Saturday, 9 December 2017

Week 18 - The Grambler on murder? Surely not.


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

 

Who remembers Taggart? The real Taggart, I mean. Mark McManus. Him. Do you recall his catchphrase? There’s been a murrrdah. Well, I was in a restaurant the other day and I witnessed murder. Notice that I said murder, not a murder. And I only heard it taking place, I didn’t see anything. That is because the murder being committed was to a song, or several songs that were being played for the ‘delight’ of us diners.

The perpetrator of these crimes against eardrums was the famous Frank Sinatra tribute act (who got lucky), Michael Bubbly. Admittedly, I am not a fan of his style of music, so I was already disliking what I was hearing before the real ‘crime’ took place.

You probably know the Bing Crosby Christmas classic White Christmas. Yes? It is a slow song sung in Bing’s inimitable style... boh boh boh boom. Take note: it is a slow song.

A dirge began playing in the restaurant. It was supposed to be White Christmas; a fact I only realised because I recognised the words. The tune, such as it was, was entirely different. The tempo was even slower than the original. My only thought on listening to this ‘song’ was why. Why does somebody feel the need to take a well-known song and ruin it?

I blame that Eva Cassidy woman. I do. Her that murdered Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

Actually, now I come to think of it, song murdering was going on long before she started. Think of absolutely anything involving Louis Armstrong attempting to sing. Brilliant trumpeter. Rotten singer.

Another that comes to mind is John Lennon. Yes, I know he wrote a few decent songs, but he was no singer; what he did to Stand By Me was unforgivable.

Sometimes, the very opposite is true. Any Dylan song seems to be improved if someone else sings it and, although I know I am courting trouble, I would say the same of anything by Springsteen.

However, there are some perfectly acceptable songs that had nothing particularly wrong with them that were improved so much by covers that it was they, rather than the originals, that became accepted as the definitive versions. I am thinking of I Heard It Through the Grapevine, for example. Marvin Gaye’s take on it was so much better than the Gladys Knight original. Years later, a Marvin Gaye original got the same treatment. Paul Young’s arrangement of Wherever I Lay My Hat just seems perfect. And who would prefer Neil Diamond’s Red Red Wine over the UB40 cover version.

Some songs receive a different treatment and it is hard to judge. I’m a Believer... The Monkees or Robert Wyatt? Hmm.

You might argue that at least all the songs I have mentioned thus far have been given a different arrangement, surely that is preferable to a note for note copy. I agree. What was the point of all the versions of Spirit in the Sky or Unchained Melody other than to make oodles of money for those involved?

However, I am complaining about songs which take an often brilliant original and mess it up such that the result is just horrible. Return with me now to the restaurant where the crime which prompted this week’s rant was perpetrated. Old Bubbly hadn’t finished. I only mentioned one song: a shockingly bad version of White Christmas. There was worse, much worse, to come.

We all have our favourite songs. One of mine is a Beach Boys’ song which reached number two in the charts back in 1966 and was included on the LP sometimes cited as being the best album ever, Pet Sounds. It is a lovely song with a perfect arrangement and a lead vocal (provided by Carl Wilson) that is just wonderful. It is, of course, God Only Knows. So how did Bubbly manage to completely fmuck it up? Judge for yourselves. Compare and contrast.  Michael Bubbly vs Beach Boys.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 9th of December? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. John Milton 1608 (Poet that lost paradise... I should check under the couch if I were you.), Clarence Birdseye 1886 (Go on... have a guess what company he founded.), Hermione Gingold 1897 (Ectress. Starred in the snappily titled ‘Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad’.), Emmett Kelly 1898 (Clown.), Margaret Hamilton 1902 (Ectress. The Wicked Witch of the West.), Dalton Trumbo 1905 (Screenwriter and novelist. Blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities committee.), Douglas Elton Fairbanks Jr. KBE, DSC 1909 (Ectaw son of ectaw and studio owner Douglas Fairbanks. Obviously made it because of sheer ability, nothing else.), Broderick Crawford 1911 (‘B Film’ ectaw.), Elisabeth Schwartzkopf 1915 (Rerr chanter. Time for a bit of cult'yer), Kirk Douglas 1916 (I’m Kirk Douglas. No, I’m Kirk Douglas.), John Cassavetes 1929 (Ectaw, film diector and screenwriter.), Judi Dench 1934 (Ectress.), Beau Bridges 1941 (Ectaw.), Billy Bremner 1942 (Footy bloke.), Joanna Trollope 1943 (Author who’s no better than she ought to be.), Neil Innes 1944 (Musician. Time for a clip. Here he is singing his hit..), Sonia Gandhi 1946 (Politician.), Allan Jones 1947 (Crickety bloke.), Tom Kite 1949 (Golfy bloke.), Joan Armatrading 1950 (Singer/songwriter. A clip? Hmm... Which one, I wonder....), John Malkovich 1953 (Ectaw.), Donny Osmond 1957 (Singer. Another clip? Put your dark glasses on to watch; don’t want you to be dazzled by the teeth.), Nick Seymour 1958 (A bit of Crowded House. You want another clip? Aye, go on then... Here’s a promo video where health and safety were not considered much.), Dave Harold 1966 (Snookery bloke.), Joshua Bell 1967 (Fiddler. Time for another bit of cult'yer.), Brian Bell 1968 (A bit of Weezer. What? Another clip? Aye.  Happen.), Bixente Lizarazu 1969 (Le football type Francais.), Geoff Barrow 1971 (Musician. Time for another clip. Here’s Geoff’s biggest hit, All mine.) and Tre Cool 1972 (That’s not his real name, obviously. Green Day drummer. Time for yet another clip.).

