Friday 13 March 2015

Week 32 - The Grambler on satnav

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 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…


Dear Mr Grobbler,

Can you help us with a Scottish league question?  Which two teams joined the Scottish league in 2000 when the SPL was expanded to 12 teams.  We think they may have come from the Highland league.

Yours in anticipation,

Peter Head and L. Ginn.



There is legislation coming into effect next October that makes it illegal to smoke in a car if there is a child in the vehicle.  Thus, a driver can only have a drag and a cough if he has left the kids behind.  Passengers?  Ditto, you cannot light up if there is a nipper in the car.  Illegal, see.  Mind you, it doesn’t mention whether a child is allowed to smoke in the car.  Of course, there have been the usual moans about this interfering with ‘freedom of choice’ or the ‘nanny state’ or good old ‘thin end of the wedge’.  What do I think?  Great.  This is not from a health point of view, but from a driving safety point of view.  How can you concentrate on driving properly with one hand holding a three inch long burning stick that you occasionally suck to inhale smoke which you then blow out to create a mini fog?  Apart from obscuring your vision it doesn’t half make your eyes smart?  [The only smart thing in the car! – Ed.]  You also run the risk of dropping said burning stick and setting fire to whatever you happen to be wearing, thus creating a different and altogether more dangerous smoky fog.  My father in law was forever dropping his lit fag while driving.  This was usually accompanied by a cry of, ‘!!!’ [Expletives deleted. – Ed.] and his hands flapping about trying to prevent a fire starting.  It was a wonder he never caused a serious accident, because his attention was certainly not on driving at these moments.  Pity anyone who bought a vehicle after he had used it; the driver’s seat was covered in holes where the cigarette had melted the material.  Smoking should have been banned in cars yonks ago.  And all that touch-screen and Bluetooth connectivity stuff?  That should be banned too.  In fact, anything which distracts a driver from concentrating totally while in control of the vehicle should be banned.  Cd player?  Ban it.  Radio?  Ditto.  Unless it is for road reports.

The one I really can’t be doing with is satnav.  I have one in the car and I try to use it, I honestly do.  It’s just that the instructions are so crazy.  Obviously, it is set up to read the road, so if the road ahead has a tight bend the voice of the satnav, or Doris as I like to call it, tells me to take the next right.  Similarly the main road may have a tight bend at a junction and I might be ‘turning’ up the other road, but Doris just tells me to go straight ahead.  The number of times I have been round roundabouts two or three times due to Doris’s indecipherable instructions I couldn’t begin to count.  To me a satnav is an annoying distraction which is best left in the glove box, or on a shop shelf, unbought.  The best option when travelling is still to get a map book and plan the journey.

I blame the manufacturers.  I do.  They give you all this clever electronic and computer gadgetry which compromises safety by distracting the driver from…well, driving and yet they can’t give us a push-button way to redirect the heating without having to reach over to manually adjust it.  They can’t give us anything to redirect air to demist windows quickly.  They give us heated rear windows, but not heated windscreens.  Ah, you say, but you can get a heated windscreen.  Indeed, yes; Frod have had such a setup available as an ‘extra’ for 30 years.  What?  That shouldn’t be an extra; that should be fitted as standard on every car.

As you know I live in Scotland.  Scotland is a cold country.  Most of the time, it is very cold.  And wet.  We get a lot of wet.  Sometimes we get dry.  Not very often, admittedly.  Just sometimes.  Do you know what my car has fitted as standard?  Not even an extra.  Standard.  Air conditioning!  How mad is that?  In Scotland!  Air conditioning!  I ask you!

I will end this little rant with an apt poem by birthday girl, Pam Ayres…

The Satnav

I have a little Satnav,

It sits there in my car

A Satnav is a driver's friend,

it tells you where you are.

I have a little Satnav,

I've had it all my life

It's better than the normal ones,

My Satnav is my wife.

It gives me full instructions,

Especially how to drive

"It's sixty miles an hour", it says,

"You're doing sixty five".

It tells me when to stop and start,

And when to use the brake

And tells me that it's never ever,

Safe to overtake.

It tells me when a light is red,

And when it goes to green

It seems to know instinctively,

Just when to intervene.

