Saturday, 20 July 2019

Week 46/47 - The Grambler gets ripped off... again


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

 

Apologies for there being no edition of your favourite ill-informed blog last week, I was away with Mrs G for a short holiday. What? Oh yes, we enjoyed it very much, thanks for asking. [I hadn’t even realised you didn’t publish the blog... Shows how much notice I take. - Ed.]

We went to Krakow in Poland. As with so many European cities, it is steeped in history; the most obvious historical reference is the treatment of the Polish Jews at the hands of the Nazis during WWII.

This being a less than serious blog, I would be better to avoid the worst atrocity this world has seen in recent times and stick with lighter fayre... such as being ripped off by a taxi driver. Again.

Anyone who has been a reader of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog since its early days might recall an article I wrote about being conned in Barcelona some years back. On that occasion the driver in question drove us for what seemed like half an hour before depositing us exactly 50 yards from the point we had set off from. We didn’t realise that we had been duped until the next day and we vowed to be more careful in future.

So how did we get stung again? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ee...

We had asked the receptionist at our small, but friendly, hotel [What is this? Trip Advisor? - Ed.] to book us a taxi to take us to a restaurant for our evening meal. The driver arrived on time and drove us to a point very close to the restaurant in question. He had to take a wee detour here and there to avoid roadworks and pedestrianised areas. Fair enough. He had got us where we wanted to go, so, no problem with that. He then charged us 12 zloty. How much is that, I hear you ask. Well, the current exchange rate is something like four and a half zloty to the pound, so we were charged approximately £2.65 for our journey. Don’t tell me you are moaning about that, I hear you protest. No, I was perfectly happy with that. Indeed, he received a sizeable tip... mainly because he had a pretty decent radio station playing some good music. I didn’t expect to be listening to Rush in Poland.

Any road up, our evening had started well and the food in the restaurant was enjoyable. There was even some traditional Polish entertainment thrown in. We had a great night.

However, our evening was about to take a bit of a nosedive.

In hindsight, we should have arranged for the proprietor of the restaurant to organise a taxi to take us back to our hotel. Instead, we just headed to the nearest taxi rank and got into the first cab.

Rule one: do not get into a taxi where you have trouble trying to make the driver understand where you want to go. He spoke no English and we, being Brits abroad, had made no attempt to learn the language of the country where we found ourselves.

Rule two: do not get into a taxi where the driver hides his meter from view before he sets off.

The journey from hotel to restaurant had taken no more than ten minutes, even with the various detours. On the journey back, this guy went down all kinds of narrow alleyways. I assumed that he was doing this to avoid the roadworks but, when I spotted that he had been within a block of our hotel before he turned down another alley in the opposite direction, I realised we were (literally) being taken for a ride. After ten minutes we were still being driven up and down narrow alleyways. He eventually stopped and shrugged before pointing in the general direction of our hotel.

I was not happy. He gave the impression that he didn’t know the place we were staying. Given that we had to find our way from that point, possibly even needing to get another taxi, I offered him 10 zloty. He shook his head angrily and said that it cost 40 zloty (So, he could speak English, after all.). Sorry pardon excuse me? A taxi door-to-door costs 12 zloty and a taxi from door-to-god-knows-where costs 40? I don’t think so matey. I’m not sure if his English was of a standard to understand the terms ‘on your bike’, ‘rip-off merchant’ and ‘conman’ but, having got those off my chest, I gave him 20 zloty and got out of the cab.

It dawned on me after the event that he might well have locked the doors with me in the car and driven to the nearest polis station. It could have cost me a lot more than 40 zloty in fines.

I think it didn’t end that way because the driver knew he was in the wrong and feared for his licence.

Was that the end of our escapade? Not quite. As I said, we were dropped off somewhere we didn’t know; we now had to find our way to the hotel. We went into a nearby takeaway-shop to ask for directions, expecting to have to order another taxi. The girl who worked there spoke reasonable English and promptly took her mobile phone and checked our location. She reckoned we were very close, although she hadn’t actually heard of the hotel where we were staying... but we were definitely very near... ooh, only two minutes, maybe seven (?)

We stepped out of the shop and looked across the road... Hang on, isn’t that the cake shop immediately opposite our hotel? Yup, we were about two doors away from our destination.

Maybe I was a bit hard on that taxi driver... He was still a rip-off merchant, though.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 13th of July? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Julius Caesar 100BC (Roman leader. Looked nothing like Kenneth Williams.), Eric Portman 1901 (Ectaw.), Kenneth Clark 1903 (Historian.), Alberto Ascari 1918 (Racey car drivery bloke.), Bob Crane 1928 (Actor. Hogan of heroes fame.), Patrick Stewart 1940 (Ectaw dear leddie.), Harrison Ford 1942 (Actor. Indiana Solo.), Roger McGuinn 1942 (A Byrd. Have a clip. How high?), Chris Serle 1943 (Journalist.), Cyril Knowles 1944 (Footy bloke. He was the subject of this.), Emo Rubik 1944 (Inventor of the cube.), Ashley Mallett 1945 (Crickety bloke.), Cheech Marin 1946 (Chong’s pal.), Ian Hislop 1960 (Him off of Have I Got News for You.), Anders Jarryd 1961 (Tennisy bloke.), Neal Foulds 1963 (Snookery bloke.) and Craig Bellamy 1979 (Footy bloke.).

