Saturday 5 July 2014

Week 44 - The Grambler on England's view of Scotland

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…

Many of you out there don't live in Scotland.  That’s unfortunate for you, because this week’s rant is very much about Scotland and how it is perceived elsewhere.  No, not just elsewhere…England.  There I’ve said it.  Hold on a mo, you might be saying, weren’t you born in England?  I was indeed.  But, just because you are born in a stable, it doesn’t make you a donkey, as a very wise man once said.  Let’s get even more specific.  Not just England; bloody London.  The whole of Britain is run from one tiny part of the city of London.  Now, I don't want to get in to the whole independence thing, but there are just so many things that annoy those of us in Scotland about the treatment meted out from south of the border. Don't panic; you know me well enough by now to know that I will not moan about things that are particularly important or controversial.  Well, not too much.

It’s the BBC I blame.  So fn patronising towards Scotland.

News presenters are particularly patronising.  For those of you not from
Britain, it is important to let you know that the main news is presented from London.  Actually, that is no longer true.  The Beeb Beeb Ceeb newsroom is now based in Salford.  However, this has made no difference to coverage; London is still the centre of the universe according to the Beeb.  Thus, all news items are very much about London.  Anywhere else barely gets a mention.  So why am I particularly peeved about Scotland's news coverage?  Because, although Scotland has its own news team and reporters, should BBC London ever actually have a story from Scotland to report, who reports it?  One of the reporters who might actually be based in Scotland? No.  Some English guy dubbed 'our Scotland correspondent' is used.  How fn patronising is that?

'I'm awfully sorry you cheps, but your Scottish cheppie just dasn't measure ap.  End I don't think anywan would anderstend his eccent, anyway.  Hwaw hwaw hwaw.’  That’s supposed to be a posh bloke laughing, by the way.

Let's move away from the news for a moment.  Think of all those light-entertainment programmes which feature members of the public.  Quiz shows and the like.  Anyone from England just needs to mention the town they come from.  The presenter knows where they mean and doesn't press them further.  Fine. I'm okay with that.  So why does anyone who comes from Scotland have to say which country they come from.  And then you get the really patronising English presenters who feel the need to mock Scottish accents when any Scots appear.  

‘Where are you from love?  Scotland?  Heedurum, hoderum, hoots mon, och aye the noo! It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht, the nicht!’

I can't think of many nationalities that would stand for such mockery. You wouldn't get away with doing that to anyone from, say, the Middle East.  I'm just saying.

Let's move on to the weather.  Or rather, weather forecasting.  Once again, London is the centre of the universe.  So you get the weather forecast for London, mainly.  Then a few other places around London get mentioned. All a bit specific.  Then they will head northwards by mentioning, not cities, counties.  Eventually, Scotland gets a mention.  Only no cities or counties get a mention.  Maybe it will get split into south, west, north or east, but that is only if time permits, otherwise it is Scotland.  That's all.  Now, Scotland from its southernmost point to it's northernmost is bigger than England and yet, according to the London (Salford) based weathermen, its weather forecast can be summed up in just a few sentences.  The only time that Scotland gets some in-depth weather coverage is if there is a storm brewing that might head London's way.  What do you mean, cynical?  Me?  Never.

Moving away from the topic a little, but still with the weather forecast I want to know why weather forecasters always have to be so bloody cheery.  And there are so many of them.  Where does the Beeb Beeb Ceeb keep them all.  It's time for a cull, I reckon.  And why, when it is supposed to be a weather forecast, do they always tell you what the weather has been like?  That’s not forecasting!  That’s just telling us what we already know!  And another thing, why do they always describe a sunny day as being ‘lovely’ or ‘beautiful’?  Not everyone thinks sunny days are wonderful.  What about hay fever sufferers?  I would bet that they hate sunny days!  And when forecasters describe rainfall, they say it will start as spits and spots, becoming more ‘organised’ later.  What?  Rain?  Organised?  Or they will describe rain getting heavier as ‘really getting down to business’.  Honest.  I’ve heard it.  Who writes their nonsensical scripts?