It lists the vehicles just in front,

And all those to the rear

And taking this into account,

It specifies my gear.

I'm sure no other driver,

Has so helpful a device

For when we leave and lock the car,

It still gives its advice.

It fills me up with counselling,

Each journey's pretty fraught

So why don't I exchange it,

And get a quieter sort?

Ah well, you see, it cleans the house,

Makes sure I'm properly fed

It washes all my shirts and things,

And keeps me warm in bed!

Despite all these advantages,

And my tendency to scoff,

I only wish that now and then,

I could turn the bugger off.



Any birthdays on March 14th to celebrate (Pam Ayres, obviously – 1947)?  Yes indeedy.  Johan Strauss (the Elder) 1804 (Deedle um deedle um deedle um dum dum), John Casey Jones 1864 (Yes him.  The drunkard. He was always steamin’ and arollin’.), Albert Einstein 1879 (Clever bloke), Bill Owen 1914 (Smelly little oik), Michael Caine 1933 (You’re only supposed to blow the bloody candles out.), Quincy Jones 1933 (Funky producer), Bob Charles 1936 (Golfy bloke), Rita Tushingham 1942 (Actress. ‘Ham’ is the clue), Jasper Carrott 1946 (Whoar, it’s Malcolm!), Billy Crystal 1948 (Fake orgasm inducer), Tessa Sanderson 1956 (Spear chucker) and Jamie Bell 1986 (Inventor of small cheese wrapped in wax).  Anyone in amongst that lot able to provide us with a toon worth gramblerising?  What about Quincy Jones, one of the music world’s greatest producers, but also a performer in his own right?  Or is it left?  As a producer, he gave us the biggest selling album ever.  Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  Not only was it the best selling album, but it spawned 8 top-selling singles.  I think the title track from that album should be our gramblerised toon of the week…


'Cause this is grambler
Grambler night
And no one's gonna save you
From the grambler out to strike
You know it's grambler
Grambler night
You're grambling for your life
Inside a grambler
Grambler tonight, yeah


That was not written by Mr Jackson, in case you are thinking that is just the sort of warped thing that that weirdo would write.  It was written by Rod Temperton.  Where does Mr Temperton come from?  Bound to be somewhere really cool if he mixed with the likes of Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, you would think.  New York?  LA?  How about Cleethorpes?  Yep.  The one in Yorkshire.  Spoils the illusion a bit, doesn’t it?




Let’s move on to grambling matters.  How did The Grambler fare with his/her/its predictions last week.  We won.  Yay?  No, still not yay.  We got 2 quids and 4 pees back from our bets, so we only lost 16 pees.  What happened?  Read on and all shall be revealed…

Queens Park Rangers vs Tottenham Hotspur – Prediction Away win

Result – QPR 1 Spurs 2


England hopeful Harry ‘Michael’ Kane headed unmarked from an Andros Townsend free-kick to open the scoring in the first half.

He netted a second - his16th Premier League goal of the season - after the break following a through ball from Ryan ‘James’ Mason.

Sandro (Called Sandro because his full name Sandro Raniere GuimarĂ£es Cordeiro is a bit of a mouthful for commentators.  Besides, he’s Brazilian.  It’s what Brazilians do.) pulled a goal back for QPR, who twice had appeals for penalties turned down by referee Craig Pawson.

So off to a good start for The Grambler.

Wolves vs Watford – Prediction Home win

Result – Wolves 2 Watford 2

Ooh! ‘It the bar

Wolves and Watford both had a player sent off in injury time in an exciting draw at Molineux.

Tommie Hoban was shown a second yellow for Watford before Bakary Sako was given a straight red after raising his hand to Fernando Forestieri.

Benik Afobe gave Wolves the lead early on before Matej Vydra levelled.

Jack Price restored the home team's advantage just after the break, but Troy Deeney equalised after showing good strength before the late drama.

The late red cards were out of keeping with a keenly fought match that had seen just two bookings in the first 90 minutes

Peterborough vs Leyton Orient – Prediction Home win

Result – Peterborough 1 Leyton Orient 0


Caretaker boss Dave Robertson made it three straight wins as 10-man Peterborough's play-off push continued with victory over Leyton Orient.

