Thursday, 16 August 2018

Week 3 - The Grambler remembers Aretha Franklin


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 a couple of weeks ago I mentioned I was resurrecting the gramblerplan diet (the diet that really works) to try and shed a few flabby pounds that I had gained on a recent holiday.

You may be wondering how I am progressing. Oh, you’re not. Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. The answer is... not too well. It was going fine until last Friday and then... oh dear.

You see, on Friday I was going out for the evening. Sorry? Where to? I was going to a rum tasting, if you must know. More of that later.

En route, I decided to stop for something to eat and visited a favourite haunt of mine, Wetherspoons. Good old Wetherspoons. Good food and drink at reasonable prices (I’m not getting paid to advertise this, incidentally, although if anyone from Wetherspoons is reading this...). One good thing about the menu is that all meals have their calorific value shown, so that those, like me, who are on a healthy eating regime can choose the healthy option. Did I do this? Did I fu... No I didn’t. Haggis, neeps and tatties wins hands down... Oh, I’m dribbling... and its calory content is fairly hefty.

No matter, thinks I, it’s only a minor blip. Unfortunately, I followed my meal with a coffee and cake. Oh dear.

Well, at least the rum tasting wouldn’t hurt the diet. Not many calories in a few small rums with a drop of lemonade. There are plenty of calories in bread, cheese, ham and crisps, though. These were the ‘nibbles’ provided at the rum tasting. Well, it would be rude to refuse an offer of food, wouldn’t it. Wouldn’t it?

Saturday dawned and I was determined that I would behave myself and eat sensibly. This I did. I ate a small breakfast and a very light lunch. I had forgotten, however, that I was visiting people for an evening meal.

Have you ever heard of people being described as feeders? Whenever you visit them, you barely have time for your bottom to hit the couch and you are being presented with biscuits/cake/sandwiches (delete as applicable) and tea/coffee/large whisky (ditto). The people I visited on Saturday were definitely feeders. There were already ‘nibbles’ on the coffee table when Mrs G and I arrived and I hadn’t even parked my backside when a large glass of prosecco was stuck in my hand.

It was one of those evenings where the drink flowed freely and the food was plentiful...

‘Soup?’
‘Thank you.’ 
‘Roll?’ 
‘Thank you.’ 
‘More soup?’ 
‘No, you’re all right.’ 
‘Go on.’ 
‘Oh, all right then.’
 
The main course followed... 
 
‘More chicken?’ 
‘No thanks, I’ve had plenty.’ 
‘It’ll only go to waste.’ 
‘Go on, then.’ 

Then there was the dessert...

‘Would you like seconds?’
‘No thanks; I’m absolutely stuffed... oh, go on then.’

And so the evening went on. More drink. More nibbles. By the time I got to bed, I really did feel absolutely stuffed.

Sunday was weigh-in day. Guess what. I didn’t lose weight. [There’s a surprise. - Ed.] I had gained exactly one pound. Considering the amount of food and drink I had consumed over the previous two days, that was actually not a bad result.

It was an even better result for the Bobby Moore Fund. Remember, for every pound in weight that I lose, I donate one pound to the fund, but if I put weight on, two quids per pound go to the fund.

I really should have a bit more willpower; this could prove costly otherwise.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 18th of August? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Antonio Salieri 1750 (Composer. A clip? Here is Sinfonia Veneziana. A nice wee bit cult’yer  fur yeez therr.), Caspar Weinberger 1917 (Politician.), Godfrey Evans 1920 (Crickety bloke and useful expletive if you hit your thumb with a hammer and there are children around.), Shelley Winters 1920 (Ectress), Brian Aldiss 1925 (Orfer.), Just Fontaine 1933 (Footballeur. See http://www.thegrambler.com/2018/07/week-48-grambler-and-hosepipe.html for his claim to fame.), Roman Polanski 1933 (Film directing nonce... allegedly.), Robert Redford 1936 (Ectaw.), Johnny Preston 1939 (Singer. Here’s a clip of him running bare. [Some mistake, surely. - Ed.] Don’t call me Shirley.), Carl Wayne 1943 (Singer. A bit of The Move. Here is Blackberry Way.), Patrick Swayze 1952 (Ectaw. Let’s have a bit of mucky jigging.  I have never seen that film and nor would I want to; it looks unbelievably cheesy.), Ricky Villa 1952 (Futbolista.), Marvin Isley 1953 (Bassist for a group formed with his brothers. Can you guess the name? While you try to remember, here’s a clip.  There's a bit of a draught in here...), Ron Strykert 1957 (A musician. A man at work, no less. Here is their huge hit Down Under.), Huw Edwards 1961 (News...rea...der.), Edward Norton 1969 (Ectaw.), Christian Slater 1969 (Another Ectaw.), Victoria Coren Mitchell 1972 (Writer, presenter and professional poker player.), Robert Huth 1984 (Fußballer.) and Ross McCormack 1986 (Footy bloke. Played for the mighty ‘Well... long long ago.).

