Monday, 14 September 2020

Week 7 - The masked Grambler


Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.
Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for omplgood. 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 cacent. 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.
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'd have thought we would be going into a bank while wearing a mask and making them give us money?
These are strange days indeed. We are finally catching up with the rest of the world and realising that by wearing a mask we can afford ourselves some protection against contracting Covid 19.
It is compulsory here in the Yuk to wear a mask on public transport and in shopping areas... basically, a mask should be worn wherever there is the possibility of contact with other people.
There is a killer disease on the loose that seems to be passed on very easily, so everyone should be sensible and follow the guidelines. Yes? But does everyone wear a mask? Do they f... No they don't.
Now, I understand that a few people have breathing difficulties so wearing a mask is not possible. They are given special dispensation and allowed to go about their business without mask wearing.  Why?  Such people are already termed as at risk so, by going to places where there are other people, they are at even greater risk. If you can’t wear a mask, stay at home. Right? Right.
The same non-wearing-of-a-mask rule applies to children under the age of twelve for some odd reason. Why twelve I don't understand. Obviously younger kids are unaware of what is going on and would probably refuse to wear a mask. However, there are some very style conscious eight year olds who would just love the chance to wear the same glittery mask that someone like Ariana Grande wears... some of the girls as well.
Any road up, there must be a lot of asthmatic teenagers about. Hardly any young people abide by the rules.  Why are they so averse to wearing masks?  They're trendy now, aren't they? Obviously not to teenagers. They probably think that they won't be affected too much if they were to contract the virus so why bother wearing a mask.
Fine and dandy if you are fit and healthy before contracting the virus; it's not so good to those older folk who the thoughtless granny murderers might pass the virus on to. 
Odder than the folk who refuse to wear a mask, are those people who have masks on, but they are not covering their faces... Their chins must be nice and protected, though... If you aren't going to wear the thing correctly, it might as well not be there. See above, re non-mask wearing.
Shop employees should all wear masks, we are told. Good. It means that they should remain safe and those around them should also be safe. But, even they can’t wear the blibbing things properly. Yes, you’ve covered your mouth. Well done. Now cover your nose as well. And as for those visor things that look like they’ve been cut from a clear plastic bottle, what is the point? At least, what is the point if that is your only concession to protecting your face? Wear a visor and a mask, not a visor or a mask. In fact, wear as much face protection as possible if you are in a business where meeting people goes with the job.
My view on the whole mask debate (Ahem) is that if anyone of any age wants to go to places where people are gathering they should be wearing a mask. No exceptions. If you are exempted from wearing a mask then don't go to such places. Your safety, and the safety of others, is being put at risk, so don't chance it.

Some people just can’t get the hang it though...


No, Gareth.  Don't be silly.


.....oooOooo.....


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 12th of September? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.

Herbert Asquith 1852 (The well-known prime minister.), Maurice Chevalier 1888 (Artiste. Here he sings about his apple.), Jesse Owens 1913 (Runny jumpy bloke.), Desmond Llewelyn 1914 (Actor. Q in the early Bond films. Him.), Freddie Jones 1927 (Actor. Sandy Thomas in Emmerdale. Him.), Ian Holm 1931 (Actor. Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. Him.), Len Allchurch 1933 (Footy bloke isn’t it.), Wes Hall 1937 (Crickety mon.), Judy Clay 1938 (Singer. Had one big Yuk hit; a duet with William Bell, Private Number. However, here’s a rare film clip of You Busted My Mind.  Incidentally, she’s not Dionne Warwick’s sister.), Patrick Mower 1938 (Actor. Rodney Blackstock in Emmerdale. Him.), Linda Gray (Actress. Sue Ellen Ewing in Dallas. Her.), Maria Muldaur 1943 (Singer, best known for sending her camel to bed.), Barry White 1944 (The Walrus of Lurve. Have a clip. Here’s Let the Music Play and you can sing along in Spanish if the mood takes you.), Colin Young 1944 (Singer. A Foundation. Here’s Build Me Up Buttercup.  Some dodgy outfits on that footage.), Colin Boulton 1945 (Footy bloke.), David Garrick 1945 (Singer. A clip? Why not. Here’s Dear Mrs Applebee.  Ye gods!), Christopher Neame 1947 (Actor. Lieutenant Dick Player... Stop sniggering at the back... in Colditz. Him.), Will Birch 1948 (A Kursaal Flyer. Have a clip. Here’s the, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Little Does She Know.  They seem to be multi-tasking and doing their laundry during the concert.), B(rian) A(lexander) Robertson 1948 (Singer/songwriter. Here’s his biggest hit, Bang Bang Factoid: He won an Ivor Novello Award for the Mike and the Mechanics song The Living Years which he co-wrote with Mike Rutherford.), Neil Peart 1952 (Rush drummy bloke. Have a clip; here’s New World Man.  What’s with everyone doing their washing on stage?), Robin Langford 1953 (Jobbing actor. One of those faces that seemed to crop up in bit parts everywhere in the seventies.), Barry Siddall 1954 (Footy bloke. In a 23 year career played for 13 different Football League clubs.), Barry Andrews 1956 (Musician. Here’s an oddity for you, apparently you could win a night out with a well-known paranoiac.  Hmm... I wonder if Damon Albarn heard that before coming up with Parklife.), Rachel Ward 1957 (Actress. Meggie Cleary in The Thorn Birds. Her.), Felicity Montagu 1960 (Actress. Perhaps her most famous role is that of Alan Partridge’s personal assistant, Lynn.), Ben Folds 1966 (Musician. Have another clip. Here’s Battle of Who Could Care Less.), Kenny Thomas 1968 (Singer who is thinking about your love.), Gideon Emery 1972 (Jobbing actor. Deucalion in Teen Wolf. Him.), Darren Campbell 1973 (Runny bloke.), Darren Morfitt 1973 (Jobbing actor. Shay in Jericho. Him.), Ameet Chana 1975 (Actor. Adi in Eastenders. Him.), James McCartney 1977 (Musician. Guess who his dad is. Here he performs Angel.), Stacey Roca 1978 (Actress. DS Katrina Howard in Waking the Dead. Her.), Steven Caldwell 1980 (Fitba guy.), Rob Kendrick 1985 (Actor. Ollie in After Hours. Him.), Joanne Jackson 1986 (Swimmy bloke.), Alfie Allen 1986 (Actor. Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. Him.), Tom Hateley 1989 (Football bloke. Ex-Motherwell player, you know.) and Mhairi Black 1994 (Politician.),





I’ve received a letter...
Dear Russ Gramblyn,
Good to hear the Walrus of Lurve again. I have a teaser for you. What Elvis Presley song did Barry White release under the pseudonym Gene West?
Yours quizzically,



.....oooOooo.....