And now... July the 20th. Alexander the Great 356 BC (Fireplace.), Tom Crean 1877 (Explorer.), John Reith 1889 (Co-founder of the British Broadcorping Casteration.), Edmund Hillary 1919 (Mountain climbing bloke.), Jacques Delors 1925 (Politicky bloke.), Heather Chasen 1927 (Ectress.), Sally Anne Howes 1930 (Ectress. She was truly scrumptious.), Cormac McCarthy 1933 (Orfer.), Rex Williams 1933 (Snookery bloke.), Roger Hunt 1938 (Footy bloke.), Diana Rigg 1938 (Ectress.), Natalie Wood 1938 (Actress.), Wendy Richard 1943 (Actress. Miss Brahms that was her. She had a hit record once... sort of.), Kim Carnes 1945 (Singer. Here’s her ‘it, Bette Davis Eyes.), John Lodge 1945 (A Moody Blue. Here’s a solo effort.), Carlos Santana 1947 (Geetarist. Here’s an early ‘it, Samba Pa Ti.), Jeff Rawle 1951 (Ectaw. George Dent. That was him.), Desmond Douglas 1955 (Table-tennisy bloke.), Paul Cook 1956 (A Sex Pistol. Have a clip. Here is Silly Thing.), Chris Cornell 1964 (A bit of Soundgarden.  Time for a clip.), Sebastiano Rossi 1964 (Portiere.), Courtney Taylor-Taylor 1967 (A Dandy Warhol. A clip? Why, soitenly. Sing along if you fancy... You got a great car...), Sandra Oh 1971 (Actress. Her from off of Killing Eve.), Claudio Reyna 1973 (Saccer guy.), Nicola Benedetti 1987 (Rerr fiddler. Here’s an apt clip for this week.) and Niall McGinn 1987 (Footy bloke.).

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Garbo,

Thanks for including the Steve Jones and Paul Cook track Silly Thing in this week’s selection of links. We are both big fans of the Sex Pistols and have a little teaser for you. What was the first Sex Pistols song to chart, reaching number 38 in 1976?

Yours inquiringly,

Anne R. Kay, Ian D. U. Kay.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened with the last bet we had? It was a complete and utter waste of time. Did it lose? No. Did it win? No. The return was exactly the same as the stake money. £2.40. As I said, a waste of time.

Shall we try again? What has The Grambler come up with this week? What randomly selected predictions are we going to get? Let us see...

 

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Ripon - 1.45 - Calippo - 10/11

Newbury - 1.50 - Fox Chairman - 8/11

Newbury - 3.00 - The Tin Man - 2/1

Curragh - 4.00 - Pistoletto - 8/11

Doncaster - 5.40 - Debawtry - 9/4

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator plus 20 pee each way cop out bet) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£22.32

 

Uh oh... far too whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you which Liverpool manager had been the most successful in Europe. The answer was Bob Paisley who presided over three European Cup wins. Incidentally, the other managers (with one trophy each) were Joe Fagan, Gerard Houllier and, of course, Herr Klopp.

One for this week? Here is an oddity. Which player has been the most used substitute in the Premier League? Hmm... very interesting.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, it is a very special anniversary today. It is exactly 50 years since Messrs Armstrong and Aldrin stepped onto to moon with the memorable (and obviously planned) words ‘A small step for man, but a giant leap for mankind.’ What a pity Neil fluffed his lines and forgot the ‘a’ before the word man.

I thought something to mark the occasion should end this week’s edition of your favourite ill-informed blog. A song perhaps. Something to do with the Moon... Walking on the Moon? Everyone’s Gone to the Moon? Fly me to... No. None of these. One of my favourite bands, then and now, came up with a song to mark the occasion. However, Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull’s writer-in-chief, commemorated the event from a slightly different angle. Ladeez and genullum, I give you For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me complete with lyrics.
 
I went to the moon, me.
Honest.  No kidding. I did an' all.
 

 

 

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, 5 July 2019

Week 45 - Grambling at this year's Tea for Stewart


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

 

Let’s begin with a joke from George. Take it away George...

A gorilla goes into a bar...

 

Why have you stopped?

I thought you were going to interrupt.

As if. Why would I do a thing like that? Perish the thought. Go on.

Okay. A gorilla goes into a bar and orders a pint. The barman gives him his drink and says, ‘That’ll be ten pounds, please... We don’t get many gorillas in here.’ and the gorilla says...

Hang on... Did you say gorilla?

[Sigh] Yes.

The big hairy, King Kongy type thing?

Yes.

I thought you said driller as in oil industry. Or holes in road. Or dentistry. Gorilla? That’s ridiculous. Who ever heard of a gorilla going into a pub and ordering a drink as well?

And ten pounds a pint? That’s a bit steep. That gorilla’s being ripped off, I reckon. They think they can charge what they like in these places. Especially when it comes to primates who probably haven’t got much of a clue when it comes to financial matters.

Well, I’m saying it’s a bit steep at ten pounds, but this is being written BBB... before Boris and Brexit. Anyone who is reading this after Boris becomes PM and we have left the EU may well be longing for the days when a pint cost only a tenner.

Anyway, George, what was the gorilla about to say?

Oh... he’s gone again.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Those of you who have stuck with the world's greatest ill-informed blog will know that twice a year we, the family and friends of Stewart (the founder of thegrambler.com), run big money-raising events for the Bobby Moore Fund, the charity that Stewart always said was close to his heart and his bowels. In spring, the Kick Cancer's Backside quiz was held and raised lots of pennies for the BMF which, as you all know, does sterling work in improving treatments and looking for a cure for bowel cancer.

Last weekend, the second big fundraiser took place. The sixth annual Tea for Stewart was held.

Sadly, for you readers, this week's blog will be incredibly dull [So what's new? - Ed.] because the event ran like clockwork. Mrs G, who organises the whole event has now got it down to a T (or tea, if you prefer) so there are no tales of cock ups, calamities and catastrophes to relate this year.

Mrs G has a veritable army of helpers on the day who have also been carrying out their duties for so long that they need very little guidance from her when it comes to serving the folk who come along to partake of the food and drink on offer.

And there are plenty of goodies on offer. A welcome drink is provided before the punters are even in their seats. For the non-drivers there is a choice of prosecco, sangria or Pimms [What's a pimm when it's at home? - Ed.] and for those in charge of the car keys there is pink lemonade. Coffee and tea is also provided in abundance, as is food.