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Gumball,

Donny Osmond 60? Doesn’t seem right. I’ll bet he’s still singing Puppy Love and Young Love. Definitely not right. I think he was also part of that family group, The Osmonds. They had some big hits too. Crazy Horses. That was one. Then there was that one Let Me In. That doesn’t seem right either. I can’t remember their first hit, though. Can you help?

Yours with loads of love,

Juan Badappel.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare. It actually won. I know. I can’t believe it either. I say won; four out of five results went our way. It still gave us a wee profit, though. £3.68 back from our £2.20 stake. Mustn’t grumble. What happened? Read on...

Brighton vs Liverpool - Prediction Away win

Result - Brighton 1 Liverpool 5

An emphatic YAY!

Emre Can powered a header beyond Mat Ryan from Philippe Coutinho's corner after half an hour and the Reds doubled their lead 79 seconds later... Mohamed Salah drove at the Brighton defence and picked out Coutinho, who slid a left-footed cross to the back post for Roberto Firmino to finish.

Brazil striker Firmino made it 3-0 after Salah's brilliant assist before Glenn Murray, who had already missed two chances, beat Simon Mignolet with a penalty following Jordan Henderson's foul on Shane Duffy.

Brighton had chances to make it two, but Coutinho made it 4-1 by scoring with a cute low free-kick before enticing Brighton defender Lewis Dunk to head into his own net.

 

Everton vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win

Result - Everton 2 Huddersfield 0

Yay!

Gylfi Sigurdsson had a poor game overall, but finished neatly less than two minutes into the second half after Dominic Calvert-Lewin's lovely angled back-flick played him in.

England youth forward Calvert-Lewin, Everton's outstanding player, added a deserved goal when he ran on to Wayne Rooney's pass and scored via a deflection off Mathias Jorgensen.

 

Leicester vs Burnley - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 1 Burnley 0

Yay!

An early goal from Demarai Gray was enough to give Leicester victory. Gray got on the end of a Riyad Mahrez cross for the goal and hit the post with another effort in the second half.

Burnley's Robbie Brady was taken off on a stretcher before the break following a nasty clash with Harry Maguire in the box.

Chris Wood almost pounced on a mistake from Kasper Schmeichel in one of several half-chances for Burnley.

 

Stoke vs Swansea - Prediction Home win

Result - Stoke 2 Swansea 1

Yay!

Wilfried Bony's first top-flight goal for more than a year gave the visitors an early lead, but Xherdan Shaqiri and Mame Biram Diouf had the home side in front by the interval.

 

Watford vs Tottenham - Prediction Away win

Result - Watford 1 Spurs 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

 

The hosts had taken the lead in the 13th minute when Christian Kabasele headed in from six yards from Tom Cleverley's left-wing corner.

Watford thought they should have had a penalty when Richarlison appeared to be fouled, but it was not given, and less than a minute later Tottenham's Son Heung-min finished off Christian Eriksen's cross to equalise.

Spurs played most of the second half with 10 men after defender Davinson Sanchez was dismissed for elbowing Richarlison in the 52nd minute.

 

Ooooh! So close to a full house there. Can The Grambler go one better this week? [Don’t talk so daft. - Ed.] Let’s see what random predictions he/she/it has come up with this week.

Game - Result - Odds

Aston Villa vs Millwall - Prediction Home away - 4/5

Fulham vs Birmingham - Prediction Home away - 8/13

Middlesbrough vs Ipswich - Prediction Home away - 4/6

Nottingham Forest vs Bolton - Prediction Home away - 17/20

Norwich vs Sheffield Utd - Prediction Home away - 5/4

Oh dear. The Grambler seems to be stuck in single division mode again. All five predictions are from the English Championship. Well, it almost worked last week... Here’s hoping. Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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...

 

£10.74

 

We could call that a bit whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what was the link between Motherwell and Dundee United in 1991 when the ’Well won the cup. Both club were managed by a McLean. Not just any McLean, but brothers Tommy and Jim. Younger sibling Tommy was victorious on the day.

One for this week? This week Liverpool beat Spartak Moskva 7-0 in a Champions League game. It was the second time they had won by such a margin in that league in a single ‘campaign’. They join Marseille and Shaktar Donetsk in the record books; all three have won two games 7-0 in the competition in one year. However, the score is one short of Liverpool’s own best; they beat Besiktas 8-0 in 2007. This week’s teaser? Which other team matched that score? Try that one down the pub, before resorting to Googlie.

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to birthday celebrant Mr. J. Malkovich... although he hasn’t actually got much to do with this week’s finishing item. As you know, I enjoy B3ta.com; especially the image challenge. This one caught my eye and struck me as being rather apt...

 


Sorry to our readers overseas, who might not have heard of the wonderful Chuckle Brothers.
 
