Friday, 21 July 2017

Week 49 - The Grambler congratulates Andy Robertson


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

 

First up this week, an announcement...

A couple of weekends ago, Mrs G hosted her annual ‘Tea for Stewart’. This is the fourth such event and each year seems to be more successful than the last. Last year’s event raised £1456 for the Bobby Moore Fund. We honestly felt that this year’s event couldn’t possibly top that. But it did. And how. How much went to the fund? Are you ready for this?

£1920

and counting. Isn’t that terrific? You can see how our fundraising is progressing at the Justgiving page already quoted... https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 in case you can’t be bothered referring to an earlier paragraph.

I like to think that Stewart (the founder of this wonderful blog) would be proud that we are still working hard to beat the b*st*rd*ng horrible disease that is bowel cancer.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Now, on with the usual drivel...

I love a nice Indian meal, don’t you? A tikka or a korma cooked well is a terrific dish... Oh dear, I’m dribbling down my shirt.

We have a few nice restaurants near us here in Polomint City. A favourite frequented by Mrs G and myself, is called Punjabi Tadka. The name intrigued me, so I looked up what it meant. I knew Punjabi related to the Punjab, a state in northern India, but what does tadka mean? Apparently it is a reference to a cooking technique whereby various spices are used as a finishing touch to ‘temper’ the food so that it is less fiery. There you go. Educational, this is. It’s an odd way to name a restaurant though... after a ‘finishing touch.’ I wonder if there are any British restaurants in India called Grampian Brown Under the Grill. Doubt it.

Another name that crops up a lot is ‘mahal’, as in Taj Mahal. That is more obvious as mahal means palace. Any Buckingham Palace restaurants in India? Another translation of the word mahal is ‘expensive’. Seriously. So, if you have a meal in one of these restaurants and you think it is a bit pricey, don’t complain; you can’t say you weren’t warned.

There is also an establishment called the New Ghandi Restaurant. Can’t imagine any British politicians’ names being considered for the name of a restaurant. The New Thatcher? The New Blair? Not many politicians have enough of an effect on people’s lives to warrant the naming of an eating establishment after them. Perhaps Tony Benn. That could only be a pizza restaurant though. Why, I hear you ask. The reason is that Benn had no time for fancy foods. Food to him was simply fuel. It is said that his food intake was basically a pizza every day.

Back to Indian restaurant names, Ashoka is another nearby eatery and its name refers to an Indian emperor who lived over 2000 years ago. He converted to Buddhism and established it as the state religion. That’s very interesting. [You reckon? Yawn. - Ed.] Who could we come up with? I suppose saints who converted people to the Christian religion would be a reasonable start. The Andrew? The Patrick? What about those who start their own offshoot religion? The Joseph Smith (Mormon), or The L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology). The David Icke? Not so much a religion with him, just giant lizards. Look him up. One ‘interesting’ dude.

There was another restaurant in Glasgow that started up and it was named to trade on the success of the film Slumdog Millionaire. It was called Slumdog. Fine. It’s called cashing in. There is a problem, however. A slumdog is a very poor person or child who lives in a crowded area in abject poverty. Not really a suitable name for restaurant if you consider it. Can’t imagine an equivalent restaurant in India called Scavenger.

A real oddity of a name is an eatery called the Wee Gurkha. That translates as a small soldier. The Little Privates? No, perhaps not.

There is a new restaurant just opened which, to my mind, has the strangest name yet. It is known as the Mata Hari. Mata Hari was the stage-name of Margaretha McLeod nee Zelle who was a Dutch exotic dancer in the early part of the twentieth century. She became a spy for the allies during the First World War, but was convicted of being a spy for Germany and was executed by firing squad in France in 1917. Pray tell me why a restaurant should be named after a convicted spy who wasn’t even from the subcontinent of India. I think I’ll start up a restaurant in India: the Kim Philby.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Before the birthdays, I should like to mention the big football story of the week. The Grambler’s favourite footballer has been signed by Liverpool. Yep, Andy Robertson whose career The Grambler has followed from the year dot has moved from the north east to the north west of England. A great transfer to one of the biggest clubs around. Congratulations!
 
 
Andy Robertson, Liverpyool's latest signing
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 22nd of July? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. William Archibald Spooner 1844 (A shining wit.), James Whale 1889 (Director of, mainly, horror films. Oddly enough, Moby Dick wasn’t one of his.), Rose Kennedy 1890 (Mother of John F, Bobby and Ted. You’ll have heard expressions such as Do fish swim or Do bears sh*t in the woods or Does the pope wear a funny hat when someone has stated an obvious fact; my favourite example of that ilk is Does Rose Kennedy have a black dress.), Bob Dole 1923 (Sounds like an instruction to the unemployed... Have you bobbed dole? You’ll need to bob dole.), Bryan Forbes 1926 (Film actor, director, producer, scriptwriter and novelist. In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Jimmy Hill 1928 (Footy bloke. He was a player, trade union leader, coach, manager, director, TV executive, presenter, analyst and assistant referee. Known for his forthright views, a fellow TV presenter was once asked why Jimmy Hill was always right and answered, ‘He just is.’), Louise Fletcher 1934 (Nurse Ratched.), Terence Stamp 1938 (The ‘Terry’ in Waterloo Sunset, apparently.), Estelle Bennett 1941 (A ronette. Time for a clip? Here’s Be My Baby.), George Clinton 1941 (Musician. Time for some P-Funk.), Rick Davis 1944 (One fifth of Supertramp. [SU? - Ed.] Another clip? Here’s a track Rick composed and takes lead vocal.), Danny Glover 1946 (Has a lethal weapon, apparently.), Don Henley 1947 (An eagle. Time for another clip. Here’s his biggest solo 'it.), Lasse Viren 1949 (A flying Finn and not a large collie.), Al Di Meola 1954 (Guitarist. Time for another clip. We’ve had some P-Funk, now let's have some jazz funk.), Willem Dafoe 1955 (Ectaw. Has played, among other things, a moorish idol fish and a black rat. Well, he has provided their voices, anyway.), Keith Sweat 1961 (Singer/songwriter. No relation to Pocari - see http://www.thegrambler.com/2017/07/week-46-happy-grambleday-to-darth-vader.html.), Bonnie Langford 1964 (I’ll thkweam and thkweam until I’m thick.), David Spade 1964 (Griffin, the invisible man.), Rhys Ifans 1967 (Ectaw. Was once a Super Furry Animal.), Rufus Wainwright 1973 (Chanter. Time for a clip? This is one that is apt given events of the past year or so... Here's Going to a Town..), Dirk Kuyt 1980 (Footy bloke.) and Prince George of Cambridge 2012 (Third in line to the throne. Talking of which, if 8,974,217 people were to die tomorrow, I’d be king. It’s little things like that that keep you going.).