Have you ever been to an afternoon tea? You will know, then, that the usual fayre comprises a sandwich or two, a scone and a cake or two. If prosecco is on offer, it is one small glass.

Enough, do you think? Not according to Mrs G, it isn't. Tea for Stewart has sausage rolls (plural), various nibble sized savouries (again plural), sandwiches (as many as you can eat), cakes (again, as many as you can eat) and even mini cheesecakes.

Something that Mrs G provides that no other afternoon tea does is a free raffle and a party game or two.

It all adds up to a fun afternoon.

Ah, you may be saying, all that food, drink and raffle prizes won't come cheaply. It must be quite pricey to attend this Tea for Stewart. Actually, no. The bread and pancakes are all donated by a local bakery which is keen to help charity events such as this. The same goes for the prosecco; a local business provides that. Some of the raw materials for sandwiches is provided by a well-known supermarket and friends rally round to provide most of the home baking.

Mrs G, of course, has been adding something into each week's shopping basket in readiness for the event throughout the year. By buying a little bit at a time, we don't notice the cost involved. Smart, huh?

So, apart from the last few days leading up to the tea being very labour intensive, there is no financial outlay, as such.

But you still haven't told us the cost to those attending, I hear you say. That must be quite hefty.

Well, no. There is no cost, per se. (Don't call me Percy.) The people who come along simply make a donation based on their perception of what the afternoon tea is worth. Some give generously, some give very generously.
So come on, you must be saying, how much was raised?

Are you ready? Drum roll please...

£2290... Hang on... £2310... No, that’s not right... £2325... Eh?... £2355... Surely, there can’t be any more... £2375... What is going on?... £2424...

Confused? Well, the problem is that it is not possible to give you an accurate total as so many people are giving us money to add to the fund.

Last year we raised less than £2200 on the day of the tea, but the final amount raised was £2400. This year seems to be going the same way. £2290 was raised on the day, but we are still receiving those donations from folk.

So that's it. Thanks to everyone who helped, everybody who donated and to all those who came along and made the day a great success.

Incidentally, the hall used for Tea for Stewart was once again decorated in the colours of Motherwell F.C., the team supported by Stewart for most of his short life.

Is that it, I hear you ask. I’m afraid so. Nothing at all to report other than everything running smoothly. Oh, hang about; there was one little ‘odd’ moment.

It was to do with the supermarket donation. Mrs G was told to choose some ‘raw’ materials up to a certain value and the shop would pick up the tab. Great. She was also told to add a bottle of fizz and a nice pot plant to use as raffle prizes. Even greater.

So, having selected various foods such as eggs and cheese, she headed home and put the 60 eggs on to boil ready to be made into egg mayonaisse. So far, so dull. However, the telephone rang and a ‘representative’ from the supermarket instructed Mrs G that she had been given ‘too much’. Sorry pardon excuse me? Apparently, according to the individual who had taken it upon herself to phone, this extra outlay meant that the store had exceeded its monthly charity allocation. And? What point was this person trying to make? Did she want Mrs G to take back some of the goods? Do supermarkets allow eggs to be returned once they had been boiled?

What was the person making the phone call hoping to achieve? Mrs G decided that she needed to speak to the store manager about the matter and made an appointment to meet with him on the Monday following the afternoon tea.

Guess what. He knew nothing about anybody in the store being given the authority to make such a ridiculous phone call. He apologised profusely and asked the same question as us; what was the individual hoping to achieve from such action.

You will be pleased to know that we will be guaranteed a contribution towards any further events we have that require catering. Yay!

And we didn’t have to return any eggs.
 
Tea for Stewart - Possibly the best Motherwell
themed afternoon tea in the world

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Before moving on, one important feature of our Tea for Stewart fundraising events is to raise awareness of the nasty, horrible disease known as bowel cancer. Tables are strewn with informative leaflets relating to this condition and its effects. We also give information on how money raised helps in the fight to improve treatments and (hopefully) provide a cure. Please, take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 6th of July? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. John Paul Jones 1747 (Sea captain and bass player.), Stamford Raffles 1781 (Founded Singapore for the dear old empah, don’t cha know.), Marc Chagall 1887 (Painter and poet.), Frida Kahlo 1907 (Painter.), Nancy Reagan 1921 (Ronnie’s missus.), Bill Haley 1925 (Singer. I suppose you want a clip...), Janet Leigh 1927 (Actress.), Della Reese 1931 (Singer. Have a clip. Here's Someday.), Dave Allen 1936 (Comedian.), Vladimir Ashkanazy 1937 (Pianist and conductor. Let’s have some Chopin.), Ned Beatty 1937 (Actor.), Gene Chandler 1937 (Singer. A clip?  Get Down.), Jet Harris 1939 (A Shadow. Another clip? Here’s a post-Shadows hit... Nothing to do with Gone with the Wind.), Mary Peters 1939 (Athleticky bloke.), David Crystal 1941 (Writer.), George ‘Dubya’ Bush 1946 (Not the worst president of the U.S. Who thought anyone would ever say that.), Sylvester Stallone 1946 (Tree.), Geoffrey Rush 1951 (Ector.), Nanci Griffith 1953 (Musician. Here is From a Distance.  That was a hit for Nanci in Ireland and, I’m guessing from the subtitles, Portugal.), Jennifer Saunders 1958 (Comedian.), Curtis Jackson 1975 (Who? Oh, 50 Cent. Here he is in the club. That was a huge hit. Hmm.), Rory Delap 1976 (Footy bloke famous for his throw-ins.) and Kate Nash 1987 (Singer. Here’s Foundations.).
 
 
 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Garam Masala,

I am writing to you from yur in the valleys, to ask you a question, isn’t it. I was a great fan of the Shadows, especially the early band when Jet Harris and Tony Meehan were the rhythm section. Naturally, I followed their careers after they left the Shads. I recall they had a number one, but can’t remember its title, boyo. Can you help?

