Thursday 1 May 2014

Week 35 Only the Grambliest, flakiest chocolate...

The Grambler is the brainchild of Stewart David Smith, who lost his wonderful life to Colorectal, or Bowel, cancer aged just 28.  He fought a horrendous battle for 2 years and 1 month, defeating septicemia, multi-organ failure, antibiotic-induced hearing loss, kidney failure and countless other complications with a bravery none of us will ever see again. 


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 will be 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 .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which recently 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.


His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


First off.  Footy matters.  Dundee United defender Andrew Robertson has been named PFA Scotland young player of the year.  Great news!  And I know him.  I say know.  I know his mum and dad and I’ve bought him birthday presents and stuff.  The only footballer I actually know won the best accolade in the game, to be voted the best by your fellow sportsmen.  What an honour for him – to actually know The Grambler.


What has caught The Grambler’s ire this week?  Chocolate.  Sorry, pardon, excuse me?  That’s right.  Chocolate.  A simple bar of chocolate.  Or rather a not-so-simple bar of chocolate.  Let me explain.  First, a trip down memory lane…harp music to lead us in please…

When I were a lad, there were loads of different companies making chocolate in Britain.  Fry’s, makers of the famous 5 Boys bar….


….and Turkish Delight, was one of the bigger players.  However, Fry’s were taken over by Cadbury’s (an even bigger player) back in the 60s.  Five Boys chocolate was no more, but Turkish delight is still being made albeit with Cadbury’s, rather than Fry’s, chocolate.  No bad thing; to me (and a lot of other people) Cadbury’s was always the best-tasting chocolate.

Then we had Rowntree’s.  Their famous product was always fruity sweets such as fruit gums and fruit pastilles…

….rather than chocolate.  They too were swallowed up (that’s quite apt) by a bigger company.  A company with a lovely, cuddly sounding name which conveys softness and relaxation.  Its logo is of a mother bird returning to the nest (there’s a clue) to feed her two chicks.  However, not wishing to upset any legal folk employed by that company, I would prefer not to use their real name.  I shall call them ‘Trample’.

Unlike Cadbury’s who kept making Fry’s products more or less as they had always been made, Trample proceeded to change all that was good about Rowntrees.  Those fruit gums were really pretty good back in the day; smooth and fruity.  Nope; that’s too good for Trample.  They fmucked about with the product and came up with something that looks (and probably tastes) like the crepe soles on a pair of brothel creepers.  Why?  You’re messing with my memories.

Any road up, there is a point to all this (s)wallowing in nostalgia.  Cadbury’s have now been taken over by a larger company.  Like Trample, this company is aiming to change things.  Take a look at this picture.


What the hell are Cadbury’s up to?  Trying to put everyone off their products?  Pretzels with cola honeycomb?  How vile does that sound?  And believe me; it is vile.  If mothers gave this to their kids as a treat it wouldn’t be long long before they were screaming for something pleasant to eat – like sprouts.  I remember when the most exotic thing that Cadbury produced was chocolate with fruit (raisins) and nuts.  And even that was a step too far for some.  The thing is, pretzels are an American food that is not especially popular over here in the mother country.  So why do Cadbury think we will take to it in a chocolate bar?

That leads me to another, not altogether unlinked, gripe.  Salted caramel.  You what?  Salted caramel.  It’s in there as well.  Why?  Who decided that the good folk of Britain wanted salted caramel?  I don’t recall any great clamour for it.  It is cropping up in everything from cakes, to ice cream and, as you have seen, chocolate.  For some reason, over in the good old U S of A you seem to enjoy it.  That doesn’t mean that we in Britain should be forced to eat the stuff.

Anyway, why am I even talking about sweet things?  I am on a diet.  The Gramblerplan diet; the diet that really works.  It does an’ all.  So far I have lost a stone in weight.  Did I hear you say, well done?  Why, thank you.

So are you ready for this week’s great Gramblerplan dieting tip?  You are?  Then I’ll begin.  All the talk about sweets and goodies is quite a good lead in to this week’s tip.  It concerns goodies.  Or rather, it concerns the lack of goodies and is all about saving money.  We all like to save money, don’t we?  Of course we do.  Who goes into a shop and sees a 2 for the price of 1 deal and says, ‘No.  I just want one, so that is all I shall purchase’?  I don’t think I would be wrong in saying no one.  Anyway, that’s not the diet tip.  Here it is – Next time you go shopping, take a calculator with you and when you don’t buy something fattening that you would have bought prior to starting your diet (I think that makes sense) – you know, sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks and, yes, even pretzels – count up the amount you would have spent.  You deserve to be smugly chuffed with yourself when you tot up the total you have saved.  And of course, saving such sums of dosh will encourage you to continue with your diet.

But what can I spend all this lovely moolah on, I hear you ask.  Why not put something into The Grambler’s Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund?  Oh, you’re putting it towards a holiday.  Yeah.  Why not?

