Saturday 27 September 2014

Week 8 - Grambling with nostalgic sounds

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…


How about a couple of footy stories to begin with…

FULHAM manager…sorry, ex-Fulham manager, Felix Magath recommended that defender Brede Hangeland treat an injured thigh with a block of cheese that had soaked in alcohol.  Perhaps if he had left matters to the club doctor, Stephen Lewis, he could have concentrated more on motivating his players to win some games.  Not surprisingly, Lewis decided to move on and is now at Brighton and Hove Albion.  Also not surprisingly, Hangeland  also moved on.  A lot of very talented players were shipped out on loan, while the players that were left struggled to meet the high standard necessary to stay in the Premiership.  Now they are even struggling at Championship level and, at last, the club directors have seen sense and given Magath his jotters.  Since his departure more stories about his looneytunes style of management have surfaced.

·       After one defeat, he cancelled a rest day and brought in everyone to play a full 90 minute match.

·       He would often subject players to three training sessions in one day.  The training involved forcing the players to run until they were at the dropping stage.

·       He would summon players to his office and would not speak to them; he simply stared at them.

·       Two apprentices who turned up late for training (with a legitimate reason) were fined so heavily that the senior players got together to decide how to take the manager on.  Scott Parker spoke up for the boys saying the fine was disproportionately high.  The manager refused to budge saying they had to learn.  Parker took it upon himself to pay the fines.

The story goes that Magath chose to put senior players out on loan because the younger players were more ‘malleable’ and he could use his intimidating management style on them without getting too much aggro in return.  Sadly, he didn’t get many wins either.

WHAT is going on at Old Trafford?  As I write this, they have thrown away another 3 points needlessly by losing 5-3 to Leicester.

What happened?  Van Persie scored Man U’s first goal on 13 minutes.  Three minutes later, Di Maria scored the second.  Two nil up and cruising it would seem.  Oh oh.  One minute on Ulloa got one back for the Foxes.  No matter.  Still a goal up and so it remained until half time.  On 57 minutes Herrera scored restoring the two goal advantage.  3-1 up.  Cruising again?  Don’t you believe it.  Five minutes later a controversial penalty decision allowed Leicester back into the game as Nugent scored from the spot.  Still a goal up; no need to panic yet, lads.  Within two minutes Cambiasso levelled for the Foxes.  Time to panic lads.  From then on Man U went to pieces.  On 79 minutes Vardy put Leicester in front for the first time in the game.  By now Man U’s defence was in complete disarray and with Leicester pressing for more goals a second penalty was awarded on 82 minutes after a foul by Tyler Blackett.  He was Shown a red card and big Wean Rooney getting a yellow for complaining about it.  Ulloa was given the job of taking the penalty rounding off a good afternoon’s work for the Foxes.

I’ve seen another advert ont telly.  This time it’s for an insurance company.  The name of this company?  NFU Insurance.  Not the best of names, I am thinking.  Where I come from, NFU has a particular meaning and it should not be used by a company trying to impress customers…

‘I’m looking to get insurance.  Who are you with?  Are they any good?’


‘Are they?  In that case, I’ll go somewhere else.’

This week I am on a nostalgia kick again.  This morning while I was in my back garden (or three slabs as it is more accurately termed) I heard a strange noise; or rather a series of noises.  I’ll try and describe them for you.  Are you ready?  Clackety clackety clack, brrrrr; clackety clackety clack, brrrr… and so it went on.  Sometimes a short burst of clackety clack noises, sometimes longer.  Sometimes a long gap between the last brrrrr and the next clackety clack.  The noise was familiar and yet I couldn’t quite place it.  In the end, nosiness got the better of me and I had to have a look.  I discovered a neighbour a few doors away was cutting his lawn with a mechanical mower.  Isn’t that wonderful?  In an age when we all look for labour-saving devices, this man had chosen to use a labour-intensive human-propelled lawn-mower.  He had not had to resort to doing this because his motor mower was broken.  No.  He chooses to use a hand mower.  His reasoning is sound.  The amount of grass he has to cut is not large and is fairly flat.  He reckons it would take him longer to uncoil and connect cables to power an electric mower than is does to grab this lightweight mower and get cutting straight away.  He also likes the idea that he is using some muscle and feels fitter for it.

He then finished the job by trimming the edges with a pair of hand shears.