Yours hopefully,

Dai Ammonds.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened with the last bet we had? Nothing. Sorry pardon excuse me? It won. Sort of. £2.08 back from our £2.40 stake. So, 32 pees down.

Let’s try again, shall we? What has The Grambler come up with this week? What randomly selected predictions are we going to get? Let us see...

 

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Sandown - 3.35 - Enable - 4/5

Sandown - 4.45 - Falcon Eight - Evens

Haydock - 4.25 - Danzemo - 5/6

Bellewstown - 6.50 - Count Simon - 10/11

Bellewstown - 7.50 - Rocket Lad - 5/4

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator plus 20 pee each way cop out bet) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£13.84

 

Hmm... Nicely whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you about Arsenal manager Bertie Mee and what position did he hold at the club prior to prior to his appointment as manager. He was the... physiotherapist??? Yep.

One for this week?  Let's stick with football managers, shall we?  Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp joined an elite band when he won the top trophy in Europe.  Three other Liverpool managers have lifted the Champions League or European Cup.  Who was the most successful of the four, winning the trophy on three occasions?  Hmm... That could start a discussion down the pub. 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr D. Allen, an Irish comedian who was one of Britain’s top comics from the 1970s to the 1980s. He made several series of Dave Allen at Large for the BBC and I wanted to finish with a clip from one of those shows.

However, I think Mr Allen, himself, should have the final word. Here was the gag which possibly ended his career at the Beeb...

You wake to the clock, you go to work to the clock, you clock in to the clock, you clock out to the clock, you come home to the clock, you eat to the clock, you drink to the clock, you go to bed to the clock, you get up to the clock, you go back to work to the clock... You do that for forty years of your life and you retire... What do they f*ck*ng give you? A clock!

 

 

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 June 2019

Week 43/44 - The Grambler is finger-licking good


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

 

How about a joke from George to start us off? Take it away, George.

Knock knock...........


Knock knock... I’m pretending to be someone at the door.

Ha ha ha... I don’t get it.

No, that isn’t the joke. I say knock knock...

Isn’t the bell working?

... No. I say knock knock and you say who’s there.

Ahh. Got you. Okay, off you go...

Knock knock.

Come in... Hang on, that’s not it...

Who’s there!

It’s me.

No! You say who’s there!!

But I know it’s you... I don’t need to ask.

JUST... Just do it. Knock knock.

Ahem... Who is it... there. Who’s there?

Doctor.

I haven’t phoned for an appointment. I’m not even ill... apart from the excrutiating pain... You should be visiting someone who isn’t well enough to get to the surgery. Wasting NHS resources like that... You should be ashamed of yourself...

Look... It’s a joke!

Too right it’s a joke. Can’t get an appointment for love nor money, normally... and you just turn up on someone’s doorstep nilly willy... There ought to be a law against it.

LOOK... Look... I’m not a real doctor.

What? You’re impersonating a doctor? That’s even worse. You can be arrested for impersonating a doctor. Hang on... That’s police, isn’t it? You can be had up for pretending to be a copper.

I’m only trying to tell a joke. That is all. I say knock knock. You say who’s there. Then I say Doctor and you say Doctor who...

Doctor Who? That’s that telly programme isn’t it? The one with those giant shuttlecocks going around threatening to excommunicate everyone. They’ll not do much excommunicating armed with a sink plunger and an egg whisk. Ooh, I never liked that programme. Gave me the willies it did. Is it still that Worzel Gummidge bloke that plays him? Drove around in a daft looking yellow car. I reckon he borrowed it off Noddy. What do you think George? George? Oh dear, he’s gone again.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Church fetes are great aren't they? I was recently at one and there were bargains galore to be picked up. Where else can you get half a dozen books, three dvds and a horrible 1980s style standard lamp and still have change from a quid? Sadly, it is also the perfect place to pick up something else... food poisoning. Sorry pardon excuse me?

All church events such as the one where I picked up my bargains (I was only kidding about the standard lamp...nobody wanted that monstrosity), offer another very much appreciated attraction... The tearoom, with the offer of a watery cup of tea (or weak coffee of you prefer) and lots of ‘home’ baking. Some of the cakes on offer are pretty dull. Some, such as carrot cake on this occasion, are just fantastic.

However, consider all those home-baked cakes that are on offer at church fetes and coffee mornings. Who knows their origins? They could be coming from the mankiest kitchen known to man before they end up on the doillied (I think I might have just made that word up.) plates in church halls up and down this land.

So thank goodness for health and safety regulations where it is stipulated that anyone preparing and handling food is required to attend a course which covers the importance of hygiene in such matters.

Thus, anyone that makes any food to be consumed at a venue such as a church knows that it must be baked, not in someone’s home but, on those premises with fresh ingredients. It also follows that the food, once prepared, must not be touched by anyone's hand. Food must be served using tongs or, at the very least, a hand covered by a (food quality) glove.

Hopefully, everyone abides by these very sensible rules.

Any road up, back to the fete I attended. Having purchased my bargains I sat myself down in the makeshift tearoom and it was nice to see my selection of cakes being placed on my tea plate with cake tongs.

Now, it so happened that I was quite late in heading for the tearoom; it was almost closing time, so those goodies that were left were being put into bags for people to take away... for a small donation, of course.

I took a pound or two out of my pocket ready to purchase a few examples of home baking... well, a few examples of that carrot cake. Whoever made it ought to be told that she makes the best carrot cake known to man... this man, anyway. It really is absolutely... oh dear, I've just dribbled on my keyboard... delicious.

There was only one lady packing up cakes and she was struggling to keep up with demand. So another lady offered to lend her a hand and suggested that she sort out the different types of cake into different containers. It certainly did speed things up.