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, 1 December 2017

Week 17 - The Grambler watches Blue Planet 2


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

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

I have recently been watching Blue Planet 2. It is a programme about sealife made by the British Broadcorping Casteration and it is visually stunning. It is the kind of programme high definition TV was made for. It has wheezy nonogenarian David Attenborough providing the narration and, for a bloke of his age, he does remarkably well. It says much about the esteem shown for him that there is nobody younger able to give the programme the gravitas he provides. [Gravitas? Isn’t that a Nordic dish of raw salmon? - Ed.] I have no idea what the Beeb Beeb Ceeb will do when he finally runs out of steam. Maybe they will ‘cash in’ on his name with an Attenborough Life on Earth franchise.

One thing that I do not like about Blue Planet 2 (and its predecessors for that matter) is the ten minute ‘look how clever we are’ segment stuck on at the end. I realise that the Beeb are hoping to sell this programme to TV companies all over the world and, because they will mostly use advertising, there has to be enough time allowed for it. Although they could simply have made a 50 minute programme. Whatever, the look how clever we are bit tells you how difficult it was to get certain shots shown in the programme. Basically, it is everyone involved patting themselves on the back. Yes, very clever. Have a Bafta.

As I have said, the programme is stunning visually but, when it comes to adding the sound, someone is surely taking the p*ss. Obviously, since it is a programme about creatures that live in the sea, most of it is filmed underwater. What sound is there in the deep? Probably very little. There certainly wouldn’t be a loud swooshing sound every time a fast moving shark swims by. And I certainly don’t think that sea urchins eating kelp make the same sound as a human munching a raw carrot... though I suspect that that is the exact sound effect used. Why don’t they just have the urchins making nom nom sounds and be done with it. They could end the sequence with them all belching loudly.

One section showed a tiny seahorse swimming along. It was probably only a couple of inches in length and its swimming fins were more like frills. For some odd reason, there was added a noise to this creature swimming. This was supposed to be the sound made by these frills, which were probably no more than a quarter of an inch long, when they were oscillating (That’s a good word; must look it up.). I would have thought the sound made by these tiny frills would be... silence. Odd that some sound engineer thought they should sound like someone blowing through a drinking straw that had been flattened at one end.

It is all to do with what is known as dumbing down. That, and saving money. Saving money, I hear you ask. Indeed. Look at any older wildlife programme and there was probably background music added to enhance the various scenes. Even though the music might seem unimportant, it was always composed specifically for the section of film that it accompanied. Thus, for a part that showed a shark swimming after its prey there would be loud fast-moving music and for the parts where there was gentle motion, the music would be quiet and slow. By not having music for the filmed sequences, the Beeb is saving money... composers probably command a much bigger fee than some bloke chomping a carrot or blowing through a straw.

Dumbing down? I blame Disney. I do. Often these wildlife programmes show a group of animals and the director decides that each should be given a name; the way one would name a pet. Why? Dumbing down, that’s why. Or they will show an animal, say a shark, seeking out its prey. We see the prey. Then we see the shark looking around. Next we have a shot of the prey reacting, as if it has seen the shark. Next we see a similar reaction shot of the shark, as if it has seen its prey. Next up, the prey is shown swimming fast. Then the shark is shown swimming fast. Finally, we see the prey either hiding (phew) or being gobbled up by the shark (awww). Ludicrous I call it but it is all part of the dumbing down of these programmes. It all has to be ‘storyboarded’ like a Disney animation.

It wouldn’t have surprised me in the least to have seen this silliness go the final step. This could well have been that last sequence...

ATTENBOROUGH:     The octopus sees the shark...

OCTOPUS:                    Oh oh... I’d better get outa here.

ATTENBOROUGH:     But the shark has seen him...

SHARK:                        Where are you you little... Aha! Now
                                       I’ve got you...

ATTENBOROUGH:     The octopus manages to hide under
                                       a rock...

OCTOPUS:                    Phew! Safe at last.

ATTENBOROUGH:     But the shark can still reach him...

SHARK:                        Thought you could hide, did you? 
                                       Mwah ha ha!

OCTOPUS:                    Arrrgh! Let me go you brute!

ATTENBOROUGH:     But the octopus puts its tentacles in
                                       the shark’s gills...

OCTOPUS:                    Get out of that, sharky boy.

SHARK:                        Why you... Can’t... breathe... Must...
                                       get... away...

ATTENBOROUGH:     And the shark swims away empty handed...

Cue octopus singing some Disneyesque song with a shoal of sardines’ swimming choreographed to match. I do love a happy ending.
 
