Saturday 15 June 2024

Post 507 - A foodie gramble

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 The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (cancerresearchuk.org).

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

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…

 

Story Time

Have you ever watched Dragons Den? No? Neither have I. That's a lie. I've seen snippets of it, but have never consciously sat down to watch it. I know the format though. It goes a bit like this...

WOULD-BE ENTREPRENEUR: I'd like some money please.

DRAGON'S DEN PERSON: You can't have any.

The end.


Okay, it doesn't quite go like that. More like this...

WBE: I have a business proposition that might interest you.

DDP: And what is that, young fellow-me-lad?

WBE: It's a restaurant.

DDP: Boring...

WBE: No, seriously. It's a very special restaurant. It doesn't have a menu.

DDP: No menu? What kind of a restaurant has no menu?

WBE: I say no menu; it does have a menu of sorts. Only the customer doesn't get to choose from it.

DDP: Sorry, not with you.

WBE: No, because he or she gets everything on the menu.

DDP: No. You've lost me there.

WBE: You see, it's a taste menu. There are six courses, but only a little bit of each item gets served.

DDP: And no choice?

WBE: Well, there is a vegan option.

DDP: Ah, so that's different, is it?

WBE: In a way. It's the same dish with the meat taken out.

DDP: I don't much like the sound of this. What about drinks?

WBE: Oh yes, there's a drinks menu.

DDP: Good. Now we're getting somewhere.

WBE: But we would discourage people from selecting from it.

DDP: Why?

WBE: Because we have specific wine for each course.

DDP: No actual choice, then.

WBE: No.

DDP: So let me get this straight... You want to run a restaurant where everybody gets the same food and the same drink?

WBE: Yes.

DDP: With no exceptions?

WBE: None. Apart from the veggie option, of course.

DDP: Of course.

WBE: Are you interested?

DDP: What do you think? Get out!

It does sound like a crazy idea. It'd never work, surely. Ahh, but it does and don't call me Shirley.

There is a very popular restaurant chain called Fleeced by Enrico, or something, that has that very business model.

I recently went to it with Mrs G. What can I say? It was... erm... different.
I enjoyed the experience, certainly but, for me, there were too many negatives to counter the positives.

Firstly, the cost. This was not a cheap meal out. It cost over 40 quids for the food before you had even thought about the wine part of the meal. If that was included, the price went up to a whopping 75 smackeroonies. Oh, and a 12 per cent service charge was also to be added. Gulp!

For two people to eat and drink in the restaurant, it would cost (wait for it) 168 quids. Blibbing flip!

That would feed four families in Wetherspoons!

My next gripe was the food itself. It was, as I have said, a tasting menu. You are really only getting a small sample of each item. But the quantity wasn't the issue. The problem, for me, was that there was no alternative to what you were given. It was a case of like it or starve. If you prefer fish and chips to cordon bleu, don't go.

The flavours were interesting, but some just weren't pleasant. If I'm spending so much money on something, I at least want to enjoy it. Luckily, there were only two out of the six that I wasn't sure of.

Mrs G and I didn't bother with the wine part of the deal because there were wines in there that we just didn't fancy.

My biggest gripe, though, had nothing to do with the food or the drink; it was time or lack of it. Pardon sorry excuse me? Each course arrived at the table and the waitress spent a bit of time explaining what it was... That's a bad sign if they've got to tell you what is on your plate.

We ate said course and, without giving us time to even belch, the next course was plonked down in front of us.

The reason for this became clear towards the end of our meal when we asked for a coffee as a finisher. We were then told that we could have a coffee but we would only have 10 minutes to drink it as they needed the table for the next 'sitting'.

That part of the deal really annoyed me. We had just spent a lot of money in the establishment and we weren't even allowed any time to relax after our meal. This was more like going to a cafeteria than an expensive restaurant.

Even big Arnie would agree with my sentiments when I say, I'll not be back.

Talking of restaurants, particularly those less high-end types that specialise in the aforementioned fish and chips, let's finish with five 'interesting' names for such establishments [I don't like the sound of this. - Ed.]

Fishcoteque [Oh dear. - Ed.]

New Cod on the Block [These are awful. - Ed.]

Frying Nemo [Please stop. - Ed.]

Cod Almighty [No more, I beg of you. - Ed.]

Fishician.

[Are you finished? - Ed.]

Yes.

[Thank... heh heh... cod for that... heh heh. Do you get it? Thank cod for that. Good eh? - Ed.]

I think I'll do the birthday honours.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 8th of June? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

John Smeaton 1724 - Civil engineer. Not to be confused with an ex-baggage handler from Glasgow airport.

Robert Stevenson 1772 - Another civil engineer. Famous for his lighthouses. Not to be confused with a film director.