Unfortunately, the helpful lady had neither bothered to wash her hands nor had she donned the gloves for handling food. She just picked everything up with her uncovered fingers. And the first cakes she put into containers? Carrot cake. I was almost ready to forgive her this dreadful sin... it really is terrific carrot cake... until she got some cream icing on her fingers. What did she do? She licked her fingers clean and continued to sort out the cakes. Needless to say, I changed my mind about buying any cakes.

Is that it, I hear you ask. Not quite, I respond. A week or so later, Mrs G brought some pancakes home from a coffee morning (held at the same church). Of course, me being a greedy so and so, I devoured a couple there and then.

That night I had to visit the loo several times. I blamed the pancakes. It was the only item of food which I had eaten that Mrs G hadn't and she remained as right as rain while I was hot-footing it to the toilet... well, as hot as my feet will work.

The next morning I told Mrs G of my suspicions. I asked who had made those dodgy pancakes... You're way ahead of me aren't you? Yep, it was none other than the finger licker, herself.

Remind me to steer clear of pancakes next time I go to a church fete.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 22nd of June? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. James Beaumont Neilson 1792 (Engineer.), John Dillinger 1903 (Bad guy.), Billy Wilder 1906 (Film producer and director), Mike Todd 1909 (Another film producer. Mr Elizabeth Taylor number 3), Anne Ziegler 1910 (Singer. Here she is with Webster Booth gathering lilacs.), Doreen Mantle 1926 (Ectress. Mrs Warboys, that’s her.), Ralph Waite 1928 (Actor, John Walton Sr., that’s him.), Bruce Kent 1929 (Ban the bomber.), Prunella Scales 1932 (Ectress and bargee. Sybil Fawlty, that’s her.), Kris Kristofferson 1936 (Curntry en Wyustern sanger, Clip coming up. Why Me. [Why not you? - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Chris Blackwell 1937 (Record producer. Co-founded Island Records.), Esther Rantzen 1940 (... And finally, Cyril?), Peter Asher 1944 (Record producer and singer. Half of Peter and Gordon. [Which one was he? - Ed.] A clip? That was a clip from Crackjack. CRACKERJACK!), Howard Kaylan 1947 (A Turtle and Eddie from Flo and Eddie. They seemed happy together.), Todd Rundgren 1948 (Musician. A clip? Hello It's Me. [I know it’s you. - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Alan Osmond 1949 (A member of the toothsome singing siblings. A clip?  Al’s the one on the left pretending to play guitar.), Meryl Streep 1949 (Actress... You might have heard of her.), Lindsay Wagner 1949 (Actress. The bionic woman, that’s her.), Sharon Maughan 1950 (Ectress. Likes Gold Blend coffee, apparently.), Cyndi Lauper 1953 (Singer. A clip? Girls Just Want to Have Fun. [They do, don’t they? - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Freddie Prinze 1954 (Comedian.), Green Gartside 1955 (Scritti Politti front man. Have a clip. Wood Beez. [Would bees what? - Ed.] No that’s what it’s called.), Danny Baker 1957 (Radio presenter who wasn’t aware that Prince Harry’s missus had had a wean.), Garry Gary Beers 1957 (Bassist with INXS. Have a clip.), Kevin Bond 1957 (Footy bloke.), Erin Brockovich 1960 (Environmentalist.), Jimmy Somerville 1961 (A Communard. Here’s a clip. You Are My World. [Thank you. I like you too. - Ed.] Sigh... It’s what it’s called.), Bobby Gillespie 1962 (Musician. Singer with Primal Scream. A clip? Here’s Movin' on Up.), Dan Brown 1964 (Inexplicably successful author.), Ľubomír ‘Lubo’ Moravčík 1965 (Futbalový chlap.) and Jo Cox 1974 (Politician.).

And now...

Were any famous or slightly well-known people born on the 29th of June? Of course there were; here are some even I have heard of. George Washington Goethals 1858 (Engineer who co-designed the Panama Canal.), Nelson Eddie 1901 (Singer. A clip? All together now... Hawhen hI'ma calleenga you... hoo hoo hoo... hoo hoo hoo.), Leroy Anderson 1908 (Composer. He wrote this... Just pretend it's Christmas.), Frank Loesser 1910 (Another composer.  Another clip.), Bernard Herrmann 1911 (Blibbing flip! Yet another composer.  Yet another clip.), Slim Pickens 1919 (Actor.), Ray Harryhausen 1920 (Animator in the days before cgi. Here’s a famous example of his work.), Jean Kent 1921 (Ectress, don’t cha know.), Ian Bannen 1928 (Actor, Aye laddie.), Charlotte Bingham 1942 (Writer.), Little Eva 1943 (Babysitter for Carole King and Gerry Goffin... Well, their baby... Not them... That would be silly. Had one hit. This.), Garry Busey 1944 (Actor.), Ian Paice 1948 (Drummy bloke from Deep Purple. Here’s an early performance.), Colin Hay 1953 (A man at work. A clip? It's a Mistake. [Is it? - Ed.] No, that’s what it’s called.), Amanda Donohoe 1962 (Actress.), Anne-Sophie Mutter 1963 (Fiddler. Time for a wee bit cultyer.), Stedman Pearson 1964 (Another bit of Five Star.  Have a clip. His input seems to be just dancing in that video.) and Kim Little 1990 (Footy bloke.)

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Grim-Reaper,

We are so happy that you saw fit to include a clip from Scritti Politti, a much underrated band from the nineteen eighties. We have a teaser for you... Wood Beez was indeed their biggest hit, but their very first record to chart only reached number 64. It entered the top forty (just) when Madness recorded the song five years later. Can you remember what the song was?

Yours teasingly,

Des Wheat, Esther Gurl.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened with the last bet we had? Nothing. Sorry pardon excuse me? It lost. Big style. Not a penny back. Oh dear.

Let’s try again, shall we? What has The Grambler come up with this week? What randomly selected predictions are we going to get? Let us see...