Time to gramble. Yes. Definitely. This weekend sees the start of the English 2020-21 football season. Yay! About time too, says I. Anyway, as this week’s edition is running a little late, I can give you the bets as predicted by The Grambler and the results... probably not as predicted by The Grambler. So here goes, let the grambling commence...

First prediction: Barnsley vs Luton Town - Prediction Home win
Result: Barnsley 0 Luton Town 1
Boo!
James Collins' late effort helped Luton Town to a scrappy win over Barnsley at Oakwell. In a game of few chances, Collins broke the deadlock in the 71st minute, beating Tykes keeper Jack Walton from just inside the penalty area.
The 29-year-old raced onto a Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu [That’s easy for you to say. - Ed.] headed pass, before finding the top corner to give Luton a late lead.
Barnsley nearly levelled moments later but debutant Dominik Frieser headed Alex Mowatt's cross into the side-netting as Luton held on to all three points.

Next: Bournemouth vs Blackburn Rovers - Prediction Home win
Result: Bournemouth 3 Blackburn Rovers 2
Yay!
Arnaut Danjuma's brilliant late goal gave Bournemouth victory over Blackburn Rovers.
Jack Stacey put the hosts ahead with a fine strike from distance, before Bradley Johnson levelled when his shot from even further out slipped through the dive of Cherries keeper Mark Travers.
Jefferson Lerma's neat finish restored Bournemouth's lead, but Blackburn deservedly hit back through Adam Armstrong.
However, Danjuma's curling effort into the far corner clinched victory to give Bournemouth a boost after a difficult summer.

Next up: Fleetwood vs Burton Albion - Prediction Home win
Result: Fleetwood 2 Burton 1
Yay!
 Paddy Madden struck 11 minutes from time to secure Fleetwood victory over Burton.
The hosts led at the break through Callum Camps, who drilled in after Burton had failed to clear a Josh Morris' corner.
Burton drew level midway through the second half, John Brayford heading in for a goal that was only awarded after a lengthy debate between the officials.
After falling behind early on, the visitors' Stephen Quinn rattled the crossbar on the half-hour mark. Moments later Fleetwood also hit the goal frame, James Hill seeing his header crash against the post.
In the second half Hill headed another chance against the bar and Kieran Wallace cleared the follow-up off the line.
Brayford's goal had looked like salvaging a point for the visitors but Madden struck a deserved winner late on.
Burton finished with 10 men after John-Joe O'Toole was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Duffy deep into stoppage time.

Number 4: Portsmouth vs Shrewsbury Town - Prediction Home win
Result: Portsmouth 0 Shrewsbury Town 0
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Only a stunning late save from goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray four minutes from time - acrobatically palming away a powerful close-range effort from Rekeil Pike - denied Shrewsbury all three points.
Yet Portsmouth could have stolen the win themselves as captain Tom Naylor saw a header fly over via the crossbar.
It was the visitors, who had Aaron Pierre sent off in stoppage time, who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.
Pompey struggled to cope with set-pieces all afternoon and, from a corner, midfielder Brad Walker thumped a header against a post.
When Portsmouth did get a shot on target they were kept out by Shrewsbury's impressive goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.
Sarkic denied the home side twice in the second half, clutching Naylor's 18-yard volleyed effort and then pushing Lee Brown's free-kick around a post four minutes into stoppage time after Pierre had been dismissed for a second yellow card.

Lastly: Sunderland vs Bristol Rovers - Prediction Home win
Result: Sunderland 1 Bristol Rovers 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Chris Maguire struck with eight minutes to go to earn Sunderland a draw against Bristol Rovers at the Stadium of Light.
Rovers had threatened to leave with three points after taking the lead in the third minute from a penalty converted by Rovers' left-back Luke Leahy.
The Pirates won a penalty with just 90 seconds on the clock when Sunderland goalkeeper Lee Burge hauled down Jayden Mitchell-Lawson having failed to hold Max Ehmer's header.
After the break, Sunderland tested goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola, who had to make a couple of strong stops to deny Maguire and George Dobson.
But Maguire levelled things up with a powerful drive from the edge of the area.
After that, Max Power's 25-yard drive was tipped onto the post and he then had an effort cleared off the line by Mark Little.
Dobson's red card for a strong challenge on Mitchell-Lawson in the sixth minute of stoppage time effectively ended Sunderland's push for a winner.

So, two out of five correct for The Grambler... Not a great start to the season. For our £2.20 bet (10 x 20p doubles plus 1 x 20p accumulator) we netted the princely sum of... fanfare please...

£0.78

Cue fanfare subsiding into a series of squeaks and parping noises.

.....oooOooo.....

Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers to the last five.

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1947 in Amsterdam. I was taken on by Ajax when I was aged 10 and stayed with them for 16 years. I played 276 games during two spells at the club and scored over 200 goals. I won the Ballon d’Or three times. I was capped 48 times for the Netherlands, but refused to play in the 1978 World Cup finals in protest at the Argentine dictator Jorge Videla.
Answer: Johan Cruyff (or Joanne Cruff as Jack Charlton always called him)

2. Which father and son have each played over 200 games in the Premier League?
Answer: Peter and Kasper Schmeikel

3. Which English club has twice reached the final of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, losing on both occasions?
Answer: Arsenal

4. Which striker has scored the most goals for Manchester City?
Answer: Sergio Agüero [And eaten the most ears. - Ed.]

5. Who has been manager of the most Premier League clubs?
Answer: Sam Allerdyce


Okay, some for this week?

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1974. My entire playing career was spent at Manchester United (I was one of Fergie’s Fledglings) and played over 700 games for them. I was capped for my country 66 times. Thierry Henry cited me as the greatest player in Premier League history.

2. Which Frenchman played the most times in the Premier League with 469 appearances?

3. Which team was promoted to the Premier League in 1994 and finished third in its first season?

4. Who is the youngest ever Premier League debutant (16 years and 65 days)?

5. A fun one to finish. Name the seven clubs with ‘ford’ in their name that have played in the English League.

There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?