So we come to the topic of today: nostalgic sounds.  Those two – lawn-mower and shears – were once familiar, but are now forgotten because we tend to use electric or engine driven mowers and, instead of shears, ‘Strimmers’.  I believe that is a product name but, like Hoover and Sellotape, it has come to be used to describe anything of similar type.

What other noises do I remember?  Telephones that rang with a proper bell inside the unit rather than the electronic burble or tune we now get.  Also the sound of dialling a number rather than pressing buttons.  On the same theme, the old engaged and unobtainable tones seem to have altered as well.

Talking of bells, I am really going to show my age now,  I can remember when emergency vehicles were fitted with bells – or maybe I’ve just been watching too many Ealing comedies from the fifties – instead of making the nee naw or woo woo noises that they make nowadays.

I can remember the time when you went on a train or bus and heard the sound of people talking – to each other.  Quietly.  Nowadays the only talking you hear is somebody on their mobile phone.  Why is it that the person they are talking to is always stone deaf.  They must be if the person on said bus or train needs to bellow the way they do.  And they also forget that there are people around them when the conversation turns…erm… personal.  I’d rather not know such intimate details.

And music.  Everywhere you go there seems to be music playing.  I do not want to hear the shopping mall manager’s choice of favourite rap (the C is silent) songs, thank you very much.  And to our local shopping centre manager – Is it really appropriate to make shoppers listen to songs chock full of swearing?  I’m just asking.  I’m dreading Christmas, when every flaming shop plays the same album over and over and over and over…. Honestly, it’s a wonder shop staff don’t need counselling when the Christmas season is underway.  They must have nightmares of Noddy Holder screaming ‘IT’S CHRIIIISSSSTMAAAAAAS!’ at them.

There’s another sound associated with shopping: the ting of a cash register, instead of the bleeping sounds the current computers emit.

What about office noises?  There is any number of different machines that were used long ago but are now more likely to be found in a museum.  Telex machine?  Comptometer?  You what?  A comptometer was a key-driven mechanical calculator.  So now you know.  Mechanical copier or mimeograph machine?    What about even a desk-mounted pencil sharpener?  All these gadgets helped to make an office the noisy place it used to be.  Of course no other noise epitomised a busy office more than the chattering and ringing sounds from the mechanical typewriter.  

Other noises?  Road noise that is occasional rather than constant.  Mind you, if you had to listen to some of the vehicles of years gone by, you would be advised to wear ear defenders.  Especially if you lived on a hill.  The racket of some old cars struggling up a hill in first gear!  And when did you last hear a car backfiring?  On the subject of traffic, here’s another one – motorcycles with slow revving engines that putt putted rather than the screaming engines revving into 5 figure numbers that are used these days.  I am nostalgic for the noise only; not the smell, the oil leaks or the smoke.

Some noises we don’t hear any more are to do with the games played by kids.  When I were a lad [Here we go. Yawn…- Ed.] we used to play outside – Do you see that, younger generation? – Outside!  Kids are so into their computer games these days, they don’t seem to want to play outside.  So no longer do we hear footballs being kicked about outside with the occasional tinkle of glass falling from a now broken window, followed by the noises of the would-be Georgie Bests running to hide.  We don’t hear kids screaming TIG! As they chase each other up and down the street and across everybody’s gardens.  We don’t hear the grating of an empty shoe polish tin as kids play peever (or hopscotch; depends where you are from).  We don’t hear girls playing ball-y [Ball-y?  Steady on. – Ed.] as they batter two balls off a wall [My eyes are watering now. – Ed].  While these tennis balls bounce [Oh, tennis balls.  I see. – Ed.]  they would perform some odd dance routine.  Or playing a similar game called kerby (every name very apt) as they endeavoured to bounce a ball off the kerb across the street so that it returned to them.  We don’t hear girls singing as they play skipping in the middle of the street, at the same time being wary to avoid oncoming cars.  We don’t hear the raucous laughter of every kid on the street piled onto a homemade bogey (or go kart; depends where you are from) racing uncontrollably down a hill.…. Hmm.  Tell you what kids; stay indoors, it’s safer.

Shared sounds are things we don’t have.  People listen to their own music in their own little world.  If they are listening on headphones, those around them can only hear a faint beat… ntsa, ntsa, ntsa.  If they are listening in their cars, those around them can only hear a very loud DOOMPA, DOOMPA, DOOMPA.  My own name for these vehicles is dumper truck.  Do you see?  Doompa.  Dumper.  Oh, please yourselves!

