Friday 22 May 2015

Week 42 - The Grambler on anniversaries

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 is 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.


He began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery.  He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter.  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…


Do you remember, back at the beginning of the current football season, I made a prediction?  I stated with some confidence that Rangers would end the season by gaining promotion to the Scottish Premiership.  Okay, I didn’t expect Hearts to win the Championship so convincingly.  I thought it would have been a closely fought campaign [Hang on, is this football or warfare we are discussing? – Ed.] with Rangers running out as champions and Hearts or Hibs fighting it out for second spot.  Well, as I write this, Rangers have a two goal advantage over the Hibees in the playoffs for a chance to play the second bottom team in the Premiership for a place in that league and, if they manage to restrict Hibs to a goal advantage in the second leg, Rangers will play… Motherwell.  The team I support, whose performances this year have ranged from wonderful to mediocre.  Unfortunately, there has been more mediocrity than wonder, hence finishing the season in second bottom spot.  Oh dear.

Little did I know, when I made that prediction, that promotion to the top league would be at the expense of my own team.  For once, I am hoping that my prediction is wrong.



The Beeb Beeb Ceeb has been awash with programmes celebrating the 70th anniversary of VE Day (That’s Victory in Europe, in case you were wondering).  Sadly, old Vera Lynn, who must be about 130 years old, hasn’t been wheeled out to sing in her own inimitable fashion, ‘Her we’ll her meet hagain, her don’t know her where, her don’t know her when…’ but I’m sure we’ll hear it played some sunny day.  No, instead of Dame Vera, we got saddled with Chas and Dave.  Ye gods and little fishes!

2015 is an anniversary year for many things, some of which will also be celebrated in some way.  Two hundred years since Waterloo [I didn’t think Abba had been going that long. – Ed.].

Elvis Presley was born 80 years ago. 

Charlie celebrates being married to Camilla Parker Knoll for 10 years.  That’s the ‘tin’ anniversary so any gift from a tin of beans to a tin of Quality Street would be appropriate.   

The first mobile phone call was made 30 years ago.  By Ernie Wise, of all people.

The Sinclair C5 car was introduced in 1985.  It could arguably be called the original hybrid vehicle as its power could be achieved from two sources – electric (battery) and human (pedals).

Winston Churchill died 50 years ago.

Nelson Mandela was released 25 years ago.

Eastenders was first transmitted 30 years ago, you slag!

One of Scotland’s most iconic structures – the Forth Bridge - was built 125 years ago.

It is 100 years since the foundation of the Women’s Institute… jam making would never be the same again.

It is 800 years since the signing of Magna Carta [Who’s she? – Ed.]

One anniversary that will not be celebrated or even noted is the heated windscreen.  Sorry pardon excuse me?  Yes 30 years ago this year the Frod Motor Company introduced a heated windscreen on its Scorpio model.  It was a wonderful piece of kit and provided the driver with a clear windscreen in all weathers.  An absolutely brilliant safety feature which would surely prevent many accidents.  Why?  Because, in the winter, when ice forms on the inside of a windscreen, it is very difficult to clear the screen adequately.  How many of you drivers out there ensure that your screen is absolutely free of ice or condensation before setting off?  Very few, I reckon.  Most drivers, on icy mornings, make a ‘window’ on the windscreen of about 6 inches in diameter, thinking that it is sufficient to allow them to adequately see the road and other road users.  Barmy pillocks! 

Surely, the other motor manufacturers would rush to use this wonderful safety feature and make winter driving easier and safer for everyone.  Thirty years on, we are still waiting for the rest of the motor industry to adopt it.  Why?  Because Frod chose to patent it and since it is not a legal requirement to have such a device fitted unlike seatbelts and airbags, motor manufacturers do not want to pay royalties to Frod for using their product.

How many accidents could have been avoided over the years?  How many fatalities could be attributed to a driver having restricted vision?   It is appalling to think that the bean counters in these motor manufacturing companies have refused to pay for, what ought to be, a standard feature.  Not an option.  Standard.

