Friday, 14 February 2020

Week 29 - Grambling to hell in a hand cart


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

 

Hello young gramblers, whoever you are,
I hope your grambles are few.
All my good gramblings go with you tonight,
I've been grambled like you.

[Ooer, missus. - Ed.]

Yes, I know they’re not the right lyrics, but I couldn’t come up with another way to start the Saint Valentine week’s (g)ramble.

So, have you all sent your valentine cards to your loved ones and those hoped-to-be loved ones?

Tell me, did you ever receive cards when you were at school? There was always some guy who would brag that he got half a dozen cards. Always the cynic, I reckon those he got, he had bought and posted to himself.

Don’t get me wrong, I did get cards... well, a card... and it was always from the same person... someone who had unmistakable handwriting. It’s a bit bloody embarrassing getting a card from your auntie, I can tell you.

She probably thought she was doing the right thing.

I recall a teacher at primary school thought it would be a good idea to get everyone in the class to make a valentine card and ‘post’ it inside the desk of their favourite girl/boy. As can happen, all the boys fancied the same girl and the lid of her desk wouldn’t shut because of all the cardboard it contained. The girls seemed to have more varied tastes and I have to admit to receiving a couple of cards. However well-intentioned, the teacher’s idea backfired somewhat as it didn’t do much for those who had a fragile ego and there were some tears shed on the 14th of February in that classroom. Some of the girls were crying too.

Anyway, time to concentrate on the present. Have you noticed something about St. Val’s day cards? The colour. They all seem to share the same colour scheme.

Of course, it happens with all the card-heavy festivals: Easter tends to be celebrated with cards of mainly yellow, probably in deference to newly blooming daffodils or Easter chicks... I can’t remember many narcissi or newly hatched chickens being mentioned in the Bible’s portrayal of the Easter story, but perhaps I’ve missed something.

It is the same at Christmas. Red and green are the predominant colours associated with Crimbo. It’s probably all to do with the holly and the ivy... Possibly... I could be wrong, but can you come up with anything more plausible?

Even Hallowe’en, a festival where no cards are exchanged, has its own colour scheme. Orange and black are the hues of choice. I’m guessing that the black is there because Hallowe’en is a night time thing so it is all to do with the darkness. [Ooh, they were good... I believe in a fing called love, just listen to the rhythm of my heart... That’s not The Darkness you mean, is it? - Ed.] No. [Just ignore me. - Ed.] I always do... And the orange relates to pumpkins, obviously.

Valentine’s day? Red and black. Sorry pardon excuse me? Where in the handbook does it say that anything relating to St. Valentine’s day should be red and black? For some reason, red roses are synonymous (That’s a good word. Wonder what it means.) with St. Val’s day so that could explain the red, but where does black come into it? Maybe it’s because the giver of the card would like be in the dark with... Let’s not go there.

Did you know that Saint Valentine is also the patron saint of leprosy? No? Well, he is. He succeeded in converting many individuals to Christianity. He overstepped the mark though, when he tried to get Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus to change. Claudius decided that Val should renounce his faith or be executed. Naturally, Val decided he wanted to be a martyr and so was sentenced to death by clubbing [I quite like clubbing. - Ed.] Shh... This is serious... and by stoning [I quite like getting stoned too; especially when I’m clubbing - Ed.]. Quiet. Please...When that didn’t kill him, he was beheaded. [Ooh, I don’t like that idea. - Ed.] He was later made a saint because he is said to have restored the sight of a blind girl. So, now you know. Today has not been wasted.

I’d better pack in now... I’ve still to get Mrs G’s card.

 