 
 
I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Gumboil,

We have always been fans of The Move and wonder if you know the answer to a little teaser. When the BBC started Radio One in 1967, a song by The Move was the very first record played. Can you remember which one?

Yours affectionately,

Flo Urs, Ian de Wren.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet go? Er... not too well. We didn’t lose... not entirely. 62 pees back from a £2.20 stake isn’t exactly an unqualified success though. What happened? Read on...

 

Inverness CT vs Ayr - Prediction Home win

Result - Inverness 0 Ayr 0

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Inverness Caledonian Thistle missed a penalty as they were held to a draw by 10-man Ayr United in the Championship.

Daniel Harvie was sent off for a second booking after his foul on George Oakley resulted in a spot-kick but Liam Polworth shot wide from 12 yards. Pillock!

Earlier, Caley Thistle's Tom Walsh connected with a Nathan Austin cross but fired past the post. Tw*t!

Michael Rose's header for the visitors forced Mark Ridgers into a save and Lawrence Shankland also threatened.

The Ayr striker's shot ran across the face of goal and wide.

Inverness defender Coll Donaldson had a long-range effort from 30 yards late on but it went narrowly over. Prat!

 

Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home win

Result - Partick 2 Falkirk 1

Yay!

On 24 minutes, Partick’s James Penrice cut in from the left, beating two defenders, before firing a deflected shot into the Bairns net.

Chris Erskine doubled Thistle's lead before the interval, breaking infield from the opposite flank.

Falkirk were better in the second half, Andrew Irving striking the crossbar before Rees Greenwood's consolation goal.
 
James Penrice celebrates his goal with
a rendition of Me Old Bamboo from
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...
although it would appear that someone
has half-inched his old bamboo.  Would
you Adam-and-Eve it?
 

 

Airdrie vs Montrose - Prediction Home win

Result - Airdrie 0 Montrose 1

Boo!

Match report? Come off it. This is a Scottish First Division game, for goodness sake. Who’d be interested? After all, it’s only a game between two teams in the third tier of Scottish football. Obviously, the Beeb wouldn’t consider that important enough to provide us with a match report. It’s not as if it was the game between Havant & Waterlooville and AFC Fylde, which the Beeb did fn well cover. [I’m sensing a touch of sarcasm. - Ed.]

Dumbarton vs Forfar - Prediction Home win

Result - Dumbarton 0 Forfar 2

Boo!

See above.

Raith vs Stenhousemuir - Prediction Home win

Result - Raith 2 Stenhousemuir 0

Yay!

See above.

 

Ho hum. Not a great week for The Grambler. What has he/she/it predicted for us this week?

Game - Result - Odds

Grimsby vs Lincoln City - Prediction Away win - 10/11

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

Northampton vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Oldham vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Stevenage vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win - 7/10

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...

 

£11.76

 

Well that’s a bit more whopping than usual.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which team has had the worst all-time total goal difference since the Premiershit began. The answer was that yo-yo team Sunderland with minus 292 goals (612 for, 904 against). Not too impressive.

One for this week? How about this? Free-scoring Harry Kane didn’t score last weekend, but against which Premiershit side has he scored the most times? Hmm... One to ask down the pub, I reckon.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, as I write this I have just heard that Aretha Franklin aka the Queen of Soul has died. There’s a thing... Why was she called the queen of soul, but James Brown, the male equvalent, if you like, was only the godfather of soul? Why not king of soul? Or, conversely, why wasn’t Aretha simply a godmother of soul? Nah... Sounds daft. Any road up, another great singer bites the dust. She was always more successful in the States than in the UK, racking up 16 US solo top ten singles and only achieving three in Britain. Respect reached number 10 back in 1967 and I Say a Little Prayer reached number 4 the following year. She had to wait another 26 years before she had another solo top tenner with this, our finishing clip, A Deeper Love which, as you can see from the promotional video, was on the soundtrack of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (Oh how we laughed.).

Incidentally, that song never troubled the top ten in the US.

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, 11 August 2018

Week 2 - The Grambler remembers Barry Chuckle


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

 

Farewell to Barry Chuckle, one half of the Chuckle Brothers, who died this week aged 73.