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Grumbler,

I enjoyed the clip of Don Henley. I am a big fan of the Eagles, but can’t remember the order their albums were released. I know the first album was called simply ‘Eagles’ but can’t remember which album followed it up. Can you help?

Yours sincerely,

Des P. Rado.

 

Well, time to get on with some grambling. How did the amazing £4.40’s worth of bets fare last week? If you remember, we could have won an astounding £35.90. What did we actually win? Are you ready for this? 66 pees. Yep. 66 measly pennies. I won’t bore you with details. Let’s just say... roll on the new football season.

Do you recall that a fortnight ago, there was no bet? What do you mean, you never noticed? Well, the same thing is happening this week. Unfortunately, I am unable to publish this tomorrow (Saturday) and, as the gee gee details only show up on the day, I thought it best to give it a miss this week. [Perhaps we can have a double bet next week? - Ed.] After last week’s results? No chance.
 
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you about 2006 film Offside and a young girl’s efforts to get into the crowd and watch a World Cup qualifier. I wanted to know which country it took place. The answer was Iran. Women are barred from attending football matches in Iran and she had to dress as a boy. Although it was filmed in Iran, it was banned there.

One for this week? Remember Kieron Dyer? That’s not the teaser question, but he is the subject. Midfielder, Dyer was capped 33 times for England; what did he do on only two of those occasions that makes his international career unusual? Here’s a secondary question... How many goals did he score for England?

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to the Rev. W. A. Spooner who provides an amusing end (it says here) to this week’s edition. Reverand Spooner was an Anglican Priest, scholar and writer. He studied at New College, Oxford before lecturing there for 60 years in history, philosophy and divinity. He had a keen intellect, but it was said that ideas came to him so thick and fast that he sometimes muddled up his words when describing his thoughts. Although his name is known to us through spoonerisms, where the first letters of two words become transposed, he was just as likely to scramble words or say the wrong word entirely. Here are some examples that are attributed to him.

On meeting a widow, he remarked that it was very sad, ‘her husband came to a sad end. He was eaten by missionaries.’

Calling John Millington Synge's famous Irish play ‘The Ploughboy of the Western World.’

At a wedding: ‘It is kisstomary to cuss the bride.’

‘Blushing crow’ (crushing blow).

‘The Lord is a shoving leopard’ (Loving shepherd).

‘A well-boiled icicle (well-oiled bicycle).

‘I have in my bosom a half-warmed fish’ (half-formed wish), supposedly said in a speech to Queen Victoria.

A toast to ‘our queer old dean’ (dear old Queen).

Upon dropping his hat: ‘Will nobody pat my hiccup?’

‘Go and shake a tower’ (Go and take a shower).

Paying a visit to a college official: ‘Is the bean dizzy?’

‘You will leave by the town drain.’

‘When our boys come home from France, we will have the hags flung out.’

‘Such Bulgarians should be vanished...’ (Such vulgarians should be banished).

Addressing farmers as ‘ye noble tons of soil’.

‘You have tasted a whole worm’ (to a lazy student).

‘The weight of rages will press hard upon the employer.’

‘Mardon me padom, you are occupewing my pie. May I sew you to another sheet?’

Did he really mess things up so neatly by pure chance? I non’t doh. Thersonally, I pink nee hew whust jot he dos wooing. Yon’t do?

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Week 48 - Happy grambleday to Linda Ronstadt


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 girls and boys. Are you grambling comfortably? Then I'll begin...

Once upon a time there was a poor shoemaker. History doesn't tell us whether it was the maker of the shoes that was poor or if it was the shoes themselves. Whatever it was, it is likely that one went hand in glove with the other. If he produced poor shoes, word would soon get round and people would stop buying his produce. A couple of bad reviews on Trip Advisor and his business would soon hit the skids. Any road up, he barely had enough leather left in his workshop to make one pair of shoes [He was down to his uppers. Ha! - Ed.].

If he didn't make a sale within a couple of days, he would have to pack up his business; McDonald's were looking to start up in the town and their offer was quite tempting.

Luckily, somebody who didn't much like the idea of a burger giant starting a business in their midst was a couple of vegan elves who, ironically, were a dab hand at making shoes. That night, while the old cobbler was asleep, the elves stole into his workshop and set to making the small pieces of leather into a beautiful pair of child's shoes.

When the old shoemaker went into his workshop the following morning, he found the dainty shoes. Now, if you or I had been him, we would probably have tried our darnedest to trace the individuals who had fashioned these fine shoes. Not our old shoemaker. Oh no. What did he do? He placed them in his workshop window with a for sale sign. Sure enough, some rich person looked in the window, liked the shoes and bought them.