John Everett Millais 1829 - Painter. Painted Ophelia... on a canvas... not on a woman called Ophelia... I’ll get me coat.

Ronald Shiner 1903 - Comedian and actor. Doc Knott in My Wife’s Family. Exactly 100 credits on IMDb.

Francis Crick 1916 - Molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist. He really was a right old smarty boots.

Tony Mottram 1920 - Tennisy bloke. Linda and Buster’s dad.

Frank Costin 1920 - Automotive engineer. Co-founder of Marcos.

Ray Illingworth 1932 - Crickety bloke.

Derek Newark 1933 - Actor and well-known anagram. Det. Insp. Tucker in Barlow.

Millicent Martin 1934 - Actress and singer. Had her own TV show back in the 60s. What was it called, again? Oh, I know... Millicent or was it Mainly Millicent?

Fred Dinenage 1942 - Author, journalist and TV presenter.

Doug Mountjoy 1942 - Snookery bloke.

Colin Baker 1943 - Actor. One of the many Dr Whos.

Derek Underwood 1945 - Crickety bloke.

Annie Haslam 1947 - Singer and songwriter. Here’s a track from 1977, I Never Believed in Love.  In case you were wondering the other voice you hear is none other than her then boyfriend Roy Wood.

Bonnie Tyler 1951 - Singer. Here’s her first ever single, My! My! Honeycomb. [Sounds like an advert for Crunchie. - Ed.]

Tim Berners-Lee 1955 - Computer scientist credited with the invention of the World Wide Web.

Harriet Thorpe 1957 - Actress. Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous.

Mick Hucknall 1960 - Musician. The man is simply Simply Red. A clip? Why, of course. Here’s Simp’s only number one single, Fairground.

Nick Rhodes 1962 - Musician. Keyboard wizard with Duran Duran. You want another clip? No problem. Here’s the band’s last single to chart, Black Moonlight.

Neil Mitchell 1965 - Musician. Keyboard wizard with Wet Wet Wet. [A lot of wizards about. - Ed.] How about a clip? Here’s If I Never See You Again.

Doris Pearson 1966 - [Sounds like a medium from the 1970s. There’s a thing; why were they all called Doris? - Ed.] Ahem. Singer. She was in Five Star. [She was in petrol? - Ed.] Will you pack it in? Let’s have another clip. Here’s System Addict.

Will Smith 1971 - Comedian, screenwriter, novellist, actor and producer. In fact, a right old etc..

Colin McCredie 1972 - Actor. D.C. Stuart Fraser in Taggart. There’s been a mud-dah!

Ian Bond 1973 - Booler.

Graeme Smith 1983 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Joel Dommett 1985 - Comedian and TV presenter.

Richard Fleeshman 1989 - Actor and singer/songwriter. Craig Harris in Coronation Street.

Qasim Akhtar 1991 - Akhtar. Do you see what I did there? Zeedan Nazir in Coronation Street.

 

Now, let’s move on to those famous folk born on the 15th of June.

James Robertson Justice 1907 - Actor. Sir Lancelot Spratt in Doctor in the House and its spinoffs.

Wilbert Awdry 1911 - Author. Wrote the stories about talking trains with faces. Must have been on the whacky when he up with that idea.

Billy Burden 1914 - Comedian and actor. Maurice Moulterd in Grace & Favour.

Richard Baker 1925 - Newsreader.

Ann Morrish 1928 - Actress. Jo Hardy in The Expert.

Tony Ellingham aka Dorian Gray 1942 - Singer. One hit wonder with this, I've Got You On My Mind [That would go down well in Wales or Aberdeen. - Ed.]

Helen Fraser 1942 - Actress. Sylvia Hollamby in Bad Girls.

Mervyn ‘Muff’ Winwood 1943 - Musician and record producer. He played bass guitar in the Spencer Davis Group. I think it’s time for another clip. Here’s I'm a Man.

Johnny Hallyday 1943 - Chanteur. Voici une vieille chanson, Hold the Night.

Nicola Pagett 1945 - Actress. Liz Rodenhurst in A Bit of a Do.

Demis Roussos 1946 - τραγουδιστής. Εδώ είναι ένα παλιό τραγούδι, My Only Fascination.

Neville ‘Noddy’ Holder 1946 - Musician, songwriter and actor. Frontman of Slade. Here’s an early song that failed to trouble the charts, Shape of Things to Come.

Roy Holder 1946 - Actor. Jackie in Whistle Down the Wind. Hey up, Jackie. Want to buy a kitten?

Angela Down 1946 - Actress. She seemed be in just about every TV drama at one time but all but disappeared from view after a few short years. Played Avril in Take Three Girls.

Henry McLeish 1948 - Politician. Scotland’s second First Minister [? - Ed.] whose political career ended when he resigned following a ‘irregularities’ in his expenses. Who’d have thought it? Wouldn’t happen today.