It is also appalling that Frod have priced the licence for using the device seemingly so high that other manufacturers are unwilling to pay for it.  Frod may argue that the development costs have to be recouped.  Okay.  Currently world car sales annually are running at something like 77 million.  You read that correctly, 77 million.  And that is just cars; lorries and buses are not included.  Frod themselves produce in the region of 4 million cars, so 73 million are produced by other manufacturers.  What point am I making?  This.  If Frod charged just $10 per licence, per windscreen, a figure that surely no company would baulk at, the company would be $730 million to the good.  $730 million?  From only $10 per car.  How much does development cost?  Less than that, surely.  Don’t call me Shirley.  What the hell have Frod been asking that makes other manufacturers say, ‘Safety that would save lives?  Too expensive.  No thanks’?

It should also be pointed out that Frod could have been raking in this money for the past 30 years; probably enough money to prevent its near-bankruptcy back in 2009.  Perhaps I have missed some point here, but somebody, somewhere, has been very short-sighted.  Probably due to being unable to see through an iced up windscreen.


Any birthdays of note this week?  Of course there are… William Hunter 1718 (Famous resident of my home town), Otto Lilienthal 1848 (Away with the cuckoos), Douglas Fairbanks 1883 (Half of the world’s first celebrity couple), Arthur Arshawsky 1910 (Who?  Oh, Artie Shaw.), Marius Goring 1912 (Conductor 71 [Very cryptic these days. – Ed.]), Denis Compton 1918 (Brylcreem boy), Humphrey Lyttleton 1921 (Not an orthinologist, more a word botcher), Desmond Carrington 1926 (Radio 2 stalwart), Nigel Davenport 1928 (Ectaw, dear leddie), Rosemary C. Looney 1928 (Sorry, that should read Clooney), Joan Collins 1933 (The face of Polyfilla), Robert Moog 1934 (Inventor of Prog Rock), Johnnie Ball 1938 (Misuse of a prophylactic), John Newcombe 1943 (Tennisy bloke) and Marvin Hagler 1952 (Boxy bloke).

Hmm…Not many in there to give us a toon to gramblerise.  However, 23rd of May is the 46th anniversary of the release of Tommy [Didn’t know he’d been inside. – Ed.].  Yes, in 1969 The Who released the album Tommy – a ‘rock opera’.  Pretentious or what?  Yes, it did tell a story as an opera would, but calling it a rock opera was a bit arty farty, wasn’t it?  It is often cited as the record that started the trend for ‘concept’ albums; very popular with prog rock bands in the seventies.  Ray Davies would disagree, having released The Kinks album The Village Green Preservation Society in November 1968.  The difference between that album and Tommy was that Ray Davies had produced a quintessentially [Now who’s being pretentious? – Ed.] English selection of tunes that were seen as being a bit ‘quirky’, whereas Pete Townsend’s Tommy was chock full of memorable, rocky songs.  I think we should honour Mr Townsend’s genius with a gramblerised toon…

Grambler, can you hear me?
Can you feel me near you?
Grambler, can you see me?
Can I help to cheer you?
Ooh, Grambler, Grambler, Grambler, Grambler




Let’s move onto grambling matters, shall we?  How did we get on last week?  We won, but lost.  Sorry pardon excuse me?  67 pees back from a £2.20 stake.  Hardly a success.  What happened?  Read on…

Burnley vs Stoke – Prediction Home win

Result – Burnley 0 Stoke 0

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

Burnley dominated the opening exchanges but their struggles in front of goal continued, with Danny Ings denied on three occasions by Jack Butland as they failed to score.
Stoke could have gone in ahead at the break with chances for Jonathan Walters and Mame Biram Diouf, with the latter also failing to convert another opportunity after 55 minutes. Stoke manager Mark Hughes' attempts to win the match saw Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie brought on from the bench, but they were unable to find a way to all three points.

QPR vs Newcastle – Prediction Away win

Result – QPR 2 Newcastle 1


The visitors took the lead when striker Emmanuel Riviere dinked in after collecting keeper Tim Krul's long punt.

QPR's Matt Phillips nodded in the equaliser from Charlie Austin's cross before Leroy Fer smashed in a superb winner from 25 yards.


