing a change of underwear.
 
Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.
 
Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.
 
In Beverly Hills... they don't throw their garbage away. They make it into television shows.
 
Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.
 
You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.
 
I believe there is something out there watching us. Unfortunately, it's the government.
 
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
 
I'm very proud of my gold pocket watch. My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.
 
Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.
 
I failed to make the chess team because of my height.
 
I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys.
 
I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers.
 
Organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year and spends very little on office supplies.
 
I ran into Isosceles. He had a great idea for a new triangle!
 
Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right.
 
I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.
 
I'm not a drinker -- my body will not tolerate spirits. I had two Martinis on New Year's Eve and I tried to hijack an elevator and fly it to Cuba.
 
I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland.
 
Love is the answer. But while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.
 
Can we actually "know" the universe? My God, it's hard enough finding your way around in Chinatown.
 
Sex between a man and a woman can be wonderful, provided you can get between the right man and the right woman.
 
Photons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
 
What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.
 
A deranged person is supposed to have the strength of ten men. I have the strength of one small boy ... with polio.
 
Some guy hit my car fender the other day, and I said unto him, "Be fruitful and multiply." But not in those words.
 
I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.
 
I know what I think but I don't know how to put it into words. Maybe I could get a little bit drunk and dance it for you.
 
The difference between sex and death is, with death you can do it alone and nobody's going to make fun of you.
 
To me there's no real difference between a fortune teller or a fortune cookie and any of the organized religions. They're all equally valid or invalid, really. And equally helpful.
 
The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God's mind -- a pretty uncomfortable thought, particularly if you've just made a down payment on a house.
 
My relationship with death remains the same -- I'm strongly against it.
 
The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep.
 
It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.
 
I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
 
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, 24 November 2018

Week 14 - Grambleday wishes to Billy Connolly


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 want to leave this golf club?"

"Yes."

"Why is that?"

"It's far too expensive."

"Oh dear, I'm sorry you feel like that."

"I feel I'm spending an awful lot of money and not getting much out of it."

"Well, we all pay the same. Won't you reconsider?"

"No, I think I'll jack it in."

"Okay. I'll set the wheels in motion and get that arranged for you. You realise of course that this is the only club around these parts. Where will you go to play golf?"

"I was hoping I could still come here."

"I'm sorry?"

"Yes. I thought I might still be able to use the facilities."

"But you'll have left. You can't carry on as before."

"Why not?"

"Erm... because you've left."

"Yes. And?"

"Erm... I don't understand."

"Well, although I'll have left, I still want to be able to use all the facilities."

"But you can't."

"Why not?"

"Erm..."

And so on and so on...

Aren't you getting peed off with all this nonsense about Brexit? Maybe the golf club analogy is over simplifying things a bit, but it seems to sum things up. It seems to me that the European union is just a big club and, if you are a member, you can use the facilities on offer. If you opt to leave, that's it. You've left. Why all this nonsense about brokering a deal?

Actually, I get the feeling that nobody really wants the thing to happen anyway. The problem seems to be that none of the politicians involved want to lose face by admitting that the whole thing is a complete and utter shambles. Nobody knows what the outcome is going to be; they make all these positive sounding remarks about how wonderful things will be after Brexit, but I doubt if anybody is actually confident about things changing for the better.

Think of the emperor's new clothes story. That sums it up for me. We just need somebody brave enough to stand up and say to these disillusioned mps that Brexit is bollocks. Hang on, that would make a brilliant campaign slogan.

The only person I know who has made a sensible remark about Brexit is my four year old granddaughter. She told me that she had a weetabix for Brexit.

 

 