Simon Callow 1949 - Ectaw, dear leddie. Tom Chance in Chance in a Million. There’s an oldie for you.

John Redwood 1951 - Politician who tried to mime to the Welsh national anthem. Impossible, boyo!

Kim Fuller 1951 - Writer for film, radio and TV. He wrote Spice World which was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for worst screenplay.

Alan Brazil 1959 - Fitba guy.

Samira Ahmed 1968 - Radio and TV presenter.

Mel Giedroyc 1968 - Comedienne.

Jim Weir 1969 - Fitba guy.

Justin Fletcher 1970 - Comedian and TV presenter. Oh... and he provides the voice for Shawn the Sheep.

Jason Dair 1974 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell, you know.

Kallum Higginbotham 1989 - Footy bloke. He had a loan-spell at Motherwell, you know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Noddy Grambler,

We have always been fans of your work. We can both recall you first had a number one single with Coz I Luv You but neither of us can remember the name of the follow-up. Can u help?

Yours with luv,

Luke Watt, Hugh Dunn.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Dorkleabs fare? We won... yet again. This can’t last, surely. Don’t call me Shirley. Four out of five of The Grambler’s predictions came trumps. Yay! From our £2.20 stake we won £4.32. Brill!

What has The Grambler come up with this week? Euro 2024 is just getting underway, maybe he/she/it thinks we should have a little flutter on that. No, apparently he/she/it is sticking with the Swedish leagues.

Game - Result - Odds

Gefle vs Landskrona - Away win - 21/20

Skovde vs Degerfors - Away win - 8/11

Utsiktens vs Varbergs - Home win - 4/5

Helsingborgs vs Orebro - Home win - 5/6

Sandvikens vs Oddevold - Home win - Evens

The bets have been placed - Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping

£11.76

Ooh, more whopping than last time.


.....oooOooo.....


Teaser time...

Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I was born in 1997 in Wandsworth. A winger, I began my senior career at Charlton Athletic before moving to Everton. I was loaned out to, and eventually signed for, Leipzig. During my time there I was loaned out to Fulham and Leicester City. I moved to my present club, Atalanta, in 2022. Although capped for England under 19, 20 and 21 games, at senior level, I play for Nigeria. The giveaway clue? I scored a hat-trick in the 2024 Europa League final.

Answer - Ademola Lookman

2. Let’s talk promotions. How many times have Southampton been promoted to the Premier League?

Answer - 6

3. As expected, Erling Haaland scored the most Premier League goals (27) in season 2023-4, but who came second with 22?

Answer - Cole Palmer

4. How many times has the Champions League final been contested between two English clubs and which clubs were involved?

Answer - Three times - Manchester United vs Chelsea (2008), Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur (2019), Chelsea vs Manchester City (2021)

5. Which club has just been promoted to the Football League from the National League for the first time in its history?

Answer - Bromley

Shall we have five for this week? Why not. Euro 2024 is about to begin, so let’s have some questions relating to earlier UEFA European Championships.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Mâcon, France in 1991. An attacking midfielder, I began my senior career at Real Sociedad before moving to Athletico Madrid. I then moved to Barcelona before returning to Athletico Madrid. I have been capped 129 times for France and I was the top scorer at Euro 2016 as well as being named player of the tournament.

2. Scotland have played in three tournaments over the years but have never progressed from the group stage. Which is the only country to have progressed from the group on every occasion it has played in the tournament?

3. Who is the only English player to have been the highest goalscorer of a tournament?

4. Which country has failed to qualify for the tournament despite making 16 attempts?

5. Of the countries that have made only one appearance in the tournament, which was the most successful, reaching the quarterfinal?

 

There you have it. Have fun trying to work that lot out. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Remember the serious message...

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 (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK


.....oooOooo.....

 

Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).  Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4. The amount quoted is miles out of date. The total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund now stands at...

£76,131

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. R. Baker who features in this week’s final clip. Yes, Richard Baker, the man known for reading the news. Here’s a did you know. Did you know that he presented the Beeb Beeb Ceeb’s very first television news broadcast on the 5th of July 1954? You didn’t? Well, you do now. But, he did more than just read off a teleprompter. Apart from appearing on, and presenting, a few classical music-related programmes, he also narrated children’s TV programmes such as Mary, Mungo and Midge and Teddy Edward. This makes him sound like quite a serious person, but he must have had a sense of humour, because he made three cameo appearances on Monty Python’s Flying Circus and he appeared in this famous song and dance routine. See if you can spot him.

 

And now for something completely different...


 

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 2 June 2024

Post 506 - Grambling on the bus

 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 The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (cancerresearchuk.org).

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

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…

 

Story Time

On Sunday, Mrs G and I visited the big city, Glasgow. [How lovely for you both. Yawn. - Ed.] We went by bus. They say that half the fun of going to places is the journey itself. That was certainly the case on Sunday.