 

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Newmarket - 2.05 - Summer Romance - 5/4

Curragh - 3.30 - Addeybb - 4/5

Newmarket - 4.25 - Manorah - 4/6

Doncaster - 5.55 - Little Bird - 6/4

Lingfield - 7.15 - Inspired Thought - 10/11

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator plus 20 pee each way cop out bet) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£15.50

 

Uh oh... a bit too whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I gave you some anagrams to work out. How did you get on? The answers were...

Aide index - Dixie Dean

Amethyst set lawn - Stanley Matthews

Jeer comer - Joe Mercer

My lawn motto - Tommy Lawton

Final minnow - Wilf Mannion

Ornament nests - Stan Mortensen

Not so hateful - Nat Lofthouse

Nifty omen - Tom Finney

I did warn you that they were from way back.

One for this week? Here’s one about Arsenal manager Bertie Mee. Bertie took over as Arsenal’s manager in 1966 aged just 34, but what position did he hold at the club prior to prior to that appointment? Hmm... very interesting.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr L. Lindley Jr, better known as Slim Pickens (Geddit?) who provides us with our finishing clip. Mr Pickens was an actor who specialised in rather one-dimensional not-very-bright cowboy roles where his utterances usually ended with the expletive ‘shoot’ followed by a spit. His most famous roles were in Blazing Saddles (as a cowboy) and Dr. Strangelove (Full title Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.) where he played a major in the U.S. Airforce... as a cowboy. Incidentally, here’s a factoid for you. Peter Sellers, already playing three roles in the film, was supposed to play the role of Major ‘King’ Kong (Pickens’ role) as well, but couldn’t come up with the right accent. Any road up, his loss was Pickens’ (and our) gain. Here is, arguably, the most famous moment from the film... Awoooo! Wahoooo!

 
Another factoid: Prior to becoming an actor, Slim Pickens
was a real rodeo performer. Here he puts his skills
to good use.
 


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, 15 June 2019

Week 42 - The Grambler solves city congestion


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

 

Let’s start with a joke from George, our resident comedian...

A man walks into a bar... Ouch!

Ooh, are you all right? Have you hurt yourself?

No. It’s part of the joke... The man who walked into the bar said ouch...

Oh, I see. He hurt himself. Perhaps he had walked into a solid bar or something rather than a public house type bar. An iron bar perhaps. That would be painful, especially if it got him across the shins... No meat there, you see. Just bone. Very sore if you bump that. Anyway, carry on with your joke. How does it finish?

No, you’re all right.

I don’t get it.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As regular (and irregular) readers of this august blog, you are probably aware that I am a little bit of a petrol-head. I enjoy driving and reading (and sometimes writing) about motoring matters. The current thinking of motor manufacturers is that we will all be driving electric cars before very long. So, what would a petrol-head be called then? A current-head?

Why has the motor industry adopted this approach? Well, it probably isn’t through choice; it is all to do with government decrees that air-polluting internal-combustion-engined cars will be outlawed by some date in the not-too-distant future. Don’t panic yet, though; it will only affect new cars, initially. Any gas-guzzling behemoths that are currently in use, or will be in use at the time of the demise of petrol/diesel-fuelled cars, will still be allowed to be driven. However, the cost of fuel to run them may be prohibitive. Sorry for all this doom and gloom for you motorists out there.

Blame politicians. Why have governments around the world decided that we must switch wholesale from one form of propulsion to something else? Votes. Purely and simply that. It has been pointed out by quite a few high-profile individuals that the amount of pollution in the atmosphere is getting to dangerous levels. People pay attention when David Attenborough or Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tell them that the planet is being killed by pollution.

Politicians, quick to jump on any passing bandwagon, have also been listening [For once. - Ed.] and realise that people are now getting a little bit concerned (or should that be scared sh*tless?) about the consequences of humans polluting the atmosphere. Oh ho, they think... or maybe it’s aha... we don’t want to be seen to be ignoring this very real danger, it could cost us votes.

Hence, without really understanding the situation fully, politicians have decided that the internal combustion engine is to be consigned to the history book.

Why do I say they haven’t understood the situation? Because a blanket ban on vehicles powered by fossil fuels rather than ‘renewable energy’ is not the answer; or, at least, it isn’t the complete answer.

The pollution is most prevalent (That’s a good word; must look it up.) in cities and densely populated areas, obviously. Surely the sensible option would be to ban, or at least limit, the use of ICE vehicles in those places. Agree? Of course you do.

So, what did the politicians do? Let’s take London as an example. They didn’t put a ban on vehicles; instead, they introduced a ‘congestion charge’, currently £11.50 per day. That, they deemed, would be enough to deter people from driving their big cars into the city. That wasn’t enough, though. The problem there would seem to be that those affluent enough to work in the centre of London and affluent enough to drive there, would still take their cars into the city. The costs involved would probably mean nothing to them... ‘Just charge it to the company.’

Surely [Don’t call me Shirley. - Ed.], the answer is to actually prevent congestion altogether. How, I hear you ask. My suggestion is to ban cars from entering the centre of the city. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yes. Ban them... Up to a point. Buses and taxis would obviously be exempt. Disabled drivers would also be exempt. Delivery vehicles would need to be allowed in, as well. Every other form of private, motorised transport? Banned.

How on earth could that be implemented, you may be asking. Quite easily, I reply. There would be no parking areas at all in the city. The only places for vehicles to stop would be taxi ranks, bus stops, delivery drop-off points and bays for vehicles driven by disabled people. Other places for vehicles to be left would be vast cycle-parks, similar to those already seen in many towns and cities on the European mainland. Car parks would have to be provided away from the areas to be kept free of vehicles. These could be within cycling distance of the city. You might argue that cycle lanes would have to be added to the city road system. Would they, though? With fewer vehicles on the road, the city ought to be a safe place for cyclists.

The users of those vehicles that have to enter the city centre could be offered incentives to adapt to cleaner-fuelled cars, rather than forcing all users of petrol/diesel vehicles to change to new technology. And it is new... And not without glitches... Jaguar and Audi are already having to recall electric vehicles which have only been on sale for a matter of months. Tesla, the early adopter of electrically-powered cars, has a history of recalls due to technical problems.