.....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, I am indebted to a Mr T. Bangalter and a Mr G-M de... some other bloke... who provide us with our final clip. Unlike Mr Bale, these two French gentlemen show us how face protection ought to be worn. Ladeez and genullum, please give a big grambly welcome to Daft Punk with Robot Rock.



That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

Happy grambling.


Sunday, 6 September 2020

Weeks 5/6 - The Grambler - Racist?


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 omplgood. 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 cacent. 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.
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



Today's topic begins with a history lesson [Yawn. Wake me up when you've finished. - Ed.] and it's a bit political. Actually, it's not; it's very political. And it's a bit racist. Ooer. It concerns the interesting state of Scottish politics [You seem to be confusing the word interesting with tedious. - Ed.]. In the past, Scotland's politics were simply this... if you lived in an industrial environment, you voted Labour; if you lived in a rural farming area, you voted Liberal and if you lived in the posh bits, you voted Conservative.
Since most Scots lived in busy industrial towns and cities, the majority of MPs in Scotland were of socialist persuasion. There were a few Tories and barely a handful of Liberals.
Scotland was viewed as a Labour stronghold. It was suggested that Labour could field a collie dog and still win.
However, in 1967 an upstart party joined the fray and a lady called Winnie Ewing became a member of parliament for the political party known as the Scottish National Party. Actually, the SNP had been in existence for over 30 years at this point, it just hadn't quite had the necessary support to elect an MP until Winnie came along.
As the years went by, the SNP made a few inroads but, generally, the Labour vote stayed strong and it was the Tories and Liberals (later to merge with another upstart political party called the Social Democratic Party to become the Liberal Democrats) that tended to lose seats to the new party.
By the time Scotland achieved its devolved parliament in 1999, the SNP was the second force in Scottish politics.
Only eight years later SNP had become the strongest political party and Alex Salmond was sworn in as Scotland's First Minister in a minority Scottish parliament. In the last general election such was the overwhelming support, SNP won 48 of the 59 seats available.
That is a brief outline of the SNP rise to prominence. What it doesn't explain though is why the once dominant Labour party's vote share disappeared.
I have the answer. [You bloody would have. - Ed.] The problem lies, not with the party shifting from its working-class roots in order to attract the more affluent voter. It does not have anything to do with Labour's stance on Brexit (although that is an excuse touted by labour MSPs).
It does have everything to do with the people chosen to lead the party... in my view, I should add. Since Jack McConnell stood down as Labour leader, there has been a succession of mediocrities (is that a word?) in charge. They have lacked the charisma needed to attract voters. I may not like Boris, but I acknowledge that he is charismatic... if you like bumbling buffoons with crazy hairdos.
The current Labour leader in Scotland, Richard Leonard is different though and does have some of that magic charisma. He is young(ish), he is a good orator, his views are more left wing and he has a floppy hairstyle. What more could you want?
His minions don't agree. Labour MSPs are calling for him to resign. Why? What has he done to annoy them? Probably, nothing; they just know that if he is in charge come next year's Scottish parliament elections, Labour will be routed.
Why do they think this? None of those politicians will be brave enough to say it, but I will. They dare not mention the E word. Sorry pardon excuse me?
The problem with Richard Leonard is not that he is a bad politician, but that he is (whisper it) English. Okay, I sound racist by saying that, but let me explain.
Anyone who knows a bit about Scottish history will know that relations between Scotland and England have never run particularly smoothly. Scots have always seen themselves as the underdog in the union. I'm generalising but, basically, the Scots hate the English. There. I've said it. Almost half of the votes in the independence referendum of 2014 were for a break from English rule... and it is English rule. Not Welsh. Not Irish. English. However, in the Brexit referendum of 2016, Scots voted in favour of staying in the European union. Thus, more Scots prefer alignment with countries other than England. Probably any other country would do. Am I right? Course I am.
So, if Labour wants to even start to try and win back some of those voters it has lost to the SNP, it needs to do it with a charismatic Scot at the helm. Or Welsh. Or Irish. French, German, Belgian... anything but English.

Let’s finish with a very old gag...

God is in Heaven, putting the finishing touches to a new planet he is designing. Archangel Gabriel comes to have a look.
‘That looks interesting,’ says Gabby, ‘What is it?’
‘This is my latest planet and it’s called Earth.’ says God.
‘What’s that lovely looking part there called?’ says Gab, pointing.
‘That land there is called Scotland.’ answers God.
‘So green with gorgeous scenery.’
‘Yes, I am rather proud of it. Not only that, it will have a perfect mix of weather that will be superb for growing things.’
‘Sounds terrific. What are the inhabitants going to be like?’
‘They will be hard-working, happy and friendly.’
‘Anything else?’
‘Well, the mix of fair weather and good climate will be just right for making this marvellous drink. Here, try some...’
‘Oh, that is good. What is it?’
‘I’ve called it ‘the water of life’ - whisky.’
‘That is fantastic... Here, God, I’ve just thought of something... Beautiful landscape; excellent weather; friendly, happy folk; this marvellous drink... Are you not making life just a bit too perfect for the people?’
‘Ah, I’ve thought about that...’
‘How do you mean?’
‘Wait ’til you see the neighbours.’
Boom and, I think I can say without fear of contradiction, tish!


.....oooOooo.....