Long ago, back in the mists of time, if you were to walk past any house on a given street, chances were everyone was listening to the same thing – the Light Programme which morphed into Radio 2 back in 1967.  It was the British Broadcorping Casteration’s idea of a pop music station; as long as your idea of pop was the same as theirs - Alma Cogan, Frank Ifield, Frank Sinatra and other easy-listening types.  Elvis?  Not on your nelly!  Spawn of Satan!

I say everyone would have been listening to that station.  Probably a good 90% would have been.  The others would be split between the other two stations on offer (from the BEEB of course).  There was the Home Service, which is basically what Radio 4 is today; mainly talking and there was the Third Programme which is now Radio 3.  That was it.  Three stations.  No other choice.  So you had light entertainment, talk shows or classical music to choose from.

Other sounds? 

·       Milk bottles being placed on a doorstep every morning. 

·       Taking pictures with a camera containing film – that solid mechanical click as you pressed the button and the aperture opened, followed by the ratchety noise of winding the film on to the next frame.

·       The whistles, bleeps and sounds of interference as you twiddle the knob to tune in an old-fashioned radio.

·       Record autochanger anyone?  The  sound of the next record dropping into place and the stylus making first contact with the record, usually suggesting a scratched surface, but settling down once it reaches the recorded portion of the disc.

·       Television closedown sound.  Usually the last thing played of an evening was the national anthem and an announcer would advise you to switch off your set.  Just in case you forgot, this was followed by a continuous high-pitched beep which was sure to remind you.

·       The sound of a film being shown by a projector.  If there was a quiet bit during the film, the effect was usually spoiled by the whirring clatter from the back of the hall.  In a similar vein – the noise of a slide moving into place during a slide show.

·       The whistling of a kettle to tell you the water was boiling.

The one sound I am really nostalgic for is…Can you guess? Silence.  Just that.  No music.  No motors whirring.  No traffic noise.  No neighbour’s TV being turned up too loud!  Just the sound of birds, the occasional dog bark, maybe the breeze whispering Louise, but basically, silence.  Ah, bliss.

Any birthdays of note this week?  Bernard Miles 1907 (It looks good, it tastes good and it certainly does you good), Gordon Honeycombe 1936, Peter Bonetti 1941, Robin Nedwell 1946, Barbara Dickson 1948, Michele Dotrice (Ooh Betty) 1948, Diane Abbott 1953, Irvine Welsh 1961, Gwyneth Paltrow 1972 and Avril Lavigne 1984 all celebrate their birthdays today, 27th of September… or rather, those that are still alive celebrate their birthdays.  I have deliberately left out somebody from that list.  Marvin Lee Aday celebrates his 67th birthday.  Who?  Yes, it’s the artist formerly known as Mince: Meat Loaf.  There has to be a good song for gramblerising in his repertoire.  I think a few lines from Bat Out of Hell will do nicely.

And I know that I'm grambled if I never get out
And maybe I'm grambled if I do
But with every other beat I got left in my heart
You know I'd rather be grambled with you
Well, If I gotta be grambled you know I wanna be grambled
Grambling through the night with you
If I gotta be grambled you know I wanna be grambled
Gotta be grambled you know I wanna be grambled
Gotta be grambled you know I wanna be grambled
Grambling through the night
Grambling through the night
Grambling through the night with you

There you go.  Did you like that?  No?  Neither did I.  I do apologise in advance for anyone out there who likes Meat Loaf; it must awful for you to have such an affliction.  Sorry.  Uncalled for.  He actually seems to be a nice guy, old Meat.  It’s just when he sings, I can’t stand him.  I say sings.  It’s more akin to screaming.  Why this obsession with cramming so many words into a song?  Too many, Mr Loaf.  An instrumental interlude would be nice.  Preferably for the whole song! [I predict complaints; it’ll be Elkie Brooks all over again. – Ed.]

Okay, let’s get on with some grambling.  How did we get on last week?  Erm…You’re not really that interested, are you?  Don’t you just want to move on to this week’s predictions?  No?  You’re desperate to find out how we got on last week, are you?  Oh.  I see.  Right.  Here goes.  Over the top.  Tis a far far better thing…[Oh for goodness’ sake get on with it! – Ed.] All right all right!  We lost.  Okay?  Happy now?  How did it happen?  Read on…

Norwich vs Birmingham – Prediction Home win

Result – Norwich 2 Birmingham 2

Oooh!  Hit the bar

Cameron Jerome scored twice against his former club as Norwich staged a superb second-half comeback to earn a point against Birmingham at Carrow Road.