This gave the shoemaker enough money to buy a load of new leather to make into shoes. But did he make them into shoes? No he did not. He quite liked the idea of getting someone else doing the work for him while he reaped the rewards so he left the material in his workshop in the hope that whoever had made the first pair of shoes would return and make some more.

That night, the elves returned and saw all this leather and immediately thought, 'Stone me! He's expecting a bit much here'. Nevertheless, they rolled their little elf sleeves up and worked through the night, by the end of which there was a dozen or more pairs of shoes finished.

When the shoemaker entered his workshop, he saw all these shoes and thought, 'Woo hoo, this is a cracking way to get rich'. Once again he put the shoes in the workshop window and before long all the pairs were sold and word was beginning to spread about the fine quality shoes that he was selling. Many people came to buy shoes but were disappointed to find that there were none left. But the clever entrepreneurial shoemaker took lots of orders and deposits from these customers.

He then went out and bought a whole barrow load of leather. However, instead of simply leaving the leather out to see what would happen through the night, he wrote instructions for all the shoes he required and then he hid so that he could watch what was happening. Sure enough, the two elves returned and saw the mass of leather and their instructions. After taking a sharp intake of breath, the elves set to and worked as fast as they could to get the shoes made. They worked right through the night until almost day break but, at last, they finished them all and wearily slipped out of the shop.

Now, the shoemaker began to feel a bit guilty about the elves doing all this work [I should flipping well hope so. - Ed.] and thought he should do something to repay them. He had noticed that the clothes they were wearing were little more than rags. The next day, after flogging all the shoes and taking in a lot of cash, the shoemaker decided to repay the elves by making them some new outfits. So, that night, he left out the new clothes and went to bed happy in the knowledge that the elves would be satisfied with the new outfits.

Through the night the elves returned and saw the new clothes. They put them on but thought, 'Is that it? We've been knocking our pans in each night to make this guy rich and all he gives us is a poxy little suit each! Well, sod that for a game of soldiers!'

With that, they searched the workshop for anything of value. They found the bag of cash which the shoemaker had left in the workshop. Now, it was the elves' turn to shout woo hoo. They snatched the bag of money and, just before making good their escape, they torched the place for good measure.
The moral of this story? Don't mess with elves. Okay?

Actually, I am beginning to think that these two were just masquerading as vegans but were really in the employ of McDonald's.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

The big footy story is not that Celtic beat Belfast side Linfield in their second round Champions League qualifier.  No, the big story is that Leigh Griffiths had a bottle thrown at him and was booked because he picked it up. Strange reason for a yellow card don’t you think? Apparently there had been various ‘missiles’ thrown onto the pitch throughout the game - Celtic are not the most popular side in Northern Ireland. Nobody had stopped to pick them up, so why did Griffiths lift this particular object? Well, it was a Buckfast bottle. Buckfast is a tonic wine popular in ‘ned’ culture. It has high alcohol and caffeine levels and, if ever you see a group of tracksuited teens drinking on the street, it seems to be the drink of choice. It is the sort of beverage that is never actually drunk in any other environment, such as a public house. Nobody ever orders a bottle to accompany their meal in a restaurant. The only food which might be associated with it is a takeaway kebab. It is a cheap way to reach a state of inebriation, basically. What suggestion am I making? Leigh Griffiths? Buckfast? Make your own mind up.
 
 
Leigh Griffiths asks the crowd whether he should smack the ref over the head with the Bucky bottle after being carded.
 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 15th of July? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Inigo Jones 1573 (Builder.), Rembrandt 1606 (Self-obsessed painter. He produced nearly one hundred self-portraits. [Who of? - Ed.]), John Fowler 1817 (Who? He was the engineer who built one of Scotland’s most recognised landmarks - the Forth Bridge.), Emmeline Pankhurst 1858 (The original Millie Tant. A Viz reference there.), Hammond Innes 1913 (Organ-playing compost maker. [Getting silly. - Ed.]), Iris Murdoch 1919 (Rupert’s mum [This is getting sillier. - Ed.]), Leopoldo Galtieri 1926 (Don’t mention the Falklands.), Clive Cussler 1931 (Writer who fought at the Little Big Horn [Too silly. - Ed.]), Harrison Birtwistle 1934 (Composer of serious music. Do you want a clip? Yes? Tough.), Robert Winston 1940 (Ray’s dad. [As I said. Silly. - Ed.]), Millie Jackson 1944 (Chanter. Here’s a wee clip from way back when 'afro' hairstyles were all the rage. Incidentally, why am I reminded of Carly Simon when I see Miss Jackson?), Jan-Michael Vincent 1944 (The soldier who declared peace.), Linda Ronstadt 1946 (Another chanter. Another clip? Here is her only UK hit, a duet with Aaron Neville called Don't Know Much.), Twinkle 1948 (Yet another chanter. Very nearly a one-hit wonder - a follow-up reached number 21 - with this song that reached Number 4. After listening to that, I’m surprised it didn't go higher. I reckon that is definitely number 2 quality.), Trevor Horn 1949 (A Buggle, record producer and one-time vocalist with Yes. Shall we have his biggest hit? Why not. All together now... I heard you on the wireless back in 52.), Celia Imrie 1952 (Miss Babs.), Mario Kempes 1954 (Footy bloke), Ian Curtis 1956 (Troubled singer with Joy Division. Here’s a clip for you to enjoy.), Joe Satriani 1956 (Geetarist. Here’s a virtuoso performance. [You mean show-off performance. - Ed.] Nice hat, Joe.), Forest Whittaker 1961 (The last king of Scotland.), David Milliband 1965 (Nope. You’ve got me there. I’ve heard of Glenn and Steve, but not the David Miller Band. [That is a very old joke. Shame on you. - Ed.]) and Jason Bonham 1966 (The rock and roll world’s favourite ‘go-to’ drummer.).