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 29th of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Ingrid Bergman 1915 (Actress... ‘Play it Sam.’), Anthony Crosland 1918 (Politician.), Gladys Mills 1918 (Who? Oh... Mrs Mills, the famous singalong joanna player. Factoid: Her ‘honky tonk’ piano is still in the Abbey Road recording studio and was famously used by Paul McCartney on songs such as Lady Madonna. Wasn’t that interesting? No? Please yourselves. Let's have a party.), Charlie Parker 1920 (Musician. Here he is doing a bit of bird watching.), Richard Attenborough 1923 (Luvvie.), Dinah Washington 1924 (Singer. Have a clip. Here’s Teach Me Tonight.), Peter Miles 1928 (Jobbing actor. Wore a dodgy-looking syrup.), Charles Gray 1928 (Ectaw, dear leddie. Blofeld in Diamonds Are Forever. Him.), Susan Shaw 1929 (Jobbing actress. In loads of British film comedies in the fifties. You’d recognise her. You would.), William Friedkin 1935 (Film maker.), John McCain 1936 (U.S. politician famous for his chips.), Elliot Gould 1938 (Actor.), Joel Schumacher 1939 (Film maker.), Tony Palmer 1941 (Film maker.), Chris Steele 1942 (TV doctor.), Tony Dron 1946 (Racey car bloke and journo.), James Hunt 1947 (Racey car bloke. Guess what his nickname was. It rhymes with Hunt [Steady... - Ed.] It was Hunt the Shunt. [Phew. - Ed.]), Simon House 1948 (Jobbing musician. Here he helps out Nik Turner on Time Crypt.), Geoff Whitehorn 1951 (Another jobbing musician. |If, Crawler and Procol Harum are three bands he has been associated with. Here he is making it funky (I said funky.)), Gaye Advert 1956 (An Advert. Let’s have a bit of good old punk...This is Great British Mistake.), Michael Jackson 1958 (Singer remembered for all the wrong reasons, these days. Let’s just remember him for what he was good at.  Here's Black or White... sums him up nicely.), Lenny Henry 1958 (Comedian, it says here.), Eddi Reader 1959 (Singer/songwriter. A clip? Why not. Here’s Bell, Book and Candle.), Steve Clarke 1963 (Footy managery type bloke.), Elizabeth Fraser 1963 (A Cocteau Twin. Have a clip. Here’s the beautiful Carolyn's Fingers.), Frances Ruffelle 1965 (Actress/singer. Represented the Yuk in 1994’s Euro-wotsit song doo dah. Here’s We Will Be Free (Lonely Symphony).), Alex Riley 1968 (TV presenter.), Joe Swail 1969 (Snookery bloke.), Nathan King 1970 (Musician. A bit of Level 42. Have a clip. Here’s The Sun Goes Down (Livin' it up).), Alex Griffin 1971 (A bit of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.  Happy?), Phil Harvey 1976 (Coldplay’s manager.), Jamie Bruce 1976 (Fitba guy. Born in Polomint City.), Philip Cunningham aka Firebrand Boy 1986 (Chiptune musician. Here’s The Metropolitan.), Charlotte Ritchie 1989 (Actress/singer. Oregan in Fresh Meat. Her. Also a member of All Angels. Let’s have a clip. Here’s Songbird.) and Liam Payne 1993 (A bit of One Direction. Here’s a solo effort when they all went different directions... Bedroom Floor.).

And now... September the 5th

Louis XIV 1638 (The well-known king. Known as the Sun King. Reigned for 72 years and 110 days, still the longest of any European monarch. Mind you, if Betty can hold out for another four years or so, she could overtake him.), Johann Christian Bach 1735 (Composer. Son of J.S. A clip? Here’s the snappily titled Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor BWV 1052.), John Wisden 1826 (Founder of the cricketers’ almanac that bears his name.), Jesse James 1847 (The well-known baddie.), William Friese-Greene 1855 (Motion picture pioneer.), Stuart Hibberd 1893 (Radio presenter. ‘The King’s life is moving peacefully towards its close.’), Norman Pierce 1900 (Jobbing actor. Seemed to corner the role of pub landlord in films made from the thirties to 1960.), Darryl F. Zanuck 1902 (Film mogul. Founded 20th Century Pictures with Joseph Schenk.), Arthur Koestler 1905 (Orfer and journo.), Bernard Delfont 1909 (Theatrical impressario.), John Cage 1912 (Composer... or should that be prankster? He is best known for his ‘work’ 4’33” which is just over four and a half minutes of... silence. Here is Wikipedia’s explanation... ‘The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is often assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance.’ That, to us individuals less enlightened in the complexities of the composition, is more succinctly summarised as being, basically, a load of old camel poo.), Malcolm Allison 1927 (Footy bloke. Managed 15 clubs... some of them twice.), Bob Newhart 1929 (Comedian. Gzorgnblat.), Kevin McNamara 1934 (Politician.), Johnny Briggs 1935 (Actor. Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street. Him.), Dick Clement 1937 (Scriptwriter.), Geraldine Moffat 1939 (Jobbing actress. Name a TV drama from the sixties and seventies; she was probably in it.), Raquel Welch 1940 (Actress.), Werner Herzog 1942 (Film maker.), Al Stewart 1945 (Musician. Have a clip. Here’s Old Admirals ), Christian Rodska 1945 (Jobbing actor. Name a drama from the seventies onwards...), Mick Underwood 1945 (Jobbing drummer. Here he is with Quatermass and Gemini.), Louden Wainwright III 1946 (Singer/songwriter. Here’s a song that Eddi Reeder later covered... The Swimming Song.), Freddie Mercury 1946 (Singer/songwriter. How about a clip? So many to choose from... Let’s have an early Queen toon; Brighton Rock and you can sing along, as well.), Thomas McAleese aka Dean Ford 1946 (Singer. Here he is with Marmalade with Reflections of My Life.), Mel Collins 1947 (Musician. Here he is with Camel giving it laldy on the saxophone on a track called Lunar Sea (Geddit?)), Clem Clempson 1949 (Geetarist. Have a bit of blues.), Michael Keaton 1951 (Actor. Betelgeuse in Beetlejuice. Him.), Stephen Greenhorn 1964 (Writer. Created River City and Sunshine on Leith. Have a clip. Here’s Over and Done With.), Jane Sixsmith 1967 (Hockey bloke.), Dweezil Zappa 1969 (Musician. Famous because he is Frank’s lad. A clip? Here’s Automatic.), Mark Ramprakash 1969 (Crickety bloke.), Michael Pennington 1970 (Who? Oh, it’s comedian Johnny Vegas.), Paddy Considine 1973 (Actor. Mr Whicher in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. Him.), Greg Strong 1975 (Footy bloke. Played for Motherwell, you know.), George Boateng 1975 (Voetbal kerel.), Annabelle Wallis 1984 (Actress. Grace Burgess in Peaky Blinders. Her.), Chris Kane 1994 (Fitba guy.),


Four minutes and 33 seconds of it




I’ve received a letter...
Dear Jonathan Grambleby,
So nice to hear Level 42 again. Good to see Thunder Thumbs himself, Nathan’s brother Mark. I was wondering what the band’s most successful song was. Can you help?
Yours in anticipation,


.....oooOooo.....


Time to gramble. Or not. This footy season is struggling to get started. This weekend sees some UEFA Nations League games plus a whole stack of EFL Cup games. We tend to steer clear of betting on such games so, once again, we have a bet-free zone.