The visitors went ahead when Callum Reilly's shot deflected off Russell Martin, beating goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Demarai Gray then slotted past Ruddy to double Blues' lead before Martin crossed for Jerome to score his first.

Just three minutes later, Jerome levelled when he headed Nathan Redmond's delivery into the net.

Wolves vs Bolton – Prediction Home win

Result – Wolves 1 Bolton 0


Striker Nouha Dicko's first-half header gave Wolves all three points against struggling Bolton Wanderers at Molineux.

The hosts went in front just before the interval when Dicko nodded his third of the season from Matt Doherty's cross.

Bolton were awarded a penalty in the second half when Danny Batth was judged to have brought down Jermaine Beckford.

But Carl Ikeme pulled off a double save, denying Owen Garvan's spot-kick before saving his follow-up effort.

Colchester vs Bradford – Prediction Away win

Result – Colchester 0 Bradford 0

Blast! Hit the bar again

Colchester United and Bradford City had to settle for a point each after a game with few clear-cut chances.

Bradford goalkeeper Jordan Pickford kept out Sanchez Watt's free-kick and a George Moncur volley in the first half.

Mark Yeates forced a save from Colchester keeper Sam Walker in the second period before Freddie Sears' shot for the home side was cleared off the line by Bradford's Stephen Darby.

Sears produced another effort late on but Pickford saved at his near post.

Yeovil vs Peterborough – Prediction Away win

Result – Yeovil 1 Peterborough 0

Boo!  Totally wrong

Joel Grant's late strike gave Yeovil victory over high-flying Peterborough.

The Glovers started strongly and Grant produced a long-range effort that just missed the target.

The visitors came into the game and Marcus Maddison nearly gave them the lead when his effort hit the woodwork, after two earlier efforts went wide.

In the second-half, Kieffer Moore prodded wide for the hosts before Grant's run and cool finish secured Yeovil a deserved three points.

Doncaster vs Chesterfield – Prediction Away win

Result – Doncaster 3 Chesterfield 2

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Doncaster ended their six-month wait for a home win with a thrilling triumph over Chesterfield.

Nathan Tyson headed home a Reece Wabara cross before Kyle Bennett lashed in off the crossbar to double Rovers' lead.

Sam Clucas pulled one back for the visitors as he pounced on a rebound, only for Jamie McCombe to score in similar fashion and restore the two-goal cushion soon after.

Eoin Doyle set up a nervy finish with a tap in but Doncaster held on.

One out of five.  Rubbish or what?  For the first time this season the return from our bets returned absolutely zilch.  Things can only get better the famous song by D:Ream told us back in 1993.  That got to number 1, you know.  It is remembered now for the fact that the keyboardist was Brian Cox…That’s the grinning physicist, not the miserable-looking actor.  How odd that two famous people who share the same name should have faces which are such polar opposites…The song also earned itself a bit of notoriety when it was played at the after-election party when Labour swept to power in 1997…Do you remember the memorable image of John Prescott, Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson awkwardly grooving along to the song?.........

Where was I?  Oh yes, this week’s predictions.  What has The Grambler come up with this week?  Out of 59 games taking place in the eight senior leagues this Saturday, 27th of September at 3pm, what five has he/she/it randomly chosen for his/her/its predictions?

Game - Result – Odds


Blackpool vs Norwich – Prediction Away win – 8/11

First up, we head to the seaside.  Woohoo!  Buckets and spades at the ready!  Unfortunately, it’s to watch football at Bloomfield Road where the Seasiders play host to the Canaries.  Them again?  They let us down last week!  The Grambler reckons that Norwich will make amends this week by taking all the points.  Given that Norwich are currently second and Blackpool are second bottom in the Championship, you’ve got to admit he/she/it could have a point.  As Norwich director the great Delia once said, ‘Cooom on, lessss be aving yer.  Hic.’


Barnsley vs Swindon – Prediction Away win – 13/8

For game two we head east to’t Yorkshire taaan of Baaarnsley.  For game two we head east to’t Yorkshire taaan of Baaarnsley.  Sorry, stereotyping there.  We head to Oakwell where the Tykes play host to the Robins.  Again, The Grambler has predicted that the visitors will win.  Results so far this season would suggest that he/she/it could be right with Swindon currently sitting 15 places higher than Barnsley in League 1.  However, the season is young, only eight games played so far.  Granted, Swindon have lost only one game thus far, but Barnsley have only lost three.  Tellingly, both have drawn three of the eight.  Perhaps a point each might be a more likely result.