Anyway, back to the plot.  You are probably wondering what has sparked my moan about the Beeb's view of Scotland (and other places too, it has to be said.  Wales and Northern Ireland get similar treatment).  This week sees the final of the only tennis tournament that the Beeb Beeb Ceeb sees fit to cover.  Yes, it's Wimbledon fortnight.  Britain, sorry, the Beeb Beeb Ceeb goes tennis mad for 2 weeks out of 52.  The other 50 weeks?  Tennis?  On the Beeb?  Never.  But for one fortnight every year we in Britain get blanket coverage.  Every programme gets shifted about the schedules, or just removed completely, so that everyone can watch tennis whether we want to or not.  Anyway, today a Beeb presenter actually announced a news item about the tournament with the words, '... And now over to SW9 for news of the tennis'.  SW9?  A bloody postcode!  We, 400 miles away in Scotland, are supposed to understand a postcode in London!  If it had been an item from, say, Hampden Park it would have begun... and now to Hampden Park in Scotland.  It would.  I'm not being touchy.  I'm not.  A bloody postcode!  Not even a whole postcode!  Just half of it!  Give me strength!
Deep breath, now.  Deep breath.

Ahem, let’s move on.

Any birthdays of note this week?  Yes, the famous joke punchline, Bill Withers was born on the 4th of July (how patriotic of him) 1938.  You don’t know the joke?  It goes…
Q : How do you turn a duck into a pop singer?
A : Stand him in front of the fire until his (he’s) Bill Withers
Boom and indeed tish.
There must be a few of his songs worth giving the gramblerisation treatment.  What about, Ain’t no Grambling when she’s gone?  Or Gramble on me [Sounds a bit messy. – Ed.]?  No, it has just got to be…

When I wake up in the morning
And the sun light hurts my eyes

And something without warning
Bears heavy on my mind.
Then I look at you and the world's alright with me

Just one look at you and I know it's gonna be -

A grambly day - grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day

Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day.
A Grambly day - Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day

Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day
Grambly day.

Blimey!  Goes on a bit doesn’t it?

HAMISH :     Dougal!
DOUGAL :   Hamish!
HAMISH :     You’ll have had your tea?
DOUGAL :   Not yet, I’m just making my cullen skink.
HAMISH :     Oh.  I do beg your pardon… mind you, it’s a good trick if you can do it?
DOUGAL :   What is?
HAMISH :     Making your cullens kink.
DOUGAL :   I’m sorry?
HAMISH :     Never mind.  Here.  You’ll never guess what I’ve been watching.
DOUGAL :   Me making my cullen skink?
HAMISH :     No no no.  Eastenders.
DOUGAL :   And?  It’s on every week, is it not?
HAMISH :     Aye, but this is Belgian TV.
DOUGAL :   And?
HAMISH :     It’s years behind British TV.  I’ll tell you how old it is…Lofty is still in it?
DOUGAL :   That is old.  Is Dirty Den still in it?
HAMISH :     Aye, he is.
DOUGAL :   And Angie?
HAMISH :     Aye, she is.
DOUGAL :   Here, she was the one that told Den she was dying; Have you reached the bit where she tells him?
HAMISH :     Aye, Angie has told him.
DOUGAL :   And have you reached the bit where Dirty Den finds out it was all just a ploy?
HAMISH :     Aye, Den has heard.

What happened with our Grambler bet this week?  Well, in our football bet all five of The Grambler’s predictions won.  Yay!  Unfortunately, only two of the five won within the 90 minutes.  Boo!  But we still won some money.  Yay!  But it was only 60 pees.  Boo!

Yep, as I feared last week, the World Cup turned from the free-flowing goal fest of the group stages into the football equivalent of watching paint dry.  Three of our five choices had no goals scored during the first 90 minutes and had to go to extra time.  One of them even had to go as far as penalties to decide a winner.

The gee gee bet did slightly better; three out of the five horses won which meant we won the magnificent sum of 2 quids and 10 pees.  Thus, on our £2.20 bet, we won minus 10 pees.  What a rubbish week’s betting.
So what should we do this week?  There are only four World Cup games we could place a bet on.  Yes, I know that if I were really into gambling, I could nominate winner from match A to beat winner from match B, but, do you know what, I can’t be ar… bothered. The Europa League qualifying rounds begin this week…Do you think we should?  Nah.  Let’s wait for the British senior leagues to start up again when will miraculously revert to Week 1.

So this week we will stick with the gee gee bet.  Okay with you?  It had better be, because The Grambler has spoken.