.....oooOooo.....


Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?
I was born in Belfast in 1946. I began my senior career at Manchester United and scored 137 goals in 361 appearances. The Portuguese press nicknamed me ‘The fifth Beatle’.
Answer: George Best [Too easy. - Ed.]
2. Since it is Champions League Final weekend, what is the highest goal tally in a European Cup/Champions League final?
Answer: Ten (In 1960 Real Madrid beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3)
3. Which Englishman has won the most European Cup/Champions League winners medals?
Answer: Phil Neal with four
4. Which Premier League club has a stork on its badge?
Answer: Burnley
5. Harrogate Town has joined the English League for the first time in its 106 year history. Prior to them, which was the last club to join the league for the first time?
Answer: Salford City in 2019


Some for this week?

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1947 in Amsterdam. I was taken on by Ajax when I was aged 10 and stayed with them for 16 years. I played 276 games during two spells at the club and scored over 200 goals. I won the Ballon d’Or three times. I was capped 48 times for the Netherlands, but refused to play in the 1978 World Cup finals in protest at the Argentine dictator Jorge Videla.
2. Which father and son have each played over 200 games in the Premier League?
3. Which English club has twice reached the final of the UEFA Cup/Europa League, losing on both occasions?
4. Which striker has scored the most goals for Manchester City?
5. Who has been manager of the most Premier League clubs?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?


.....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…..


I do apologise for there being no edition last week. The reason was that it was the anniversary of (the founder of this blog) Stewart’s death. Seven years. It doesn’t get any easier, but we do try to remember the happy, fit young man that Stewart was, rather than the frail person he became.
Instead of writing a blog last week, I simply put the following statement on Farcebook...
Stewart David Smith’s suffering ended on the 29th of August 2013 after a horrendous two years of fighting the effects of bowel cancer and along the way defeating septicemia and having to deal with multi-organ failure, antibiotic-induced hearing loss, kidney failure and countless other complications. This he did with a bravery none of us will ever see again. He hated being called brave, though. In his mind, he had no option but to accept all that was thrown at him and he did so without complaint or criticism.
Please, take the time to consider what Stewart went through and be aware of how to detect bowel cancer early.

You're dead but the world keeps spinning
Take a spin through the world you left
It's getting dark a little too early
Are you missing the dearly bereft?


Those words are from a song that Stewart liked. I try not to repeat links that have been in earlier editions, but on this occasion, I will break my own unwritten rule. And it is a good song. Eels.  With a singing carrot.  [Eels?  Singing carrot?  Think I need a drink. - Ed.]





That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

Happy grambling.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Weeks 2 to 4 - The Grambler zooms in


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.
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 love a good factoid, me. And here is one that is related to the Covid-19 lockdown.

During the worldwide restrictions, the video conferencing software company, Zoom, has seen its share price rise from 76 dollars in January to 257 dollars in June. So the virus has been good to its shareholders. Yes, the world has been going Zoom-meeting-bonkers. Of course, we all knew it wouldn’t be long until the imitators started up, hoping to emulate that success...

Another business that has done very well out of the virus has been... and I don’t mean any disrespect... funeral care. It is a fact that more people are dying, therefore funeral directors have had a lot of extra work to cope with. The problem is that one area’s funeral businesses might be swamped with work [Dead busy, eh? - Ed.] while another area has a fairly quiet time of it. Thank goodness, there is video conferencing software just for undertakers who can get in touch with others in the same profession in an on-line Tomb meeting. [I am not liking the sound of this. - Ed.]

Swimmers have obviously been missing their visits to the local swimming-baths and not just for the exercise; many enjoy the chance to meet with like-minded people who enjoy nothing more than a good old natter while being up to their necks in tepid water. Lucky for them, they have their own video conference setup which allows them to do just that... well, without the water, tepid or otherwise. It’s called a Flume meeting. [I thought as much; you’ve done this before. - Ed.]

No I haven’t (he lied)... Of course, this whole pandemic business has depressed a lot of people. [Please don’t do it. - Ed.] How nice, then, that they can all get together in a Gloom meeting. [You did it. - Ed.]

There are those out there who see this virus as a precursor to the end of civilisation, itself. They obviously would want to spend time discussing the matter with others in a Doom meeting. [How many more have you got? - Ed.]

Not many... Pregnant ladies [Oh dear, I think I know what’s coming. - Ed.] must be missing those pre-natal classes where they can discuss all manner of aspects to do with bearing a child. Lucky for them that they can all chat on a Womb meeting. [Yep, worked that one out. - Ed.]

Weavers haven’t been forgotten about. Yes, they now have their own on-line platform to discuss all the intricacies associated with their trade. It’s called a Loom meeting [Groan... Thought it might be. - Ed.]

This has been a difficult year for gardeners with all the flower shows and festivals being cancelled. How fortuitous then that someone has had the foresight to come up with their own video conferencing tool. Where would all our horticulturalists be without the chance to talk on a Bloom meeting? [They are just getting silly now. - Ed.]

What about a Groom meeting? [Uh oh, don’t like sound of this. - Ed.] A place where like-minded people could go to discuss [I’m getting worried about this. - Ed.] the fact that there was nowhere to get their hair cut. [Phew. - Ed.] How wonderful that someone came to their rescue and gave them an on-line forum where they could all get together and discuss their bushy appearance.

And finally, [Oh good. - Ed.] remember how, on a Thursday evening, we all used to get out of that kitchen and rattle those pots and pans in a show of appreciation for the frontline workers of the NHS? Well, obviously, a lot of people miss those times and now go on-line for a weekly bash with other like-minded souls by joining in a Boom meeting.

[Have you finished? - Ed.]

Yes.

[Thank goodness you’ve got that out of your system. - Ed.]

There was something else... Totally unrelated, you’ll be pleased to know.

I have just spent two hours trying to place an order with that well-known online shopping emporium, Amozan (Is that far enough removed to fend off any snarling lawyers?).

Any road up, I had chosen the items I wished to purchase and was ready to pay. I selected ‘My Basket’ just to check I had purchased exactly what I wanted. Having removed an order for a pair of hiking boots (??), I continued to the check-out to pay. Here, I was asked me to select delivery options. Up came a banner advertising that I could have free one-day delivery. Well, who wouldn’t be tempted by a free service like that, so I selected it and was immediately directed to a page which stated ‘Welcome to Amozan Primo’ (Do you see what I did there?)... It’s not really called Primo, you see; It’s all to do with warding off those slavering lawyers.