Chesterfield vs Notts County – Prediction Home win – 4/5

For game number three we head to Derbyshire and the Proact Stadium where the Spireites play host to the Magpies.  This time The Grambler has predicted a win for the home side.  Newly promoted Chesterfield have started well this season sitting in fifth spot having won four out of eight games and losing only two.  Notts County have also only lost two, but they have drawn four of the eight played.  Perhaps Notts County will be this season’s draw specialists – there always seems to be a team that draws more games than it can win.  With that in mind, perhaps this game will finish in stalemate.

Newport County vs Wimbledon – Prediction Draw – 5/2

Game number four takes us abroad, to Wales.  We head for Rodney Parade where the Exiles (or Ironsides, Port or County – take your pick) play host to the Dons (or the Wombles – take your pick).  The Grambler in his/her/its wisdom has predicted that the points will be shared on this one.  Only four points separate these clubs currently.  As with Notts County, Newport seem to be turning into draw specialists having drawn four from nine.  You could argue that The Grambler is onto something because from the last four meetings, three have ended as draws.  A draw here?  Maybe.  Maybe.

Dunfermline vs Peterhead – Prediction Home win – 4/5

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther it’s north to Dunfermline, birthplace of industrialist Andrew Carnegie and famous flute player and flamingo impressionist Ian Anderson.  Yes, we head to East End Park where the Pars play host to the Blue Toon.  The Grambler has predicted that newly promoted Peterhead will be beaten by last season’s League 1 runners up.  On paper that would seem to be a fair call.  However, we are only six games into this season and there are only two points between the sides.  In Dunfermline’s favour is the fact that they have yet to be beaten at home.  As regular readers know, I tend to have a soft spot for newly promoted teams; I like to see them do well among the ‘big boys’.  With that in mind, I wouldn’t bother if The Grambler had this one wrong and the Blue Toon take a point or three.


So, there you have it.  The predictions are in, the bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles and 1 x 20 pee accumulator).  How much will be heading to the Bobby Moore Fund via The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund?  An astonishing….


What’s astonishing about that, you may ask.  The answer is, I’ll be astonished if it actually wins.


Okay, that’s us done with this week’s grambling matters, let’s have the answer to last week’s teaser.  I asked who would be first and last in an alphabetical list of Premiershit goalscorers.  The answers are Rolando Aarons (Newcastle) and Ysrael Zuniga (Coventry).  Did you all get that one right.  Course you did.  What about a teaser for this week?

What team has the worst ever goal difference over the season in the English Premiershit and what was that difference?


Okay, I wanted to finish with a joke from Round the Horne (a humorous wireless show on the Light Programme in the 1960s).  I was hoping to just put a link, but sadly the gag is not on line, so I will have to try and tell it.  A section of the programme suggested that people were gullible enough to buy anything they saw advertised on TV.  The next bit is quite prophetic.  It went on to say people would even buy water if it were advertised.  We then heard several spoof adverts based on those current at the time.  Here is one.  Imagine Bernard Miles doing it.

‘…A drop of good stuff that.  Water.  It looks good, it tastes good and, by golly, it is good….if you put enough gin in it.’


Happy grambling.


Friday 19 September 2014

Week 7 - The Grambler on monkey hanging

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 today am going to ask you a question: Where have all the monkeys gone?  I can imagine Marlene Dietrich singing it – “Verr hef all the maunkeys gone? Lonk time pessink.”  [Nurse, I think it’s time to up his medication again! – Ed.]  No, no, no.  You don’t understand.  I am referring to a strange phenomenon of several months ago.  Monkey hanging.  Sorry, pardon, excuse me?  Yes, monkey hanging.  Not real monkeys, you understand.  This isn't Hartlepool you know.  Do you know that story?  I’ll tell you it anyway. 

Legend has it that during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century a French ship was spotted foundering and sinking off the Hartlepool coast. Suspicious of enemy ships and nervous of possible invasion, the good folk of Hartlepool rushed down to the beach, where amongst the wreckage of the ship they found the only survivor, the ship’s monkey which was apparently dressed in a miniature military-style uniform.