A seahorse
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 2nd of December? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. John Barbirolli 1899 (Cellist and conductor. Famous for conducting the Halle Orchestra.), John Cobb 1899 (Record breaker. Held land and water speed records. Died on Loch Ness trying to raise the water speed record. An unexplained wake caused his boat to lift while it was travelling at more than 200 miles per hour. Some people believed the wake to have been caused by Nessie. Aye, right.), Maria Callas 1923 (Singing verruca.), Alexander Haig 1924 (American politician.), Mike England 1941 (Welsh footy bloke.), Gianni Versace 1946 (Draper.), Rick Savage 1960 (Bit of Def Leppard. Time for a clip? WARNING: This video contains some 1992 ‘state of the art’ computer generated imagery. Don’t laugh too much.), Brendan Coyle 1963 (Mr Bates - Stop sniggering at the back - from Downton Abbey.), David Batty 1968 (Footy bloke.), Lucy Liu 1968 (Master Viper.), Nate Mendel 1968 (A fighter of Foo. A clip? Why certainly. Here’s an oldie.), Monica Seles 1973 (Tennisy bloke.), Nelly Furtado 1978 (Singer/songwriter. Another clip? Go on then. Here, she likens herself to a bird.), Chris Wolstenholme 1978 (A third of Muse. You want another clip? Have mercy... No, seriously... have Mercy.), Britney Spears 1981 (Singer and ex-Mousekateer. You want yet another clip? Oh no. Not that one. Oh all right then.), Chris Burke 1983 (Footy bloke.) and Gaston Ramirez 1990 (Another footy bloke.).
 
 
 

.....oooOooo.....
 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Rumbelow,

We did enjoy seeing that video of *** Me Baby One More Time with Britney Spears. Oh yes. We have been fans of hers since we first saw that video. Oh yes. It was so well... choreographed. Oh yes. And the outfits... Oh yes. Where was I? Ah. Most people remember Oops!... I Did It Again as being her next number one, but there was another single in between which reached number one. Can you name it?

Yours affectionately,

Bjorn Toomay, Q. Happeh.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

We haven’t had any bets for a couple of weeks thanks to Beardy bloke Media giving up the ghost just at the wrong time. This week however, The Grambler has consulted his/her/its random number generator oracle and come up with five predictions. They are...

Game - Prediction - Odds

Brighton vs Liverpool - Prediction Away win - 1/2

Everton vs Huddersfield - Prediction Home win - 8/11

Leicester vs Burnley - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Stoke vs Swansea - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Watford vs Tottenham - Prediction Away win - 8/11

Oh dear. The Grambler seems to be stuck in single division mode again. All five predictions are from the English Premiershit. Ho hum. Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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...

 

£9.28

 

Hmm... Not in the least bit whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you what is unique about the double that Kenny Dalglish won for Liverpool in 1986. A simple one really. He was (and still is) the only player/manager to have won the double.

How about one for this week? In the week that saw Celtic beat Motherwell in the Betfred Cup Final (with a little help from a player with a dodgy hairstyle and an even dodgier sense of balance when he is in the penalty box) let’s have a question relating to the last time Motherwell actually won a trophy. Cast your minds back to 1991 when Motherwell beat Dundee United 4-3. What was the link between the two clubs at that time? Hmm...

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a... Actually, I don’t have an obvious finishing link this week. No matter, let’s have a look at some interesting events that have taken place on December the 2nd in the past. Well, 150 years ago, in 1867, Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the U.S. of A. [Really? How interesting. Yawn. - Ed.] Er... 90 years ago in 1927, the first Ford Model A was sold? [No. - Ed.] Ringo Starr had his tonsils out 53 years ago? [Pullease! - Ed.] Aha! Got one. On the 2nd of December 1957 this song hit number one (in the U.S. at least) for Sam Cooke. There. That’s a nice way to finish.

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, 25 November 2017

Week 16 - The Grambler on David Cassidy


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

 

Imagine you are around in the late 1960s and you are a teenage girl - Who is there left to scream at? When I say scream at, I am not suggesting any kind of angry outburst. No. I am talking about pop music. Think about it. Elvis who had the teenage girls wetting themselves in the late 1950s was now an old married man of 34. Cliff, though not married, has turned to religion, so not much screaming in his direction. The Beatles were all married, had embraced hippydom and, anyway, they had already split and gone their separate ways. Ditto the Monkees. What was a pubescent teenage girl to do? Who would fill the void.

Luckily, at about that time, a cheesy television programme about a fictional family pop group first aired. In it, the widowed mother of a brood of precocious, musically-talented nippers, tries to lead her family to pop fame and fortune. The title of both the programme and the fictitious group was The Partridge Family. Imagine the Von Trapp family meets the Monkees and you are getting close. It sounds like a dreadful concept which deserved to fail miserably. Fortunately for those involved, it had a couple of redeeming features. Firstly, the songs used in the programme were undeniably catchy. Secondly, the oldest of the siblings was a good-looking, if somewhat androgynous, actor going by the name of David Cassidy. It didn’t matter whether he could act or sing, here was the answer to those pining pubescent pop fans looking for someone to swoon over.

Suddenly, Cassidy was the marketing men’s dream. Anything remotely associated with him sold to these dreaming damsels; calendars, annuals, clothing. Basically, anything with his grinning face on it was snapped up.

Lady Fame is a fickle mistress, however. Like all ‘manufactured’ acts, his star shone brightly, but only briefly until the next big thing came along. David Essex, Donny Osmond and The Bay City Rollers would soon be putting in their own bids for his crown.