.....oooOooo.....

 

Well, time to get on with some grambling. There was no bet last week, so let’s hope The Grambler isn’t getting a bit rusty because he/she/it has been twiddling his/her/its processor for the past two weeks. Let’s see what he/she/it has come up with...

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

York - 2.30 - Barsanti - Evens

Newmarket - 4.00 - Gustav Klimt - Evens

Newmarket - 4.35 - Caravaggio - 11/10

Curragh - 4.50 - Brother Bear - 4/6

Curragh - 5.20 - Marsha - 8/15

 

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


£11.18

Not whopping enough? Well, as there was no bet last week, The Grambler has, in his/her/its wisdom given us a second selection of five gee gees...

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Chester - 3.00 - Jungle Cat - 11/8

Ascot - 3.50 - Mutakayyef - 8/13

Curragh - 7.00 - Air Supremacy - Evens

Salisbury - 7.20 - Harbour Rock - 6/4

Salisbury - 7.50 - Solo Mission - 5/2

The same bet has been placed for this selection and if all of these nags do what they they are supposed to - that is, run faster than any other horses in their respective races - the amount winging its way to the Bobby Moore Fund really will be whopping...

£24.72

So, if all ten donkeys win [Ha ha ha ha ha ha. - Ed.], the fund will benefit to the tune of...

£35.90

I wouldn’t bother holding your collective breath.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which English Premiershit club amassed the fewest points while avoiding relegation. The answer was West Bromwich Albion in the 2004-05 season when they took only 34 points, but finished in 17th spot.

One for this week? Here’s a question about a film. Different. The  2006 film Offside was about a young girl’s efforts to get into the crowd and watch a World Cup qualifier in which country? That’s it.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Miss C. Imrie who appears in these clips of some her most amusing moments (it says here) from the Victoria Wood series As Seen On TV... although don’t ask me why the first snippet is of Patricia Routledge.

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Friday, 7 July 2017

Week 47 - The Grambler remembers Marty Feldman


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

 

Whenever my gas boiler is due a service, I get a sinking feeling in my heart together with a lighter feeling to my wallet. I pay a fee for my central heating system to get an annual service. However, every time the engineer from... let’s call it UK Gas... turns up, there appears to be something wrong with the system. Not wrong as in broken, but wrong as in not being to the latest specification.

When Mrs G and I moved to this house some time in the last century, we had central heating installed. This was a central-heating system with a back boiler, so-called because the boiler was situated behind a gas fire. [Get away! - Ed.] When it was first installed, the fire had a small vent below it to ensure a good flow of air. Sensible idea. After a few years, this was deemed to be unsafe according to new regulations and we had to have an additional ‘grille’ in the floor to ensure a better airflow. More time passed and this too was deemed to be too small and therefore unsafe. A bigger grille had to be fitted. By now, we had a six inch by four inch hole in the floor. Not only was the air flowing well, so was a draught whenever it was a windy day. No matter; rules are rules. More time passed and, guess what... The six by four grille no longer met regulations. We had to have an eight by five grille instead. This was getting silly and, not surprisingly, breezy. After another couple of years, we were told that even this gaping hole in the floor was inadequate to allow a safe flow of air for the gas fire. The next step? A six inch diameter hole drilled through an outside wall. Now, this might be acceptable if you live in a fairly sheltered area, but the street I live, thanks to it being 590 feet above sea level, is often like a wind tunnel. When the wind blew, the hole in the wall allowed enough air in to cause the curtains to sway and ornaments rattle, such was its ferocity.

Now if I were a more cynical type, I might be thinking that the reason UK Gas was making me put all these draughty holes in my floor and wall was to make my house more difficult to heat efficiently so that I would have to use more gas to warm the place up, thus increasing the company’s profits. That really would be cynical to even consider such a thing, though, wouldn’t it.

Incidentally, after having the hole drilled in the wall we got a new carpet in the living-room. [Is this relevant? - Ed.] Yes. We got the carpet fitter to cut a hole to accommodate the floor grille. With me so far? [Think so. - Ed.] Not long after that our gas boiler service was being carried out. The engineer asked, ‘Why have you got that grille on the floor?’

‘Because you lot told me to put it in.’

‘But you’ve got the grille on the wall.’

‘And?’

‘That is sufficient.’

I didn’t scream. I nearly did, but I held it back.

Any road up, where is this all leading? [My thoughts exactly. - Ed.] A couple of years back we were told (by UK Gas, naturally) that our thirty something year old boiler was inefficient and that it would be difficult to get parts if it were to break down. If we were to get a new combi-boiler, our heating bills would be slashed; it being so incredibly efficient compared to our old system. We fell for it. Soon afterwards we were the owners of a super-efficient combi-boiler. We kept an eye on the bills which followed and, sure enough, they were much the same as we had been paying for our old inefficient system. Our old inefficient system that never seemed to break down, incidentally. I think you know what’s coming. Our super duper hyper-efficient combi-boiler broke down last night.

The engineer came out today. Having got the boiler up and running again she told us that the system should have an extra filter fitted... ‘I can fit it. It will only cost you...’