Tottenham vs Hull – Prediction Home win

Result – Tottenham 2 Hull 0


Goals from Nacer Chadli, latching on to Erik Lamela's through ball, and a Danny Rose effort from Ryan Mason's superb pass were enough for Spurs.

Abel Hernandez and Dame N'Doye failed to finish a goal-mouth scramble that might have given the Tigers hope.

Chadli and Lamela recreate Hope and Crosby’s famous pat-a-cake routine from their ‘Road’ movies


Inverness vs Dundee Utd – Prediction Home win

Result – Inverness 3 Dundee Utd 0


Aaron Dorans should have broken the deadlock for Inverness when John Souttar made a hash of a clearance.

Nadir Ciftci forced a fine save from Inverness goalkeeper Ryan Esson, but the home side took the lead through Josh Meekings' header.

Ciftci volleyed over, but Nick ‘Don’t have nightmares’ Ross smashed in a second for the hosts before Gary Warren made it three.


Partick Thistle vs Kilmarnock – Prediction Home win

Result – Partick Thistle 1 Kilmarnock 4


I knew it.  What did I say last week?  I called The Grambler brave/foolhardy for predicting Killie would get beaten.  Well, I don’t want to say I told you so.  Really, I don’t want to say it, so I’m not going to.

Tope Obadeyi scored either side of half-time, the brace coming after Jamie Hamill had opened the scoring with a penalty rebound.

Conrad Balatoni headed home a consolation for the Jags before Josh Magennis made the points safe.

Right, that was last week; what have we got this week?  Well, there are only three games taking place this Saturday at 3pm so, unless you want to have a gee gee bet, the rules will have to alter a wee bit.  There are ten games taking place on Sunday the 24th of May at the same time (3pm) so I suggest we go with them.  All those in favour?  Anyone against?  Motion carried.  So which five has The Grambler randomly selected?

Game – Result – Odds

Arsenal vs West Brom – Prediction Home win – 2/5

Aston Villa vs Burnley – Prediction Home win – 11/10

Hull vs Manchester Utd – Prediction Away win – 5/4

Leicester vs QPR – Prediction Home win – 3/5

Newcastle vs West Ham – Prediction Home win – 5/6

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.  Hull are fighting for survival and The Grambler predicts that they will be beaten.  They are up against Man U but, surely, they will pull something out the bag.  Maybe we should have had a gee gee bet.

So, the bets are placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if The Grambler has got those predictions spot on, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit by…


1057… I wonder if anything exciting happened in 1057.  Yes it did.  You have heard of ‘the Scottish play’, haven’t you?  Course you have.  Macbeth.  Superstitious ectaws dear leddie refuse to say the correct name as it is supposed to bring bad luck if they utter the title.  Hmm.  I am not well up on Will Shakespook stuff, but I believe the name is mentioned a few times during the play.  Doesn’t that bring bad luck, then?  Any road up, 1057 is the year the actual King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Mael Coluim mac Donnchada (later King Malcolm III).  Lumphanan is a village about 25 miles from Aberdeen.  So now you know.



And now ladeez and gennulum, it’s teaser time!  Yay!  Last week I told you Luis ‘Nosher’ Suarez was the first man to score three hat tricks against the same team and I asked you to name the team in question.  Well done to anyone who knew the answer was Norwich City.  It gives me the chance to give you a link to a famous moment in the career of TV chef and Norwich City director, Delia Smith .  Not her finest moment, I am sure you will agree. 

What about a teaser for this week?  Let’s head north to Scotland this week.  As you probably know, Scottish football has been dominated by two clubs, Rangers and Celtic.  Out of a total of 323 trophies, the two clubs have claimed, between them, 214.  So this week’s teaser asks, which club comes third in the list of trophy winners from Scotland?  




For the last few weeks I have finished with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer.  I’m going to do it yet again, If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration.  Just point your doctor in the direction of .




And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Ms J. Collins who provides us with some examples of her finest ecting moments  She’s a dame, you know.  Yes, really.  Been in panto and everything.


Happy grambling.


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