Even so, his death this week would have caused a few middle-aged ladies to weep into their Kleenex. No doubt some of them were there the day Cassidy came to Polomint City back in the seventies. The school rooms of East Kilbride must have been devoid of all females on that day. Just about every teenage girl in the town dogged off school [Trans: played truant. - Ed.] that day to be outside the Olympia - EK’s own concert venue - waiting for him to make an appearance on the balcony (Yes, it really was like Buckingham Palace... well, It was a big building with a balcony.) And they waited. And waited. Eventually, the object of their desires walked out onto the balcony. He waved. Then he went back inside. 15 seconds? 20? Not quite what those fans had hoped for.

You will have noticed that Cassidy’s only fans were young girls. His male following was probably nearer zero, which leads me to my own favourite tale about David Cassidy which kind of sums up what guys thought of him. This is an absolutely true story relating to a Radio One ‘roadshow’ of the era. A what, I hear you ask. In the seventies, Radio One was the only Beeb Beeb Ceeb music channel that bothered with ‘pop’ music. Occasionally, rather than present the shows from a studio, the Beeb would send its deejays and sound engineers around the country to shopping centres or sports arenas where the deejays would chat to members of the public between records. With me so far? One of these outside broadcasts came from Glasgow. The deejay, a Mr ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton made the mistake of chatting to a lad in the audience prior to playing a track by David Cassidy...

‘... And what do you think of David Cassidy?’

‘He’s a plooky wee b*st*rd.’

‘You can’t say that on live radio!’

‘Too f*ck*ng late noo.’

I don’t think I can follow that.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 25th of November? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Andrew Carnegie 1835 (Industrialist and philanthropist. His dictum [Steady on. - Ed.] was that an individual should spend the first third of life getting all the education they can, the next third getting as much money as they can and the next third giving it all away. Yes, all very easy for a multi-millionaire who lived into his eighties to say.), Ernst Schroder 1841 (Mathemetician.), Karl Benz 1844 (Engine designer and automobile engineer. Patented the Motorcar in 1886.), Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli 1881 (Who? Better known by his job-title of Pope John XXIII.), Phil Eastman 1909 (Better known as P.D. Eastman, he wrote and illustrated children’s books. Illustrated one of my own grandkids’ faves ‘A Fish Out of Water’.), Joe DiMaggio 1914 (Played baseball, or rounders as it’s called in Britain. Oh, and he was briefly married to Marilyn Monroe.), Augusto Pinochet 1915 (Chilean dictator.), Ricardo Montalban 1920 (Khan Noonien Singh.), Shelagh Fraser 1920 (Aunt Beru.), Jeffrey Hunter 1926 (Jeebus.), Kathryn Crosby 1933 (Actress. Bing’s missus.), Percy Sledge 1940 (Singer. Time for a clip? All together now... Whin a man loves a wommun.), Gerald Seymour 1941 (TV journalist and author.), Bob Lind 1942 (Singer/songwriter. Another clip? Here’s his number 5 hit from 1966.), Charles Kennedy 1959 (Likeable politician... Two words you don’t often see together.), Steve Rothery 1959 (Geetarist with Marillion. Another clip? Let’s have something from Holidays in Eden, one of the loveliest songs I know of. Here’s No One Can.), Amy Grant 1960 (Known as ‘The Queen of Christian Pop’. Want a clip? Here’s Baby Baby.), John F. Kennedy Jr. (Er... Son of John F. Kennedy.), Dougray Scott 1965 (Actor. Supports Hibs. Bless.) and Xabi Alonso 1981 (Footy bloke.).
 
 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Bumbly,

It was so good to hear a tune from Marillion. What a shame that you chose a track from the Steve Hogarth era as lead singer rather than that of Fish. A shame for us two fans as we were really into the band in the early eighties. We were talking about the early hits. We remember the first two top ten hits - Kayleigh and Lavendar - but can’t remember the next one. Can you help?

Lots of love,

Ian Comm, Hugh Nicado.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Well, let’s get on to grambling matters. What did we win for the Bobby Moore Fund last week? Excuse me while I just have a small maniacal laugh... Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha! We lost. What happened? We lost. I won’t even bore you with the details other than to give the scores...

Bristol Rovers vs AFC Wimbledon - Prediction Home win

Result - Bristol Rovers 1 AFC Wimbledon 3

Boo! That’s rubbish predicting!

 

Charlton Athletic vs MK Dons - Prediction Home win

Result - Charlton Athletic 2 MK Dons 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Portsmouth vs Southend - Prediction Home win

Result - Portsmouth 1 Southend 0

Yay! Big deal!

Walsall vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win

Result - Walsall 0 Gillingham 1

Boo! More rubbish predicting!

Wigan vs Bradford - Prediction Home win

Result - Wigan 1 Bradford 2

Boo! That is utter sh... not very good.

 

Sadly, there are no predictions from The Grambler this week. [Hooray! - Ed.] Blame Beardy Bloke Media. Once again, the tinternet connectivity where I live has been intermittent. Not only that, but it only works occasionally. So, you won’t win/lose any money this week.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who are the only club to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than they have won their domestic league title. The answer was, of course, Nottingham Forest who won the European Cup after winning the league title and won the former again the following season when they entered as title holders.

One for this week? Here’s one relating to King Kenny Dalglish - Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah! Halle... Yes, all right. We know he was a rather talented player. Anyway, the question is, what is unique about the double that he won for Liverpool in 1986? There you go. One to ask down the pub.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr W. Lantz whose animation studio created a cartoon character which was seen for the first time on the 25th of November 1940. Though it was not the ‘star’ as such, it soon became a favourite that lasted until the studio’s demise in 1972. A revival saw the character used well into the current century. The name of this animated character? Woody Woodpecker and here is that very first outing from 1940 .