.....oooOooo.....
 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 15th of February? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. Henry Steinway 1797 (Made joannas.), Charles Tiffany 1812 (Sold jewellery.), Robert Fuchs [How do you pronounce that? - Ed.] 1847 (Composer. Have a clip. Here is Timid Little Heart. Note who made the joanna.), Ernest Shackleton 1874 (Explorer. On his failed expedition to the South Pole in 1914 his ship became embedded in the ice so Shackleton famously managed to get back to civilisation without losing a single member of his crew. Sadly, they returned to Britain in 1917 with the war at its height and most were immediately conscripted to the army and sent to the ‘trenches’. After the three year struggle of the Antarctic expedition, it is a sad irony that several died within weeks of joining up.), Henry ‘H.M’ Bateman 1887 (Cartoonist. The man who...), Gale Sondergaard 1899 (Actress.), Cesar Romero 1907 (Actor. A bit of a joker.), Sidney Gilliat 1908 (Film maker.), Max Aitken 1910 (Politician.), Charlie Cairoli 1910 (Circus clown.), Sam Kydd 1915 (Actor. You silly c-c-c-clot.), Ronnie Aldrich 1916 (Musician. Have some easy listening.), Allan Arbus 1918 (Large aeroplane.), Harvey Korman 1927 (Hedley Lamarr.), Graham Hill 1929 (Posh racey car bloke.), Gerald Harper 1929 (Ector. Adam Adamant. Leave this man alone.), Claire Bloom 1931 (Ectress.), Troy Kennedy Martin 1932 (Screenwriter. The Italian Job, that was one of his.), Jimmy Bloomfield 1934 (Footy bloke.), Glyn Johns 1942 (Musician, recording engineer and record producer to the stars. Here’s his cover of the Paul McCartney song I'll Follow The Sun.  I thought I should check details on his Wikipedia page. First line? ‘Not to be confused with Glynis Johns’. Well, it made me smile.), Mick Avory 1944 (A Kink. Here he is battering away Till the end of the day.), John Helliwell 1945 (Saxophonist... They can’t touch you for it. Here’s Babaji.), Clare Short (Small politician.), John Adams 1947 (Composer. Let’s go for a short ride in a fast machine.), Billy Nicholls 1949 (Singer/songwriter. Here he is singing Would You Believe. [Why wouldn’t I believe he was singing? - Ed.] Aye, right. You might recognise the backing vocalist.), Markku Alén 1951 (Rallyförare.), Jane Seymour 1951 (Actress, it says here.), Tony Adams 1953 (Film producer.), Matt Groening 1954 (Creator of The Simpsons.), Desmond Haynes 1956 (Crickety bloke.), Adam Boulton 1959 (Newsreader.), Ali Campbell 1959 (UB40 vocalist. Here’s Maybe Tomorrow.), Martin Rowson 1959 (Satirical cartoonist.), Mikey Craig 1960 (A bit of Culture Club. Have a clip. This is a post-Culture Club toon, I'm a Believer. No, not that one.), Syed Kamall 1967 (Politician.), Scott Severin 1979 (Footy bloke.), Don Cowie 1983 (Footie bloke.), Jadey Duffield 1991 (Actress.) and Ben Foakes 1993 (Crickety bloke.).

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Nash-Hudson,

How wonderful that you acknowledged the accomplished songwriter Billy Nicholls. He wrote a few hits, but his biggest was a song recorded by Leo Sayer, Phil Collins, The Outlaws, Keith Urban, The Quireboys and it has even been sung by Taylor Swift. The problem is, we can’t remember the title. Can you help.

Yours wholeheartedly,


 

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Not a ha’penny back. What happened? Read on.

 

 

Exeter vs Stevenage - Prediction Home win

Result - Exeter 2 Stevenage 1

Yay!

Substitute Matt Jay was the hero, scoring the winner with nine minutes remaining in a match where the result was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

It took until the 37th minute for the deadlock to be broken as Randell Williams planted a bullet header past Paul Farman from Pierce Sweeney's excellent cross.

Nicky Ajose came close to making it 2-0 when he latched onto Williams' ball over the top, but his attempted lob went just the wrong side of the upright.

Stevenage responded with a shot from Canice Carroll that flew wide of goal - their first effort of note coming on the hour-mark - while (ex-Motherwell man) Ryan Bowman struck the post for Exeter after a superb move.

The Grecians got stronger as the game went on, but could not finish the opportunities they were creating and were made to pay with 10 minutes remaining when Sweeney was robbed of the ball and it was played to Daniel Kemp to lash home.

Exeter hit straight back, though, as Nicky Ajose poked the ball back to Jay and he picked his spot to make it 2-1 from close range for the winner in the 81st-minute.

 

Forest Green vs Walsall - Prediction Home win

Result - Forest Green 1 Walsall 2

Boo!

Josh Gordon's 50th-minute penalty and a sumptuous strike from substitute Wes McDonald in the 72nd minute put Walsall in control.

Forest Green made the game interesting when Aaron Collins flicked home with four minutes to go but the Saddlers hung on.

Orient vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win

Result - Orient 1 Macclesfield 1

Ooh! ’It the bar.

James Brophy put Orient ahead in the 75th minute when he raced down the left side before angling a superb drive into the net.

It seemed that Orient would be on course for the three points in a tightly-contested duel, but substitute Jacob Blyth had the final word after being setup by another substitute and new signing Donovan Wilson, who produced a sublime pass and the former Motherwell forward finished off the move with a powerful effort.

Curse you Blyth!

 

Newport vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win

Result - Newport 0 Cambridge 1

Boo!

Liam O'Neil's goal was the difference as Cambridge United secured all three points against Newport County.

Jamille Matt had two opportunities in first-half stoppage-time to put County ahead but Cambridge goalkeeper Callum Burton was up to the task.

The deadlock was finally broken when Paul Mullin's shot was parried by Tom King and O'Neil reacted quickest to put Cambridge ahead after 68 minutes.

 

Northampton vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win

Result - Northampton 0 Port Vale 1

Boo!