I have to say, I was never a fan. That's probably because I was already grown up when they reached their peak in the late eighties. They were popular, certainly. You don't have 21 series over a 22 year span, if you're not. Their brand of silly slapstick comedy was aimed squarely at children. And the kids of the day lapped it up. There can't be many Brits aged between 20 and 40 who isn't aware of their catchphrase... 'To me. To you.' And who can move a piece of heavy furniture these days without saying it at least once?

So, I could understand their appeal. They were silly and funny; just perfect for little uns.

However, there is something that I always had a problem with: their name. Chuckle Brothers. I dislike the idea that you are being told that they are meant to be funny. That just makes me think, 'Go on, make me smile. I challenge you.' I reckon if I had been a kid when the Chuckle Brothers were doing their Chucklevision programmes, I would have been the awkward sod who refused to acknowledge that were in the least bit amusing.

It is nothing new for a would-be comedian to change their name to something seemingly suitable. Who remembers Bobby Knutt? Just me, then.

How many Joe Kings have there been over the years?

There is a comic in the north of England called Tom Bright. Very popular he is. But is that his real name? Doubt it.

I recall seeing a pantomime some years back... and you know how much I love pantos [You are being sarky, I take it. - Ed.]... which featured a comedian going by the name of Johnny Laff. Well, you can imagine my reaction to that... 'Come on then. Make me.'

I'm sorry, I take exception to comedians using daft names to suit their image.

I will end by telling you that there is absolutely no truth to the suggestion that Joe Pasquale was a great fan of kajagoogoo when he was starting out in the business known as show and especially admired bassist Nick Beggs. So much so that he was planning to use as his comedy name the completely apt Nick Gaggs. As I said, and my lawyer will bear me out, there is no truth in that rumour.

 
I think it only right that I use this one again.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 11th of August? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Enid Blyton 1897 (Racist writer.), Lloyd Nolan 1902 (B movie actor.), Alex Haley 1921 (Roots writer.), Raymond Leppard 1927 (Composer. Here is this week’s first clip, the theme to the 1969 film Alfred the Great.  He's not a real leopard, you know.  He probably can't even run fast.), Anna Massey 1937 (Ectress. Dr. Gillespie’s daughter. An obscure 1960s US medical drama reference there.), Mike Hugg 1942 (Musician. Founding member of 1960s band Manfred Mann. A clip? Have some jehhhzzzzzz. Here’s an early Manfred Mann instrumental with the title Bare Hugg. Go on, guess who wrote it.), Denis Payton 1943 (A Dave Clark one. Played saxophone. Here is a clip where he gives us a blast on his horn. [Fnarr fnarr. - Ed.]), Ian McDiarmid 1944 (Ectaw. Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious.), Eric Carmen 1949 (Singer/songwriter. Another clip?  Ready for one of the most depressing songs ever?  You have been warned. Think he might have been using some of his heated rollers to achieve that candyfloss look.), Ian Charleson 1949 (Ectaw. He wouldn’t run on a Sunday.), Steve Wozniak 1950 (Sells apples.), Terry Bollea 1953 (Who? You may know him better as Hulk Hogan, a wrestler it says here.), Joe Jackson 1954 (Musician. Another clip coming up. Here’s Steppin' Out.), John Wardle aka Jah Wobble 1958 (Musician. He was briefly in Public Image Limited, though not as vocalist. Here he sets that right.  He's actually got a better voice than that band's vocalist.), Richard Scudamore 1959 (Executive chairman of the Premier League, i.e. a footy bloke.), Sophie Okonedo 1968 (Ectress.) and Isy Suttie 1978 (Comedian.).
 
I've received a letter...
 
Dear Mr Rumpler,
We are fans of Manfred Mann and particularly Mike Hugg.  Apparently, he left the band because he felt the music was getting too 'poppy'.  He actually described one of the band's later hits as one of the worst songs he had ever heard.  Neither of us can remember which song he was describing.  Can you help?
Yours with goodwill and felicitations,
R. Harsedd, Dec Lown.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet go? Well, the first predictions of the new footy season actually gave us a wee profit: £3.94 back from our £2.20 stake money. Not a huge win but, compared to recent returns, it’s a fortune. What happened? Read on...

 

Bury vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win

Result - Bury 1 Yeovil Town 0

Yay!

In a fiery encounter, which saw referee Dean Whitestone dismiss Yeovil players Tom James and Jordan Green in the second half, Omotayo won it for the hosts with an 89th-minute header.

Will Aimson and Nicky Adams had speculative efforts for Bury in a quiet start.