 

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, 17 November 2017

Week 15 - Happy grambleday Mickey Mouse - 89 today


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

 

Have you seen it? That Amazon advert? Ooh, it’s caused a right stink. You see, parents of young kids are complaining about the content. It shows a father of quite young kids coming into his house carrying an armful of Amazon delivered parcels. When he sees one of his kids, he hides quickly so that they don’t see him with the parcels. The complainants have inferred from this advert that the father is trying to prevent his kids seeing their Christmas parcels. Their biggest gripe is that it is wrong to show a father with parcels that should be delivered by Santa Claus. This, they reckon, is putting out the wrong message to our young children. [This is the wrong message? Of course, telling kids that some strange old man entering the house in the middle of the night and going into their bedrooms is a far more sensible message. - Ed.]

Who’s to say the man in the advert isn’t Santa Claus? He’s got a beard. Granted, it is black rather than snowy white. Perhaps, it’s meant to be Saint Nick as a young man. But, you may argue, there are children; Santa doesn’t have children. [What do you expect from someone who only comes once a year? - Ed.] Ahem. How do you know he hasn’t got kids? Maybe old man Santa’s children have simply grown up and moved out. Couldn’t put up with the smell of reindeer poo, I shouldn’t wonder.

My criticism of the advert is more that anybody could possibly suggest that Father Christmas aka Santa Claus aka Saint Nicholas doesn’t bring children’s presents. Regular readers of this august blog know fine well that Santa Claus is alive and well and delivering presents to kids every Christmas eve. How do you know? Evidence. You remember. You do. Last year. I told you. I did. I told you how Santa recorded his voice on a brand new tape recorder. I told you how I attempted to film him delivering presents but ended up with a film of them just magically appearing. I told you how years later my son tried the same experiment with the self same result. how can anyone argue with facts like that?

In case you haven’t got any idea what I am talking about, see Week 20 - The Grambler proves Santa Claus is real .

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 18th of November? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Louis Daguerre 1787 (Photography pioneer.), W. S. Gilbert 1836 (Librettist. They can’t touch you for it.), Wyndham Lewis 1882 (Writer and painter.), Eugene Ormandy 1899 (Violinist and conductor.), George Gallup 1901 (Pollster.), Alec Issigonis 1906 (Designed the Mini. [I thought that was Mary Quant. - Ed.]), Johnny Mercer 1909 (Lyricist. First link of the week coming up.  You'll recognise this.), Hank Ballard 1927 (Singer and songwriter.  He wrote this.), Brenda Vaccaro 1939 (Jobbing actress.), Linda Evans 1942 (Krystle Carrington.), Chris Rainbow 1946 (Musician. Here’s a nice wee toon), Graham Parker 1950 (Singer and songwriter. Here he is with The Rumour), John Parr 1952 (Musician. Another clip vicar? Here is perhaps his most famous song. WARNING: be prepared for some seriously iffy hairstyles.), Alan Moore 1953 (‘The best graphic novel writer in history’. Has also used the pseudonyms Curt Vile, Jill de Ray and Translucia Baboon.), Kim Wilde 1960 (Singer. Here is her first hit.), Steven Moffat 1961 (Doctor Who main man.), Kirk Hammett 1962 (Geeetarist with Metallica. Here is an early toon he was involved in... Enter Sandman.), Peter Schmeichel 1963 (Mad goalie.), Nadia Sawalha 1964 (A loose woman.), Owen Wilson 1968 (Lightning McQueen.), Luke Chadwick 1980 (Footy bloke.) and Michael Dawson 1983 (Footy bloke.).

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Tumble,

How wonderful that you acknowledged the birthday of one of the true geniuses of music. Sir William Schenk Gilbert who, with composer Sir Arthur Sullivan, gave us some of the most memorable operas of the late nineteenth century. We both absolutely love everything they ever did. Here is a teaser for all your readers - What was Gilbert and Sullivan’s first internationally successful opera?

Yours,

H. Emmess, P. Nafour.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 
 

After two weeks of no betting in a blog that was begun with the intention of gambling randomly (hence gramble), I think it is time we had a bit of a flutter (oh yes). What has the great and magnificent Grambler predicted will earn a bit of dosh this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Bristol Rovers vs AFC Wimbledon - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Charlton Athletic vs MK Dons - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Portsmouth vs Southend - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Walsall vs Gillingham - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Wigan vs Bradford - Prediction Home win - 8/13

He/she/it’s done it again! Five matches from one division. I reckon there’s a glitch in the random number generating thingummy bob (I know all the technical jargon).

 

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...

 

£10.65

 

Hmm... Not particularly whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who scored a hat-trick when Germany beat Poland in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup finals tournament. Since it was referring to a fairly recent tournament, some of you may well have remembered that it was none other than Thomas Müller. His international career did not get off to a particularly memorable start, at least as far as one Argentinian legend was concerned. After debuting in a 1-0 friendly defeat to Argentina, Müller appeared for a post-match press conference at which opposition coach Diego Maradona mistook him for a ballboy. Maradona refused to give his press conference until Müller departed.