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Were any famous or notorious people born on the 17th of November? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Charles Pachelbel 1690 (Composer. Here’s his most famous piece, Canon in D Major.  Snappy title, eh?), William Webb Ellis 1806 (In 1823, so the legend goes, William Webb-Ellis, a pupil at Rugby School, picked up the ball and ran. With this "fine disregard for the rules", Webb-Ellis is described as having invented the game of Rugby Football, as distinct from its kicking counterparts. That is, of course, utter bollocks. What is true is that the school did popularise the game and it is thanks to some of its pupils that the rules of the game were first written down in 1845.), Frances Hodgson Burnett 1849 (Orfer. Wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess and The Secret Garden.), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1864 (Painter.), Scott Joplin 1868 (Composer. Here he is playing Maple Leaf Rag.), Joan Sanderson 1912 (Actress.), David Kossoff 1919 (Actor.), Ken Barrington 1930 (Crickety bloke.), Fred Titmus 1932 (Another crickety bloke.), Alfred Schnittke 1934 (Composer. Here is his score for 'Clowns und Kinder'.), Pete Best 1941 (Original drummer with the Beatles. He was kicked out because Ringo was a better drummer. Really?), Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn 1941 (An MG. Here’s a treat... a live version of Green Onions with Dunn’s bass solo really to the fore.), Billy Connolly 1942 (Comedian.), Robin Williamson 1943 (A bit of Incredible String Band. Here they are from 1968 coming over a bit transcendentally meditative.), Bev Bevan 1944 (A Brummy drummy bloke. Here he is in his Move days with Flowers in the Rain.), Tony Clarkin (Musician. Have a bite of Magnum (Do you see what I did there?), here’s Start Talking Love.), Dwight Schultz 1947 (Actor. Murdock in The A-Team.), Dave Sinclair 1947 (Musician. A bit of Caravan. Have a clip. This is For Richard.), Ian Botham 1955 (Crickety bloke.), Clem Burke 1955 (Drummer with Blondie. A clip? Here’s Heart of Glass.), Roy Aitken 1958 (Footy bloke.), John Squire 1962 (Geetarist. A Stone Rose, then a Seahorse. Have a clip. Here’s Love is the Law.), Neale Cooper 1963 (Footy Bloke.), Shirley Henderson 1965 (Actress.), Russell Watson 1966 (Singer. Kleenex at the ready, here’s Someone to Remember Me.), Stephen Merchant 1974 (Writer, director, radio presenter, comedian, and actor... in fact, all together now, a right old smarty boots.) and Tom Odell 1990 (Singer/songwriter. A clip? Aye, go on then. Here’s Jubilee Road.).
 
As well as being the day that saw three fairly famous drummers make their debut, today also saw the birth of three utterly nasty individuals: Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano 1897, Charles Starkweather 1938 and Ted Bundy 1946.  B*st*rds one and all.


 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Dongler,

Interesting that you gave a link to Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag rather the other more famous one that was used as the theme music for the Robert Redford/Paul Newman film, The Sting. It was so famous that I’ve forgotten the name of it. Can you remember it?

Yours absent-mindedly,

D. N. Tertainer.

 

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Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened last week? Well, after the previous predictive success of The Grambler, he/she/it is back to normal with a grand total of, wait for it, 74 pees. Oh dear. Not too good. What happened? Read on...

Fleetwood vs Walsall - Prediction Home win

Result - Fleetwood 0 Walsall 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Fleetwood Town and Walsall played out a lacklustre League One goalless draw at Highbury.

The chances were there but both sides lacked a cutting edge in the final third and a draw was a fair reflection of a forgettable affair on the Fylde coast.

Walsall's Josh Ginnelly and Russell Martin wasted chances as Fleetwood's defence and goalkeeper Alex Cairns struggled in the air.

Jason Holt had the best chance for Town, blasting the ball way over after Nathan Sheron had put the ball on a plate for him.

Ross Wallace acrobatically thundered the ball straight at Roberts at the start of the second half as Fleetwood tried to capitalise on the sun advantage early.

Ash Hunter was thwarted by Nicky Devlin's block as his thunderous effort looked destined to finally break the deadlock.

Walsall substitute Morgan Ferrier nearly won it for the Saddlers, nodding Zeli Ismail's cross from the right just wide of the right post.

Fleetwood nearly got the reward for their patient play late though but Paddy Madden blasted over Ched Evans' cut back.

 

Doncaster vs Wimbledon - Prediction Home win

Result - Doncaster 2 Wimbledon 1

Yay!

Tommy ‘Dizzy’ Rowe netted a late winner in a 2-1 victory for Doncaster.

Matthew ‘Doug’ Pinnock opened the scoring for Wimbledon via a fine sweeping counter-attack which he concluded with a drilled effort under Ian Lawlor.

Doncaster responded well and were level by 35 minutes.

From a short free-kick routine, Ali ‘Barber’ Crawford played a one-two with Ben Whiteman before curling his effort into the top corner from 20 yards.

Doncaster looked much the more threatening for the remainder of the game, though it took a fine save from Lawlor to keep out a Scott Wagstaff piledriver.

The second half was one-way traffic but it took until the 86th minute for Doncaster to go ahead when Rowe surged through several challenges and lashed a low shot home.

 

Oxford vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Oxford 1 Gillingham 0

Yay!

James Henry hit the winner from the penalty spot on 59 minutes, after Marcus Browne was brought down.

Browne raced on to Cameron Brannagan's pass into the box and reached the ball just before Tomas ‘Keep Sunday’ Holy, but he tumbled over the goalkeeper's body.

Referee Neil Hair pointed for a spot-kick, despite strong protests from the Gillingham players, and Henry converted it confidently into the top-left corner.

Henry also hit the post with a right-footed shot in the 77th minute from Browne's deep cross.