Yeovil grew into the contest after the break, and Shakers' goalkeeper Joe Murphy did well to tip Francois Zoko's chip on to the crossbar.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men after 54 minutes when James was dismissed for his second bookable offence following a late challenge on Danny Mayor.

And 13 minutes later the Glovers were down to nine as Green was shown a straight red card for a rash tackle on Bury captain Neil Danns, which sparked a 20-player rammy.

Bury secured the three points when Omotayo guided Aimson's ball into the top-left corner.

 

Cheltenham vs Crawley - Prediction Home win

Result - Cheltenham 0 Crawley 1

Boo!

Ollie Palmer headed home the game's only goal in the 63rd minute and the visitors held on to win after Kevin Dawson hit the crossbar with a penalty.

Crawley had made the stronger start against a Cheltenham team including eight debutants.

Dominic Poleon was denied in the fourth minute by goalkeeper Scott Flinders, who then recovered to catch Dannie Bulman's follow-up header.

Filipe Morais set up Poleon two minutes later, but Flinders saved again.

Cheltenham had their first chance in the 15th minute when Alex Addai played in Immanuelson Duku, but visiting keeper Glenn Morris blocked well with his legs.

Flinders kept out Josh Payne's 20-yard effort, but Cheltenham improved after a change of formation midway through the half.

However, the breakthrough came 18 minutes into the second half when Palmer headed in Morais' corner from the right.

Cheltenham had an opportunity to equalise in the 72nd minute when they were awarded a penalty after a foul by Romain Vincelot on substitute Kalvin Kalala, but Dawson's spot-kick hit the bar and went over. Pillock!

 

Crewe vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win

Result - Crewe 6 (That’s six) Morecambe 0

An emphatic YAY!

Alex Nicholls added to Charlie Kirk's sixth-minute opener with a brace.

Midfielder James Jones scored two long-range strikes past a beleaguered Paddy Roche in the closing stages, while substitute Chris Porter also got in on the act with a late header.

Crewe were 2-0 up after 10 minutes. Determined work by Jordan Bowery teed up Paul Green, whose blocked shot fell for Kirk to fire into the roof of the net.

Kirk then crossed for the unmarked Nicholls to glance a header into the far corner for the second.

Rhys Oates went close for Morecambe with a looping header that veered wide and in the second half the striker forced a good save out of Dave Richards, who then kept out Vadaine Oliver's follow-up.

But Crewe's finishing was slicker, as Nicholls demonstrated when he finished a four-man move with a sweet volley.

Oliver hit a post for Morecambe, who then conceded three times in the final 18 minutes.

Jones strode forward to bury a 25-yard shot into a bottom corner before Porter headed in the fifth at the far post

Jones then replicated his strike with another long-range effort in the last minute.

 

Mansfield vs Newport - Prediction Home win

Result - Mansfield 3 Newport 0

Yay!

Tyler Walker gave Mansfield the lead on 12 minutes despite a fine double save by Joe Day as the Stags took control.

Craig Davies hit the post before the break and the hosts' supremacy was underlined when Walker's cross was headed home by Otis Khan from close range on 56 minutes.

Khan made matters safe on 64 minutes when he curled home from 25 yards.

 

Swindon vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win

Result - Swindon 3 Macclesfield 2

Yay!

Michael Doughty scored two stoppage-time penalties to complete a hat-trick and snatch Swindon a dramatic 3-2 victory against English Football League new boys Macclesfield.

Koby Arthur's double looked to have set Macclesfield on their way to a dream return before the late spot-kick drama.

Arthur fired last season's National League title winners ahead a minute into the second half after latching on to a quickly-taken free-kick.

But Swindon hit back almost immediately when Doughty headed in Kyle Knoyle's pin-point cross.

Macclesfield were gifted the lead for a second time just seven minutes later following a blunder from home goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux.

Vigouroux made a mess of clearing Olly Lancashire's back-pass, allowing Ghanaian Arthur to lift the ball over his head and into the net.

Doughty drew Swindon level for a second time in the sixth minute of stoppage time after Elijah Adebayo had been fouled by Jared Hodgkiss.

And there was still time for the Welshman to break Macclesfield hearts three minutes later following Arthur's trip on Adebayo.

Thanks to the Press Association for match reports.

 

Not a bad start to the new season. Can The Grambler keep it up? [Fnarr fnarr. - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has predicted for this week’s bet.

Game - Result - Odds

Inverness CT vs Ayr - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Partick vs Falkirk - Prediction Home win - 4/5

Airdrie vs Montrose - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Dumbarton vs Forfar - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Raith vs Stenhousemuir - Prediction Home win - 7/10

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...