I didn’t scream. I nearly did, but I held it back.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 8th of July? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. John D. Rockeller 1839 (At one time, the richest man in the world. [Ah, but was he happy? - Ed.]), Percy Grainger 1882 (Aussie composer. His most famous piece, however, was a reworking of an English folk song. First clip of the week coming up.  You'll know this.), Hugo Boss 1885 (Fashion designer and... what’s this? Nazi supporter? Well, I won’t be using his aftershave again, I can tell you.), Louis Jordan 1908 (King of the jukebox, apparently. Have another clip. You might recognise this one.), Nelson Rockefeller 1908 (Politician. Imagine that. Born 69 years to the day after his granddad.), Billy Eckstine 1914 (Bandleader and singer. Known for his ‘suave bass baritone’. Here he is with Sarah Vaughan on their biggest UK hit.), Jerry Vale 1930 (Italian/American crooner. Another clip? Why not...), Marty Feldman 1934 (Comedian and writer.), Anjelica Huston 1951 (Actress and director. Daughter of John and grand-daughter of Walter.), Kevin Bacon 1958 (Actor. I can’t name a single film he has been in. I have only ever seen him in those awful EE adverts. Blimey, he must be struggling.), Pauline Quirke 1959 (Ectress. She first appeared on TV in an episode of Dixon of Dock Green when she was aged just eight.), Joan Osborne 1962 (Singer. Another clip?  Okeydokey.), Bek Hansen 1970 (Musician known as Beck. Another clip methinks.  Here's a track I always enjoyed.), Todd Martin 1970 (Tennissy bloke.), Ellen MacArthur 1976 (She sailed round the world. She was the female equivalent of knighted for doing it. [Damed? - Ed.] What? For doing something that no sane person would attempt, she gets honoured with a damehood. She should get her bumps felt more like. [I should like to point out that getting one’s bumps felt means having one’s head examined. Just thought I should make that clear in case you thought it meant... erm... something else. - Ed.]), Robbie Keane 1980 (Oirish footy bloke.) and Virgil van Dijk 1991 (Dutch footy bloke.).

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? We won. Yay! I say won. We got £2.87 back from our £2.20 stake so, at least we are in profit for once. What happened?

York - 2.30 - Sainted - Won! Yay!

Newcastle - 3.00 - London Prize - Won! Yay!

Newcastle - 5.15 - Hadaaf - Won! Yay!

Lingfield - 5.40 - Chelsea’s Boy - Lost! Boo!

Doncaster - 6.25 - Sultanaa - Lost! Boo!

Three out of five ain’t bad as Meatloaf might have sung... if he couldn’t count.

I have to apologise to those of you who follow The Grambler’s betting advice; there is no gambly type prediction from The Grambler. Sorry to disappoint you both. How will we get by without our weekly gramble, I hear you ask. I’ll try and get him/her/it to come up with something a bit special next week.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which two English Premiershit clubs were docked points in 1990 after 21 of the players on the field were involved in a brawl. The answer was Manchester and Arsenal. I also asked who was the only player who didn’t get involved. That individual was goalkeeper David Seaman. He was probably frightened that someone would pull his ponytail.

One for this week? Let’s have another Premiershit one. Since its inception which club has amassed the fewest points while avoiding relegation? Hmm... Interesting.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. M. Feldman who during the 1960s was one of Britain’s most original comedy talents. He began his career at the Beeb Beeb Ceeb as Barry Took’s scriptwriting partner on Round the Horne, one of the best radio comedies of the era. Strangely, it wasn’t the Beeb that initially spotted his potential as a comedy performer, his first TV work was on ITV in a show called At Last the 1948 Show with John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graham Chapman. It was on this programme that the ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch was first aired; long before it was used by Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Any road up, after that single series, Marty Feldman was given his own comedy show on the Beeb called, imaginatively, ‘Marty’. It wasn’t long til Hollywood came a-calling and he appeared in a few Mel Brooks films, most famously as Igor in Young Frankenstein.

He died at the far too young age of 48 from a heart attack. Often drug use has been cited as a contributing factor, but it is more likely that his heavy smoking, combined with a fatty diet and consumption of copious quantities of coffee, was mainly to blame for his early death.

There are so many wonderful examples of his humour which I could use to end this week’s (g)ramble, it is almost impossible to choose. Do I go with his brilliant work as a scriptwriter for Round the Horne? What about his later film appearances? No, for me, his greatest material was his own original BBC series, Marty. Unfortunately, as happened back in the sixties, much of it has been lost because the Beeb’s money men deemed that video tape was too expensive a commodity to use only once. So sad that some cracking sketches are nowhere to be found. I have, however, been able to find a link to an hour’s worth of material. All I can say is enjoy watching a hugely talented comic at work.   And finally, finally here is my own favourite Marty Feldman sketch. The video is nowhere to be found, but this audio version was issued on a record (together with extracts from The World of Beachcomber, Round the Horne and The Frost Report) which I bought in Woolies when I were but a nipper. I think I knew this one word for word. I love the way these two old guys build up the picture of their recently departed friend. Again, I invite you to enjoy some rather clever comedy.
 
 

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Week 46 - Happy grambleday to Darth Vader


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

 

You may recall that I recently advised via this august blog some pertinent alternatives to Twitter. Why stop there I ask myself. [Especially when you can rehash the same gag and present it as something different. Or am I just being the teensiest bit cynical. - Ed.] Ahem...

How many of you out there in Gramblerland refer to trip adviser before embarking on a holiday? I know I do. However, I don't think it goes far enough.
What if you are planning a cruise? It's all very well people saying that they have enjoyed a holiday with a particular company, but have you ever wondered how to choose the best vessel to travel on? I know I have. The answer can be found on Ship Adviser.

All right, how many of you have been to a restaurant and, when paying the bill, have been at a loss to know how much of a gratuity to leave? I know I have. Well, help is at hand. You simply have to check at Tip Adviser.