What about a wee teaser for this week? Here’s a European Cup/Champions League question for you to ponder. Who are the only club to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than they have won their domestic league title? One to ask down the pub, I reckon.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr W. Disney who, on this very day 89 years ago, released the first film in which his most famous cartoon character actually spoke... sort of. Made noises, more like. Any road up, it was old Walt himself who did the speaking or noise making; he provided the voice for Mickey Mouse and Mickey’s bit of crumpet, Minnie, in all films until 1946 when Jimmy MacDonald took over. For some odd reason, the first Mickey film with sound, released on the 18th of November 1928, was called Steamboat Willie rather than Steamboat Mickey. I have no idea why. Whatever, it was a huge success and allowed Walt and his House of Mouse to become, possibly, the most successful film company in the good ol’ US of A. Incidentally, although Disney referred to this film as being the ‘birth’ of Mickey Mouse, the character had been seen twice before in the silent cartoons Plane Crazy and The Gallopin’ Gaucho. There you go; a bit of history to finish. What about a link? Indeed. Let’s end with a link to that very first sound cartoon.

He doesn't look 89, does he?

 

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.

 
iffy hairstylesnice wee toonnice wee toon

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Week 14 - Grambleday wishes to Leonardo DiCaprio


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

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy

 

Well, I am disappointed in you lot. Yes you, the readers of this, the greatest ill-informed blog the world has ever known. Yes, both of you. Why? Because last week there was a glaring error in the grambler.com that nobody pulled me up about.

You see, I noticed the error before I published the article. I thought, I’ll just leave it and see if anyone spots it. And nobody did. Or if they did, they just thought, this guy’s an idiot and left it at that.

So what was this mistake? And I admit it was a genuine mistake when I wrote it. The amount of money that would be lost by each individual living in the UK if the sum made by the bookies from gambling machines was divided equally amongst them. What is £1.8 billion divided by 65 million? Yes, you at the back? Exactly. £27.69, not £276.

So, the amount lost per person across the entire population is only 50 pee per week, not five quids. Oh, well that’s all right then. [Do I detect a touch of sarcasm? - Ed.]

Mind you, I still maintain that many of the people who play these ‘crack cocaine’ machines lose thousands rather than hundreds.

The article has now been corrected, you’ll be happy to know. See http://www.thegrambler.com/2017/11/week-13-grehmbling-reeshponsheebly-with.html.

 
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

99 years ago to the day, my grandfather was injured in battle. He sustained a serious head injury... Here’s a little story for you. When he was in hospital receiving treatment, there were two other servicemen in there with similar head injuries. The other two received ‘pioneering surgery’ and had metal plates attached over the damaged area. They died. My grandfather didn’t have this operation and he survived. I think the moral is, if ever a surgeon uses the word pioneering, leg it (if you are able).

Any road up, 99 years ago to the day World War I, the Great War, the war to end all wars came to an end. It came to a close at the symbolic time of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh months. History loves a bit of symbolism. Unfortunately, while all the world leaders and generals knew about the exact time that the war would end, the message hadn’t got through to the actual battlefront and soldiers from opposing sides were still knocking seven bells out of each other up to, and indeed after, the 11 o’clock deadline, hence my granddad’s injury which occurred on the very last day of hostilities.

It is so typical of some of the many mistakes made in World War I. The first mistake was even starting a war... someone falling out with their cousin shouldn’t lead to millions of people being slaughtered.

This weekend sees armistice remembrance day services taking place all over Britain. You may have seen everybody currently on live TV sporting a poppy, the emblem of the Earl Haig Fund set up in 1921 by Earl Haig himself to raise funds to assist ex-servicemen. A worthy cause, you would argue, but hold on there Bald Eagle, wasn’t Earl Haig, formerly known as Field-Marshall Douglas Haig, a senior commander in the Great War of 1914 to 1918? Yes he was. And wasn’t he nicknamed ‘Butcher Haig’ because some of his dreadful tactics resulted in the deaths of some 2,000,000 men? Yes he was. Hmm... a wee guilt trip, perhaps?

Now call me Mr Cynical, but I have a problem with the Earl Haig Fund. I am happy to give to charity and I do actually give to the fund (although I refuse to wear a poppy), but that doesn’t make me any more comfortable with it...

‘What ho chaps! The war’s over and we did jolly well defeating Kaiser Bill, what what?’

‘Absolutely old bean. A few million killed in the process but, that’s war for you, I suppose.’

‘Only problem is, rather a lot of chaps have come back from the front...’

‘Yes, that is a problem.’

‘Yes. They’ll be wanting pensions and things like that.’

‘And a few of them are a bit... how can I put this? Mangled. Unlikely to be able to work.’

‘Mmm. Difficult. Don’t think we’ve got enough in the coffers to keep them for the rest of their natural.’

‘Yes. As you say, difficult.’

‘I say you chaps, I’ve got a spiffing wheeze.’

‘What’s that, Douglas, old chap?’

‘Why don’t we appeal to the public for money to pay these injured ex-soldiers?’

‘Er, how do you mean, old bean?’