 

£9.66

 

Nope. Not in the least bit whopping.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who turned down the opportunity to manage Everton at the last minute in summer 1997, preferring to maintain his media career. The answer was that well-known misogynist, Andy Gray. As a bonus, I asked you who took over as manager for his third spell in charge of the club. That was Howard Kendall. Too easy?

Okay, how about one for this week? On the opening day of the Premiershit, let’s have a related question. Since the Premiershit began, which team has had the worst all-time total goal difference? A good un methinks. Try that one down the pub.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr M. Hugg... sort of. You see, after his stint with Manfred Mann, he branched out into writing music for films and TV. He wrote the theme tune for our final link.  So, ladeez and genullum please enjoy the first ever episode of  Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads.

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, 4 August 2018

Week 1 - Grambleday wishes to Barack Obama


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

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

The footy season has started up again. Woo hoo! But this week’s (g)ramble has nothing to do with football but concerns something that might ring some bells with a few of you at this time of year...

I have just returned from a holiday and you know what that means, don't you? Apart from last week's (g)ramble being late that is. Weight gain, that's what.

Any holiday I go, I eat too much, I drink too much and I always manage to gain a pound or seven.

The trousers I wear for travelling seemed looser on the outward journey, but they must have shrunk during the holiday, they were a bit tight when I was heading home.

Any road up, I promised you the return of an old favourite and here it is... The gramblerplan diet - the diet that really works.

Yep, the good old gramblerplan diet has been dusted off, given a rub down with an oily rag and has been pressed into service in an effort to encourage me to lose the flab.

Those of you who have read thegrambler.com from its early days (How are you both doing?) will know the simple rules of this foolproof way to lose weight: eat less and exercise more. Yes, it really is that easy.

So come, fellow fatties and join me in the most revolutionary diet ever devised. Revolutionary? Indeed. It doesn't tell you to eat nothing but fruit. It doesn't tell you to eat plenty for five days and then starve for two. It doesn’t tell you to eat nothing but cardboard. What it does tell you is that you should simply eat less than you normally would and couple that with exercising more.

You must be wondering what the catch is. There isn't one. Well... There is a kind of a catch. The diet obviously doesn't cost a penny to achieve... Indeed, you will probably find that you spend less because you won't be wasting your dosh on expensive processed meals. The catch is that for every pound (weight) lost, one pound (money) should be donated to the Bobby Moore fund.

What a brilliant incentive. But what if you gain weight during the diet, I hear you ask. Here is an even better incentive... You give two pounds to the fund.

So, all you good people out there in gramblerland who want to lose a few pounds... money as well as weight... let's do-oo-oo it.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 4th of August? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 (Poety bloke.), Louis Vuitton 1821 (Fashion designer who began his business empire making trunks. The luggage type, not the swimming type.), John Venn 1834 (Inventor of a diagram.), Harry Lauder 1870 (Singer and comedian. A clip? Here’s Killiecrankie. Ye gods and little fishes! At the time he made that recording, he was the highest paid entertainer in the world. In the world!  Folk must have been easily pleased back then.), Ernesto Maserati 1898 (Racing drivery bloke... wonder what he did after he retired.), Queen Elizabeth 1900 (Betty’s maw.), Louis Armstrong 1901 (Trumpeter also known for his... erm... unusual singing style. Another clip? Have some cheesescake.), Martin Jarvis 1941 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Klaus Schulze aka Richard Wahnfried 1947 (Synth meister. Have a bit of early electronica.), Moya Brennan 1952 (Singer/harpist [Most of the time, I’ve heard. - Ed.]. Enya’s big sis. Another clip? Here she is against the wind.), Billy Bob Thornton 1955 (Actor with a daft name.), John Wark 1957 (Footy bloke.), Ian Broudie 1958 (A Lightning Seed. Here’s a clip... Lucky you.), Mary Decker 1958 (Runny bloke. No relation to Desmond.), Barack Obama 1961 (Who?), Lee Mack 1968 (Comedian.), Kate Silverton 1970 (Woman who can read.), Luis Boa Morte 1977 (jogador de futebol.) and Antonio Valencia 1985 (futbolista.).
 
 
Nothing to do with Speedos or elephants.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. There was no bet last week, so fu... nothing to report. The good news is that the footy season starts this week. Yay! No more gee gees. Hay! And I’m on the Gramblerplan diet. Weigh!
So what has The Great and Powerful Grambler randomly predicted will win some moolah this week? All games take place on Saturday at 3pm - the proper time for matches to be played.
 