Hartlepool is a long way from France and most of the populous had never met, or even seen, a Frenchman. Some satirical cartoons of the time pictured the French as monkey-like creatures with tails and claws, so perhaps the locals could be forgiven for deciding that the monkey, in its uniform, must be a Frenchman, and a French spy at that. There was a trial to ascertain whether the monkey was guilty of spying or not; however, not unsurprisingly, the monkey was unable to answer any of the court's questions but was found guilty anyway. It was then dragged into the town square and hanged.

There is another, even crueller, version of the story.  Maybe they didn’t actually hang a ‘monkey’ but a small boy or ‘powder-monkey’. Small boys were employed on warships of this time to prime the cannons with gunpowder and were known as ‘powder-monkeys’.

Over the centuries the legend has been used to taunt the residents of Hartlepool.  At football matches between local rivals Darlington and Hartlepool United the chant, “Who hung the monkey” can often be heard. Most Hartlepudlians however love this story. Hartlepool United’s mascot is a monkey called H'Angus the Monkey (How sick is that?), and the local Rugby Union team Hartlepool Rovers are known as the Monkeyhangers.  Do you know what?  Hartlepudlians sound a bit odd.

The successful mayoral candidate in the 2002 local elections, Stuart Drummond, campaigned dressed in the costume of H'Angus the Monkey, using the election slogan "free bananas for schoolchildren", a promise he did not keep, incidentally. However this appears not to have dented his popularity, as he went on to be re-elected two more times with or without bananas.

However, that is nothing to do with the monkeys of which I speak.  The ones I am talking about are monkeys of the knitted variety.  Perhaps like the one that Johnny Vegas works with when advertising satellite tea or whatever it is he is trying to sell.
To explain, I have seen, hanging beneath railway bridges, pedestrian bridges and the like, knitted monkeys; just dull, brown, knitted monkeys.  But now they have gone. It was a phenomenon or craze that brought a smile to my face whenever I saw a knitted monkey hanging on a rope under a bridge.  As well as wondering why they have disappeared as suddenly as they appeared I must ask a question.  It is not why someone would want to suspend a knitted monkey from a bridge; it may well be some mystical, secret-society ritual; I don't know. My question is - how?  How did somebody manage to get up there to hang a monkey? The thing is, it is never suspended from the side of the bridge which is reasonably accessible. Instead, it is located right in a central position underneath. They were always over busy roads.  Did someone come along with a cherry-picker type vehicle and tie it in place?  Or do they smother one end of the rope in glue and fire it from a crossbow?  I honestly cannot fathom how they did it.
Can you?  Answers on a postcard please.

Right.  Birthdays of note, anyone?  Mungo Park 1771, George Robey 1869, Stevie Smith 1902, Kenneth More 1914, Rachel Roberts 1927, Johnnie Dankworth 1927, Sophia Loren 1934 were all born on the 20th of September (and Mrs Grambler too, incidentally, but I won’t say which year).  Sadly, nobody in there had any hits worth gramblerising.  Although Sophia Loren did have a couple of novelty songs in the charts way, way, way back.  Both were performed with Peter Sellers.  One was called Bangers and Mash, the other, perhaps more famous, one was called Goodness Gracious Me.  It was the song that gave the title to Britain’s first Asian comedy series (That looks weird when it’s written down – it suggests a programme in some eastern language).  Another fact about the song surprised me.  The writer.  It was penned by none other than George Martin.  Yes, that George Martin; the one that produced all the great Beatles records.  I suppose everyone has to start somewhere.  But, Goodness Gracious Me?  Goodness gracious me!

There is a birthday boy who might be able to give us a song to gramblerise.  He was born on September 21st 1972.  Happy 42nd birthday (on Sunday) to waggly shouldered Liam Gallacher.  What song should we choose?  Gramblerwall?  Nah.  Some Might Gramble?  Oh no.  Champagne Supergrambler?  Do me a favour!  Surely it can only be…

So, The Grambler  can wait
He/she/it knows it's too late as he/she/it's grambling on by
My soul grambles away
But don't gramble back in anger
I heard you say

Okey dokey, pig in a pokey, let’s get on with some grambling shall we.  I could actually cut and paste last week’s return and stick it in here; the money won/lost was exactly as it was last week.  As Harry Hill so succinctly put it, ‘What are the chances of that happening?’  Yes, £2.20 bet, 67 pees return = £1.53 loss.  How did it happen?  Read on…

Southampton vs Newcastle – Prediction Home win

Result – Southampton 4 Newcastle 0

Woo hoo!