Incidentally, when Stewart died, his wife Geraldine began The Grambler’s Kick Bowel Cancer’s Backside Fund (See link above to contribute) and set herself a target of £10,000.  Well, last week it reached that target.  Yay!  Thanks to everybody who donated to the fund – to those that ran fundraising quizzes, to those that ran races, and even to those that joined in with the Gramblerplan diet – Thank you one and all.  But that isn’t the end of fundraising.  Oh no.  We mean to give bowel cancer’s backside a really good kicking.  In other words, the fundraising will continue.  And The Grambler will continue to remind everyone not to be complacent about their health.  95% of cases of bowel cancer might well be people over the age of 50, but the other 5% covers people of all ages.  Sadly, it appears that the younger you are, the more severe is the disease.  Be diligent.  If you have any bowel problems at all, no matter what age you are, make the doctor aware that you are concerned it might be bowel cancer.  Don’t be fobbed off with ‘It only affects older people’.  You know it took the life of the founder of this great blog when he was only 28.  Let the doctor know that too.

Phew.  Got a bit heavy there.  Time to lighten things up a bit.  Any birthdays this week?   Yes indeedy.  Frankie Valli of Four Seasons fame [Vivaldi, surely. – Ed.] is 80 on Saturday.  He sang in an incredibly high-pitched falsetto voice.  Just as well he took his dad’s advice to ‘Walk like a man’ with a voice like that.  Any road up, he did loads of songs worth gramblerising.  How about…

Grambling my way back to you babe
With a grambling love inside
Yeah I'm grambling my way back to you babe
With a happiness that died
I let it get away, grambling every day

Ho yes, he was good him…that Four Cheeses bloke.  Ridicable voice, though.  Ooh they did some good songs they did…Big Girl’s Blouse…that was one…Let’s Bang on…that was another.  I’ve got bruises under my skin…that too. Buy My Baby…Ooh, lots of them…

Ye’ve missed wan.

I beg your pardon?  Why, it’s my old drinking chum, Dougie (the local inebriate).  What harve you been up to?

Haw, me an ma buds huv fun a new kin tunnel.  Kin doon there maist days wi the kin bucky an voddy giein' it yahoo.

Oh.  Right.  I see.  Well, I’m sure it will clear up soon.

Ye’ve furgoat wan.

Gok Wan?  Was he in the Four Cheeses?

Naw.  A kin song.  Ye’ve missed wan.

Harve I indeed?  Which one?

Kin Sherry!  D’yae geddit?

King Gerry?  Oh!  Sherry.  Very good.

Ye gods and little fishes!  Can we please get on with it?

Have you got a bottle, then?  I don’t mind if I do.

Well, I do.  Let’s get on with grambling matters, shall we?

How did our bet fare [No advertising, please. – Ed.] last week?  Not well, I’m afraid.  We won 84 pees.  Unfortunately, the stake money is 2 quids and 20 pees so we actually lost…bear with me…need to take my socks off for this one…1 quid and 16 pees.  Ho hum.  Anyway, this week, I will just give you the results and the predictions.  No spiel.  Why?  Because I have to post this early as I will be without internet access for a few days.  So, first up – last week’s results…


Doncaster Rovers 1 Reading 3 – Prediction Away win Yay


Carlisle United 0 Oldham 1 – Prediction Home win Boo


Leyton Orient 2 Tranmere Rovers 0 – Prediction Home win Yay


Exeter 2 Scunthorpe 0 – Prediction Away win Boo


Aberdeen 1 St. Johnstone 1 – Prediction Home win Boo


What about this week?  There are 49 games taking place this Saturday the 3rd of May at 3pm.  There might have been 12 more but, because this weekend sees the last game of the season taking place for all teams in the English Championship (or Division 2 as I like to call it), every game is kicking off at 12.15.  I am sure somebody somewhere has a reason for dragging footie fans out at such an ungodly hour.  Any road up, what has The Grambler randomly picked for us this week?


Game – Result – Odds


Newcastle vs Cardiff – Home win (groan) – Evens


Crewe A vs Preston NE – Away win – 13/8


Sheffield Utd vs Coventry – Home win – 5/6


Newport vs Rochdale – Away win – 21/20


Inverness CT vs Dundee Utd – Away win – 23/20


There you have it my little gramblerinis.  Apologies for the brevity, but time really is against me this week.  So, if all our bets (10 doubles and 1 five game accumulator) come up, the Bobby Moore fund will receive the grand sum of…


Shall I ask my usual question?  Yeah, why not.  Will this be the week when The Grambler finally gets it right?  Doubt it.


I’ll bet you are all wondering about the answer to last week’s teaser.  You’re not?  I’d have lost that bet as well, then.  I will tell you anyway.  Those firsts that took place in 1891 were…goals scored from the penalty spot.  My info doesn’t explain whether they were the first penalties actually taken.  It might be that several penalties had been taken prior to those, but just hadn’t gone in.  ‘Oh, I can kick it?  You should have said.’

What about a teaser to finish?  Why not?

It looks as if Rangers will finish this season without losing a game.  Not a bad achievement.  Not many teams can boast a feat like that.  So here is this week’s teaser - Only two teams in the English top flight (ie. Premiership or, prior to that, division 1) have gone a full season without losing a game, who were they?


And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I see that Operation Yew-thought-you’d-got-away-with-it has finally nailed someone, publicist Cliff Ford C Max or something.  Such good value for the (reportedly) more than £2.7 million it has cost taxpayers to date.  No doubt, police forces around the world are having a right old giggle at us Brits.


Bye for now.  Happy grambling.

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