 
Game - Result - Prediction
Bury vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win - 3/4
Cheltenham vs Crawley - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Crewe vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Mansfield vs Newport - Prediction Home win - 10/11
Swindon vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win - 4/6
 
Oh aye? All bets from Division Two? How very odd.
The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...
 

£10.72

 

We could call that a bit whopping. We could, but we won’t.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you spoiled Messi and Ronaldo’s party in the Champions League competition of 2014-15 by scoring the same number of goals to make it a three-way tie. The answer was of course the highest priced footballer of all time, Neymar.
Too easy? Okay, let’s make this week’s a tad more difficult. Here’s an interesting one. Who turned down the opportunity to manage Everton at the last minute in summer 1997, preferring to maintain his media career? As a bonus, who took over as manager (his third spell in charge)? Hmm...

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..

 

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. L. McKillop. Who, I hear you ask. You perhaps know him better as birthday celebrant, comedian Lee Mack. Let’s finish with a few of his gags...
 
We’ve had to get a live-in nanny, ‘cos that dead one wasn’t working out.
 
I’ve always wanted to kidnap the ex-professional tennis player Pat Cash, so after his family pays the ransom I can ring them up and ask them ‘do you want cash back?'
 
I actually got mugged in Limerick. That’s the place by the way – not the style. I don’t mean someone came up to me and went: ‘Hello my name is Pete, I’m standing in the street, don’t be rash, give me your cash or I’ll kick you in the teeth.'
 
I’m in a relationship at the moment. Sorry girls… it’s going to have to be your place.
 
I`ve got two children. To be honest I always wanted 3 children. Now I`ve got two, I only want one.
 
I got recognized today in Dixons, a member of staff came up to me and said, ‘Hey you’re that mad bloke off the telly’, I went, ‘Thats me’, and he went, ‘No, you’re that mad bloke….off the telly!’
 
A market researcher said ‘can I ask you 10 questions’, I said ‘go on’, she said ‘question number 1 have you ever had a blackout?’ I said ‘no’, she went…and finally, question number 10.’
 
My wife, she’s carrying our first child…he’s 8, the lazy little f*ck*r!
 
Two blind fellows walk into a wall.
 
I was told by the doctor that I was infertile and I couldn't have children, 3 weeks after that he told me that my girlfriend was pregnant. (proudly) Who's the daddy?
 
I remember the last thing my nan said to me before she died. ‘What are you doing here with that hammer?’
 
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.

 

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Week 49 - Happy grambleday to Garfield


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

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

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

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


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

 

I've just had a visit from a pair of nutters from some weird religious sect... I said weird religious sect not weird religious sex... Christians, I believe they were.

Any road up, these two well dressed ladies knocked on my door...

'I would like to give you this leaflet.' says one.

'What's it for?' says I.

'A talk.'

'What about?'

'The death of Christ.'

I told them that I would rather listen to Cilla Black (or anyone else who is the vocal equilalent of fingernails scratching a blackboard) singing till my ears bled than listen to someone talking about some geezer that died 2000 years ago. I also pointed out their fundamental error; Jesus didn't die, surely (Don't call me Shirley.). Well, he did... technically... but he came back to life, didn't he? Something like that. I always thought that that was the basis of Christianity. I suggested that she was not very religious if she wasn't even aware of the facts.

Actually, I didn't say that, I just said no thank you to their offer and they walked away.

Is that it? Is that this week's grumble?

No. As they walked away, I heard one say to the other, 'atheist.'

And that bothered me. I wasn't annoyed that they were calling me names; I've been called worse. No. I was bothered that, because I didn't believe that some beardy bloke up in the sky made us out of play dough, I had to be given a title.

Excuse me? So, Mrs religious woman, if I didn't believe in Santa Claus, I would have to have a name that would label me as a non-Santa-Clausy-believer-type-person? Don't think that is required. Ditto if I don't believe in the tooth fairy. Easter bunny? Same thing, as far as I am concerned.

Unlike Michael Jackson, I don't believe in zombies. Or ghosts, werewolves, mummies coming to life, witches or any other load of old warlocks.

I have a plan. Religiousy folk out there, expect me to knock on your door very soon...

'Hello, I'd like you to accept this leaflet. It's an invitation to a talk all about evolution which Charles Darwin proved back in the nineteenth century. No it isn't about a god or anyone coming back to life. It's all based on facts and facts alone.'

Actually, now I think about it, I'd probably get the same reaction as the religious nutters get.
 
[Well done... You've just alienated about half your readership. - Ed.]
 
Don't worry, things won't be too controversial next week... an old favourite is about to return.