Gentlemen who have decided that the family is big enough, [Whose wife has decided, surely. - Ed.] (don’t call me Shirley) have you ever wondered where to go to ensure that you are receiving the best vasectomy? I know I have. Wonder no more. Simply head for Snip Adviser. [I think I may have worked out the way this is developing. - Ed.]

Here's one for the older folk out there in Gramblerland. Have you ever been advised to have a major joint replaced and not known how to choose the best one available? I know I have. Luckily for you there is a site which explains the best joints available to you. Look no further than Hip Adviser.

And now one for trendies who want to wear the current fashion for torn jeans. Have you ever been unsure quite how many holes you should have in your jeans before people think you just look like a right old tramp? I know I have. Thank goodness for a site to advise on matters of such sartorial elegance... Rip Advisor.

What about those of you who go in for cosmetic surgery? Have you ever wondered how to check that you are getting the best available surgery? I know I have. The answer is simple. You should check on Nip Adviser. And don't forget its sister site which specialises in advice relating to facial surgery matters... Lip Adviser.

Have you ever been lost for a suitable retort when somebody makes a witty remark? I know I have. Be lost no more, all you have to do is visit Quip Adviser and hey bingo you will have the perfect riposte for those smart arsed witticisms.

Musos, have you ever tried to arrange a famous king crimson guitarist's work into order of best to worst? I know I have. Well, struggle no more because help is at hand. Just head for Fripp Adviser.

Have you ever wondered on the best way to shake someone's hand when you meet them? I know I have. Well worry no more. Head straight to Grip Adviser for the answer.

Dirty old men, have you ever wandered around the seedier parts of a city wondering which grotty little venue has the best 'live' show? I know I have. Well avoid the risk of being arrested for loitering with intent by simply heading for Strip Adviser.

Wimps, have you ever thought it would be a good idea to meet up with people even more geeky than you, just to make you look a tiny bit cool? I know I have. Well, help its at hand. Just visit Drip Adviser to find an even sadder get than you. Although, you might also end up with a plumber offering to fix your leaky tap.

Last one coming up. Honest...

Readers of the greatest ill-informed blog in the world, have you ever been spoilt for choice when presented with so many wonderful links to click on? I know I have. Thankfully for you, help is at hand. A quick check on Clip Adviser will help you decide what to do.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

I feel a bit guilty after last week’s (g)ramble. Why, I hear you ask. Well, if you recall, I wrote about my childhood TV heroes all popping their clogs within a matter of weeks of each other. So, why the guilt, you may be saying. Or you may not. How do I know what you are thionking. Thionking? Or even thinking. The answer is that I made the flippant finishing remark about who was next to snuff it. And? And, this week Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear and The Herbs... I’m a very friendly laahn (That’s how the narrator/singer pronounced the word lion.) called Parsley... kicked the bucket. Not a children’s television personality admittedly, but he did give us those characters which amused us nippers. Incidentally, Paddington wasn’t the first name choice. Oh no. But who would want to read about Euston Bear or St. Pancras Bear? [I am assuming that you made that up. You did, didn’t you? Tell me you did. - Ed.]

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 1st of July? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Louis Bleriot 1872 (A daring young man in a flying machine.), Tommy Dorsey 1899 (Bandleader. First clip of the week coming right up... Grab your coat and grab your hat...), William Wyler 1902 (Film director/producer. He did Big Country. [I say, that’s a bit uncalled for. - Ed.], Amy Johnson 1903 (She went up diddley up dup, she went down... no-one knows where... diddley own down. Aeronauts - that’s what they called pilots back then - were looked on as superstars back then. Remember Lindbergh having a dance named after him? Well, Amy got a song.), Estee Lauder 1906 (I love a lassie, a bonny bonny lassie, she’s as pure as the.... Hang on a mo; that was Harry wasn’t it? Estee made smelly stuff.), Olivia De Havilland 1906 (Ectress. Still with us at 101. Sticking with the flying theme; her paternal cousin was Geoffrey De Havilland, the aircraft manufacturer.), Farley Granger 1925 (Actor who invented the rusk.), Leslie Caron 1931 (Actrice et danseur.), Jamie Farr 1934 (Klinger in MASH.), Jean Marsh 1934 (Ectress who came up with Upstairs Downstairs idea.), David Prowse 1935 (Luke, Oi ahm your faaahther. Star Wars geeks will get that.), Delaney Bramlett 1939 (A friend of Eric Claptrap and George Harrison it would seem. See if you can spot the quiet Beatle in this clip.), Craig Brown 1940 (Footy bloke known for his manegerial career rather than his playing days. He was manager of... deep breath... Clyde, Scotland under 21s, Scotland, Preston North End, Motherwell... Yay... and Aberdeen.), Jeff Wayne 1943 (Musician. His most famous album was War of the Worlds. Best to watch when you have an hour or two to spare.), Debbie Harry 1945 (Blondie. All together now... Oh Denis ooh be doo...), Trevor Eve 1951 (Ectaw. Eddie Shoestring. That was him.), Dan Akroyd 1952 (A bluesbrother.), Carl Lewis 1961 (Runny, jumpy bloke. Used to advertise a soft drink in Japan called Pocari Sweat. I thought that the name on the can was misspelt... until I tasted it.), Diana, Princess of Wales 1961 (Who?), Pamela Anderson 1967 (Inflatable actress.), Melissa ‘Missy’ Elliott 1971 (Rapper. Want a clip? Tough; you’re not getting one. I have to draw the line somewhere.), Sufjan Stevens 1975 (Musician. A favourite of Stewart’s. Have another clip. Here’s a jolly toon... Come on. Feel the Illinoise.), Patrick Kluivert 1976 (Dutch footy bloke.), Ruud van Nistelrooy 1976 (Another Dutch footy bloke.) and Liv Tyler 1977 (Actress. Her mother claimed that Liv was the daughter of her partner Todd Rundgren and for eight years Todd went along with the deception. However, as the girl grew up, it became increasingly difficult to hide the fact that she looked a little bit too much like Aerosmith vocalist Steve Tyler. That mouth is a dead giveaway.),

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Same as the week before, unfortunately. Two horses performed as they were meant to and their winning netted us a grand total of... 81 pees. Hmm, so we only lost £1.39. What happened?