To me, electric vehicle technology is still too new to be foisted on everyone in this way. Governments should not interfere so much. Instead, follow The Grambler’s sensible advice. Come on, councils of Britain, it would only take one to implement the ban on non-essential vehicles and the rest would follow suit. 

Of course, the bean counters wouldn't contemplate such a sensible solution to the problem.  Last year the income from congestion charges raised £122 million.  You read that correctly; one hundred and twenty two million quid!  The council won't want to lose that sort of money, which is why they are just paying lip service to the campaigners for a greener environment... Sure, make every car electric and when the income drops off, we'll just start charging a fortune to bring them into the city, the same as happens with petrol and diesel engined cars right now.

Cynical?  Me? 

I've just thought of another benefit with my plan.  There would be an increase in employment. Beg pardon? You see, not everyone would want to cycle from the out-of-town car parks. More buses would be required and, it follows, more drivers for those buses.  This idea just gets better and better.

Hang on a minute, one occupation might find its numbers depleted, somewhat. I wonder if any traffic wardens would like to become bus drivers?  Or bicycle park attendants.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 15th of June? Of course there were. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Edvard Grieg 1843 (Composer and inventor of the steak bake. A clip?  You'll recognise this.), Harry Langdon 1884 (Early film star. Made over 90 films in his career.), James Robertson Justice 1907 (Bad-tempered ectaw.), David Rose 1910 (Composer. Wrote this.  Ba ra ba ba, ba ra ba ba...), Wilbert Awdry 1911 (Co-creator of Thomas the Tank Engine. If he is aware of the current TTTT output, he must be spinning in his grave.), Yuri Andropov 1914 (политик.), Errol Garner 1921 (Pianist and composer. Have a clip. Watch what happens. [Yes, what? - Ed.] No. That’s what it’s called.), Richard Baker 1925 (Newsreader.), Brian Sewell 1931 (Art critic. Always came over as posh and proper... but we know different, don’t we? Read Week 8 - Brian Sewell - the haughty culturalist), Waylon Jennings 1937 (Singer. This is Wrong. [Well, don’t play it. - Ed.] No. That’s what it’s called.  Factoid: Waylon Jennings was supposed to be on the ill-fated plane that carried Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson, but gave up his seat to one of the others.), Harry Nilsson 1941 (Singer. Had a huge hit with Without You. It won him the best vocal performance award in 1973. It was a song penned by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger.  Surely, there can only be one choice for our link.), Johnny Hallyday 1943 (Chanteur. Voici un lien pour le suivi... Que Je T'Aime.), Muff [Excuse me? - Ed.] Winwood 1943 (Record producer who began his musical career as a bass player with the Spencer Davis Group, so I reckon a link is valid.), Neville ‘Noddy’ Holder 1946 (Slade front man during their glory years. Yow wanna cleep?  Gow on then.), Demis Roussos 1946 (Megáli tragoudístria. Edó eínai énas sýndesmos gia tin parakoloúthisi. Here's Forever and Ever.), Henry McLeish 1948 (Footy bloke and politician.), Simon Callow 1949 (eccctawww, dear leddie.), Russell Hitchcock 1949 (Half of Air Supply.  Here's a bonzer clip.), John Redwood 1951 (Politician who doesn’t know the Welsh national anthem. You will squirm with embarrassment.), Jim Belushi 1954 (Actor.), Julie Hagerty 1955 (Actress. She was in Airplane.), Alan Brazil 1959 (Footy bloke.), Chris Morris 1962 (Comedian, writer, director, actor, voice actor and producer... in fact, a right old smarty boots.), Courtney Cox [Ooh... nasty. - Ed.] 1964 (Actress. Here’s an early role.), Michael Laudrup 1964 (Fodboldklump.), O’Shea Jackson aka Ice Cube 1969 (Rapper. You want a clip? No chance. This is a family blog. Well, as long as the family members are adults.), Oliver Kahn 1969 (Der Torhüter.), Cédric Pioline 1969 (Mec de tennis.), Justin Fletcher 1970 (Children’s entertainer. Mr Tumble. That’s him.), Justin Leonard 1972 (Golfy bloke.), Tore Andre Flo 1973 (Fotballkamp.), Neil Patrick Harris 1973 (Actor. Doogie Howser, M.D. That was him.), Katie Chapman 1982 (Footy bloke.) and Mohamed Salah 1992 (Mo Salah, Mo Salah, Running down the wing...).
 
I can't live, if living is without
the lime in the coconut


 

 

I’ve received a letter. Hang on a mo; I think this has come to me by mistake.

 
Plot 17,
Graveyard,
St. Mary the Virgin,
Dedham,
Essex.

Dear Mr so-called Director of the BBC,

I am writing to you from six feet underground to complain in the strongest possible terms about one of the so-called birthday celebrants in the so-called world’s greatest ill-informed blog.

As you know, while I was alive, I made it my life’s work to mind other people’s business and I don’t see why that should stop just because I am dead.

This very morning, I watched a so-called children’s television programme called Something Special on the See Beardies channel and it was the dirtiest, filthiest programme I have ever watched in my death.

The person I take exception to is so-called Jessica Fletcher, the so-called children’s entertainer who calls himself Mr Fumble or Mumble or something like that. Tumble! That’s it.

I’m a reasonable person and I certainly don’t have a dirty mind that sees something rude in even the most innocent of activities, but I think even his so-called name is filthy. Mr Tumble. Absolute filth! Where exactly is he going to tumble? Straight into bed, I don’t doubt. I think we can all guess what the so-called something special is. Ess Ee Ecks, that’s what.