After a scrappy start, Posh went ahead when Jon Taylor's wind-assisted cross dipped into Alex Cisak's net.

Ben Alnwick denied both Jobi McAnuff and Darius Henderson an equaliser, while Cisak saved from Jack Payne.

Peterborough’s Marcus Maddison saw red late on for a foul on Luke O'Neill.

Shrewsbury vs Cambridge – Prediction Home win

Result – Shrewsbury 1 Cambridge 1

Ooh!  ‘It the bar!

Tyrone Barnett hit the bar for the Shrews before Bobby Grant's low 18-yard shot put the hosts ahead.

Jordan Slew and Matt Harrold both went close for the U's while the hosts again struck the woodwork, through Grant.

And the visitors deservedly levelled with seconds remaining when substitute Sullay Kaikai finished calmly inside the box.

Dunfermline vs Ayr – Prediction Home win

Results – Dunfermline 2 Ayr 1


Dunfermline Athletic improved their promotion hopes with their first win in five matches against Ayr United in Scottish League One.

Ross Millen went close for the Pars in the first half, his free-kick rattling the crossbar.

The visitors held out for over an hour but a Nicky Devlin own goal and Andy Geggan's header ended their resistance

And Robbie Crawford's late goal proved a mere consolation for Ayr.


So close.  So close.  The two games that didn’t go as predicted by The Grambler were both draws.  Damn. Damn. Damn.

No matter.  As always, we will try again this week.

This Saturday the 14th of March there are 55 games taking place at 3 pm from which The Grambler can randomly select his/her/its five (hopefully) winners…

Game – Result – Odds

West Bromwich Albion vs Stoke – Prediction Home win – 5/4

Bournemouth vs Blackpool – Prediction Home win – 1/5

Portsmouth vs Luton – Prediction Home win – 6/5

Ayr vs Stenhousemuir – Prediction Home win – 6/5

L. Ginn vs Queen’s Park – Prediction Away win – 11/10

There we have it my little gramblerinis.  The bets are placed (10 x 20 pees doubles plus 1 x 20 pees accumulator).  How much will be winging its way to the Bobby Moore Fund if all The Grambler’s predictions are correct?  A staggering…


How staggering is that?  Well, perhaps not staggering, but certainly a bit wobbly on its feet.

And now ladeez and genullum, it’s teaser time.  Last week I asked what was missing from the English Premiershit for the first time after the 11th of February 2015.  The answer is a club with a Scottish manager.  Did any of you get it?  Yes, when Paul Lambert got booted out of his job at Aston Villa, the Premiershit was without a Scottish manager for the first time in its existence.  Only four years ago the division was awash with them; there were 7 Scottish managers - Lambert (Norwich), Sir Alex Ferguson (Man Utd), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool) and Steve Kean (Blackburn) - plus Scottish-born Owen Coyle (Bolton), who was a bit confused and thought he was Irish.  Now, the closest to a Scottish link is the fact that Everton manager Roberto Martinez used to play for the not so  mighty Motherwell.

A teaser for this week?  At the time of writing this, Lionel Messi is the top goalscorer in Europe’s top five leagues with 41 goals.  Christiano Ronaldo is second on 39 goals.  Which 21 year old comes third on the list?

Before we do our ‘and finally’ bit, I will repeat what I stated at the end of last week’s blog.  Why?  Because it is important.  I ask all you readers of this wonderful blog that is to tell everyone you know to start reading it.  Maybe they won’t appreciate the drivel that I write but, hopefully, they will learn something about the horrible disease of bowel cancer.  We are told so often that 95% of cases are in people aged over 50.  This is true, but the other 5% can be any age.  Let people know this.  Let them know that any bowel problems should be investigated immediately, no matter how young they are.  Don’t be fobbed off with the line ‘You’re too young to get bowel cancer’.  You’re never too young.

And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr A. Einstein for this little piece of wisdom…

I never think about the future; it comes soon enough.

Let’s finish with an appropriate song from the days when video was king and no song ever seemed to make the charts without an arty farty video  to promote it.

Happy grambling.

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