Striker Graziano (you’re welcome) Pelle scored twice as Southampton overwhelmed a poor Newcastle side at St Mary's Stadium.

The Italian grabbed his first in the sixth minute when he headed in Ryan Bertrand's cross from the left.

And he slotted home his fourth of the season after a terrible misjudgement by Mike Williamson in the Newcastle defence.

Jack Cork then took advantage of another lapse in concentration by Williamson before Morgan Schneiderlin curled in a superb late fourth.

Great start there for The Grambler.

Blackpool vs Wolverhampton – Prediction Away win

Result – Blackpool 0 Wolves 0

Dang it!  Hit the bar!

In fact, both sides hit the bar as Blackpool earned their first point of the season and climbed off the bottom of the Championship after an entertaining goalless draw with Wolves.

But Kenny Jackett's Wolves stay third, despite drawing a blank against under-pressure Jose Riga's Tangerines.

Wolves, who could have gone top with a victory, hit the woodwork through Rajiv van La Parra before the interval.

But Blackpool also found the woodwork, striker Nile Ranger (Sounds like an Egypt-based version of Tonto’s mate) dinking an effort off the crossbar after the break.

Oh well, one out of two for The Grambler.

Bournemouth vs Rotherham – Prediction Home win

Result – Bournemouth 1 Rotherham 1

Stone me!  Hit the bar again!

Jordan Bowery's injury-time header salvaged a point for Rotherham in a battle of two out-of-form sides at Bournemouth.

The visitors' substitute headed in Paul Taylor's corner to deny the hosts in a match they dominated.

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson hit the post with only Rotherham goalkeeper Adam Collin to beat before Steve Cook headed the Cherries into the lead.

But Bowery nodded home Taylor's set-piece three minutes into stoppage time.

Jordan Bowery!  Do you see what you did?  Only stopped The Grambler getting two out of three; instead it’s one out of three.  Injury time equaliser indeed!

Chesterfield vs Scunthorpe – Prediction Home win

Result – Chesterfield 4 Scunthorpe 1


Eoin Doyle missed a penalty but still scored a second-half hat-trick as Chesterfield thumped Scunthorpe.

Paddy Madden's turn and shot had put the Iron ahead before Doyle hit the crossbar from the spot.

He quickly made amends by converting debutant Sam Clucas's cross at the near post and then doubling his tally after being put clear by Daniel Johnson.

Doyle completed his treble from 12 yards after Niall Canavan had tripped him before Sam Morsy sealed the win.

Chesterfield move up to fourth in the League One (three!) table, while Scunthorpe remain in the bottom four.

Two out of four; The Grambler back on track.

Dumbarton vs Hearts – Prediction Away win

Result – Dumbarton 0 Hearts 0

What the…!  Hit the bar yet again!

Hearts returned to the top of the Scottish Championship despite dropping their first points of the season at the home of Dumbarton.

Goalkeeper Danny Rodgers made some fine saves to keep Hearts at bay, denying Jason Holt and Osman Sow (He had a pig of a game.  Hur Hur.  No.  You’re right.  It’s not that funny.) in the first half and Sam Nicholson in the second.

Chris Kane's header was the closest the Sons came, his header saved by Neil Alexander.

And, late in the game, Nicholson's header came back off the crossbar.

Robbie Neilson's side, who remain unbeaten but lose their 100% record, move a point clear of Rangers.

So two out of five for The Grambler.  Not good enough.  Must try harder.

What has The Grambler got to offer us this week?  Well, there are 56 senior games from the eight divisions in the English and Scottish leagues taking place this Saturday at 3pm.  From those The Grambler has randomly selected…

Game - Result – Odds

Norwich vs Birmingham – Prediction Home win – 1/2

For our first game we go to Carrow Road where the Canaries play host to the Blues (Hmm, wonder what colour these teams play in.).  The Grambler has predicted that Norwich will take all the points on this one. Given that they have won five out of seven so far this season and Birmingham have won only one, it would seem to be a good call.

Would you like a factoid?  Birmingham City FC were originally called the Small Heath Alliance when they were formed in 1875.  That’s very interesting. [You reckon? – Ed.]