When we got on the bus, it was pretty much empty, but our attention was drawn to a young woman sitting towards the back. The first noticeable thing was that she was decked out in green and white. This being the day after Celtic won the SFA Cup, she was wearing Celtic gear from head to toe. The second thing of note was her voice - loud. She was talking on her mobile phone to someone. The third thing to note was her language - foul. Every sentence she spoke contained the word f***. Sometimes, just to make things a bit more interesting, the f word got an 'ing' added.

The bus stopped to pick up some folk [Get away! - Ed.] and one individual was... how should I put this?... the worse for wear. He was either addled with drugs, or drink, or indeed, both. He shouted something incomprehensible to the driver and seemed satisfied with the response so climbed onto the bus. He struggled to make his way towards the back of the bus, treating us to a bit of pole dancing en route as the bus set off, and sat himself down somewhere near the potty-mouthed young lady.

By this time she had finished her phone call. The completely-off-his-box guy decided to engage her in conversation.

We could make out most of what she said; she seemed to be heading to Celtic Park (or a pub nearby) for some big celebration. We couldn't make out much of what the guy was saying other than he seemed to be at war with just about every member of his family. I'm not surprised about that, if his current state was an indication of his interpretation of normality at Sunday lunch time.

After a while both got off the bus. Things were quiet for a time until a few young mothers got on the bus with their offspring in tow. Three mums with four children. The kids were all aged about two or three and all were exceedingly grumpy. I thought the girl on the phone was loud until I heard four grizzly children crying with as much volume as their little lungs could muster.
Thankfully, we got off the bus before we succumbed to headaches.

The actual place we were going that day was quiet and dull in comparison to our time on the bus.

We were going to take the bus home later in the day and decided to avoid any that were going anywhere near Celtic Park, figuring that any revellers might be heading homewards. So, we made our way to the bus-stop where the number 6 bus was due. My reason for mentioning the bus number is relevant to this story, because our journey home could have ended up worse than the journey into the city.

Let me explain. As we sat at the stop waiting for the bus to come, a young woman with a small child (grizzly, naturally) sat next to us.

We actually heard her approaching because she was conducting a phone call on her mobile. The child was being totally ignored and though he was crying quite loudly, his sobs were drowned out by his mother's voice. I told you the girl on the bus was loud; this individual had what used to be known as a foghorn voice. Think Ethel Merman multiplied by Brian Blessed and you might go some way towards imagining just how loud she was. Folk walking along on the other side of the street were staring at her. I do believe I even saw a driver passing by do a double take even though the car's windows were all shut.

I also mentioned that the girl on the bus was foul-mouthed; this woman was worse. Even though she had a small child beside her, she didn't temper her language. We were treated to words beginning with f, b and even the occasional c bomb.

She was still talking as a bus turned the corner and approached us. I saw the number 6 and made to move and so did she. Please no. Please don't get on the same bus as us. She put her hand out to signal the bus to stop. Gulp.

It was only then that I realised the bus was, in fact, a number 61. Phew.
She moved to get on the bus and I wondered what lay in store for her little boy in life... and those passengers on the bus.

As she was getting on, she was still screaming into the phone and uttered the words, 'The c*** says Ah'm a b****** and Ah'm no a f****** b******, umma.'

I thought, yes you are and a noisy one at that.

You'll be pleased to learn that our bus journey home was incident free... and totally boring.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 25th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Lauri Wylie 1880 - Author.

Alf Common 1880 - Footy bloke. The first player to be transferred for £1000, moving from Sunderland to Middlesbrough in 1905.

Miles Malleson 1888 - Actor and writer. Old Joe in Scrooge.

Joseph Smith 1897 - Aircraft designer. Took over the design of the Spitfire plane after the death of R.J. Mitchell in 1937.

Ralph Reader 1903 - Actor, theatrical producer and songwriter who was known for staging the original Scouts Gang Show. You may know this song that he wrote. He was no Fred Astaire, was he?

Donald McLean 1913 - I spy with my little eye.

Richard Dimbleby 1913 - Broadcaster.

Derek Cooper 1925 - Journalist and broadcaster.

Biddy Baxter 1933 - TV producer best known as editor of Blue Peter.

Basil Moss 1935 - Actor. Alan Drew in Compact.

Ian McKellen 1939 - Ectaw, dear leddie. Mel Hutchwright in Coronation Street.

Ron Davies 1942 - Footy bloke, isn’t it.

John ‘Poli’ Palmer 1943 - Musician. He was in the first band I ever saw live, Family. Have a clip. Here’s Poli on lead vocals with Larf and Sing.

Frank Oz 1944 - Puppeteer and actor. Miss Piggy, that was him.