Vale’s David Worrall shot wide in the first few minutes, while Scott Brown made two comfortable stops at the other end, keeping out Mark Marshall and Nicky Adams.

Lloyd Jones also had a shot blocked, but a dour first half was otherwise short on clear-cut chances.

Callum Morton found the side-netting moments after the resumption and Adams then missed a golden opportunity, side-footing wide when left unmarked.

Brown tipped over Sam Hoskins' volley and reacted superbly to thwart Vadaine Oliver as the Cobblers cranked it up.

But it was the visitors who took a shock lead with 18 minutes to go, when Tom Conlon's cross was headed home by Worrall at the back post.

Northampton piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser, but Brown continued to frustrate them, saving excellently from Adams late on.

 

Rubbish or what? [Definitely rubbish. - Ed.] Can The Grambler make amends this week? [Don’t hold your breath. - Ed.]

 

Game - Result - Odds

Birmingham vs Brentford - Prediction Away win - 10/11

Sheffield Wed vs Reading - Prediction Home win - 19/20

Ipswich vs Burton Albion - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Southend vs Coventry - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Maclesfield vs Exeter - Prediction Away win - 10/11

 

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

 

£11.86

Did anything interesting happen in the year 1186? Hmm... Not much. John the Chanter became Bishop of Exeter. I can imagine the scene some days after his installation...

‘Gonnae f****** shut the f*** up! You huvnae stopped that f****** chanting since ye f****** well got here!’

... but in Latin, of course.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you what team did Alf Garnett support and what was the character of Alf Garnett’s name changed from after the pilot edition was shown as part of the Beeb’s Comedy Playhouse series of 1965. I also asked you why it was changed. His team was West Ham and that first show featured the character as Alf Ramsey. I’m not sure if that was deliberate on writer Johnny Speight’s part. Perhaps he didn’t much like the England manager. I’m guessing that it wasn’t picked up by Beeb Beeb Ceeb top brass (probably because they knew nothing about football) until that first episode had been made. Once it was broadcast, I am sure there were plenty of complaints and so, one of Britain’s most famous comedy characters was born.

One for this week? Here is one for those of you who know your Premier League players; specifically French players. Which Frenchman has made the most Premier League appearances? Simple question. Try it out down the pub.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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. M. Rowson, one of this week’s birthday celebrants, who is a cartoonist specialising in political satire. He has worked for The Daily Mirror, The Times, The New Statesman, The Spectator, The Morning Star, The Scotsman, The Irish Times, Time Out and many other publications. This week we finish with his take on the current state of world politics (which probably infringes copyright laws, but it really is too good to not share with you).

 

 

Donald and Boris and the special relationship
 

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
 
Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Week 27/28 - Grambling up the wall


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

 


We begin the blog today with a nice little toon. All together now...

La la la la la

La la la la la la

La la la la la la la

La la la la la

La la la la la la

La la la la la la la

Thing

Thing a thong

Thing out loud

Thing out thtrong

Thing of good thingth

Not bad

Thing of happy

Not thad

Thing

Thing a thong

Make it thimple

to latht your whole life long

Don’t worry if itth not good en...

[How could you?! You are making fun of people who can’t talk properly! Appalling behaviour! - Ed.]

I’m not.

[Yeth you are... Whatth going on? Why am I thpeaking tho thtrangely? Why can’t I thay my etheth? - Ed.]

The eth on my keyboard ith acting up, tho I’ve got to uthe ‘th’ to replace it.

[That’th prepothterouth? How can you produce a whole blog while thounding like Daffy Duck? - Ed.]

It theems to be intermittent and it can thuddenly thort itself out. See? It’s done it again.

Let’s get on with this week’s blog.

Sorry about that start. It wasn't designed to poke fun at speech impediments. Perish the thought. However, it does lead us nicely into this week's (g)ramble which is to do with voiceovers. Sorry pardon excuse me?

Do you remember the days when to be an announcer/presenter on radio or television a person had to speak proper Beeb Beeb Ceeb English. It was all a bit forced, but at least every syllable of every word could be understood.
Nowadays, it seems that anything goes. We have had professional cockney, Ray Onestone telling us to gaymbool reeshponshibly for years.

Mind you, his crown as the most annoying fake cockney might be slipping; Danny dialler is breathing down his neck as the presenter of a programme supposed to be called The Wall but he calls it 'Duh woo.'

Another annoying speaker has turned up on a programme called Countryfile. I don't mean Matt Baker from off of The One Show. [He’s done more shows than one, surely. - Ed.] Don't call me Shirley. Ahem. He has a Geordie accent, but it has been ironed out a bit, unlike the accents of Ray Winsome and Danny Dire. Mind you, if he hadn't adapted it for television he would probably have been as unintelligible (That's a good word. Must look it up.) as the farmer in Shaun the Sheep whose speech consists of noises... Eh? Ooh hoo. Wuh hey. Huh huh huh. Ay etc..