 

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 28th of July? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Robert Hooke 1635 (Pantomime villain.), Beatrix Potter 1866 (Creator of Peter Rabbit who is now spinning in her grave... What would she make of that one-star rated film with Peter being voiced by James Condom? ‘Unfunny bunny’ one reviewer called it.), Marcel Duchamp 1887 (Artist, it says here. How can a urinal be classed as art.), Rudy Vallee 1901 (Bandleader. Have a clip. Here is Stein Song.  You'll recognise it.), Earl Tupper 1907 (The Tough of the Track... Hang on, that was Alf Tupper. Oh, the plastics bloke.), Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 1929 (Gold digger? Too strong?), Gary Sobers 1936 (Crickety bloke.), Rick Wright 1943 (A bit of Pink Floyd. Have another clip. Here's Breakthrough.), Jim Davis 1945 (Cartoonist.), Jonathan Edwards 1946 (Singer/songwriter. A clip. Here’s some Sunshine.), Peter Doyle 1949 (A New Seeker. Have another clip.  They've got a Never Ending Song of Love for you.), Simon Kirke 1949 (Free and Bad Company’s drummer. Here he is more recently with his own band playing Heart Break.), Steve Peregrine Took 1949 (Musician. Have a bit of Shagrat. [I beg your pardon? - Ed.]), Ray Kennedy 1951 (Footy bloke.), Hugo Chavez 1954 (The well-known president of Venezuela.), Michael Carrick 1981 (Footy bloke.) and Harry Kane 1993 (Footy bloke.).
 
Duchamp's 'Fountain'
I'm sorry, but a gents' urinal lying
on its side does not constitute art,
in my humble opinion... Give me
a Banksy any day of the week.
 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? It lost. Nuff said. What about a Grambler prediction for this week? Well, you may have noticed that this week’s edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog is, once again, a little tardy [A bit like a tard? - Ed.] so there is no prediction this week... Own up. Who shouted hooray?

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which two sets of brothers featured in the Netherlands 1994 team. The answer is Frank and Ronald de Boer and Ronald and Erwin Koeman. That was a bit too easy.

One for this week? Let’s have a Champions League question. Over the past 11 competitions, the top scorers have been Cristiano Ronaldo on six occasions and Lionel Messi also on six occasions. Hang on a mo, that doesn’t add up, I hear you say. Indeed it doesn’t; in the 2014-15 competition, the top scorer title was shared. Ronaldo and Messi both scored 10 goals through the campaign. One other player also scored 10 goals in the competition that season to make it a three-way tie. This week’s teaser? Name that party pooper.

 

.....oooOooo.....
 

As usual, let’s 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. J. Davis, one of this week’s birthday celebrants. Jim Davis is the creator of Garfield the cat, arguably the most successful cartoon in the world. In 2013 it was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most syndicated cartoon, at the time appearing in 2580 publications. There have been TV series and films made about this lazy, lasagne-loving, coffee-drinking feline, such is the character’s popularity. But where did it all start? Come with me as we travel back 40 years to enjoy the earliest Garfield comic strips.
 

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, 21 July 2018

Week 48 - The Grambler and the hosepipe


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

 

 

News must have been a bit thin on the ground this week. Well, the World Cup and Wimbledon were finished, Donald fart had left the UK and nobody had resigned from the Tory party. What could the newshounds from the British Broadcorping Casteration sniff out? (Do you see what I did there?) What was the most important news in the whole world? According to the Beeb it was a hosepipe ban. That was the main story. A hosepipe ban, for goodness' sake. To explain, that doesn't mean that hosepipes themselves were illegal. That would be silly. But actually using them will soon be illegal, which isn't silly... or is it?

It wasn't to apply throughout the country either, just in the north west of England. Why is that deemed to be newsworthy?

There has been no rain to speak of for months, so the level of water in the reservoirs is getting low. That much is obvious, so restricting the wastage of water makes perfect sense to most people. Most people, that is, except the numpties at the Beeb Beeb Ceeb.

The problem for the Beeb when they ran the ‘news’ story was that nobody was particularly bothered by the fact. They interviewed a few people and not one of them was in the least bit fazed about not being able to use a hosepipe. Why would they be? They could still water the garden using a watering can or wash the car using a bucket of water. Apart from the convenience of being able to use a hosepipe, there was no change.

The Beeb must have been a bit disappointed that no-one shared its annoyance.

But wait. There's more. And this was why I wondered whether the banning of using a hose was silly. Reporting the matter was daft enough; but even dafter was that the ban doesn't come into effect until the 5th of August. And? Those people who currently use their hose have another fortnight to waste water... 'Well I may as well give the grass a good soaking while I'm at it.' And human nature being what it is, I am pretty certain that those who don't currently use a hosepipe will immediately think... 'Oh no, there's going to be a hosepipe ban soon, I'd better start using a hosepipe in case I'm missing out on something.'