Stephanie Turner 1944 - Actress. Jean Darblay in Juliet Bravo.

Michael ‘Pasty’ Harris 1944 - Crickety bloke.

Dave Lee Travis 1945 - A hairy cornflake.

David Jenkins 1952 - Disgraced runny bloke.

Helen Terry 1956 - Singer. Would you like a clip? Here she is with Culture Club out-singing Boy George on Church of the Poisoned Mind.

Mark McGhee 1957 - Footy bloke. Ex-Motherwell manager, you know.

Paul Weller 1958 - Musician. A clip? Why soitenly. Here’s From The Floorboards Up.

Julian Clary 1959 - Comedian.

Anthea Turner 1960 - TV presenter and media personality, it says here.

Simon Fowler 1965 - Musician. Frontman with Ocean Colour Scene. Here’s the band’s best-performing single, Hundred Mile High City.

Dougie Freedman 1974 - Fitba guy.

Jonny Wilkinson 1979 - Rugby bloke.

Geraint Thomas 1986 - Bike racey bloke.

James Morrison 1986 - Fitba guy.

 

Okeydokey, how about a few from the 1st of June?

John Masefield 1878 - Poet.

Robert Newton 1905 - Aaaarrrr, Jim lad, Oi be an actor, Oi be. Can you guess which part he was famous for?

Frank Whittle 1907 - Inventor of the jet engine.

Percy Edwards 1908 - Animal impressionist.

Bill Deedes 1913 - Politician and journalist.

Michael Cummings 1919 - Right-wing cartoonist.

Aubrey Morris 1926 - Jobbing actor. Deltoid in A Clockwork Orange. 166 credits on IMDb.

Bob Monkhouse 1928 - Entertainer.

Edward Woodward 1930 - Actor. Callan in... erm... Callan.

John McGrath 1935 - Playwright. He helped establish the 7:84 theatre company.

Norman Foster 1935 - Architect.

Gerald Scarfe 1936 - Cartoonist.

Brian Cox 1946 - Actor. Logan Roy in Succession.

Glyn Pardoe 1946 - Footy bloke. Manchester City’s youngest ever player.

Ronnie Wood 1947 - Musician. Guitarist with The Rolling Stones. A clip? Why not. Here’s Start Me Up.

Jan Harvey 1947 - Actress. Jan Howard in Howards’ Way.

Jonathan Pryce 1947 - Actor. Pope Francis in The Two Popes.

Danny McAlinden 1947 - Boxy bloke.

Tom Robinson 1950 - Musician and broadcaster. A clip? Of course. Now what shall we have? It’s got to be the song played at Stewart's funeral, 2-4-6-8 Motorway.

...And it's 2-4-6-8 b***** traffic jam


Martin Brundle 1959 - Racey car bloke.

Alan Wilder 1959 - Musician and former member of Depeche Mode. Would you like another clip? Of course you would. Here’s a track from his offshoot band, Recoil, Faith Healer.

Simon Gallup 1960 - Musician. Bassist with The Cure. What? You want another clip? Aye, go on then. Here’s Close to Me.

Mike Joyce 1963 - Musician. He was the drummer with The Smiths. Here’s yet another clip, Sheila Take a Bow.

Nigel Short 1965 - Chess player.

Daniel Casey 1972 - Actor. Gavin Troy in Midsomer Murders.

René Zagger 1975 - Actor. Nick Klein in The Bill.

Kate Magowan 1975 - Actress. Helen Jensen in Dream Team.

Kellie Bright 1976 - Actress. Linda Carter in Eastenders. You slaaag!

Marlon Devonish 1976 - Athleticky bloke who is a bit like an English county.

Lisa Jackson 1979 - Actress. Janice Pearce in Dirk Gently.

Danny Walters 1993 - Actor. Tiger Dyke in Benidorm.

Tom Holland 1996 - Actor. Basically, he plays Peter Parker aka Spider-Man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Gramblie Wood,

Interesting that the choice of clip made was a Stones’ track; I would have thought one of the songs from your days with the Faces would have been picked. Surely, the most likely song would have been the one that you co-wrote with Ronnie Lane that you provided the vocals for. Unfortunately, I can’t recall its title. Can you help?

Yours absent-mindedly,

Hugh Lala.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Dorkables fare? We won... again. Brilliant, or what? [What, I think. - Ed.] Three out of five predictions were right so, from our £2.20 stake we won £2.68. Let’s not bother with the details and get on to this week’s predictions which are all matches taking place in the Swedish Leagues. Yes, I know that‘s breaking my own rules again but, hey ho. So what has The Grambler come up with for this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Torslanda vs Tvaakers - Away win - 6/5

Lunds vs Jonkopings Sodra - Home win - 4/7

Ariana vs BK Olympic - Home win - 4/6

Angelholms vs Onsala - Home win - Evens

Orebro Syrianska vs Karlbergs - Home win - 5/6

The bets have been placed - Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping

£11.08

Hmm, whopping but not too whopping.