Oh dear, thinks I. I appear to have signed up for an unwanted product that will cost me eight quids a month from now until eternity.

I knew that I had a 14 day cooling off period so immediately set about cancelling this Amozan Primo thing.

The first problem is trying to find out how to go about it. Nowhere on Amozan’s home page is there any mention of cancelling anything.

I had to go on line and ask Bingo or Googly for the answer. Go to ‘My Account’ they advised. This I did. Then what, I wondered. Bingo and Googly to the rescue. I had to go to a page which was supposed to let me manage my account. Oh, aye, sure. After selecting various options which led me round in circles and up various cul-de-sacs, I found a page that allowed me to select ‘Cancel’. At last, thought I. I selected the option. This immediately threw information at me about the advantages of Amozan Primo.
I could continue to get the benefits of this marvellous product which I didn’t ask for nor wanted or I could cancel. I selected cancel, not spotting that it also added ‘after this order’. Up came another message ‘Thank you for not cancelling Amozan Primo’ Aargh!

I then had to go back to the start page to allow me to get to the cancellation page and it was there that I spotted a less prominent option ‘Cancel anyway’ That’s better, I thought and selected this option. Sorted.

No, not sorted. Again I was bombarded by statements extolling the virtues of this wonderous product. Are you sure you want to cancel this product, it asked. Yes, I bl**dy well am, I screamed at the screen in front of me. I found the correct option to cancel. Was that it done, I hear you ask. Was it fu... No, it wasn’t. Up pops more information warning me of all the terrific services I would be throwing away if I were to opt out... Yes, like having eight quids extracted from my bank account each month.

Eventually, I managed to find my way through the labyrinth of options telling me to reconsider. By the end I felt that I was being treated like a bit of a cretin... Are you really so thick-headed that you want to give up this marvellous opportunity, well you must be even stupider than you look you knuckle-dragging moron... it might as well have said to me. Despite the advice, I selected ‘Cancel’ and that was it... other than being reminded that I could come back to use all the wonderful benefits of Amozan Primo any time I wanted.

Don’t think so, Amozan.

Anyway, I carried on with my order for the items I wanted to buy (Remember them?). Free next day delivery? Nope. I’ll just opt for normal delivery, thank you. That’ll be the one that says Free delivery within 3-5 working days. I pressed the button to select...
‘Welcome to Amozan Primo.’

I’m sure the neighbours must have heard me sobbing.


.....oooOooo.....


Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 8th of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know...

Emiliano Zapata 1879 (Revolutionary. Looked nothing like Marlon Brando.), Jerold Wells 1908 (Jobbing actor.), Unity Mitford 1914 (‘Socialite’. Pal of a certain Mr. A. Hitler.), Earl Cameron 1917 (Jobbing actor. Died just a month ago.), Willie Woodburn 1919 (Fitba guy.), Agostino ‘Dino’ De Laurentiis 1919 (Film producer.), Frank Chapple 1921 (Trade unionist.), Esther Williams 1921 (Swimmer who ‘acted’ in films where she got the chance to swim.), Rory Calhoun 1922 (Jobbing actor.), Willie Redpath 1922 (Fitba guy. Played for Motherwell, you know.), Richard Anderson 1926 (Actor. Oscar Goldman in The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.), Derek Batey 1928 (TV presenter.), Ronnie Biggs 1929 (Celebrity crook.), Terry Nation 1930 (TV writer. Invented the Daleks.), Joe Tex 1933 (Singer/songwriter. Have a clip. He doesn't want to bump any more.), Keith Barron 1934 (Actor. David Pearce in Duty Free. Him.), Jan Pieńkowski 1936 (Author and illustrator. Meg and Mog; he draws them.), Dustin Hoffman 1937 (Actor. ‘Mrs Rabbinson, are you trying to sedooce me?’), Tom Georgeson 1937 (Jobbing actor.), Connie Stevens 1938 (Actress.), Johnny Gustafson 1942 (Musician. Here’s Watch Out For The Bat.), Denis Canavan 1942 (Politician.), John Renbourn 1944 (Musician. Here’s Little Niles.), John C. Holmes 1944 (Actor in some dodgy films. Know what I mean? Nudge nudge, wink wink. He made 573 in all. [He must have been knackered! - Ed.]), Keith Carradine 1949 (Actor.), Louis van Gaal 1951 (Voetbal kerel.), Fidelis Morgan 1952 (Orfer.), Nigel Mansell 1953 (Racey car bloke.), Jim Sweeney 1956 (Jobbing actor. Played a polis in The Angels’ Share.), David Grant 1956 (Singer. Have a clip. Here’s Watching You Watching Me. That vest is only fit for the bin.), Chris ‘Chrissy Boy’ Foreman 1956 (Geetarist with Madness and Crunch. Who? Have a clip. Here’s Magic Carpet.), Daniel Abineri 1958 (Actor. Fr Neil Boyd in Bless Me, Father. Him.), Nigel Spink 1958 (Footy bloke.), Simon Weston 1961 (Falklands War veteran.), Chris Eubank 1966 (Boxy bloke.), Delroy ‘Bitty’ McLean 1972 (Singer. Here’s his biggest ’it, It Keeps Raining (Tears From My Eyes).), Brian Harvey 1974 (Singer with East (later E) 17. Here’s their first ’it, House of Love.), Enzo Cilenti 1974 (Actor. Yezzan zo Qaggaz in Game of Thrones. Him.), Pooja Shah 1979 (Actress. Meena in Bend It Like Beckham. Her.), Bradley McIntosh 1981 (Singer. Was 14.28571428571429 per cent of S Club 7. A clip? Indeed. Here’s Have You Ever. Brad’s in there somewhere.), Kirk Broadfoot 1984 (Fitba Guy.), Katie Leung 1987 (Actress. Lau Chen in Strangers. Her.), Princess Beatrice of York 1988 (Like royal, yah?), Hannah Miley 1989 (Swimmy bloke.) and Aiysha Hart 1990 (Actress. Sam Railston in Line of Duty. Her.).

Let’s have some of the same for August the 15th, shall we...