 

Redcar - 1.35 - Collateral - 10/11 - Lost! Boo!

Ayr - 1.50 - Royal Liberty - 4/5 - Lost! Boo!

Ayr - 4.10 - Queen Kindly - 5/6 - Lost! Boo!

Haydock - 6.30 - Mabs Cross - 5/6 - Won! Yay!

Lingfield - 8.20 - Dealer’s Choice - 11/10 - Won! - Yay!

As Peter Green so succinctly put it - Oh well. Onwards and upwards. What has the great and magnificent Grambler come up with this week?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

York - 2.30 - Sainted - Evens

Newcastle - 3.00 - London Prize - 9/4

Newcastle - 5.15 - Hadaaf - 1/3

Lingfield - 5.40 - Chelsea’s Boy - 11/10

Doncaster - 6.25 - Sultanaa - 5/4

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

£17.56

A bit more whopping than last week.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which football manager earned the nickname Tinkerman due to his fondness for changing his team’s starting line-up. The answer was everybody’s favourite footy coach, Claudio Ranieri. The sobriquet (That’s a good word. I must look it up.) was earned during his time at Chelsea when his coat was on a very shoogly peg. He probably thought, ‘sod it, I may as well have some fun.’

One for this week? Which two English Premiershit clubs were docked points in 1990 after 21 of the players on the field were involved in a brawl? As a bonus, who was the only player who didn’t get involved? One to ask them down the pub, I reckon.

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. D. Prowse who famously played Daft Ada in Star Wars, but didn’t actually provide the voice. Here is his next most famous role and, once again, his lovely Bristol accented voice wasn’t used... Remember, always use the green cross code.  Although it was used in later ads... Is that Kenny Baker?

 
 

 

That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com

 

Happy grambling.

 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Week 45 - Happy grambleday Lionel Messi


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

 

They are dropping like flies. What are, I hear you ask. Not what. Who. My childhood television heroes, that’s who. First there was Geoffrey Bayldon. Who? Catweazle. Remember him? The old Mediaeval wizard who was transported to the Britain of 1970 and had problems adjusting to modern things such as ‘electrickery’ [Wasn’t that an OMD song? - Ed.]. He looked about 90 when he made that programme; surely he didn’t live till he was 137. Okay, just checked his age. He was 93 when he died, so that made him... erm... 46 when he was in Catweazle. 46? Here’s a picture of him. 

 

He’s an old-looking 46. That means he was the same age as Ewan MacGregor is now. Or seven years younger than Brad Pitt! Aye, we had it tough in the seventies..

Anyway, old Catweazle was barely cold when mechanical eyebrow man Roger Moore falls off his perch. No, I am not classing his James Bond as part of my growing up years. But his Ivanhoe was. Yes, old Roger’s first big starring role was in a kids’ programme about Sir Walter Scott’s gallant knight. The plots, I imagine, had nothing to do with Scott’s tale, but in those days accuracy would always make way for a bit of swash and buckle. Ivanhoe, I later found out was made by Lew Grade’s Associated Television company which also made inaccurate historical series such as Robin Hood (The riding through the glen one, not the everything I do, I do it for you one.), Lancelot, Richard the Lionheart, William Tell, Francis Drake etc. etc. See? Educational, this is, which is more than can be said for Mr Grade’s ideas about history.

Next up, John ‘Get down Shep’ Noakes, Blue Peter’s resident nutcase, popped his clogs. I say nutcase; he certainly came across as being a bit mental. Some of the ‘assignments’ he carried out in the name of entertaining kids were a bit scary. I mean, scary for us nippers who were watching him. He must have been absolutely sh*tting himself actually doing them. He once climbed up Nelson’s Column [Is that some sort of euphemism? - Ed.] to clean pigeon sh*t off his hat. That is one crazy stunt. Or how about racing down the Cresta bobsleigh run and falling off the bob and travelling the last part of the course at 80 miles per hour on his backside? As I said... nutjob.

Next to kick the bucket was the voice of Gromit’s master, Wallace, Peter Sallis. Okay, he wasn’t so much a chidhood hero. But he was often to be seen on television programmes that I watched as a nipper... probably in those Lew Grade swashbucklers. And last of the Summer Wine was already on the go when I was still quite young. Honest. Still a teenager, anyway.

Now, here’s a little clip from a television programme that will resonate with anyone who watched kids’ TV in the 1960s and 1970s and, thanks to the British Broadcorping Casteration’s policy of endless repeats, probably the 1980s too... Pugh, Pugh, etc.

Yes that was Captain Flack calling the Trumpton fire brigade to attention. Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew? Hang on a mo. Why does Barney get the full name treatment while the others get a curt surname only? What was so special about old beardy? Any road up, why am I even mentioning this? Because this week the man who provided the voices for Trumpton, Camberwick Green and Chigley, Brian Cant (I said Cant), also shuffled off this mortal coil... Must give us pause. There’s the respect. That makes calamity of so long life... Sorry, coming over a bit Shakespeare there.