.....oooOooo.....


Teaser time...

Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Reading in 1997. A striker, I began my senior career at Chelsea but played only one game and was loaned to Vitesse. I then signed for Liverpool. I signed for my present club, bournemouth in 2019.

Answer - Dominic Solanke

2. During the 2023-24 season, who was the only man to win the Premier League manager of the month award on more than one occasion?

Answer - Ange Postecoglou [That’s easy for you to say. - Ed.]

3. Sticking with the Premier League, which is the only club which did not concede an own goal during the 2023-24 season?

Answer - Brentford

4. Which team in the English League Division One drew the most games in the 2023-24 season?

Answer - Charlton Athletic (20)

5. Which club plays its home games at the snappily titled Poundland Bescot Stadium?

Answer - Walsall

Let’s have five for this week...

1. Who am I?

I was born in 1997 in Wandsworth. A winger, I began my senior career at Charlton Athletic before moving to Everton. I was loaned out to, and eventually signed for, Leipzig. During my time there I was loaned out to Fulham and Leicester City. I moved to my present club, Atalanta, in 2022. Although capped for England under 19, 20 and 21 games, at senior level, I play for Nigeria. The giveaway clue? I scored a hat-trick in the 2024 Europa League final.

2. Let’s talk promotions. How many times have Southampton been promoted to the Premier League?

3. As expected, Erling Haaland scored the most Premier League goals (27) in season 2023-4, but who came second with 22?

4. How many times has the Champions League final been contested between two English clubs and which clubs were involved?

5. Which club has just been promoted to the Football League from the National League for the first time in its history?

There you have it. Have fun trying to work that lot out. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Remember the serious message...

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 (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK


.....oooOooo.....

 

Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).  Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4. The amount quoted is miles out of date. The total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund now stands at...

£76,131

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. R. Monkhouse for this week’s climax [Ooer, missus. - Ed.]. Bob Monkhouse was a very popular comedian whose career covered over 60 years. Some people thought him a bit smarmy, but there was no doubting, he knew a good joke when he saw one. Let us finish, then, with a selection of his rib-ticklers...

"We were so poor mother had to sleep with a rag and bone man so we could have balloons for Christmas."

"Everybody laughed when I said I wanted to be a comedian. Well they're not laughing now."

"I still enjoy sex at 68. Well I live at number 66 it's no distance."

"The farmer next door came out and said 'I'd like you to meet my wife and sister.' And there was just the one woman standing there."

"They say marriage is a great institution. So is Dartmoor and Broadmoor."

"I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my father. Not screaming and terrified like his passengers."

"I tend to sleep in the nude. Which isn't a bad thing except for maybe on those long flights."

"A tomcat hijacked a plane, stuck a pistol into the pilots ribs and demanded: 'take me to the canaries.'"

"The last time I was in Spain I got through six Jeffrey Archer novels. I must remember to take enough toilet paper next time."

"My wife said: 'Can my mother come down for the weekend?' So I said: 'Why?' and she said: 'Well, she's been up on the roof two weeks already'."

"I came home and found that my son was taking drugs - my very best ones too!"

"What do gardeners do when they retire?"

"My father only hit me once - but he used a Volvo."

"Real happiness is when you marry a girl for love and find out later she has money."

"last week my wife served me something for dinner that was so foul I gave it to the dog, and he licked his arse to get the taste out of his mouth."

Referencing a Lakeside venue: "This place has style. You want bread; a bread waiter comes over to your table and gives you bread. A water waiter comes over and gives you water. A head waiter comes over and gives you the perfect service."

 

 

 

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.

 

Saturday 18 May 2024

Post 505 - A vulpes vulpes gramble

 

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 The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (cancerresearchuk.org).

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

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…

 

Story Time

They’re back. The foxes. They’re back. And I’m not taliking about the dynasty of actors and right-wing political activists. I’m talking about Vulpes vulpes bastardeus. Them. Those bushy-tailed verminous creatures that like to reorganise my garden for me.

I blame the neighbours. I do. Why the blibbing flip must they feed the damned things? They are meant to be hunters. The foxes, not the neighbours. Predators. It doesn’t take much predating (I think I may have just made that word up) to hunt down something that is dead, perhaps even cooked, and left on a saucer near someone’s back door.

Having eaten up any titbits left out for them, Mr and Mrs Fox show a certain etiquette by way of thanking their food provider by choosing not to sh*t in their garden. Oh no, that would never do. So the little furry vermin-infested bas... creatures go into the next garden to do their business. And that garden is mine.