No, the guy I'm referring to is the bloke in the wheelchair. I know the Beeb likes to promote its inclusion credentials by employing disabled people in plum jobs, but I think being able to talk properly ought to be that guy's main qualification. He speaks in what is called estuary English. In other words, he comes from the London area. His accent isn't quite as thick as the aforementioned Messrs Winton and Dryer, but it's too close for my liking. F sounds abound when he should be saying th. He would probably argue that his accent wasn't vat fick.

Sticking with mockney cockney, one of the worst offenders in the TV presentation world is Mike Blewitt, presenter of Wheeler Dealers. He uses a steering wool to guide a vehicle and presses the selleray'uh to make it go faster. I love cars and I would dearly love to watch Wheeler Dealers but can't because I want to throw something at the television whenever Mr Brewster opens his noof en saahf.

Regular readers of the world's most ill-informed blog, may recall my love for the erudite Mr Jamie Callahan who is regularly seen on Sky football programmes [Now you're just being sarcastic. - Ed.] Indeed I am being sarcastic. His scouse accent is pretty much impenetrable... ‘Dey tink der a good team. Der noh.’ Translation: They think they are a good team. They are not.

That is bad enough, but of late a different type of annoying accent is being deployed by the TV companies. Don't think me racist, but it is obviously the voice of a young black person. The advert is for Macburger or Donald King or some such. The ad tells us that a particular item can be purchased for 99p. Nothing wrong with the wording of the advert. And the message is getting through loud and clear. So what is my gripe? That young black person's accent; particularly the way she pronounces 99. It comes out as naah y naan. It isn't trendy or clever to use someone who can’t talk properly, whoever came up with this particular campaign. It is just bloody annoying.

That is bad enough, but the British Broadcorping Casteration in its corporate wisdom thinks that such a 'trendy' way of speaking should be utilised more. So we now have a continuity announcer (or whatever they are called these days) telling us about some forthcoming highlight on Friday evening. Again the information being given is understood but the pronunciation just grates. Well, to me anyway. Highlight comes out as 'hah lat' and Friday night comes out as 'fraddy nat'.

I'm all for diversification but come on Beeb Beeb Ceeb, there is a limit to what is acceptable. As Stewart Lee, the well-known comedian, says, it makes you long for the days when having a regional accent was seen as a disadvantage.

 

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 1st of February? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. Henry Briggs 1630 (Mathematician who gave us logarithms [Sounds painful. - Ed.]), Clara Butt 1872 (Chanter. Here’s a 111 year old clip of her giving it laldy - Ombra mai fu), John Ford 1894 (Film director. Westerns were his forte.), Stephen Potter 1900 (Orfer.), Clark Gable 1901 (Actor. Could you give a damn?), Stanley Matthews 1915 (Footie bloke. Oldest ever player in the English top flight, still playing when aged 50.), Muriel Spark 1918 (Orfer. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, that was one of hers.), Colin Watson 1920 (Orfer.), Peter Sallis 1920 (Ector. Wallace of Wallace and Gromit fame.), Boris Yeltsin 1931 (The well-known drunkard president.), Don Everly 1937 (Performed with brother Phil in a singing duo. [Really? Which one? - Ed.] Have a clip. Here they wonder when they'll be loved.), Claude François 1939 (Chanteur. Voici Comme d’habitude dans son original Français.  Profitez-en.), Terry Jones 1942 (Actor, writer, comedian, film director and historian... In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Elisabeth Sladen 1946 (Ectress. Played Sarah Jane Smith in Dr. Who and various spinoffs... Erm... That’s it.), Adam Ingram 1947 (Politician. One time M.P. for Polomint City.), Rick James 1948 (Musician. Have a clip... Ever wondered where M.C. Hammer got that riff? Here’s Super Freak.), Nick Magnus 1955 (Musician. Fancy a clip? Here’s Winter. Nick is on keyboards, by the way... He doesn't sing.  Just thought I would clarify that.), Luther Blissett 1958 (Footy bloke.), Simon Stainrod 1959 (Footy bloke.), Linus Roache 1964 (Ectaw. Ken Barlow’s lad.), Brandon Lee 1965 (Actor. Son of Bruce.), Lisa Marie Presley 1968 (Elvis’s lass and Jacko’s missus.), Andrew VanWyngarden 1983 (Half of MGMT [Which? MG or MT? - Ed.] A clip?  It's time to pretend.), Darren Fletcher 1984 (Footy bloke.), Dean Shiels 1985 (Another footy bloke.), Dan Gosling 1990 (Footy bloke.) and Harry Styles 1994 (Singer who has that X factor. A clip? This is a sign of the times.).

