Saturday 19 July 2014

Week 46 - The Grambler on ectaws dear laddie

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…


To be, or not to be…that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

[What’s going on? – Ed.]

And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep…

No more…and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep…

To sleep…perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub,

[Are you seriously planning to begin with the whole soliloquy from Hamlet? – Ed.]

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. There's the respect

That makes calamity of so long life.

[I think a few readers might have given up by now. – Ed.]

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely

The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,

The insolence of office, and the spurns

That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,

When he himself might his quietus make

With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,

[Yawnnnn! – Ed.]

To grunt and sweat under a weary life,

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?


Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,

And thus the native hue of resolution

Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,

And enterprise of great pitch and moment

With this regard their currents turn awry

And lose the name of action. … Soft you now,

The fair Ophelia! … Nymph, in thy orisons

Be all my sins remembered.

[Oh good, it’s finished.  – Ed.]

Wise words there Hamlet, mate.


Well, I never expected The Grambler to start on such a highbrow note. Wait, there's more...

Yes, my name is Iggle Piggle,
Iggle Piggle niggle wiggle diggle,
Yes, my name is Iggle Piggle,
Iggle Piggle niggle wiggle woo.

[Nurse, I think it's time to up his medication. - Ed.]

No no no. You don't understand. There is a link.
While babysitting my grand kids I sometimes have to resort to letting them watch TV.  One of the delights available to pre-school kids is a programme called In the Night Garden.
One of our greatest thespians... I said thespians... has performed Hamlet and is the voice behind the characters on the said kids TV prog.  One – Hamlet (thought I ought to clarify that) - is every ectaw's (dear laddie) dream role, the greatest role an ectaw (dear laddie) can aspire to and the other, well, presumably it paid well.

Yes Sir Derek Jacobi, accepted to be one of
Britain's greatest living ectaws (dear laddie). A 'forceful, commanding stage presence' it has been said, who has performed such award winning roles as Claudius in 'I Clavdivs', has twice received the Laurence Olivier award and has performed most of the 'more demanding' Shakespearean roles.  Now he has been reduced to performing the roles of Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Akka Pakka, each of which has its own nonsensical song.  You are probably thinking what a comedown. Wait, there is more.  He also took on the role of Stuart Bixby, a bitchy, camp, queen of a character in a 'comedy' called Vicious alongside an equally camp Sir Ian McKellen.  A further low in a glittering career?  Wait once again, there is yet more. Have you watched Last Tango In Halifax?  Oh dear.  A drama about two 'nice' 70 somethings who meet up 60 years after being almost childhood sweethearts.  Mawkish and with more family problems than you can shake a stick at, this waste of airtime features Sir Derek at his overacting best/worst with a dodgy Yorkshire accent that varies from Lancashire to Yorkshire and Cheshire in the space of barely a sentence.  It hasn't got as far as Geordie yet, but give it time.
So what is the Grambler grumble this week?  Ectaws (dear laddie) who claim to be something special doing menial jobs that could be done by younger actors needing a bit of a boost to their careers?  Nope.  Ectaws (dear laddie) who accept any gig no matter how excruciatingly bad as long as the money is okay? Dearie me, no.  Good luck to them, I say.
It is acting. Just that.  Acting.  Why are these people given any kind of respect at all?  What are they doing?  Pretending, that's what.  It's what you or I, or anyone who actually grew up, used to do as children.  These are grown adults doing what young children do and calling it a profession (dear laddie).  They are pretending to be somebody else and making claims about it being difficult. Bollocks!  Easiest job in the world.  Not content with doing that and getting paid handsomely for it, they want to get awards for doing it too!  Oscars, BAFTAs, EMIs, Golden Globes - all big showbizzy events where these people who can't be arsed doing a proper job all pat each other on the back and say 'You were simply marvellous, dwahling!'
Then there are those who think that because they have attended Rada (That's the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, or the special school of people pretending to be someone else as I prefer to call it.) that means they are a cut above those other pretending people who went to any other school of pretending.  Worse still are those pretentious nerks who describe ecting (dear laddie) as a 'calling'.  Jeezo!  Come on. You're no good at doing anything useful in life so you end up acting. That's not a calling; that's a can't be bothered to do anything useful-ing!
Centuries ago actors were looked on as low lifes who travelled from village to village to perform and then beg for money from the villagers. They were looked on with utter contempt in much the same way as buskers and Big Issue vendors are viewed today.  Sadly, somewhere along the line, someone with more money than sense starting paying these people to perform.  Well, it went to their collective heads, didn't it.  Actors started to view themselves as something special; as someone who had some sort of gift.  Instead of being performing vagabonds, they called their way of life a 'career'.  Sorry, don't agree.  You are still the same low life in my book.  Fine, pay them something to do what they do, but some of these guys earn millions for doing what?  Pretending.  No.  You're not on.
Let's get back to Sir Derek, shall we?  He has earned respect from his peers and has presumably also earned quite a bit of dosh along the way.  He's even got a knighthood, for heaven's sake!  But in the words of every football manager with his salt - fair play to him.  His night garden job has kind of hit the nail on the head. It is as if he is saying - look, this is easy, I even get paid to do shite like this...

Upsy Daisy here I come,
I'm the only upsy one
I'm the only Daisy too
Ipsy upsy Daisy woo!

...Money for old rope dear laddie.