‘Well, we make the people who didn’t go to war feel guilty about the people who did go to war.’

‘Still not with you, old sport.’

‘We tell them that all those servicemen who fought in the war did it on their behalf, to fight for their freedom.’

‘But it was us politicians who sent them to war. It should be us that pay for the upkeep of these disabled soldiers, not the general public.’

‘I say, steady on old man. Us? Pay? I know who sent the men to war. You know who sent them to war. But the general public don’t. They’re too stupid to realise it. You’ll see. Once we appeal to their sense of guilt, they’ll give thousands. And we can do it every year. If we have the appeal on armistice day, the old memories and feelings of guilt will come flooding back... Never mind thousands, millions more like.’

‘I see what you mean. Splendid idea. And it won’t cost us a penny. Well done Douglas... Do you know, Earl Haig sounds a lot better, don’t you think?’

Okay, maybe that isn’t quite how it happened but, when it comes to cynicism, I think somebody was there nearly a hundred years before me.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 11th of November? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Fyodor Dostoyevsky 1821 (Russian author. ‘To live without hope is to cease to live.’ Wise words there Fy.), George S. Patton 1885 (The well-known general.), Pat O’Brien 1899 (Actor. Known as Hollywood’s Irishman in residence.), Sam Spiegel 1901 (Film producer. Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia were a couple of his notable films.), Robert Ryan 1909 (Actor. Seemed to appear in a lot of war films.), Bernard Kotzin 1918 (Who? Better known as Stubby Kaye, a comedy actor. Here’s your first clip of the week; Stubby in Guys and Dolls. ), Roy Jenkins 1920 (Labour, SDP and Liberwal Democwat politician. [That is shocking. How dare you make fun of a speech impediment. - Ed.]), Kurt Vonnegut 1922 (Stomach disorder.), June Whitfield 1925 (Comedy actress. Not really married to Terry Scott.), Jonathan Winters 1925 (Comedian. It says here.), Lavern Baker 1929 (Singer. Another clip? Go Jim Dandy.), Vernon Handley 1930 (Conductor. The musical type.), Jack Keller 1936 (Songwriter. Here’s one of his. Venus in Blue Jeans.  Apologies for the somewhat literal video interpretation.), Roy Fredericks 1942 (Crickety bloke and politician.), Chris Dreja 1945 (A Yardbird. A clip? Why not.  All together now... For Your Love...), Daniel Ortega 1945 (President of Nicaragua.), Fuzzy Zoeller 1951 (A golfy bloke. Definitely not a bear.), Andy Partridge 1953 (The main man from XTC Time for another clip. Here's All You Pretty Girls.), Demi Moore 1962 (Became the highest paid actress ever when she received $12.5 million to star in Striptease.), Calista Flockhart 1964 (Ally McBeal.), Leonardo DiCaprio 1974 (Actor. Unfairly described by comedian Stewart Lee as having a face like a sprout.), Philip Lahm 1983 (Deutscher fusballspieler.), Kyle Naughton 1988 (Another footy bloke.), Jamaal Lascelles 1993 (Yet another footy bloke.) and Ellie Simmonds 1994 (Swimmy bloke.).
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Bumbler,

Thank you for giving us a clip from our favourite group XTC. We are a bit mixed up with the order of their hit singles. Making Plans for Nigel was a big hit and there was a minor hit called Towers of London, but wasn’t there another chart hit in between? Can you assist?

Yours with fondest kisses,

Jenny Ralls and May Jaws.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 
Once again, I am sorry to disappoint those of you who like to follow The Grambler’s betting advice but, as happened last week, this is being published a little later than usual, so there are no predictions and no bet this week. I promise normal service will be resumed next week [Why must it? - Ed.].

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who was the only non-English, non-French player in Arsenal’s FA Cup final side of 2001. The answer was Swedish underwear salesman Freddie Ljungberg.

One for this week? As it is the week in which the playoffs for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers are taking place, how about a World Cup question from the not too distant past? Who scored a hat-trick as Germany thrashed Poland in their opening game of the 2014 World Cup finals tournament? Too easy? Maybe.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to birthday celebrant Ms J. Whitfield for this week’s closing moments. June Whitfield first became known to the Great British public 64 years ago and has remained popular ever since. She has appeared in (among others)... deep breath... Take it from Here, Dixon of Dock Green, The Arthur Askey Show, Faces of Jim, The Benny Hill Show, Steptoe and Son, Frankie Howerd’s show, Hancock, four Carry On films, Beggar My Neighbour, Scott On..., The Goodies, The Dick Emery Show, Bless This House, Happy Ever After, Terry and June, The News Huddlines, Absolutely Fabulous and Last of the Summer Wine. That long list doesn’t include one-off appearances in various comedy shows and all her dramatic roles. Is it any wonder that she has received many honours? These have included being made a DBE in 2017 and the being the even more prestigious inaugural recipient of the Aardman Slapstick Comedy Legend Award. Some career. What should we have to finish? Her original notable comedy character was the whiny Eth in a section of the radio show Take it from Here (1953) called ‘The Glums’ (or Les Miserables in French). I think a wee link would make a suitable finish this week. Here’s Ron's Birth CertificateA bit dated, but it should still elicit the occasional smile.

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.