What about the 8th of February? John Ruskin 1819 (Orfer.), Jules Verne 1828 (Auteur.), John Moore-Brabazon 1884 (Politician.), Edith Evans 1888 (Ectress. Famous for two words and two words only... ‘A handbag?’ Not much of a legacy.), King Vidor 1894 (Film maker. Not really a king.), Lana Turner 1921 (Actress.), Jack Lemmon 1925 (Actor.), James Dean 1931 (Actor.), Cliff Allison 1932 (Racey car bloke.), John Williams 1932 (Composer. Famous for writing many film theme tunes from the 1970s onwards. Before that, TV was his domain and he provided a few theme toons. Let’s hear an early example, here's Checkmate. ), Nick Nolte 1941 (Actor.), Roger Lloyd-Pack 1944 (Actor.), Carolyn Pickles 1952 (Ectress.), Mary Steenburgen 1953 (Actress.), John Grisham 1955 (Orfer.), Vince Neil 1961 (A bit of Mötley Crüe. A clip? Here’s Girls Girls Girls. At least there's nothing sexist about the accompanying video.), Trinny Woodall 1964 (TV presenter.), Hristo Stoichkov 1966 (футболен човек.), Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall 1967 (Bowly bloke.), Gary Coleman 1968 (Actor.), Seth Green 1974 (Voice artist these days apparently.), Abi Titmuss 1976 (Actress.), Ralf Little 1980 (Actor.) and Javi Garcia 1987 (Hombre de fútbol.).

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Mambo,

Before I retired, I was a film writer for a well-known newspaper and I got to see every film release there was. I am so pleased that you gave us a link to a John Williams composition. I always felt that his rip-roaring tunes were perfectly suited to the film one was about to see. Think Star Wars or... that other one. What was it called again? Indiana Jones! That’s it, yes. Both had rousing tunes that went so well with the films for which they were written. He could produce gentler pieces as well. There was a film from 1987... or was it 88? My memory isn’t what it was. Anyway, he provided lovely music for a film called... No. It’s gone. It was a good film too. I wonder what it was called...

Yours absent-mindedly,


 

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? It won. Yay? Definitely yay. £3.28 back from our £2.20 stake. Woo hoo! An actual profit! What happened? Read on.

 

Blackpool vs Tranmere - Result Home win

Result - Match postponed

I have no idea what effect that has on the bet.

Stevenage vs Plymouth - Result Away win

Result - Stevenage 1 Plymouth Argyle 2

Yay!

Both sides had early chances to take the lead with the hosts forcing Argyle keeper Alex Palmer into a top save through Jake Cassidy before Antoni Sarcevic's shot trickled wide at the other end.

Argyle hit the front in the 47th minute as Byron Moore coolly finished after being played through by George Cooper.

The match was disrupted in the second half as the ground was plunged into darkness following a floodlight failure.

After the restart, Palmer produced a fine stop to tip Charlie Carter's strike onto the crossbar and keep the visitors ahead.

New boy Ryan Hardie bagged his third goal in as many games as he rounded Paul Farman in the Stevenage goal before firing home in the 77th minute.

Carter pulled one back for Boro with eight minutes to go as he nodded home off the post but Argyle held on.

 

Swindon vs Port Vale - Result Home win

Result - Swindon 3 Port Vale 0

Yay!

The Robins took the lead in the 41st minute when Diallang Jaiyesimi's shot took a deflection off Leon Legge and into the back of the net, when the initial effort was going wide of the far post.

In first-half stoppage time, the hosts doubled their lead in much better style.

Midfield playmaker Michael Doughty picked out Rob Hunt with a sensational through ball and Hunt cut it back across goal for debutant Hallam Hope to slide in his first goal three days after joining from Carlisle.

Doughty finished matters on the hour by curling in a majestic free-kick with his left foot into the right-hand side of the net, with the Robins putting daylight between themselves and Exeter.

It could have been 4-0 five minutes later, but Kaiyne Woolery was denied by the post. Vale rarely threatened but Mark Cullen shot over early in the second half.

 

Queen of the South vs Alloa - Result Home win

Result - Queen of the South 2 Alloa 3

Boo!

Kevin O'Hara's opening goal came after the Queen of the South defence failed to clear the danger and the striker took advantage.

He then turned provider as he played a lovely ball across the face of goal, Robert Thompson finishing off with ease.

Jack Hamilton came on as a second-half substitute and got the better of a mistake by Alloa Keeper Andy Wilson, who'd come on to replace the injured Jamie MacDonald.

Stephen Dobbie then unleashed a stunning strike from about 20 yards to equalise.

Both sides pushed forward looking for the winner, and with nine minutes to go Alloa found it. A lovely ball in from the right from Ben Stirling found O'Hara in space and he wrapped up the win.

 

Raith vs Montrose - Result Home win

Result - Raith Rovers 4 Montrose 3

Yay!

No match report. Boo.

Not a bad result for The Grambler; can he/she/it continue the good work? [Doubt it. - Ed.] Here are this week’s predictions...