If they did it in the same place each time, I could probably cope with that. But they don’t. One day it might be on the slabbed area; another day, the part of my garden covered in small stones. Try cleaning that up after a meal that didn’t agree with foxy. Not nice, I can tell you. Other times, their business is done in planted areas and containers. For some odd reason, they like to dig a hole before defecating into it. Nice.

Sadly, though they are brilliant at digging, they are not the tidiest. Often I begin the day by having to refill plant tubs with soil that has been flung yards away. I also have to replant those plants which have been dug up in the process.

Sometimes, the container itself gets upended. In such cases, the plants tend to get crushed under the soil which used to be in the pot.

Regular readers out there in gramblerland may remember that, in the past, I have tried some pretty unusual methods to rid my garden of these foxy vermin... Squirting urine everywhere was not the best idea I ever had. You will recall that nothing seemed to work. In the end, I found the best way to deal with the problem was to put netting over all my plant containers.

It did seem to work. For a while. But, as I said, they are back.

They seem to be able to get their paws through the mesh and still cause mayhem. I have now taken to placing obstacles near the places I don’t want foxes to reach. Sadly, my garden is now untidier than I would like it to be. Why is that shovel lying in front of a pot? Why is there a trowel there? Surely that rake shouldn’t be lying where it is. That’s just asking for trouble. Upturned plantpots and containers don’t help the look, either.

There has to be another way. And I think I have the answer. It came to me when I was watching a TV programme where police were attempting to stop a driver of a stolen car. They used a device they call a stinger. It is like a portable net with spikes that can be flung across a road in front of the car to be stopped. The spikes burst the tyres of the car making it undriveable.

How would deploying such a device rid me of foxes? It wouldn’t, obviously. But, something similar might. Foxy doesn’t like spiky ground, does he? So, I need something that provides a bit of spiky ground around the garden.

Good idea? I thought you’d agree. Now then, I need your assistance. Does anyone know where I can buy some razor wire?*


* Don't worry all you animal lovers out there in gramblerland, I would never harm an animal by deploying razor wire... Think of the mess from all that blood everywhere.

.....oooOooo.....

 

Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 11th of May? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Margaret Rutherford 1892 - Actress. Miss Jane Marple in Murder, She Said, Murder at the Gallop, Murder Most Foul and The Alphabet Murders.

T. Dan Smith 1915 - Politician famous for accepting the occasional brown envelope... Say no more.

Denys Fisher 1918 - Toymaker. Invented the toy known as Spirograph.

Howard Goorney 1921 - Jobbing actor. One of those faces that cropped up in the likes of The Avengers, Dixon of Dock Green or The Saint during the 1960s. Often he played nameless characters. He is perhaps best remembered as Nachum in Fiddler on the Roof.

Kit Lambert 1935 - Rich bloke who wanted to be another Brian Epstein. Managed The Oo.

Eric Burdon 1941 - Singer/songwriter. A clip? Indeed. Here’s It's My Life. I recognise that guitar riff.

Graham Miles 1941 - Snookery bloke from the days of Pot Black.

Juliet Harmer 1943 - Artist, author and actress. Georgina Jones in Adam Adamant Lives!

Les Chadwick 1943 - Bassist with Gerry and the Pacemakers. Let’s have another clip. Here’s Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying. Factoid: The band was going to called Gerry Marsden and the Mars Bars. A certain company objected. Spoilsports.

Pam Ferris 1948 - Actress. Ma Larkin in The Darling Buds of May.

Jeremy Paxman 1950 - The inquisitor.

David Gest 1953 - Bloke who became famous because he married Liza Minelli... and he also had a lot of plastic surgery done.

John Gregory 1954 - Footy bloke.

Stacy Dorning 1958 - Actress. Jenny Gordon in The Adventures of Black Beauty.

Natasha Richardson 1963 - Actress. Patricia Hurst in Patty Hurst. Now, more famous for her death from an epidural hematoma after banging her head in a skiing accident.

John Parrott 1964 - Snoooookery bloke from Liverpooool.

Warren Brown 1978 - Actor. Terry Roberts in Ten Pound Poms.

Richard Gadd 1989 - Writer, actor and comedian.

Stephen O’Donnell 1992 - Fitba guy. Plays for Motherwell, you know.

Now then, what about those born the 18th of May...

Bertrand Russell 1872 - Mathematician, Logician, philosopher and all-round intellectual. He really was a right old smarty boots.

Hedley Verity 1905 - Crickety bloke.

Fred Perry 1909 - Tennisy bloke.

Margaret Hookham 1919 - Who? Oh... Margot Fonteyn. That woman who danced about on her tiptoes.

Bill Grundy 1923 - TV presenter. Famously tried to interview the Sex Pistols and got it all wrong.

John Abineri 1928 - Actor. Sir Kenneth Neston in The Legend of Robin Hood. 166 credits on IMDb.