But first, here are Hamish and Dougal again…

HAMISH :     Dougal!
DOUGAL :   Hamish!
HAMISH :     You’ll have had your tea?
DOUGAL :   Aye.  I’ve just had a cream horn.
HAMISH :     I’m that pleased for you.  Here, would you like to play a board game?
DOUGAL :   A board game?  What have you in mind?
HAMISH :     It’s a game about motoring.  I believe it originated in France.
DOUGAL :   France, you say?  How do we play it?
HAMISH :     Well, we pretend to be drivers and have to negotiate our way around the board, which, as you see, is like a road.
DOUGAL :   So it is.  Do we have markers?
HAMISH :     We do indeed.  We have several, motoring-themed pieces.
DOUGAL :   Oh yes, there’s buses, motorbikes…
HAMISH :     I think I shall go cars, and you Dougal…
DOUGAL :   Yes?
HAMISH :     You go lorries.

And now, let’s get on with this week’s grambling.  What five gee gee races has The Grambler picked out for us this week?  All races take place on Saturday the 5th of July…

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds
Leicester            15.25         Asyad                            4/7
Haydock             16.05         Mugaawel                    4/7
Haydock             17.15         Roseburg                      5/4
Carlisle               18.10         Sea the Bloom             2/5
Bellewstown      19.20         Prince Connoisseur    5/4

There you have it my fellow gramblerinis; the bet is on (the usual 10 x 20 pee doubles and a 20 pee accumulator) and, if all the nags run quicker than the others in their race, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit by a whopping…
That, you may be saying, is not a great total.  The reason for that is that the odds on all the horses are quite low.  Will it win  for us?  I have my doubts.  There are no out and out favourites this week; all the odds in all the races chosen have close betting between the favourites, The Grambler’s choice, and second favourite.  Ho hum.  We will find out this evening if he/she/it is right or not.

HAMISH :     Dougal!
[Oh God! Not again! – Ed.]
DOUGAL :   Hamish!
HAMISH :     You’ll have had your tea?
DOUGAL :   I have.
HAMISH :     Something nice?
DOUGAL :   Cranachan.
HAMISH :     ………..
DOUGAL :   I had cranachan for my tea.
HAMISH :     Oh, I thought you were clearing your throat.  Here, there’s a terrible commotion down at the local pub.
DOUGAL :   The Kilt and Sporran!  Why, what’s happened?
HAMISH :     It’s thon crabbit wee bachle, Willie.
DOUGAL :   What’s Billy done, now?
HAMISH :     He’s got into an argument about geography.  He keeps on about Costa Rica being in South America.
DOUGAL :   Erm…It is.
HAMISH :     Aye, but everybody is winding him up and saying he’s wrong….Well, you know what Billy’s like once he gets wound up…
DOUGAL :   I know.  He gets right excited.  There’s only one person can sort him out when he gets that worked up…
HAMISH :     Of course!  Joseph!
DOUGAL :   Aye. Joe’ll calm Bill.
What about last week’s teaser, I hear you ask.  Obviously, I don’t actually hear you asking that.  Besides, some of you might be asking that; some might be asking something very different.  It might not even be anything to do with this blog.  You might be asking what time is supper.  Or you might be reading this earlier in the day and could be asking what time is lunch.  Or breakfast, come to that.  Perhaps you live alone so wouldn’t be asking anybody anything, in which case you might be wondering to yourself about what food you could eat.  Perhaps one of those meals for one that M and S sell.  Although I wouldn’t go for the steak pie, if I were you.  I had that and was very disappointed.  Their fish based meals are a better option, if you ask me… [Will you get on with it!!! – Ed.]  Oh.  Right.  Where was I?  Oh yes, last week’s teaser answer.

I asked what ‘first’ befell South Africa in the 2010 World Cup finals.  The answer was that South Africa was the first ‘host’ country ever to not progress beyond the group stages of the World Cup.

That was easy peasy, wasn’t it?  This week’s teaser?  Another easy one to wind up our World Cup teasers.  What ‘first’ did Ernie Brandts of the Netherlands manage in 1978’s World Cup finals?  If you know the answer - well done.  If you know the answer after looking up Google - not so well done.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther another picture of that incident.  This one from a better camera angle…
Happy grambling.

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