Napoleon Bonaparte 1769 (Emperor of the French... in case you didn’t know.), Walter Scott 1771 (Orfer. Waverley, that was one of his.), Thomas de Quincey 1785 (Orfer. Confessions of an English Opium Eater, that was one of his.), Keir Hardie 1856 (Trade unionist and politician. ‘Labour’s greatest pioneer and its greatest hero.’), Edith Nesbit 1858 (Orfer, mainly for children. Five Children and It was one of hers.), Ethel Barrymore 1879 (Actress.), Jacques Ibert 1890 ([Is that her that used to present Reporting Scotland? - Ed.] That’s Jackie Bird! Ibert was a composer. Here’s Serenade sur l'eau.), Major-General Douglas Wimberley 1896 (Officer in the British Army. Known as ‘Tartan Tam’.), Wynford Vaughan-Thomas 1908 (Journalist and broadcaster.), Wendy Hiller 1912 (Ectress don’tcha know.), Robert Bolt 1924 (Screenwriter. A Man for All Seasons... One of his.), Oscar Peterson 1925 (Tickler of the ivories. A clip? Here’s Hymn to Freedom.), Bill Pinkney 1925 (A Drifter. Have a clip. Here’s an oldie... Money Honey), Nicholas Roeg 1928 (Film maker. The Man Who Fell to Earth, that was one of his.), Frederick ‘Nosher’ Powell 1928 (Boxer, stuntman and actor.), Paul McDowell 1931 (Jobbing actor and in a former life... a vocalist with this mob.), Bill Podmore 1931 (Television director. Worked on Corrie. The cast referred to him as ‘The Godfather’.), Bobby Helms 1933 (Singer. Here’s Jacqueline... pronounced Jakwoolin. Don’t ask me why.), Stanley Milgram 1933 (Social psychologist. Inspiration for this.), Jim Dale 1935 (Actor.), Geoff Hamilton 1936 (TV gardener.), Pete York 1942 (Drummer. He began ‘Superdrumming’ with other top drummers in 1987.  Here's a short clip. Sheer class!), Simon May 1944 (Composer of mainly TV themes. Here, he explains a bit about his most famous toon. Shame about the camerawork.), Eddie Phillips 1945 (Musician. Here he is with his band, Creation with Making Time Did you spot his means of playing guitar which was later made famous by Jimmy Page?), Nigel Terry 1945 (Ectaw, dear leddie. King Arthur in Excalibur. Him.), William Waldegrave 1945 (Politician. Served on John Major’s cabinet. Now known as Baron Waldegrave of North Hill... Could be a character from Lord of the Rings with a name like that.), Tony Robinson 1946 (Actor, broadcaster and political activist, but you know him better as this poetic chap.), Jenny Hanley 1946 (Actress who presented Magpie... erm, that’s it.), Jimmy Webb 1946 (Musician. Better known for songs recorded by others such as Richard Harris.), Tom Johnston 1948 (A Doobie brother. Enjoy this lockdown classic.), Anne, Princess Royal 1950 (Team captain on It’s a Royal Knockout. I’ll bet she was proud of that one.), Carol and Mark Thatcher 1953 (Famous because of their parents, Mags and Den.), Steig Larsson 1954 (Orfer.), Judy Holt 1956 (Jobbing actress.), Matt Johnson 1961 (The The The main man. Have a clip. Here’s Uncertain Smile.), Jack Russell 1963 (Crickety wickety keepery bloke.), Con O’Neill 1966 (Jobbing actor. Davy Throb in Norbert Smith, a Life. Him.), Debra Messing 1968 (Actress. Grace in Will & Grace. Her. She makes cupcakes. Don’t buy them for your maiden aunt. Just... don’t.), Ben Affleck 1972 (Actor. Batman in Justice League. That was him underneath all that rubbery stuff.), Jonathan Slinger 1972 (Jobbing actor. Remember Paradox? No? Well, he was in that.), Natalie Press 1980 (Actress. She played Emily Davison in Suffragette. She was the one who famously threw herself under the king’s horse, although there has always been speculation about her planning such a dramatic course of action.), Samuel Roukin 1980 (Actor. The Sentinel in Salem. Sounds creepy.), Ted Dwane 1984 (A bit of Mumford & Sons. Have a clip. Here’s I Will Wait Popular in the good ol U S of A. Wonder why.), Sean Rigby 1989 (Actor. DS Jim Strange in Endeavour. Him.), Joe Jonas 1989 (A brother. Have a clip. Here’s Sauce... I’m sorry, here’s S.O.S.), Josh Magennis 1990 (A footballer, so he is.), Lily Stead 1993 (Kayleigh Gibbs in Emmerdale. Her.) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 1993 (Footy bloke.).

Let’s not forget August the 22nd.