Game - Result - Odds

Exeter vs Stevenage - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Forest Green vs Walsall - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Orient vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Newport vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Northampton vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win - 19/20

 

Uh oh, The Grambler is stuck in one division mode again; all predictions are from the English League 2. Anyway, 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 Predictions, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£10.64

Woo, two pees more than last time.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you what Jairzinho, Chris Kamara, Gary McAllister and Robbie Elliot have in common. The answer is that they all share the same birthday. It is a birthday they share with somebody even more famous: Jesus. They were all born on Christmas day.

One for this week? Here’s one that is, sort of, football related. Till Death Us Do Part was a popular Beeb Beeb Ceeb comedy from the 1960s. Its main characters were Alf and Else Garnett with daughter Rita and her husband Mike Rawlins. Alf was a mad keen football fanatic. Two questions for you this week: What team did Alf support and what was the character of Alf Garnett’s name changed from after the pilot edition shown as part of the Beeb’s Comedy Playhouse series of 1965 and why was is changed? [That’s three questions sure... by my reckoning. - Ed.]

 

 

.....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. Jones who didn’t quite live long enough to celebrate his 78th birthday on February the 1st. Terry died on January the 21st. I had followed his career from the mid 1960s (Yes, I am that old.) when he appeared with Michael Palin and Eric Idle in Do Not Adjust Your Set, a programme I have mentioned before in this esteemed blog. My favourite Terry Jones was not so much the comedian as the writer. I recommend that you read his book Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic: A Novel based on an early computer game developed by Douglas Adams. An excellent read. What a pity Jones wasn’t the author entrusted with continuing the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy novels after Adams’ death rather than Eoin Colfer. Only my opinion, of course, but Jones’ sense of the absurd was closer to Adams way of thinking. Any road up, I’m waffling on here... You just want a clip to finish this week’s edition, don’t you? Have you ever watched Horrible Histories? It takes a look at historical events and gives them a comedy twist. What a novel idea, I hear you say. Not so, says I. Terry Jones and Michael Palin were there first... over 50 years ago. Let’s go back to 1969 and enjoy The Complete and Utter History of Britain.

 
Just a leetle waffer theen meent
 

 

That’th all for thith week folkth, but remember you can read the muthingth of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Week 25/26 - The Grambler on the roof


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

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

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

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


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

 

I've just seen that some new houses are being built near where I live. Good news for anyone who needs a house. Good news for those businesses involved in house construction. And good news for another type of business... I foresee a lot of work a few years down the line for anyone involved in the repair of roof leaks. You see, these new houses are being constructed with flat roofs. Why? Why do architects and builders persist in putting level roofs on buildings in a country where the climate is wet? Apart from the fact that it is a cheap option, that is. Fair enough in hot countries where any rain water quickly evaporates as soon as the rain stops, but here in Britain we get a lot of wet. Unfortunately, Britain isn’t a particularly warm place so rain water doesn’t evaporate; it hangs around and can permeate through any imperfections in a flat roof.

Just take a look at many of the tower blocks built in the past (see picture). There is a very good reason why the flat roofs have been replaced with pitched roofs. Okay, they look a bit odd, but at least they let rain water run off the building properly.

It seems that knowledge learned over hundreds of years its just cast aside by people who 'know better'.

Except they don't. I recall a story about a building designed as an exhibition centre being hailed as a work of genius because it had a vast covered space without the need for any pillars getting in the way thanks to a clever roof design based on hexagons, or was it pentagons. Any road up, it was dashed clever and was designed to be able to withstand all weather conditions. Except one. Apparently nobody had considered snow... heavy snow. Sure, it could cope with most snowfalls, but when a particularly heavy fall came, it most certainly couldn't cope; especially when more snow came on top of the first. The architect had worked on the principle that when snow came down it settled for a short while then melted. Did I tell you this building was in Canada? Hmm... They do a lot of snow in Canada. I don't need to tell you what happened, but I think a rebuild took place with some pillars added for good measure.

Think also of the footage you see of suspension bridges swinging about like skipping-ropes when they are hit by hurricanes. Architects and engineers seem to forget the most basic of facts at times. Things used to be over-engineered so that they could withstand the known weather conditions as well as being able to remain standing in ‘unprecedented’ weather. I put unprecedented in inverted commas because it is a word you hear a lot whenever a bridge/building collapses. ‘This severe weather is unprecedented’, so-called experts (usually wearing a hard hat and a high vis vest) announce while standing in front of some collapsed structure. Basically, it is the go-to excuse for someone has ballsed this up. No, it isn't unprecedented... you just forgot that weather is unpredictable.
 