I was a little too old for his Playschool and Play Away programmes, so never appreciated his skill as a pre-schoolchildren’s television performer, but I thought his narration of those three animated series was always spot on. Why, he even won a poll as the favourite children’s shows voiceover artist, beating the wonderful Oliver Postgate (Listen to me and I will tell you the story of Noggin the Nog...). David Jason was third, incidentally. Funny, I thought Bernard Cribbins would have been up there; he seemed to be the voiceover king back in the day.

Five gone in a little over a month. Makes you think. Who’s next, I ask myself.

I wonder how Bernard is keeping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 24th of June? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Field Marshall Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC 1850 (Senior British army officer. During the second Boer war he set up concentration camps... You see, another British idea that others copied.), Roy Disney 1893 (Walt’s big bro.), Jack Dempsey 1895 (Boxy bloke. Aka The Manassa Mauler.), Phil Harris 1904 (Comedian, jazz musician, singer and actor. You might not know his face, but you will know his voice. He was a Disney favourite - Thomas O’Malley, Little John and this character, not perhaps quite how Rudyard Kipling envisaged him.), Juan Manuel Fangio 1911 (Racey car bloke.), Brian Johnston 1912 (Broadcaster.), Fred Hoyle 1915 (Astronomer.), Billy Casper 1931 (Friendly ghost who played golf.), Jeff Beck 1944 (The 14th greatest guitarist ever according to Rolling Stone magazine. Given that the top 100 missed most British guitarists altogether, it can hardly be called the definitive listing. Could there ever be such a thing? Doubt it. Also, it gives the top spot to Jimmy Hendrix. Sorry. No. Don’t agree. Where’s Steve Hackett? Ed Wynne? Steve Hillage? Hank Marvin? [Stop moaning and give us a clip. As long as it isn’t that Hi ho silver one. - Ed.] Okay, have some Led Boots), John ‘Charlie’ Whitney 1944 (Family’s guitarist. He wasn’t on that list either. Another clip?  Here's some Good News, Bad News.), Colin Blunstone 1945 (Vocalist with the Zombies. Have another clip. Here is the band some 50 years after the song was first recorded and the band name looking more accurate.), Betty Stove 1945 (Tennisy bloke. Bet you thought I would say something about cookers. Oh dear. I just have.), Clarissa Dickson Wright 1947 (A Fat Lady. I actually met her once. On Arran. She was selling jumpers. She was. It wasn’t a dream, I can assure you.), Mick Fleetwood 1947 (A drummer. Here’s another clip and it really couldn’t be anything else, could it... Here's Albert Ross. Whatever happened to Julie Felix?), Patrick Moraz 1948 (Keyboard wizard. Have another clip. Here’s the opening track from The Story of I, Impact. One of my all-time favourite albums of all-time, as Nicey might have said.), Andy McCluskey 1959 (An Orchestral Manoeuvre in the Dark. Time for another clip... Here’s a jolly wee toon and a video with some truly awful haircuts.), Iain Glen 1961 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Curt Smith 1961 (A Tear for Fear. Another clip, vicar?  Nice haircut, Curt.), Glenn Medeiros 1970 (One hit wonder... in Britain, at least. And here it is...  That was really... erm...), Luis Garcia 1978 (Footy bloke.), Kevin Nolan 1982 (Another footy bloke.), Diego Alves 1985 (Yet another footy bloke.) and Lionel Messi 1987 (Not just another footy bloke.).

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did we do last week? Well, we didn’t lose... not entirely. Two horses performed as they were meant to and their winning netted us a grand total of... 60 pees. Hmm, so we only lost £1.60. What happened?

Downpatrick - 3.05 - Harold Peto - 6/4 - Didn’t finish. Bad.

Sandown - 3.15 - Battered - 5/4 - Third. A little better.

Downpatrick - 3.40 - Ben Button - 6/5 - Second. Still improving.

Hexham - 4.30 - Petiville - 8/15 - Won! At last!

Sandown - 5.00 - Bristol Missile - 11/10 - Won! ’Ray!

After a shocking start, things improved. Unfortunately a little too late to net us much by

 

in the way of winnings. Never mind. What might this week bring?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds.

Redcar - 1.35 - Collateral - 10/11

Ayr - 1.50 - Royal Liberty - 4/5

Ayr - 4.10 - Queen Kindly - 5/6

Haydock - 6.30 - Mabs Cross - 5/6

Lingfield - 8.20 - Dealer’s Choice - 11/10

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

£12.02

Nope. Not in the least bit whopping.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which nation has supplied the most Premier League players. That’s non-UK nation, of course. The answer is France with 194. And, in case you were interested, Ireland were second with 175 and the Netherlands were third with 120.

One for this week? Let’s have a nice easy one. Which football manager earned the nickname Tinkerman due to his fondness for changing his team’s starting line-up?

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

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


…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr B. Johnston, a famous cricket cricketer who occasional said the wrong thing...

‘Ray Illingworth has just relieved himself at the pavilion end’.

‘Welcome to Worcester where you've just missed seeing Barry Richards hitting one of Basil D'Oliveira's balls clean out of the ground’.

‘The bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey’.

‘Neil Harvey at leg slip, crouches, legs apart, waiting for a tickle’.

John Snow hit Glen Howarth in the box (abdominal protector) with the fifth ball of an over causing some distress to the batsman and several minutes delay. When play resumed, Johnners said ' ... and Howarth takes his guard with one ball left'.

Johnston was renowned for his on-air schoolboy humour and puns. In one incident during a test match at the Oval in 1991, Jonathan Agnew (Aggers) suggested that when Ian Botham was out hitting the wicket while trying to hurdle the stumps, it was because he had failed to ‘get his leg over’ (a British slang term meaning to have sex). Johnston carried on commentating and giggling for 30 seconds before dissolving into helpless laughter. Oh let’s finish with that, shall we?

 
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.