Ricky Holmes had been Oxford's main threat in the first half, twice forcing decent saves from Holy with low shots.

But the Gills began the second half strongly and, after Brandon Hanlan went close with an angled drive, U's keeper Simon Eastwood denied Regan Charles-Cook.

Late on Hanlan went close again with a 25-yard drive that Eastwood saved to his right.

 

Peterborough vs Bradford - Prediction Home win

Result - Peterborough 1 Bradford 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

The Bantams were rewarded for a fast start and took the lead through Anthony ‘Sinead’ O'Connor, before substitute Ivan Toney rescued a point for Posh in the 61st minute, despite furious protests from the visitors that he was offside.

Posh goalkeeper Aaron Chapman had little to do for much of the match but was kept busy early on as he pushed aside a curled effort from Paul Caddis and denied Jack Payne with his legs.

However, he was unable to keep out O'Connor's low shot after Hope Akpan steered a loose ball in the area to him.

Siriki Dembele and Toney were brought on at half-time and the latter latched on to Marcus Maddison's long cross-field pass to shoot low into the net from inside the area.

Both sides pushed for a winner in the closing stages but had to settle for a point.

 

Sunderland vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win

Result - Sunderland 1 Wycombe 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Wycombe winger Fred Onyedinma struck the opener, but substitute Josh Maja scored his 11th goal of the season with six minutes left to share the points.

Had Chairboys skipper Adam El-Abd converted Joe Jacobson's corner then they would have been ahead earlier. But Sunderland wasted a couple of late chances before the break too.

Aiden McGeady was almost rewarded for a performance of intent with the opener but he rolled an effort wide when he got free of his marker in the area.

Other than that there was very little for either goalkeeper to deal with until a routine ball into the Sunderland area was not dealt with and Onyedinma controlled and then powered a finish high inside Jon McLaughlin's net from 14 yards.

Sunderland pulled it back when Maja controlled a lovely pass from George Honeyman.

 

What a shame. Too many bars being hit. Perhaps The Grambler can make amends this week. [Though, probably not. - Ed.] What has he/she/it randomly selected for us to bet on this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Leeds vs Bristol City - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Wigan vs Reading - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Barnsley vs Doncaster - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Charlton vs Bristol - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Gillingham vs Luton - Prediction Away 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...

 

£11.16

 

Hmm... a little bit whopping.
 
Update
This edition is particularly late going to 'press'; so late, in fact, that I can actually reveal that The Grambler's predictions didn't quite come off.  A return of £2.06 from a £2.20 bet is the best he/she/it could manage.

 

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Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which team was eliminated from the 2018 World Cup because of which new means of selection. The answer is Senegal who were kicked out of the competition even though they were on exactly the same points tally as Japan, with both teams having won one game, drawn one and lost one and having the same goals scored for and against. Senegal lost out because of the ‘fair play’ rule, having accrued six yellow cards to Japan’s four. So now you know.

One for this week? Brazilian Alisson became the most expensive goalkeeper when he joined Liverpool this year for a fee of 72.5 million euros. Who was the most expensive goalkeeper prior to this and how much did he cost? Hmm...

 

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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

 

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And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr W. Connolly who, as one of this week’s birthday celebrants, gets the accolade of providing this week’s edition with its finishing clip, or, this week, clips.

Billy Connolly is one of the world’s greatest comedians ever. Who says so? Me. I just wrote it. Actually, many agree with me. He changed comedy forever when he started out. There were no jokes in his act, just rambling anecdotes about the absurdities of life which had audiences in stitches.

Before I end this week’s blog, I wanna tell you a story (shakes hands in an attempt at a Max Bygraves impression). Connolly (aka the Big Yin) first made it big in Scotland with his classic ‘Solo Concert’ double album of 1974. That summer, it was Scotland’s best-selling and most listened-to album. I recall a visit from my Uncle Syd from Sheffield at that very time. I played him the album and, though he didn’t understand all the gags, he absolutely loved it. He returned home to South Yorkshire determined to get hold of this brilliant record to play to his family and friends. The only problem was, he couldn’t remember what it was called or who made it. No matter. He headed for his nearest record shop and asked for ‘Hey Jimmy’. Obviously, in Sheffield, 300 miles away from Glasgow, nobody would know what he was on about, surely. (Don’t call me Shirley.) Wrong! He actually managed to track it down with that flimsiest of descriptions.

Let’s finish with a sample of that very album; ladeez and genullum I give you The Crucifixion..

Also tae as well (as the Big Yin might have said), do you recall a television programme called An Audience With? One was made with Billy Connolly. Now, speak to anyone about that show and, without a doubt, this is their highlight.
 
Haw, it's the Big Yin, by the way.

 

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.