Some giant shampoo bottles




 

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Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 18th of January? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. John Nash 1752 (Architect, not the singer. Brighton Pavilion, Marble Arch and Buck House were some of his better known efforts.), Peter Roget 1779 (Lexicographer - They can’t touch you for it - who came up with a thesaurus.), A.A. Milne 1882 (Orfer. Winnie the Pooh’s creator. Can be heard spinning in his grave every time Disney comes up with a new story.), Thomas Sopwith 1888 (Aviation pioneer.), Oliver Hardy 1892 (Half of a particularly famous comedy duo. [Really? Which one? - Ed.]), Archibald Leach 1904 (Better known as debonair actor Cary Grant.), Jacob Bronowski 1908 (Scientist and tv presenter.), David Kaminsky 1911 (Better known as comedy star Danny Kaye. Have a clip. You’ll know this.), David Bellamy 1933 (Botanist who called the notion of global warming ‘poppycock’. Don't let the sainted Greta hear you say such a thing.), John Boorman 1933 (Film maker.), Raymond Briggs 1934 (Author and illustrator. Creator of Fungus the Bogeyman.), David Howell 1936 (Politician.), Pedro Rodriguez 1940 (Conductor de carreras.), Bobby Goldsboro 1941 (Musician. Now, what clip shall we have? The mawkish Honey? What about his ‘coming of age’ song Summer (The First Time)? No let’s have this sell-out toon. I suddenly have a hankering for a well-known carbonated soft drink.), David Ruffin 1941 (A Temptation. Have a toon. All together now... I got sunshine on a cloudy day...), Paul Freeman 1943 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Dave Greenslade 1943 (Musician who, as well as being in various bands, composed the occasional tv theme tune. Here is one such.), Paul Keating 1944 (Strine prahm meeneester.), Gilles Villeneuve 1950 (Pilote de course.), Bob Latchford 1951 (Footy bloke.), Kevin Costner 1955 (Actor.), Paul Deighton 1956 (Politician.), Mark Rylance 1960 (Ectaw dear leddie. Have you seen his Flop in Bing Bunny? Ebsolutely marvellous; a man who really suffers for his art.), Peter Beardsley 1961 (Footy bloke and star of Athletico Mince.), Richard Dunwoody 1964 (Horse ridey bloke.), Jane Horrocks 1964 (Actress.), Jonathan Davis aka JDevil 1971 (A bit of Korn. Have some nu metal.), Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola 1971 (Entrenador de fútbol.), Crispian Mills aka Krishna Kanta Das 1973 (Musician. Here he is when he fronted Kula Shaker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QZOHzWLF9w ), Richard Archer 1977 (Hard-Fi main man. Let's have a song. Here’s an early one.), Estelle (Swaray) 1980 (Rappy type singer. Here’s a jolly toon.), Robert Green 1980 (Footy bloke.), Samantha Mumba 1983 (Singer. A clip? She’s got to tell you.) and José Ignacio Fernández Iglesias 1990 (Who? Oh Nacho. Footy... sorry, meant jugador de fútbol.).

What about the 25th of January? Anyone of import born on this day? Robert Boyle 1627 (Large spot called Bob.), Robert Burns 1759 (po-yit.), William Colgate 1783 (Soap and toothpaste manufacturer [Really? Which brand? - Ed.]), W. Somerset Maugham 1874 (Playwright.), Virginia Woolf 1882 (orfer.), Margery Sharp 1905 (Orfer. Wrote The Rescuers.), James Miller aka Ewan MacColl 1915 (Folk singer, songwriter, actor, poet, playwright and record producer... In fact, a right old smartyboots. Wrote Dirty old town and this rather nice toon.), Raymond Baxter 1922 (Television presenter.), Dean Jones 1931 (Actor.), Etta James 1938 (Singer. Here’s a tune you might know. She'd rather have blinds or something.), Eusébio (da Silva Ferreira) 1942 (Jogador de futebol.), Eduardo Gonçalves de Andrade known as Tostão 1947 (Outro jogador de futebol.), John Cooper Clarke 1949 (Poet.), Steve Prefontaine 1951 (Runny bloke.), Peter Tatchell 1952 (Activist.), Andy Cox 1956 (Geetarist. A bit of The Beat and a Fine Young Cannibal. Here he is in yet another group, Two Men, A Drum Machine and A Trumpet and they’re tired of getting pushed around.), David Ginola 1967 (Footballeur aux cheveux longs.), Francis Jeffers 1981 (Footy bloke.), Alicia Keys 1981 (Musician. Have a clip. I think she might be falling.) and Robson de Souza aka Robinho 1984 (Mais um jogador de futebol.).

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

 

Dear Mr Blundell,

Thank you for the link to a Kula Shaker song. I believe they had four other top ten hits. I remember Hush, Tatva and Sound of Drums, but I cannot remember the other one. Can you help?

Yours curiously,


 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? It won. Yay? Definitely not yay. 72 pees back from our £2.20 stake. Not much is it? What happened? Read on.