Ray Lonnen 1940 - Actor. Harry Brown in Harry’s Game. [I’ll bet he is. Game for anything. Woyoy! - Ed.] Do behave.

Miriam Margolyes 1941 - Sweary actress. Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter series of films. [I’m guessing she didn’t swear in that. Not much, anyway. - Ed.]

Norbert ‘Nobby’ Stiles 1942 - Footy bloke.

Albert Hammond 1944 - Musician. Let’s have a clip. Here’s a song about... making sandwiches? That can’t be right.  Here's The Peacemaker.

Rick Wakeman 1949 - Musician (and raconteur). Let’s have another clip. Here’s Ascraeus Mons.

Eric Goulden aka Wreckless Eric 1954 - Musician. I think we should have a clip. Here’s Whole Wide World.

Toyah Wilcox 1958 - Musician. A clip? Here’s her best-performing single Thunder In The Mountains.

Graham Dilley 1959 - Crickety bloke.

Hugh Whitaker 1961 - Musician. He was briefly the drummer for the Housemartins and contributed to this, Happy Hour.

Russell Senior 1961 - Musician. He played guitar and violin in Pulp. Here’s This House is Condemned.

Nathaniel Parker 1962 - Actor. Inspector Lynley in The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

Holly Aird 1969 - Actress. Dr. Frankie Wharton in Waking the Dead.

John Higgins 1975 - Snookery guy.

Danny Mills 1977 - Footy bloke.

Lee Hendrie 1977 - Footy bloke.

Gary O’Neill - Footy bloke.

Lee Miller 1983 - Fitba guy. Lennon’s dad.

Craig Sibbald 1995 Fitba guy.

Ryan and Steven Sessegnon 2000 - Twin footy blokes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Albert Hamgramblond,

I enjoyed hearing your song about making pieces. Tell me, did you ever release any songs that would lend themselves to a contrived play on words that could conceivably be taken as somebody’s name?

Yours earnestly,

I. Matrane.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Dorkables fare? We won... Nae kidding. Four out of five predictions were right so, from our £2.20 stake we won £3.60. Woo hoo! We’re in the money! Let’s face it, that’s all you need to know. It was a fortnight ago. Are you interested? Nah. Let’s just get on to this week’s predictions which are all matches taking place in the Bundesliga. Yes, I know that breaks my own rules but, if anyone can do it, it’s me. So what has The Grambler come up with?

Game - Result - Odds

FC Heidenheim vs FC Cologne - Home win - 6/5

TSG Hoffenheim vs Bayern Munich - Away win - Evens

Union Berlin vs SC Freiburg - Home win - 21/20

VfL Wolfsburg vs FSC Mainz 05 - Away win - 11/10

Eintracht Frankfurt vs RB Leibzig - Home win - 7/5

The bets have been placed - Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping

£18-34

Oh dear. That’s far too whopping.

.....oooOooo.....

Teaser time...

Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I was born in 2003 in Copenhagen. A forward, I began my senior career with Copenhagen, before moves to Sturm Graz and Atalanta. I joined my present club, Manchester United in 2023 for a fee of over £64 million. I have been capped for Denmark 12 times.

Answer - Rasmus Højlund

2. Who is Nottingham Forest’s first team captain?

Answer - Ryan Yates

3. Which team has won the most league games in the Scottish Premiership this season?

Answer - Celtic. However, at the time of asking the question, the answer was actually Rangers, but the wheels came off the bogey a couple of games ago.

4. Which player from Iceland has made the most English Premier League appearances?

Answer - Hermann Hreidarsson

5. Which club plays its home games at Meadow Lane?

Answer - Notts County

Now then, how about five for this week? Aye, go on then...

1. Who am I?

I was born in Reading in 1997. A striker, I began my senior career at Chelsea but played only one game and was loaned to Vitesse. I then signed for Liverpool. I signed for my present club, Bournemouth in 2019.

2. During the 2023-24 season, who was the only man to win the Premier League manager of the month award on more than one occasion?

3. Sticking with the Premier League, which is the only club which did not concede an own goal during the 2023-24 season?

4. Which team in the English League Division One drew the most games in the 2023-24 season?

5. Which club plays its home games at the snappily titled Poundland Bescot Stadium?

There you have it. Have fun trying to work that lot out. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Remember the serious message...

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 (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK


.....oooOooo.....

 

Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).  Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4. The amount quoted is miles out of date. The total raised for the Bobby Moore Fund now stands at...

£76,101

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. W. Grundy for this week’s concluding item. I mentioned a certain infamous interview he conducted with the Sex Pistols. Would you like see it? You would? Prepare to cringe with embarrassment.

No wonder you look so unhappy after that performance.
Bill Grundy?  Heh heh... Bill... Heh heh... Grumpy, more like.

 

 

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.