He is supposed to be addressing children who are deaf and is using so-called sign language. A likely story! Who knows what he is signifying with those hands. I’m a reasonable person, but every movement of his hands looks, in my opinion (and I don’t have a dirty mind), to be suggesting something absolutely filthy. Who knows what subversive messages he’s putting across to these vulnerable children?

However, the most shocking thing about this so-called entertainer is that he is obsessed with his own medical condition which is obviously something he has contracted by indulging in ess ee ecks. Yes, I am talking genital warts, Mr so-called Norman Stanley Fletcher. Indeed.

Why else would he be inviting all and sundry to look at his spotty bag?

Yours disgustedly,

(the late) Mary Whitehouse.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. What happened with last week’s bet? We won... a bit. A tiny bit. We only got 74 pees back from our outlay of £2.40. Oh dear.

What has The Grambler come up with this week? What randomly selected predictions are we going to get? Let’s see, shall we...

 

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Sandown - 2.35 - Fantasy Keeper - 7/4

Bath - 2.55 - Khafooq - 8/13

Bath - 4.10 - Handytalk - 7/4

York - 3.00 - Mekong - Evens

Downpatrick - 5.55 - Santana Plessis - 8/11

The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator plus 20 pee each way cop out bet) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£18.28

 

Blibbing flip!  That's a bit too whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which football club had the nickname ‘The Biscuitmen’ until the 1980s due to the town’s association with Huntley and Palmers. The answer is Reading F.C. Huntley and Palmers made biscuits in the town until 1976. Since the 1980s the club has been known as The Royals because Reading is in Royal Berkshire. Hmm... I preferred the old name.

One for this week? I’ve given you anagrams to work out before; this week’s teaser lists famous footballers names in anagram form together with the team they played for. See how you get on.

Aide index - Tranmere Rovers, Everton, Notts County

Amethyst set lawn - Stoke City, Blackpool

Jeer comer - Everton, Arsenal

My lawn motto - Burnley, Everton, Chelsea, Notts County, Brentford, Arsenal

Final minnow - Middlesbrough, Hull City

Ornament nests - Blackpool, Hull City, Southport

Not so hateful - Bolton Wanderers

Nifty omen - Preston North End

 

The only clue I will add is that they are all players from not just way back, but way way back. Have fun.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr A. Brazil, one of this week’s birthday celebrants. Alan Brazil made over 150 appearances for Ipswich Town (scoring 70 goals) before big moves to Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. He also played 13 times at international level for Scotland. Sadly, his career was ended early by a recurring back injury. However, nowadays he is remembered less for his football career than for his unique style of radio presenting. He is prone to the occasional gaffe... You’ve heard Colemanballs? Well, his mistakes are called Brazil nuts. So, this week, we finish with a few examples of his foot-in-mouth moments.

It’s 6.45… coming up to a quarter to seven.

John Cross is feeling very boyish about Arsenal's chances.

On Alex Ferguson - The man is United. Cut him and he bleeds red.

I saw Real Madrid the other week, against Gaddafi.

In the papers this morning: Police closing in on Ian Holloway... Sorry… it's Palace closing in on Ian Holloway.

I wouldn't touch Chimbonda with a barn door.

Sly Stallone will be at Everton promoting his new film, Rocky Bilbao.

Paolo Di Canio is one picnic short of a hamper.

Levante have gone fourth in Serie A. If anyone can tell me what part of Italy Levante is in, please call. I've no idea.

Tony Adams is braised for rejection by Arsenal.

The tackles are coming in thick and thin.

With the greatest possible respect, Luis Garcia is a tart.

Let's hope it's not a case of sore grapes.

Liverpool have won seven of their last 11 Premiership derbies with Everton. But that form goes out of the window when it comes to a derby.

Sam Allardyce has backed the FA’s decision to overturn the referee.

There's a good-feel factor about Sheffield Wednesday.

Clint Dempsey scored a last-minute winner to earn Tottenham a 1-1 draw against United.

Some players need a boot up their backside. Other players need the arm.

Alan Brazil: I remember, more than the cup final, the semi-final v West Brom at Highbury. That was one hell of a game.

Co-host: 3-1 wasn’t it?

Alan Brazil: I can’t remember.

Chelsea have to play Sunday night - the FA won't bulge.

Van Persie will play against Milan... no youngster wants to miss out on playing in the Nou Camp.

Our talking point this morning is George Best, his liver transplant and the booze culture in football. Don’t forget, the best caller wins a crate of John Smith’s.

Belgium’s not a hotpot of international football.

Reading have got amazing teamship.

To be honest, the game was a bit of a damp squid.

They gave the Serbian FA a poultry fine.

In their last four Blackburn have lost 3-0, 3-1, 5-3 and 3-2. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that's 12 goals conceded.

I wonder how Villa would fare with such injuries. It would be like them missing young Barry Milner… er sorry, misread that, I mean Young, Barry and Milner.

I’m not going to single individuals out but Yakubu has missed loads of great chances.

I have seen players sent off for far worse offences than that.

Alan Brazil: I was sad to hear yesterday about the death of Inspector Morse, TV’s John Shaw.

Mike Parry: John Thaw, Alan.

Alan Brazil: Do you know, I’ve been doing that all morning. John, if you’re listening, sorry mate.

Jose Mourinho is starting to annoy me - I'm getting a bit fobbed off with him.

Some of the Scotland players need to look themselves in the face.

Brendan Rodgers has been singing the praises of Suarez and Sturridge – the SS.

He’s put the cat among the bags there.

Brazil interviewed Gary Bushell about comedy and in particular Bob Monkouse.

Brazil: How is Bob's health these days?

Bushell: Er...he died, Alan.

Brazil: Will Hansie be doing any commentaries for us during the World Cup?

Cricket man: Well not unless he's going to be doing them from the grave, Alan.

He held his head in his hands as it flashed past the post.

Roy Keane, his face punches the air...

...the Derby fans walking home absolutely silent in their cars.

One moment I'm playing football and the next - whack - I wake up in hospital unconscious.

 

 

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.