Henry Maudslay 1771 (Engineer. He could be called the father of mass-production as it was he who invented a metal-cutting lathe that allowed the standardisation of screw threads. Educational, this is.), Claude Debussy 1862 (Composer. Have a clip. Here is the beautiful Arabesque No. 1.), Cecil Kellaway 1890 (Jobbing actor. Appeared in more than a hundred films.), Dorothy Parker 1893 (Poet, writer, satirist and critic.), Jack Payne 1899 (Bandleader. Here’s signature tune Say It With Music), Leni Riefenstahl 1902 (Film maker.), Deng Xiaoping 1904 (Politician.), Henri Cartier-Bresson 1908 (Snapper.), Hugh Paddick 1915 (Comedy actor.), John Slater 1916 (Actor. Worked with Pinky and Perky, you know.), John Lee Hooker 1917 (Musician. A clip? Indeed. Here’s his first hit (1948), Boogie Chillen with a little help from some jobbing musicians.), Kent Walton 1917 (Sports commentator. The voice of wrestling.), Ray Bradbury 1920 (Orfer.), Ernest Maxin 1923 (TV producer, director, dancer and choreographer. Worked with Morecambe and Wise, you know.), Honor Blackman 1925 (Actress. Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Her. Had a hit record, too. This. Ye gods and little fishes!), Ivor Salter 1925 (Jobbing actor. Seemed to play police constables a lot, I remember.), Bob Flanigan 1926 (A Freshman. A clip? Here’s Poinciana.), David de Keyser 1927 (Another jobbing actor.), Karlheinz Stockhausen 1928 (Composer. Let’s have a toon. Here’s a fragment of Inori. [Or pretentious bollocks as I prefer to call it. - Ed.]), Norman Schwartzkopf 1934 (The well-known general and hair product maker.), Valerie Harper 1939 (Actress. Rhoda Morgenstern in Rhoda. Her.), Fred Milano 1939 (A Belmont. Time for another clip. Here are the Belmonts without Dion with We Belong Together.), Pete Atkin 1945 (Musician and radio producer.), Alan Birchenall 1945 (Footy bloke.), Steve ‘Interesting’ Davis 1957 (Snookery bloke.), Mark Williams 1959 (Actor. Father Brown. Him.), Roland Orzabal 1961 (A Tear for Fear. A clip? Why, certainly, Stanley. Here’s Sowing the Seeds of Love.  A bit of a Beatles tribute going on there.), Tori Amos 1963 (Musician. Here’s her biggest hit, Professional Widow.  A bit of a Kate Bush tribute going on there.), Mats Wilander 1964 (Tennisspelare.), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje 1967 (Actor. Mr Eko in Lost. Him. Makes you long for the days when would-be stars with unusual names changed them to something simpler like Danny Kaye or Kirk Douglas.), Steve ‘Fanny’ Cradock 1969 (A bit of Ocean Colour Scene and the re-formed Specials. A clip? Yes indeedy. Here’s Hundred Mile High City  Nice car.), Richard Armitage 1971 (Actor. Lee Preston in Cold Feet. Him.), Dan Antopolski 1972 (Comedian. Won the top joke award at the 2009 Edinburgh Fringe with ‘Hedgehogs - why can’t they just share the hedge?’ Perhaps you had to be there.), Sheree Murphy 1975 (Actress. Tricia Dingle in Emmerdale. Her. Married to Harry Kewell, you know.), Ed Petrie 1978 (Kids’ TV presenter.), James Corden 1978 (Comedian, it says here.) and Adam Thirlwell 1978 (Orfer.).




I’ve received a letter...

Dear Ed Gramble,
I was surprised that you played a track from Chris Foreman’s later band, Crunch, rather than something from the more famous of his bands, Madness. Of course, they had so many hits, it would have been a hard task to actually choose one. I would probably have opted for their most successful offering. I believe they had a number one, but I can’t remember with what song. Can you help?
Yours in anticipation,


.....oooOooo.....


Time to gramble... or perhaps not.  We haven’t done too well with the predictions from The Grambler of late. I blame it on the faltering start to this season’s games. The Scottish Premiership has notched up four matches for most teams while none of the other leagues have even started the 2020-21 season. Is it any wonder that our bets have been all over the place? Can we manage a gramble this week? (They can’t touch you for it.) Erm... in a word, no. Once again, there are too few matches to place a gramble-type bet on. And after last week’s showing on the gee gees... I reckon a few shady burgers will be on sale very soon.
Next week? Aye, mibbee.

.....oooOooo.....


Teaser time. Yay! How did you get on with your five questions? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?
I was born in 1977 in Les Ulis, France. My first club at senior level was Monaco where I spent five years. I then went for a brief period to Juventus, before an eight year spell at Arsenal. During my time there, I scored 228 goals; a club record. I won the Premier League Golden Boot a record four times. I won the UEFA Champions League with my next club, Barcelona. Oh, and I played 123 times for France and won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

Answer: Thierry Henry

2. One for facup day. What was the last club from outside the top division to win the FA Cup?

Answer: West Ham United in 1980

3. Who was the top-scoring Brazilian in the 2019-20 Premier League?

Answer: Roberto Firmino (56)

4. Which England manager won the most caps as an England player?

Answer: Stuart Pearce (78)

5. Which is the odd one out and why?
Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Chelsea, Arsenal

Answer: Arsenal. The others still have their original names whereas Arsenal changed from Dial Square.

Another five for this week? Aye, go on, then.

1. Who am I?
I was born in Belfast in 1946. I began my senior career at Manchester United and scored 137 goals in 361 appearances. The Portuguese press nicknamed me ‘The fifth Beatle’.

2. Since it is Champions League Final weekend, what is the highest goal tally in a European Cup/Champions League final?

3. Which Englishman has won the most European Cup/Champions League winners medals?

4. Which Premier League club has a stork on its badge?

5. Harrogate Town has joined the English League for the first time in its 106 year history. Prior to them, which was the last club to join the league for the first time? Hope that makes sense.

There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie (or any other search engine, for that matter)?


.....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, I am indebted to a Ms. D. Parker who features in this week’s birthday honours. She was a poet, writer, satirist and critic, but was perhaps best known for her witticisms, often barbed but always memorable. Let’s have a few to finish off this week’s edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog. As you read them, please remember they were written almost a hundred years ago. Ahead of her time, old Dorothy.

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.

Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common.

Don't look at me in that tone of voice.

I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be darling at it.

I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I'm under the table,
after four I'm under my host.


Tell him I was too f*ck*ng busy-- or vice versa

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.

Brevity is the soul of lingerie.

That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can't say 'No' in any of them.

I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid.

She was pleased to have him come and never sorry to see him go.

Take me or leave me; or, as is the usual order of things, both.

Now I know the things I know, 
and I do the things I do; 
and if you do not like me so, 
to hell, my love, with you!

If you wear a short enough skirt, the party will come to you.

Ducking for apples -- change one letter and it's the story of my life.

It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

I don't care what is written about me so long as it isn't true.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded
wheelchair.


Q: What's the difference between an enzyme and a hormone?
A: You can't hear an enzyme


Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.


I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.

If all the girls attending [the Yale prom] were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.

I'm not a writer with a drinking problem, I'm a drinker with a writing problem.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

The two most beautiful words in the English language are 'cheque enclosed'.

Of course I talk to myself. I like a good speaker, and I appreciate an intelligent audience.

If, with the literate, I am
Impelled to try an epigram,
I never seek to take the credit;
We all assume that Oscar said it.


Authors and actors and artists and such - 
Never know nothing, and never know much.

The only “ism” Hollywood believes in is plagiarism.

Now, look, baby, 'Union' is spelled with 5 letters. It is not a four-letter word.

Their pooled emotions wouldn’t fill a teaspoon.

By the time you swear you're his, 
shivering and sighing, 
And he vows his passion is 
infinite,undying-Lady,make a note of this: 
One of you is lying

The lads I've met in cupid's deadlock
Were - shall we say? - born out of wedlock


Dorothy Parker... The Joan Rivers of her day




That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.

Happy grambling.