Any birthdays of note this week?  Royalty, no less.  King Charles II lookalike, clog wearing Brian May (him out of Queen) celebrates 67 years on this planet today (19th of July).  Surely, among all those wunnerful Queen toons, there must be something to gramblerise.  Grambler Queen?  Radio Grambla?  We will Gramble you? [Steady on – Ed.]  No, there can only be one contender; a song that could have been written for this moment of gramblerising…

We are the gramblers,my friends
And we'll keep on grambling till the end
We are the gramblers
We are the gramblers
No time for losers
'Cause we are the gramblers
Of the world

And now….

I Didn’t Know That

Did you know that the blue whale is not actually a fish?  Yeah, I was surprised to find out it wasn’t.  Looks like a fish, swims like a fish…It’s a fish, surely.  No.  It is actually an insect.  Well, I didn’t know that.  And did you know it is actually a measurement?  Yes, whenever Beeb Beeb Ceeb reporters are describing an area that has been, say, flooded, they often compare it to being ‘the size of whales’.

Okay everyone, it’s slap on wrist time for me.  What did I forget last week?  The answer to the previous week’s teaser.  What do you mean you never noticed?  Any road up, I asked you what was Ernie Brandts of the Netherlands ‘first’ in the 1978 World Cup finals.  In a second-round match against Italy, he became the first and, so far, only player to score goals for both teams in the same match in the World Cup. He scored an own goal in the 18th minute, and then scored the equalizer for the Netherlands in the 50th minute. His teammate Arie Haan eventually scored the winning goal, giving the Netherlands a 2–1 win.

How easy was that?  Very if you looked up Googlie or Pikiwaedia.

How about a teaser for this week?  We will stick with European competitions (Champions' Cup or Champions League, Cup Winners' Cup, Fairs' Cup and UEFA Cup or Europa League).    Barcelona hold the record for consecutive appearances having qualified for European competitions 56 consecutive times (from 1958 to date).  Which British club has played in European competitions for the most years consecutively?

Talking of football and that is what I am meant to do as this is laughingly called a football blog; did you watch the World Cup Final?  Yeah, so did I.  Yawnnn.  Like most of the games in the tournament, this game was played in the same cagey manner.  Roll on the new season, I say.  For some of us, the season has already started.  Motherwell have played the first of their Europa League qualifiers.  They seem to have begun this season the same way they played last season; that is seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.  Well, very nearly.  It was a two all draw.  Two nil up they were and looking comfortable.  What happens?  They give away two penalties; one of them in stoppage time.  What is it with my team?  They just can’t seem to hang on to the lead.

There are more qualifying games coming this week…should we have a little bet?  No, let’s wait until the league season starts.  Once again we shall stick with a horses only bet.  Talking of betting, how did we do last week?  We won.  Yay!  Sort of.  Boo!  But we were in profit.  Yay!  Just not very much.  Boo!

It looked as if the wheels had come off in the very first race.  The favourite, the donkey The Grambler had randomly chosen, came in sixth.  As it was only a 7 horse race, that was a crap showing.  Luckily, the next three races provided us with winners.  The fifth race choice was a non-runner so presumably we got our 20 pees back for any bets it was part of.  I don’t know how it works, but I am assuming that we did, because We got a return of…


…for our £2.20 bet.  A wee calculation for the bets we have made just on gee gees shows that we have won more than twice the total stake money.  Not bad.  And very good for the Bobby Moore Fund for bowel cancer research.

What about a bet for this week?  The Grambler is busy randomly selecting five races as I type this.  All races take place on Saturday the 19th of July….and the predictions are in.  Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds


Newbury             14.40         Al Kazeem                            15/8

Curragh              15.00         St. Patrick’s Day                  10/11

Cartmel              15.55         Soul Magic                            2/1

Market Rasen    16.05         Parlour Games                     6/5

Curragh              16.40         Darwin                                   6/4


I say oh dear because, if each of these nags runs faster than the other nags in its race the payout will be a staggering…


Now, you are probably thinking, that’s a great return, why are you saying oh dear.  Or you might be thinking, what is that interesting font that always gets used for the totals.  Or you might be thinking, I’m getting peed off with all these horse races, I wish the footie would start again.  Well, to answer the first question; yes it is a good total.  Too good.  Why?  Because long odds mean that there are no out and out favourites.  That 2/1 is particularly worrying.  It means that it and second favourite are quite closely matched.  And to answer your other points; Harlow Gold Italic and yes, so do I.

Any road up, the bet is placed and that is the amount which might, but very probably won’t, be heading for the Bobby Moore Fund.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I thought we would finish with a joke.  Fittingly, an ectaw (dear laddie) type joke.  I recall this one being told by both Peter Sellers and Les Dawson so I can’t be sure of its origin…

A would-be actor who only ever gets non-speaking roles finally gets his chance at the big time – a speaking part.  It isn’t much, only two words, but he sees this as his big opportunity for people to take notice.  He has to walk onto the stage and say solemnly, ‘It is.’  Just that.  Though only two words it is important to the plot.  So he practices how to say his line over and over, changing the emphasis or speaking the words softly or with great authority - ‘It is’, ‘It is!’, ‘It is’.  All through the play leading up to his entrance, he practices his line, ‘It is’, ‘It….is’.  Finally, his moment comes to go onto the stage and deliver this oh-so-important line.  And he says, ‘Is it?’

Isn’t that a pip?*

Happy grambling.

*Likely to be understood only by viewers of In The Night Garden.

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