 

 

Everton vs Brighton - Prediction Home win

Result - Everton 1 Brighton 0

Yay!

The Toffees deservedly took the lead after 38 minutes thanks to the superb skill of Brazilian forward Richarlison, who controlled Lucas Digne's pass, swivelled and curled an effort low into the far corner past Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.

Everton thought they had doubled their lead in the second half when Dominic Calvert-Lewin bundled the ball over the line but a video assistant referee (VAR) check disallowed the goal for handball.

VAR had earlier been called into action when Theo Walcott broke through on goal four minutes in, before appearing to be pulled back by Seagulls captain Lewis Dunk inside the box.

But the penalty appeal was waved away, much to the dismay of a packed Goodison Park.

 

Leicester vs Southampton - Prediction Home win

Result - Leicester 1 Southampton 2

Boo!

The Foxes took an early lead when Dennis Praet tapped in his first goal for the club.

But any thoughts of another easy victory for Brendan Rodgers' side were quickly dispelled when Stuart Armstrong equalised with a deflected shot.

Danny Ings was a thorn in Leicester's side all afternoon and having already struck the crossbar twice, he slotted through Kasper Schmeichel's legs late on.

Leicester thought they had salvaged a draw with a 90th-minute equaliser from Jonny Evans but the video assistant referee (VAR) ruled it out for offside.

 

Charlton vs West Brom - Prediction Away win

Result - Charlton 2 West Brom 2

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Kenneth Zohore put the Baggies ahead with a fine individual effort but the Addicks levelled with Josh Davison's first professional strike.

Albion led again through Hal Robson-Kanu's deflected shot but were denied victory as Tom Lockyer's header hit the post and went in off Baggies goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

Coventry vs MK Dons - Prediction Home win

Result - Coventry 1 MK Dons 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Coventry had to settle for a draw against MK Dons despite the Sky Blues flying out of the traps with Sam McCallum's long-range effort in the first minute.

The early goal saw Coventry take control when McCallum's left-footed half-volley rifled past Lee Nicholls in the Dons goal.

Coventry had two chances in quick succession to double their lead after 68 minutes.

However, Nicholls was alert to deny both Matty Godden and Maxime Biamou.

The away side punished Coventry's wastefulness when they eventually equalised via Carlton Morris on 75 minutes.

Sam Nombe's cross from the right was not cleared properly by the Coventry defence and substitute Morris latched onto a loose ball to slam home a debut goal past Marko Marosi.

 

Sunderland vs Wycombe - Prediction Home win

Result - Sunderland 4 Wycombe 0

Yay!

Most of the action came in the first half, with Sunderland racing into a 3-0 lead inside the first 21 minutes.

Lynden Gooch slid the ball across the six-yard box for Charlie Wyke to tap in and open the scoring.

Denver Hume added a second when Jordan Willis played a low ball into the penalty area and the youngster steadied himself before rifling home his first senior goal.

The Black Cats were rampant, and a third goal came after Gooch was felled inside the box by Anthony Stewart. Maguire smashed home the penalty.

The rout was completed in the 78th minute when Chris Maguire grabbed his second goal - a stunning free-kick which hit the underside of the woodwork before crossing the line.

 

Oh dear. Not The Grambler’s finest hour. Can he/she/it improve things this week? [Not on your Nelly. - Ed.]

Game - Result - Odds

Blackpool vs Tranmere - Result Home win - 8/11

Stevenage vs Plymouth - Result Away win - 19/20

Swindon vs Port Vale - Result Home win - 10/11

Queen of the South vs Alloa - Result Home win - 8/11

Raith vs Montrose - Result Home win - 4/5

 

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 Predictions (Ha ha ha, hee hee hee!), the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...

 

£10.62

When it comes whoppingness, that isn’t even close.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you how many London derbies will take (including those that have aleady taken) place in the Premier League this season. The answer is 20. There are five London-based teams in the Premier League: Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and West Ham and they play each other twice in the season. The simple equation is...

4 + 3 + 2 + 1 = 10 x 2 (home and away) = 20

How about one for this week? An easy one for you. What do Jairzinho, Chris Kamara, Gary McAllister and Robbie Elliot have in common. Unbelievable, Jeff!

 

 

.....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).  Incidentally, the Kick Cancer's Backside Fund's total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund currently sits at £53,717.
 

…..oooOooo…..

 

 

And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. O. Hardy who with a Mr S. Laurel provides this week’s finishing clip. Laurel and Hardy are probably the world’s most recognised comedy double act and they have a huge worldwide following thanks largely to an appreciation society named in honour of the lodge in the Laurel and Hardy film Sons of the Desert. The group has been in existence for nearly 55 years and aims to keep the memory of Laurel and Hardy films alive... as well as having a right old laugh at the many films the duo made. So, whether you are a member of the Sons or not, I hope you enjoy our finisher this week: The Music Box.

 

 

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.