Wolverhampton vs Bolton – Prediction Home win – 7/10

Game two takes us to Molineux where Wolves play host to the Trotters.  Once again The Grambler has predicted a home win.  League positions would suggest that The Grambler has got this one right.  However, recent past encounters between the clubs would suggest otherwise.  It is eight games, and almost five years, since Wolves beat Bolton who have won five of the last seven meetings.  Such a record does not bode well for The Grambler’s prediction.  I reckon this is more likely to end as a draw.

Colchester vs Bradford – Prediction Away win – 9/5

For our third game we head to the Colchester Community Stadium where the Us play host to the Bantams.  This time The Grambler has predicted that the away team will win.  Current league positions would again suggest a good call.  The two teams haven’t met played each other very often – twice last season with Bradford taking four of the available six points and once in 2010 when Colchester won 4-3 to progress in the F.A. Cup – so previous results can’t be used to show us a ‘pattern’.  A better gauge would be to look at this season’s games; both teams are performing poorly at home – they have each lost three.  However, Bradford have won three on the road, which is enough to make me think The Grambler has called this one right.

Yeovil vs Peterborough – Prediction Away win – 6/4

Game number four sees us head to Huish Park where the Glovers play host to the Posh.  Again The Grambler has gone for an away win.  Again, league positions would suggest a good call.  But hold on there little breeches, Yeovil may have had a poor start to the season by losing their first two games, but in the six games since have only lost once.  Peterborough may have had the better start, but in their corresponding last six games they have lost twice.  I am thinking that Yeovil, newly relegated from the Championship, may have now sorted out whatever problems caused that poor start and might now prove difficult to beat.  Think you have this one wrong Grambler.

Doncaster vs Chesterfield – Prediction Away win – 8/5

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther we head to Keepmoat Stadium where the Rovers, or Donny if you prefer, play host to the Spireites.  Oh oh, The Grambler has gone for another away win.  Yes, Grambler, table positions would suggest your prediction might be correct, but have you forgotten that, like Yeovil, Doncaster are a side relegated from the Championship and as such should be perfectly capable of dealing with any side in the First (third!!!) division.  Table positions count for nothing at this stage in the season, anyway.  Fifteen places currently separate the sides, but there is a difference of only six points.  If Doncaster were to win this, they could potentially finish the weekend just six places below Chesterfield.  Once again, I reckon you have got this one wrong, Grambler.


Well, there you have it my little gramblerinis, five predictions made, eleven bets placed – 10 x 20 pee doubles and 1 x 20 pee accumulator.  Will it win?  For the reasons I gave in the text, I think not.  However, I would love to be proven wrong by The Grambler because this week there is a magnificent….

19 quids

…. heading for the Bobby Moore Fund via The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside Fund.  I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.

Now it’s time for the answer to last week’s teaser when I asked you who were the three top scorers for England.  The answer, in redro esrever, is – Orl right pop pickers - Third on 44 is Jimmy Greaves – Not arf – Second on 48 is Gary Lineker – and there’s no change at the top, that’s right – First is Bobby Charlton with 49.  Bobby Charlton took 106 games to amass that total, Lineker took 80, but Jimmy Greaves was a much more prolific scorer with his goals coming in just 57 games.  Wean Rooney has taken 97 games to reach his current total of 41.

Now, a teaser for this week I think.  Here’s a cracker…

If you were to list all Premiership (since its inception) goalscorers alphabetically, who would be first?  And I may as well ask it – who would be last?

Have fun with that.

Well, I’ve managed to avoid referring to it until now, but I can’t finish without a mention of the referendum to decide whether Scotland should become independent from the rest of the UK.  It was on the news all over the world, so you will no doubt already know that 55% of the Scottish electorate voted to change nothing.  So, after months of debating, not just between politicians but between men and women in the street – it has certainly been the most talked about election I have ever known – what will happen?  Precisely fu… nothing.  Well, Alex Salmond has handed in his resignation.  I don’t suppose he had much option; his whole career has been about gaining independence for Scotland and the Scottish people have told him what he can do with it.

There may be other changes of course.  Surely, nobody would dare to sing Flower of Scotland again.  Surely.  They wouldn’t dare.  Would they?

A change that would have occurred, had Scotland chosen to go it alone, would be that we would never have a Tory government again.  Sadly, that is an opportunity missed, so ladeez and gennulum… Let me introduce this country’s next prime minister…


Boris ‘Dubya’ Johnson

Happy grambling.