Just you watch, the shrinking water stocks will shrink even faster over the next couple of weeks... And I'll wager that Argos will run out of hosepipes pretty quickly as those people who don't own a hosepipe buy one just so that they can waste water like everyone else.
 
Too literal?
 

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Were any famous or notorious people born on the 21st of July? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Paul Reuter 1816 (Newshound.), C. Aubrey Smith 1863 (Ectaw, dear leddie.), Ernest Hemingway 1899 (Orfer who spent a lot of time in Cuba, indeed the owners of just about every bar in Havana claim that he drank in their establishment. And they may well be telling the truth.), Marshall McLuhan 1911 (Orfer. I haven’t really heard of him, other than he was namechecked in this.), Isaac Stern 1920 (Fiddler. Have another clip.  Here's some Saint-Saens.  [Not for me; I've just eaten. - Ed.] Errz iss week’s bit of cult’yur fur yeez.), John Horsley 1920 (Ectaw. Reginald Perrin’s doctor.), Kay Starr 1922 (Chanter. Here’s Kay in 1983 with her 1956 hit Rock and Roll Waltz.), Mollie Sugden 1922 (Go-to comedy actress. Forever having problems with her pussy.), Queenie Watts 1923 (Ectress from Lahndon, ennit. Gor blimey!  Let's ev anavver clip.), Don Knotts 1924 (Comedian, it says here.), Paul Burke 1926 (Actor and rhyming slang.), Norman Jewison 1926 (Film director.), Bill Pertwee 1926 (Comedy actor. Hodges in Dad’s Army.), Jonathan Miller 1934 (Doctor, theatre and opera director, ectaw, orfer, television presenter and humorist... in fact, a right old smarty boots.), Kim Fowley 1939 (Musician and manager of the Runaways. Have a trip... sorry... clip.  Hmm.), Henry McCullough 1943 (Geetarist. Here’s he is telling us that he holds a driving licence.), Barry Richards 1945 (Sarth Ifrican creekutty blake.), Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam 1948 (Musician. Have a clip. Here’s a piece of film he might rather forget.), Robin Williams 1951 (Comedian, it says here.), Ross Kemp 1964 (Ectaw... You slehhhg.), Sarah Waters 1966 (Orfer.), Paul Casey 1977 (Golfy bloke.), Josh Hartnett 1978 (Actor.), Damien Marley 1978 (Singer/songwriter. Time for another clip? Here’s Living It Up.), Gary Teale 1978 (Footy bloke.), Paloma Faith 1981 (Singer/songwriter. Here’s her biggest hit to date... You have been warned.) and Chris Gunter 1989 (pêl-droediwr.).
 
I've received a letter...
 
Dear Kate Grumble,
We are big fans of the songstress Paloma Faith and have all her singles and her first three albums.  We haven't got her most recent one yet and would like to buy it, but neither of us can remember the title.  Can you help.
Yours affectionately,
D. Ark, E. Tekt.

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Let’s move onto grambling matters. Nothing to report from last week as thegrambler.com was published too late to place a bet. So what has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week?

Meeting - Time - Horse - Odds

Newbury - 4.10 - Wise Counsel - 4/6

Lingfield - 8.15 - Good Fortune - Evens

Haydock - 6.30 - Line of Duty - 8/13

Haydock - 7.00 - Salsabeel - 8/13

Haydock - 8.30 - Boundary Lane - 10/11

The selections have been made. All races take place on Saturday the 21st of July. Let’s see how much we could win in the unlikely event that the results go as predicted.

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

 

£9.95

 

How unwhopping is that?

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which World Cup golden boot winner scored the most goals en route to winning his metallic footwear. The answer was Frenchman Just Fontaine who scored 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup finals.

One for this week? Another World Cup question... Sort of. Way back in 1994 Engerland didn’t qualify for the World Cup finals. A team which didn’t qualify in 2018 pipped them for a place. That team was the Netherlands and it was unusual because it featured two sets of brothers. Can you name them? Easy peasy?

 

.....oooOooo.....

 

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

 

…..oooOooo…..
 

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to birthday celebrant Sir Jonathan of Miller. He became famous in the early 1960s when he co-wrote and performed in Beyond the Fringe with Alan Bennett, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. It is widely regarded as being the show that started the so-called satire boom of the 60s. What better to finish this week’s (g)ramble than that very show?  Ladeez and Genullum please enjoy Behind the Fridge.

 

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.